Thursday, June 21, 2012

Family Update

What can I say- we are so Blessed!

Madelynn is doing so well reading. The books get harder and harder, and she breezes through them.  She does so well at sounding out the words she doesn't recognize, and she loves to read to her sisters (who love to hear her read.)

Annie loves to sing and dance. She starts dance classes today with Madelynn and they both are really looking forward to it.  Annie is our little mommy. She helps me with all the housework, and makes sure Joy and Lydia are happy.

Joy is as active as ever. She is talking so well, and really knows how to let us what she wants.  She works hard at keeping up with her older sisters and is very proud of her great climbing skills. :)

Lydia is rolling very well now. She can roll both directions and loves laughing at her sisters.  She likes to be high up so she can see everything that's going on.

We are really enjoying our summer in our new home (since we got the better patio.)  We were surprised with a wonderful grapevine that has provided many great snacks. The grapes are very sweet and there are so many of them!  If you are wanting any, please come and get them! :)

The switch to cloth napkins and cloth diapers is going so well! I'm still working on a routine when traveling, but still am amazed at how easy it is at home (don't know why I didn't start sooner!)

I hope everyone is having as great a summer as we are!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Best Baby Items

First of all, I'm running on little sleep. So please ignore my spelling, grammar, and anything else that you may feel like knit-picking.  Thank you :)

Since many of my friends and family are pregnant, I thought I'd post some things I found helpful to put on my baby registry. If you are not pregnant, you can buy them for Baby Shower gifts, and know they will be greatly used. :) I do have to give props to my sister, Amy, for helping me find many of these items- she is consistently a lifesaver when it comes to the best baby items (among many other things.) ;)

* Diaper Champ
      I like the Diaper Champ better than the Diaper Genie because it uses regular trash bags (and cloth bags when using cloth diapers.) Not having to constantly buy the 'special' trash bags only for the Diaper Genie makes this a great choice.

 * Playtex VentAire bottles
      Again, no special bags to constantly buy in order to use the bottle. Wash and reuse- greatness (and cheapness.)  Don't forget if you ever want them to take a bottle (even when breast feeding) you have to introduce them to it at 4-6wks old.  There are some careful rules to that to avoid nipple confusion, so do some research on it first!

* Water proof pads
        A small pad for the changing table makes accidents an easy cleanup.  Also cloth pad can double as diaper changing pad for the diaperbag (much smaller than large thick pad.)
        A water proof pad for the crib also helps keep mattress mess free and non-stinky.

* Bed ramp and positioner
       The bed ramp and positioner not only help prevent against SIDS, but also helps baby feel swaddled. The bed ramp is also nice when baby gets sick so the runny nose can run down when sleeping and not into their throat.

* Humidifier
     Humidifier is great when baby is sick, and also helps keep baby warm (make sure it has a warm setting.)  Especially great for C-section babies because they have a higher risk of fluid in the lungs and asthma.

* Swaddler/Snuggly Wrap
      I never really used a swaddler with my girls, but I have many friends who highly recommend it.  The only problem is when they outgrow it, sometimes they have problems adjusting to sleeping without it.
Edit: The blanket swaddler that zips up like overalls to keep baby warm at nights is great during winter.

* Moby Wrap
     Great hands-free way to carry baby, and baby feels all nice and comfy- puts them right to sleep.  Just tricky getting them out of the wrap without waking them.

* Diaper Baggies
     Great for disposing diapers in public without smelling everyone out. Or if you have to change it in the car and don't have a trash for them.  You can buy them in little rolls now for the diaperbag. I also use ziplock bags sometimes. :)

* Boppy Pillow
     I only use this for a limited time for breastfeeding. The rest of the time I used it for propping baby up, or helping her to sit up when ready.

* Blankets
    I get many different blankets.  Light thermal blanket for summer. Crochet blanket for winter (loose holes for baby to breath through if gets head under it.) Fleece blanket for swaddling (some prefer the thermal blanket for swaddling.) And a light blanket for summer and thick blanket for winter for use with everything else. (Especially doubling as a tummy mat, public changing table cover or hooter hider.)
Edit: Just started using the Muslin blankets- loving them!

* Pack N Play sheets
      The sheets made specifically for Pack N Plays are a must.  MUCH easier than trying to tuck a big sheet around the mattress.

* Foam Bath Pad
     I started my first child with the little tub.  That big thing got old really fast.  I quickly moved to the foam pad and it is so much easier to bathe baby with, and to store when not in use.

*  Sitting bath ring
     When baby can sit, the bath ring is great to make sure baby stays sitting in the tub and still gets a good bath.

* Kiddopotamus
      Great head rest (really full body cushion) for the carseat.

* Carseat toys
     Get one that makes very quiet sounds.  It can be embarrassing in the grocery store if it's too loud, and annoying in the car when they play it 50 times.

* Car seat mirror with Rearview mirror attachment
     Love being able to see baby when driving to know she is OK.

* Bumbo
     What can I say: LOVE.

* Paci attachment
     I don't use a pacifier with the girls (another post for paci vs. thumb sucking argument.) But if you decide to use pacifier, then having an attachment for the shirt is great for saving the paci from the floor.

* Hangers
     Clothes are tiny, need tiny hangers.

* Snake Pillow
      I don't know the official name, but I call it the snake pillow. Great for when pregnant and can't find a comfortable position. Also can be used to prop baby up when helping them sit up.

* Wipes warmer
     I stopped using the warmer part of it, however still love it as a place to store wipes on the changing table. So it makes the list.

* Tummy Time Mat
* Swing
* Pack N Play
* Bassinet (with net top for outside and older child barrier)
* Bouncy seat
* Exersaucer
* Stroller
* Carrier/carseat

^ I usually go with Graco brand on most of these items. Baby Einstein is a pretty good brand too.

* Diaperbag
     - Columbia's backpack diaperbag is great for dads and on the go parents.

* Breast feeding Supplies
   - Lansinoh milk bags
   - Lidocaine nipple cream
   - Hooter Hider
   - Nursing Bras (Motherhood Maternity has the best selection. I recommend the ones with a underwire best.)
   - Nursing Shirt (They have really nice discreet tops now)
   - Bra Pads (the washable cloth ones work OK too.)
   - The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding By: La Leche League
   - The Nursing Mothers Companion By: Kathleen Huggins

* Other Great Books
   - What to Expect When You're Expecting
   - The Expectant Father
   - BabyWise (very controversial.....I take some points and leave others....)
   - The Baby Name Wizard
   - Baby Signing Books

That's about it!  I hope you can find some of these items as useful as I did.  Feel free to email me with any questions!