I’m the type of person who makes a list even if stuff has been done, just to check it off! Lists, calendars, color-coding systems… they make me happy because I’m a planner. I embrace my Type A personality so when that line appeared on our pregnancy test a year and a half ago, a whole new type of planning kicked in! Of course, I had ideas already on certain baby things since we’d been planning on a baby for quite awhile… over 4 years actually, (which was my first taste that babies don’t always follow a plan)! I saw myself as a modern Mama embracing all-natural tendencies in everything we did with the baby. Here are 5 items that took a bit of a detour from my original plans:
I knew from the start I wanted to use Bumgenius cloth diapers. They are better than disposables for the environment and generally better for baby, plus there is a cost-savings. The plan was to use disposable newborn diapers the first week or so and then go right into cloth diapers. We registered for them, bought re-usable ditty bags — we were all set to go. However, once Lily arrived and I saw how much laundry I really was now doing with burp cloths, linens, clothes and more, I quickly knew for our household, another load of laundry was going to be one too many.
So… the cloth idea went to the wayside and we are proud Pampers parents. Jesse is super analytical and was very thorough in his research on disposable diapers. We experimented with Earth’s Best and others, but found we like Pampers Swaddlers (the ones without the super-duper leak protection since those equate to more chemicals). 11 months in and no rashes to report (and no leaks)! If her tush happens to turn a little pink, we head it off as the pass and switch to a cloth diaper for 1-2 uses to give her bum a break.
I knew I wanted to breastfeed; that was always in my plan. My goal was to make it to 6 months exclusively and then introduce solids. Well, Lily had another mind set. She began showing interest in food and could swallow properly so she began successfully taking solids at 4 months alongside her nursing routine. And I am happy to say at 11 months, she is not a picky eater and loves mealtimes. She still nurses 3 times a day. My next goal is to make it one year with breastfeeding. We’ll see if we go past that – I have learned to take the cues from my daughter!
3. Homemade Food
And speaking of food…I vowed before she arrived I would make the majority of her food. For the most part I have stuck to this thanks to our Beaba BabyCook food maker system and good ol’ fruits and veggies. But, when going out, it was a little tricky to keep homemade baby food cool until eaten, especially if we were out all day long. Enter our new love: Happy Baby/Happy Tot foods. When we go out to eat I pack a pouch along with some of their cereal puffs, a sippy cup filled with water and a container of apple sauce. It’s a great go-to meal and Lily loves all the ones she has sampled. I squeeze the pouch into a bowl and spoonfeed her rather than letting her suck from the pouch.
Three months before her birth, we had the crib ready to go. My favorite Pottery Barn Kids sheets were all washed and set up. The nursery looked catalog-ready and all we needed was the baby to complete the picture. Rather than buying a bassinet, we set up the pack and play next to our bed so she could be near me for nighttime feedings.
We bring Lily home and…she didn’t want to sleep in the crib at all. Nor the pack and play. Instead, many nights she fell asleep in the swing, and I stayed nearby on the sofa, or she would fall asleep on me in the recliner in her room (our comfy chair was the best investment ever)! But, I couldn’t keep sleeping on sofas and chairs. So, we moved to a bed-sharing method. I never had that in the plan! I like my space! We bought the Snuggle Nest which we placed between us and everyone was happy again. She stayed in there until 4 months, and then transitioned nicely to her crib. It was harder on me actually to make the transition! I slept in that chair the first night to make sure she was ok all night! But now, she likes her crib space to stretch out in and has been sleeping through the night since 4 months. (Note: co-sleeping can be beneficial to both baby and parents, but make sure you read up on how to do it safely).
5. Baby wearing
I saw myself happily doing chores around the house with baby nestled against me. We bought 2 options: a Britax carrier and a Baby K’tan. The Britax one has been handy for outdoor adventures, but the K’tan one, I thought I would use more than the one time I used it. Turns out Lily likes her independence when awake and never really liked baby wearing, swaddling or sleep sacks. Girl loves to s-t-r-e-t-c-h those muscles when she can!
Overall as a new Mom, I learned that baby will tell you what she needs for the most part and to trust your instincts. Dunstan’s Baby Language helped us a lot to determine what she wanted when she was still a newborn, and now, I pretty much knows what she wants/needs each day since she can point to what she wants, including her crib when she wants to be left alone with her books!
Some Tips if Your Baby Decides to Take a Detour as Well
1. Go with the flow and understand you may be making several trips to BuyBuyBaby and BabiesRUs like we did to find the products that match your baby’s demeanor.
2. Save coupons and gift cards you receive for these stores as you will probably be visiting them several times a month at first as you determine exactly what your baby likes. For example, Lily would not take a soothie, so we had to switch to Avent pacifiers and then once in the crib, she didn’t like being so flat, so we bought an incline wedge. These were things we couldn’t plan for!
3. Don’t wash everything ahead of time. We could’ve returned the sleepsacks she didn’t like if we had just sampled one at first to see if she liked it.
4. Save your receipts for all those cute baby items you buy or receive.
Good luck as you navigate the twists and turns of the first year with your new baby!
What did your baby do that you weren’t expecting? Was there something you were planning on using and baby didn’t want any part of?