Note: I drafted this post months ago and realized it never got posted, so here ya go. I’ll be adding an updated version with the products that have saved my sanity more recently as she’s grown.
I’m currently listening to the book Brain Rules for Baby: How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five, by John Medina. If you have any interest in child development or your baby’s brain read it. It’s fantastic. Or if you don’t have time to read it listen to it while you nurse, that seems to be the only extra quiet time I have these days. He states, “If you feel like you can’t do it [parenting] alone it’s because you were never meant to.” He’s not referring to having a spouse or a partner he’s talking about alloparenting, where in addition to the parents, individuals other than the parents act in a parenting roll. Apparently, back in the day this is how it was, people lived close by, grandparents lived with their children and grandchildren, there was community. I suppose that’s where the whole, “it takes a village to raise a child” thing comes from. Because it does. Except we’re trying to do it alone. Which goes back to my post a while back about adjusting to life as a parent and how freaking hard it is.
But, we have amazing friends and family that offer up help often and it’s helped me keep my sanity. Somewhat. Our dream of three kids has been slimmed down to two. Still, over the last 10 months we’ve learned a lot and we’ve grown and flexed and lacked sleep. Through all of it we’ve discovered a few things, products sold in stores that have aided in the sanity saving and I want to scream from the roof tops of their amazingness. So here it goes.
1. The Swing
Before delivery day, or D-Day as Bill has come to refer to it, I was very much in the camp of I don’t want my house filled with baby stuff. I’m still living in that camp but have also come to realize that if I want my sanity to remain in tact I’m going to have to make a few considerations. Enter the baby swing, specifically the Fisher-Price My Little Lamb Platinum Edition Cradle ‘n Swing. It was in a frenzy of sleep deprivation and pure desperation that my mom and I started a hunt for a swing. She said it was one of the only things that would help her get through the day with me. So I figured if genetics played any part it would work with Issa and I might get her to sit, not in my arms, just long enough to eat a warm meal. We ended up with the Fisher-Price My Little Lamb Platinum Edition Cradle ‘n Swing because it was more compact than most swings, the colors were neutral and would meld well into my decor, and as the complete stranger and new father in the aisle stated, “It’s so soft and looks so comfy I wish they’d make an adult version.”
The verdict, she likes it. Most importantly it gives me anywhere from 10-45 minutes of time where I get to do things with two hands, and sometimes for multiple times during the day. Plus it’s the perfect height for Sam to come sniff her and lick her toes.
2. Colic Calm
My daughter has gas. Like serious gas. Like man sized nasty dog fart stinking clear the room gas. And unfortunately, sometimes, it hurts her a lot. And then she cries. And then I cry. Until we found Colic Calm. We tried the over the counter stuff the pharmacist recommended, I’ve tried changing my diet. Nothing was working. I had heard about gripe water so when we got to Babies R Us I read through all the ingredients on all the bottles and Colic Calm was the only product where I could understand the ingredients and easily know what they were. It’s all natural which makes this granola mama really happy, and if you want to know more about the ingredients and how it works what the video on their website, it explains everything better than I ever could. All I know is it works, almost immediately and it allows her to pass the gas and it allows us to sleep.
3. Munchkin Lulla-Vibe Vibrating Mattress Pad
I don’t know if I’ve mentioned but my kid likes to be moving. They say never shake a baby, but she loves to be rocked and bounced and jostled. It makes her calm and it puts her to sleep. Which is all good and fine until we put her down in her bed, where she would immediately wake up. I kept thinking there had to be something that could vibrate her bed, a quick google search later I found the Munchkin Lulla-Vibe Vibrating Mattress Pad and I was at Babies R Us in minutes to buy it. This thing is gold. It goes in her bed, in her bassinet, and with us when we travel. I wish there was a mini version for her car seat (she screams when we stop at red lights). Again, most of all it’s allowed us to sleep.
4. The Hava Sling
I was always curious about baby wearing, it’s almost a cult of sorts, and pretty granola too, so I figured I’d test it out. There are about 3,000 slings on the market, some of which have been recalled. So I chatted with a friend who uses them and she kindly let me borrow her Hava Sling. She showed me how to use it and I read all the tutorials online. Let me just say this sucker has allowed me to shop at Wal-mart, Target, and Ikea for 2 plus hours, EACH. Once I get her in there within a few minutes she’s asleep. If she isn’t asleep she’s happily looking around and chill because she’s close to me and doing her favorite thing, bouncing along with every step I take. I will never be that parent who’s child just chills in the car seat in the shopping cart. She hates it. Not to mention car seats were never meant to clip into shopping carts and can tip over at any moment, but that’s another post for another blog.