lots of stuff baby

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I have been spending some time recently putting together baby stuff all in one place so I have easy access to it. :-) Paul and I decided on a special Bible verse that we’re using for this baby and the nursery, etc.:

“He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young.”
– Isaiah 40:11

Perhaps we’ll also give Sparkleberry her own special verse when she’s born, to keep with her as she grows up. I like that idea, don’t you? We’ll have to ponder that. This verse speaks to us as we’re becoming parents, which is scary in and of itself but combine that with general fears about the economy and our nation, and the nations around us. It’s a comforting verse I think. And it mentions lambs.

For those who are interested, I made a website for baby updates! You can get to it by clicking the “Baby Sparkleberry” link on the right. I’ve included the basic information about the baby, as well as links to blog posts and also my Flickr photo album. This might be more interesting once Sparkleberry is born. ;-) For those of you who like those countdown/tickers, I included one at the end of the the page that I found recently and really like. It’s too big for my sidebar but it looks nice there.

Another thing I included was links to our registries! I have been working the past few days on getting them to a more realistic level. Before, I went to the store and scanned anything I liked. Now, I’ve removed the stuff that’s cute but impractical. :-p I’ve done a lot of reading of reviews and I hope I’ve picked the right brands! It’s hard to know what I’m going to need and what my baby is going to like. I emailed 5 friends who have kids and asked their advice, which really helped. I’ve actually combined all five of their emails into one blog post! :-) So that will come later, if you’re interested in seeing what they thought.

I have a few questions for my mommy readers out there! :-)
Slings: I know I want to try a sling. I know there’s a lot out there. So, where do I start? Should I have several different kinds before the baby’s here? Should I have one and then get more as the baby grows? What kinds are good and what makes them different from other slings? How do I avoid getting a sling that is bad for the baby’s posture and/or bad for mommy’s back? What can I get for Paul to carry the baby around?
Strollers: I registered for a car seat. It also has a stroller that it can snap into. Is it a good idea to get that? Or should I get a more compact (and cheaper!) umbrella stroller, and only have that? Some of the online reviews said that umbrella strollers weren’t good for more than short walks. Would perhaps an umbrella stroller + a jogging stroller be good for us?
Thermometers: One friend told me to be sure to get an under-the-arm thermometer. Then I read something else that said the most accurate/reliable is the in-your-ear kind. Then I did a google search and another site told me that rectal thermometers are the most accurate. And of course I see all sorts of ones at the stores that are essentially thermometers in pacifiers. So, who is right? Which is the most accurate? Which should I get?
Bottles: I’m planning to breastfeed, but I wonder if it would be a good idea to have some bottles and a breast pump. I am thinking of for things like Sunday School, church, and Bible Study. I might end up choosing to always having the baby with me, but also knowing myself I can see myself wanting a break. :-) Any ideas for basic baby bottles that might be good for this purpose? Would a manual pump be enough, or should I spring for a nicer one? I have no idea how often I will use it – could be not at all, could be weekly.

Okay that’s all for now. My mom says I think about things too much. :-)


13 thoughts on “lots of stuff baby

  1. Slings: I wish you lived close! I have a bunch of different kinds and I’d let you borrow some and try them out before you decided what to buy. Have you been to:
    http://www.thebabywearer.com/forum/

    It’s kind of overwhelming but tons of info and they have FSOT forums where you can find some good deals on used slings. My personal favorites for newborns are a stretchy wrap like a moby and a ring sling. Something like the ergo is really easy to use and great for back carries when your baby is older (and heavier), but not as good for newborn snuggles IMO (though not impossible either).

    Carriers are really one of those things that depends so much on what works for you and the baby. You might want to check around on the babywearer and see if there is a babywearing group in your area and you might be able to try out some different slings and see if there is something you like or seems right to you before buying.

    stroller: we had the big stroller that the carseat snaps into and it was a pain. They are so big and clunky. We got rid of it and got an umbrella stroller that we *love*. We have never been much of a stroller family, but when we wanted one I loved having one that was so lightweight I could carry it in one hand. Umbrella strollers don’t really work until your baby can sit up on her own though since they don’t recline (unless they make ones that recline now?). But for 6months or so up they are great IMO.

    thermometers: we got a rectal thermometer and we have never had to use it, not in 3 years. *shrug* I guess we’re lucky?

    bottles: I got an avent manual pump and avent bottles. Pumping didn’t work out for me. I responded horribly to the pump and even tried an electric one for a while but wound up selling it because I would pump for around 40 minutes and get 1 oz. It just wasn’t worth it for me. This is another one of those things that just depends so much on the individual. Some people respond great to the pump and can pump 4oz or more in one sitting! I will say that you should definitely know that how much you pump has NOTHING to do with how much milk you are actually making. So if you don’t respond well to a pump do not think that means you don’t make enough milk. Josh’s first year of pictures should prove that since he was chubby chubby chubby and I responded horribly to the pump.

  2. As far as slings….I have a Moby wrap (actually 2 of them) and love it! You can wrap the baby to you in so many different ways….it grows with her too.

    Strollers…I have a few different ones. When I was pregnant with my first I knew we wanted to have all of ours close together so I skipped buying a single stroller and got a double that worked with the carseat I had. LOVE it and the extra space came in handy before #2 arrived. I do have some hand-me-down strollers from my sister and an umbrella one that was a gift at my shower. Whatever you end up having you’ll use, just don’t shell out a huge amount of money for one.

    Thermometers…I’m STILL working on this one. I have an ear one…didn’t really work well, I have the underarm AND a temple one. I hate them all. I mostly use my hand LOL.

    Bottles….GLASS! GLASS and GLASS! I pumped a lot with my first baby and frozen it (had 100 ounces when I left NH and moved lol) once in a while he had a breastmilk bottle and I use glass. Can’t go wrong with it. Washes well in the dishwasher and doesn’t have bpa and other junk in them!

  3. I obviously can’t give you any advice on any of this, but I don’t think you’re over-thinking anything! Heck, I’VE thought about some of the things you’ve mentioned (probably in more theoretical terms, though) and there isn’t a baby in our immediate future!

    As a side note, I came really close to calling you last weekend when I was at a garage sale and saw a baby carrier similar to an ergo for really cheap. I was with a friend who thought it was weird I was looking at baby stuff, though, so I didn’t. :-P

  4. I have a homemade sling based on the Maya wrap, which both Maddie and I really love. I used a neutral green color, so Stu doesn’t mind wearing it either. I definitely recommend that brand, and they are far less expensive than Ergo if you buy one new. I have a homemade Moby-style wrap, if you would be interested in having that. I never use it.

    We happen to really like our stroller, which is the kind that the carseat snaps into. It is really bulky, though, and we don’t use it that often since Maddie is usually in the sling when we grocery shop, etc.

    I’ve never used a manual pump, so I can’t speak about those. An electric one may not be cost effective for you, though, since they are really expensive and you may not use it much. I do love it, though, and I haven’t had any trouble pumping with it. Mine’s a Playtex. I do really like the Playtex bottle drop-in system as well. Actually, I have a whole bunch of extra never-been-used nipples and I have too many bottles (though they’ve been used), so if you go that route you’re welcome to them!

    I definitely don’t think you’re crazy for research baby stuff so much. I did, too, and I had a lot of fun doing it! A lot of things you’ll just figure out as the baby grows and you’ll discover what’s best for both of you.

  5. Ear thermometers are the most convenient, but notoriously inaccurate. Rectal are the most accurate, but not recommended for home use. Under-the-arm is the best combination of reasonably accurate and safe.

    Umbrella strollers can’t be used until Sparkleberry is 6 months, so you definitely want another option, either one where the carseat snaps in (so convenient) or one with a completely reclining option.

    And I’m sure this is repeat info from previous comments. But I had to skim, as Hans just went down for a nap, and I need to cut out your baby present while he’s down ;-). I just hopped on for a few minutes to check blogs. Coincidental reading your post here. . . Hehe.

  6. ok. a different opinion for a different person. i don’t know how you’re going to make sense of all these differences he he.

    We love our umbrella, we started using it when Caylee was about 4 months. I actually had put her in it earlier than that for a few minutes at a time. I do believe they make ones similar to umbrella strollers that recline. They are a little bigger though I think.

    The pump will depend on how much you plan on using it. I had a manual one and couldn’t get anything out, I have a Medela Pump in style that works awesome. However, they are expensive. mine was given to me between Lexi and Caylee, I borrowed someone’s when I needed it for Lexi. However, I have had to pump and bottle feed with both girls while they were little, to different extents, so it gets used a lot. I’ve discovered these bottles that are made to look more like woman’s “you know” They are called adiri natural nurser. I have some, but haven’t used them yet.
    As far as thermometers, yah I have no clue. we use one that can go under the arm or in the mouth, the important thing to remember is that if you use it under the arm you have to add a degree for it to be accurate.

    and slings? I think we have had that discussion, so I’ll let others tell you their opinions. :)

  7. As far as slings go, even though it was a little expensive (but still less than any others), I bought an ergo baby carrier. It’s been wonderful (I tried others that hurt my back, but I have had back problems). It can be used on the front or the back; I still go on walks with Jeremiah and use it (in spite of having a preggy belly!). It also has a head cover that snaps closed to use as protection or for when the baby falls asleep (so her/his head doesn’t hang back) and a pocket to hold keys, etc. Jeremiah spent many nights in the carrier with daddy when he couldn’t sleep. He pretty much lived in this carrier as an infant. It’s also super easy to put on (we have to put him in/out quickly in the airport).
    As far as thermometers go, I have one that could be used for rectal, arm, or mouth (though once we made it rectal, we didn’t use it on the mouth). It has a small end and then an inch or so down becomes really wide so you don’t accidentally stick it in too far. It’s been pretty easy to use for us!

  8. Susan said what I was going to say about thermometers. I put my oral one under the arm and add a degree (I think that is what they taught me in nursing school. I forget…). Most of the time I use my lips (kiss their forehead). Your lips are very sensitive and can detect if the forehead feels warm. :-)

  9. Strollers: Umbrella strollers are for babies who can sit up only. Also, they do not have high weight limits. Finally, you must be more alert around an umbrella stroller as they tip more easily.

    Thermometers: A regular digital thermometer can be put under the arm, between the cheeks (though mark it and keep it separate!) or under the tongue. Besides, if the temp is above 100, you will go to the doctor anyway! There’ll you’ll get the most accurate reading. :)

    Bottles: I have some for you so you don’t need to buy any unless you want to try a different kind. I have a manual pump and kinda wish I got an electric one even though I nurse. I got very discouraged with my manual pump and usually end up doing things around Elijah’s schedule so I can nurse him! Pumping is also helpful in other situations, such as engorgement (but only so much pumping in this case), clogged ducts, quick let down, impatient eater, etc.

    P.S. LOVE the verse! Elijah has a book with that verse in it. I am going to try to find a new one for you.

  10. I love the verse! And I love the idea of giving one to each child. Maybe I should do that!

    Slings: I love love love love my Baby K’Tan. It’s useable in a variety of holds and it’s good for several sizes. It’s SO easy to put on, seriously. I have a maya ring sling and I never could quite get the hang of it. Maybe later we can make it work.

    Stroller: You can get those basic stroller frames for the seat to snap on to. It’s not the ‘travel system’ bulky stroller that normally comes with the infant seat. Might be an option. We don’t yet have a stroller but I’m in the market for a good umbrella style.

    Thermometer: We got one ‘free’ from the hospital. I have yet to use it.

    Pump: Maybe you could borrow a pump/bottles from a pal until you’re sure you do or do not need it. I had an electric pump for awhile but never used it (ok, used it a few times for curiosity’s sake, but it wasn’t necessary). So I returned it to the owner.

    I’m going to borrow another friend’s manual pump in a few weeks to build up a supply as I’m having surgery and will need to have an alternative way for Jboy to eat. We’re gunna put the milk in a sippy cup with a soft spout rather than a bottle. I tested it already and he does well with it.

    I’ve tried manual expressing and I’m actually getting pretty good at it. I honestly might be more efficient than a manual pump at this point!

    Finally, yay for you for researching and asking opinions and things! I am confident that you’ll get all that you need for your baby. If you discover you need something after she’s born, you can get it! No big deal.

  11. Slings… I love the Ergo! It is expensive, but quick, comfy, and useful. But not for an infant. I got the infant insert for the Ergo and did not like it. So until baby can hold her head up, I liked the Moby. The Moby can also be used for bigger kids, but I find the Ergo alot easier. I found a very small baby boutique that had various slings I could try on… that might be an option you should look into.
    Strollers… We only got a nice umbrella type stroller. And since baby was 4 months, we’ve put him in it a few times, though with a car seat insert to help him sit up. However, I haven’t felt the need for a stroller, which is why I didn’t want to bother with the bulky car seat snap in ones. Think through what you think your stroller needs might be. Maybe you will be wearing your baby and won’t really need a stroller until baby can sit.
    Pumps… I just have a manual one that I use occasionally if I have some discomfort or know that baby will need to take a bottle for some reason. If I was pumping on a regular basis, I would get a better one. For the first couple of weeks after my milk came in, I had lots extra, so I pumped fairly easily with the manual and built up a storage in the freezer. I think you can probably wait until after baby is born to get a pump.
    Thermometer… I just use a digital under the arm.
    Those are my thoughts! Good luck figuring out what works for you and your family, because that truly is the most important thing!!

  12. Slings: I’ve only had two – the Maya wrap and the Moby wrap. The Maya is my favorite because of ease of use and versaility. The Moby is nicer for longer uses, as it uses both shoulders. But you can’t put it on in the parking lot or in Wal-Mart b/c it’s essentially a really, really long piece of fabric that’s going to touch the floor/ground. Ew. So from my experience, I say go Maya right now and then look into others later. And Paul can use the sling, too. :-P It used to be the only way Josh could put O to sleep!

    Strollers: We have the travel system and it’s come in handy. We actually didn’t get out first umbrella stroller until Christmas this year. They’re not good for infants who can’t hole their heads up. We got a double jogging stroller after B was born so we could go running (inStep). I’d say wait on the umbrella stroller, definitely. It’s a toss-up whether you should get the travel system or the jogging stroller. The jogger would be better for all the camping you guys tend to do, but really, a sling is best for hiking!! The travel system folds up smaller so it’ll fit in your trunk better… AND you can transfer carseat to stroller w/o waking baby. Those are the plusses and minusses. I won’t tell you what to get.

    Thermometers: We’ve never taken a rectal temperature. With Olivia, we always did under-the-arm w/ a digital thermometer that was actually intended for babies – it only took 10 seconds. That part was NICE. You have to add a degree for that method. With Benjamin, I’m not sure if we’ve ever taken his temperature. We kiss him on the forehead and go, “oh, my, you’re hot. TYLENOL.” The kiss-test works really well for us. But you need experience for that… :-P

    Bottles: Unless you plan to pump daily, I don’t think it’s worth a $300 Medela pump. I actually DID pump daily for a year w/ O. Just once a day. In the girl’s bathroom at the school I taught at. But I used two Avent hand pumps. I knew it wasn’t long-term, I only worked half-days, only had to pump once-a-day… and that got me through. :-P I like Avent because of how nicely everything goes together. The pump attaches directly to the bottles (which come BPA-free now), and you can buy sippy spouts to attach to the bottle tops and you’re set for life. Plus, it’s a quality pump. Back when I researched it, it was one of the top ones.

    Oh, and I did try a Medela, actually bought one. But I couldn’t get near as much milk. I called to see what I was doing wrong and the representative told me it could take up to two weeks for my body to adjust to the rhythm of the pump. I knew I wouldn’t be using it on weekends, spring break, Christmas break… and I wasn’t willing to pump empty bottles for two weeks upon returning to school, so I took it back to the store.

  13. Hey Ashley! Like I told you the other day (which i am saying here in case others don’t know!), call your insurance company to see if they cover breast pumps!! Some do–mine did!! It’s considered “durable medical equipment” and requires a prescription from your doctor (easy to get!!). I paid $25 for a top of the line Medela–which worked VERY well. So, anyone out there who hasn’t called their insurance company might want to give that a shot!!

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