Lookie, lookie–I’m only….about… 30 weeks late posting this! All that time and I still stand by everything I said. Also worth noting–no companies paid me to say these things!
10 weeks, 0 days
Here we are 10 weeks into Caroline’s life. I’m back to work and we’re starting to get into a nice little swinging day-to-day rhythm…punctuated of course by unexpected happenstances and developmental milestones. To celebrate turning 9 weeks old, C woke from her morning nap and promptly filled the entire left leg of her jammies with poo. It was one of those “there’s-no-hope-get-thee-to-the-tubby” type diapers, or as TJ likes to classify them: Category 5.
Our house is strewn with discarded baby clothes, dirty rags and damp bibs on a regular basis. It’s obvious which products we’ve found to be helpful and which ones have been entirely useless. If you recall, when I registered I stuck to a pretty bare-bones list. I’m glad I did because I already feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of stuff we’ve accumulated. Here’s a run-down of the products we use most and least and how we feel about them based on C’s needs and our experiences. Sorry non-parent friends, this post will bore you.
If you’re a pre-parent, be sure to also check out this post I wrote about navigating through the perilous adventure that is shopping for baby stuff.
1. Graco automatic swing: Worth its weight in gold, my friends. When she needs a nap and is fighting it hard we plunk her down in it, turn her up to 4 on the handy-dandy speed adjustment dial and hit the play button on the built-in music. We say to each other often that “the swing always wins.” And it does. She’s currently snoozing away in it now which means that I’m able to get a crap ton of chores done (someone has to launder the damp rags and bibs mentioned below)…or enjoy some quiet blog time. (Note: We don’t use the swing shoulder straps yet. We’re not sorry.)
2. Britax B-Safe car seat and bases: I am, by no means, ashamed to tell you that C spent at least 3 weeks sleeping the night exclusively in her car seat. We’d place it in her crib so she’d get used to hanging in her room at night. I was comfortable doing so because the seat reclined far enough back that I wasn’t worried about her head flopping over in the middle of the night. We worked out of it over time, stopped sleeping her in it when she was 8 weeks and haven’t looked back. The bases are entirely worth the $80 to click in and out of the car. We had a hard time getting the base in tight enough, but a family friend certified in car seat installation (yup, that exists) helped us out and showed us how to attach it to the car properly.
3. BOB Revolution SE running stroller: This was a pricey stroller and I’ve been really excited about running with it. C isn’t quite good enough at keeping her head up so I’ve not taken her running yet, but we’ve taken it several places (mall, walks, etc) and have found it to be very easy to use. It steers wonderfully and turns on a dime. We bought an adapter that allows use to snap her car seat right into it which has been really convenient. At 5’5″, I find that it’s a little tough to wrestle in and out of the trunk of the car, but TJ has no problem with it at all. It fits into the trunk of his Maxima and into the trunk of my Corolla. There’s not much room to spare in the Corolla, but there’s not a lot of space to spare in a Corolla anyway.
4. ItzBeen Timer: This little timer counts up from baby’s last feeding, nap, and diaper. It was a life-saver in the first 4 weeks of C’s existence…when we were still figuring out the basics of parenting and had a hard time remembering what she had done when. Now that we’ve worked out a system, the timer sits on my nightstand collecting dust. The clip on the back sucks…there’s not much room to clip it on anything and it’s too awkward to clip it on much. I dropped the damn thing about a million times and then the clip broke off…so, problem solved I guess? At any rate, it was great to have around when we didn’t know up from down.
5. Spit-up rags and bibs: Probably obvious, but worth reiterating. You’d be shocked how quickly a rag or bib gets destroyed and it’s worth having extra ones around. I remember thinking, pre-baby, “how could I possibly use all of these bibs and rags?!” and then thinking post-baby “FOR THE LOVE OF GOD WHERE ARE ALL THE BIBS AND RAGS.” Seriously–get extra. I promise you won’t be sorry.
Not Worth The Money
1. Huggies diapers: Sorry Huggies, but the diapers just weren’t doing the job for us. (Parenting pro-tip: Don’t buy a 210ct. box of diapers before you’ve tried them.) Poopy blow-outs were guaranteed no matter how tight or loose we strapped them on. They’d leak when she was in any position other than sitting straight up, and sometimes that wasn’t even a sure thing. Believe me, we gave them 210 tries before we gave up. All diapers will leak at some point, but Huggies seemed to fail us at many points, including that Category 5 diaper, so see ya later.
2. Swaddling blankets/HALO Sleep Sack: Definitely a baby-to-baby thing and not a critique of the actual products…more likely it was combination of C and parental user error. C tolerated swaddling in the hospital and then would have nothing to do with it at approximately 7 days old. My advice: bogart the swaddling cloth they give you at the hospital, use it and then buy additional cloths if your baby still goes for it.
3. Toys: You’ll probably get about a million at your shower, but your baby won’t know how to give a rat’s ass about them until about 8 weeks and then still won’t have the motor skills to do anything with them. C just started batting at the dangling toys in her play gym with some interest last week and she can’t coordinate her hands to pick much up. Except my hair…she nails that grab every time.
4. Shoes: They’re adorable, I totally get that. But they might be the most useless thing you could possibly attach to your newborn…even more useless than the headbands you put on the baby so other people know you’ve got a girl.
Agree? Disagree? Indifferent? What baby product recommendations do you have? Cool, bro!