New baby

A Few of My Favorite (Baby) Things [Part One]

After I birthed my fifth baby, exactly five years ago, my husband and I thought that we’d never have any more babies.

Fast forward to our fifth baby’s second birthday and I found myself drowning in tears from both weaning her and deciding the baby items should (finally) go.

So…we donated everything. Everything except for the crib, that is.

Much to our grand surprise, last August we found out we were expecting number six!

He uncharacteristically rejoiced.

I panicked.

We had to start from scratch again. And, knowing right well that mamas of nearly six children do not get baby showers, no matter how in need, I started saving up.

I was shocked at how much had changed in the way of baby gear since having our fifth.

This time around, I was determined to have the best time ever researching items and getting rather large boxes in the mail.

Testing out new and unusual baby items is like an addictive drug to me. I adore bypassing the “norm” and going right for the lesser known items.

Here are my new, favorite, baby must haves:

Mumbelli

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Mumbelli is a name you may not have heard yet.

Created by a very sleep-deprived mama, this is the only womb-like portable bed on the market!

Each Mumbelli bed comes with a fabric carry case, an adjustable Velcro barrier, an acid reflux wedge, a removable mattress, and is completely washable! *(Score!)

This is the perfect baby sleeper for newborns, ages 0-3 months.

Price: $129 US (price has increased by $20 since I purchased mine back in April 2019)

Graco Dream Glider Sleeper Swing

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Before the big Fisher Price Rock and Play recall, I was already on the hunt for another co-sleeping option for our bedroom.

While I loved the Rock and Play for those early months with our baby girls, I was excited to try something new. Something that could be used far beyond that newborn period.

This was and is that product. However, it’s not flawless. I have some beef with this product, no matter how much we’ve loved it.

The upsides: It has three recline settings, six speeds, music and white noise sounds, and vibration. It also comes with a detachable mobile, and is machine washable.

When baby outgrows it as a bed, it doubles as a baby swing. Huge bonus.

The downsides: It’s rather a girthy item. It’s not recommended for a bedside that is lacking in space. I had to reconfigure our own room in order to accommodate it bedside, but we made it work.

Furthermore, every positive thing I listed above, also double as downsides to this product. The speed on 1 can be gentle, or sometimes, in the middle of the night, I would see it just completely almost blast off into outer space. It would scare the life outta me to jump awake at 2am and see my two week old about to make history as the first baby in space.

I’ve never used the speed beyond level 2 because, it’s frankly quite scary.

It’s not a quiet product. But, the noise it makes when it’s rocking can become the best white noise for baby.

Unfortunately, the music is annoying and the white noise is just garbage.

However, while I wouldn’t give this product five stars, I’d definitely recommend it for any parent that wants to double up on an infant bedside option and a swing.

Price: $130-$170 (depending on retailer and fabric theme you choose).

Evenflo Pivot System

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Hands down, THE BEST product I’ve EVER purchased for any of my babies.

This forever Graco mama has now moved to the Evenflo side of things with this zero-regret purchase.

Worth every penny, Mama’s.

The Pivot system is so versatile and easy to use, and the fact that it’s style rivals that of more high-profile brands is a humongous win!

This amazing travel system comes in many stylish colors, strolls like a dream, and the pivot feature on the bassinet is just pure love.

Even my husband loves it. And, when my husband loves something enough to mention it verbally, you know it’s gotta be good.

I can’t say enough about this product. This is the MUST HAVE out of all must haves.

Price: $279 US (I used a 20% off Buy Buy Baby coupon to bring the total down about $50).

Infantino Cuddle-Up Carrier

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I’ve had my fair share of baby-wearers over the years. From the infamous Moby to Mei Tei’s and the like, none of those have been as good to me as this Infantino Cuddle-Up.

I love all of the support it gives my body. There’s waist support, extra arm and shoulder support, and a removable hoodie for those hot summer days or cool, blustery mornings when baby needs some additional protection.

It’s easy to put on and remove, and you don’t need to watch any YouTube videos in order to figure it out. (HUGE bonus, am I right?)

Price: $39 US (Lesson learned: you don’t need to spend a ton to get a good, quality carrier that you’ll just adore!)

Skip Hop Silver Lining Cloud Entertainer

So, it’s a hard knock life out here in baby entertainer land.

I was bound and determined to find a baby entertainer that didn’t look like a daggone circus.

Let’s face facts: most entertainers are literal eye sores in your living spaces. And not only that, they make the most hideous noises imaginable.

This product is the opposite of that.

While it’s a bit of a boon on the old wallet, it’s truly a grow-with-me experience for baby.

The adjustable foot platform doubles as a chalkboard. Yes, a real chalkboard. I know. Amazing, right? And this chalkboard will pop right into the chair bit of the entertainer and the entire apparatus will transform into the cutest kiddie table you ever saw.

The toys are easily removable and can be reconfigured with so much ease, you could do it with your eyes closed.

And speaking of eyes, it goes easy on those, as well. Because, quite simply, this entertainer is anything but another eye-sore circus show like 99% of the entertainers on the market.

The only downside is that I wish the table automatically came with the little stools needed for the toddler table it eventually becomes. For the price, it would’ve been fantastic to include those. But, I digress. No matter, this product is wonderful.

Price: $130 US ( I got mine for $20 less on Amazon).

Do you have any of these items? What are your reviews? Share with us in the comment section, below!

*Part 2 (Diapering, feeding, and other necessities) will be posted very soon!

A Beatrix Potter Nursery

When the time came for us to plan and organize a nursery for our little girl I knew I wanted something classic and full of clean colors, also something I could use for our next little one, whether it be a girl or boy. I played around with many different ideas but my mind kept coming back to one of my favorite children's authors, Beatrix Potter. 

It took me forever to find a comforter for Ellie's nursery. There were so many expensive blankets and I just couldn't justify spending over $100 for a blanket. Thankfully we found this one at Barnes and Noble. Quite unexpected but it was exactly what I wanted. (p.s. the blankets and stuffed animals in the crib are just for the picture.) Ellie's crib was a baby shower gift. It was purchased from Target.

One of the last things we purchased for Eleanor's room was this dresser/changing table. I wanted something that could be used as a changing table and dresser since we don't have lots of space in her room. It is also a piece of furniture that can be used later on when we no longer need a changing table. The dresser/changing table is from IKEA. ( I couldn't find this exact model online. However, this is a link to IKEA's current changing table/dresser products.)

We were able to find the small Peter Rabbit Collection books at a local children's consignment store and the Peter Rabbit prints were a gift from family. You can find similar prints of Peter Rabbit or other Beatrix Potter characters on Etsy. The shelf was from Ellie's grammy and the hats were also gifts from family members and friends.  The Jemima Puddle duck was from amazon.

I loved these bookends I got as a present from my cousin. These too were from Barnes and Noble

Eleanor's room was a bit cramped so thankfully we were able to have a little nook in our house for these extra items and awesome shelf we got as a gift.

This is just a little glance into how to make a simple, yet classic nursery for you little one. Today on Instagram I will give a new tour of Ellie's room. We added some new things and figure out new ways to work with the space we have, so if you don't already follow us on Instagram hop on over and find us and follow along! (@honestlymotherhood)

Have a great week everyone!

-Sincerely, Sarah.

Your baby isn't manipulating you.

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I'm gonna say this as loving and encouraging as possible, although frustration may inevitably come thru as I am very passionate about what I'm about to say. 

I'm not a parenting expert. Just because I have more than the average number of children, doesn't make me a parenting guru. I do, however, consider myself pretty comfortable and knowledgable about babies.

This post is for all of the brand new moms and moms-to-be out there. Your baby will not/is not manipulating you. 

I've recently personally heard of two instances where brand new mothers were beyond frustrated (and shocked) at their baby's behavior. One instance in particular, the mother considered her newborn child a "spawn of satan" simply because the baby didn't want to go all night long without eating [even though the mother fed every two hrs during the day]. As if this is some magic formula that will guarantee a new mother a good nights sleep. 

Simply put, the baby is hungry. The baby cannot feed him/herself and her cries are the communicator to get you to feed her. Easy solution. But some parents are insistent that this new little thing won't barge into our lives and suck all of the sleep out of us. And that's the desperate attitude that some parents have. Then that hole of desperation to find a solution is filled with contempt and annoyance towards their child. Your answer is not in a book, a blog, or a doctors office. Your answer is to meet that child's need.  

Then I heard another new mom refer to her new baby as a "spoiled brat" because the child would cry almost every time the mother put him down. In addition, she was further frustrated that he actually seemed to want to suck on something most of the day too whether it was to nurse or use a binky. 

First, with very rare exceptions, babies are mostly all the same and predictable in their behaviors. The three things you MUST understand are:

1)Babies LOVE their mamas. They love your touch, your heartbeat, your warmth, your voice, your smell...babies just LOVE mommy and that's TYPICAL!! No, we can't possibly hold our babies every waking moment. We have to do other things that would require us to put our babies down, such as  shower, use the toilet, or just to give our arms and back a tiny little break. But, if you are a first time mom, especially in those first few weeks, hold and snuggle your baby as much as you can. Get a carrier. Wear your baby when you do dishes and laundry. Do whatever you can to keep your baby close. YOU WILL NOT SPOIL her!!! 

2)Babies LOVE to suck. If you're nursing, baby will probably want to be attached almost constantly at first. Why not, right? It's pure bliss to a baby to feed and be comforted by their mother.

Isaiah 49:15 ESV 

“Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb?"

For whatever reason, some mothers can't nurse their children, and some mothers simply chose not to even start. That's not even something I want to debate. The important take away here for both nursing and non-nursing mamas is this: your baby finds comfort in sucking. It's their favorite thing to do. This world is wild and big to them, and sucking helps them cope. It also is the only way they can receive nourishment. So allow them to nurse as often as they want. Give them that bottle when they protest your other attempts at comfort. Give them that binky...you will NOT spoil them!! 

3) Finally, understand mama, that babies are NOT aware of your busyness, your schedule, your desire to get this or that checked off your "to-do" list today. They are completely, and understandably so, self-centered creatures. They won't fall in line easily with your attempts at putting them on a schedule or adding a wrench into what they are actually trying to communicate with you. 

The exception I've personally found myself immersed in was when I had a NICU preemie. Babies in the NICU aren't allowed to have their way constantly. They are put on a rather strict feeding schedule to fall in line with their peers and to help the nurses to best care for the multiple babies in their pod. But you'd better believe that after that month of my daughter living in the NICU, I brought her home and completely threw out that rigid timetable they had her following. Some of you would probably have thought I'd gone mad. My baby was on a schedule afterall. I let her run the roost (when she got home) and I wouldn't have had it any other way. I even had two other small children at the time as well and just let that little princess get her way everytime she needed anything. Why? Because I wanted her to trust me completely. I wanted her to know that she would be cared for promptly and thoroughly and wouldn't have to wait anymore as she did in the NICU days.  

That's the key, mamas. Trust. That's the goal here. Your baby has been nurtured constantly in the warmth of your womb and it's all they've ever known. Birth brings some scary detachments; a first feeling of cold, and sounds that are unmuted. Even a baby's own cry can startle them. Your job as a new mother is to nurture, provide, and help your baby transition to life outside of the womb. 

Don't live in a bubble of frustration and keep your head stuck in a stack of books about how to have a "happier" baby.  

Don't be afraid to be your baby's answer to whatever is frustrating her. Learn together how to navigate this new life. 

Personally, my fifth baby is going to be five months old next week. She eats whenever she wants during the day, her longest stretch of sleep at night is 5-6 hrs (yes, she wakes in the middle of the night because she's hungry!!), she'd rather snuggle more than play. Did I teach her to be that way? No. But she rarely cries, she's a happy little thing, and I know it's because she trusts me. She trusts that I will come to her as quickly as possible to meet her needs. That's not the easiest thing to do with four other little ones, but just doing my best is what matters here.

Most of us actually do have the best of intentions with our new babies. This is not a post to debate our methods. We all mother just a bit differently from one another. Out situations vary like the colors in a prism. The goal is to understand our babies better. The goal is to not see our babies as the ultimate manipulators and time-suckers. Your baby may do one thing for two days and then completely start another routine on a whim. If there's one thing I've confidently learned about raising babies is expect change. A lot of change. They certainly keep you on your toes! 

 Make sure you're doing all you can to make baby as comfortable as possible in the first weeks and months. Don't fight against baby's needs, but amidst the foggy haze of new parenthood, rise up to serve your little one to the best of your ability. We're all learning. We won't have all of the answers all of the time. New motherhood is exhilarating, exhausting, and exasperating. I encourage you to not complicate things by pushing your own agenda on your baby. It will only lead to deeper frustration and likely, an unhappy baby. And you're too tired to have an unhappy baby, anyway. <3

 

What advice/encouragement would you give to new mothers? Share below!  

 

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