Sunday, May 22, 2016

Baby Stuff I didn't use the first time around

This post is kind of about the topic identified in the title, but, as usual, I do a lot of rambling too.

One of the things I loved about being pregnant the second time around was that I didn't have to experience the terror and confusion of trying to figure out what we needed to own to successfully care for a baby. It was so much easier to just dig stuff out of the basement or have whoever I lent it to return it, rather than trying to create a registry of things I'd never even heard of. However, even though we just finished with the baby stuff, I've discovered some new things this time around. Nothing that is mandatory or required, but all things that make my life a little easier. I'm pretty mad I never knew about them or tried them the first time. Here they are so that expectant mothers or people who are considering having another child can benefit, or you can just read about crazy baby inventions for your own curiosity.

Hand pump

I've written a lot about pumping, but with Dalton, I only ever used the double electric pump. Towards the end of breastfeeding with Dalton, around 10 months, the great clogged duct debacle of 2015 happened. I went to Babies R Us and bought a hand pump in desperation. It did not help, and I didn't understand why people sung their praises. Seemed like a lot of work for very little payoff.

With Royce, I haven't started pumping yet. The pediatrician told me I could go ahead at his one week checkup, and I was like, thanks but no thanks. I'll be doing plenty of pumping in the near future, and while I want to build up a freezer stash, I have no desire to start yet and/or risk an oversupply.

(Side note - I've finally started to understand the difference between medical advice and parenting advice from the pediatrician. She said I should pump so Eric could give Royce a bottle and give me a break. Sounds nice, but I would still have to pump when he ate, and I hate pumping, so that wouldn't actually be a break. While I appreciate her concern, I'd rather wait.)

Anyway, I got off on a tangent there. The point is, I'm trying to postpone breaking out the electric pump, but a few times, I've been so engorged that it's painful and Royce was sleeping. I  grabbed the hand pump and used it for a couple minutes just to get more comfortable. I was really impressed with how efficient it was and it was so much easier to grab than setting up the whole electric pump. I'm thinking I might just keep it by the bed for that reason.


I used the Ergo with Dalton, up until I was nearly 30 weeks pregnant. I loved it, and so did he. I definitely plan to use it again. But I didn't love using it with the newborn insert, and it seemed too bulky when I was just wearing it around the house in the early days while he was tiny.

Dalton at 3 weeks old, I was so sleep deprived (so much more than this time!).

My friend lent me her Moby, because I heard they work better with newborns. Moby wraps seem to be a love or hate thing, but I am loving it. It's way more snuggly with a tiny baby, and even though it does take a little more time to put on than the Ergo, I'm getting faster with it.

I should have taken a picture when I used it yesterday, because we went to a birthday party and I actually did my hair and makeup. But when I cropped this picture to hide the mess in the background it cropped out my eye bags, so not a total fail.

Obviously, with a toddler, it's pretty necessary to have two hands free since he's constantly putting his life in danger.


My Brest Friend 

Ridiculously terrible name, awesome product. I had the Boppy (basically a C shaped pillow) with Dalton and it worked fine, but he always slipped down between the pillow and me while I was nursing. I randomly bought this when I saw a never used one for sale for $8 on our local Facebook exchange group, before I was even pregnant again. I figured I would throw it in the closet and hopefully nurse a newborn again eventually. 

It goes all the way around your waist and clasps, so there's no gap for the baby to slip in between and is overall firmer and holds a tiny little newborn up better. In fact, I even nursed Royce while I typed part of this post! And it has that little pocked that you can store stuff in like Lanolin, chapstick, and chocolate. Which I keep meaning to do and keep forgetting, because mom brain is real. 

Milk catchers

Speaking of mom brain being real, my friend that lent me the Moby also lent me this handy little thing called a "Milkie". It sits in your bra and catches any milk that leaks from the opposite side while you nurse. I'd heard really good things about it and was super excited to try it out. As I was finally setting stuff up for baby time around 38.5 weeks, I remembered it and went to get it out. I couldn't find it anywhere and it drove me completely crazy and I looked everywhere I could think of all week. I still haven't found it. This is why I generally try not to clean. I like everything where I can see it, on my living room floor, to avoid these types of problems. 

After a week, I decided to give up and just order these Avent ones another friend recommended. I only leaked with Dalton in the early days, so I felt like it was a now or never thing if I planned to try it. 

I am obsessed with these. After less than a week of using just those (no pumping!), I had enough milk in the freezer for a whole day of daycare. I'm so mad that I just threw away so much milk in breast pads with Dalton. I'm glad I bought this brand too, because I heard with the Milkies it's easy to spill the milk, and I've moved all around wearing these, changed diapers, etc, and nothing has spilled. Plus, you get one for each side, and with the Milkies you only get one. 

Stella and Dot necklace

I didn't really know anything about this jewelry. A few weeks before Royce was born, my friend had a Stella and Dot party, and I showed up mainly for the people and the food. Then I loved their engraved necklaces, and I really wanted one with both my kids' initials. I thought it would be nice when I went back to work and really missed them it would help me to feel connected and all that crap. Of course, I couldn't order it, since at that point we didn't know what the sex was and the initials for our boy and girl names were different. The party was open for orders online for 3 weeks, which was the day after my due date, so we joked that I could order one from the labor and delivery room. Royce kindly arrived a week early, so I was able to pull myself together enough to order a necklace in time! I love it so much. I guess technically it's not exactly baby gear but it's something awesome I never had before. 

Selfie where it's hard to see and backwards because my hair looks good and I want to pretend I have myself together.

Snuggle Nest

First night home!

One thing I was really excited about that another friend loaned me was the snuggle nest. It's a cosleeper that goes right in your bed. I used this the first night home with Royce, and it was really nice because I could pick him up with very little movement. You don't realize how much you use your abs getting in and out of bed, among other things, until you have them sliced open. With Dalton, Eric had to pick him up from the rock and play every time he woke up for the first week or so. This time, we slept separately as part of our divide and conquer strategy (I get up with the newborn, he chases the toddler all day). I don't like how that kind of makes him seem like a jerk because it's not like that at all, I suggested it and if I need him I just call and he comes right in to help me. I'm just a lot more confident this time and since Eric can't lactate, he's kind of useless for most night needs so I figured there was no point in both of us being sleep deprived. Also, Dalton has woken up a few times since Royce came home, so that falls to him. So don't get any ideas that he's anything less than a stellar husband and father.

Running the show at library story time last week.

Anyway, after the first night, Royce woke up a bit from the fog of being born and figured things out. Since then, he's not such a big fan of sleeping in the snuggle nest, the rock and play, or anywhere that's not my arms. I'm pleased to report that unlike last time, this is not stressful in the least. I know it will pass, and until it does, I love snuggling with him. I'm also all too aware of how quickly the time will come when he jumps off my lap and runs away to explore like his big brother does now.

Seems like a lot of my friends have babies that just go to sleep places other than their parents' arms, right out of the womb. Like they just lay down and sleep at night and don't scream to be held at all times. I know because people ask questions like "how long does he go in between feedings?" and "how many times was he up last night?". These questions assume that: there was time in between feedings (not really, it's an all night boob fest over here), and that there were definitive periods of waking up during which I was coherent enough to keep track. I know people really do have these magical unicorn babies, because I've met them, but it's not been my experience. But let me reiterate - not complaining! I love my snuggly, affectionate boys and that's just part of the package with them! (Full disclosure - the affection is all one sided between Royce and I currently, but I know he'll come around.) Plus, when babies cry to be's an easy problem to solve, and I like easy solutions, especially when they include holding cute babies.

I'll take all the cuddles I can get from these sweet little guys!
We have not initiated any of the times Dalton has held Royce! It's all his idea! We asked a couple times when he first came home, but he wasn't interested, so we dropped it. Then suddenly, this weekend, he can't hold his little brother enough. I die.

Who had a magical unicorn baby? Go ahead and brag. Or share how your baby refused to sleep if you didn't. 


  1. Rory = unicorn baby and Calen was pretty close too...I don't know what I did but I'll take it!! But I do still love you and how close our boys are in age!! Royce will get there at some point!!

  2. Well I sent you those pictures the other day of me and my baby beaming at one another from the car seat, so clearly you know he IS already a unicorn baby.

  3. Lilly was one of those magical unicorn babies! Then from 2 until 5 she did not sleep through the night regurarly. So unicorn babies can come back and bite you in the butt. Brynn smuggler, still a snuggler, BUT sleeps almost every night through now. She is my sound sleeper and enjoys her sleep like her momma. When a baby she had to be held constantly too!

  4. Lilly was one of those magical unicorn babies! Then from 2 until 5 she did not sleep through the night regurarly. So unicorn babies can come back and bite you in the butt. Brynn smuggler, still a snuggler, BUT sleeps almost every night through now. She is my sound sleeper and enjoys her sleep like her momma. When a baby she had to be held constantly too!

  5. Oh how I love this post! No magical unicorn baby here. All night boob fest for sure. I was never able to get the ergo carrier to work since I'm special like that. :). So I was considering the bjorn or the Moby for the next baby. Or maybe both since the moby is for newborns? So glad things are going well and you guys have a good system in place. :)

  6. My first was a magical unicorn baby or what I knew then as a baby. ;) My second was the one who took 15 minute micronaps and wanted to nurse all night long. Hell, she still wakes up once a night. But I always nurse her back to sleep so I guess I'm an enabler lol. Not complaining though! She's our last baby and like you said I'm not at all eager for her to grow up and not need me anymore.

  7. I think Tess is our unicorn with the exception of taking a bottle (can't win 'em all, right?). I'm loving all these pictures of your boys (and being able to refer to them in plural form now that Royce is here!) they couldn't be more precious! I am so with you on My Brest Friend and I wish I had one but I'm totally cheap and so I'm still using my boppy. I got to use the My Brest Friend one day when I nursed at Buy, Buy Baby. On a side not you gotta love their nursing room- they get a slight edge over the gorgeous ones at Nordstrom and Von Maur because of all the accessories like this that they have available for use!

  8. Thank you for sharing all these insights. My wife and I are having a baby in the next few months so these guides are most welcome to a new family to be. Thank you for showing us your precious family. I will be showing my wife the blog later tonight, great work and keep it up I want more, thanks.

    Malachi Cates @ Indian Crest Peds

  9. I don't think your husband sounds like a bad father at all for sleeping separately. We did this same thing. I've never understood why the non-lactating partner would get up with the baby all night. We need a designated grown-up! I get up with the baby and he takes point on the big boy and lets me sleep in.


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