I learned the magic of a good, tight swaddle when my first was days old, already spending most of his hours screaming. He was not an easy baby, and I was desperate for any kind of magical solution that would help him calm down. This was way back in 2008, and I kept reading all these amazing reviews for the Miracle Blanket. I learned how to swaddle with a basic swaddling blanket in our Bradley Method class, but I NEEDED a “miracle”.
There’s very little we “need” for a fourth baby. Luckily, I’ve held onto most of the important stuff- bouncers and rockers and cloth diapers, etc, and I know what a true “need” is and what will likely wind up superfluous baby crapola a few months in.
Our last baby was a wee newborn over 3 years ago, though, and that is a long time when it comes to innovation in the baby industry. Sure, every year a ton of silly baby stuff comes out that I’d hardly run out to buy, but we have missed out on some fantastic new products, and I’m all for making life with #4 just a little more peaceful.
The Owlet Baby Care monitor piqued my interest before I ever knew I’d have a 4th baby, and I’m thrilled to partner with them on this sponsored post and another to come after he gets here. It’s one of the few baby items that have come out in the last few years that I wish I had with our other 3.
Since it’s introduction to the market just about a year ago, I’ve seen a lot of great things said about it. This tiny, soft sock houses some pretty advanced technology that can go anywhere baby goes…
Which is important when your baby ends up sleeping in many places other than their crib (like all ours have).
The Owlet Baby Care Monitor uses hospital grade technology called pulse oximetry to keep tabs on oxygen levels in baby’s blood. You know when they put that clip with the red light on your finger at the hospital? Yeah, this is doing the same thing.
And then it’s sending that information to your phone (with apps for both iPhone and Android), and also to the independent base station.
And hey, if you don’t have a smartphone (or it died/your toddler flushed it), you don’t need to worry. The base station is your primary alert, and it will work without the apps.
Over the years, I’ve been very vocal about how important it is that I guard my sleep, especially when I have a newborn at home. This family can not handle me being a martyr and sacrificing sleep if we can find alternatives. It’s one of the biggest triggers of my postpartum anxiety, which has hit me hard after the last 2 of my 3 children, and I’m fully prepared for it to sneak up on me again.
In the past, I’ve found myself on high alert, unable to sleep because I can’t stop checking to see if my baby is breathing. Traditional crib monitors didn’t offer much of a solution for me because my babies end up in the bouncer, the co-sleeper, and eventually next to me in bed.
I’m hopeful the Owlet will help me “sleep when baby sleeps” easier.
This isn’t just for the newborn phase, either. It comes with 3 different sized socks to grow with baby, and a 1 year warranty. I’ll have to keep you all updated if this means it will fit my baby’s foot that long, though, since all of mine tend to end up with what we lovingly refer to as “dinner roll” feet (VERY fat). You don’t have to change the battery in the sock, but it does need to be charged daily, so we’ll be setting the charging cord up next to the baby’s changing table in hopes we don’t forget.
The Owlet Baby Care Monitor is $250, and is 100% satisfaction guaranteed for 45 days from purchase, meaning you have that much time to return for a full refund if it doesn’t work out for you.
Stay tuned for a follow up post after baby arrives. Looking forward to telling you all how it works out for us.
I’m 23 weeks pregnant. In 18ish weeks, there’s going to be another baby living here. I guess it’s time to, like, start getting ready? With the help of Wellements Probiotic Gripe Water, I’m stocking up on the most important things for those first few weeks and sharing some colic survival tips with you in this sponsored post.
Preparing for our 4th baby is quite different than prepping for our first. With the first, it was like, “Buy all the cute things!” But with this one, it’s like, “Do we have stuff to keep us sane if this baby has colic?”
Because all those cute things did nothing for us when our first had colic, so we know what our real priorities are now.
If you’ve lived with a colicky baby once, the experience will haunt you forever. We’ve been so lucky that the other two were mostly “easy” babies (relatively speaking, of course), but since you never know, we’re totally going to be prepared for this one to turn into Satan’s spawn 6-10 hours a day. Just in case.
Our colic routine 8 years ago, once we finally had one down, went something like:
1. Swaddle super tight.
2. Turn on white noise. Back then it was the actual sound of a vacuum cleaner burned to a CD. (Luckily, now there are apps that are far safer than running a vacuum cleaner for an hour.)
3. Bounce and bounce and REALLY BOUNCE while holding him on the yoga ball or put him in the bouncy seat and do it that way.
4. Once he calmed a bit, put a boob in his mouth because, of course, on top of all of that, he wouldn’t take any kind of artificial nipple.
5. Give him a little gripe water.
6. Cry while drinking.
So this time around, I’m ready to go with several swaddling blankets and sacks that I know we can easily get snug and secure, some pacifiers and, of course, my breasts (but please, oh please, take a pacifier sometimes, baby), my white noise app (this one is my favorite), the bouncy seat, our trusty yoga ball, and some Wellements Probiotic Gripe Water. And wine.
8 years ago, the brand of gripe water I used wasn’t organic, and it certainly didn’t have the added benefit of probiotics.
Wellements Probiotic Gripe Water is certified organic, preservative free, and safe for everyday use from day one with baby, and can help ease gassy, colicky, and upset tummies. Why is the addition of probiotics so key?
Babies are born with a virtually untouched systems and their first exposure to bacteria happens as they pass through the birth canal. While they receive their first “inoculation” during birth, giving your baby probiotics early on can ensure they receive the beneficial bacteria they need to properly colonize their intestines with healthy microflora. A healthy gut can set the stage for good health as they grow, strengthening digestion and building a strong immune system. – WellementsBaby.com
No need to hunt it down at a specialty store. You can find it on the shelves at your local Walgreens as of today, or online at Amazon. By the way, they also have other products for babies, like teething oil and constipation relief.
FINGERS CROSSED I don’t have to put Operation Survive Colic into place, but if we do, we’ll be prepared. We may not be prepared to put baby to sleep in a fancy crib or dress him in all the cute things, but we will be ready to soothe Satan’s spawn.
Thanks to Wellements Baby for sponsoring this post. For more information, check out their Wellements Facebook page.
Few sights are sweeter than a sleeping baby, and few things are sweeter than those that help a baby sleep.
I’m all for baby snuggles and mommy cuddles when I can, but sometimes I need to put the boy down. Our new favorite place to let him chill is in the 4moms rockaRoo. They sent it to me about a month ago, and Lowell has napped some serious naps in it since, including many under the lights of our Christmas tree.
We are fans of the 4moms lineup around here, including the mamaRoo. You might be thinking this is the same thing. I am here to tell you it’s not! In fact, I think we love this even more than the mamaRoo, which works well for our babies in the newborn stage, but they seem to outgrow/grow bored of by this age.
Lowell, at 5 months old, is entranced and in love with this thing. It consistently puts him to sleep without a fuss when I lay him down while drowsy.
Our babies tend to crave… how do I put this… a lot of motion. Like, it’s not enough to lay them on a bouncy seat with the vibrations on. They need to be physically BOUNCED, like a basketball almost, to be comforted.
The motions of this rockaRoo are far more pronounced than anything else we’ve tried. Now, that’s on level 5. There are lower levels that are less motion. So if your baby doesn’t crave an infant sized trampoline like mine do, you won’t be left out.
Basically, it rocks the baby like a rocking horse. The project’s Lead Engineer said,
We believe a rocking motion is more optimal than a swinging motion because it creates a greater sense of motion in a child’s inner ear, where motion is sensed, than a traditional swing.
It’s the wonderful, high-tech, luxury quality we expect from 4moms, but the price point is less than the mamaRoo. The classic gray seat is $159, and the plush seats (shown here) are $179. There’s still a cord to plug in an mp3 player that plays over the rockaRoo’s built in speakers, but it does not have built in white noise like the mamaRoo.
I. Am. A. Fan.
And I’m thrilled to give one away to one of you (US only) readers! Just follow the directions in the Rafflecopter widget below. Good luck!
Is a 2 month old a newborn still? What if she weighs 15 lbs already and sleeps in 6-9 month jammies? Regardless, 2 months into this whole parenting gig the second time around and I finally have time to share with you all my Top 10 Newborn Essentials. These are 10 things that make my life with a newborn much easier.
1. iPhone- I didn’t have an iPhone or any kind of smart phone with Kendall in the beginning. Oh, I didn’t know what I was missing! I remember begging Scott to set up a small TV in our bedroom after the first week because I needed *something* to do while I was up all night with him. I can’t even count how many late night infomercials I watched in those early months.
Now? I can read books, reply to emails, chat on Twitter, catch up on Facebook, and even blog all from my iPhone. Many days I don’t have time to crack open my laptop until naptime, but I can check in quickly on my phone throughout the day. Not to mention, I love that I have a camera and video camera with me at all times. Great for capturing those adorable and hilarious moments of life with a newborn and a toddler and sending them to distant family and friends. And the calendar and alerts features have saved me from having to remember all those doctor’s appointments.
2. A good pump– I didn’t pump much with Kendall because all I had was a manual pump, and it just didn’t work out for me. I’m really lucky nothing ever happened that would have made me rely on a freezer stash. This time around I have an AMAZING pump from Hygeia, and as a result, I have an ever-growing freezer stash of breastmilk.
Hygeia sent me the Enjoye electric double pump for free to review, and I started using it just a few days after we brought Leyna home. She refused to latch on to my left nipple after my milk came in, and I was fighting engorgement. Within 2 days I had 10 ounces in the freezer. This pump is SO efficient and SO easy to use, especially compared to the manual I dealt with with Kendall (no wonder I never wanted to use that thing!). I don’t know what I would have done without it. I always bust it out when I feel clogged ducts. So far, no full blown mastitis this time around!
A good pump is a necessity for any working mom who wishes to breastfeed, but even stay at home moms benefit from a pump. It’s always good to have an emergency freezer stash, and wonderful for that morning after the first night your baby sleeps longer than 4 hours and you think your breasts are about to explode.
The Hygeia Enjoye, unlike many other popular electric pumps, is a non-hospital grade breast pump registered with the FDA for multiple users. There is no risk of your milk coming in contact with anything a previous user’s milk touched if you get your own personal accessory set. It’s the “greenest” breast pump because it CAN be used by more than one mother, and when it comes to the end of it’s lifecycle, you can send it back to Hygeia and they will recycle it. As of this year, breast pumps and supplies are now tax deductible and you can use your flex savings account to get reimbursed for your purchase. So go get you a GOOD breast pump!
3. Bouncy Seat– We have quite a few baby apparatuses, and I babywear when I can, but the Fisher Price bouncy seat has seen the most use out of all of them. It’s where Kendall slept for a couple months and where Leyna now sleeps (propped up next to us inside her co-sleeper). It’s also lightweight, easy to move around the house, and a great place to lay baby outside the shower while you clean up, alternating scrubbing your hair and peeking out to check on them.
Plus, we’ve found our babies love to be bounced to sleep. As I type this, Leyna is in her bouncy seat on the floor in front of me napping while I gently bounce her with my feet. There are several designs to choose from. You don’t need anything too fancy, and the lighter, the better.
4. Moby Wrap– A lot of times, babies just want to be held, they want to be close to you. If you want to get anything done (dishes, makeup, going to the bathroom), you’ll have a lot more luck keeping baby close and being semi-productive with one of these. It’s simplicity was intimidating to me at first. It’s just a long piece of fabric you have to learn to wrap and tie a certain way, but once I figured it out, it was a breeze. Both babies loved being snuggled next to me in it. It’s also the only way I can go grocery shopping with both kids. Kendall sits in the front of the cart and Leyna snuggles in the Moby. When Kendall had colic, I could get him to calm many times by putting him in it and going for a bouncy walk outside. Sure, I looked a little silly, but it quieted the screams.
5. Flatfolds as Burp Cloths – All babies spit up, some a lot more than others. We’ve been pretty lucky that neither Kendall nor Leyna have been really messy in this department, but we still use the heck out of these Gerber cloths. They are technically old-fashioned cloth diapers, though I think they work much better as burp cloths and all around baby cleanup cloths. I keep a couple in my diaper bag, and we always have one floating around the living room. They do work as an extra diaper in a pinch, also great for cleaning up blowouts and blowing snotty noses. Down the road, they’ll make great house cleaning rags.
6. White Noise– When I met with Dr. Harvey Karp last week he told me a new study showed that babies who are swaddled and listen to white noise at night sleep on average an extra hour longer. An extra hour of sleep with a newborn is pretty close to winning the lottery. White noise was great for Kendall when colic was at it’s peak. We even kept CDs (similar to this one) of vacuum and hair dryer noises in both cars. But even beyond colic, he still sleeps with white noise every night from his Homemedics Lullaby Sound Spa. Since we still have the monitor on in his room and Leyna sleeps with us, we all end up listening to the same noises all night.
7. Swaddling Blankets- I’m a believer of the 4th trimester theory, that babies aren’t really *ready* for the world when they are born. I learned all about this in Dr. Harvey Karp’s Happiest Baby On The Block book. We found once we started swaddling Kendall, he calmed much quicker and slept longer. We didn’t hesitate to start this with Leyna. We swaddled her in these sweet Aden & Anais muslin blankets at first (love that they are lightweight!), and quickly moved her into the Miracle Blanket when she got a little bigger and stronger. I like to say the Miracle Blanket is woven threads of baby tranquilizers.
8. Primo EuroBath– We went through 4 different containers to bathe Kendall in, never really loving any of them. The first was a baby sling, which made me cringe. Maybe we were using it wrong, but all it seemed to do was hold his naked wet body up and out of the water. Didn’t look comfortable at all, and seemed incredibly cold. This time around a friend got the Primo EuroBath tub for us and I LOVE it. You use one side for tiny babies, then switch it around and sit older babies in the other side. For newborns, you can fill it just enough to let them be slightly submerged, and it keeps them in place in a reclined position. You can use it on a countertop, but we just keep ours in the kid’s tub.
9. Boppy– I use this primarily as a breastfeeding pillow, and while I’ll admit there are more supportive pillows for newborn breastfeeding (like the My Brest Friend), this is still my favorite over all. First of all, the Boppy is easy to use, no straps to deal with. It’s also multi-purpose. It’s great for tummy time, comfy for new moms to sit on when healing after delivery, and it makes an excellent neck pillow while traveling in the car. Make sure you get an extra cover for yours. I find I’m always washing mine.
10. Cloth Diapers– We’re cloth diapering a newborn for a 2nd time, and the love is still there. Again, we’re using Kissaluvs size 0 fitteds with Thirsties covers primarily. I’m sorry to say Sunshine Diapers no longer offers the Kissaluvs Newborn Rental package (epic sad!), but you can buy them used from places like DiaperSwappers, or buy your own new stash and sell them or loan them out when you’re done. I also tried a Fuzzi Bunz XS pocket diaper (sent to me for review at no cost) and quickly fell in love with it. They are more expensive than the fitted diapers, but very convenient and trim. I think they make a great addition to a newborn cloth diaper stash.
Of course, every baby and family is different, and what works great for me and mine may not be a good fit for you. These are just 10 things that make *my* life easier. Do you agree or disagree with any of them? Have any to add? I’d love to make this post a great go-to resource for expecting readers, so feel free to chime in in the comments!
Also, I’ve been working on an Amazon store and all the Amazon product affiliate links above go back to my store. You can find much more than my Newborn Essentials there, so give it a browse. Each product is one I’d feel confident recommending to anyone. I’ll add more to it as I have time. I should note if you purchase through those links, I get a tiny little percent.
Disclosure- Some of the products included in my Newborn Essentials list were sent to me for free to review. They truly earned their spot on this list, and I wasn’t paid to include anything.
Kendall is 2 years, 10 months and Leyna is 2 months old