New Mama's Must Haves: February '09

Here's my New Mama Must Haves for February 2009. These are baby products I can't live without. So whether you're a new mom, buying off a baby registry for a soon-to-be-mom or just want to give the perfect baby gift - you'll find it here.

Remember you can always find out more about the items and purchase them directly through Amazon.com by clicking on the picture. I only recommend products that I have used. 

The Kiddopotamus SwaddleMe was a life saver for me. As I've talked about in previous posts, my daughter was swaddled until she was five months old. She wouldn't sleep any other way. Finally, I had to bite the bullet and unswaddle her - but only because she no longer fit in her Kiddopotamus SwaddleMe 100% Cotton Knit. Since babies like the feeling of being tight, being swaddled helps them sleep. I recommend this to any new mama who wants her baby to sleep and who wants to get a few hours of shut eye herself!

The Rainforest Bouncer by Fisher-Price is a must have! My daughter has used her Rainforest Bouncy seat since she was a few days old and she's still sitting in it. The bouncy seat is great for babies who suffer from gas too because the vibrating helps clear the air bubbles. I especially like this bouncer because of the variety of ways my daughter can play with it. Now that she's a little older I set it so the music only plays when she hits the hanging toys (toy bar was removed in this picture). This teaches her cause and effect.

You can't imagine how many pictures you're going to take of your baby and how many you're going to want to frame until you bring your little one home. That's why it's essential to have the Kodak EasyShare P720 Digital Picture Frame. This digital picture frame is great! You can easily load digital pictures and videos on it. It lets you decide how long you want each picture to appear and you can even set them to music. I couldn't live without mine! I needed something that was fast and easy to use because I don't have the time or patience to fool with some high-tech digital gadget...it's perfect for a busy new mama. 

This month I want to hear from you! What's you new mama must have? What product can't you live without?

Complete List of New Mama Must Haves
New Mama Must Haves: January '09
New Mama Must Haves: December '08


Baby Monitor Debate

When I get together with my other new mama friends we always end up asking "how's your baby sleeping." What we should probably be asking is "how are you sleeping." I think I may have found the long lost key to getting 8 hours of sleep when you have an infant..and I figured out how to get my baby to sleep through the night all at the same time.

The secret's in the monitor.

Here's the thing. As a new mama you're probably buddy-buddy with your baby monitor. You are, aren't you? Just admit it - we all are! Well, at least I was! I use the monitor during the day when my daughter is taking naps. I no longer use the monitor at night.

Hear me on out on this one. It took my daughter four months to consistently start sleeping through the night. I knew she wasn't hungry and that she could make it until morning without eating, but I couldn't figure out why she'd wake up randomly. Then one night around 3am I was awakened by the sound of her babbling, but not crying, on the monitor. I stumbled into her room only to find her eyes were closed. She was still asleep and me rushing in was only waking her up. I went back to my room and realized that if I didn't have the monitor on I wouldn't have heard the babbling, I would have stayed asleep and therefore she would have too. I also realized closing her door slightly, but not completely, and doing the same to mine, would definitely be enough to awaken me by her true cries. (There's no way I could miss the crying, especially the way she exercises her lungs.) So the next night I tried it. I turned off the monitor at night. She slept the whole night through and so did my husband and I.

So here's what's happening. We all have awake times in the middle of the night, even if we don't remember them. My daughter babbles, squeals, and even cries out during hers. But she always goes back to sleep. I'm not sure how many times this happens at night..maybe two or three? (Last night I was up way passed my bedtime and I heard her babbling around 11:15. I thought, well she's not screaming so I'll let her go. Ten minutes later she was fast asleep. She woke up at 6:45 this morning happy as a lark.) By turning the monitor off I don't hear every little peep which has taught her to get herself back to sleep and given me the chance to get uninterrupted sleep as well.

Recommended Reading:

The 45 Minute Nap
How Much Sleep Does My Baby Need
How to Get a Baby to Sleep
Getting Your Baby to Sleep Through the Night
Trouble With Naps: The 2 Day Solution

The books I found the most useful as far as teaching my daughter to sleep are:


Help the Medicine Go Down

Ever wonder how much medicine your baby is actually getting when you squirt that little medicine dropper into the side of their mouth? I sometimes feel like half goes down...but not her throat, her chin! So I've found an easy solution to ensure my daughter gets the full dose.

Use that convenient medicine dropper you got from the pharmacy or that came with your baby's medicine to measure out the right dosage. Then take the nipple of a bottle and squirt the medicine into it. Hold it with the hole down so all the medicine pools into the top part of the nipple. If it's easier to hold, attach a bottle to it, when you give it to your baby. I simply hold the nipple and watch as she sucks it all down. I use this "technique," if you will, for vitamins, amoxicillin, tylenol, you can even use it for gas drops.

I've found some medicines, like baby tylenol, are a little too thick to come out the hole in the nipple. Try using a fast flow nipple that has three or four holes (usually for older babies 6+ months). The other option is to sacrifice a smaller nipple and use a sterilized pin to make the hole slightly larger.

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