Babies need lots of crap. That’s really a large reason why we had to get a bigger place. I mean, I guess you could go all minimalist and not get the bouncer AND the swing AND the playmat, but I challenge you to find something to keep that kid occupied while you get dressed, brush your teeth, and maybe do a load of dishes, because if your baby is anything like mine, he has a very short attention span and will not be happy in just one piece of baby crapola for long. It’s all about the rotation – 15 minutes on playmat while I brush my teeth and make Hailey breakfast – change diaper, nurse – 15 minutes in bouncer while I get dressed and feed dogs – hold baby and carry on babble conversation of nothing but oohs and aahs while delighting in the fact that he is SO close to giggling (even though he will probably be laughing at me making a complete fool of myself) – then into the supercalifanfreakingfuckingtastic Moby Wrap for as long as my back can stand it while I get makeup on (Kendall loves staring at the mirror while I do this) and do some light housework. I still need to put the swing back together, but I fully intend to add this to the rotation soon.
Anyway, the whole point of this post of for me to tell you what crap has been good for us and what crap has been a waste of $$ (at least so far).
Moby Wrap – discussed in previous post – LOVE IT!! I can’t get anything done without this thing, including, many days, peeing. When Kendall was really small I would put him in facing my chest, all curled up in a little ball. He would nap in it for hours, and I solely credit it for making my flights back and forth from DC to Texas almost enjoyable with a one month old. Now that he’s bigger (and at 14 lbs at 10 weeks, he really is getting big) he can face forward, which he loves. It’s also great for babies who, like Kendall, need to be jiggled or bounced to calm down. It really saves your arms. I can pop him in there and bounce up and down, or better yet, sit on my yoga ball and bounce. And, as I mentioned before, this is now our main form of transportation. If I could wear this thing while driving….
Bouncy Seat – The first few weeks of Kendall’s life I thought this thing was a waste until we realized we just weren’t using it the right way. See, just turning on the “Soothing Vibrations” wasn’t nearly soothing enough for him. I credit Scott for realizing that manually bouncing the chair up and down hard enough to get a good jiggle going on was what it took to turn this hunk of junk into our saving grace. We now use it every time we need to get Kendall to fall asleep. Some nights we keep it in between us in bed and take turns bouncing it and some nights I keep it in the pack and play next to the bed, only an arms reach away from a good bounce.
Hooter Hider- I can breastfeed the monster on demand (and trust me, that is very often) whenever we are out without fearing I am flashing anyone or worrying about my rowdy boy ripping a blanket off of me. I’ve nursed with it on the airplane (try being discreet in that close of quarters!) in many a restaurant and while carrying on a conversation with my grandfather. Nuff said.
Miracle Blanket – SO worth the $30+! It is the ONLY blanket Kendall can’t bust out of from a swaddle. Swaddling him is the only thing that gets him to fall asleep at night and KEEP him asleep. Another bonus is it’s not made out of heavy and hot flannel. That’s a huge plus in this Texas weather. I was so desperate for one of these that when I found one at a local boutique I bought it immediately even though the only color they had in stock was PINK *gasp*! Hey, pink, purple, glittery gold… I don’t care what color the thing is. It works. And he looks adorable in it with nothing but his big chubby head sticking out. My sister was right on the money when she said he looks like a Glowworm in it.
Happiest Baby on the Block – Fabulous book, even better DVD (because what new parent has time to read a book?). I only wish I would have read/watched it all BEFORE the baby came. Remember how I went to the ER with Kendall early in the morning on Mother’s Day? I came home with a scrip for baby Zantac for acid reflux that Kendall doesn’t even have. If we had read about the 5 S’s before bringing Kendall home, I’m sure that trip could have been avoided. In hindsight, it seems like his problem was that he was overtired and didn’t know how to put himself to sleep, and we, like the idiot new parents we were, thought if exhaustion was the problem he would have just passed out already. If you are expecting or know anyone who is – get yourself or them this book or DVD. Seriously. (Oh, and since I just watched the DVD for the first time last week I was so happy to learn that Dr. Karp recommends JIGGLING to get a baby to go to sleep! Yayayayayay! We are not raising a freak! All babies like to be jiggled!)
Cloth diapers – Yup. Call us what you will… earth muffins, tree huggers, crazy hippies…. it’s all very funny to me that those are the images associated with cloth diapering when I really don’t think we are any of those things (not that they are bad!). I can do a whole new entry on these alone, so I won’t go into too much detail other than to tell you that we have used cloth diapers since Kendall was about a week old and we love them. They aren’t the old fashioned kind – no pins involved for us. They are really easy to use and have saved us a ton of money. We’ve had to use disposables while we traveled and I will say that I hate how often they blowout (meaning Kendall somehow gets shit on his shoulders after an explosive poop) and the bad rash they give Kendall. The cloth diapers rarely ever give him a rash and are actually pretty easy to maintain.
Blow drier/ Vacuum/ White noise machine – When your kid is screaming their head off do yourself a favor and go turn on every loud appliance in your house. If you are as lucky as me, it will send them into a trance- like state 75% of the time. It’s a freakish phenomenon.
Now for the bad crap-
Baby sling for the bath – used it maybe twice when Kendall was really small. Now he either gets in the shower with Scott or in the bath with me. And now that we have a nice deep sink in the kitchen, I imagine he will get many a bath in there.
Baby robes – So cute. So impractical. If I’m going to fight with my kid to get him dressed after a bath, I’m going to do it once and just put him in his clothes the first time.
Diaper Champ – I think this would be good crap if we didn’t cloth diaper. The cloth diapers are just too big to get through the hole without a struggle. We are still using it, but I need to find an alternative. I shouldn’t have to beat the crap out of the diaper receptacle 12 times a day. I have other things I should be beating the crap out of (like the 10 BILLION flies that have taken up residence in our new home).
That damn infant seat!! – Okay, this is actually a split decision because when he was much younger and would pass out in it, it was great to be able to just take him out of the car in it and snap it into the stroller frame, but I thought that phase would last much longer than it has. If I would have known that a) Kendall would detest the thing and scream every minute that he is in it by 8 weeks and that b) Kendall would be a beast and most likely outgrow the thing in 4 months (and that he’s already too freaking heavy to hold in it) I wouldn’t have spent all the money on it and would have opted to go straight into the big carseat.
Now, obviously we have a lot more crap than what is listed above, but those are what stick out in my mind as good or bad. I’ll let you know if anything changes.
When I left the hospital, the only piece of baby crapola the nurses made sure I knew how to use was the snot sucker out thingy. I can count on one hand the number of times I have used that thing. But the majority of baby crapola is a pain in the ass to figure out, and do we get any instruction on it? No. We have to wait until the baby is screaming at level 10 and we are cussing at the harness because we can’t manage to get piece A and piece B lined up with piece C while simultaneously pressing down on buttons D, E and F. So take my advice and learn how to use all this crap before you have a screaming newborn to deal with. And I mean really learn, like practice while holding a bag of flour in one hand… or a cat or something. Good luck with all your crap.
10 weeks 3 days old