Thursday, December 13, 2007

Top Baby Items for New Parents

As parents of three kids, W and I have opinions about what baby items are worthwhile. We have created lists of these items in the past and I thought it was about time to put the information on my blog. That way, I wouldn't have to search for the list every time a friend told me they were expecting!

Just so you know --- you don't really need more stuff in your house. IMHO, I think baby essentials are diapers, breasts and a safe place to sleep. All the rest just makes being a parent easier.

Here is a list of our top baby items. They are in no particular order:

1. Sling for carrying the baby. You may want to try a variety of slings since you don't know what will work for you and with your baby. Also, different slings and baby carriers work at different ages of the baby. Our favorite sling is from Kangaroo Korner and it is called the "adjustable fleece pouch." When your baby gets bigger, and you don't want to carry the weight on one shoulder any more, try the Ergo Carrier. I find this carrier extremely comfortable and my twins love it (one at a time of course).

2. Pure lanolin (brand name I used is Lansinoh) if you are going to nurse your baby. Buy the smallest tube available because it lasts forever! This product is wonderful at helping soothe the nursing mother.

3. Breast pump (again if you are going to nurse your baby - which I highly recommend). Don't get a hand pump - it is not worth the time or energy! Electric breast pumps are very efficient which as a mother you will appreciate. I used a Medela Pump-In-Style which worked great.

4. Fleece car seat insert to keep the baby warm without messing with blankets. We used a Bundle Me which we really liked.

5. Lots of blankets for swaddling the baby. Swaddling new babies helps them to feel secure (like the womb) and helps them not startle themselves awake. The ones we liked the best were waffle weave which are a little stretchier than flannel. You may also want to check out a book - The Happiest Baby on the Block which has great tips for settling a baby.

6. Hylands Colic Tablets - a homeopathic remedy for colicky babies. Nice to have on hand. The Hylands Teething Tablets and Gel are great for when babies start teething as well.

7. The Baby Book by Dr. Sears. This is a nice "how to" for new parents. It has simple information such as how to bathe your baby or monthly milestones. I really love this book.

8. A bouncer is a nice tool to have when you need to have your hands free (i.e. while cooking dinner). Some parents I know have one on each level of their home. I like the simpler bouncers the best. We used one similar to this. One of our children, in particular, was really soothed by the vibration mode.

9. 3-D Activity Gym - you put your baby on the floor under this and the baby looks at it and plays with it. We had a red, white and black one like this where the kids did their "tummy time." Remember, babies don't see colors at first - just contrasts so red, white and black are best.

10. Lactation consultant!!! If you are going to nurse, I cannot stress this one enough. Nursing is not innate (which is what I thought). It is a joint learning process between you and your child. A lactation consultant can really help set you up for a wonderful nursing experience. If possible, get a recommendation from a trusted friend.

11. Cod Liver Oil. Taking Cod Liver Oil when you are pregnant makes your baby smarter. We use this tasty one (no really) that is lemon flavored. For more information on this topic, check out W's blog post on the topic.

If you go here, you will find a list of W's dad recommendations which includes the post on Cod Liver Oil.

I am recommending these products and books because I have had good experiences with them and not because anyone paid me or otherwise coerced me to post.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Check this out: The Ripple Effect

I read a post today that really hit me. It looks at the idea of how a bad day can perpetuate itself. It also raises the question, can a good day / good thoughts / good deeds also perpetuate? I think so. Try it out and let me know if it works for you!

How is your energy generated?

Thanks to Jason for sending me this link where you can find your electricity generation mix by zip code. For example, according to the website, my zip code gets energy in this breakdown: 2% non-hydro renewables, 49% hydro, 4% nuclear, 0% oil, 11% gas, and 34% coal. This "power profiler" is provided by the US Environmental Protection Agency so it will only work in the US. Does anyone know of similar tools for other parts of the world? How is your energy generated?

Monday, December 10, 2007

Oddly relieved

Ok, so I guess I am back to my old ways...of not posting that often. But I must say, I am oddly relieved to be away from the stress of Nanowrimo and NaBloPoMo. I have taken a real break from my computer (except for work) and I think it has been good for me. I am getting more sleep - yay!

I have not done anything on my novel except print it out to be read. I am old school and need to see it in printed format where I can make changes in red. It will be interesting to see if the efficiency-loving part of my personality can overcome this to do my editing on my computer. I feel like I need to go back to the Nanowrimo website and figure out what to do next...

I know that some funny things were said this weekend but I cannot, for the life of me, remember what they were. :) I guess I am not getting quite enough sleep.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Using Flickr Photos on Your Blog

Although I have put some of my own photos on this blog, I never really considered using other people's photos here. Today I read an excellent article on Skelliewag's blog about how to find photos on Flickr. Obviously, you only want to use photos that are OK to use. The author goes through all the Creative Commons licenses and what you need to do to use them. I decided to try uploading a photo here as practice.

Photo by SoftPIX_Techie

p.s. I took a couple of days away from the computer and I think that was a good thing. Now I am motivated to continue posting regularly.