Sunday, November 15, 2009

things I learned from visiting a newborn (and his mom)

In my preparation for welcoming our first child into our life, I've started to compile a list of both practices and products I should not continue life without. Visiting Laura in Georgia was such a sweet (though way too short) way to see how a mom I know and love and admire is handling the first weeks of parenthood, and also an excellent way to test out must-have products to add to our registry. Not that we have one yet. But say we do make one, at least I'll have some things to add to it.

Full disclosure, this post is most likely only of interest to pregnant people and moms. Just want to let you all know that I'm aware that I'm stepping into new territory here.

I'll start with practices and then move on to the arguably more exciting products. If anyone out there has suggestions, please do share!

Lighting: Laura is great about setting the mood for herself and for Judah when she's up in the middle of the night. She has her lights in their living area/kitchen on dimmers so she can leave them on really low all night. That way when she wakes up in the middle of the night, she doesn't have to shock herself awake with bright lights. (I smell a home improvement project coming).

Music: She's also conscious to turn on music when she gets up, which I thought was a really great way to create a nice space for nursing. It keeps her company if Jason isn't up with her and makes being awake so much more enjoyable. Definitely making a few "wee hours" playlists before February.

Diapers: We're going to use cloth diapers for our little one and I was pretty certain that we'd go the diaper service route (despite industrial strength bleach and all of that). But seeing how things go in their house, it's actually pretty easy to wash everything yourself. And I learned that we won't be using strictly pre-folds anyway (which are the old school cloth diapers that diaper services carry), because there are so many great options out there now. So if we're going to wash half of our diapers at home, we might was well just wash all of them. I'll report back on how that goes.

And I'm sure there's much more I'm forgetting. But I'm quite pleased with just these few little kernels of wisdom. Sadly for Brock, they also mean more projects added to our expanding pre-baby list. But quickly, look what a good sport he is: Friday night... we went to Ikea. Yes, either the happiest place on earth or the seventh circle of hell, depending on the day. We are so FUN! But we also have a much more organized laundry room/service porch. The joys of minor home improvements. And yes, nesting is kicking in to full gear.

And now for products that we clearly shouldn't live without:

Moby Wrap. Damnnnnn, those things are like large pieces of cloth miracle. I want one in every color and I will wear it exclusively for the first few months. They are like insta-quiet-sleeping-baby.

Ergo Baby. I'm going to say it, they're kind of ugly. But the coolness in function outweighs the styling. Laura's sister Becca wore her son Elan on her back to our wedding welcome cocktail party in her Ergo and it was the cutest thing ever. Plus they're supposed to be better for baby than the Bjorn. What do I know? Nothing. I just go with what I'm told.

Kiddopotamus SwaddleMe blankets. According to moms in the know, these auto-swaddle numbers are awesome. Especially for little babies when big blankets are just too much fabric.

Aden + Anais muslin swaddling blankets. I forget why (except that they are really pretty), but Laura said these are a must have. Okee-dokey.

Sound Machine. Anyone else use one of these? It seemed pretty nifty.

Kissaluvs, Fuzzibuns, and other cloth diaper alternatives. Aside from being much cuter than those kooky raincoat-style diaper covers that go over pre-folds, these are apparently really excellent from a functional perspective too. And I've been instructed to get the "one size" versions since baby can wear them from newborn to whenever he/she is potty trained or we give up on cloth diapering. haaa. And this leads me to the nifty washable diaper bin bag. Which played a big roll in convincing me that washing diapers myself isn't that bad. You just throw the entire bag into the washer and that's it. See, not too bad.

And, I haven't even entered the etsy black hole. I'm sure there's tons of cute handmade options for both diapers and diaper covers. If anyone out there uses or used cloth diapers and has any favorite recs, please share!

And then there's clothes...

Because I can't help myself, I've also started a bookmark folder of the cutest baby clothes I can find. Wondering this: do we actually register for SPECIFIC onesies and stuff? Like we want this onesie in blue stripes size 3 - 6 months?

Also, we are 100% committed to waiting until birth to find out the baby's sex, but um, shopping for clothes would be much easier if we knew.

Polarn O. Pyret- In love with these stripey clothes. I will start a stripes only registry on their site.

Kate Quinn Organics- Simple and pretty with great colors.

ittikid- Why do europeans insist on making much cuter fabrics than we do? Need one of each, again.

Bloume Baby- Just found this site. They don't tell you which brand their products are (annoying), but what they have is pretty cute.

So this was kind of a long post. I promise I will not be posting exclusively on baby stuff from now on. But it's kind of on my mind since we have, oh, ~3 months left until birth day.


Grace @ Front Porch Yoga said...

I don't have any children yet, but I play the role of "Auntie" to many children of my friends, and I always give Gap Baby socks as "welcome to the world" gifts. My Mommy friends say they are the ONLY socks that will stay on their little ones' feet. I wasn't able to find them online, but always find them in GAP stores. They're a teensy bit pricey, but apparently totally worth the splurge!

jora said...

This is a great list -- what I mean is it is very similar to my own! :) I will send you my list sometime. By the way, I have not taken off my Hug-a-Bub since Emilia was born (it's the same as a moby wrap). It is an absolute necessity.

Anonymous said...

If you are looking for info on the brand of each item on, take a look at the "The Brand" tab at the bottom of each product page:)

iheartkiwi said...

so sweet, what a fantastic list. it sounds like you're creating such a wonderful environment for your new little one!

p.s. personally ikea = dante's inferno. i have a mild panic attack every time i go in there. you're a brave soul!

Melanie said...

sweets, ami swears by fuzzi buns and she washes herself and says it is not a big deal at all---i'm sure she'll give you a tutorial if you ask:)

Meg said...

you make me want to have a baby... just so i have an excuse for the cute accessories! (oh, and for the wonderfulness of having a baby too...) enjoy the moments of planning & excitement!

Liene Stevens said...

Your blog is one of my faves (I read 100 layer cake for work of course, but this one is a guilty pleasure. :) ) and I can't remember if I said it before, but congrats on the little one and their soonish-to-be debut!

Should you want to add to your wishlist, these baby blankets are the best. Super super soft and I wish they made adult sizes and patterns. Love them:

Unknown said...

I just wanted to tell you that the kiddapotamus is not something to live without. A friend of mine had twins this year and those things saved her life. It was my favorite to watch a squirming, fussy baby get wrapped up and immediately calm down. Amazing! They also helped the babies to sleep longer throughout the night.

100layercake said...

I can't even read through this right now b/c I'm so not there yet. But, I'm sure this info will be worth archiving for the near future. thanks for the tips!

xo jillian

Polarn O. Pyret said...

We are so happy to see Polarn O. Pyret on the list. To Grace's comment...our socks are amazing as well. Check out the Swedish Moccasins which are perfect for the fall/winter as well as the Swedish 'helmet' which is perfect almost year round. Thanks for the wonderful comment on our brand!

Melisa said...

We've used cloth diapers now for 15 months and love them!! besides saving us an average of $3000 which would cost you from newborn to potty trained, it helps keep our landfills free of more diapers. We use BumGenius and highly recommend their diaper sprayer!

Erin said...

I love these posts! My husband and I are planning on having kids soon and this is SO helpful. I have a bookmark marked 'family' and I just added a ton of great resources.. thanks!

sk said...

Great post! I say, keep these coming. I don't have kids (and am not married, or pregnant for that matter!) but these things are very interesting to me, so thanks for sharing! I love it when people compile lists of products/techniques/ideas that they handy for later reference!

Have you guys thought of many names yet?

Sarah said...

I think I may not be alone among your readers who are also expecting, so i love this post! As a mom-to-be I don't know many "mommy blogs" so I love the mix you have. Thanks!

Holly said...

I've been a lurker on your lovely blog for many months, but this is the first time I've felt compelled to say anything. About cloth diapers: YOU CAN DO IT! My husband and I have been cloth-diapering our son for almost 11 months now and it is great. We like for the diapers themselves and thirsties brand for the covers, even if they are a little bit raincoat-ish.

Becca said...

i love my ergo (still use it to carry my 3-year-old on my back), but i have to say that beco baby carriers are similar to the ergo but prettier. the main differences are they are different for an infant and they don't have the handy-dandy pocket for your stuff. and they're more expensive. but the patterns are beautiful. see if you can go look at both and try them on.

jamie said...

just had a long talk this weekend with a new mommy friend about the moby. she was SOOOOO excited about it, but her baby hates it. her little girl likes her limbs free. so, before you buy one in every color, keep that in mind.

god, have i EVEN told you congratulations?!?!?!?!?!?!?


Emily said...

What a great list! I'm using many of those products right now. My can't-live-without baby item is my nursing pillow from Luna Lullaby. I hated the Bobby pillow- this pillow is so soft and perfect for positioning when breast feeding. I also bought a bunch of napkins from Anthropologie for burp cloths- it sounds so silly, but looking at those beautiful fabrics when I wipe away spit and milk makes the job a little more glamorous!

¡Fräulein! said...

thought you might be interested in these "all in one" diapers i saw at greenfest in SF.

great blog!

Amanda said...

Moby Wraps are the most wonderful things in the world. IN THE WORLD.

the southern hostess said...

I'm not pregnant or a mom, but I loved reading this. I'll need to know these things some day.

kristina said...

OOOH. thanks so much for all the awesome recommendations, you guys!

Jora, please send your list!

Becca, I'm now on the hunt for the Beco. I'll have to test them both out in person.

Jamie, good point. I'll limit myself to ONE to start. That poor friend. Please tell me our baby will like the moby.

And re: cloth diapers, if you all can do it, so can we!

samia said...

awesome post.. being a mom of three month old baby girl i must say.. they are beautiful.. and great to put on registry..

Stacie said...

Love your list! As a soon-to-be new mom myself and the Guide to Baby Clothes at, your list closely resembles my own!! I get to look at cute baby clothes all day long and it's insane how much adorable stuff is out there.

Anyway, I wanted to weigh in on the cloth diaper question. We chose gDiapers ( with the cloth inserts as our cloth diaper of choice. Of course, we haven't used them for real yet, but they seem to be pretty great. AND, they sell a trial pack to get you started so you can be sure you really like them before you totally commit.

Good luck with your new baby!!
Stacie Guide to Baby Clothes

Unknown said...

Thanks for including Bloumebaby in your blog posting! We love to get feedback about our site, both complimentary and constructive feedback, and we have taken your observation about the brands not being clear and done something about it! You will find that all items on Bloumebaby now have the brand listed in the description. We agreed, it would be easier for the user to navigate the site and choose their products if they had this information. So, thank you for your help in making our site that much better for moms and gift givers!
-Annie Totten

Anonymous said...

Polarn O. Pyret is a favorite!

I bought winter clothes on their webshop. They are running a deal with the Swedish School for Children in DC, which is open to anyone. A $40 gift certificate for $20. The school's website has info how to get it online: