Baby Essentials Checklist

Ultimate New Baby Registry Checklist

Baby Essentials Checklist

Pack N Play, $20 (from Craigslist). Being able to take your baby camping? Priceless.

Here it is, expectant parents/grandparents/aunts/uncles: my ultimate list of baby essentials. This spreadsheet has been emailed around my circle of friends and family and I always get requests when I mention it, so I decided to update it and post it for everyone!

I first made this baby checklist when my brother and his wife were expecting their first child–originally, it was a list of things I had to give them (since I had Sarah the year before ), plus my own recommendations based on my own experience.

Note: I am not claiming any special authority on child safety, etc. Standards change, recalls happen. Please do your own independent research.

Also, the last thing I want is to come off like a bargain basement Gwyneth Paltrow. I’m sure many parents have raised their wonderful children with less stuff. Also, I encourage you to ask around to see if any friends have baby stuff to hand down (most parents can’t wait to get rid of it) or check Craigslist. If you’re buying secondhand, do your due diligence for safety concerns, especially for things like car seats. IKEA also has many safe, low-cost baby options.

This list does not cover:

  • Clothes (You will get so many, most likely in newborn sizes. Most of these items will not be worn by your wiggly baby–I do recommend Carter’s Sleep & Play outfits for ease of use.)
  • Toys (You will also get so many.)
  • Books (This is a personal choice between you and your bookstore.)
  • Stuff for Mommy (Although I swear by this type of nursing bra.)

Optional stuff:

  • Two things are marked with asterisks–the infant rocker and bouncer. This is because every baby is different. Mine loved the rocker, my brother’s son loved the bouncer. My advice: start cheap and work your way up.

For heaven’s sake just give us the link to the spreadsheet:

I would love your feedback on this spreadsheet–is there anything essential I missed? Anything that worked like magic for your baby? Post below!

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Yes You Can: Get Vomit out of a Car Seat

BakingSoda

You don’t want to need this post. But you may, someday. And then you’ll thank me. If thinking about babies or toddlers projectile-vomiting all over their car seats makes you queasy, bookmark this and come back as needed.

One day, I was setting up my son’s annual school art auction all day, so my sweet Sarah went to her brother’s baseball game with Daddy, Aunt Myndi, Grandma, and Grandpa. This is what I heard when they came home (I was upstairs getting into a fancy dress and doing my hair).

Sid: “That baby threw up everywhere! Your car smells like puke!”

Sarah: “Waaaaaaaaaaaah!”

I came downstairs to find Sarah covered, and I mean covered, in greenish puke (turns out it was chocolate chip mint ice cream) and sobbing, arms outstretched, as Scott undressed her on the front porch. The car seat was there, looking like Slimer from Ghostbusters had exploded all over it. It reeked of semi-digested dairy and bile. Whoa nelly. Now if this had been her infant carrier, it would have been easy–the whole cover came off and was washable. That was not the case with this one (check your manual to make sure).

This is how I handled it (the next day, even), with help from this source:

How to Get Vomit out of a Car Seat

  1. Blot up/scrape up as much of the vomit as possible. Use a spoon and/or a kitchen towel. Burn them with fire after.
  2. Cover the affected areas with baking soda; let sit for 30 minutes (preferably outside).
  3. Vacuum up the baking soda. Throw away your vacuum.
  4. Mix a solution of hot water with a splash of white vinegar and a few drops of dish soap.
  5. Now get a washcloth and/or a brush and scrub that chair! Don’t forget the straps–move around the buckles/pads/etc. to get into every crevice.
  6. Move around the padding/lining to make sure there aren’t any puddles of goo.
  7. Blot with a clean towel.
  8. Let dry, preferably outside in the sun, but a warm dry place will do.

Thankfully, this did the trick. And really, that car seat needed a good cleaning anyway. But dear Lord someone remind me to keep an old towel in the back seat!

Horror Baby

I’m Alive (I Think)!

Horror Baby

Celebrating 18 months with Freddy Krueger and Leatherface, of course!

Hey guys! Sorry for the radio silence. I had a week of visiting my in-laws in Massachusetts, and when I got back I was hit with a triple whammy of 1) freelance work (yay!), 2) Easter, and 3) laundry. So. Much. Laundry.

But a lot has happened, including Sarah turning 18 months! She’s walking, running, and climbing everything. And eating everything–although she still only has eight teeth (when will the rest get here, baby wants to eat candy).

She’s got “Bye-bye” and “Hi” down, although she’s started chirping “Hi baby!” (which is what we always say to her), which is hilarious. She can signal “More” (usually food) in sign language, and when she wants to nurse, she has a charming habit of patting me on the chest and yelling, “Ma? MAAAAAAA?” Usually in public.

Sarah has always been a very sweet, funny child. She loves to get a laugh out of us. She’s outgoing and friendly. She’s still a Mama’s girl, but she of course loves her brother, Sid, and her dad. She was cuddling with Scott this morning (she’s not usually a cuddler), and it was so sweet.

As for me . . . I’m good. Stressed. I’m doing PR and marketing for GeekCraft Expo PDX, and I’ve taken on another part-time gig for a former boss. I’m so happy to be working and doing stuff, but I feel a little pressed for time–plus, I really don’t want to fall on my face. Add coordinating the Buckman Auction and another event that’s planned for May, and my plate feels very full. When it rains, it pours!

But Emerald City Comic Con is next weekend. And it’s the first one I’m not attending. I miss the harried weeks running up to a convention: coordinating spreadsheets of graphic novels, statues, and toys, speccing signage, going over endless checklists. I miss being able to concentrate for longish periods of time without being interrupted!

I’m not ready to leave Sarah overnight yet–we still nurse four times a day! I’m so used to it, it’s such a nice, snuggly time, that I don’t really want to think about giving it up.

Sid is amazing. He’s always been the most helpful brother, and he’s so funny and smart. He’s a joy to hang out with. He got sick and had to cancel his three-day birthday extravaganza (two slumber parties–one at each house), and he was a total trooper. Plus, during his visit to Massachusetts, Papou (his Greek grandpa) taught him to play poker, and now Sid’s a card shark. It’s super funny.

Anyway! I swear I have actual posts about actual things that I will type up. 10 item wardrobe stuff, cooking, geeky news . . . don’t give up on me yet!

A Pox on Our House: Facing My Issues

She IS snow cute! But maybe I need to chill out.

She IS snow cute! But maybe I need to chill out. Photo by BJ Forsythe.

So, one of the joys of turning one year old is getting your one-year vaccines. Unfortunately, Sarah had a poor reaction to her varicella shot (that’s chicken pox), which means she’s sporting big oozy, scabby blisters on her little face. Boo!

Her doctor and I weren’t sure what the deal was at first, since it looked like she had just one random lesion. But over the last weekend, she got her first fever (and oh boy I took her temperature in a way I hoped we’d never have to er, face, because the ear thermometer we have sucks), and then about six more blisters popped up. Poor baby!

Once her fever broke and the worry of what exactly was happening, health-wise, was over, I realized I was really mostly worried about the appearance of Sarah’s scabs and whether they’re going to leave scars or not. It was strange and sort of icky to realize how invested I am in how she looks.

I mean, it’s partly because I don’t want people to see her and worry that she has something contagious (she doesn’t, as long as the blisters are scabbed over). I also worry that folks will see her marks and think I’m a bad mother–I let something happen to my baby! But yes, a big part of my dismay is that we’re going to a wedding next week, and I want her . . . to be pretty. And two of those three things are about me, not her.

Fortunately, Sarah is little enough that my issues are not directly impacting her. But I want to use this episode to work on myself and my reactions for the future: I mean, all kinds of things could happen. Bad haircuts. Acne. Poor fashion choices. Sarah may have no interest in being pretty. Hopefully I will gain enough wisdom so I can raise her without the belief that it’s vitally important.

Augh, weird blog post! I tend to think of myself as fairly evolved–or at least fairly self-aware of my weaknesses–but body and beauty issues run so deep, and we’re pretty much surrounded by pictures and pressures everywhere, every day.

So what can I do?

Baby Boy Beach Nursery

Baby Boy’s Beachy Nursery

After writing about designing my daughter’s nursery, I’ve been itching to try my hand at a baby boy’s room. And when my brother announced that he and his girlfriend were expecting a boy, that was all the excuse I needed!

Since I was really pleased with the quality and color palettes of the Serena & Lily crib sheets I got for Sarah’s room, I immediately went there and started browsing. I was drawn to their Madras Crib Sheet for two reasons: one, the plaid fabric looked exactly like a shirt my brother would wear, and two, it included so many colors–aqua, navy, red, brown, white, and yellow–that it would provide maximum flexibility when it came to the rest of the decor!

After getting the blessing of my brother, I picked up the sheet and couple of swatches. But, since I couldn’t leave well enough alone, I decided to use the swatches to create my own fantasy baby boy nursery–with a beach theme–and tried out Polyvore for the first time.

As with Sarah’s actual nursery, I tried to pick things that could still be used as their son grows up, and I had lots of fun with all of the colors! The result is below.

Boy's Nursery

So what do you think? Am I the most meddling big sister ever? I just can’t help myself.

High Anxiety: Maternity Leave Begins . . . Now?

So my maternity leave begins today, on my “official” due date (update: no baby yet) and I feel . . . completely paralyzed. It started like an ordinary day: I fed us all breakfast, handed Scott and Sid their lunches, and saw them off to school/work, while I . . . stayed home. I’m currently sitting in my pajamas, watching an episode of Hart of Dixie on Netflix, while my heart races and I stay off email. After sending out reminder emails to my co-workers.

I’m not sure what I was expecting. There were certainly times at work when I encountered an annoyance and thought, “Thank god I won’t have to deal with this for a few months.” (And frankly, work probably felt the same way about me!) But now that I’m on hiatus, all I can think about are the things I’ve left undone.

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