Our first 3 months...

The good

  • These first 3 months Kate pretty much lived in Carter's Footy PJs. Because she was born during the chillier season, simple onesies didn't work (although she is wearing them more and more on the warmer days and evenings). She started out in Terry Stretch Sleepers, but after the spit up flood gates opened, we found that the sleepers with no collars worked best. Collars would only catch the flow of spit up and allow the stink to linger on Kate for much longer than we liked.
  • Our Carter's receiving blankets have been a multi-function mainstay for the past 3 months. At first we used them to swaddle Kate up nice and tight; then we used them to cover her while she slept; and now we use them to calm her like a little bird in her cage. Let me explain...when we're out of the house and Kate is getting fussy from being too sleepy or overstimulated we'll drape a blanket over the hood of her car seat. In most cases it will quickly settle her.
  • Our Fisher-Price Aquarium Bouncer, as we mentioned once before, gets a big thumbs up. It was a quick and convenient place to put Kate when she needed to be put down. The biggest convenience was that we could easily move it from room to room. We would use it when Ken and I needed a place to put Kate during meals (when she would not want to be put down for napping) and it was a great place for Kate to watch me while I would blow dry my hair. :-)
  • Who needs a bassinet? Why would our baby ever need to sleep in our room? Can't she just sleep in her crib? Ha ha ha! What were we thinking? We were very lucky to have Christina lend us her bassinet, because otherwise who knows what we would've done. We've had some rough patches where sleeping flat on her back was unimaginable to Kate, but now that she's got the swing of things (pardon the pun) the bassinet has been invaluable.
  • To think that my mom a used diaper service and cleaned the diapers in the toilet before returning them. As if having a newborn isn't enough work you have to worry about cleaning diapers? Oh please! Thank goodness for disposables. Our favorites have been the Huggies brand (Newborn and Supreme) and the Publix Supreme brand.
  • Some parents can change their babies diapers anywhere in the house, but Ken and I both agree that a changing table has made the job so much easier for us. We also agree that the Simmons contour changing pad we use, instead of the table supplied flat mat, is the best. Kate really likes it. As a matter of fact, a few times we've put the contour pad in her crib to encourage her to catch a few Zzzzzs. It worked but it became a real hassle moving the pad back and forth.
  • Company Links
    Avent
    Baby Bjorn
    Baby Love
    Best Buy
    The Baby Einstein Company
    Baby Trend
    Carter's
    Dutailier
    Evenflo
    Fisher-Price
    Hamco
    Huggies
    Lansinoh
    Medela
    Peg Perego
    Purell Instant Hand Sanitizer
    Sassy
    Seussville
    Simmons
    Target
    Tiny Love
    Tivo
    Wal-Mart
  • Just as we suspected when we purchased it, we just love our Dutailier Glider and Ottoman. It's a great place for chatting, chilling out, feedings and readings.
  • We received the Baby Einstein CD music collection as an unexpected gift and they have been a real delight. We especially enjoy them during bath time or feeding time.
  • Again we don't know much else about the competition but we really like our Diaper Champ. The best part about it is that you can use every day garbage bags unlike the special bags you need to afford for its leading competitor.
  • Speaking of garbage bags, a box of Baby King 100 Disposable Diaper Bag are a must-have for the diaper bag. They are great for when you're out and about and changing diapers in the least convenient of places, like the car. They are affordable (about a buck a box), convenient, disposable and best of all scented.
  • Our favorite place to shop for baby supplies is Baby Love. They only have one store location, and luckily it is right here in Sunrise, Fla. This store may not score high on cleanliness or merchandising, but they have, by far, the best and most knowledgeable sales staff around. They have helped us with everything, from the selection of our car seat and stroller to Kate's first little Mary Jane shoes that she wore with her Christmas dress. The staff always helps us make informed decisions, big or small.

The bad

  • We really don't have much bad to report. The majority of bad is relevant only to our baby. For instance, the beautiful crib bumper that we purchased ended up folded in the closet sometime in month 2. Kate doesn't care much for her crib just yet but the few times she has been in her crib she didn't care much for being fenced in by the bumper. She was much calmer without it.
  • Also since Kate did a majority of her sleeping strapped into her swing, sleeping gowns didn't go over so big in the beginning. She needed the space between her two legs to be strapped in.
  • The other product we exchanged after much research was the Tiny Love Symphony Animal Mobile. We just loved the mobile but found out that it could fall apart and land on the baby's head. (Check out some of the reviews on Amazon.com) It even happened to the baby of a good friend of ours. Anyway, rather than chance it we traded it in for Sassy Deluxe Developmental Mobile. Kate really seems to enjoy this mobile the little time she spends in her crib. We've actually even used the little animal heads from the mobile as play toys and rattles, and they make her smile. Anything that makes Kate smile ranks high on our charts, because her smile just makes us melt.
  • Lastly, The Tiny Love Gymini Super Deluxe Light and Music is the coolest play gym but after one washing per the instructions the mat practically fell apart in the wash. It is still usable, but it doesn't get as high ratings as it would if were a little more durable. I ordered a replacement part from the Tiny Love website. I just hope that Kate isn't 3 years old before we receive it.

The amazing

  • When we had the realization that Kate could be easily soothed by a pacifier, life became amazingly easier. The magic of a pacifier may not work for all babies but it certainly worked for ours, a natural sucker.
  • In the beginning I was under the impression that the burp cloths given to us were a total waste since Kate never spit up. Then after a few weeks passed, the floods began. My God! I thought surely something must be wrong with this child from the amount of spit up that would flow out of her mouth. Thank goodness for burp cloths, although several o' shirt changes have happened in this house. Currently, we have a two-cloth burp process in place. For apparel protection we use these wonderfully sturdy and cutely embroidered cotton burp cloths given to us as hand-me-downs from Chris Dardet, a friend and very knowledgeable mom. Then, for a quick, absorbent clean-up we use a soft, cotton/poly blend burp cloth. These are decorated with the days of the week, but very often we can run through half the week in just one day. :-)
  • Also used to complement the two-cloth burp process for spit up is the bib. Jean-Marie's brother can attest to the shirt-saving properties of the bib. Although it's not the most attractive bib, our favorite by far is this Hamco cotton pullover bib (it looks a little like a dickey) with a little winged bear on it. Since it is square and larger than the others it offers good projectile spit up coverage. We save this one for special days (like Kate-is-wearing-her-Christmas-dress day), since I just can't seem to wash it enough. Or maybe it's time for us to just buy some more.
  • In my lactation class at the hospital they pooh-poohed the Boppy as a convenient nursing aid. Instead, they introduced this oversized contraption that looked more like a swimming pool floatation device. Boy, did they have it wrong. As soon as I got home and my abdominal swelling subsided I started using my Boppy immediately. And I have relied on it ever since. Mine is the Basic Boppy Pillow with the slipcover, which has seen its share of washings. Yes, spit ups would even occur in the midst feedings. And yet, the kid still wouldn't stop eating.
  • We would've had many a sleepless night if it weren't for the Fisher-Price Aquarium Cradle Swing. We recommend this to anyone and everyone that needs to help soothe a baby into a sleeping state. It has also been so fun to watch Kate become aware of the little sea creatures on the overhead mobile. She loves to look at them, smile at them and talk to them. Oh it's so cute!
  • We know nothing about what else is on the market in the way of infant seats and strollers, but we just love our Peg Perego Venezia set. The general concept of an infant seat and snap-in base is amazing, and I thank its inventor. Then to add a lightweight stroller that has the same snap-in mechanism to the mix is ingenious. We also love our stroller because the handle is reversible. Kate can either face us or the outside world while we push her. Yes, I know that the baby shouldn't spend too much time in a car seat, but sometimes she's just so peaceful that you don't want to wake her. And hey, if she's not crying, who am I to rock the boat?
  • Our Baby Bjorn carrier got us through the holiday season. When Kate became too overstimulated or fussy we simply dropped her into the Bjorn for a little nap time and in no time at all she was happy and recharged once again. Kate really enjoys this little, baby carrying device because she feels all cozy snuggled closely next to mom or dad.
  • I'm not sure what the deal is with the Sassy Curved Back and Side Sleeper. Does it really work or is it just our lucky charm? Whatever the answer, ever since we purchased it Kate has been sleeping anywhere from 5 to 8 hours in her bassinet at night.
  • What do you mean they make gas drops for babies? The gas drop realization was a lot like the pacifier realization. We just wonder what our lives would've been like if we never tried this option. Thank goodness we did. The only brand we've tried has been Little Tummys Gas Drops, and it has been working so far so good.
  • From Day One Kate has enjoyed a good book. Of course a good book to her is one that rhymes and lets mommy or daddy make funny voices and faces. Dr. Seuss books always hit the spot, and Kate really loves The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin. This story ensures toothless grin after toothless grin.
  • If you were to ask Ken what is one of his most-used and beloved (NON-electronic) consumer product in the market today, surely he would answer anti-bacterial hand gel. We have bottles of this stuff everywhere -- the car, our bedroom, the office. I would probably say that this is one of the reasons Kate never got a cold while Ken had one shortly after she was born. He was religiously cleaning his hands. And if a sink and soap were not readily available he had his hand gel right there with him.

Some things we're just starting to enjoy:

The Nursing

Yes, this deserves a section all its own! Here are some things that made the first 3 months much more bearable. And believe me it was a challenge to bear.
  • Medela PureLan 100 and Lansinoh Lanolin helped to heal those miserably sore nipples. Three months ago I would never even consider discussing such a thing but other new moms should know what helps. :-) By the way, they say that it's poor latch-on that causes sore nipples but I would like meet a new nursing mom that has never encountered this problem. As far as I'm concerned this will happen no matter what!
  • To help to keep the above products, as well as leakage, from staining your clothes I recommend Avent Breast Pads. A box of 100 is only $9.99. You won't have to waste your time washing non-disposable ones and at that price you can change them as often as you would like.
  • Nursing PJs and nightgowns were a godsend for the first 6 weeks. Not only did I not have the time to get dressed every day in the beginning, following a C-section I just didn't have the energy. Also when you're on a 2- to 3-hour feeding schedule, you have to be ready to feed. Nursing apparel really helped, especially in the hospital. I was all too ready to rid myself of that hospital/prison garb.
  • One of the biggest mistakes prior to giving birth was to buy underwire nursing bras in preparation for my breastfeeding days. If the first few weeks of breastfeeding weren't bad enough, underwire bras made it worse. I guess I was just thinking how much better I would look with an underwire and a smaller belly. BIG MISTAKE! The smartest thing I did was trade those in for nursing jogging bras. I bought some inexpensive ones at Target in the intimate apparel department. Also a great find in the same department are in(due)time nursing camisoles. They make nursing on the run VERY easy, and they are extremely comfortable and affordable.
  • I just loved Target's Liz Lange maternity line during my pregnancy, and many of the first trimester pieces were great for my post pregnancy wardrobe. The best part of this line, other than being pretty stylish, is that it is VERY affordable. Pregnant women take note!
  • I didn't pump much these past 3 months but when I did I used the Medela Double Ease Breastpump. "Hand gel" Ken purchased it for me at the hospital's lactation center. Because the use of a second hand pump can cause contamination, Ken insisted that I have my own pump. This one worked great for me, and made pumping effortless and painless.
  • Lastly, since most days and nights I didn't know if I was coming or going the smartest thing I did was to create a spreadsheet to keep track of which side was next and the time and length of each feeding. In the beginning it also helped me to keep track the antibiotic and ibuprofen I was taking.
  • A final note on nursing: If you can suffer through the first 2 to 3 months of breastfeeding, after that it gets significantly easier! Just take it day by day and realize that the beginning REALLY sucks! (again, pardon the pun)

Simple luxuries and guilty pleasures for Mom & Dad:

  • Crazy schedules require you to be one step ahead of the game especially if you are avid TV watcher. Goodness knows there was no way we were gong to miss the season finale of Survivor because of a baby that needed our attention. Our TiVo kicks butt! And we would recommend one to anyone who is a big TV watcher and is willing to spend the money. It enabled us to keep up with our shows, as well as keep us awake, during our middle of the night feedings.
  • Because of my C-section I was strongly encouraged from climbing stairs. Not the easiest to do when you have a two-story home, but we managed because Ken bought me a Haier mini-frig from Best Buy for the loft area and stocked it with lots of good eats and water for me. Now I can climb the stairs all I please, but it's still nice to quickly grab a cold bottle of water before the 6 am feeding.
  • A digital camera with an extra battery and an expanded storage card to take more pictures. Need I say more? How else would we be able to document Kate's every waking and sleeping moment?
  • That goes for our digital video camera too!
  • Also we just love the Walmart.com Photo Center when we need to get prints made. The online interface is very user friendly. They produce good quality, affordable prints in a timely manner. What makes them much more affordable than other online services is that they eliminate the shipping fee if you choose to pick up your order at a local Wal-Mart store. Try it. You'll like it.
  • And finally this website to maintain our Kate Elizabeth Maier baby blog.