Friday, February 27, 2009

Facebook I signed up for facebook.

I resisted for so long - I felt it would take up too much time. We'll see, I mean Matt's signed up, and it doesn't take HIM a lot of time, but then he never logs on!

Are Parent's Rights to Parent their Children at Risk??

Take a look at this video, and then go to

It sure sounds like it!

Consider checking out the site I linked, and learning as much as you can about what is going on with this, I believe it is urgent! Your children are at risk.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Walk Outdoors

Cora went on her first walk outside yesterday! She's gotten now to the point where she chooses to walk more than crawling. It was sunny and around 55 degrees outside so we put on jackets and hats and started off on our sidewalk holding hands.

It wasn't very long before she veered off and wanted to walk in the grass, so we did, and then we walked on the driveway, and we walked all the way to the barn at the gate where the horses are.

It was fun, I could tell Cora really enjoyed her new found "freedom." One drawback is I'm going to have to start wearing brown shirts - her shoes got pretty muddy, and when I picked her up on my hip I'm sure I got to wear a little mud too. Oh well.

My little girl is growing up!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Baby Signing Time

For her birthday in early December, Cora got a set of Baby Signing Time DVDs from her dear parents :-)

We'd been hearing about baby sign language from various sources: friends, the internet, and when I found the DVDs on sale, well, we got them. They've been a GREAT way to learn sign language. Cora gets so excited when we put Baby Signing Time on - she starts signing "baby" and wiggling and grinning. She loves the DVDs!

After about a month, she started signing back to us: Eat, More, and sometimes Please.

Her signs aren't perfect, but you can tell what they are in context.

She can sign:
Thank You
Wash Hands
Brush Teeth
Finished/All Done

She tries to sign Cat, and Sock - but it's not recognizable unless you are talking about Cats or Socks, and she moves her hands sort of kind of like you'd sign for those things. She also understands other signs, but hasn't tried to copy them yet

She even will sign short sentences - Last night she signed Eat More!

I want to learn the signs for Your Welcome, God, Love, I Love You, and so on, so I can teach her to pray short little prayers (like at mealtime) using baby sign language.

Using Baby Sign Language has been fun, educational, and it's shown us that our daughter can communicate with us even though she's not able to talk clearly.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Poem

This is a poem I didn't write, I'm not sure who did. It came in a forwarded email to me from the writer of this blog, and I really like the message. Feel free to send the link to other moms you know! If you're reading this, and you are a mom, know that you have the MOST IMPORTANT JOB there is in the world - thanks for being a great mom to your children! Keep up the good work.
Prettiest Mom
Before I was a Mom,
I never tripped over toys
or forgot words to a lullaby.
I didn't worry whether or not
my plants were poisonous.
I never thought about immunizations..

Before I was a Mom,
I had never been puked on.
Pooped on.
Chewed on.
Peed on.
I had complete control of my mind
and my thoughts.
I slept all night.

Before I was a Mom,
I never held down a screaming child
so doctors could do tests.
Or give shots.
I never looked into teary eyes and cried.
I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin.
I never sat up late hours at night
watching a baby sleep.

Before I was a Mom,
I never held a sleeping baby just because
I didn't want to put her down.
I never felt my heart break into a million pieces
when I couldn't stop the hurt.
I never knew that something so small
could affect my life so much.
I never knew that I could love someone so much.
I never knew I would love being a Mom.

Before I was a Mom,
I didn't know the feeling of
having my heart outside my body.
I didn't know how special it could feel
to feed a hungry baby.
I didn't know that bond
between a mother and her child.
I didn't know that something so small
could make me feel so important and happy.

Before I was a Mom,
I had never gotten up in the middle of the night
every 10 minutes to make sure all was okay.
I had never known the warmth,
the joy,
the love,
the heartache,
the wonderment
or the satisfaction of being a Mom.

I didn't know I was capable of feeling so much,
before I was a Mom..

Baby Stuff Series - Playing


When your babies are small, they learn by being around their parents and observing what goes on in their world - watching you interact with others and go about your daily life. This is a big part of why baby wearing is so helpful for them - they are around you more. But, Playing is also a big part of learning for babies and children. Narrowing down exactly what toys are "have to haves" is a tough area to say – we aren’t big on Cora having every toy there is out there, but we want her to be able to play at her age level, since for babies playing = learning. Choose your toys carefully, the toy aisle has so many options! Sometimes our daughter seems to have more fun playing with stuff in the kitchen, or climbing on pillows or the rocking chair, or peekaboo with her blanket, that we just haven’t spent much on toys.

  • Blocks

  • BOOKS (board books for when baby is young - they like to chew!)

  • Rattles/teethers

  • Boxes - Cora loves putting things in boxes, putting herself in's fun for her!

  • A "bouncy" seat - some immobile play station where you can put baby in the seat that has fun toys attached - Baby is safe (can't get into things they shouldn't) and can be reasonably entertained. Don't count on baby staying happy there for longer than 10-20 minutes, and you've got to stay in the same room with baby to talk to them.

  • A ball that baby can hold onto, a doll, and some soft stuffed animals

  • A basket or tub of toys that baby can empty and then fill back up

  • We also recommend trying the Baby Signing Time DVD’s. They’re a really fun way to learn signing. It helps communicate with a baby who isn't great verbally yet - they can tell you they want to "eat" or "drink" or want "more" or need to go "potty" Baby Sign Language is a wonderful tool!!!!

  • CD’s – our daughter loves music. Try to pick music that is meaningful. Trust me – otherwise you’ll find yourself humming, “Cackle, cackle, mother goose, have you any feathers loose?” out loud! I’m on the lookout now for praise and worship music that is sung by kids. I also remember growing up having tapes with bible verses put to song – which was great, fun to sing, and easy to memorize! Cora's grandparents have gifted her with a PraiseBaby "Born to Worship" DVD that is a music video w/ worship songs geared for young babies and children, and also some Cedarmont Kids DVDs, and these have subtitles in case you parents have forgotton the lyrics to some of these christian classics (I know I forgot some of them!).

  • The picture I'm attaching with this post shows Cora sitting in the box that holds the blocks, and you can see most of the toys she has - a little car scooter thing that converts to a "walker" that she can hold onto and push along as she walks, she's got some shape sorter toys, a "rollercoaster" beads on wires thing....really I'm sure you can't go too wrong with the toys you pick!

  • As much fun as toys are - nothing matches how much fun baby can have playing with YOU!! Your baby loves giggling at funny faces you make, when you tickle them, when you swing them up in the air, when you sing and dance - Baby's favorite things to play with are the people they love - and I really do mean that!

And this concludes the "Baby Stuff Series"!! I hope someone found the tips and lists helpful, or someday will. Again, I've said before but I want to reiterate - not everything I've written here will be the best for every family, but it has worked well for us, and I wanted to share our experiences as food for thought for anyone else that might benefit.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Baby Stuff Series - Soothing


  • Infants Tylenol – when NOTHING else works, or for fever!
  • Mylicon – if baby is kicking her legs, and fussy, she might be gassy.
  • Hylands’ Homeopathic Teething Tablets – these really do help, almost instantly! Use when baby is really drooly, wants to chew, and is fussy.
  • A cold teething ring often helps
  • Swaddling Blanket - sometimes removing the option of squirming with a younger baby is comforting for them
  • Pacifier, or thumb – this is up to the child!
  • Our daughter really likes hand knitted blankets, a sort of “security” blanket. She has picked out a favorite - a teal one her grandma made for her.
  • Nurse your baby, carry your baby, play music, take a walk OUTSIDE.
  • Sometimes distraction works well. Come up with something that seems TOTALLY AMAZING to your baby. You can always try performing the "chicken dance" which ALWAYS worked for our daughter!

Any other fun and helpful tips for soothing a cranky, fussy baby?? Post them up under the comments section!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Do as God says “do” – He will take care of the rest.

I'm going to take a quick break from the "Baby Stuff Series" I've been writing about to post this - it's been heavy on my heart, and I wanted to share with everyone on the blog. Thanks for reading.

Mark 1:16-20
“As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed him.”

Wow, to have faith like that!

Notice – these guys just up and left what they were doing at the call of God! They left it all, to follow Jesus. They didn’t go home and check their budget or savings to see if they had enough money to be able to “afford” to follow Jesus. I'm sure if they would have analyzed the cost/benefit of doing so fiscally that they would've decided it was a poor business decision! Praise God for giving these men the faith that they had!

I love these next verses:

Luke 12:22-34
“Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what will you wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

“Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is there today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

What peace and freedom from worry our heavenly Father has given us in these potentially scary economic times! We don’t have to worry! He has promised to feed us and clothe us and take care of us, what more can we ask?

Is God calling you to do something that you are afraid is beyond your budget or current income? How do you know if it’s God’s voice calling you, or some other distraction of this world? Sometimes it can seem frightening to fully follow God’s will (trust me, I know and still struggle with this) but the reward is great!

Some things that can help you to decide if the thing in question is truly God’s will for you:

Prayer. Pray to God asking Him to show you his will for you. If you earnestly seek his face, he will show you. Of course, this is often on God’s time, not ours. It helps to remember that he did, after all, create the universe and he knows the history of everything even before it happens. He will guide you if you let him.

Read the Bible. Have you taken the opportunity yet to read from God’s Word on a regular basis on your own? There is power in his word – sometimes rereading verses I’ve read many times new insights can really jump out. There is the reason the Bible is called the “Living Word” of God. He speaks to us through it. Give it a try if you haven't yet.

Personal Evaluation: What harm to you or others could come? Remember opportunity costs of time spent away from family. What kingdom benefits are potentially there if you do? Is this something that has repeatedly been on your mind? Is it for selfish ambition or is it something God is calling you towards in order to show others His love through you?

These decisions can be tough. I’ll give you a few examples from my life: starting a Young Adult bible study (something I never did, but have felt like I “should” do, thankfully someone else in my church stepped up and started one), spending time working with my horses (something that has always been fun for me to do, yet takes me away from my family but still yet puts me in the presence of others who I could potentially be a witness to) and starting a parent’s bible study (something I felt was important and that there was a need for, yet has not been well-attended by other parents – was it really something I was supposed to do?). None of these things is necessarily “Right” or “Wrong” (rarely is something so black and white!) but if God wants me to do it, he will provide what I need to get the job done!

When God calls us to do or change something, it is important to act on it! So you’ve come to the conclusion that God is calling you to do something that you think is beyond you for some reason. This could be finances, this could be personal skills, this could be anything that you feel would hold you back from being able to do whatever it is God is asking of you.

One phrase that I have come to love but can’t remember where it came from is this: “Do what God says “do” – and He will take care of the rest” Why on earth would God ask someone to do something they could not do by themselves and let them fail trying? I firmly believe that if we are genuinely after God’s own heart and seek to bring others to know him personally, that he will help us along the way to do what he has asked of us. Remember Moses? Remember Joseph? (the one with the colorful coat) Remember Daniel? Remember the apostles? These guys didn’t necessarily have it easy, but they did what God asked of them, and he came through and provided them what they needed when they needed it most.

God will always be faithful to his children. I pray that you and I can be faithful to him and trust that he will always provide for us, and then boldly go and do what he asks of us!

Baby Stuff Series - Feeding


  • Mother’s milk exclusively IF AT ALL POSSIBLE for the first 6 months, continue nursing as a supplement to solids for one year + (or, listen to your baby, they will likely tell you when they need to keep and/or are ready to be finished nursing, each mama/baby is different)
  • Mom will need a loose but well-fitting nursing bra or two. Try oversized sports bras - easy to lift for nursing access.
  • Nursing tops with empire or all around underlayer openings, don’t have to be prints, solids work fine. It’s not fun to have to get your tummy out, too, and nursing shirts help with this! Once baby’s latched (and prayerfully, STAYS latched) the breast is pretty well covered, so tops with nursing access are WONDERFUL, especially when away from home or with company.
  • It is possible to nurse your baby while wearing baby in a carrier or sling. First, adjust your clothes (this is where nursing tops are handy!) then put on the carrier/sling. Then, put baby in carrier, latch on, and you're nursing - hands free! Unfortunately, I didn't figure this out for a long time - hopefully this will help someone else who is thinking "how in the world do you nurse in one of these things???" Adjusting your clothes FIRST is the key!
  • Washable bra pads, Bravado makes some good ones. If you have to have disposable, try the Lansinoh brand.
  • Water bottle for mom to carry in diaper bag when out and about - it is hard to drink enough water when you're nursing!
  • Try waiting to introduce solids until baby is interested in what you’re eating. Our daughter has refused pureed baby food since she was 8 months old, and is eating table food and breastmilk, and will be until she gradually weans herself.
  • Baby spoons, get a bunch, you can accumulate a lot of them in the dishwasher!
  • Bibs (but, our daughter keeps pulling hers off – in that case, a good stain remover!)
  • Seat – We have a chicco travel seat that attaches to the table. I wish we had bought this one: because it's smaller and looks like it would pack up easier. A high chair is handy for raising baby up to watch you while you make dinner.

Any other baby feeding tips or suggestions?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Baby Stuff Series - Bathing


  • Rubbing alcohol and Qtips for newborn cord care (before the “stump” falls off)

  • Baby wash

  • Baby Lotion

  • 2 or 3 Fluffy, absorbent hooded towels

  • Baby sized washcloths

  • Large sink (the kitchen sink works well!), lay prefold diapers in bottom to prevent slipping

  • When baby’s ready for the bathtub, get a non-slip tub liner and a few toys

  • Terry robe for the parent who is going to dry the wet baby off!

Got helpful tips on bathing a baby? Fun stories? Share them here in the comments section!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Baby Stuff Series - Diapering

Diapering - I highly recommend practicing Elimination Communication (EC) with your child and using cloth diapers!! This is a great thing to try with your child. I'm sure that there are other things to note if you must use disposable, but I don't have a lot of experience with that. Please consider cloth! It's a really great option. Here is what you'll need to do this:

  • Cloth Diapers – There are so many brands and styles it's amazing. All-in-ones, pocket diapers, and prefolds, fitteds, contours with covers are the main "styles" to choose from.

  • Diaper Bag (recommend Ameribag Healthy Back Baby Bag!)

  • 2-3 Wet Bags

  • Diaper Rash Cream (try them all, rotate through, use coupons!)

  • Wipes

  • 2 buckets with tight-fitting lids (1 five gallon, one smaller)

  • OxyClean

  • Detergent

  • Baking Soda

  • Vinegar

  • Research elimination communication (EC) and try it with your child!

I'm sure that there are other things to note if you must use disposable diapers, but I don't have a lot of experience with that. We used the disposables we got for baby showers and what they gave us at the hospital for the first month or so until they got used up. Washing diapers is really easy compared the the amount of money I would have spent on buying diapers to get soiled and thrown away - give them a try!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Baby Stuff Series - Carrying, Moving, and Transporting

Carrying/Moving/Transporting - After our daughter was born it was hard to imagine going places without her. We'd been given the gift of a healthy baby to train up and part of that is spending time together and modeling what to do in various situations. Now, that said - going places with a baby is a lot harder to do! But, some of these products make things a bit easier on you:

  • Infant Car seat

  • Combination seat (rear facing or forward facing, when child is big enough)

  • Small stuffed animal/soft toy for baby to play with in the car

  • Slings are perfect for newborns and small babies. I have this kind:

  • When baby is able to sit up, you’ll want to graduate to a soft-structured carrier. DON’T WASTE YOUR MONEY ON A CHEAP ONE! We have an Ergo, and really like it, bought it here: Though, I can’t help but wonder what life would be like if we had tried the Pikkolo by CatBird baby, I like the look of it a lot. Try Ebay or craigslist, you can sometimes find good, used carriers there at a discount.

  • Diaper Bag – The Ameribag Healthy Back Baby Bag is what we have now, and it’s great. You can wear it on your shoulder, you can wear it across your back, or you can turn it around and wear it across your chest if you have baby in a back carry in the carrier. So versatile, so organized. And using this bag plus a baby carrier allows you to be HANDS FREE! That is key to making things easier when going out and about.

  • Stroller. We have a hand-me-down that rolls pretty nicely on the gravel around the farm, and since it was a used stroller we don’t feel too bad about pushing it through mud or otherwise getting it dirty. It has a basket so I can haul a couple of flakes of hay, or gardening tools, or for whatever it is we’re doing outside. We also have an umbrella stroller we keep in the car, although I pretty much hate it and would much rather use the Ergo now that we have it. The problem w/ the umbrella is that it has too narrow of a base, the wheels are so small every crack in the sidewalk or stray piece of gravel derails OFTEN, plus there is no place to put your diaper bag if you are out and about (but that’s why the Ameribag Baby Bag is so great!). There’s lots of different strollers out there, lots of price ranges. Take your pick, you’ll get use out of it somehow, I’m sure!

  • Play yard, aka Pack ‘n Play. For picnics, for naps, for sleeping in hotels.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Baby Stuff Series - Sleeping

Sleeping - This is something little babies do a lot of, and that their parents spend a lot of time trying to get them to do!

When you have a newborn, lots of people give you advice, and one woman (I didn't even know her....she was just admiring my daughter in a store) said, "The more they sleep, the more they sleep." At first thought you may say "what!?" But, it is true! If you try to keep your baby awake too much for fear they won't fall asleep at night, that is when they wake up more at night. So let your baby rest when they are sleepy, chances are they will sleep later just fine. To help you with this, you'll want to get:

  • Arms Reach Mini Co-sleeper (or a bassinet in the parents’ room) until baby can pull up

  • Infant swing – baby can watch you and has a comfy place to drift off for naps

  • Crib for naps or when baby is big enough to pull up and has outgrown the Arms Reach Mini Co-Sleeper or bassinet

  • Waterproof Mattress Protector

  • 2 Fitted Crib Sheets

  • 2 rectangular crib sized waterproof pads

  • Make crib in this order: Mattress, Waterproof Mattress Protector, Rectangular waterproof pad, Fitted Sheet, rectangular waterproof pad, Fitted Sheet. This way, when baby “leaks” or spits up at 2am, all you need to do is whip off the first sheet and pad and baby still has a comfy place to sleep.

  • Keep the room dark, no night light (baby and YOU will sleep better without! Trust me!)

  • Swaddling blanket as long as baby sleeps better with it.

  • Sleep sack for chilly nights

  • Humidifier

  • If you know your child is sleepy but they won't fall asleep (don't want to miss out on anything!) try putting them in a baby carrier and go about your normal activities. Your body movement will often lull baby to sleep, and you can then put them in the crib or whereever to nap.

  • Don't be afraid to nurse your baby to sleep. This REALLY WORKS and there is nothing wrong with using that to your (and baby's) advantage. I feel it is part of the way God designed the body to work - nursing is so relaxing for both baby and mama (the closeness, the cuddling, the warmth, and the hormones released really make them both sleepy!) and it just lends itself to helping get baby to fall asleep relaxed and with a full tummy.

Got any other tips or helps or products that really helped with getting YOUR baby to sleep? Share them here in the comments!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Baby Stuff Series - Pregnancy/Hospital/Immediate Postpartum

Pregnancy - This is probably one of the areas that varies the most person to person. Women have such a diverse range of style and clothing preferences that I'm just going to list the stuff that I *had* to have or found most important.

  • A comfy pair of sweatpants that don't look too grungy - mine were "regular" not maternity....and I still wear them pretty often (though they look a lot grungier now!)

  • Maternity shirts that cover the ENTIRE belly (very hard to find, especially after month 7!!)

  • Our baby was born on December 8, but even on the chilliest days I was always HOT! Remember that little bun in the oven really does make a lot of heat, and plan your wardrobe purchases around this!

  • If you have a wedding or some other formal occasion to go to while you are pregnant, try really hard to find something that makes you feel feminine and pretty. Remember that baby belly really is beautiful, no matter how "tank-like" you may feel waddling across the dance floor!

Hospital - There really isn't all that much stuff you need to bring with you to the hospital. Of course, I packed enough stuff that Matt had to take 2 or 3 trips to get it all in (and that didn't count the infant car seat!) ..... but that was way way overkill. They don't let the laboring woman do much while she's laboring (really, you won't want to anyway!!) But there is some stuff you'll be glad you brought. Our state requires a blood test 48 hours after baby is born, and if you leave the hospital before that test, then the baby has to have the painful test done a second time. So, you'll be spending a few days there - but it's not all bad - you can pick whatever you want to eat and they'll bring it to your bedside, very convenient! Any questions you have about your newborn's care will be answered for you. Not such a bad deal.

  • Baby book - when your baby is born the nurses will take their footprints, and will be willing to put those in whatever you brought along. I suggest getting footprints put in the inside cover of little photo brag books as gifts for the grandmas. Tell the nurses this BEFORE labor gets serious, because otherwise you will forget (I did! Sorry moms...)

  • Camera! (and extra batteries! and an extra storage card for your digital!)

  • Plenty of flexibility and resolve. Things may not go the way you envisioned (maybe a tear, or a cesarean...or whatever), but ultimately you will (God-willing) have the same end result - a healthy baby! This is probably one of the hardest things you will do, but ABSOLUTELY worth it!!! And, God will see you through.

  • I didn't have one of these for Cora's birth, but this product has caught my eye and I will be seriously considering it if God blesses us with any further children: I do remember the gown they gave me at the hospital being really awkward when it came to putting on the monitor around my tummy to measure baby's heart beat and contractions, so I can't help but think that this skirt would make things easier. Plus, those gowns left things pretty exposed when it came to first nursing - one of these skirts plus a comfy top with nursing openings might be the ticket!

  • Toiletries - toothbrush, deodorant, etc.

  • Going home clothes (sweatpants!) Pick something you won't mind if you don't look super slender in, cause you won't be back to pre-baby shape yet at ALL!

  • Husband clothes/toiletries

  • any nursing pillow you might have (Boppy, etc)

  • For your newborn all you need is an outfit for the picture, and outfit to take them home in, and an infant car seat. Don't bother bringing your diaper bag with you - when you leave the hospital, you're probably going straight home anyway, and you won't need to stop to change the baby in the 20 minutes it takes to drive home.

  • I had brought a bunch of magazines thinking I would get bored sitting around the hospital. Ha! Plenty of visitors - nurses, family, the baby's doctor, my doctor, friends, people from church, and then meals arriving, then the hospital had a tv, plus the videos they show you about newborn care, and nursing your baby, and learning to hold your baby, and swaddle your baby, and finally just being able to HOLD your baby in your me - you won't be bored. 48 hours isn't as long as it sounds.

Immediate Postpartum - This is a time for healing for mama, bonding for the newly grown family, learning to nurse and care for your baby, and special memories.

  • It's also a time to forget about your body image, because you just can't be worrying about that - there's other more important things! For AT LEAST (probably longer) 6-8 weeks you will still be wearing maternity clothes - stuff that fit you when you were around 6 months pregnant. So pay attention to what fit you then, and keep it around.

  • About a day or two after they send you home from the hospital, your milk will come in. This is uncomfortable, but just keep nursing your baby when they are hungry, and eventually milk production will even out to a point where it's comfortable for you and meets baby's demands. They all say to get a supportive nursing bra - I disagree - I found that a tight-fitting bra made the breast baby wasn't nursing feel very uncomfortable during let-down. I ended up mostly using loose-fitting sports bras with absorbant, washable bra pads, and that removed the problem for me. Experiment, use what works for you.

  • Bra pads. I suggest trying Bravado nursing pads, they come in a package of 6 (3 pair). If you must get the disposable kind, try Lansinoh brand. (don't bother buying lanolin - the hospital gives you a sample which is PLENTY if your baby quickly learns how to latch properly. But, if you have problems with soreness, then you can run to the store and get some, otherwise save your money) Until you've been nursing a couple of months and things even out, expect to have some leaking when baby is nursing - be prepared with bra pads!

  • Nursing tops. Try the bra/tank with a nursing opening paired with a zip-up hoodie for around home. Glamourmom has these, so does Motherwear...there's lots of brands. Also get a few (several) tops with nursing access for out-and-about, if baby gets hungry, it makes things a little easier.

  • Nursing Nightgown (or other sleepwear). For the first few nights home from the hospital, my mom and mother-in-law stayed with us and let us get some much needed rest. If baby woke up, they changed her and brought her to me to nurse back to sleep. So since you may very well be up all hours of the night with company around, get a nightgown that has easy nursing access that you won't be embarrassed to be seen in.

  • Burp cloths. When your milk supply comes in, it's a shock to baby's system. This is when spit up starts to happen!!! Keep a burp cloth on every couch and chair and in every room - be prepared :-)

  • Try not to do any work other than caring for your baby until your baby is at least 8 days old (that's how they did it in the Bible!). Get the rest your body needs - labor and delivery is HARD WORK, learning to nurse and care for your baby isn't easy - focus on that for a while and get the rest you need and bond with your newborn. Ask close friends and family to help with meals and laundry for a while.

I'm sure there are a few things I've left out, and of course each woman's labor and delivery is VERY DIFFERENT. You'll be at the hospital longer if you had a C-section. It'll take you longer to feel like moving if you had a tear or episiotomy. Pain like that is worse (in my opinion, I had a tear and it was unsensible how much it hurt after the numbing for the stitches wore off) because you have already reached your main goal: delivering a healthy baby. Stick it out, you'll heal soon enough (in the mean time use the stuff they gave you at the hospital, and stock up on witch hazel pads!).

I'd love to have others post comments up here of their experiences and things they found most helpful in these delicate times of Pregancy, labor/delivery, and first few weeks postpartum.

Baby Stuff Series - Clothes and Layette

You’ll need a set of each of these in each size (newborn, 0-3 mos, 3 mos, 3-6 mos, 6 mos, 6-9 mos, 9 mos, and so on). This will be variable according to the season, though it’s a good place to start. Also, used is great with babies, since usually it wasn’t used all that much the first time since they grow so fast! Baby does NOT have to have all new stuff. Also, there is a lot of brand variation in sizing, some brands run larger, some smaller.

  • 3-4 Footed Sleepers, of various weights/warmths

  • Sleep sack – For newborns try the kind that come with a swaddle that velcros, you probably won’t need one at all in the summertime, unless you keep it very cold with air conditioning.

  • Onesies/Bodysuits/T-shirts, around 5 – can be long or short sleeved

  • Bottoms - Pants, shorts, or skirts, 2-3 pairs, I like the pants that have feet attached.

  • 2 Sweaters

  • Around 5 cute outfits, warm or cool weather, depending on season

  • 2 warm hats or sun hats, depending on the season

  • About 5 pairs of socks, a few pairs of tights if you have a girl.

  • Soft-soled baby shoes. Most of the time baby does NOT need shoes. If your (prewalking) baby is wearing shoes it’s probably because you like the way they look or because someone has told you “you forgot to put the baby’s shoes on!” Yes, they’re cute, no, they’re not necessary. Now, once baby starts walking, maybe, but again, just soft-soled type. Baby can’t tell you if they’re pinching toes, but with the soft soles, you can easily feel where baby's feet are in the shoe.

  • Swim suit – many of these have a built-in swim diaper, or get the fabric kind - No need to use a disposable swim diaper. Swim diapers hold in solid waste only, urine goes right through! Plus, usually you get to know your baby’s “poop schedule” and can plan swimming outings around this.

  • Cuddle Wrap – these are perfect for using in a stroller on chilly days with newborns. Sometimes the person who makes them can get sports designs or whatever you want; if you can find the fleece fabric, she will make them!

  • Baby bunting – we tried not to take our daughter outside if it was below freezing, but cold weather requires a warm bunting, a hat, and lots of blankets piled up on top of baby in the stroller. For more active babies, try a snowsuit and jacket, hat, boots or adult size mittens on the legs. Try to dress baby warmer than you are dressed when going out in cold weather, since they won't be as active.

  • Get creative when it comes to cold weather baby wearing. I’m working on sewing up a windbreaker jacket to wear that has a place for baby’s head to peek through, to keep both of us warm. There is a company that makes a vest designed for baby wearing (Peekaru), but that won’t help keep your arms warm, will it? You can wear baby in a front carry and just not zip your coat up all the way.

So there you have it - a basic list of the clothing your baby will need. Many babies have way more clothes than this, but I have found that this list will get you plenty of clothes so that you aren't finding yourself waiting on the washer to finish before you can dress your child!

Baby Stuff Series - Introduction

Are you expecting a baby? Are you at a loss as to what you REALLY need for your bundle of joy? There is a TON of marketing out there to try to get you to buy many things not needed for your child, and some of the stuff you need (or actually will use) is not available at some of the typical “registry” places.

This week I plan to begin a series of Baby Posts to formulate a list of what we actually used ourselves with our first child. I know this isn’t necessarily something that is going to be interesting to everyone, but I have been working on this for a while and wanted to post it while our experience with a pre-toddler was still somewhat fresh.

I've split things up into several "categories" and each day I'll post a list of items that I found necessary/helpful for each, and probably some hints that worked for us. Categories will include things such as Diapering, Feeding, Clothing, Bathing, and so on.

DISCLAIMER: We did not become experts at babies because we had one! BUT, we got along very well with our daughter, and so I’m passing on our experiences, for your information. When I was pregnant, I was always trying to find out what other people actually used with their babies. I mean, do you really want to trust the registry list that Wal*mart or BabiesRUs gives out? They’re TRYING to sell you MORE stuff! Anyway, I don’t want to come across as if I think I “know-it-all” because I know I don’t, and I bet this list will change with every child we have. I just wanted to put this information out there in case anyone else is like me and likes to read about what others have used/tried with their children. Take this with a grain of salt, not everything is for everybody. Use what you think will work, forget what you think won’t.