Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Incredible Sleeping Baby + Essential Baby Gear for the Early Weeks

Parents-to-be, while you're pouring over the menu of "extras" you can order to customize your new baby (cuteness, sweetness, unscented poop, etc), I definitely recommend going for the "Super Sleeper" app. I know it's expensive, but it's sooo worth it! For the last two nights, Clementine has slept for six-hour stretches!! I've woken her for a final change and feed at midnight, and then she's slept until six! It's downright civilized of her. Okay, so maybe we didn't pay extra for this. Maybe we just got rillyrilly lucky, but man, is it awesome.

The wonderful photographer, Carrie O'Callaghan, who shot pictures of us a couple of weeks ago, has just posted some on her blog. Here's one:
Aw, so sweet! Honestly, I don't know how she got this one, because in my recollection, Clementine was really fussy by the end of the shoot, when we were trying to get pics of her by herself! This smiling moment might have been a millisecond in the midst of fuss, but Carrie captured it! Tomorrow we'll see the rest of the pictures and try not to spend $1000 ordering prints!

As per the second part of the title of this post, I thought I'd take a second to say what of all the tons of baby stuff one supposedly "needs" we find we have actually used a lot. I know when we were registering for the baby shower, and shopping on our own, we were a little overwhelmed. Of course, the Babies R Us registry would have you believe you can't live without 62 pieces of large plastic equipment of various sorts, but we didn't believe that to be true, and in fact, it is not true.

One thing we are managing quite nicely without? A stroller! Clementine is small. We "wear" her. We somehow acquired (second-hand and by gift), about every style of baby-carrier known to modern man: the sling, the Ergo, the Moby, the Snuggli, and yes, the Baby Bjorn. I have to admit that in the first few weeks we had a bit of yuppie snobbishness and kept trying those first three, because they somehow seemed *cooler* than the plain old Bjorn which I had purchased at Target. But then a friend came to mom group wearing her baby in a Bjorn and lo and behold, it's just way better for small floppy babies! So that's what we've been using, though I expect when she's a bit bigger we'll transition to the Ergo.

The Swing
This is our only piece of plastic "gear." We have a small battery-powered travel swing made by Boppy, and it's fabulous. If we put her in it when she's asleep or drowsy, it will conk her out, and the rocking motion helps keep her sleepy longer. The other day we were having my parents over for dinner and I had to cook. I put Clementine in her swing in the kitchen and baked a cake (apple-upside-down) and made a salad (wild rice and salmon) and she slept for two hours.

The Swaddle
We swaddle Clementine at bedtime and the nice warm cocoon keeps her from startling herself awake with little newborn arm spasms. You can do a blanket swaddle, of course, but we like the Kiddopotamus swaddlers: they're an easy wrap with a few pieces of velcro, they come in different weights of fabric for different seasons, and they don't constrict the hips and legs, so the baby's legs can still "frog" like they're supposed to for hip joint development. Clementine will outgrow hers soon, which will be sad.

The Boppy
Just a U-shaped pillow for nursing support. Very comfy. We also use it as a little nest, with a small pillow in the middle and a blanket across it, propped against the sofa back, we can set Clementine there to snooze in the evening if we're right there. Soon she'll be too active and squiggly for it, at which point it will be a good support for semi-sitting position.

Obviously diapers are an essential, along with a place to change them. Now that Clementine is big enough we're using G-diapers (which don't yet come in newborn size): they're cloth outers with flushable inserts: environmentally friendly! We're investigating all-cloth, though, because these will be pricey over the long-term. I heard about a new system called Bambino Mio. Anyone know it?

That's about it! As for clothes, onesies are of course the way to go. T-shirts and dresses on a newborn just ride up like mad. Right now we're in fleece foot-pajamas. Socks are a pain, so foot coverage = good.

Lest it seem like we try to keep Clementine in a state of constant slumber, we do not! She does wake up, and she is a gurgling, cooing delight for long stretches of time before eventually falling back to sleep.

Okay, that's all. Cheers! Have a lovely day!


Emilie said...

It's so nice to hear from parents of a newborn as to what they actually use! Thanks for such an informative little post!

BTW, when my husband and I get around to having babies, I really want to use some sort of cloth diapers, but no one I know uses anything but bleached disposables. Please keep us informed of your quest for the perfect eco-friendly diaper. I'd rather hear testimony from a regular parent than from the manufacturer!

Steph said...

What is a "Super Sleeper" app?

Sarah said...

The pictures are beautiful! She looks so angelic in that smiling picture.

I also enjoy the Baby Bjorn, and my little boy loves to ride in it when we go for long walks. He's growing though, and I'm starting to feel it in my back if we're gone for too long! Now that he's sitting up, I love love love the sling. Not good for long walks, but fabulous for shopping or just hanging around.

lizardek said...

She's such a darling dear and the photos are wonderful. :)

One other thing that we used and couldn't have gotten along without was cloth diapers...for everything BUT diapering.

jelsie said...

She looks gorgeous, congratulations on having such an adorable baby.
I agree, it's amazing what you don't need with a new baby!
One thing I knitted for one of my sons that was better than socks and jazzed up any plainer outfits was cute little babysized leg warmers - I added bobbles and other interesting stitch combinations. I found a simple pattern in a German knitting magazine - a good 15 years ago.

Jordan E. Rosenfeld said...

Well I hate to say it but you got the awesome sleep-model baby. It's really normal for many babies to wake every 3 hours up until as late as 11 months or later.

However, why I came here was to show you this link, because I just finished Silksinger (Amazing, and I will post an Amazon review!) and though you probably have already seen this or know of the golden orb weaving spider, what the heck: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=113223398


Shveta Thakrar said...

Like the person before me, I love the picture of Clementine Pie, but I came here to announce a book-related thing. To my surprise, Lips Touch arrived today! I can't read it for a while, as I have to critique people's work and actually revise my own novel, but I'm taking it with me in October on my trip, along with Silksinger. It looks beautiful, and I can't wait to dive into "Spicy Little Curses Like These." That one's intrigued me since I first found out about it.

Amber Lough said...

We use cloth diapers, have been through WAY TOO MANY KINDS, and have now settled on what works best for us. If you have any questions, just send me an email. :-) Cloth really isn't any harder than disposables, IMHO--just a diff way of looking at things.

And congrats on getting a sleeping pro! Think she could teach my kids a thing or two?

storyqueen said...

Eventually, you will come to love your stroller (when you get one). Get one with good wheels (maybe even a jogger) and one that you don't have to bend down to push.

Ah, the memories.


Linda said...

Hi Laini,
I just wanted to tell you that they do make the swaddles in bigger sizes if you're interested in continuing to use them. They are the BEST! I swaddled both of my babies for probably a lot longer than is normal...even though they would bust out of them it still helped them to drop off to sleep. My second daughter finally graduated to a regular "sleep sack" (wearable blanket... so chic-chic!) at 12 months!!! I've usually gotten my swaddle wraps at BRU--they make nice soft cotton ones, flannel ones, and fleece as well. They've improved the design even since I had my older daughter three years ago and the velcro holds nicely now, especially if you use your little baby comb to get the fuzzies out of it on occasion.

Clementine is adorable! So wonderful to hear of a good sleeper! : )

best wishes,
Linda A. in MA

Anonymous said...

do tell what is a super sleeper, sounds like a winner!

Laini Taylor said...

What is the "Super Sleeper" extra, you ask? Well, if you haven't had a baby, you might not know this, but while you're in labor they bring you a list of extras you can order to go along with your baby, which starts out as a basic model, you know, like buying a car? You can pay extra for the "Super Sleeper" model. Ha ha! Obviously, this is luck, and after every good night, I feel a sense of foreboding that our next baby (which we very much hope to have in the next couple of years), will be the opposite!

Jake said...

My mom uses gdiapers for my two-year-old baby brother, and we still use a sling. Gdiapers definitely seem sturdier (not to mention better for the environment) than disposables, which I am most thankful for when having him on my lap.

Anonymous said...

Oh dear, I am a turkey! Have put the super sleeper onto my metaphoric list, along with thinking of birth as a quick and happy upsidedown slippery dip...

jenni said...

Hi - Jake's mom here-- I dont know if you knew but gDiapers now offer a cloth option through their website- it's awesome - thin but absorbant- and of course reusable! We have used gs on my son (now 2) since he was big enough to fit in them-- we use to use a cheap prefold stuffed in there- I still do but prefer the gcloth or the biodegradable insert- basically I love that I can use cloth or flushies! :)

Unknown said...

This is very beautiful and loves the picture of the baby. So cute.

RockinLou said...

gDiapers makes an awesome cloth option!! When my little girl was tiny and floppy, I carried her "froggie style" in the sling every night to put her to sleep...
we had the same Boppy swing, and she never slept a wink in it! so you definitely got lucky there! there are lots of great forums out there about cloth diapers, and lots of Mommas willing to help- it's SO WORTH it!!