Baby Favourites: Six Weeks In

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There are so many items one can be required/tempted to purchase before having a baby but you never really know how well these things work until you put them into action. I thought I’d share what we couldn’t do without so far:

Graco Click Connect Travel System – Aside from our cloth diapers this is probably the product I researched the most and it paid off. We are SO happy with this travel system. The click connect is crazy easy to use. The stroller is large but fast to break down and fits in my trunk well. We’ve taken it walking on all kinds of trails and roads and it rides super smooth. You can get it at Babies R Us but we got ours on sale at Target for $330 CAD when we went on our Minot trip. That’s a $300 savings! Something worth looking into.

Kidiway Leather Glider – So many moms told me to invest in a great rocker and they were right. Both Tommy and I have spent countless hours in this thing since Leo was born. It’s crazy comfortable and I love that it reclines, too. Ours is in our living room so I love that it doesn’t scream “nursery”.

Kushies Waterproof Change Pads – Nothing groundbreaking but these are super handy for a quick change anywhere and the patterns are so cute. We have two and I’d like more.

Onesies with Built-In Mitts – Those newborn mitts were constantly falling off of Leo’s little hands, especially because he always wanted to suck his fingers. Onesies with the mitt flaps were so helpful for those early newborn days to prevent scratches. Old Navy has awesome ones.

Aden & Anais Swaddle Blankets – All moms seem to recommend these and I agree. These blankets are thin but cozy and have so many uses.

Fisher Price Soothing Seat – Still where Leo sleeps the most soundly. This seat uses rocking and swaying motions that mimic a parent’s movements. It also has music and vibration options and I love that it plugs into the wall.

Summer Infant Baby Bather – A friend kindly lent this to us and it has made kitchen sink baths a breeze. Leo is really relaxed in it!

Jamieson Baby Probiotic Drops – Our paediatrician recommended these for Leo’s often gassy stomach and he rarely has tummy pains anymore. We’ve noticed a huge difference since starting them when he was two weeks old.

Halo Sleep Sack – Once we got one of these, Leo started sleeping in 4-5 hour stretches overnight from being up every 2 hours. Highly recommend!

What are your favourite baby products?

 

 

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A Month of Motherhood

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Hello from newborn-land! I can’t believe it’s been almost a month since I last posted here. I’ll start with echoing some often-used phrases about being a mom that I now understand completely. This is by far the most challenging, and at the same time, most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. Just when I think I can’t get any more exhausted (see photo above), this boy wraps his tiny hand around my finger or starts snoring on my shoulder and my heart feels like it’s going to explode.

Some things we’ve learned about Leo:

He loves to eat. He eats every hour some days and I genuinely fear that I won’t be able to keep up with his demand.

He is a super light sleeper. He needs a lot of encouragement to nap and the right environment or else it doesn’t happen and he becomes desperately overtired. I’ve learned this the hard way.

He loves car rides and being carted around in his stroller. We took our first mini road trip and he did awesome, sleeping almost the entire way, which we were excited about.

He’s got a fiery personality. If he’s hungry, or hot, or needs a nap, he lets you KNOW. He also has the craziest range of facial expressions I’ve ever seen.

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To be completely honest, the first couple of weeks were rough on us. By the time we came home from the hospital we were running on about day five of no sleep. My parents left after our first day home and we were in complete survival mode. I’ll say it now, I have no idea how people do this without a supportive partner. We were as prepared as we could be, and our world was totally rocked by this little guy’s arrival. You always hear about babies not sleeping but living it yourself is a whole other thing. We slept in super short shifts for the first two weeks. I texted a friend about feeling overwhelmed by it all and she had said that becoming a new mother is so much obligation so fast, which resonated with me and made me feel a bit less incompetent. The good news is that I’ve learned to exist on very little sleep and now that it’s my new normal I’m in a much better place.

I had some super emotional moments here and there although I think sleep deprivation was as much to blame as hormones. I was tearing up at everything. One moment I’d be crying with gratitude over how healthy and perfect our baby was and the next it would be guilt over neglecting the dog or nostalgia because I missed quality time with Tommy and just our old life in general. I’m someone who’s never done well without sleep and of course everything felt harder without it.

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Physically I felt great right after giving birth except for my stitches. They took what felt like forever to heal and I feel like I’m finally reaching the home stretch with that. I often felt frustrated at how long this process was taking and Tommy was quick to remind me that he had watched the whole event and that, “it’s not going to heal overnight, trust me”.

Tommy just went back to work last week and I was petrified for him to go. Luckily it hasn’t been half as bad as I’d feared, although we miss him terribly. I’ve found to have a successful day that I need either a nap or a coffee, and fitting in an errand, a walk outside or something else productive is key to my feeling good. If I spend the day cooped up at home I never feel quite as happy so just packing the baby up and going out even when I have no idea what I’m doing has kept me sane.

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I’ve had some worries regarding my capability as a mom. Leo has had a few really awful fussy days with terrible gas pain and I have never felt so helpless in my life, watching my little baby scream in pain, and feeling like nothing I did was helping. “I should be better at this”, I’d think as I tried desperately to console him. I’d wanted to be a mom my whole life. I’m the oldest child, the oldest of all of my cousins, a babysitter as soon as I was old enough, and the “maternal one” in many friend groups throughout my life. But my own baby, the one I grew in my body, was a mystery to me, like a code I had to crack. I’ve really had to learn to read him and not always just knowing instinctively what he needs caught me off guard a bit. I’m trying to manage my expectations, and to give myself some grace in this area.

We’ve been meeting friends and family often and Leo got a new cousin when he was two weeks old, my niece Harper. Now that the babies are here safe and sound there is so much joy in our family. I can’t wait to watch the cousins grow up like best friends.

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I’ve been trying to savour these days as much as I can and I keep reminding myself in the harder moments that the days are long but the years are short. I don’t want to miss a moment with Leo. I totally understand what parents mean when they say that the love hurts. It is intense!

I do have lots to share blog wise and am hoping to get into the groove with that soon. Until then, thanks for reading! I appreciate your support so much.

 

 

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Cloth Diapering: Our Setup

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Super excited to be sharing our cloth diaper setup today. This is something I’ve been looking into pretty much since I found out I was pregnant and I love hearing other’s experiences and tips so I thought I would share what we plan to use for our baby.

Cloth diapering is a somewhat controversial topic and I’ve definitely received much skepticism and discouraging opinions on it. I understand that cloth won’t work for everyone but for us it feels feasible to at least give it a try. In the condo we have main floor laundry so I don’t think an extra load every other day or so is a big deal. If we were using disposables we’d be taking a load of garbage down to the main floor and then across our building to the dumpster room every day which is way more of a production than a load of laundry inside our suite, in my opinion.  I’ll be honest that cost savings is my biggest motivator. We stand to save easily a couple thousand dollars cloth diapering from birth to potty trained and even more if we use that same cloth diaper stash on more than one child.

The amount of research I did before deciding on what brand to go with was outrageous. I probably seriously considered at least four brands and every type before deciding on Planet Baby’s All-In-Two package. I liked that the company is Canadian and they sell on Amazon so I was able to read a lot of reviews from verified purchasers on there. I know that some people like to try a mix of styles and brands but my goal was to choose well from the beginning and really get comfortable with one style rather than have a mix of items and potentially only a few that I liked. The diapers look and feel great, so I’m excited to see how they work.

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What sold me on Planet Baby:

  • Ability to purchase a full diaper package
  • Reasonable price (plus free shipping and coupon codes)
  • Cute prints
  • Bamboo inserts
  • The features: double leg gussets, snaps, one size (fits 8-35 lbs.)
  • Close to disposables for ease of use

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A list of everything we have to get started:

From Planet Baby:

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From Well.ca:

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Miscellaneous:

  • Coconut Oil (in lieu of traditional diaper rash cream)
  • Cloth Wipes
  • Spray Bottle (to spray cloth wipes)
  • Dryer Balls
  • Country Save Liquid Detergent

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We are going to wait at least a couple of weeks after the baby is born until the meconium passes and we get our bearings before we start using cloth. It will also depend on how well they fit him as a newborn.

In terms of prepping, I just prepped the diaper covers by washing and drying once. For all of the inserts, I washed them three times, dried once and then repeated this process, with everything on high heat. This is necessary to maximize the absorbency of natural fiber inserts and prevent leaks. You also have to be careful to avoid the softeners, fragrances and dyes in traditional detergents and fabric softeners with cloth diapers. I chose Country Save detergent, because it came highly recommended for cloth diapers in many of my readings and I can get it from the London Drugs in our neighborhood. We’ve also switched from dryer sheets to dryer balls to avoid extra chemicals.

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That’s all I have so far. This is going to be a learning experience for us so I’m excited to get started and will let you know how we make out!

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Recent Obsessions #13

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Chrissy Teigen’s Dutch Baby.  I’ve made this a couple of times now and am always impressed by how easy it is to make and how beautiful it looks. I served it with berries for our anniversary breakfast and it was fab. I think a cinnamon sugar sprinkle would be good too.

Sanuk Yoga Sling Sandals. I’ve had these for awhile now and they are still one of my most practical shoe purchases ever. I’m especially enjoying how comfy they are at 9 months pregnant.

Riverdale. Oh my gosh, I haven’t loved a show this much in such a long time. I’m so sad that I have to wait for more episodes. I also just finished The Keepers and really enjoyed it.

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Pearl. I’ve been a longtime devotee of Hourglass’s Ambient Light but my go-to, Luminous Light is a bit dark on my pale winter skin. This pearl shade from Becca is gorgeous and adds a beautiful glow with no color. The formula is super soft and blends great.

Milky Way. Especially the Koko ice cream sandwiches.

The Body Shop Glow Revealing Vitamin C Peel. As I’ve mentioned many times, my pregnancy skin has been a mess. I seem to need way more exfoliation to avoid breakouts. I kept seeing these peels being promoted and out of desperation, grabbed one on promo. After one use, I noticed a huge difference and was shocked at how much dead skin this removes. You only need to rub it on your face for 20 seconds so I’m hoping this is something I can keep up even after baby arrives.

Epicure’s Oh Canada Dry Glaze.  Now that it’s grilling season, we were able to reorder some summer Epicure favourites. We’ve been loving this glaze on chicken and we also enjoyed it on ribs last summer. Super easy to throw together, too.

What are you obsessed with lately?

 

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The Third Trimester

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Now that I’m full term I thought I’d better share this post before I give birth!

At the beginning of my third trimester I made a quilt for the baby. It was my first one, and I had no idea what I was doing but it does look like a usable blanket which is all I could ask for considering my level of expertise (read: none). The solid gray squares are from Tommy’s old uniform shirts, which I love.

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We started and completed our prenatal classes with Sally at the YMCA and both of us learned so, so much. Maybe too much. Every week I felt like I left with so much helpful information. We also took Sally’s hospital tour and there’s something about visualizing where I’m giving birth that puts me at ease. The facilities are much nicer than I’d anticipated and I feel good about delivering there.

I dealt with more aches and pains in my third trimester which resulted in my trying prenatal massage. I found it uncomfortable but I feel like just lying on my belly for an hour in the special pillow was worth it. I miss sleeping on my stomach so much. I also saw my chiropractor a couple of times, which always helps.

Tommy and I took a quick trip to Minot at the end of March. We knew we wanted to get one in before the baby came but I found out that my work travel insurance wouldn’t cover me for much longer in my pregnancy and we had to throw together a plan fast. We stayed for two nights and even knocked some big items off of our baby shopping list. It was a fun little getaway and something I’m so glad we prioritized. Target, I miss you so.

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I met my obstetrician, and have been seeing him regularly. All of my tests and stats have been good throughout my pregnancy and I’m so grateful for that. With his OK, I started drinking raspberry leaf tea around 35 weeks and started having occasional contractions around this time as well. Eek.

Sleep and my energy levels in general have been weird. I’ve never been much of a side sleeper and having that as my only option has really affected my sleep this last while. I’ve gone through a weird phase of crashing and sleeping all day every Sunday, and also dealt with bouts of insomnia from 3-5 am. I either have great energy and want to do everything or feel like a total zombie.

We finished the majority of our baby shopping in early May but I keep thinking of small things to add. Is this ever done? I’m guessing not. There has been lots of nesting these days, reorganizing the condo, and doing donation runs to make more space. I also planted a pot for our balcony, because why not when I have all summer to enjoy it?

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The baby dropped at 36 weeks and I got a cold that I couldn’t shake. I felt really uncomfortable for a bit and was scared I’d feel that way for the rest of the time but he seems to have settled in his new spot, although my cold has been hanging on for-ev-er. I’ve been praying that I can get healthy before I have to deliver and in truth, I know that I just need to slow the heck down.

Number one craving these days: ice cream. Typical.

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I’ve been reading a ton of information about childbirth in particular. I’m really big on affirmations and have some that I remind myself to focus on when I’m feeling anxious about the coming event. One of the hardest parts of this whole thing is definitely the lack of control. I have to sit back and wait for this baby to decide when he is ready to be born and as a planner, I’ve found it challenging to just sit back and trust the process. I feel like a ticking time bomb these days. I’ve had some random episodes of anxiety about connecting with the baby, getting everything done and trying not to take to heart the constant opinions one can hear as a pregnant woman.

In terms of what’s left to do, our hospital bag is packed but we still need to install our car seat. I also have a long list of cleaning items I want to tackle but all of that will probably just come down to when he actually arrives. Washing floors at 38 weeks pregnant sounds like fun, no?

Oh, and one more sweet thing: I received my first Mother’s Day card, signed from the baby. So surreal, this experience.

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Wish us luck! We can’t wait to meet our little guy.

 

 

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