So you find out you are pregnant and you celebrate with your families and close friends… then comes the overwhelming load of information from friends and family on what to do next. Nursery! Last-minute vacay! Who to tell next! Baby names!
It’s natural to start thinking of your future baby but don’t forget yourself too. Here are some things that you should take care of before you go into all-about-baby mode!
Over the course of my pregnancy, I had received advice from many friends. Some advice was well received and some I brushed it off. Now with some colleagues expecting, many had turned to me for advice. But I’m not one to sound off my thoughts, oh, who am I kidding, I love to rant.
Looking back, there was one piece of advice I wish I followed but did not and is slightly regretting it.
Buying baby clothes – everyone will tell you this – Don’t invest too much in baby clothing. You will receive them as gifts. You will receive a lot! Especially if you are having a baby shower, you can count on guests that are parents to give you useful items that they know it’s useful. You can also count on non-parents to give you the ‘safe gifts’ such as clothing, bath towels , blankies, plushies and gift sets.
I didn’t take this advice seriously. I still bought clothing because a) it was on sale and b) it was too cute and I couldn’t resist. In the end, I realized that the first few months, Little Patch wore mostly onesies and sleepers. His ‘cool street clothes’ were worn about 3 times at most.
Also, if you are inexperienced in buying baby clothing, you will tend to overspend on your first shopping trips. And I don’t mean overspending as in buying Burberry Kids (unless you named your child Hollingsworth IV). I thought I got a sweet deal at the Gap when I bought a pack of 3 long sleeved onesies for $16 (originally $25) thinking that $5 each is not so bad. Then the next day, I went to Old Navy and saw that the same onesies were for $12. Now, I can tell you that you can find it for even cheaper!
Babies do not need shoes. Yes, they are cute but baby’s shoes are over priced and unless your baby is a child-athlete prodigy that can already walk on his own by 6 months, just leave the shoes out. I know, some shoes are just too cute but even if you put it on the baby, he will eventually kick it off wherever he is. I find that shoes and socks are too restricted so I buy little booties (they look like a little sack for the feet, much looser than socks) instead.
I have to admit that even giving out such advice, I will still buy Little Patch’s clothing knowing that I will regret it… especially if I’m at the Carters or Osh Gosh outlets.
After my review on the diapers that we tried in the sample pack, we’ve decided to go with something that we have not tested out. Hemp diapers. There are so many reasons why we decided to go with hemp. They are more expensive than cotton but these are the reasons that changed our minds:
- stronger than cotton
- has natural antibacterial ingredients
Here is a video to show how easy it is to use hemp diapers!
The covers can be bought at your local baby store for about $10 each. We have 5 covers for 30 cloth diapers. Even if the cover is waterproof, I still wash it often and change into a new one because the trim is not waterproof so it can absorb pee.
We also have a couple of AIO (All In One) diapers from Kushies for days when all the covers are soiled. You can get them from BRU or TJ Kids for about $12 each. No cover is required and they work exactly like a disaposable. AIO diapers are a great way to see if you can handle using cloth diapers before committing to the switch. AIOs are not as absorbant and leak-proof as hemp or cotton diapers.
Milk residue scent on clothing is hard to get off. Since Little Patch’s been spitting up a lot, many of his clothing and especially bibs have an annoying smell on it even after multiple washings. I managed to find a solution to get the smell out and the clothing smelling clean as spring.
- Do a rinse in the washer with a cup of white vinegar.
- Do a regular wash and rinse cycle. During the wash cycle, use your regular laundry detergent and add a few drops of dish detergent (I used Palmolive’s Green Apple but the clothes don’t end up smelling like dish detergent so I don’t think it matters what you use).
- Do a rinse cycle with water only.
This actually takes a long time and uses a lot of water so I tried doing step 1 or step 2 only to see if I can eliminate a step but the result remained smelly. I think it’s easier to just buy new bibs for him. As for clothing, I try to do this once in awhile when I have a full load of clothes with the smell.
Name Labels is a Canadian company that makes woven labels that can be used to label your kids’ clothings. I have bought from them before for identifying my crafts with my company name and was satisfied with their no-frills service. If you are not picky about having a design on the labels and do not mind sewing or ironing the label, I recommend Name Labels because it is cheap. I bought 100 labels for $10 so it comes to 10 cents each. Since it is not a self-adhesive labels, it cannot be used on items where you can’t iron or sewn on.
Other companies that makes self-adhesive labels can charge up to 50 cents each because it is coloured or has images printed on it. Those can be used to stick on childrens’ cutlery or other articles that can be easily misplaced or mixed up with other kids’.
Kushies Terrycloth Newborn Booties
If you find baby mitts are too loose on your baby’s hands and keeping losing it (they tend to find ways to fling them off when you are not paying attention), you can use newborn baby booties that no longer fit their feet as mitts. The elastic area is tight enough to hold the mitts in place but not too tight to leave marks.
It’s a good feeling to walk away with purchases knowing that you’ve got a deal on something that you actually need. It’s better when they are new and unused!
Here is what I’ve bought at yesterday’s swap (some new and some old items). Read the rest of this entry
I went to my first ever Swap Meet today. It is a baby swap meet at the Poirier Community Centre in Coquitlam. We picked up another couple on the way there and met a 3rd couple with a kid there. The meet was much bigger than I expected, I was expecting it to take place in a small gym, but the entire community centre (5 rooms and hallways) was packed with tables including outside.
I’ve never been to a swap meet before and the thought of buying used baby items was not that appealing to me. However, if you’re saavy enough, you can walk away with some great items. We saw a bassinet that was all yucky and yellow with filth though. That was pretty funny, and no, we didn’t buy it.
Here are some things I learned from today’s swap meet. Read the rest of this entry