A crunchy minimalist’s guide to baby stuff – Part Three (an addendum)

About a year ago (almost exactly), I put together a two-part post on baby stuff that I had discovered and really liked since Cedar was born. Part One was on stuff for 0-6 months and Part Two was on stuff for 6-12 months.  Cedar was only about ten months old at the time and a certain friend, who shall remain nameless, mocked teased me about posting a list that went past how old my baby was, especially if I found anything else I really liked before Cedar was past twelve months old.  With that in mind, I would like to clarify that the majority of the stuff in this addendum has been stuff that I’ve discovered and really liked since having Genoa.  So there! *smile* Though we ended up not buying much more for a second baby, there definitely have been a few things that have come in very handy when juggling two little ones.

Ergo: I’ve long been a wrap girl, and for the newborn days, that is still definitely my preferred mode of babywearing. However, for most of the families I’m around, they all love their Ergos.  So for a long time, I was very against ever getting an Ergo since that’s what everybody else had (yes, that’s immature).  But, during my pregnancy with Genoa, God worked on my heart and broke me of that pride, and so I asked for one for Genoa’s baby shower.  Several of my friends went together and got me this lovely green one…and after a few weeks, I was hooked.  Like I said, I still prefer wraps for the newborn days, and my Bali Breeze wrap is still the coolest babywearing item for our hot, hot summers, but especially as Genoa gets older, I find myself reaching for my Ergo more and more.  It’s just so fast to put on compared to wraps, which is a good thing as you’re trying to keep track of a busy toddler while you put on the baby.  I especially appreciated its versatility during a recent shopping trip to IKEA.  Genoa started out in it, but after awhile wanted to get out so she could face front for awhile.  I was able to just unbuckle the top strap and leave it fastened around my waist, ready for whenever she wanted to cuddle back in it again.  It was so much nicer than having to figure out where you’re going to put several yards of fabric while shopping.  So, yeah, I’m very glad that I finally got over my pride in this regard…as I now am happily joining the ranks of Ergo-lovers.

BabyLegs: For the past couple years, I’ve heard of BabyLegs on different natural baby stuff sites.  They sounded cute and convenient, but I was never a big fan of legwarmers on boys so I didn’t try to find any when Cedar was little.  I had kind of forgotten about them until about a month ago when my mother-in-law gave Genoa some…and they were great!  Not only do they look absolutely adorable on her chubby little legs, but they’re so much easier to deal with when changing diapers.  Also, as the seasons change, we have cold mornings that warm up a lot by the afternoon and the BabyLegs make it much easier to layer warmth and not have to go through several outfits during the day.  I also recently used them on Genoa’s arms to protect them from the sun during a trip to the beach (it wouldn’t have worked that well if it had been a hot day, but it was breezy and cooler).  They can definitely be pricey, but I’ve found a couple at a local children’s store that were majorly marked-down.  I also know of several mamas who made their own out of clearance knee highs and the like.

Bouncy seat: Before I had Cedar, I was of the hard-core babywearing mindset that you should always wear your baby and never use any kind of “baby-holder” (YAY for all-or-nothing personalities!).  After Cedar was born, that mindset wasn’t too hard to maintain.  It was winter and so I cozily wore in him the Sleepy Wrap (now called the Boba Wrap) most of the time, and I loved it.  When he got old enough to enjoy playing with toys, he would spend a little time on a blanket on the floor.  And when I got pregnant with Genoa and it wasn’t as comfortable to wear him so much, by that time he preferred being down so he could explore anyway.  But then I had Genoa.  She lived in the Sleepy Wrap for about the first six weeks, but then we started to move into our intense CA summers and wearing her for any prolonged period of time was very hot for both of us (even with the gauze wrap).  That, and, as thankful as I am to be able to wear her when I need to deal with Cedar, it honestly is much easier to change his diaper, help him onto the potty, etc. when I’m not wearing Genoa.   So…at my husband’s suggestion, I had to swallow my pride yet again…and we bought a bouncy seat.  !!!  One of those supposedly horrible “baby-holders”.  And it’s actually been really nice to have.   Having a place to put her while I’m doing something with Cedar is convenient and she really enjoys it.  And, at least in regard to her big brother, it’s a lot safer when they “play together” because I don’t have to worry about Cedar accidentally falling on top of her, etc.  I’m still a big fan of babywearing and use it often, but I’ve just tempered it a little with what works best for our family.

Vicks Baby Rectal Thermometer: In the past several years, we’ve had kind of a sad history in regard to thermometers. My parents gave us a nice one when got married (as part of an inside joke), but for some reason it never worked very well.  Several came home with us from the NICU and there’s always been one in each birthing kit.  But those always end up stopping working after a couple uses.  We’re not sick very often, but especially with babies, I wanted to make sure to have a thermometer that consistently worked (novel concept!).  After reading many different Amazon reviews, I finally ended up going with the Vicks Baby Rectal Thermometer.  I didn’t really get a chance to test it out until after Genoa was born.  Because I had tested positive for Group B Strep and hadn’t used the antibiotics during labour, we needed to monitor Genoa very closely for the first couple of days to make sure that she didn’t show any signs of infection.  I took her temperature with pretty much every diaper change for awhile and that thermometer was great.  It only took a couple seconds (and for some reason, it always calmed Genoa down when she was upset because she was getting her diaper changed) and was very accurate.  It’s been used pretty regularly since then and has continued to work great.  I’m very thankful we finally found a thermometer that liked our family!

Graham Gardens’ Tailfeathers Zinc Cream: I mentioned this cream in my post on cloth diapering, but it bears mention here too. In short, this stuff is amazing!  It has helped heal every single rash I’ve put it on…even when other creams couldn’t do it.  And, one of my favourite features…it comes in a tub so you can get every last bit out (and control how much you use), something that never happens with the stuff that comes in a tube.  Love this stuff!

Hyland’s Colic Tablets and Chamomilla Tablets: I’m planning on doing a post soon on natural teething remedies since it’s something that I’ve had lots of experience with in the last year and a half.  But I thought I’d mention two remedies here that I think every mom should have on hand.  Hyland’s Colic Tablets are great for when the baby’s stomach is full of air from nursing too fast, etc.  We’ve also found them pretty effective for teething pain too, if you don’t have other options available.  And I started using Hyland’s Chamomilla Tablets after the FDA took the Teething Tablets off the market (don’t get me started on that though!).  Chamomilla is the main “ingredient” in the Teething Tablets (and in the Colic ones too) and seems to work pretty well for teething pain and the general irritability associated with teething.

Sippy cup update: Not that any of you were particularly interested in our sippy cup saga, but I’ve found a couple other good toddler cups that I thought I’d briefly share about.  We loved the Thermos sippy cup we bought for Cedar, but after about a year or so, it started to get moldy in places that we couldn’t clean. I’m all for buidling kids’ immune systems, but I didn’t really want Cedar regularly drinking out of something with black mold in it!  We ended up getting Thermos’ next size up from his old one and taking the inside valve out of it.  Because of that, it’s no longer leak-proof, but it also is much easier to clean.  And then, on a friend‘s suggestion, we also tried the EIO Glass Kids Cup.  If a toddler has been used to a normal sippy cup that regulates water flow a bit more, this one is a little hard to get used to (there’s no valve at all, just a slit for water to come out of), but Cedar is getting the hang of it.  We especially love that one for smoothies since it’s very easy to clean and the thicker nature of the smoothie slows down the flow a little bit.

Well, there you have it!  Some new baby things we’ve discovered since having two.  Do share some of your favourites as well…

A crunchy minimalist’s guide to baby stuff:
Part One: 0-6 Months
Part Two: 6-12 Months
Part Four: An Addendum to the Addendum
Part Five: The Boba Baby Carrier
Part Six: The Travel Edition 

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7 thoughts on “A crunchy minimalist’s guide to baby stuff – Part Three (an addendum)

  1. Haha! 😛 I love this post… I have that thermometer as well! And if you want you can use the babylegs I have cause I don’t like them on boys either and Tirzah is kind of too big for them. 🙂

  2. I put the thermometer on my Amazon wishlist. We’ve gone through about 3 thermometers and have had little success with them, even the ones with good reviews. But I’ve never tried a rectal because I’m scared to. How on earth would you get a toddler to lie still for it, I wonder? Any tips to share?

    Was I the one who teased/mocked you about your list going through 12 months when Cedar was only 10 months? Because it sounds like something I’d do ;-). hehe.

    We love our “safe sippy” that is a rubber “sleeve” over stainless steel. The key to avoiding mold is to try to wash the sleeve every once in a while, but thankfully the stainless steel is seamless so washes thoroughly. The glass option kind of scares me. No breakage risk? (And this from someone who is now using pretty much all glass for containers, cups, even in the freezer for the most part.

    And a final question. . . do you use the diaper cream on your cloth diapers? Because I’ve ruined some of my cloth diapers (permanently – the stuff would NOT scrape off!) with zinc oxide, which saddens me, because zinc oxide is awesome stuff for rashes, but just doesn’t work well for me with cloth diapers :-/.

    1. Well, I actually haven’t used the thermometer on Cedar yet…he’s such a healthy little guy (for which I’m VERY thankful!). If I did need to, I think I would just tell him to lie still and he probably would, at least for the five seconds it takes to take it. 🙂 It really is that short of a time which is a big reason why I like it so much. Genoa is pretty squirmy (more so than a toddler in my opinion! :)), and it hasn’t really been too much of an issue in taking her temperature rectally…with the shape of this thermometer, you can’t stick it up “too far”, so in a way I think it’s almost easier to take rectally than try to do under the arm…you just shove it in as far as it will go and wait five seconds for it to beep.

      No, don’t worry…you weren’t the one who teased me about the original lists…at least not that I remember… 🙂

      So I’m confused about your sippy…where does the rubber sleeve go? The mold that we had problems with was in the spout…and it ended up still developing in spite of washing it almost every day…it was just a small place that we couldn’t get to with the rag (we don’t have a dishwasher). Supposedly the outside sleeve on the EIO cup keeps the glass from breaking, but I’m not exactly sure how much it can stand up to…the inside glass part is just a pint jar and in my opinion, those are pretty tough, even without the outside sleeve.

      Yes, zinc oxide is GREAT stuff for rashes…any of the other more salve-like ones that are supposedly cloth diaper safe never seem to do anything to my babies’ rashes. 😛 With the Tailfeathers cream, I just use a cloth liner between it and the prefold (or doubler if it’s at night). I have a couple that I cut from some fleece and some suedecloth ones that a friend gave me, but what I’ve found actually works the best are the GroVia cloth wipes. We bought them to double our wipe stash when Genoa was born, but they don’t work super well as a wipe since they don’t really absorb water very well. But because of that, and because they’re two layers of cloth (I’ve had cream leak through my fleece and suedecloth ones, especially when they’re used overnight), they work REALLY well as liners. So I just use those, and then just wash them with my normal diaper laundry. Supposedly you’re not supposed to wash anything that touches zinc cream with your normal diapers because it might get on them in the wash, but I’ve never had an issue with it. Does that help at all?

  3. Thankfully we don’t have much need for thermometers very often either, which is nice. My typical fever-detecting method is kiss-on-the-forehead. Very accurate ;-). But I do want a good one around “in case.” Which is why I’ve added the one you mentioned to my Amazon wishlist.

    The “sleeve” for the stainless steel cup sort of “rolls on”. Sorry, my comment did sound like I was giving you a solution for *your* mildew issue, whereas it was supposed to be a disjointed comment on the fact that for our cup, it works well as long as we remember to remove the sleeve every once in a while for washing :-). Your cup didn’t even have a sleeve, so of course a totally different issue :-). We’re not even using the safe sippy right now, actually, as Hans has been using regular stainless steel water bottles or cups since earlier this year, and I haven’t given Gretchen a sippy yet (just drinks from cups, which she loves! – I hold it for her). But I have Hans’ set aside for Gretchen to use soon :-).

    Good thought on the liners. . . that makes sense.

    1. Yeah, I do the kiss-the-forehead one too. 🙂 But, like you, I also like to have a “real” thermometer on hand just in case, especially with little babies and especially directly postpartum. It just gives me a little more peace of mind…always a good thing! 🙂

      Wow, your sippy sounds great…especially if it’s in good enough condition to pass onto Gretchen. Where did you get it? Cedar’s old one obviously isn’t in any condition to pass onto Genoa and so I’ve been kind of keeping my eye out for something to use for her when the time comes. I like to keep them able to drink from a normal cup (or, usually, my Nalgene :)), but it’s nice to have something they can drink from themselves, especially on car rides, etc. 🙂

      1. I got it from Amazon for about $12, I think? We only used it a few times a week, which is probably why it’s still intact to pass on to Gretchen :-). With rare exception, sippy cups (and water bottles) are for outings only. The Safe Sippy sometimes leaked slightly if I didn’t screw it on tight enough, but we really liked it overall.

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