My friend gave my third son a perfect gift when he was born: a three-layer, pink chocolate cake from a local bakery. He couldn't eat the cake and it was bigger than his little head, but this gift could not have been more wonderful.
This cake is a birthday tradition in our family and even though our newest member couldn't enjoy it, the meaning was tremendous.
Create birthday traditions for children as they grow
Every year we eat dessert at the same restaurant/bakery to celebrate our sons' birthdays. We take the same photo, at the same kind of table, and will do this as long as our boys will let us. We picked this well-established, famous restaurant in our town because we know it will be here for decades and generations.
Getting the first shots of your precious little bundle of joy is something all parents do. Most families take cameras into the delivery room so that they can make sure to capture every single first moment.
The next thing that a lot of parents do is either higher a photographer to take professional shots for announcements or use photos they have taken themselves. We have always gone for the later option since professional photographers are out of our price range.
Here are some tips for creating the perfect shot of your newborn all on your own!
It might be a good idea to wait about a week before you decide to take the pictures. This way you will have a better idea of when baby will be happy and well rested. A lot of newborn shots include babies sleeping. You are going to want to make sure to schedule your photo shoot for when your baby has just been feed and is ready for a good nap. This will allow you to position baby without waking him.
In this digital age, there most moms have some sort of smart phone. What I’m finding out is that my iPhone can help me out in more ways than one!
I once read somewhere that most smart phone users only use about 30% of their phones capabilities. That means that our phones are equipped to do so much more than we use them for.
Here are a few of the helpful, free iPhone apps I have found that make life simpler with a baby.
The What to Expect app
Have you read the book What to Expect When You are Expecting? Chances are you have it on your shelf right now. You’ll be happy to know that they now offer a free iPhone app.
This app allows you to track your pregnancy day by day, week by week, and even has an option for you to take photos of your growing belly. There is also easy access to the forums on the What to Expect website.
You can download it here at the Apple iTunes store.
It seems that not too many years ago most people were not even considering cloth diapers anymore. I know that my own mother used cloth diapers with me and my brother (almost 30 years ago) and said that disposable diapers were for those who had more money.
It’s hard to think about disposable diapers being a luxury, but they were harder to come by not to long ago! Now, the push seems to be headed back in the direction my mother chose, but for different reasons.
Cost of disposable diapers
It’s no mystery that disposable diapers really can start to become expensive. The bigger your baby gets, you receive fewer, and fewer diapers for the same price. Most large boxes cost about $20 and can last you anywhere from a week to two weeks. That means that disposable diapers are going to cost you about $60-$80 per month.
It’s true that you can find great deals on disposable diapers if you are willing to put forth the effort and clip coupons. Many different money saving websites and blogs will feature deals on name brand diapers. One good idea is to subscribe to them so that you do not miss out on current deals.
How many times have you heard, “Get your sleep now before that baby comes.” I remember with my first pregnancy it seemed to come up in every conversation. I actually was a bit paranoid about it!
Luckily, we have an excellent pediatrician who was very encouraging and offered us some wonderful advice when it came to helping our son establish a good sleeping routine. Graham was sleeping completely through the night by five weeks old and continues to be an excellent sleeper.
Days and nights mixed
I'll never forget when we walked into the pediatrician's office for the first time with our newborn baby. He must have seen the circles under our eyes. Graham was only two days old and we weren’t sleeping. The doctor immediately suggested that I start waking him up during the day to feed him. I started waking him up every two hours. He slept almost the entire night that very night. (I was nursing him.)
I remember being so overwhelmed with the thought of eating correctly once my baby was born. I wanted to make sure to offer him the best diet I could, but it was also a struggle to find foods that did not upset his stomach. It was a trial and error experiment, but we finally worked it out and eating became second nature again. Here are a few of the things I learned:
When you are busy with a new baby it is easy to forget to drink plenty of fluids when you’re breastfeeding. Things like water and milk are probably some of the best things you could be drinking. Keep in mind that some babies may have a milk protein allergy, which may mean cutting dairy out of your diet. To keep your milk supply up you are going to want to avoid dehydration.
If this is your first pregnancy, chances are you are going to have several visitors to deal with. On one hand visitors are a welcomed sight. It’s a time to show off your brand new baby to the people who are the closest to you. On the other hand, visitors can sometimes become out of hand if you do not have a plan in place. Whether it is the hospital or at home, it is always good to have some sort of “traffic plan” for your visitors.
Managing visitors in the hospital
When my first son was born, I was so excited to see people like my parents, close family, and very close friends to show him off. Most of them were waiting patiently so that they could come in and meet him after he was born. I was thrilled to have them in my room after he arrived, and once the nurses had everyone presentable. We were all enjoying meeting this new little guy when there was a knock on the delivery room door. When the door was opened it was a man from my church whom I knew, but not well enough to let into the delivery room. It was awkward, but we made the best of it. From that point on I told my husband we would have to come up with a plan if this kept happening.
We are so lucky to live in the day and age where we can pick up baby food that offers many varieties as well as organic options. I know that when Graham started baby food I tried to stick with the organic options out there even if they were a little more pricey than the original baby food options.
I soon started to learn more about making my own baby food and decided that this could be a potential cost saver. You only need a few things to get started and it really can be a convenient way to save!
What you will need to make your own baby food
Baby food storage trays or regular ice cube trays
Freezer bags (quart sized is best)
A blender or food processor
A steamer or oven
Baby food preparation
First of all, you need to make sure you are serving up appropriate foods at the right time. Make sure to talk to your pediatrician about what is right for your baby at any given age. Most babies are ready for solid foods around four to six months.
I am officially 38 weeks pregnant this week and I am starting to feel it. On top of being in the last few weeks of pregnancy, I also started back to work this week. To say that it was exhausting would be an understatement. I am just one of those people who refuse to take up valuable sick days that I could use to spend with my newborn baby.
What does that mean? It means I will be at work until I pop! If it is anything like my first pregnancy I will be working until 41 weeks pregnant. I know there must be several other expectant mothers out there who feel the same way I do and are wondering how they can make it through those last few weeks.
Here are some tips that have been helpful for me:
Bring a stool to work
If you have a job that requires a lot of sitting, then you are going to need something to prop your feet up on, but in a professional manner. I brought one of Graham's wooden stools to work with me. It seems to help a little with the swelling in my feet. It also helps if I can change up the position of my feet throughout the day. If you do not have a stool, try using a box from work.