3 BARE NECESSITIES OF BABY LIFE or things we couldn’t live without for the first 6 months

3 BARE NECESSITIES OF BABY LIFE or things we couldn't live without for the first 6 months

These days I’ve been rumbling and rummaging around the house and into the wardrobes because our littlest one is growing so I threw everything out of his wardrobe on one big pile and tried to sort everything by what’s to stay, to give away or sell and what’s for me to keep as a memory.

SO! Since this process is everything but fast and efficient because I’m so not organized and always have million other things to do rather than folding winter clothes. As every mother, I am emotional when I pick a piece of little clothing and get lost in sweet memories (or chocolate smudges no one on Earth can wash out), so I got an idea about this post. So I’m writing it now instead of making order in Kondo way (which is great, btw) and thinking, someone might find it usefull. I also hope you liked my last Lifestyle post about keeping the world cleaner for our kids.

Here I’ll share with you some of this memories, pieces of clothing and things we couldn’t imagine to be without not so long ago. I would love to hear about yours! Are they any similar? Or we are among few weirdos that couldn’t live without, let’s say, Pilates ball? Haha! How many nights have we spent jumping and rocking and rolling left and right and left and right…

3 BARE NECESSITIES OF BABY LIFE or things we couldn't live without for the first 6 months

  1. SWADDLING & WOMBIE – Baby Croissant finally sleeps!

My son came to this world angry. OK, people always laugh when I say that. But he really was. He wasn’t angry in my tummy and he came out just in his own right time when he wanted to, all naturally, but once he felt being out of that warm pool, he frowned and kept frowning and crying and screaming NO MATTER WHAT I TRIED.

Doctors said, those are colic. I tried few remedies but without any change.

*Note: my son was and is healthy. Some babies DO AND MAY HAVE colic or other conditions that require medical attention so please don’t consider my swaddling recommendation as “all mighty remedie for all”. It’s only my experience so please, if in doubt or need, do consult your doctor.

3 BARE NECESSITIES OF BABY LIFE or things we couldn't live without for the first 6 months

I didn’t quite understand causes of his dissatisfaction until his second month and just when I was about to get crazy/heart attack/or fall asleep on bathroom floor my husband found a life saving Dr. Karp’s Happiest Baby on the Block book and method. There I heard about swaddling. To make the crying story short, the moment I folded him into a baby croissant, he calmed down in my arms and fell asleep.

And just like the book said: “5 S’s” did the trick: swaddle, stomach position, shush, swing and sucking the pacifier made this little one feel like in Mom’s tummy pool again, all warm and tucked in, safe and happy, and happily snorring with his little nose. Then I really came to understand his dissatisfaction: being out in the world where he met all new and uncomfortable feelings: sense of his body dettached from his Mom, hunger, cold, pooping, peeing, burping, whatnot the babies feel. That made me more able to meet his needs and he surely felt better.

First I bought one already tailored swaddling piece of cloth and then I sew few others by it’s example because there’s never enough swaddling clothes. Because baby (at least this one) couldn’t fall into sleep without it and swaddling cloth always seemed to find it’s way of getting burped, peed or puked on. In fact, any soft and nice piece of breathable cloth will do. Cut out big T-shirts, soft and thin elastic towels, you really don’t have to buy all that stuff.

Later on I bought a Wombie. First a little one and then a bigger sized one. They are, as you can see, all washed out but I’ll swear into their indestructability: no matter how many times I washed them, they remained fit, elastic and strong, not a thread was broken. Btw, all of them were bought second hand, after being used by one child already. And they are on “Mom’s memories” pile now.

*Note: Wombie did not pay me for this, I payed for this two little bags myself. So it’s my sincere experience and recommendation.

3 BARE NECESSITIES OF BABY LIFE or things we couldn't live without for the first 6 months

My son needed swaddling till his 5th month or so. Then he wanted to move more and in his sleep so off into the drawer Wombie went.

And then my Mom said, you know, in the old days, my Grandma’s days, babies were swaddled like that. Old women used to say, it’s good for keeping the bones straight. Now however this sentence sounds terrifying (doesn’t it?) I guess the old wisdom knew a few bits and bobs about calming the babies and making them feel better. This custom was abandoned sometimes in ’50-s because people would swaddle babies longer than babies would need it/feel good about it and felt restrained and all tied up. And how many other cultures also still swaddle their babies and carry them in scarves? That must stand for something, right? So I’m happy the swaddling is back for those who need it, and for how long the babies feel good about it.

And as for I hear, some babies don’t need swaddling at all. Oh, the lucky people! 😉

*Note: Wombie did not pay me for this, I payed for this two little bags myself. So it’s my sincere experience and recommendation.

2. CLOTH DIAPERS

It’s not something my son expressed an opinion about, rather Mom and Dad decided to be environmentaly conscious so we bought a ton of those. The option that worked the best for us was waterproof pocket cloth diaper and AIO (All in one) cloth diapers so we didn’t have to use covers. There are many more kinds of cloth diapers and the best criteria for choosing the right one is your baby’s body shape and size and proven, solid brand. Cheap ones are too expencive to be bought and thrown.

And how did the kid like it? Well, he didn’t really show any special or different behaviour both in disposable or cloth diapers while they were dry but the sense of being wet is surely something he felt and dissaproved with while in cloth diapers. Which is good because then we wouldn’t keep him wet longer than we should and certanly not in disposable ones that “feel dry” but also too warm or hot when full.

3 BARE NECESSITIES OF BABY LIFE or things we couldn't live without for the first 6 months

How many did we buy? I guess around 30. It was a cost around 20 big packs disposable ones. There were smaller and bigger cloth diapers, ones that I couldn’t use because they didn’t fit the shape of his body or were too firm or stiff. For a simple math: count how many diapers a day your baby needs. And then add one or two more because you would be changing the baby more often. Same goes for the night. Then think how often can you wash and dry the diapers so you can use them again.

I WASHED CLOTH DIAPERS ON THE HIGHEST TEMPERATURE, which is, on my washing machine, 90°C/194F. Yes, I did and they did not fall apart or anything. Around his 4th month, we started to practice Elimination Communication so he wasn’t pooping in diapers anymore, but still, I was a bit… eh. My mom always washes undies on the highest temperature and so do I. You are most likely to find recommendations not to do it, so it’s for you to decide. I also did not use any fabric softener as it’s said it will affect the diaper absorption ability and softeners you don’t want on your baby’s skin. I would use smaller amount of washing powder and add some baking soda.

I TUMBLE DRIED CLOTH DIAPERS. Another recommendation I did not listen. I mean, at first I did. And then we got mould on our walls and it was ho-rri-ble. Horrible! Because we would dry diapers on the inside dryer rack and it was winter and cold outside and warm and misty inside and I don’t have any terrace or back yard to put my clothes to dry outside. And yuck again. And AIO diaper and/or thick towels and inserts are certanly not something that will get dry by the little breeze.

*Note: I was aware of the warnings on the diapers that said, do not tumble dry, do not wash on the highest temperature, so I was aware of the risk of the diapers going in pieces. I’m not advising you to do that too, I’m just saying what I did and what worked for me. So please don’t go after me if your cloth diapers dissappear in your washing machine.

Conclusion: baby’s behind was happier and we never had any diaper rash or anything. Environment liked us more, we liked us more, we saved money. On the other hand, I know people who felt really overwhelmed with that cloth diaper thing and found it complicated, unpractical and messy. And that’s perfectly OK. To be sure, you can buy few cloth diapers, try it out and then decide, you don’t have to buy 30 at once!

3. PILATES BALL

Now that’s something that really doesn’t need much explanation. So Mom takes her little one in her arms and gently rocks him till he falls asleep. Or calms down. Or Mom get’s motion sickness. We had three balls in three rooms all puffed up and ready to be sit on.

The only thing to be careful of is not to inflate the ball too much. You still have to “sit down” and feel seated and secured rather than bouncing off of it, especially with the baby in your arms. Also, be sure not to buy a ball too big, because it’ll be to high for you to sit on and therefore more unstable and unsafe. And one thing you and your baby need is – safety.

*Note: I don’t have a picture of Pilates ball because we finally deflated it and… ahem… I get motion sickness just by looking at it, so… 😉

So these were the 3 bare necessities of our first 6 months with out beautiful, healthy but strong willed son. These are certanly not 3 things every pregnant woman or freshly new mother HAS TO BUY or listen to my advice. Rather say, this is not an advice either, but our experience which was completely different with my daughter and as for I hear, all children have their own little ways, needs, characters. And that’s what makes this world beautiful – the fact that we are all so “our own”, colourfull and different. That’s the biggest treasure of this big, blue ball we call home.

What are your experiences? What is your baby stuff you couldn’t live without? I would love to hear!

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