Showing posts with label baby love. Show all posts
Showing posts with label baby love. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Crib

I took down the crib a few weeks ago.  I moved the 'baby' into a big girl's bed (a mattress on the floor), even though it broke my heart to do it.  I chose a day that was extra busy, so I didn't have time to start crying, because I knew if I started, I might not stop for quite awhile.

That crib is the same crib that Jeff and I bought for our oldest, now off at college and nearing twenty-one years.  We were newly married, in our mid-twenties, and hardly had two pennies to rub together, when we found out we were expecting a baby due nine and a half months after our wedding.  My in-laws gave us seventy-five dollars to put towards a crib and we found one for a little more than that at JC Penney.  Everything else we received for our first baby, we were given at two small baby showers and thank God, there were no registries.  My mother and mother-in-law, seasoned aunts, grandmothers, and friends and sisters and a host of other relatives chose what they knew we needed. And just like the crib, I still have quite a few of those wonderful gifts.

Back then there were no Targets in our area, no Babies R Us, if Pottery Barn Kids or any designer brand name baby gear stores existed, I didn't know of them, nor would they have held any possibility for me either.  I had a short list I had typed (on a real live typewriter) gleaned from the pages of a baby book and checked off till I felt prepared.  

Fast forward eighteen years, when I'm expecting my sixth.  I walk into Babies R Us to get a few things and walked out empty-handed and overwhelmed and more than a little annoyed.  The choices! So many things marked as necessities!  So many bottles and formulas and infant feeding mechanisms! So many different seats and chairs and things with batteries and lights and sounds and motion!  The costs!    One thousand dollars for a stroller?  Three hundred dollars for a stroller? Unbelievable, I thought.  A new mom could easily be led to believe that she must spend or receive thousands of dollars worth of items to provide properly for her new baby.

I know that a baby needs some things.  Every mother has a list of necessities to take care of baby best with, and has since the beginning of time.  I had to fill in supplies here and there with each baby-it's fun to 'nest'!  But I can't imagine that moms who aren't yet "in the know" of what is truly needed, feel overwhelmed and pressured to provide their baby with all sorts of expensive items. Have baby supplies joined the ranks of clothes and cars and jewelry functioning as status symbols of wealth?  Have we invented hundreds of ways to not have to hold, or soothe, or touch, or carry, or care for, or feed our babies?  Are we trading acquiring things for time with our little ones?  It seems crazy to me.    

I think today new moms, more than ever, need to step away from this insanity and think.  

Our babies need us.  A baby needs his or her mother more than anyone or anything else.  We should be first on that list.  A baby needs the perfect, unequaled food that nature has provided our bodies with to help that baby grow and thrive.  That's free and requires no man-made equipment.  That baby needs our arms for holding, it needs our warmth, our scent, our adoration and tenderness.  Free again. 

No one can adequately take our place, and unless it means starvation or lack of basic shelter for our baby, there isn't much worth leaving our tiny, innocent, helpless babies for.  We have naturally designed intertwined instincts and chemical reactions towards our babies-we are designed to be good mothers, and if we stay connected, and trust these instincts, we will be able to take care of our babies well.  Staying connected means staying close in proximity, creating a bond that we don't allow to be broken for worldly things and cultural trends.  It means that we do the bulk of care, and a strong knowing bond will result from that care.

To simplify, there are very few material things to acquire for a baby that are more important than our time spent nurturing and caring for him or her.  I want to hang that on a big banner and drape it across the entrance of every baby super store in America.

The old crib went up in the attic.  It will most likely be deemed grossly inadequate and terribly unsafe one day and meet the garbage dump, but I will let someone else make that call, hopefully when I'm long gone, and save myself the heartbreak.  I have to laugh at my sentimentality and remind myself that nary a baby of mine slept a night in that thing anyways.  I recognize it for what it really means to me-the beginning of the journey of motherhood and marriage, how quickly time flies, how being open to life for two decades has blessed me in ways I will forever marvel at...and alas, of course, how "babies don't keep". 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Baby Basics

I am writing this because I recently attended a shower and it got me to thinking about baby essentials.   If I could choose only 10 things to make it from birth to 6 months what would I choose?  What did I use the most?

Here's my list:
1. Swaddling blankets.  I am a huge fan of swaddling.  Especially after reading this book.  I can't pass an unswaddled baby without having my hands get all itchy.  And I know there are lots of fancy swaddling blankets out there now, but my absolute favorites are waffle weave blankets.  They are stretchy and light enough to get those babies all tucked in. They wash up nice and soft and guess what?  They are cheap!

My other favorite are the blankets my sister-in-law Julie gave me for my last two...cable knit cotton.  You still get that nice stretch factor and for winter babies, that added warmth.  Patrick still loves his.

I also loved the muslin blankets for Janey.

2. Pacifiers.  I had one baby that wouldn't take one, and it just about did me in.  Being a human pacifier is no fun.  I'll pay the orthodontia bill later, it's worth every cent to me.

3. A sling carrier.  (That's my 16 year old Isaac in there. Sob.)

4 . Good old cloth diapers for burping and and handy on the changing table too.  I like the old-fashioned kind because my mom used these for diapers.  The diaper man would come and pick up the icky-smelly ones and leave the ones that smelled so divine I will remember that scent forever.

5. I wore out (maybe one or two was "accidentaly" popped by a child?) 4 exercise balls bouncing fussy/colicky babies.  I couldn't live without one.  It beats walking the halls. 
6. I love Dr. Sears and have a well worn copy of The Baby Book.  I think he is the father of Attachment Parenting, before Attachment Parenting was something you were supposed to capitalize.

7. I had fun dressing my first and second baby in all sorts of cute things.  When I had my third and didn't have time for fussy clothes, or matching outfits, I decided that I loved a pair of clean Carters terry pj's and that's what my babies wore the majority of their days and nights.  It made things simple, and cuddly.  

8. A monitor.  I'd be a nervous Nellie without one.  

9.  An exersaucer thingy.  Anything to be entertained, upright and looking around, while I did all the stuff I had to do.  I would have loved to have one of those little bumpo seats everyone gets now...they are much cuter and don't take up so much space.

10. A good nursing bra.  Maybe that should have been #1.  You'll have to pay a pretty penny for it, but finding one you like is worth every cent.   There is no photo to go with this one.  That would be weird.

What did I miss that would be in your #10?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

My Thoughts on Breastfeeding

Here's some tips I've learned after nursing six babies:
1. I read so much before I had Isaac.  (Dr. Sears' book on breastfeeding).  I loved knowing what to expect (somewhat)...I was glad I had the  knowledge and basics already, and didn't have to rely on other's opinions.  (Not that others don't have great advice, but some of it was wrong and I'm glad I knew the basics.)

2. Boys are hungry.  I fed my boys every two hours and that two hours begins at the start of nursing!  This slowed down as they got older for sure but I tell mothers of boys to be prepared for a lot of feeding time.

3. I learned how to nurse in bed, laying on my side.  God Almighty, I'd be dead of sleep deprivation if I didn't do this.  I thank a sweet nurse at the hospital with my first baby who taught me the importance of learning that little trick.

4. Remember it only gets easier!  So many moms stop at 4 or 5 months and once they start solids at 6 or 7 months, the feedings really ease up and become so predictable.

5. I keep a schedule of nursings in the very early months.  Not so I can keep the baby on a strict schedule, but so I felt some order and predictability to my life.  Those are two words that I thrive on, and if I find myself not keeping track it feels like I'm a fish swimming upstream.  Just by writing down what time I started nursing, I knew what to anticipate and could predict a little rhythm to my days.

6. On frustrating days, I reminded myself of the benefits.  I remember googlin '100 reasons to breastfeed', to get a little boost of encouragement!  I know it was really hard for me sometimes when I felt fat, and frumpy and I was the one who had to leave book club early.

7. Lactation consultant are awesome.  I learned that almost every problem in surmountable...sore nipples, low milk supply, latching on issues.  There are SO many people who will be willing to help now!

. Pacifiers are a nursing mother's best friend.  Yes, in the beginning I was careful to not use a pacifier in place of nursing when they are hungry or you will mess with your milk supply, but once we would get going, it helped me not become a human-pacifier. (But I had two babies who didn't take them and I survived.)

9. Growth spurts are real and lead to massive feeding frenzies.  I swear one day I nursed one of my little boys it seemed like ALL day.  Crazy.  This is how they regulate your milk supply and when they are growing so fast their needs change. 

10. Finding a good nursing bra was key.  Especially if you are like me and get Pamela boobs and don't appreciate the added weight, pain and cleavage.  I have used the Leading Lady brand that I found on-line, and keep some Target cheapies for night-time.