Monthly Archives: April 2013

Pinteresting Tuesdays

Now that I am on week three of my mat leave, I have been trolling Pinterest like never before, looking for recipes, craft ideas anything that strikes this expectant mother in general.  Here are a few of my top picks for this week.

 

Getting Crafty:

With a little one on the way, baby showers, little children birthday parties and homemade toys have been on my mind.

 

I love the simplicity of decorating with balloons like this by Oh Happy Day.  Perfect for a shower, little child’s b-day party or a weekend dinner.

 

Creative invites

 

Sometimes the simplest toys make the best ones.  Take a look at more DIY cardboard ideas here.

 

Good, Good Food:

I had initially thought that with the extra days off work while waiting for baby to arrive that I would turn into the baking maven.  Talk about wishful thinking!  So, my solution?  Easy recipes that make me appear to be one.

 

Summer No-bake Strawberry Ice Box Cake

 

Bananas, oats, chocolate chips.  That’s it!

 

Finger Food that is handle-ready for potlucks and summer picnics.

 

For the Little One:

Hello to the most adorable coats by littlegoodall.

 

 

 

Changing Table: Yay or Nay?

 

A changing or dressing table is one of those pieces of nursery furniture that is often up for debate as to whether it is a basic essential item for baby or not.  While it can be argued that you can pretty much change baby on any safe surface, here are the top reason why I have prepped for one to be included in our nursery.

 

1) Extra surface area:  For anyone living in an urban area where space is in short supply and bathrooms do not have long counter tops for baby toiletry storage, a changing table offers the extra surface area that is desperately needed.  Living in Vancouver, BC, Canada where real estate is at a premium, our 2 bed, 1 bath suite doesn’t have much counter space.  A changing table provides the extra shelving for the diapers and bottles, as well as a secure place for our changing pad.

Better yet is a piece that could offer the changing area top but also transition easily into the extra shelving for when your child no longer needs diapers.  The StorkCraft Beatrice and Aspen Cube Organizer Change Table does exactly that.  It makes for a great cubby for toys and books down the road.

 

(Images: Aspen Cube Organizer Changer in espresso)

 

2) Easy Access:  With the shelves situated just below the changing level, all of baby’s toiletries, diapers and wipes are right at your finger tips.  No need to separately pull out all the necessities and then having to put them all back, which would be something that would have to be done if changing takes place on a bed or floor.

 

3) Designated Space: Babies are creatures of habit, and having a set space for the diaper changes lets your baby know that changing time is taking place whenever they go to the designated area.  Doing a diaper swap on the floor or some random place each time may seem alright, but baby may think that it’s play time or wiggle around in curiosity as the space is not familiar.

 

4) Correct Height:  For any mommy who is recovering from a c-section or any caregiver with any back problems, doing several diaper changes in a day on the floor or a bed may cause extra stress on the body.  A proper changing/dressing table offers the correct height for getting the deed done and eliminates the need to get down on hands and knees or do major bending to lift baby back up.

 

5) Safety: When it comes to handling baby at any height higher than floor level, safety is always a concern.  While beds, counter tops and standard dressers may seem like good alternatives, they do not offer the raised sides that a changing table does.  These raise sides keep the changing pad from shifting around especially if baby is particularly active and wants to move about.

 

 

Paring Down to the Essentials

 

When it comes to prepping everything before baby’s arrival, one the best pieces of info that I received was “you will need less than you think”.  Perhaps a generation ago, when the marketplace for baby products wasn’t as varied, it was less overwhelming.  You simply made a list based on what your parents and other mommies had to say was useful.  More so, there simply were fewer options to select from, and there was no need to find out the opinion of 200+ other people on an item via internet forums and ratings.  But now with so many different products and brands that promise to be the next “must have” item or to solve the most specific of dilemmas, how does a first-time parent know what is an essential versus a “nice-to-have”, or even a “don’t-even-bother” item?

 

Currently I’m really liking the newborn checklist on Today’s Parent magazine.  It gives a good rundown of the essentials that are generally required, and I particularly like how they split the items into lifestyle too, like “If you are formula feeding” vs breast feeding, and splitting diapering under re-usable vs disposable.  The specific number of items that are suggested are a great help as well since new mommies, like myself, are not well versed in knowing, for example, how many crib sheets, change of outfits or bottles are considered “enough” to stock up on.  I certainly would not want to be caught short on something and having to send hubby out in the middle of the night for last minute purchases, but yet it would be a waste to over purchase items that do not get to be put into good use.  For those of you located in colder climates, taking a look at the the government issued maternity package that is issued to all parents in Finland upon their request also gives a good guide to what sorts of basics that baby will need for the initial first month too.

 

It’s interesting to see that items like fancy bedding sets, decorative pillows, designer outfits, Moses baskets and even things like a baby wipe warmer are not on the list of must-haves.  Shoes and an overload of toys are also products that many would advise as being completely non-essential for the first few months.  While all these things may add the extra touch to a nursery or look cute on baby, your baby certainly will not miss these items, and if not, it sure doesn’t hurt to divert the funds that would have been spent into something more useful.

 

So far, my husband and I have focused on allocating our resources mostly into items that have to do with safety and help with ease of transportation.  These include an approved crib and firm mattress for a safe sleep environment (Read more on safe sleeping here.  You may be surprised at the items that you will not be needing because they are not recommended!), car seat and ergonomic stroller.  As for the cute clothing and toys, these have shown up as gifts.  Baby bathtubs and bassinets are things that generous friends have either given or loaned us because they also fall into the category of items that have limited use and can be quickly passed down from one family to another.  All in all, I have yet to test out everything that we have purchased and also the items that have been so lovingly gifted to us, but it certainly is comforting to know that it is not necessary to purchase every last product that you see in a store or advertisement.  It is good to be assured that the safest and healthiest care for your baby during those first few months at home can be done in a practical and smart way.