Monday, July 1, 2013

Baby Gear Survey: Sleeping, Soothing and Swinging

With 5(ish) (ok, still working on this one and we're looking at 3ish...and now 2ish) weeks left before baby Ellen's arrival, I'm now scurrying to finish up my Baby Survey posts.  Again, thank you to everyone who participated in this survey.  Your input has been beyond helpful for us as we prepare for our first baby!

This post focuses on the following: crib bumpers, sheets and other bedding, sleep sacks, swaddling, blankets, bassinets, rocking chairs, swings etc.  

Click here for the spreadsheet of results

Now that you've read what other people have said, this is what we chose: 

Crib bumpers and baby bedding: Yes.  It will be awhile before Ellen can actually move around in her crib.  Bumpers are pretty (I know that sounds selfish and shallow), but when she starts moving, we'll make sure she doesn't cuddle up with them and suffocate.  I just can't bring myself to use those mesh bumpers...they're ugly.  I went with custom bedding that my mom and I made.  I have really obsessed about the nursery and couldn't find anything within a reasonable price range that I loved.  No, I will not make bedding for you.  It was much more difficult that I thought it would be...but it sure is pretty!

Here's a little sneak peak:

Sheets: I decided on a mixture of sheets, all white- regular cotton, organic muslin (Aiden and Anais) and flannel.  Depending on room temperature will depend on what we use.  One great tip I've learned is to layer mattress pads and sheets (as many as you can layer) so that if your baby has an accident or spit up/throw up in the night, you can just take the top set off and have a clean set underneath.  I chose all white sheets so that they can withstand lots of cleanings.  Here is what we registered for:

Sleep sacks: Since Ellen will be a summer baby, I went with the lightest weight Aiden and Anais sleep sacks and swaddles.  I'm not sure whether we'll put her in a sleep sack or swaddle in the beginning, I think it will depend on what she prefers.  I also have a heavier weight Halo sleep sack and Aiden and Anais for winter.  I definitely advocate for sleep sacks a few months in when swaddles aren't preferable any longer. 

Swaddling: so far, I'm an advocate for swaddling.   I'm using all Aiden and Anais swaddles, or swaddles that are made from similar muslin material.  I think they're easiest to use, we won't have to worry about her getting too hot and they are SO SOFT.  They're also a great size. I've been a big fan of them for babies I've babysat/nannied in the past. 

Bassinets: We are going to use a bassinet near the bed especially for the first couple of months when we're figuring out feeding etc.  I don't know what brand ours is because its a hand me down from my sweet SIL, Elizabeth.  We are so fortunate to have a bassinet that carries so much love with it already!  I don't really think bassinet brand matters- you don't use them that long. However, if you're looking for something beautiful check out RH Baby and Child for their bassinets and moses baskets.  They. Are. Gorgeous.  If you don't care about style and you're looking for function only, most pack and plays have a great bassinet feature.

Swings: We chose the Mamaroo by 4moms.  I love the look of it and its functionality in theory (since we haven't actually gotten to use it yet).  I love the different swinging modes, the white noise options and that you can plug an ipod into it and play whatever your baby loves.  It can be pretty pricey, so look for one from a resale shop or borrow one from a friend).  When looking for a swing I recommend something with a pretty strong swinging motion and fairly loud music/white noise.  You'll also want something that plugs into the wall so that you're not going through a million batteries.  

Rock and Play: I have many friends who SWEAR by the rock and play; however, we decided against it.  While most babies love it, I've heard from many that breaking their babies from sleeping in the rock and play has been a miserable feat.  I didn't want to deal with that...and I don't like the monkey head on the back of it, so we didn't get it.  

Rocking Chair: The biggest advice I got regarding rocking chairs/gliders is to get something that you love and that is super comfortable because you'll spend a lot of time in it.  We chose a Best Chair Company chair.  I wasn't crazy about the fabric options (I'm not kidding, I've had some serious nesting issues with nursery style), so I found the chair I wanted on Craig's List and then had it re-upholstered.  It's really pretty and you'll see it in my nursery post that I swear will happen in the next 5 weeks.

Pacifiers: The jury is out on whether Ellen will use a pacifier or not.  We're not totally against it, but we'll definitely wait until she becomes a breastfeeding champ.  Here are the ones we've got in the paci arsenal just in case:

Secretly, if she needs a pacifier, I hope she chooses her thumb- so much cuter than a paci and MUCH easier to keep up with :)

Lovies: I strongly believe that every baby needs a lovie.  I also swore I would not be one of those mommies who forces a specific lovie onto her child.  I love when kiddos pick them out for themselves...I have a friend whose little girl loves a Grinch doll and it's adorable :)  That said- I picked a lovie that I will strongly suggest for Ellen.  It's this JellyCat bunny.  It's SO soft and pretty:

She also got this JellyCat bunny from some of my favorite people on Earth, the Rickels, and she can choose it if she prefers:

My overall advice about lovies that I've learned from babysitting and nannying is to have back ups.  If a lovie is lost, it's bad news for everyone and if a lovie is dirty, it's nice to have as second stream while the A team gets washed.

So that's it for sleeping, soothing and swinging!  I hope this is helpful.  I'd love any of your feedback or further advice!  

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