January 4, 2012

Newborn must haves

My baby boy is officially out of the newborn stage. I don't think I like it, but I suppose it's a good time to reflect on the handful of things that got us through the first couple months. Mama recommended, Dashiell approved!

1. The world can be a big and scary place for a tiny little baby after living in mama's womb for nine months. A swaddle can help baby feel safe and cozy so that he can sleep soundly without being startled awake. These aden + anais swaddle blankets are a cult favorite and I can see why. They're the perfect weight and size and come in the most darling prints. They also make a handy nursing cover. We also use these Kiddopotamus swaddles overnight since they make diaper changes super easy. Dashiell is almost always instantly calmed when we wrap him up. It's like a baby burrito!

2. Dashiell and I love taking walks on the beach. We especially loved them during those first few weeks for a dose of fresh air. Dashiell usually cuddled up to me in the sling, but every part of my body ached the first couple weeks after labor. So, he cozied up in his stroller with a Dwell bundle bag to keep him warm.

3. This puj tub is perfect for baby baths. It's super soft, fits nicely in the sink, and drains on its own. It also stores flat if you're short on space. We give Dashiell his baths in our bathroom since his can get pretty chilly. We dim the lights, run the warm water, and turn the fire on. Instant baby spa! We use Earth Mama Angel Baby organic products. The shampoo and lotion make him smell kind of like an orange creamsicle, and the oil is perfect for baby massages. I love their postpartum and breastfeeding mama products too!

4. Cloth diapers. I can't talk highly enough of them. Did you know that most disposable diapers take approximately 500 years to decompose in the landfill? 500 years, you guys. Per diaper. When you're going through about 10-12 a day for 2-3 years, it creates a very substantial carbon footprint. So, for about $500 upfront (v. the $2500-3000 lifetime cost of disposables), we have our diapering needs covered until Dashiell is potty trained. And we can use them again for any future babies. I researched our options extensively and decided that bumGenius diapers were the best fit for our family. We also use cloth wipes and wash them on our own using Charlie's Soap. We use Kissa's pail liners that we throw into the wash right along with the diapers and wipes. And Baggu zippered bags make for the best wet bags when we're on the go. (P.S.: Exclusively breastfed babies don't have stinky poops! Score!)

5. I love wearing Dashiell. It allows me to be hands free and keep him close at the same time. We've tried the Baby K'tan, the BabyHawk mei tai, and the Ergo. Though my absolute favorite is the Sakura Bloom sling. It's a pricey investment, but you can't deny its versatility and beauty. Tim prefers the Ergo because it's super supportive and easy to wear. The Ergo is just a touch overwhelming for my petite frame. If you're nervous you can get hands-on babywearing advice. There are a few safety tips to keep in mind and the more confidant you are, the more comfortable baby will be. For LA mamas, The Pump Station offers free sling clinics weekly.

6. The Organic Quilt Company makes the softest baby textiles. We wrap Dashiell up in the hooded towels after his baths. We also have a stripey blanket and a couple burp cloths.

7. catbird makes the sweetest alphabet rings. They are teeny tiny and serve as the perfect reminder of my own little one. Stack 'em up to make the perfect set.

8. Once we're all bundled up and ready for bed, we read The Quiet Book. It tells a gentle story of the many kinds of quiet. First one awake quiet...making a wish quiet...top of the roller coaster quiet...bedtime kiss quiet.

9. The beloved iPhone. How did mamas ever nurse without one? I spend plenty of time gazing into Dashiell's eyes while he nurses in my arms, but at 2am, I need something a bit more stimulating to keep me entertained and awake. Not to mention the countless apps you can download to help you maintain order in your new life as a mama. (Tim used this one to keep track of my contractions when I went into labor.)

10. The rumors are true. Trumpette socks are the only ones that will actually stay on those tiny baby feet. I don't know how or why, but they do. I totally dig the fun patterns and prints. A bit spendy for socks, but if you look, you can find them on sale at Gilt or Zulily.

P.S.: Maternity Must Haves and Treats, here.


mirella said...

Great list - thanks! I loved the pikkolo carrier for my little one. Highly recommend it :)

Anonymous said...

i recently had a baby and have really been enjoying reading through your blog and taking in all your baby advice!

Jen said...

Anonymous, congratulations! I'm so happy to be able to share my experiences with you!