I just came home from a girls weekend in Galveston, TX with my Columbus bestie and my sister. It was so much fun! I was so thankful for a weekend away from all my “mom” responsibilities and to spend time in a warmer place with people I adore.
I slept in, went to happy hour, toured around, ate super yummy food, and of course, spent time at the beach. It was heaven.
Now it’s back to normal life! 🙂
On to Part 2!
6. No crib, just a Pack n play.
I’m going to dedicate a whole post to this topic at a later date, but I wanted to touch on it now. If you’re wondering what to do about a crib, I offer you another alternative: you don’t need one!
We had a Pack n Play with a napper that Pookie slept in from the beginning. Once she outgrew the napper, we took it off and she slept in the “bassinet” top of the Pack n Play. When she outgrew that, we took it off and she slept on the bottom of the Pack n Play.
At about a year old, we put the Pack n Play away and Pookie started sleeping on a floor bed (i.e. mattress on the floor). She was sleeping in her own room from around 5 months old. Again, I’ll talk more about the details of how this works for us later, but for now, just trust me on this!
We LOVE the floor bed and so does Pookie. At the beginning, she would get this little grin on her face when she could get in and out of bed herself. She felt so proud and in control of her body. Love it.
7. Wear your baby
Want to still have some mobility and get stuff done after having a baby? Wearing your baby is the way to go. Plus, they’re so freaking cute and they just want to be with you all day, so it’s a win-win for everyone. There are many different preferences when it comes to types and brands of baby carriers, and you can research options HERE.
I used the kind that I got to borrow for free. 🙂 Out of the ones we tried, Rob loved the Baby Bjorn, and I loved the K’tan. Again, lots of options out there. Just trust me, it really helps to have one so you can easily move around the house and maybe, just maybe, even LEAVE the house!
I’m going to stick my neck out on this one. Bear with me. I get that there are a million ways that people prefer to parent and kids are all different and require different strategies. That being said, when I came across Janet’s blog and learned about the method she follows, called RIE, it was a lightbulb for me. It completely changed how I viewed my relationship with Pookie and how I interacted with her. I feel the information Janet puts out there is respectful and could be beneficial for all children.
For example: starting at about 6 months old, I really started to view Pookie as a fully conscious and capable being. I gave her that respect. Her body and voice might not be able to do things yet, but she was aware of everything. I started explaining things to her: what I expected, what was going to happen to her, where we were going and what we were doing, and who she was going to see.
From birth, Pookie was easily overstimulated and was very anxious causing her to have hypertonia. In all honesty, as soon as I started following Janet’s advice, Pookie relaxed considerably – and started sleeping!!
It’s even more important now that she’s a toddler. I know I need to stop and talk to her when she starts fussing and having mini-meltdowns for seemingly no reason. I’ll sit with her, explain what’s planned and what’s going to happen, and she calms down and starts playing again.
Perhaps it’s just my kiddo, but I am so very grateful I found this information. I hope that it may help you, give you some tools, and make you feel super confident in yourself and in your interactions with your little one.
9. Magic Stick
Magic Stick is by far my favorite diaper ointment. It’s natural without any of the harsh chemicals found in other brands, and it’s one of the only effective diaper ointments that is safe for use with cloth diapers.
We have used it almost daily since Pookie was born. It’s more of a preventive ointment rather than treating severe rashes, but it does a great job at keeping rashes away! Also, as a stick, it is not messy and doesn’t require the caretaker to use their fingers to apply the cream. Easy, simple, and clean. The teachers at Pookie’s daycares/schools have always LOVED Magic Stick!
10. Sterilizer bags
If you use bottles, pacifiers, or breast milk pumping equipment, you’ll need to clean and sterilize them between uses. There are many different ways to do this daily task from putting them in boiling water to getting a big ‘ol sterilizing device. I opted for the most simple and cost effective solution, and for me, that was microwave sterilizer bags.
I was not convinced that this was necessary at first, but Rob thought it sounded “cool” and got some. You put the items in the bag, fill with a little water and put it in the microwave for the stated amount of time. Voila! In minutes, it’s done. I quickly fell in love with these bags! Plus, each bag can be used multiple times. I highly recommend them.
Extra Tip: Consignment shops
For most of us, whenever we need a new item, we usually go to our favorite store to get it without thinking much aboutit. When it comes to baby items you’ll think, “Wow, that’s expensive! But we need one, so I guess we’ll just get it anyway.”
Did you know the many cities have consignment shops devoted to baby items? It’s true! And it’s amazing! In my city (mid-size), there are at least 5. You will be so surprised with what you can find there. You can save so much moolah! I’ve gotten lots of clothes as well as Halloween costumes, playmats, toys, books, serving ware, and furniture. Before you go to a regular store and buy something, check your area for a consignment shop first and see what you can find!
You’ll save money, support a local business, and help out the environment by buying one less plastic item that could end up in a landfill. Win-win!
I hope these suggestions will be helpful to you or someone you know! Feel free to share and post any other items/resources that you’ve loved! 🙂