Oh these months. These months are a blur. A beautiful, joy-filled, sleep-deprived blur.
A few weeks ago I listed out the Top Ten Baby Items for 0-1 month. With the exception of the Swaddle Pod, all of these continued to carry me through the next few months. The following are the items that began to stand out after we got to know Harry a bit better:
Feeding Supplies – Harry didn’t drink from a bottle until he was almost 3 months old. We were so happy I was able to breastfeed that entire time but then realized we should introduce something else soon or he might refuse when I wasn’t around. Since then, we have never had a problem with Harry taking the Green to Grow bottles (BPA free, what what!) and I love our Boon Lawn Drying Rack. We hand wash all of our dishes so we didn’t need a container for the dishwasher but the Munchkin Bottle Brush is, hands down, the best bottle brush out there (trust me…between my sister and myself, we tried them all).
Bouncer – There are a million different bouncers out there and, surprise surprise, I was super picky. I’m not really all about the themes – jungles, teddy bears, etc. Some of those are pretty cute, but I wanted something simple and classic. I considered the Mama Roo but had trouble with the price tag, especially since we were already getting a baby swing from my sister. I really wanted something like the Maclaren Vida Bouncer but with better reviews. Then I came across the Combo Pod Bouncer – a bumblebee! This animal I could handle. And I have to say, it was fantastic. It was around this time that Harry started coming into the office with me a few mornings a week. Between the Bee and our beloved Moby, Harry was soothed and proved himself to be an amazingly content babe. My iPhone or iPod plugged in to play music for him and though he never took to falling asleep in it, he loved hanging out in it – especially as a change of scenery from the magical Nap Nanny.
Moby/Ergo – I allowed myself one repeat from the 0-1 month list. It was not easy to choose – the Nap Nanny was clearly a super close second. But baby carriers might as well have a permanent spot on my Top Ten Items lists for the first couple years. Harry always loved the Moby and he’s finally grown into the Ergo. It’s at the point now where it just makes more sense for me to wear him whenever we’re in public than to use a stroller. He can look around, he’s always happy in it…he falls asleep in it more easily than the strollers and I still love wearing him. At this stage, wearing my nephew in the Baby Bjorn started to hurt my back but from months 1-3 and through today, I’m super comfortable in both of my carriers, as is Matt. The entire family wins.
Burp Cloths/Bibs – Of course these are handy from the start but since Harry never really had any acid reflex or spit up of any kind, these didn’t come in useful until he discovered his fist. Harry has drooled through his outfits and sucked oh his fingers/fist since he was around two months old. Since then, he’s been in a perpetual state of wet/sticky and having these around is always useful. For some reason I didn’t buy a lot of bibs for him (I do wish I had purchased as least one with his name on it…not that he cares) but the Aden + Anais Burpy Bibs are my absolute favorite. They are shaped perfectly for over the shoulder and they snap together to make an actual bib for babe. They’re not a flimsy fabric (great absorption) and, always a bonus, they’re super cute and classy all at once. We do have a few of the Baby Bjorn Bibs but they’re not so comfortable on a tiny babe, though I’m happy to have them as we journey into solids.
Boppy – Contrary to popular belief, I don’t think the Boppy is the best pillow for nursing. If I wanted something only for nursing, I would have gotten a Brest Friend pillow. But the Boppy worked decently for nursing, more effectively as Harry grew, and I definitely made good use of it for that purpose. The Boppy began to shine in our house when Harry needed more tummy time (NOT a fan for the first month or so) and when he was able to hold his head up. And, truth be told, I LOVE the Boppy as a laptop desk and as a general comfort pillow for me. It’s like a hug around my not-so-tight midsection that I like to cuddle with. Don’t be alarmed if you see me using it when Harry is 15 and any other potential babes are way past baby-hood.
Cloth Diapers – Cloth Diapering is a topic that I love so dearly, it will soon have its own Top Ten list AND Mommyhood Monday post. We began to switch over from disposables in the 2nd and 3rd months. I was pretty nervous about it but wow, I absolutely love it. To be fair I need to include disposables because we definitely mixed it up, especially in the 3rd month. Now we are 86% cloth – an exact number given that Harry only wears disposables when he is at my mom’s house on Mondays. I could go on and on (thus the future posts) but know that 1) this ain’t your mama’s cloth diapers. No pins required. 2) We have yet to have a blowout in a cloth diaper – only in disposables. They have held things in that no disposable could contain. 3) They’re incredibly cute. Proof pic:
Coconut Oil – Another item that deserves its’ own post. Coconut Oil is AMAZING! Did you ever see the videos of Tyra Banks rolling around on the floor, talking about how much she loves Vaseline? That’s how I feel about Coconut Oil. But without the Mineral Oil (because it took me 29 years to realize that was in petroleum jelly) and without the crazy (no offense) Tyra vibe. Cradle Cap? Coconut Oil. Diaper Rash…even with cloth diapers? Coconut Oil! I love the smell of Mustela lotions but with Matt having eczema, we decided to treat Harry’s skin early on as though he would face similar dermatological issues. We use some Aveeno products but Coconut Oil is a great moisturizer and smells like a Pina Colada (!). More importantly, I love that it’s the all natural route. And it has dozens of uses in our home, for all of us. I order ours off of Vitacost – they have sales and free shipping all the time and you can’t beat the price per ounce.
Toys – As Harry moved into the more alert stage, he began to develop QUICKLY. In the beginning he didn’t have a preference…if he could grasp it, he loved it. But the ones he quickly took to and still hasn’t tired of are the Lamaze toys – specifically Mortimer the Moose, Olivia the Owl, and Jacques the Peacock. I love them, too. (I STILL want to order Rusty the Robot for Harry but Matt asked me to exercise some self-control.) Harry also obsessed over his Skip Hop Treetop Friends Soft Book for a while and, of course, Sophie the Giraffe. One item that quickly rose the ranks was the Sassy Rattlin Ring, along with the Bright Starts Rattle. Now – in the mindset of Monica the minimalist and book lover – I’ve realized that I’m the parent who would rather buy books than toys. Especially toys that make noise and require batteries. There are some exceptions – and at this stage that was the Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes. It wasn’t too loud, it had a variety of classical song lullabies and was super simple for Harry to operate. He still loves it because the noise and lights are out of the ordinary from his other toys. And I love it because I never had to put duct tape over the speakers or take out the batteries to maintain my sanity.
Zero Expectations – There is no Amazon link in this item. Truth be told – I had no idea what to expect when it came to our baby. I had no idea if he would be a sleeper or colicky or would have acid reflux or what kind of temperament he would enter the world with. I was raised around babies and have babysat/nannied since I was 12 years old. I am no baby expert, but I was comfortable enough with babes to know that they’re all different. And as you may have read yesterday, I had long ago come to terms with the fact that we may never have a newborn baby of our own. So when we found out we were pregnant, we were ready for anything. Maybe it was just our perspective but we knew that babies don’t sleep through the night. From nannying, I knew that sleeping through the night (pediatrician’s cruel definition of 6 hours) doesn’t typically come until the 6 month mark for an exclusively breastfed babe. Anything earlier than that was to be celebrated (and we did!). But we took it all in stride – we cherished every single exhausting moment. We don’t know for certain that we’ll be able to do this newborn gig again (fertility wise) so from natural labor to nights broken up by feedings every 2 hours, our only expectation was to love this little being. The ability to do that, and everything else, has been such a blessing.
Community – Again with the something you can’t buy on Amazon. I have an incredible group of mamas around me. From family to friends to a Facebook group that all have babes born around the same time as Harry…having other women to talk with and process with and be able to gauge how “normal” something is blesses me greatly. A book with advice can be very, very helpful but a book can’t listen to you vent or give you a knowing, much-needed hug. Find parents who may not parent the exact way you do but still respect the choices you’re making. Fellow parents you can share your learnings with and who can pass along their learnings/knowledge. Parenting is hard – it’s much easier if you are able to enter it with a team who supports and loves you and your babe.
An item not on the list but that we’re so glad we introduced was his “lovey” (AKA security blanket/stuffed animal). I had never heard of a “lovey”, at least not referred to that way, before I was in search of one for Harry. But I knew I wanted him to have a best friend stuffed animal. And yes, I’m that mom who wanted to choose it for him. We ended up getting him the Jellycat Cordy Roy elephant for Christmas and after Harry had RSV, he was Christened as “Wheezy” (we’re cruel, but funny). At Easter we made the lovey a duo by introducing the Jellycat Bon Bon Striped Bunny (still unnamed/not yet Christened). Who knows if he will take to them but so far, he doesn’t sleep without them.
So that’s my personal Top Ten list of Favorite Baby Items for 1-3 months. You?