My baby’s almost finished being a baby.
The drool is back again, along with two new bottom teeth. They’ve made him a bit fussier than normal, but he’s still pretty happy. He laughs at just about any silly antics; especially T’s silly faces, being tossed in the air, raspberries, and pulling my nose.
He cruises on just about everything from furniture, to chairs, to laundry bags, but still isn’t comfortable yet with forward walking. I know he’ll get there though. He just likes to do things in his own way. For example, he can crawl on his hands and knees…he just doesn’t. If the ground or floor underneath him is uncomfortable, he’ll crawl like normal, but most of the time he’s scooting around on his belly.
The Husband is still called ‘Mama’ and I am still sometimes ‘Dada’, but he’ll point at his blue cup and say “Doo”, and he clearly things he’s telling us something, we just have no idea what that something is.
Yep. We’re almost out of the baby phase. And even though it’s exciting, it’s also kind of sad.
Knowing that E is our last baby makes me so sentimental. I love how snugly and innocent newborns are. They’re not malicious or bratty, and their cries aren’t yet at banshee level.
Not to mention all the adorable stuff. I can’t help myself. Every time I pass by a baby clothes section I coo over the teeny tiny little outfits. It’s so hard to believe that all of my kids are out of the smallest outfits. Girl clothes, boy clothes. It doesn’t matter. I love seeing all of it.
I still remember being pregnant with T and spending hours putting together my baby registry. I diligently looked through the dozens of posts on must-have versus useless baby items. We didn’t even buy a swing or bouncer until after T was born, worried that it would be a wasted investment (it totally wasn’t). It turns out, there wasn’t so much need to worry after all. And now that the Husband and I are nearing seven years of parenthod, we’ve learned that some of the items you think will be great aren’t and some things you thought were stupid are really genius.
5 Baby Items I Was Surprised to Love
The BIG changing pad
Apparently there’s some disagreement over whether or not you even need a changing pad/table. And I would agree that buying a whole piece of furniture just to be a changing station doesn’t make a lot of sense. That said, I love our Bellini changing pad. Unlike the standard changing pad, it’s huge and flat. Whichmeans that-as long as the Husband or I keep one hand on baby-rolling around is no problem. There’s plenty of room to change a diaper and play.
Second, it’s really Most people have the curved changing pad you see everywhere. When I was pregnant with T, my parents generously bought us a full set of furniture from Bellini, including their wide changing table attachment. I love it so much more than the traditional setup. First of all, the changing table is just an attachment that goes on top of a dresser. When E is old enough, we’ll unscrew the attachment and he’ll have a small dresser in its place. Second, I far preferred changing all our kids with their feet at our belly. We don’t have to twist to change the diapers, and it’s easier to keep a hold on the baby while you are changing them. I don’t know how many times I’ve wondered if my kids would have fallen on the floor had I been using a standard changing pad, because they refused to lie still.
Manual Breast Pump
I worked full-time while both T and E were babies, but was committed to feeding them breastmilk for the first year. I’ll admit, it wasn’t easy. With T, I toted my Medela breast pump back and forth every day so I could fit in an extra pumping session after her bedtime. The only problem was that the Medela was so uncomfortable! Don’t get me wrong, it worked great, but it was a pain to keep the tubes clean, and painful to use. When L was born, I decided to change my method, and invested in an inexpensive manual pump to keep at home. If it weren’t for the fact that it takes so much longer to pump each side individually, I would have used that pump all the time. It was far more comfortable, and I found it was also more effective. Go figure. (Sadly, the Avent Isis is now discontinued, but the Manual Comfort model is fairly inexpensive and gets great reviews).
This is a favorite of the useless baby items lists. But it’s kept me from scalding our kids countless times. Until recently, we had a very old water heater that had no reliable temperature indicator. The only indicator it had was a sliding scale of blue and red. We had no way of knowing how close our water was to 120 degrees. To make matters worse, I don’t have normal sensitivity to water temperature after spending so many years in commercial kitchens washing dishes. What feels good to me would scald my kids sensitive skin. I’m so grateful to the family member that gave us one.
When my Mother-in-law showed up one day with a couple packs of Circo brand “lap pads”, I had no idea what they were or why I would use them. Essentially, they are double thickness flannel squares that are intended to prevent leaks from getting on your clothes. (At least, that’s what I think they are.) But I quickly learned that those things were perfect for the changing pad. Most people joke about boys peeing on you in the middle of a diaper change. But both of my girls would do that too! So we would keep a lap pad on the changing table to help absorb any mid-diaper accidents that might happen. They worked perfectly. Sure, the kid’s clothes would still get soaked, but the lap pads absorbed everything perfectly, keeping the mess off the changing pad.
This item tops most lists of useless baby items. And when we received ours as a gift, I was the first to roll my eyes. But that thing proved its usefulness countless times. Both the Husband and I love it. Thought we could care less about the warm wipes. We love that stupid thing because it makes dispensing wipes easy – down to the very last one.
Have you ever gotten down to the last ten or so wipes in a pack and then the wipes just won’t come out? So there you are with one hand on a squirmy baby with a death wish, and the other frantically flailing around the wipes package. All you want to do is get one wipe out just to finish the diaper change and get that kid back on the floor.
That doesn’t happen with the wipes warmer. At all. Because of it’s weight, it holds everything down nicely. You’re more likely to be surprised that you’re out of wipes at all. (Also, I don’t know who started the statement that they dry out baby wipes. In nearly seven years of use, that’s never been a problem for us.)
Now that the baby is starting to transition to toddlerhood, I won’t need a lot of these items for much longer. Even though that makes me a little sad, I look forward to all the new milestones we get to see over the next few years. And hopefully I’ll get to be an aunt again someday. I’ll proudly look at mom-to-be as she opens her wipes warmer and lap pads, and say “trust me”.
What’s your favorite baby item?
Did you ever love a ‘useless’ baby item?