I’ve been thinking about moving my blog’s home for many months now and the time has come! I’m now over at Good Hazel, hopefully blogging somewhat less sporadically.
Just a quick PSA to say that if you live in CA and you have any question about why you should vote yes on 37, let me know or visit PAN
Dad and two young kids walking behind us. They were maybe 7 or 8.
Kid: Daddy, what is the difference between red and white wine?
Dad: They are made with different grapes and using different processes.
Kid: Well, which wine do you and mom prefer: red or white?
Dad: It depends on what we are eating, we like them both.
Two little boys (again maybe 6 and 8-9) standing by the prepared foods area, holding a bottle of white wine with no parent in sight.
Whole Foods Guy: You guys look ready for a fun night. What can I get you?
Older kid: We’d like two clam chowder pot pies.
Little girl next to us at check-out to her mom.
Girl: Mom! They have popsicles here made from Blue Bottle Coffee!
Next week I start my midwifery program. I went to a mom and baby yoga class this morning and at the end we talked about how our heart is feeling (some of you are rolling your eyes I’m sure). But I have to say that it was nice to say out loud that while I’m excited about school and I think it will be the best thing for our family, my heart is really sad about leaving Hatch. It’s a kind of sad that I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around. I was at the chiropractor last night for my first real adjustment since Hatch was born and it felt so strange lying on the table without a baby rolling around in my belly. How can my baby already feel like he’s this whole other person who is getting more and more independent? Sniff sniff. I’m having to stop myself from waking him up from his nap to go cuddle him, although those who are taking care of him in the near future will be happy to know that he is napping. Finally!
At least the only other girls he’s kissing right now are giraffes named Sophie.
A few posts back, I was asked to create a list of some of my favorite mom & baby items. While I’m fairly new to the mom game, I have been working with new moms and babies for lots of years. I’m not sure if that really gives me any more cred, but for what it’s worth, here are some of my absolute go-to items since Hatch made his entrance.
We have used these on a daily basis since Hatch was born. In fact, I slept one the first night he was in the NICU and then we used it to swaddle him the following day so he would have mom-scent on him 24/7. While I hated having him in the NICU, I have to say it was comforting to have him wrapped up in the super soft bamboo blankets versus the hospital baby blankets. We like both the bamboo and the muslin blankets.
From the beginning, my favorite carrier was the Moby Wrap. Paul was less convinced when we first started, but quickly became great at wrapping and carrying Hatch too. It’s comfortable, distributes the weight well, can be used from birth (with tiny and big babies) and with older babies too. It’s also really easy to breastfeed while wearing it. I could go on and on about Moby Wraps. Don’t be intimidated by the fact that it’s a huge piece of fabric. They have great instructions on their website and you can find others on YouTube.
We have an original stretchy wrap, but I’m really interested in getting a woven wrap so that we can try back carriers with a wrap (which isn’t safe with the original Moby). They also have Giant’s baseball wraps that I’m kind of wishing I’d sprung for earlier this season
This seems like it would be totally nonessential, but for the first two months we used it daily. For whatever reason, Hatch hated lying flat on the floor, on the bed, etc, but he’d be perfectly content spending some time lying on what we called the “dog bed”. My only criticism is that you can’t take the cover off to wash it, but otherwise it was amazing. He’s starting to grow out of it, but I have to admit that we now use it as a really insanely comfortable floor pillow for when I sit on the floor to nurse.
This is sort of a weird one, but because we are co-sleeping I wanted a light that I could easily turn on at night time to breastfed or for diaper changes. It also needed to be battery operated because there aren’t plugs by our bed. We have our crib sidecarred (like a co-sleeper), so I don’t have a nightstand. This means it also needed to clip to the crib. It can be super dim or really bright, I can turn it on and off with one hand (important while breastfeeding), and it travels easily. There are baby-specific products that do similar things, but this is way cheaper.
This pillow I knew about from my work as a lactation consultant. I’d used it with clients for years, so I knew I was going to register for this instead of other nursing pillows. Unlike some other popular pillows, the Brest Friend is super supportive and really helps get a newborn in the right place for breastfeeding. While I knew what I was doing when it came to getting Hatch to latch, this pillow was still totally essential in holding him in the right place without me having to hunch over him or totally throw my shoulders out holding him in a good position. We used one starting in the hospital and for months afterward.
Due to my desire to know all about the different cloth diaper options out there, we have done a mess of things with diapering. I’ve finally settled on a few favorites. I’m going to do a different post about our cloth diapering experience so far, but some of my favorite brands include Sunbaby, Bum Genius, RagaBabe, and Baby Wizard. I also really loved Charlie Banana for newborn diapers (we had a handful of extra small diapers from them) before our one-size-fits all diapers really fit without leaking somewhere around ten pounds.
I know some people are all about totally breathable, 100 percent cotton nursing pads, but I can’t totally get behind them. I don’t have a super abundant milk supply and I leak through cotton nursing pads in no time. I was starting to really worry about my ability to function in life outside my house, considering I don’t really want to go to school with wet boobs all the time, when I consulted Etsy and found magic nursing pads made by Charis Baby Designs. They keep me dry and looking like an acceptable member of society. I love the velvet ones, but also have a bunch of their flannel pads. I also use disposable pads sometimes (the horror!) and found that I like the ones made by Lanolin the best.
Most of Hatch’s clothes are hand me downs from friends and family. We have a few thrifted items and a very small handful of new stuff that I’ve bought to fill in the gaps. While I’m not totally opposed to cute onesies, I have to say that Hatch spends a whole lot of time in totally generic white wrap (aka kimono) tops and pants. He hates having things pulled over his head, and while we’ve gotten really good at doing it quickly, often it doesn’t seem worth the struggle. I also really like zip-up one piece sleepers, like his pirate and blue and white striped outfit seen below from Hanna Andersson.
We use these pacifiers since it’s what they give you in the hospital, this is my favorite bottle of the few I’ve tried, and instead of a diaper pail we use this trash can and this pail liner. But more on that in the diaper post.
There are some things I’m still working out. I’ve yet to find a nursing bra I love (I have a few from Target that I feel just okay about). I’m still not sure how I feel about big baby equipment like swings and baby gyms. We didn’t own or use a stroller of any sort until Hatch was over two months old (but now we own two–the BOB and the City Mini). And I’m pretty certain that you don’t need a changing table, a wipes warmer, or any other fancy baby butt stuff, but I could be wrong about that! If there is anything I’ve learned it’s that we all have the equipment we find totally essential. Mine happens to lean toward the baby carrier and cloth diaper side of things, but yours could very well be somewhere else!
We’ve had a steady stream of family visiting the last few weeks. P’s brother came before we went to Oregon, then his mom and stepdad were here last week, and his dad will be here next week. And of course my parents sneak in visits whenever they can. Hatch is getting a lot of grandparent love. This last weekend we went with my parents to Marin to take advantage of the amazing weather we’ve been having.
The last few times I’ve been to Marin it’s been insanely busy, so I was pleasantly surprised when we arrived in the Point Reyes area and realized it was kind of dead. Maybe because kids are back to school? My dad also theorized that it was because it was a big sports day (Cal, Giants, and 49ers). Regardless, it made the day much more enjoyable.
By the time we got to the Point Reyes area we were starving so we started the day at Hog Island. The oyster places in Tamales are great because you can either bring all of your own stuff or buy theirs. We went the easy route this time and bought pre-shucked oysters, but we’d picked up other picnic supplies at Farmers Market on Saturday. The tables are communal and I think our table mates were jealous of our spread. We did offer to share!
One of the other benefits of eating at Hog Island, is that the beaches in Marin are often very windy. Wind plus beach equals sandy, gross food. So it was nice to get the eating done with somewhere where we could see the water without actually having to sit in it.
After lunch we headed to Drakes Beach, part of the Point Reyes National Seashore. We used to go to this beach all the time as a kid. Probably more than any other beach we visited. As an adult, I’ve stopped in the parking lot here several times, only to drive somewhere else because it seemed way, way too windy. I didn’t get how we’d enjoyed it so much as a kid, and when my parents suggested it I was a little skeptical. But I’m going to let you in on a secret (luckily there aren’t too many of you). If you head either down or up the beach from the parking lot, the wind is magically gone.
There are a ton of cute pictures of my parents holding Hatch from the day, but these are my favorite…
His onesie wasn’t snapped on the bottom and my mom had tucked it in because she didn’t want him looking sloppy in the picture, but by accident tucked his hand in too. She didn’t realize it until after I took the top two pictures.
I go back to school in two weeks (ugghhhhhhh), so I’m trying to enjoy the end of summer as much as possible. We have a lot going on the next few weeks, and believe me I need the distraction. I am trying not to think too hard about being away from Hatch several days a week. Although I am excited about my actual program, the thought of being away from Hatch makes me really bummed out.
When Hatch was a few weeks old P went back to work, and I began taking care of Hatch all by myself for 10 hours a day. While Hatch wanted to nurse nonstop, and certainly wasn’t going to let me put him down, I needed to study for my nursing boards and occasionally grab something to eat. In desperation, I asked my lactation consultant and mom friends what to do, and someone recommended the Second Skin sling as being their favorite for easy nursing access. The makers of Second Skin were generous enough to send me a sling to try out, and while Hatch was (relatively) little it was one of the favorites in our rotation.
Unlike some wrap carriers that require a ton of fabric, the Second Skin is two thin pieces of a nylon-spandex blend, making it small and easy to stick in a diaper bag and much cooler to wear in the summer heat. It’s also incredibly easy to put on since there aren’t long expanses of fabric to deal with. My mom, who helped watch Hatch in his early days, was afraid to use all of my carriers besides the Second Skin which she loved. It was also much easier than my other carriers to move him to a breastfeeding hold, and keep him propped there while I did other things. There is a great video showing how to put it on and breastfeed in it made by ABC Postpartum Doula.
The one downside to my Second Skin is that to figure out sizing I gave them my weight and based on that I was sent a medium sling. I think it would have been better to factor in my height (5’1″), because the medium on me was pretty saggy. I loved wearing the sling around the house, but because it was loose it didn’t quite hold Hatch in a high enough position that I could walk around totally hands free for long periods of time. I looked at the size chart online after the fact and based on my clothing size, I think I would have been better off in an XS or S sling. The slightly taller people in my life felt like it was comfortable and not too big.
While Hatch is now around 14 pounds and feels too heavy to securely use in the Second Sling, I really miss the simplicity of this carrier! For moms with newborns or tiny babies who might be turned off by other wraps, I highly recommend it.
My Second Sling was donated to me by Precious Image Creations, but all opinions are 100% my own!