May 21, 2015

Traveling with a baby

We are still working out our summer plans, but there is a chance we'll attempt at least one flight with an infant and a toddler in August or September while Zianne can still fly for free. Here are my tips for flying with a little one...

Getting through the airport...
Remember you can keep the baby in his or her stroller right up until you get onto the plane. You'll leave it by the door of the plane and it will be waiting for you when you get off. But don't forget to get a gate check tag for the stroller at the service counter at your gate. I always forget and have to go back for it when trying to board. I've also heard baby wearing is actually easier at the airport than dealing with the stroller at all, and I'm excited to try it with Baby #2.

Car seats...
If your baby is still using an infant carrier attached to the stroller, sometimes they'll let you take it on and put it on the seat next to you if there is room. If the plane is full, you'll have to gate check it with your stroller. When you move to a convertible car seat, you will check it with your luggage. My mom has a cheap(er) car seat for Zianne, so I always take that one instead of our nicer Britax one in case it gets damaged. I've never used a bag for it and it's made it safely through at least eight flights now.

Packing for the flight...
There aren't a whole lot of essentials for the flight, especially if your baby is pretty young. When Zianne was eight months old I packed a couple of toys, a light blanket, puffs for a snack, and a bottle (you can take milk AND water through security with a baby! :). I used a bottle on the plane with Zianne at that age, because she was horrible about nursing in public. When I flew with her a three months old, she nursed or slept the whole time.

Expecting the unexpected...
I would suggest packing an extra outfit for the baby on the plane, just in case. And some of my friends have suggested an extra shirt for you, just in case a large amount of poop/pee/puke happens and transfers to mama. I think it's also easier if you pull out a diaper and wipes and put them in the seat back pocket before taking off, so if you need to jump up and change a diaper suddenly, you don't have to dig through your bag first. Usually, one of the plane bathrooms has a changing table. On Southwest, it's usually the front one by the cockpit, but you can ask the flight attendants before you take off, just so you know.

May 20, 2015

Fashion news...

If you want a pair of the best jeans ever, my favorites are on sale at Nordstrom. $38!

If you are pregnant this summer, I just bought these soft maternity shorts at Old Navy and I love them.

If you are looking for a bargain, I'm selling some new and lightly worn clothing in my shop @thecuratedcloset on Instagram. The prices listed INCLUDE shipping to your doorstep! :)

May 19, 2015

The essentials for the first year of life...

To the first time mama {and a reminder to myself}...

Here are what I would consider the essentials for the first 6-12 months of a baby's life. I left off many things that you will need - such as diapers, wipes, clothes, bedding, shampoo, changing pad, bath tub, etc. because styles and brands don't really matter for those things and you will receive lots of those items as gifts. Also I wouldn't buy too many pacifiers until you find out whether or not the baby likes them. Z has at least 10 pacis and she never took any of them. Below are some of the bigger items with links to what I think are the best brands/styles to buy. Of course, it's just my opinion! Do what you want! And always remember that babies are technically little people who have opinions and preferences of their own, so you will probably find that you have to buy/return things after your little one arrives. I definitely would leave stuff in packages until you use it... because you never know what you might want to return a few weeks or months down the road. I would even say don't wash a lot of clothes before the baby arrives, because he or she might outgrow things really quickly and it's nice to return stuff and get bigger sizes. Okay, here it goes...

Carrier - I would recommend the Ergo, a ring sling, and/or a Solly Baby Wrap.

Crib mattress - Our Safety 1st mattress is the best I've seen. It's firm and safe. Oh, and you'll want a mattress cover {or two} also.

Infant carrier car seat - I didn't really like ours, so I would go with the Chicco Keyfit 30 instead. That's what most of my friends have and love.

Hands free pump bra - Best thing in the world, especially if you will be pumping at work! But I used mine at home all the time too. I don't know how to pump without it anymore!

Burp cloths - I like these extra soft ones or just regular cloth diapers. You will probably want 8-12 burp cloths at least.

Baby seat - Prince Lionheart all the way! This chair is safer than the Bumbo and is more forgiving of chunky baby thighs.

Pack N Play - This is what Z slept in for the first two months in our room (on the raised bassinet level) and now it's our crib on the go if we are traveling. If you want something smaller for the first few months, a lot of my friends love the co-sleeper bassinet.

Swaddles - These are the best way to put a baby to sleep for the night. Don't mess with the kinds you have to manually wrap yourself. These ones attach easily with Velcro. The Miracle Blanket is also a great swaddle. And we moved to these sleep sacks when Z was about 4 months old.

Stroller - We love ours soooo much! It's lightweight, so easy to fold up, and you can jog with it. We recommend it a thousand times over. You will also need the car seat attachment for the infant carrier and I highly recommend the parent console to hold drinks and keys. We just upgraded to the double version of the City Mini GT, and I'm so excited.

Bibs - These are the ONLY bibs you need once your baby starts solids. Get 4 of these and you will be set. Some mamas have suggested that cloth bibs or bandanas are helpful for spit up and drool in the early months.

Bottles - We had great success with Tommee Tippee, but babies can be really picky about their bottles so be willing to experiment. 

Boppy pillow - I personally think it's worth it to splurge on a plush Boppy cover from Pottery Barn Kids. It's so soft and washes well, which is nice since you and baby will be practically living on the thing. Also, the Brest Friend pillow is super helpful for the first few weeks of nursing when you are trying to get things figured out.

Breast pads, milk storage bags, nipple cream - But don't open your nipple cream before the baby arrives, because you might have a really smooth experience and not need it. Plus, the hospital should give you a sample size!

Sound machine - You will probably want some kind of sound machine, not to lull the bay to sleep, but to drown out house noises so the baby can stay asleep. Then you won't have to freak out over doorbells, people slamming the microwave, etc. while the baby is napping. We have this one, but this one is really highly rated too, and some people just use a white noise app on a phone or iPod.

Liners for changing pad - These are great for protecting your changing pad, and I always flip it to the back, plastic side if I'm dealing with a blow out. :) These foam changing mats are also awesome, because they don't require a cover. 

Bouncer chair - Your baby will sit in this for the first 3-6 months of life. Z sat in hers to watch Baby Einstein until she was 15 months old. She was way too big for it, but we called it her baby couch. 

Nosefrida - Just trust me...

Nursing cover - Z hated to be covered, but I used mine when I pumped at the gym.

Aden and Anais swaddle blankets - Again, don't swaddle with these. Use the fancy velcro ones for that. But these are great for everything else. Keep the baby warm, keep the sun out of baby's eyes, lay baby down, back up nursing cover, back up burp cloth, everything!

You might also want a play mat, jumper, or exersaucer, but I would highly recommend borrowing these or buying them secondhand. They will take over your house for a few months and then as soon as the baby outgrows them, you will want them gone. No sense paying a zillion dollars for brand new ones.

*See also: a blog post about toys Zianne actually uses // breastfeeding post one and breastfeeding post two // surviving the first two weeks with a newborn

May 18, 2015

Pre-baby list

As these final weeks of pregnancy wind down, I am working on accomplishing the items on my "pre-baby list," otherwise known as fun stuff I want to do before I am waking up in the middle of the night and nursing every two hours. My pre-baby list with Zianne was a lot more nesting-focused, but this time around it's more about being out and about!

{May date night in Austin - 34 weeks}

Phone call with each of my best friends
Learn how to use a soft wrap and a ring sling
Get tan {otherwise known as #bronzethebump}
Take Zianne to the Children's Museum
Get pedicure and brows waxed
Finish Zianne's baby book
Order photo albums
Finish draft of dissertation
June date with Micah
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