I’ve been trying to think of a good excuse to give you guys for why I haven’t blogged and responded to comments in over 4 months, but then I realized that you probably already know why: I’m a new mama with absolutely no clue what I’m doing who also happens to work full time and then some. My “me-time” has consisted of scrubbing poop off baby clothes, cleaning bottles and pump parts and picking up toys from every square inch of my house. On the forreals though, you should’ve seen how grown out my highlights were… I literally had a thought the other day about many more months it would take for them to be considered “ombre”…. so sad. To my credit, I am learning to get out more and really dedicate some time to myself, but with working full time, I feel guilty when I don’t spend my time off with/around Dylan. I think every working mama can relate to this, so would love to hear how you guys have dealt with this.
OK, OK…enough sap story for one post. Although I’ve clearly still got some baby-mama-drama to work out, I have made great progress over the past few months in organizing all this craziness. I get a laugh at reading through my old posts as I was nesting and I’m guessing you experienced mama’s did too – I clearly had no clue what I was about to get into. Organizing everything pre-baby definitely, absolutely, totally helped me but instead of cleaning every closet in this joint, I should’ve spent more time doing nothing… because gone are those days, friends.
And although I tried to plan ahead and organize for the future, I soooo wasn’t prepared for the “morning marathon”. Hell, I’ve been back at work for over 4 months now and I’m still getting use to it. Getting me ready, getting D ready, feeding D, getting D ready again after he poops/pukes on himself, getting me ready again after D pukes on my outfit, making bottles, loading 6 bags in the car and then heading off to daycare and work… all before a cup of coffee is mother.truckin’.work.
So a couple Sundays ago, I declared that I’d spend 30 minutes “prepping” for the week. I thought about everything that slows me down in the morning and realized that it really revolved around outfits and getting both D and I ready. So while putting away laundry like I typically do on Sunday, I spent a few minutes picking out 5 outfits for both Dylan and I. Since Dylan doesn’t really wear shoes yet, I thought his hanging shoe organizer would be the perfect way to organize his outfits for the week as there is a cubby for each day of the work week, plus one for weekend outfits. Since I store his tops and bottoms in separate drawers of his dresser, this has been such a time saver. It has also really helped ensure Jer doesn’t dress Dylan like a freak. It happens…
So I applied the same system in my closet, but there was absolutely no way I could give up one inch of my shoe storage… gotta little problem in that department. Instead, I simply picked out 5 outfits and slipped a little cord tag that I labeled with the day of the week around the hangers. I LOVE these cord tags from Martha Stewart…that lady knows a thing or two.
Since I’ve started doing this, weekday mornings have been soooo much easier and it’s also been super helpful in ensuring that the outfits below never happen again… #dorks
PS: please excuse typos and sentences that don’t make any sense. Still working through post-baby-fuzziness.
It’s fall around here y’all and as soon as the pumpkin spice lattes and Yankee candles hit the shelves, I go goo goo about decorating with leaves, sticks, pumpkins and pretty much anything with an orangish, brownish, yellowish hue. However, we’ve had a lot of super colorful baby stuff laying around and I’ve recently learned that the only thing “baby” that goes with my beloved fall color scheme, is well… quite stinky. And yes… I totally understand that scattered colorful toys comes with all that sweet baby goodness but until our playroom is complete I’ve desperately needed a way to tame my inner OCD clean freak and somehow conceal the chaos unraveling in our living room.
So by looking at the picture below, would you guess I also have all of Dylan’s supplies and toys we keep downstairs somewhere?
Yep, it’s all neatly tucked away in that pie safe cabinet! I absolutely love this solution because it allows me to seasonally decorate the top of the cabinet, while using the drawers and shelves for oodles of storage. And you’re probably asking yourself “why is this crazy chick storing baby stuff in her dining room? but it actually makes perfect sense with our downstairs floor plan, which is almost completely open. The pack-in-play changing table separates the living room (where we play) from the kitchen/breakfast nook.
So in the left drawer I decided to make a home for all the small baby stuff – pacifiers, bibs (which Jer calls capes?!), extra mini bottles of hand sanitizers for his diaper bag, and misc. carseat/highchair parts.
In the right drawer, I have a few burp clothes, receiving blankets and a few outfits in case when we have a poopisodes downstairs.
I know the stuff in the top shelf bins will change as Dylan gets older but right now I’m storing his bath supplies, diapers and wipes in them. Again, since this cabinet is so close to the kitchen (where we bathe him) it’s perfect for storing his towels, soaps, etc. and since it’s also so close to where we change him while downstairs, it makes the perfect spot for extra diapers & wipes.
On the bottom shelf, I just have a few toys. Dylan is only 12 weeks, so I totally know this will overflow with toys in no time… but until he needs more than his hands for entertainment, it works!
So how are you guys storing/hiding all those toys and baby butt stuff?
And I just have to leave you with this. Happy Fall y’all from my punkin to yours!
Someday I will write a post detailing all the wonderful things about breastfeeding… but this my friends is not it. I could also use this post to tell you things you already know, like “it’s the best thing you can do for your baby”, “it helps you lose weight quick”, and “it’s very convenient”… but again you already know that stuff. So instead, I want to share my breastfeeding journey with you, which has been the hardest yet most rewarding experience of my life. There were countless towel throw-ins, tears and late night pump cleanings… but I’m now so very proud to tell you that I stuck with it and turned my underweight baby to a 10 week old baby who is completely off the growth charts for height and weight!
So my nursing troubles started at birth. Although Dylan initially latched beautifully, he developed Jaundice which caused him to sleep… A LOT. And there’s a lot to love about a super sleepy baby, but unfortunately they don’t eat a lot. It also didn’t help that he was put in the NICU for a day and given formula… so when we finally got home from the hospital 5 days later and his appetite started to increase, he got pissed when his milk machines were not giving him the goods. I mean, who wouldn’t be… right! Then the next day at his first dr. appointment, the worst happened… he hadn’t regained his birth weight and his doc gave us the option of starting formula or going to a lactation consultant to assess the situation. So off we went to whip out and talk about my boobs with a few more people (vanity is sooo out the window at this point). My LC’s recommendation was probably the suckiest (pun intended!) moment of my experience – since he didn’t transfer enough milk, she suggested that I nurse, pump and then supplement with at least 1 oz of pumped milk or formula. And yes, I did this for every feeding for 4 straight weeks = My. Personal. Hell.
So although this totally, 100% sucked…. it’s also really worked. Although the first week I was only able to express 1/2 an ounce after a feeding, that quickly increased and by 3 weeks I was pumping almost 2 oz and Dylan was quickly gaining weight. Aside from pumping, I also took Fenugreek to increase my milk supply for a few weeks but had to stop as I just couldn’t stand smelling like the waffle house. At our 4 week LC weight check-in, my LC happily told us that we had graduated and against her recommendation, I then completely stopped pumping. She suggested that I wean off the pump, but I was soooo sick of pumping and Dylan was eating every 2 hours so I desperately needed the break. Big Mistake. Within a few days, I developed a low grade fever and lump in my breast. Yep… that’s a sure sign of a clogged duct and a day or so away from Mastitis. Luckily I was aware of the symptoms and caught it fast. Although it was painful, I made Dylan nurse extra on the breast with the clogged duct and within a few days it cleared.
Needless to say, back to the pump I went! But only twice a day and now happily once a day. Since Dylan is transferring plenty (at 2 months he weighed 13 lbs!), I’ve been building a pretty nice supply of the liquid gold, and boy am I proud of that stuff when I open my freezer and see my stock pile! So after gathering tons of different ideas for how to store and organize my supply, I found the coolest idea from Roni at GreenLiteBites.com… and of course I had to copy it. What I love about her method is that it ensures you use your oldest milk first by dispensing it in the correct order.
- Here’s whatcha need:
- - A small gift bag
- - Scissors
- - Tape (to reinforce opening)
- - Milk storage bags
Simply cut a hole in the bag on one of it’s sides, making sure the opening is wide enough for your storage bags.
Store your oldest milk at the bottom and simply stack on your newer milk. Before placing the milk in the bag, I make sure it’s labeled with the date and volume. I also only store a 3-4 oz bottle worth of milk per bag.
I usually have a little treat sitting next to my bags, because after all, nursing allows us a few extra calories a day
- Oh and here are the LLLi guidelines I follow for storing breastmilk:
- - At room temperature (66-78°F, 19-26°C): for 4 hours (ideal), up to 6 hours (acceptable)
- - In a refrigerator (<39°F, <4°C): for 72 hours (ideal), up to 8 days
- - In a freezer (-0.4 to -4°F, -18 to -20°C): for 6 months (ideal) up to 12 months (acceptable)
If I had a nickel for everything I didn’t know about babies, I’d be one rich lady. Before Dylan, I had literally been around one baby – my precious niece, Kaitlyn. So when it came time to register for and buy baby stuff, I was pretty clueless. Needless to say, we got and bought a ton of stuff… some we’re loving and can’t live without and some we’ve turned into dog toys. I wish I could make you one of those awesome Target back to school commercials detailing this list, que the “backpackkkkkks!” but I’m just not that cool, so here’s my “Love it” and “Gotta have it” list of infant stuff. The Gotta have it list are seriously things I couldn’t live without now.
Oh and please take this post for what it is – just one new mama’s (with limited baby exposure!) favorite baby stuff! I’m by no means a baby expert, I just know what makes me and my 8 week old baby boy happy!
Soft, light and super versatile! I typically use these for swaddling and cuddling, but I’ve also used as a nursing cover and even a burp cloth from time to time. I’ve even found myself sleeping with these… without Dylan!
Love everything about this car seat and it’s super easy to install / get in and out of the car.
The stroller is also super nice and such a smooth ride. My only complaint here is storage… I can barely fit my diaper bag underneath sometimes, but I carry a ton of stuff around with me!
Dylan LOVES this. We spend about 30 minutes everyday playing on it and he coos and smiles the entire time. We also do our Tummy Time on it because the mat is so soft.
This chair has been a lifesaver during dinner time and when I’m getting ready. It vibrates and keeps him entertained when I can’t hold him. I also love that it’s super light and I can tote it around the house with me.
This is seriously cool. It attaches to the crib and plays soothing music, while little fish swim by. It also has a timer and remote so I can restart the music without coming into the room. Playing music from this toy is now part of our bedtime routine!
I didn’t love this at first and still don’t think it’s as good as the BreastFriend pillow that I used while at the lactation consultant but it’s still a great pillow for nursing. I also love to prop Dylan up on it when we play or sit on the couch together.
I tried the Bjorn, the Boba and the Peanut Shell sling and although I like several things about each one, I LOVE the Ergo Baby carrier. It’s the most comfortable and feels the most secure. It’s also magical, as it literally puts Dylan to sleep in 2 minutes flat.
I think these are such a cute way to capture your little one growing! There are tons of these on Etsy but this would also be a great DIY project!
The Miracle Blanket This is the one product that actually changed my life. It took Dylan from 2 hour sleep sprints to 5… instantly! I initially thought he didn’t like to be swaddled because he could get out of every blanket and SwaddleMe swaddle… but he cannot get out of this one! It’s also super easy to change his diaper in, as you don’t have to undo the arm swaddle to pull his legs out.
Instead of a bassinet, we used this guy and Dylan loves it! He spits up a good amount, so this has been perfect at keeping him at an incline while he sleeps. It’s also super portable and lightweight. I’ve spent full nights rocking this sucker… I think I can do it in my sleep now!
This is another Dylan favorite and basically his seat in our living room when we’re not holding him. What’s great about this is that it plugs into the wall (so no batteries!) and it has a great sound machine. I switch between the white noise and the lullaby. Jer and I joke that we now hear the lullabies from this even when it’s not playing. I even start humming them randomly.
What a LIFE SAVER this has been. So I’m working on another post about my breastfeeding drama/journey, but basically I was nursing AND pumping 8 times a day and having my hands free for the pumping part was so very helpful. If you plan to pump, this is a MUST!
Watching Dylan fight gas pains is probably worse on me than the actual gas is on him. These gas drops are amazballs…. nuff’ said.
Jer did a lot of research on baby monitors and claims this has the best product reviews and after using it, I’m hooked! Talk about peace of mind… being able to watch my little guy sleep and even zoom in to see him breathe has been so comforting! I also love that I can talk to Dylan and play music through it.
I know I featured this in my baby organizing post, but this has seriously become the downstairs “baby station”. It’s where we change him and store burp clothes, blankets, the diaper bag, etc. It’s been so nice to have one spot downstairs where we store all his stuff!
Ok… enough of my favorites, what baby products are you loving?!
Welcome to My Sweetnest! I'm just one new mama organizing her way to a sweeter and happier home one naptime at a time.