Saturday, January 12, 2013

Preparing for Baby, Nesting

What do I need to prepare for the baby?
As I come closer to my due date (just about 2 months) I am not only having a great time playing around in the "baby room" but thinking about the birth and what things I will need that day and during the immediate days to follow. I have been reading a book that a friend passed on to me at a rapid pace and am already about a quarter of the way through it.
What to Expect the First Year

Many of the things covered in this book helped me cover some of those items I didn't think of.
Get a nursing bra?- My question was whether or not to get one so I can leave the house to get more? Or at least be somewhat covered in case I need to run somewhere...
What I decided to do was get a couple of wireless cami-type bras that are super comfortable as well as easy to whip a boob out of if need be. They are comfortable and I'm wearing them already. My reasoning is that I will never know exactly how big I'm gonna need the bra to be until the "milk comes in." Sounds like a milkman will be showing up. Cute image, but no. Also, from what I've been reading about the frequency of feedings and napping (both by me and the baby), it doesn't sound like I will really be getting dressed all that often. So, on that note...
Sleepwear- I bought myself a pair of pj's that are a button up top and pants. The buttons make for easy access for nursing. Now I can at least look somewhat presentable when I've been in and out of bed all day. The bras I got will give a little support underneath as well. I also made sure that the sleepwear is season-appropriate. It will still be winter when the baby comes, so I bought flannel. I may also get myself something a little lighter when the time comes.
Diapers- This is an obvious one of course, but there are specifics to discuss. We have decided that we would like to try using cloth diapers. I also decided that in the beginning, disposable would be more practical for the learning process, especially with those first few diapers being filled with meconium. I have a friend who gave me a 40 pack of the best diapers you can get as far as bio-degradable/planet-friendly is concerned. I have learned that I will need to take care of as many as 7-10 dirty and wet diapers in the first few days. That being said, I can maybe get through the first week on this pack. So, I am ordering 2 more packs to cover myself for hopefully the first 3 weeks. The ones we're looking at are made by Seventh Generation.

After we get through the majority of those, we will see how big the baby is and re-evaluate. That will be a good time to start getting our cloth diapers and covers together. I must remember to consult my group of knowledgeable mothers on their recommended brands!
Baby Wipes- I am buying a couple of packs of biodegradable wipes from the same company as well as I wanted to make some of my own. I figured that if I am going to be washing cloth diapers, it shouldn't be too much of a big deal to add the wipes to the load. I took some hand me down receiving blankets and cut them to size (to fit in a wipes-warmer I also inherited). Just a few blankets made 4 dozen wipes... which apparently will last only a few days.

For the liquid on the wipes I decided to go with some advice on a website I came across and get a soap foaming pump. I plan to use Dr. Bronner's tea-tree scented soap concentrate. This soap is made with all organic oils and ingredients and the first ingredient is coconut oil, which sounds great to me since I've been using it on myself. It doesn't take much of this stuff added to water to get a nice foam going. I will most likely squirt each wipe as I use it with the foam instead of leaving them all sitting in liquid. We will see when the time comes, if this is a practical method or not.
Must have items registry items- This is just a list of stuff I did not even think to add to my registry until I spoke with a mother of 3 (2 of which only having just arrived in August):
*Nail clippers/scissors
*Sunscreen (won't need for a little while, but it's good to look into brands)
*Nasal aspirator
*Baby thermometers
*Pacifiers (we don't want to use them regularly but will have an emergency pair)
*Teethers (can be needed within a couple of months)
*Size range clothing - Newborn stuff is very small, so I went back and registered for mostly 0-3 months      and 6-9 months and have a very few hand-me-down newborn items. I was a big baby and therefore expect a big one myself...
*Coconut oil - instead of diaper rash cream, lotion, anything... has anti-bacterial properties
Hello nipples!- Nipple care seems to be a huge deal, which is cool because I've had them all this time and now they are gonna get some use. I've been reading about bleeding, cracking, mastitis, plugged ducts and infections and all kinds of good stuff. I decided to stock up on necessary nipple needs. I am ordering Lasinoh gel pads and lanolin cream. I have a bag full of nursing pads that were leftovers from a mommy friend. So, those are taken care of. The gel pads look really cool because they can be warmed up or put in the fridge for cooling relief. Apparently you're also supposed to let your nipples air-out. "Don't mind me guys.... I'm just letting my nipples air-out." That'll go over well when company's here. Haha.

We have a second room in our apartment which would be the baby's room, but we also need it for guests. So, I haven't really got all of my baby things set up. I do have most of the gifts laying out so I can look at them or pet the especially soft blankets he got. It won't be a full-on nursery until he starts sleeping in his own room. We decided that we will have the baby sleep with us and are ordering a co-sleeper to pull up right next to the bed. Why are we co-sleeping? Well, firstly because I will be breastfeeding and nothing could be more convenient than having the little guy at an arm's length for those late night feedings.
The second reason he is sleeping with us makes me think of when we got our first puppy, Olive. We tried to "crate-train" her at night and lost hours of sleep during that month or so. She would cry and cry and even got her mouth stuck in the metal grid door trying to get out. We brought her into our room, which made it a little bit better. The first night we decided to let her sleep in our bed with us, she slept with no problems and we all woke up late the next morning and it's been that way ever since. The poor little girl just wanted to be near a warm body. She didn't know any different from being with her mom and litter-mates. My point being that this little guy has been with me for 7+ months. Why would I stick him in the other room just because he came out? Imagine how terrifying that must be for a newborn to go from a warm tiny space with a heartbeat to a cold and dark expansive room.
So our guest/baby room will be for play and hanging out on the daybed when we have no one staying with us.

I put some black contact paper with retro-looking yellow flowers on the inside of the hutch for an extra touch. I wasn't worried that it might not look masculine enough. We also have the "Bumbo" seat with removable tray. There was a recall of these because people were putting them on counters and table tops with their baby in it and then walking away. Go figure, some of the babys fell and hurt themselves. I think I will manage to be smarter than that.
The blue thing on the hutch is a baby bath with a robe and sock set on top of it. We've already got a small collection of books for whenever bedtime stories start. Looks like we're on our way to being prepared? Not nearly.
Our bedroom needs a complete overhall. I got a changing station, painted it and papered the shelves with a thick wrapping paper that has a faux birch bark look. This will go in our room. Yes, I am partial to turquoise right now. I was gonna go for black except this will match the color on the armoire I painted (staying out in the hall).

We also have a crib for unattended napping in our room. The co-sleeper is still missing and if I can wedge the glider in there, we are golden. This excludes my mission to find a way to hang a mobile when the ceiling is impenetrable concrete, and the shelving I'd like to put up with other assorted baby eye-candy.
I guess the nesting instinct is me going into the room with the baby clothes and petting the blankets and working on little projects in there. I am enjoying looking at all the stuff we have for him and imagining a little baby laying on the shaggy rug and rolling around. Yes, it is currently my favorite room in the house. My next order of business is making the actual room we will be spending the first month or two in fully equipped with diaper changing, breastfeeding and sleeping necessities. If we could just install a kitchen upstairs, we'd be set.
Note to self: I also need a diaper pail!

My mother-in-law is making me and Ellis a needlepoint masterpiece to hang on his door. I'm so excited to see how it will turn out. This is the inspiration collage I made up for her.

I know some of this decor stuff can be boring, but I'm all over it. So, I tried to limit it all to this post. We will see how our bedroom pans out and possibly go over it's functions and maybe some of the cute little things I wanna do in there. It's blog related, I swear.... Nesting is a "primal" instinct...

On the food side of things, I made this amazingly easy meat sauce which we ate over yam starch noodles called No Oodles. Still primal and going strong! (And seriously looking forward to my first reunion with coffee - decaf while breastfeeding, of course)

To make this: I bought 2lbs. grass-fed beef from Trader Joe's and their package of fresh organic basil. Browned the meat in a giant sauce pan with big splashes of red wine, coffee (one of my cooking secrets), and about 1/2 tbs. sea salt. Then added one can of kirkland brand organic tomato sauce and one can of their organic diced tomatoes (which I put in the bullet with some fresh thyme, garlic powder, onion powder). I poured half of that in with the meat and kept enough liquid in the bullet to mix with the whole bunch of basil minus the big stems. Oh yes, and a little bit of oregano. You can also use straight up italian seasoning. I always taste as I go and add this and that accordingly. 

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