Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Newborn care

Caring for a newborn can be challenging for a variety of reasons: you're tired, they need something all the time, and most of all: they can't tell you what they need.  It's hard trying to guess the need of your newest addition, and sometimes it's frustrating. We often imagine them being "difficult" on purpose.  And despite our pleas, they won't simply tell us what they want.  

Remember this: they don't know what's wrong either.  A newborn doesn't think in the ways you do. They feel, and mostly, early on, they know the feel good or they feel bad.  In these early days and weeks, if a baby feels good, he/she is sleeping, is quiet, or is smiling and taking in the world.  If he/she feels bad, he/she will fuss or cry. There's not a lot of discernment. 

Good feelings: full, well rested, amused, clean, freshly diapered.

Bad feelings: tired, hungry, hurt, pain, irritation, discomfort, gassy

So, as you care for your baby, take a deep breath, remember he/she isn't being difficult when they cry. They just feel bad and need your help.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Infant Care Tip

This idea came from my grandmother:

Before you cut your baby's nails, put a little baby powder in your hand and use their nails to scratch at the powder, so they get some under each nail.  The powder should make it easier to see how much you should cut.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Baby item ideas

I have a few friends who are expecting their first babies and I am so excited for them.  The other day, one of them said she was having trouble picking registry items, so I sent some unsolicited advice (is there any other kind for expectant parents?!?) about the items we love and use.  

These are my suggestions:

1)  we use g diapers (we used Newborn disposables for the first month or so b/c she was so small).  If you don't know anything about g diapers,here's the quick and dirty version. they are washable (though there is a biodegradable flushable option for the inner most part) and really easy to use and wash.  We inherited the small sizes, but for the medium, we just bought what we'd need and spent about $120, which we should be able to use for about 9 months depending on how quickly (or slowly) Ruth grows.  If we were using disposable, we would spend close to that EACH month...so if you don't mind doing a load of laundry extra per day, I'd recommend that route.  (As a note, if we had to go to the laundry mat, I would not want this option)

2) A church member/friend got us aden and anais blankets and I LOVE them so much we went back and got more at Target. here is their direct website but like I said, you can get them at Target. they are big and muslin, so they are lightweight for summer weather.  plus they are super cute.

3) we got
a diaper warmer and thought it was a bit excessive, so we took it back, then we brought Ruth home and she screamed bloody murder at cold wipes, so we went and got it again! 

4) a friend gave us a sleep sheep and it is a LIFE SAVER! it has 4 different types of sounds for white noise and we use it at night when we put Ruth to sleep and when we traveled all over the state we used it in the car too and it was great. 

5) Ruth really likes the swing, we use it daily and besides my arms, it is the only place she will nap during the day...we were lucky and got ours from a friend, maybe you will get one at a shower or can borrow one from a friend?  (that being said, I know some folks have no luck with them...)

6) I don't know if you plan to breast feed or not, but if you do plan to breast feed, I would recommend
cloth nursing pads for your bra (the disposable ones are crunchy and annoying to me, but I use them when I need to).  I would also recommend lansinol or medela lanolin lotion--it helps you keep your nipples from drying and cracking (and bleeding).  For nursing bras, I just get mine at Target (motherhood tends to be more expensive),  I recommend the simple (no underwire and no padding) ones...the padded ones are hard to fold down and the underwire tends to pop out (as underwire does).  The nursing tanks are also nice to sleep in or wear under stuff.  If you do nurse, know that it can be hard and painful at the beginning--even later (even though nursing coaches tend to tell you it doesn't).  If you are going to pump, you can get a pump through craigslist for a much better price (I got mine for $100 instead of $300) and you can sterilize the stuff...I asked my doctor about whether or not I needed new stuff and he said that sterilizing was cool. if you're not comfortable with that, you can always get the stuff (whatever parts or bottles you may need) at the store. 

7) get some burp rags, you'll need them!

8) If you haven't read it, I would HIGHLY recommend "Happiest Baby on the Block"--it's great for calming babies and getting them to sleep.  plus it's sound advice and philosophy that's really helpful (it seems to be the new go-to book for lots of parents)

9) I don't know what the official name for it is, I tried looking it up and can't find it, I inherited mine from a friend...but it's a baby sleeping wedge...actually there are two wedges, one for each side of the baby, with fabric that connects them--basically it fits on either side of the baby and snuggles him/her during the night so he/she can sleep.  If you can find one, I think they're worth it. 

10)  Lots of other things you may get plenty of...socks or bibs, or clothes, people LOVE baby clothes and can't help but buy them.  =)  we waited to see what we got and then took stuff back because we didn't need 20 (or even 12) pajamas for 0-3 months, so we took some back and got some of the older sizes.  for clothes, we don't use socks much...probably in winter we might, but newborn socks are fairly pointless in my book, and newborn shoes definitely are...if she doesn't kick them off, they don't get seen b/c she's swaddled, so we don't use shoes right now...(and I don't know if you've read or heard, but you should only use soft soles until the baby is 2, otherwise it's hard for them to learn to balance and walk...)

Saturday, July 9, 2011


We had an amazing two week vacation.  We started by heading to Bishop to visit Ruth's namesake, my maternal grandmother, and see her grandparents and meet some more family and friends in Bishop.  Then we headed up to Mono Lake Mobil station for lunch (yes, the Mobil station, they have a gourmet chef and the food is amazing) and then headed on into Yosemite. 

It was GORGEOUS! I haven't been in about 10 years and somehow those 10 years have given me a deeper appreciation for the beauty of God's creation. We had two nights in Yosemite before we headed to Sacramento to celebrate (and officiate) at a friend's wedding.

Here are a few favorites from Yosemite.