Posts Tagged ‘registry’

We’re Having a Baby! And We Need New EVERYTHING.

Thursday, July 7th, 2016

new baby Once upon a time, a mommy who already had two beautiful children got pregnant with a third. “OK,” she thought. “We can handle this.” But no one else thought she could.

“But where is your new car?” said one friendly stranger.

“And where is your new house?” said another.

“But we already have a house and a car,” said the mom.

“Those won’t do!” said the two friendly strangers. “You need NEW ones!”

This conversation played out over and over and over after I got pregnant with my third child. We suddenly, according to everyone around us, not only needed to be preparing for another child, but should also be upending our lives to make everything bigger and newer in preparation for her. My Honda Civic wouldn’t do, I needed a minivan! Our three-bedroom house was too small, when were we moving? Why weren’t we finding out the sex of the baby? We needed to know if it was a boy since we only had girl things–what if he had to wear FLOWERED onesies?

Honestly, the stress of having a baby is stress enough, whether it’s your first or your fifth. And when you’re pregnant, you’re particularly vulnerable to the well-meaning advice of strangers. This is unique to pregnancy, since you don’t have to wear your condition around on your head for any other stage in life. The advice of well meaning strangers nearly cost me my sanity during my third pregnancy. We hadn’t planned to have another quite yet, so I was dealing with the shock of the idea of having a preschooler, toddler and infant at home. Then on top of that, people kept foisting all these additional consumer expectations on me. It took a few months of showing for me to stop and look at the situation with fresh eyes.

You’re bringing home an 8-pound baby, not Shaquille O’Neill. 
At first, I was panicking, running the numbers, and looking at cars online. But even small cars can fit three kids across the backseat–safely and legally–if you have slimline carseats. I did my research and realized we did’t ever need a need a new car if we didn’t want to get one.  Even Shaquille O’Neill can fit in a Kia, so there.

Babies don’t Need a Room.
The baby room is certainly a modern invention. For much of history, and in other parts of the world today, babies sleep with mom for practical reasons. Honestly, the baby room was basically a place for me to change diapers and clothing until about age 3 when independent play began to emerge. My kids didn’t want to play in an empty room all alone, they always wanted to be where the action was. This means you have about 2 years from birth to make a transition.

My kids also currently share a room, which, contrary to popular belief, is not child abuse. Up until about 1950, kids routinely shared rooms and bathrooms. The average home size was just over 1,000 square feet for a family of four. Today, the average home size is 2,100 square feet, and the most common trend in new home construction today is including a bathroom for every bedroom.

Decide for Yourself What Really Matters
People were floored that we weren’t finding out the sex of the baby since we had two girls. What if it was a boy? What would he wear? Honestly, the fashion conundrums of an infant were of zero concern to me. If we had a boy, he would wear the clothes we had at home until I found the space in my head and day to go get boy clothes. It was just not a detail that stressed me out. It continued to be a detail that stressed out everyone around me. I was much more concerned about how I would survive each day with all these tiny children at home. Be prepared for a million contingencies to be raised, whatever your situation. Then decide what you care about, because that’s the only stuff that matters.

 

Continue to Think Critically
As a kid, I wasn’t allowed to go play at friend’s houses if they lived in an apartment. This tiny detail stayed with me when I got pregnant for the first time. We can’t have a BABY in an apartment! I knew this to be true. Plus, we were throwing money away, right? Better to buy a house. Because that’s what you do when you get pregnant. You buy a house. Unfortunately, our first child was born in 2008. This means we bought a house at the peak of the housing bubble, in part because we had on these cultural baby blinders. Expectations and arbitrary rules kept us from thinking objectively and critically about the huge decision of home ownership.

It’s easy to go into autopilot when you’re pregnant. No matter which baby this is for you, it’s overwhelming to have so many people, familiar and strange alike, telling you what to do with your finances, your relationships and your body. But all of those things are still yours. You’re going to do a lot of smiling and nodding. But these people who are giving you advice don’t have to survive on your savings in 30 years. They don’t have to go to the grocery store and shop on your budget. They don’t have to bear the scars of major surgery or the emotional pain that can follow a traumatic delivery. These decisions are yours and yours alone, because you alone bear the consequences.

You can do things your own way in your own family. Your story may not look like your parent’s or your partner’s parents, and that’s OK. Sometimes realizing that is a process of mourning and acceptance, and that’s OK, too.

Erin Burt is a freelance writer and the mother of three girls. She lives and writes in Oklahoma City. 

Do You Really Need That? I Did: Rethinking Baby Registry Lists

Tuesday, July 5th, 2016

 

baby registry

You know you’ve seen the list circulating the Internet, the lists of baby things you “don’t really need”. If you’re a first-time mom you may be likely to heed the advice of these lists because who wants to waste money on things you don’t really need? Sure there are plenty of things that you can live without but in my opinion there are quite a few things on those lists of things to not buy that made my life so much easier! Here are three of my favorite “don’t need” must haves:

Bottle Warmer. I absolutely agree that you can run hot water over a bottle to heat it but do you want to stand by the sink while you wait or would you rather be doing something else–like calming a baby? A bottle warmer can not only help you multi-task, it can also help keep you from overheating it and keep away the temptation of nuking it in the microwave, which La Leche League warns against because of the possibility of uneven heating and hot spots.

Wipe Warmer. The last thing I need in the middle of the night is even louder screaming from a baby who doesn’t want a cold wipe on their bottom. In my opinion, anything you can do to keep a baby comfortable is worth the money. Being comfortable lowers their stress levels, as well as yours.

Diaper Pail. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t empty the trash every single day and I certainly would not have been flushing baby poop down a toilet before trashing a disposable diaper. Diaper pails
can handle a big load of smelly diapers without stinking up a room. If you know you won’t be taking your trash to the dumpster every day and you don’t want to smell dirty diapers, I’d invest in one of these!

Jacqueline Banks is a certified Holistic Health Counselor. She works with women in all stages of motherhood, from mothers struggling with conception to those trying to get their groove back after pregnancy to ensure the best health and nutrition for both mom and baby. 

My Pregnancy: Week 35

Tuesday, April 12th, 2016

Week 35Flowers, balloons, and cute little stuffed bears are sweet gestures to congratulate a mother and family after the birth of a child. Wanna know what I really want?

Leave me alone. One thing I’m almost embarrassed to admit is a deep, incredible, introverted desire to be left alone. I’d like to appreciate the love of family and friends with no expectation of anything in return, including conversation or a thank-you card. In the days leading up to birth the phone dings with text messages and Facebook lights up red with notifications asking, “is she here yet?” and “how are you feeling?” I try deep down to appreciate the love that surrounds me from friends and family. Yet the sheer volume of inquiries is inundating. The day of our c-section come texts wanting details and pictures and more. The days after there are calls of congratulations and more wanting to know how things are, how baby is, how baby’s siblings reacted, and how I’m doing. It’s too much. This time I am turning my phone off on birth day. Hubby has a few key people to contact and they will let others know. Pictures will come with they come and we will focus on our immediate family plus a couple of friends. So what do I want the day of birth? The following text: Hey! We’re thinking of you and can’t wait to meet your little one. Until then, warm thoughts and love to you and yours.

Wine. Maybe this one also makes me sound a little like a shallow mama. It’s not the wine so much as what it represents. I enjoy a glass or two of wine a few times a week. I set that aside for several kids and early breastfeeding for about four years of my adult life. That’s not really too long, but it is my adult life. I likely won’t get to that bottle of wine for a month or even two. I’ll be on pain meds for a week or so and then nursing almost non-stop. But I love the idea of it, sitting there on the counter, for when I’m ready to join the ranks of independent adult who is both a mom and something of her own.

Errands. Especially for c-section mamas, but really for any mama, running errands can be so deeply helpful. I can’t drive for two weeks to begin with. Hubby will be home to help, but he goes back to work eventually. Being a new mom who is nursing every couple of hours and also has a toddler and preschooler makes a trip out to the store seem epic. Grabbing milk and eggs or a random needed item or two from Target will save me literally ten times as much time as you spend on the task. Thank you.

Take the kids out. It can just be to the library, playground, or to grab a quick bite to eat. Sprinkling attention on my toddler and preschooler will benefit us all. First, they’ll love you for it! They’re getting less attention post-pregnancy, no matter how hard we try to wrap them in love. You’ll offer them a special treat and give me an hour or a few at home to enjoy the sweet peace of relative quiet. They say to nap when baby naps—this is generally less possible when you have multiple kiddos. In taking out the kiddos you offer me the simple joy of having one kiddo again, just for the afternoon.

Netflix/DVDs/Amazon Prime. If babies remember music into adulthood, my eldest will have an affinity for The Office, my middle for Parks and Recreation, and this third kiddo time will tell. Many late nights nursing were spent with light television shows on in the background. A perk of Amazon Prime, though an expensive gift, is the 2-day shipping that comes with the subscription. I made several purchases off Amazon for basic household needs because going out with a newborn (much less newborn and other children) is difficult.  I didn’t mind waiting 2 days in exchange or the convenience of not going out in public during those early days.

Annie is a mom of two boys, ages two and four. She enjoys the finer things in life, like compression socks and a full night’s rest.

Repurposing Your Newborn Gear

Friday, February 20th, 2015

Repurposing Your Newborn GearNewborn gear helps you through some rough stuff. I surely would have had fewer showers if it weren’t for the magic of that electric swing with grasshopper sounds. I’m forever indebted to the mobile that bought me those five extra minutes at least once a day. We were a little disappointed with how quickly our sons grew out of some contraptions though and were happy to find a way to repurpose them. Of course, we generally try to bring less in the home so we have less left over to begin with. That said, if you’re moving out of that newborn stage you may consider ditching a few of the things listed below. I encourage you to use your imagination before you put them in the “toss” bin!

Receiving blankets: We never used these as our sons came out baby mammoth size. Instead I cut them into 8×8 squares (serging the edges will lengthen the life of your new hankie). We have a pile of about 50 of them from over three years ago. We still use them daily to wipe noses, clean off hands, and clean up small spills. Burp cloths can also serve a similar purpose.

Infant bath tub: We tried going without an infant tub but gave in because I just couldn’t trust my slippery hands. We now use it as a little pool or water/sensory table in the dining room and a sand box on the porch. Fill it with rice, cotton balls, or anything in between for a fun way to pass a rainy afternoon away!

Newborn cloth diapers: All-in-one diapers aside, any other newborn diapers are easily usable down the line. Infant size prefolds are perfect for stuffing alone or with a booster into a pocket. Newborn size inserts are great boosters for that little-something-extra you might need as your infant grows toward toddler! You may have to pack away the AIOs, pockets, and covers. Keep the inserts, prefolds, and flats out for continued use!

Bottles: We didn’t have many of these around the house, but we now use them in the bath tub as a play cup, filled with pebbles to make instruments and little cups to hold paint or paint water. The brand we purchased was for our pumped milk, so they came with flat lids in addition to the nipple lids. Of course you can improvise if you don’t have that lid option! If you buy glass jars of food, again those are great for holding paint though they are breakable.

Enjoy your newfound items you didn’t realize you already have!

Lynette Moran shares her life with her husband and two sons, ages 1 and 3 years. She has cloth diapered both since birth and enjoys all things eco-friendly and mindful living.