Baby Essentials Checklist - Feeding Baby

The feeding cycle is changing constantly and you will need to add and subtract from your "feeding collection" as you move through each phase. There is certainly one things that will or should last you for a while and that is a good nursing chair and pillow.  They are expensive, but getting the right one will be worth it.

From Left to Right:
1. Joya Rocker;
2. Aden & Anais Bibs;
3. Stokke Tripp Trapp Chair;

4. 201 Organic Baby Purees Book;  
5. Lansinoh Nipple Cream;
6. Grow Diana Dream Breast Pump

Baby Essentials Checklist Feeding Baby

Starting the year off right!

In October I decided I needed a pick me up, so I ran the week of optimism.  I wanted to make sure that we kicked off the last mile of the year end with positivity rather than tiredness.

So as we look to start the New Year with hope and fresh optimism – here’s a refresher!

ENJOY!

Papa Bird talks... Buying a car seat

baby car seat

A few months ago we made the decision to sell our increasingly impractical convertible and get a grown up family car. We loved our old car but with our now 2 year old girl it was becoming more and more difficult to get her in and out of her seat.

In the process of selling the old car, once we found a committed buyer, it was time to take the baby seat out and prepare the car for the new owner. It was still few weeks before the delivery of the new car so I decided to do some research of the latest car seats, given that ISOFIX had finally (officially) landed on Australian soil. Honestly, it started with me looking for a seat that had a smoother base which would not destroy our new car but it ended up being a little bit more.

Before I go on, you need to understand that I have never felt comfortable with the seatbelt mount of car seats, particularly when I think about the protection required in the case of a side impact. Cars these days employ seatbelt tensioners that tighten the belt in case of an impact – which works great in case of a front or rear collision but less effective in side collisions. And, frankly, no matter how well the belt type installation of your child seat is, there is still movement when you give it a push. (Go out to your car and test it for yourself.)  I had seats installed by a licensed, professional installer in both of my cars and in both cases I had to tighten the installation myself as either the base was still sliding or the sideways movements of the seat were too great when I gave it a nudge. It just shows how much room for error (and improvement) there always is with seatbelt type installations - I call it the "grey area". 

That issue simply doesn't exist with a rigid connector ISOFIX car seat.  And ANYONE can properly install a baby seat - it's black or white, on or not. Being an IT geek I can compare it to a difference between analogue and digital.

The original, rigid connector, ISOFIX technically bolts the seat through its base to the frame of the car, similar to the way a driver or passenger seat is. I say original, because some manufacturers offer a flexible connector system which simply put is two ISOFIX attachments connected with a belt that's threaded through the base of the seat, similar to what the old style seatbelt system does. The latch based ISOFIX is still better than the old seatbelt system because it minimises the risk of incorrect installation. It's as simple as click, click and tighten the belt, but it's not regarded as secure as the rigid connector, built-in ISOFIX where there's nothing to tighten. 

Unfortunately, the differences have not been explained well and some people do not realise that there is a difference. Frustratingly, as I found out, neither do some of the sales staff at baby stores. Many, if not most, parents are coming there looking for the best advice and end up hearing sales staff saying with a straight face that Australia is leading the world, when clearly we are 15 years late in adopting ISOFIX.

Do your research yourself – work out what kind of car seat your car can actually fit.  But certainly as a parent I would (and have) chosen to go with the rigid connector system.

If you want to read further here is what the manufacturers have to say:

The most important things to buy for a baby

Our latest Mouths of Mums article is live.  We talk about the three most important things to consider when buying for baby.  Take a look at the comments posted by readers as they list some additions to our list.


Baby Essentials Checklist - Bathing Baby

We believe less is more in the bathing area.  Skin is sensitive and needs gentle care.  Here are some of our bathing essentials.

  1.  Gaia Organic Sleeptime Bath And Massage Oil;

  2. Eco Lavender Essential Oil for a calming before bedtime - just a  few drops should do it;

  3. Boon Naked Collapsible Bathtub if space is an issue or if you have a surface on which to put a bath. Otherwise go with something on a stand; 

  4. Boon Bath Toy Storage And Toys;

  5. Little Bamboo Hooded Towel;

  6. Kuu Konjac Natural Sponge

Baby Essentials Checklist Bathing Baby

Baby Essentials Checklist - Linen for the nursery

It is very easy to buy too much linen. Maybe because there is so much beautiful linen available or because you think more than what you actually need. My suggestion:

  • have three or four fitted sheets to make sure that you have enough for night time clean ups 
  • have two or three swaddles (or sleep sacks) 
  • have one pram blanket
  • have one indoor blanket
  • and have either a small plain blankie (eg Little Giraffe) or one that is a toy/blankie combo (eg Apple Park)

 

Baby Essentials Checklist Linen for the nursery

Visiting California

I have just returned from a trip to LA, where I spent some time with the Nook team as well as visiting some fantastic retailers.  The thing that struck me most was the proliferation of safe and healthier baby products throughout all of the stores and also how much product innovation is filtering through their stores making life easier for mums.

Firstly I think retailers are doing a good job of educating customers about healthier choices for babies. The offering in stores that I visited had a great selection of products that echoed the new consciousness of mothers about what we expose our babies to.  Not everything is 100% organic or eco friendly, but certainly key products that make the greatest difference have great shelf space. Organic skin care, clothing basics, toys, room accessories and home cleaning products have considerable shelf space in store and are out-spacing "mainstream" products. 

Product innovation and variety of products is a dilemma. In a market like the US, with so many consumers, of course options are going to be plentiful. It has been something we have been acutely aware of in Australia for a long time. But it strikes me that whilst we cannot expect to have everything, we should see more coming through than we do.  Nursing chairs really blew me away.  I mean we are really quite  behind with the options available to mums.  The trend with nursery is more adult designs and this is so true even with the design of nursing chairs.

It was also lovely to see new US brands through and offering unique alternatives to their more established counterparts.

There are plenty of pics on the facebook page - check it out. 

Baby Essentials Checklist - Sleep space

There are lots of products to choose from for the nursery sleep space.  The Nursery Bird sleep essentials are:

  1. Oricom Babysense2 Baby Monitor And Sensor Pads;

  2. Nook Pebble Pure Mattress;

  3. A Clean And Serene Colour Palette For The Sleeping Area;

  4. Bednest Bassinet;

  5. Love To Dream Swaddle;

  6. Nook Organic Cotton Cot Sheet 

Baby Essentials Checklist Baby Sleep Space

A week of mindfulness and positivity

Last week I decided to add some energy into my week.  Along the way I wanted to be mindful everyday so I made sure that at the end of each day I focused on positive outcomes.

Just in case you missed it, here it is... 

Baby Essentials Checklist - Play Spaces

Play spaces are an important part of the nursery set up.  They are developmental areas for baby, and they also help mum have free hands every now and again.   Arrange play time as part of your daily routine and have multiple play areas with different toys.

Play areas should be flexible - to change with bubs as they grow and develop.  

Here are just some essential items for your baby play spaces.

  1. Musical Pillow Pals Range;

  2. Well Organised Play Space With Different Areas For Different Activities;

  3. Nuna Leaf Bouncer;

  4. Tiny Love Pram Toy Jittering Jay;

  5. Wooden Baby Gym Frog Toni;

  6. Nook Lilypad Playmat

Baby Essentials Checklist - Play spaces

Baby Essentials Checklist - Baby Clothes

If you are able to resist all of the gorgeous baby outfits than you are better than me. I went a bit overboard with clothes - and blankets! And in addition to all the things I bought, friends also passed on their beautiful things.  All that I can say is when everyone says to you, "they grow out of everything so quickly," they are being absolutely honest. Blink and the moment for that gorgeous dress is gone!  So, below is an baby clothes essentials checklist. Of course, I wouldn't dare spoil the fun of the cute outfits, I am just putting out what you need as a base.  

  1. Kimono Bodysuits Are The Best (Example Is Mama Maternity); they are so easy to get on and off a tiny little baby;
  2. Leggings, Cardigans And Long Sleep Tops Are Your Best Friends (Pure Baby);
  3. Earthwise Laundry Detergent for a environmentally, non-toxic washing options;
  4. Two-Way Zipper Body Suits Are Best (Example Is Pure Baby);
  5. Newborn Mitten from Pure Baby are so soft;
  6. Hats – Newborn Hat for the first month (Pure Baby shown), Hunt And Gather Winter Beanie, Sun Hat from Pure Baby
Baby Essentials Checklist Baby Clothes

Newborn Sleep

newborn sleep

When I see my little girl sleeping I just want to kiss her little nose, squeeze her little cheeks and cuddle her into me as close as I can.  But that’s not advised!  Let sleeping babies sleep.  It’s a glorious thing.  And you don’t realise how glorious it is unless you have a baby that doesn't sleep well.  Getting into a good newborn sleep routine is one of the most important things to do when you bring baby home from the hospital. 

It all sounds wonderful in theory but can be quite tough, especially if you have a child with colic and reflux issues, or something else.  The below is a guide – a baby sleep checklist of sorts.

  1. A well fed baby is a happy (and sleepy) baby.
  2. Establish a routine as quickly as possible, either use the babies own rhythm to identify key times of the day for sleeping or eating or use a guide – Save Our Sleep and Happiest Baby on the Block are two great books. I personally used Save Our Sleep and it was a fantastic resource with routines by age. Rebecca Judd also has a routine on her blog that she used for her babies.
  3. Make sure your baby is well burped.  Most people don’t spend enough time on this.
  4. If you are having trouble with sleep, try and rule out possible reasons e.g. reflux, colic, not enough burping, routine, not enough food, room/bed temperature.  Speak to your maternal health nurse and doctor, read and talk to other mums to see if there is any sage advice they can offer.
  5. The maternal health nurse network have sleep consultants that can come out to your home and help with getting you back on track. They are at no cost for a one time visit.  Or there are independent, private sleep consultants that can help in the home.
  6. Have an established bed time routine – keep a consistent time for everything; it means baby gets used to a certain way of things happening before bed time.  Try: a warm relaxing bath with lavender oil to relax baby; make sure tummy is full and well burped; read a little baby book; if baby needs some extra help snoozing off try a few minutes rubbing or tapping.  Whatever you do, consistency is important
  7. Room temperature is very important.  We have a tendency to overheat because we are worried about baby not being warm enough.  If baby is too hot she won’t be able to settle.
  8. Lavender – try this in the bath, a candle, oil in the humidifier or oil burner before bedtime.  It’s very calming.
  9. Sleep school – I have heard great things about Masada.  It does not come cheap but for parents that need some time out and need settling time of their own it is incredible.  You need a referral from your GP.
  10. Try not to disrupt sleep as much as possible, i.e. don’t wake your baby and try to put baby into his own bed so that he wakes in the same place he went to bed. (This is where a routine helps – you can build appointments etc. around when baby is due to sleep and eat, no surprises). Obviously it’s not always possible, i.e. when baby unexpectedly falls asleep in the car, but as with anything in life, all you can do is do your best.
  11. Daytime sleep is absolutely crucial for night time sleep so do your best in getting a good daytime sleep routine happening.
  12. Make sure the room environment, particularly the sleep area does not have distractions (or attractions) and is as serene as possible.

Getting your newborn sleep rhythm right doesn't have to be difficult but it does take a little bit of effort, patience and discipline.

Here are some other resources:

Baby Centre - Understanding your babys sleep

Raising Children Network - Baby Sleep

 

Baby Essentials Checklist - Nappy Changing Station

This is a new series on baby nursery essentials.  It can be used a baby essentials checklist.  We are starting the series with the nappy change area.

When we had our little girl, we decided on a change table.  There are so many more options for changing trays these days and I would go that way next time around.  They are especially great if space is in short supply.  

For products that spend a lot of time on or near the baby's skin we suggest a non-toxic solution.

  1. Weleda Nappy Change Cream;
  2. Eco Originals Biodegradable Disposable Nappies;
  3. Bambeco Bamboo Wipes;
  4. Change Tray For A Dresser Instead Of Buying A Change Table;
  5. Diaper Caddy;
  6. Ubbi Diaper Pail (so HOT!!)
Baby Essentials Checklist Nappy Changing

Advice for new mothers

I found these two article which are great for new mothers.  Sometimes it's good to know that you are not alone.

 

 What Nobody Tells You About the First 3 Months of Motherhood

What Nobody Tells You About the First 3 Months of Motherhood

 When will I feel like myself again after having a baby?

When will I feel like myself again after having a baby?


Baby Nursery Room Accessories - Rugs

Here are 5 of our favourite rugs. You can click through to the stores.

 Felt ball rug, in many colour options from The Little Kidz Closet

Felt ball rug, in many colour options from The Little Kidz Closet

 Great shapes, colours (and plush!)

Great shapes, colours (and plush!)

 Great for a girls room.

Great for a girls room.

 Chevron rug that comes in many colours from My First Room.

Chevron rug that comes in many colours from My First Room.

 Sheepskin looks amazing and feels amazing.  Get it from Snug Australia.

Sheepskin looks amazing and feels amazing.  Get it from Snug Australia.


Working mothers - great articles

Recently I've come across a few great articles which I thought would be useful to share.  I hope you find them as useful as I did.


6 Things That Will Actually Help You Get A More Flexible Work Schedule

Highlights:

  • Lead with the company, not your personal life. "You really need to go into the conversation [with your boss] with the mindset of, 'How will this work for my company? 
  • Be ready with specifics. Think about your work week, then make a case for how every aspect of it will be handled. 
  • Ask early. 

How a Password Changed My Life

Have you ever thought of using your password as a prompt for your mood or wants?  Sometimes its the simplest of things that make a difference to how you see the world!

17 Lifestyle Fanatics Share Their Secrets to Success

Highlights

  • Stop worrying about failing. 
  • Do something that scares you.
  • Don't live a life of regrets.
  • Start now.

Baby Nursery Ideas - Creating points of interest

Create different spaces in the baby’s nursery which will work as baby grows. For example, a room can have a reading nook, play space, little discoveries throughout for when she grows as well as the functional feeding/calm space, sleeping and dressing area.  

It sounds like a lot but is manageable in even the smallest of rooms.  

Keep eating and sleeping spaces consistent with limited distractions (for as long as you can) which will help add calm, comfort and focus for bubs. 

Make sure that around the room, there are little point of interest that will keep bubs enjoying her room and always making new discoveries.  Keep in mind that spaces should work for you to spend time with her as a baby and then for her to be able to enjoy on her own once she is older.

Little discoveries in a room can be as simple as using wall stickers of animals and shapes etc.. at various heights in the room for baby to find.  Remember is doesn't have to be complicated.  Just try and imagine how fun it is to discover hidden treasures. Try having a crawl around on the floor yourself.  And also think about things hanging on the walls. 

Reading nook

hint: IKEA spice racks secured to the wall for little book nooks.

Play Space

Little discoveries

Hint: Etsy is amazing for these kinds of cute finds.

Sleeping

 

Feeding

Images sourced from Pinterest

Nursery Room Accessories – Animal lights for the nursery

Here are our favourite animal lights for the nursery.  

Any of these would make a beautiful room accessory.  

For night time feeds choose small, not too bright lamps. 

 Bunny  nursery lamp

Bunny nursery lamp

 Deer and birds  nursery lamp

Deer and birds nursery lamp

 Panda  nursery lamp

Panda nursery lamp

 Bunny  nursery lamp

Bunny nursery lamp

 Bambi  nursery lamp

Bambi nursery lamp

 Teddy bear  nursery lamp

Teddy bear nursery lamp

 Woodland animals   nursery lamp

Woodland animals  nursery lamp

 Penguin  nursery lamp

Penguin nursery lamp

 Bunny  nursery lamp

Bunny nursery lamp

  Squirrel nursery lamp

Squirrel nursery lamp

 Lamb nursery lamp

Lamb nursery lamp