A Pandemic Baby

With the Covid-19 pandemic spreading chaos all over, hospitals have instituted very strict rules about who is allow inside the building, when they are allowed, and for how long.

woman carrying baby
Photo by Jonathan Borba on Pexels.com

These precautions are, of course, necessary for keeping our health care providers as safe as possible and limiting the exposure of high-risk patients to the potentially deadly virus.

That being said, if you are 38.5 weeks pregnant, like I am, this is a very difficult time for you. I will be heading into the hospital for a scheduled and medically necessary cesarean amidst all of this pandemic craziness.

Not only does this mean walking into the belly of the beast, as my hospital is currently treating several Corona virus patients, it means doing it without the support of my family.

I will be allowed to have my husband with me during my surgery and he will be the only person allowed to visit baby and I. Our other children, including our 22-month-old, will not be allowed into the hospital.

For our family, this is a huge hit. We are very close, and our baby girl has never been apart from us for more than a workday. The idea that I will be unable to hold and comfort my daughter for 3 to 4 days while I am in recovery is devastating to me.

It also places the burden of single parenthood onto my husband for the time that I am sequestered in my hospital room. It will fall on his shoulders to comfort our baby girl and reassure her that mommy will be back.

He, alone, will have to deal with our elaborate night-time routine. While I, alone, will have to work on healing while caring for a newborn.

We will get through it, because we must, but it will mar this occasion in our lives.

We will not think back on the birth of this child with the same fond memories as the last one. Instead, we will reminisce about the difficult times we had and *hopefully* how we pulled together as a family to get through them.

Please, be safe everyone!

Quick Thoughts: Mama, Mommy, Mom

You may have seen the Internet memes that say:

“No one prepares you for how hard it is to go from Mama, to Mommy, to Mom”

It’s true. I have children ranging in age from 16 to not yet born. It seems like just yesterday my son was a little toddler, waddling around the house yelling “Mamamamamama.”

Now, it’s more like “Moooommmmmm, what’s up with the wifi!”

The time passed so quickly.

What is the difference between 30 and 34 years old…nothing. You barely notice those years going by.

But from 1 to 5 years old, my goodness. Walking, talking, going to school…it is bonafide miracle to witness.

 

Sleep training after co-sleeping

IMG_4610For the purposes of this article, there are two types of parents.

The first type, they were blessed with babies who slept through the night at 3 or 6 months. We are very happy for this group.

Then there is the other group. The rest of us. The moms and dads out here with 1 and 2-year-old babies who still wake up throughout the night. The parents of colic babies.

This article is for us, the “other group,” the tired masses of zombie parents.

IMG_3814Sleep training is a hotly debated topic amongst parents and pediatricians alike. My own pediatrician recommends the Ferber method, which involves laying baby down to bed and checking on the baby at regular intervals, but not picking baby up.

As a co-sleeping advocate, I do not subscribe to the Ferber, or Cry-it-out methods, or any method that forbids me from comforting baby or that has me making drastic changes to our normal bedtime routine.

I have handled both of my children differently. What worked for my son has not worked for my daughter, and why would it? I believe that each child is different, with unique personalities. It is up to us as parents to figure out what works best for our individual children.

For my son, I used a version of the Fading Out method. I started when he was 18 months old. Step one was laying down with him in his toddler bed. I did this for maybe a week. Then, I would sit on the floor right next to his bed until he fell asleep. This meant rubbing his back and putting him back in his bed over and over again for another week or so.

When he could fall asleep without me laying with him, just touching his back, I started to just sit with him near his bed and not touch him. After a week or so of success, I started lying him down and standing by the door. That progressed to laying him down and then leaving the room.77EB8A85-D62A-4ADF-9A07-A6E0EB9C1B09

It took at least 5 months to get to that point and sometimes I would still have to put him back in his bed multiple times a night.

With my daughter, I am starting the process a lot earlier. We got her a co-sleeper bed at 10 months old. She is right next to our bed with just a small bumper between us. It is high enough that she cannot roll onto our bed, but low enough that she can easily crawl over it.

I started out transferring her to the co-sleeper after she was asleep. She would wake up in the co-sleeper and crawl back to me. I would nurse her and when she fell back to sleep, I would put her back in the co-sleeper.

After a few weeks, she would allow me to put her in the co-sleeper before she was fully asleep as long as I was touching her. It took my daughter only about a month before she started to prefer to sleep in the co-sleeper bed. Now, after she nurses, she crawls back to into her own bed.

Once she is no longer nursing through the night, I will move her to a regular crib away from my bed. Then, eventually, to her own room.

The key to any method is patience and consistency. Some kids take longer than others, and some nights will be harder than others. Just keep at it and remember that it is a short time in a big life.

Ten Awesome 1st Birthday Gifts Under $50

Babe Fairy Jumping Dino with Pump

Babe Fairy Jumping Dino with Pump

This inflatable dinosaur is great for bouncing on and tumbling with. It comes with its own pump to make inflating easy.

Baby Bath Bubble Toy

Baby Bath Bubble Toy

Make bath time extra fun with a bubble making crab. The crab comes with baby safe bubble solution.

Fisher-Price FWG12 Game and Learn Controller

Fisher-Price FWG12 Game and Learn Controller

If you have a gamer-to-be in the family, this is the toy for you. The toy lights up and signs when buttons are pushed.

Hape Pound & Tap Bench with Slide Out Xylophone

Hape Pound & Tap Bench with Slide Out Xylophone

What baby doesn’t love to make noise and bang on things. The xylophone slides out for hours of fun.

LALABABY 26 Letters Cloth Card with Cloth Bag Early Education Toy

LALABABY 26 Letters Cloth Card with Cloth Bag Early Education Toy

Get a jump on the ABCs with cloth alphabet cards. The cards come with a soft case to keep everything together.

LeapFrog Learn & Groove Musical Table

LeapFrog Learn & Groove Musical Table

The learn and grove table has a little something for every baby. Shapes, sounds, and colors are all part of the fun.

LeapFrog Scoop & Learn Ice Cream Cart

LeapFrog Scoop & Learn Ice Cream Cart

The ice cream cart comes with mix and match “ice cream” and “cones.” Baby can also use the cart as a walker.

VTech Busy Learners Activity Cube

VTech Busy Learners Activity Cube

Activity cube is small enough for baby to handle on his or her own, with different activities on each side to keep baby busy.

VTech Rhyme and Discover Book

VTech Rhyme and Discover Book

It is never too early to baby interested in reading. The discovery book adds lights and sounds to help keep baby engaged.

VTech Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker

VTech Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker

The sit-to-stand converts from a carry along toy to a walking toy, so you can play at home or on the go.

 

5 Inexpensive Must-Have Baby Toys

In the interest of honesty, I will start out by saying that my baby’s favorite toy right now is a plastic spaghetti scooper. That notwithstanding, these are some of our favorite baby and toddler items.
Spaghetti
Click the product photos below for more information about each item.

  • Wrist Band and Sock Toys

When babies are small, they can’t really hold on to things too well, but that doesn’t stop them from wanting to hold things. These little soft toys strap onto their wrist and slide onto their feet. My baby pulled the socks off after a short period of time, but until then, she was entertained by them.


  • Baby Links


I use these things to attach all sorts of toys to the stroller, the car seat, even the walker. They are safe for baby girl to chew on, and they keep her toys from falling onto the floor and getting lost.

 

  • Small Textured Balls


Aside from the spaghetti scooper, these are baby girl’s favorite toys. She chews on the spikey one and throws the others around the living room. They are big enough that they can’t fit in her mouth, but small enough that they fit in her hand.

  • Xylophone Music Table


There is just something about banging and making noise that babies love. It is loud, but baby girl loves it. She continues to go back to this toy over and over again.

  • Teether / Pacifier Clip

While not technically a toy, baby girl chews on this thing constantly. We never go to a public place without it. It keeps her pacifier safe and close by, while also serving as a teether.

Best Practical Baby Shower Gifts

I am one of those people who tries really hard to pick the perfect gift for someone. When it comes to baby showers, I rely on my own experience as a mom to help guide me to a gift that is actually practical for new parents.

 

So, the next time you head to a baby shower, skip the registry and cute onsies, and look for something more practical.

 

 

My husband and I both have our own kangaroo pouch shirts. We wore them around the house and at family gathering all the time. Now that our daughter is almost 1-year-old, she is too big for the shirt’s pouch, but to extend the usefulness, I cut leg holes in the bottom of the pouch. Now I can still use the shirt to help me carry my daughter with just one arm.

 

 

A car seat is one of the most important items to have, obviously, but what many new parents don’t think about is having extra bases for their infant seat. Life is so much easier when you can click in and pop out of the car with baby. Not to mention, having an anchored base in the car help to ensure that the seat is properly secured every time.

 

 

There is no such thing as enough wipes. The sheer volume of wipes that a baby goes through in the first year is astounding. Yet, wipes are something that people often don’t give as a gift.
Screen Shot 2019-04-19 at 5.37.41 PM

 

 

Sleep sacks are basically a wearable blanket for your baby. They are easy to put on the baby and one size lasts for months. The are perfect for newborns.

 

 

My second baby was colicky and if you have ever experienced a baby with colic, you know that parents will do anything to help ease the crying and fussiness. A good friend’s sister turned me onto to Grip Water and it was a godsend.

 

 

If the new parents are on-the-go types, a car bottle warmer is amazing. The warmer plugs into the car cigarette lighter outlet and allows you to warm up a bottle anywhere.

 

 

When my daughter was born, someone bought us a pack of three muslin receiving blankets, and they were the best overall item we received. We used them to swaddle her, as burp cloths, blankets, you name it. They were light weight, but still warm. We liked them so much, we ended up buying at least 10 more.
Screen Shot 2019-04-19 at 5.44.35 PM

 

 

The big car seat strollers are great, but the a just that, big, and heavy. There are many times when you just need something better than an umbrella stroller but not quite as big as the giant car seat stroller. My favorite option, the Urbini Reversi. This is not you mama’s umbrella stroller. It is light weight and small, but still sturdy and versatile. This stroller allows you to switch between forward and rear facing, so it is appropriate for infants and toddlers.

 

 

For baby #1 I had a standard monitor, for baby #2 I had video…and it was like trading a plain old walkie talkie for a brand-new iPhone. Definitely upgrade to video.

 

ProTip: Get an indoor wifi security camera instead of a video baby monitor, they are cheaper and more versatile since they can be accessed from a smartphone.

 

 

With both baby #1 and baby #2 the boppy was one of my most used items. From breast feeding to belly time, to naps.