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Must-have Baby Clothing and Attire

I’m lucky enough to have friends and family who are willing to lend me their baby clothes and gear, but I still had to purchase a lot of items if the season wasn’t right or there was just a need for more of one thing. Here are some essential items I ended up needing for Baby Pencil, months 0-12 months.

must have baby attire

1) Sleep and Play footed onesies from Carters

Baby Pencil lived in these from months 0-4! It’s not like we had anywhere to go, so he basically slept and wore one thing all day long. I loved the zip up ones, but I realized that the ones with snaps had a softer material. I consider Carters equivalent to Forever 21. Their sizes and materials are so inconsistent! I highly recommend purchasing in the store versus online because I’ve received some awkward sizes and material.

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Sweet P at 2 Months

Well, the second month of Sweet P’s life was a lot harder than the first. By the end of her second month it seemed like we were in full-on colic and reflux. Not fun for anyone. Although pediatricians don’t seem to diagnose colic (in our pediatrician’s case, I think it’s because there’s nothing he can do about it), we definitely had at least 3 hours of screaming at least 3 days a week for more than 3 weeks in a row. I mentioned in her 1-month update that she didn’t sleep well from about 5pm-11pm, and in her second month many nights that fussiness extended to 2am! So, needless to say we’ve been exhausted around here. BUT, in the past couple of weeks we have tried several things to help, including starting Zantac and having a tongue and lip tie release, so we’re hoping we start to see some improvements in the near future!

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Weight & Length: Despite her reflux, this girl is not having issues gaining weight! At her 2 month appointment she weighed 10lbs 4oz, which was almost twice her birth weight! She was in the 30th percentile for weight, which we never saw with Little P, so we’re new to any area above the 5th percentile on the growth charts. She was 21″ long, which is closer to the 5th percentile, so we have lots of cute, chubby rolls.

Sleeping: I already talked about this in the introduction, but honestly, she sleeps pretty well except for that 5pm-midnight (or so) stretch. We follow the Baby Whisperer method of cycles of Eat, Activity, Sleep and thankfully that has provided for a fairly predictable schedule during the day. After eating and some “play time” she will usually sleep in stretches of 1.5-2 hours or so during the day (very often waking up at the 45 minute mark and either letting me soothe her back to sleep or just starting a new cycle again), and then after she finally falls asleep for the night (between 10pm and midnight usually, but sometimes later) she will sleep at least 5 hours straight, which is a blessing after that difficult late evening time! She does sleep in the Rock and Play due to her reflux and I don’t foresee us transitioning until we have her reflux more under control.

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Probiotics & Boosting Immunity

For the first two years of Miss H’s life, she was cared for by a nanny with one other little girl who was around her age. During that time, she only got sick with a few run-of-the-mill colds and a bout of Hand, Food, Mouth Disease.

Right when she turned two years old we started her in a daycare program, which had me cringing as I thought about all of the germs she would be exposed to by being around so many kids her age. Obviously the importance of socialization and learning trumped my fear of germs, but I was still not looking forward to the endless sicknesses that were going to sweep through our home.

That’s when some friends recommended giving Miss H probiotics. Not only can probiotics help with digestion issues, there have been many studies that have linked the use of probiotics to boosting immunity. So, right when Miss H started daycare we also started with probiotics. We opted to use Culturelle’s kids probiotics, which is a powder that we mix into Miss H’s milk each morning.

Culturelle

As Miss H started daycare in the spring, we had missed the worst of the cold and flu season. So over the first 6-7 months of daycare she came down with a few colds – nothing serious and nothing that required a trip to the doctor.

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A Bittersweet Goodbye to Breastfeeding

I’ll be completely honest with you here – I was not one of those moms who was in love with breastfeeding. I didn’t feel some crazy bond, it wasn’t the most wonderful feeling in the world, and for me it was more about keeping my kid fed, healthy, and growing than anything else.

But slowly, over the 13 months that Jackson nursed, I grew to love it a little bit.

We had a very rocky start, breastfeeding and I. Jackson was a good nurser from the beginning but my body just didn’t take well to it. I was in constant pain for the first 5 months of his life; I had shooting pains in one of my breasts that were completely debilitating, and I had about 3 months of near-constant plugged ducts. It never developed into mastitis (and I spoke with and visited many doctors!) and there was no official diagnosis for what I had, but it was an all-around pretty terrible experience for a while there. But I powered through. Partially because I wanted to continue providing breast milk for my baby, but mostly because I’m stubborn and if I was going to quit it was going to be on my terms.

After Jackson turned 6 months old, the issues slowly started to fade. The shooting pain slowly went away (without me ever finding an explanation for it), the plugged ducts appeared further and further apart, and I was finally able to take some time to appreciate all the extra snuggles and bonding that breastfeeding provides.

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The early days of breastfeeding. Our dog loved snuggling up to him while he nursed!

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Author Spotlight: Sandra Boynton

by: Mrs. Carrot

“A cow says…”

“Moo!”

“A sheep says…”

“Baa!”

“Three singing pigs say la-la-la.”

“No no no!” (*insert an insistently wagging little finger here*)

This dialogue was one of the first Baby Carrot ever had – a huge milestone in her verbal and social development somewhere around her first birthday that we owe largely to frequent readings of Moo, Baa, La La La! by Sandra Boynton. Having grown up outside the U.S., I had little familiarity with baby books, and as I began to build Baby C’s library, Sandra Boynton’s vast collection of board books featuring short, catchy rhymes and silly animals were on nearly everyone’s recommendation list.

Moo, Baa, La La La! holds a special place in our hearts because it was the first book we read to Baby C after bringing her home from the hospital, and it remains one of our favorites to this day, but over the past 20 months, a number of other Boynton books have made their way into our regular reading repertoire. It would make for too long a blog post to spotlight all of Boynton’s books – there are over 50 and counting! – but Baby C insists that these are must haves for everyone’s bookshelf.

sandra boynton

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Gender Neutral Parenting Fail

I like to think of myself as a feminist and a pretty progressive person in general. I try to give my boys lots of options, and have always tried to avoid steering them one way or the other based on their gender. They have a toy kitchen and a dollhouse that they love, even though Mr. T insists on calling it a “playhouse” with “people” instead of dolls. K’s favorite color has always been purple –  it was the first color he could identify, starting from younger than 1yo! Anything that he colors at school always comes home completely purple. We were in Target the other day when he spotted these shoes and got so excited and demanded that we get them for him.

I said something I’ve always said I never would — “K, those are for girls!”

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From Target

It took him aback. My teenage SIL has said that to him before when he’s wanted to enter the “girls’ toys” section of stores, but I’ve always corrected her saying that toys are for everyone.

Oddly enough, after a moment to process, K accepted my response. What broke my heart was that the for the rest of the Target run he would continually ask me if X was for boys or girls – X being toys, food, appliances, blankets… I tried to say that X was for everyone, boys and girls, but he would press me for a specific answer. It’s almost like he suddenly discovered that boys and girls don’t (or can’t? or shouldn’t?) like the same things.

Thinking back on that moment, I know I should have treated those shoes just like every other random thing he asks for while we’re out and about, with a simple, “K, we don’t need that!” That moment has stuck in my mind, while I hope K has already forgotten it forever.

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It’s All About that Itch

Eczema, or as I like to call it the “Dreaded E,” I’ve had to deal with it for years now, but thankfully the little guys only get the occasional patch under their knees or on the bends of their inner arms. Because managing my own eczema is almost as much a part of my life as brushing my teeth, I’m able to recognize it and clear it up in a jiffy.

This Checklist and Mrs. Juice posted some great tips a while ago but, because every person’s skin is unique here are a few things that help prevent or soothe the that itch around our house:

treating eczema

1. Aveeno Baby Daily Lotion – Slather on immediately after bath. I even use this on my face. I love this stuff because unlike petroleum based products it really absorbs. There is no need to get the more expensive the Aveeno Eczema Therapy product. I’ve tried it and didn’t like it as well – strange, but true

2. Cetaphil Cleanser or Cerave Hydrating Cleanser – I use this on my face and on the boys’ entire body in the bath. It is a bubble-less bummer, but it works. My Grandma actually used Cetaphil for years and she had gorgeous skin. On good skin days, or especially smelly days, I use Aveeno Baby Soothing Relief Creamy Wash (http://www.aveeno.com/product/aveeno-+baby+soothing+relief+creamy+wash+.do) on the boys.

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