Did You Use all that Stuff??

I’ve had two babies now, and while I’m by no means an expert, I think I’ve finally figured something out, something I’ve seen on dozens of mom blogs and had my own mom tell me hundreds of times (while I’ve rocked back and forth in a corner in a panic as I wept over having nothing for the impending baby). Babies don’t really need a lot. Really. I think I might have even said this at some point, but I’m not entirely sure I believed it. You might recall my little list of stuff that I really wanted waaaaaaay back last August (wow…almost a year ago!). Now, the list wasn’t very long (unlike my registry, which was big, then small, then huge again when I was told I was having a surprise baby shower a week after M. was born and had to register for some stuff), but one has to wonder if I actually use those very particular items that I really, really wanted.

So, first of all, the breast pump. I, very inexpensively, bought the from my cousin several months ago and I use it three times a day, five days a week at work (and let me just say, work has beenĀ awesome about my pumping). I really like this pump. I don’t don’t get a ton when I pump – I’m lucky if I get just enough for M. for the next day while I’m at work – but I feel as though a lesser pump would probably have totally messed up my supply and we’d be formula feeding right now. It’s comfortable, efficient, and I like that it comes in a pretty discreet looking black shoulder bag. If you’re in the market for a pump, or your insurance company provides you with a choice in what you can pick, totally go for Medela.

Second we had the . Holy freaking God-send. I love this thing. I had originally received a homemade one from my cousin (the one who sold me the breast pump) and unfortunately, I’m a bit wider than her (she’s like, a fitness rock star), and it didn’t fit me all that well. Bummer. BUT my really lovely co-workers through me a baby shower, and as one of my gifts, a friend gave me her very gently used Moby, which fits perfectly.

But back to the wrap.

I’ve read about a lot of people finding it difficult to use, lots of fabric, tough wrap around, too hot for baby, yada yada yada. I have not had any of these issues. After looking at the booklet of directions that came with it and a couple of YouTube videos, I was golden. There is a lot of fabric and I don’t consider the wrap “poppable” (i.e. you can easily put baby in and out without rewrapping), BUT the advantages (super calm, happy, sleepy baby) outweigh the disadvantages. Also, in the super hot weather we’ve had in the last couple of days, I haven’t noticed any baby discomfort and I’m not uncomfortable, either, though honestly, everywhere we go when it’s really hot is either air conditioned or in the water, so there isn’t a huge chance for baby and me to get too hot.

Third, we had the car seat, and we went with the one our friends had. It’s cute and safe – all I could ask for.

Fourth, the . We did buy this and we do use it…most of the time. M. does go to bed in his own space much better than E. ever did (she was sleeping in my hospital bed after she was born, for Pete’s sake). That said, there are plenty of nights were I end up pulling M. into bed with me, letting me snuggle in the crook of my arm.

Was it worth the money spent (about $160)? Well, between the storage in the bottom (we have limited storage space) and the amount of time M. actually uses it, I’d say, so far, yes, but it also depends how long M. is able to use the co-sleeper. If I only get six months out of it, I don’t know if it will have been worth it for our family.

Finally, theĀ cloth diapers. While I had thought we would have to spend a whole bunch of money on them, it ended up not being a whole lot. I bought about 10 cloth pocket diapers (a waterproof cloth shell with a microfiber insert) from my cousin (yep, same cousin as before) for about $30 and then my mom gave me a dozen for Christmas. I was also given a dozen gDiapers from a friend at work (the same friend who gave me her Moby).

Do we use the cloth diapers? Heck yes we do! Do we use them all the time? Nope, but only because we were given a crap ton of disposables (which we STILL haven’t gotten all the way through). As soon as the disposables are gone/no longer fit, I’m cloth diapering exclusively.

I love, love, love the brand of cloth diaper we use (). They’re inexpensive (less than $6 a diaper), hold up well, don’t leak, and are pretty cute (always important, right?). I also enjoyed the gDiapers when M. was smaller, but I felt they were a bit leakier and I didn’t like how I would have had to buy larger sizes as M. got bigger if I had decided to use those (I just had size small, which only goes up to 14 lbs., so they’re too small for M. now).

So, I think that about covers it all. There are a few other things I had wanted and ended up getting and loving (my Boppy, for one), but this post is already way too long. So far, I’m really happy that I don’t have any useless baby items, and I’m hoping when we go round three (yep, I’m already thinking about another kiddo) we won’t have much of anything to buy!

What You Do When You’ve Got A Fever

I’ve gots the fever.

Baby fever.

And what’s a girl to do when she feels so emotionally ready for another little one, but all the pieces haven’t quite fallen into place? Why, she dreams about all the little baby things she wants to have when baby number two makes his (or her) appearance.

Now that we’re a few (almost FOUR) years into this whole kid shindig, I think I’ve been able to give myself some perspective on what crucial “stuff” I want for our next baby that we might not already have (or were decimated in the multiple moves we had to endure or from over use).

Here are the top ten things that I think we need and really, really want.

1.) An electric breast pump. Word to the wise, if you anticipate having to pump more than just rarely, get an electric breast pump. It will save you hours of stress and probably some discomfort. We weren’t really able to afford an electric pump with E. and I felt like they were too pricey to put on a registry for someone else to purchase, so we went without. I will not do that this time, especially since I’m sure I will have to pump a lot as I plan on going back to work after I have our second (assuming the world doesn’t end this year, or something, being 2012 and all).

2.) The Joovy Scooter. I have a Joovy jogging stroller and I love it. While I don’t really jog per say (though I’m trying), it’s a dream to push on almost any terrain (including along the water at the beach), folds compactly into my little Ford Taurus, and just sort of looks cool! Now I want the Scooter to be our new stroller to replace the old Graco (which lost a wheel about two years ago), because the jogger isn’t really the place for infants, PLUS, it is a wee bit bulkier than a regular stroller. AND the Scooter allows you to place an Graco infant car seat inside of it (I probably didn’t describe that well, but hopeful the above picture gives you an idea), which leads me to number three…

3.) The Graco SnugRide 35 Infant Car Seat (preferably in Zurich). We had a Graco car seat, which I loved, but mysteriously disappeared after we transitioned E. into her “big girl” convertible car seat on her first birthday. I loved the Graco car seat and am all over getting another, even if the old one is found. Because, let’s face it, I like pretty things and I like the Zurich pattern way more than the pattern of our old car seat (though that wasn’t bad, either).

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4.) Cloth diapers. There are so many reasons why I want to cloth diaper. The eco-friendly factor. The cheapness factor (after you get over the initial expense). And, okay, let's face it, since I'm a cute-things dork, the CUTENESS factor. I had wanted to cloth diaper with E., but since we were a) completely broke (versus only kind of broke now), and b) didn't have constant access to a washer and dryer, it just wasn't really in the cards. The next time around we will certainly be cloth diapering, hopefully with full success.

5.) A GOOD breastfeeding book. You change as you grow as a parent and adult. Or, at least I hope people do and I’m not the only one. Because, I’ve changed a lot. Prior to having E., I researched nothing. In my defense, coming from an age of technology, where I researched everything online in high school and college, I’m not entirely sure if I fully remembered how to look things up in a book, and while I was pregnant I didn’t have reliable access to the interwebz. So, I knew very little about what was going on with my body, with my baby, and what would happen afterwards, at least beyond what a couple of pregnancy books told me (which, trust me, was a enough at times…can we say paranoia?). I knew very, very little about breastfeeding. I had a couple of pamphlets and there was a chapter or two in my pregnancy books, but nothing in-depth. Plus, I received limited help at the hospital. I was also burdened with a “know-it-all” attitude that prevented me from really pursuing help. It made breastfeeding HARD and unnecessarily stressful and not at all the experience I wanted. I feel with the extra help of a book specifically on breastfeeding and being able to show that I don’t know everything and ask for more help will make a difference.

These are the top five items I really, really want/think I need the next time around. In short, some other stuff I think will make it’s way into my home are:
6.) Trays made for freezing homemade baby food, plus a new blender…maybe (having made baby food before, I really do think these are necessary).
7.) A bouncer.
8.) A co-sleeper (rather than a bassinet, which we had and never used)
9.) Nursing bras and/or shirts.
10.) One of those band thingies that helps your belly go back to normalish.

So, are any of my items completely useless? Or do you have a better idea? What items do you totally wish you had the first go around?