Read Part One here
Pack N Play: As much as we loved co-sleeping when Cedar was little, by the time he was about seven or eight months old, we ended up having to move him out of our bed and into his own bed in our library/guest room/office. As he got older, he turned out to be a very light sleeper who would wake up and cry many times a night, stirred out of his slumber by Daddy or Mommy turning over in their sleep or something similar. At first we had him in a crib that Aaron’s parents loaned us, but it was very large and bulky for our small house. Also, and most importantly, the room where Cedar sleeps is also the guest room so whenever we would have overnight company, Aaron would have to completely take apart the crib in order to move it into our room for a night or two. Not fun! So we decided to just buy a Pack N Play (or playpen or playard or whatever you want to call them!), knowing that it would be much more suited to the size of our little house, it would be insanely easier to transport from room to room, and we could easily bring it along when we traveled. Trying to find just a simple one without an attached bassinnet, or changing table, or Taj Mahal, proved to be more difficult than I thought it would be, but I finally ended up finding one. Because it was going to be Cedar’s bed, we bought a mattress to put in it, but I don’t think we’ll bring that along when we travel. Small, simple…and it works! Though we’re still working on waking up several times a night, as a general thing we’re all getting much more sleep than we used to…YAY!
Sleep sack: Before Cedar was born, we were given an organic merino wool Disana sleep sack from some dear friends in New Zealand. I was so excited to get it as I had seen the one that they had and loved the idea for whenever I would get married and have babies. But when Cedar slept with us, he stayed very toasty from my body heat and our cozy down duvet, so the first time we used the sleep sack was when we went camping when he was about five or six months old. It worked splendidly and he looked so cute! We pulled it out again after he started sleeping in his Pack N Play and we never could keep his blankets on him. The sleep sack was the perfect answer! Not only did the layer of thick, cozy wool stay on him no matter how much he moved, on cold nights it helped (some) to keep his other blankets on him. And contrary to popular belief, not all wool is itchy and merino wool is the softest, so he can just wear a long-sleeved onesie underneath the sleep sack. Because of their ingenuity, sleep sacks in general are pretty popular baby items, but many of them are made of fleece. I love fleece for certain things, but am not a fan of it for sleepwear as it doesn’t breathe and the baby can more easily overheat while sleeping. Wool, on the other hand, helps to regulate your body temperature.
Potty seat: At some point I’m hoping to do an entire post on our experience with infant potty training, but for now, I’ll just mention something that made it much easier…Cedar’s potty seat. We started potty-training Cedar when he was about six months old (kind of late for infant potty training) and having a potty seat to set his chubby bulk on instead of trying to balance him on the normal toilet seat was a life-saver!
“Real Food for Mother and Baby”: This is something else that I’m definitely planning on doing a separate post on so I’ll save most of my gushings for then. Suffice to say, Nina Planck’s book Real Food for Mother and Baby is one of the best baby books I have ever read! It was so helpful and reassuring when I was starting Cedar on solids. And it made it all so simple…just feed your baby real food. I recommend it to any mother!
Mesh feeder: When Cedar was around five months old, he started to really want to eat what we were eating. However, he had no teeth yet so I was wary of giving him stuff that was too chunky since he didn’t really have any of way making the chunks smaller and more swallowable. Enter the mesh feeder. Fill the mesh bag with food of choice (we usually used fruit since it was easy for him to gum enough to make it come through the mesh…sometimes we put a piece of steak in there, he loved sucking all the juice and flavour out of it!). Attach to handle. Give to baby to enjoy gnawing on and banging on the table. Whoever invented these is a genius!
Sippy cup: I have never liked sippy cups. I’ve been to too many houses where they are everywhere, and I’ve seen too many kids so attached to them that they can’t drink out of a real cup. I was determined that would not be my house and those would not be my kids. But then, real life happened, and I discovered that maybe sippy cups do have their place. Ever since he was four or five months old, Cedar has been able to drink out of my Nalgene and any normal cup (most babies can drink out of a cup from birth, we just didn’t try it with him earlier). When he was nursing exclusively, that’s where he got his occasional novel sip of water. But when he started eating more solids and not nursing very well when we were out (too much exciting stuff to look at), I wanted to make sure that he was getting enough fluids, especially in our hot California summers. He could drink out of my Nalgene if he needed to, but that was slow and often too time-consuming for him to be interested long enough to get enough water. And that’s when I broke down and decided to buy a sippy cup! And mostly due to the fact that most of the sippy cups on Amazon won’t let you choose your colour, and I read too many reviews saying that people ended up with a pink one…this is the one we got (and it’s BPA- and phthalate-free…a definite must for something that Cedar would have in his mouth often!). And it has worked great the last several months…and I’m now convinced that sippy cups do have their place – in moderation.
Bumkins SuperBibs: These were a recent discovery for us…and one that I wish I had found several months ago. From gifts and random ones that came with clothing, Cedar had quite the collection of small to medium-sized cloth bibs. They worked okay, but especially as he began to eat more and more solids, they just weren’t covering enough and I often would have to change his shirt or onesie after a meal even if he had had a bib on! So I browsed some of my favourite online baby stores (i.e. the ones that sell cloth diapers) and found Bumkins SuperBibs. Wipeable, washable, covered the entire front of the baby including their shoulders…sounded perfect. So I ordered some from Amazon and quickly saw just how super they really are…we love them!
Well, that about sums it up…I keep trying to rack my brain to see if I’m forgetting anything, but I guess if I don’t think of it right away, it’s not that important in the long run!