by Borderstan.com December 11, 2012 at 2:00 pm 1,888 3 Comments

From Leslie Jones. She writes about urban motherhood every two weeks in her column TWBP (There Will Be Poo). You can email her at leslie[AT]borderstan.com and follow her on Twitter @ThereWillBePoo.

"shop"

Baby gifts around Borderstan. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Despite the fact that there seem to be more and more children in Borderstan lately, there are few places within walking distance to shop for kids’ clothing and toys. The stores that do have some inventory for baby and kids tend to have smaller selections than you would find at larger chains like Buy Buy Baby.

But, you can find some unique and adorable gifts close by if you look. I like to support our local business, so here is a quick overview of what is available.

Local Shopping Options

  • Pulp (1803 14th Street NW) on 14th Street NW has a small selection of children’s toys and books. You can find classics like The Rainbow Fish, as well as art sticker books and stuffed animals by Manhattan Toy.
  • Whole Foods (1440 P Street NW) has a few shelves of toys, mostly from Melissa & Doug, and some baby accessories like bottles, bibs and stacking cups from Green Sprouts. They have a few giant stuffed animals from Melissa & Doug that Baby is hoping Santa will bring her.
  • Kramerbooks (1517 Connecticut Avenue NW) has a wide variety of children’s books.
  • Books-A-Million (11 Dupont Circle NW) has children’s books, games and a few toys.
  • Proper Topper (1350 Connecticut Avenue NW) has clothing and accessories for babies and kids toward the back of the store. Their selection is very cute, but very expensive. They have things like baby clothing sets from Tea for $66, and beautiful little silver cups for $65 each. Proper Topper also has books, stuffed animals and some fun little novelty toys.
  • The Kid’s Closet (1226 Connecticut Avenue NW) has the largest selection of clothing and toys to be found in or around Borderstan. They have brands ranging from Carter’s and OshKosh to Me Too and Le Top. There were several racks of clothing marked down 30-50 percent, and a nice selection of toys, books, games and a variety of stuffed animals, such as Jellycat. Kid’s Closet offers gift wrapping for $2-10, depending on the size of the item.
  • The store at the National Geographic Museum (1145 17th Street NW) has some books and toys suitable for kids, and you may be able to find some unique gifts not available at other stores.

If I’ve left any stores out, please let me know.  I’m always looking for cute local places to shop for Baby!

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by Borderstan.com November 27, 2012 at 9:21 am 1,302 0

"Girl"

Is your baby growing up to be a beautiful girl? (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Leslie Jones. She writes about urban motherhood every two weeks in her column TWBP (There Will Be Poo). You can email her at leslie[AT]borderstan.com and follow her on Twitter @ThereWillBePoo.

During the first trimester of my pregnancy with Baby, I thought I was having a boy. It wasn’t based on anything, of course. When Husband and I found out that we were having a girl, I wasn’t disappointed, I just felt a little nervous. I asked Husband if he was disappointed and he smiled, a little confused, and said “of course not”.

I considered my reaction and I realized I was scared. I thought of all the challenges facing women, especially young girls, and it made me worry that I wouldn’t be able to adequately prepare my daughter for the biases women still face. I haven’t figured out how to deal with all of life’s challenges, how am I going to teach another person to properly cope?

Of course raising a boy isn’t easy, and boys face all kinds of challenges. But I’ve lived through being a girl and a woman, and I know firsthand how difficult it can be.

I’m so happy to have my little girl. I love my snuggly little monkey more than anything in this world, and I wouldn’t change a thing about her.

Gender Stereotypes

Baby is only 14 months old, so most of our challenges are still in the future. But I’ve written about some of the gender stereotypes we’re already facing in my article, I Hate Pink.

I like being a woman. I don’t have anything against make-up and beautiful clothes. I like to look pretty, and I enjoy compliments on my appearance. However, I have had an unhealthy relationship with my appearance at different times in my life. It’s still something that I think about and put importance on more than I wish I did.

In another life I was an actress. I thought a lot about how my appearance was affecting my career. If I were thinner, would I have an easier time getting an agent?  But my body image issues were more complicated and long-standing than those just related to acting. I remember being 15 and completely distraught over the fact that I was 10 lbs. heavier than most of my girlfriends. I didn’t take into account my body type or my overall health; all I saw was the number on the scale. I think I went on my first diet when I was 12. It breaks my heart to think of Baby tormenting herself like that someday.

The Effect of How We View Ourselves

An article on Huffington Post, I Am Beautiful, Girls, by Amanda King, has been popping up all over the web lately. I think it has an important message. Our children learn how to view themselves through how we view ourselves. If we are critical of all our perceived flaws and make criticisms every time we look in the mirror, that is what we will teach our children to do.

Jennifer Livingston, a reporter for WKBT in Wisconsin, responded to a viewer’s criticism of her weight in a video that went viral last month. She points out that if parents make negative comments about other people, their children will learn that behavior, and they may end up bullying other children.

I have decided to model the behavior and self-image I want for Baby to adopt. That means not criticizing my appearance, or the appearance of others. I want for her to be healthy, and understand that a healthy body is beautiful. That’s one of the reasons I have been trying, though not always succeeding, to go running a few times a week. I want for her to see me taking care of myself, and for a healthy lifestyle to be a part of her normal.

But it overwhelms me sometimes when I think about all of the other influences Baby will have in her life.

I studied critical literacy with a wonderful professor, Vivian Vasquez, as part of my master’s degree in education at American University. I learned that while I can’t control all of the images and opinions that Baby will come in contact with, I can help her to frame what she sees in a healthy context. I can teach her to question what she sees and hears, and to form her own opinions.

We live in a complicated time. According to the CDC, “childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years”. A WebMD article entitled “Mom, Dad, Do I Look Fat“, discusses children’s health issues and how younger children are feeling societal pressures to look a certain way. The article cites a KidsHealth poll of 9-13 year olds, of which “more than half said they were stressed about their weight — no matter what their weight was”. So how do we teach our children to be both healthy and happy?

Something needs to change. We need to stress the importance of health, both physically and emotionally. We need to model this behavior, just like all the other values we want for our children to adopt; and it’s never too early to start.

It’s difficult to be a parent, and it sometimes feels like there is always someone ready to criticize your parenting, especially for moms. There is a lot of pressure to be perfect, and of course that’s what every parent wants to be, but none will be. When I’ve expressed concern about my parenting abilities to my mom, she has been fond of telling me, “You won’t make the same mistakes I did; you’ll make all new ones!”

Healthy body image: Tips for guiding girls

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by Borderstan.com November 12, 2012 at 2:00 pm 1,338 1 Comment

"dogs"

Getting your dog ready for the baby. (Rachel Jones)

From Rachel Jones. Email her at rjones[AT]borderstan.com.

Pregnancy is one of the top reasons that people give away their dogs. Behavior issues that seemed tolerable in the past suddenly become unacceptable when there is a baby on the way. In most cases it is not necessary to give up your pets. With some preparation and training, the pets and the baby can live together happily.

As always, the first step is to deal with your dog’s current behavior problems before the baby comes. Problems like excessive barking or pulling on leash can be solved with a trainer in plenty of time.  If you plan to walk the dog along with the baby carriage, practice it before the baby comes. Yes, you will look silly with an empty baby carriage, but you can’t have your Great Dane dragging you and the carriage down the street. While you are working on current behavior issues, do some additional training to increase your dog’s obedience level. Your life will be much easier if your dog can go to a bed or crate on command and can stay for at least 10 minutes.

Expectant parents should also work on preventing baby-related behavior problems. Desensitize your dog to the kind of inappropriate touching he will receive from the baby. Feed him some tasty treats while gently pulling on his ears and tail and patting him roughly with your hand. As soon as he is totally indifferent to the touching, increase the roughness. In addition, handle your dog while he is eating or playing with toys and practice exchanging the food bowl or toy for a great treat. The dog should be indifferent to getting his food/toy taken away before the baby comes.

It is also important to prevent any jealousy or resentment that the dog might feel toward the baby. Figure out what your routine with the dog will be after the baby comes, and implement it now. Your dog should not be able to notice a difference in her walking or feeding schedule as a result of the new baby.  Get all the baby supplies (diapers, bottles, etc.) early and let the dog sniff them so that there is not a sudden influx of “weird” stuff in the house. You can even buy CDs of crying to get the dog used to the noise.

Once the baby arrives, have one person hold the baby and let the dog sniff him/her while the other person feeds the dog treats. Let the dog hang out with you while you are nursing or playing with the baby. You don’t want the dog to feel ostracized, but you always want to supervise the interactions.

A new baby is a 24-hour job. Plan ahead to ensure a smooth relationship between the dog and the baby.

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by Borderstan.com October 9, 2012 at 10:00 am 0

From Leslie Jones. She writes about urban motherhood every two weeks in her column TWBP (There Will Be Poo). You can email her at leslie[AT]borderstan.com and follow her on Twitter @ThereWillBePoo.

"TWBP"

Things don’t always go as planned. (Luis Gomez Photos)

A few weeks ago I wrote about my plans for Baby’s first birthday party. You know how I said I’d been known to freak out and run around like a giant stress ball before parties? Well, that tradition continues.

It wasn’t entirely my fault this time. I baked the cupcakes and assembled the favor bags all in advance. I got my crockpot spinach and artichoke dip simmering and went for a run (And no one was chasing me! I just did it. But don’t expect it to happen again.)

The morning was off to a good start, and I was pretty sure I could get everything done on time. Three hours before the party, I went downstairs to my building’s common room, which I had reserved. It was a mess.

The trashcans were overflowing and there were crumbs and pointy, baby-lacerating kabob sticks on the floor. Did I freak out? Of course not!  I calmly tracked down the weekend cleaning crew and just asked them to do a quick once over. I wasn’t able to start setting up on time, but I didn’t stress, not this mom!

The babysitter was scheduled to come at noon, an hour before the party, to help set up and wrangle Baby. At 12:05, I started to get concerned. It wasn’t freak out time yet, but I still needed to jump in the shower and finish setting up. Husband was on the longest ice/beer run known to man. I texted the babysitter. Nothing. Finally I jumped in the shower, with Baby of course, and the chaos began. Baby didn’t approve of me showering; she showed her frustration by slipping and bumping her head. Then the babysitter called to apologize profusely. She had gotten the day wrong and wasn’t even in town.

Well, you can imagine how it went from there.

I have wonderful friends who didn’t mind decorating upon their arrival at the party. It only took about 15 minutes with everyone pitching in, but I was frazzled. The cupcakes didn’t get iced with my cute Martha Stewart design, there was no relaxing, baby-appropriate music playing in the background and I felt like I was ignoring Baby at her own birthday party. At least we had wine.

A lot of things went right. The baby zone was a good place to let the kids play, and we had toys and beach balls to distract them. The food was simple, but tasty and kid-friendly. The mylar balloons looked cute and all the kids got a little favor bag.

But I felt like I didn’t get to relax and play with Baby and talk to our friends without worrying about how everything was coming together. The pictures are cute and everyone looks like they’re having a good time. But there was no singing of happy birthday to Baby and no pictures of her smashing a cupcake.

Like she cares.

I know it isn’t about me and I shouldn’t worry about silly, unimportant things like cupcake frosting. It’s just that I had tried so hard to plan ahead and make sure it was a stress free event where I could focus on Baby and celebrating with our friends. And I had a very specific picture in my head of how everything should look.

I blame Pinterest.

An article by April Perry, “Your Children Want You”, reminded me of what I already knew. Baby doesn’t care about handmade seasonal centerpieces or sandwiches cut to resemble pirates. She cares about playing with me and Husband at the park, and reading stories before bedtime.

So instead of trying to make Baby’s Halloween costume myself, or making bloodshot eyeball cake pops, and creating spider web designs on the windows with black tape, I ordered baby doctor scrubs and I’ll pick up a bag of candy at Safeway. With the time I save I’ll take Baby to the dog park to watch the “dahs” and give her a bubble bath. It doesn’t take too much time to figure out which she’ll prefer.

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by Borderstan.com September 11, 2012 at 10:00 am 0

From Leslie Jones. She writes about urban motherhood every two weeks in her column TWB Poo (There Will Be Poo). You can email her at leslie[AT]borderstan.com and follow her on Twitter @ThereWillBePoo.

"party"

Celebrate or not to celebrate. (Leslie Jones)

To have a party or not to have a party. I know it’s more for me than Baby, and that she doesn’t know a present from an empty box, but I feel like this is a special milestone that should be celebrated with our friends. The last year has been amazing and exhausting, and I want cake and pictures to prove it. Ok, the cake doesn’t “prove” it in any way, but I want it.

My Guidellines

I had no idea where to start as far as planning this whole fiasco — I mean extravaganza. After a bit of internet research and talking to friends, here are some guidelines I’ll be following:

  1. Choose mylar balloons. Latex rubber balloons can pose a very serious choking risk.
  2. Make sure the food is baby friendly. I was thinking of serving little “bites” on toothpicks, but I realized they might get dropped on the floor. All the food I’m serving is baby friendly: grilled chicken fingers, cupcakes, cheese, and veggies and dip. These foods don’t require utensils, so there is no danger of forks getting into the wrong hands.
  3. Have a babysitter there to help out. This may not be an option for everyone, but I decided that the extra pair of hands is worth the expense for a few hours. Our sitter isn’t there to babysit everyone’s kids, but she will be around to keep an extra eye on things, and help me set up beforehand.
  4. Have a baby zone. We are having the party in a common room in my apartment building; and I can use our expandable baby gate to wall off a small area. Everyone will be responsible for keeping an eye on their own kids, but having a contained zone will allow parents to put their babies down to play without worrying that they will get stepped on.
  5. Supply baby “diversions.” I’m going to have some beach balls to kick around, as well as a few of Baby’s toys: a drum, music cube, blocks, stacking cups, rattles. All things that can be easily sanitized before and after the party. And I’ll have our sitter do “story time”, reading from Baby’s favorite books.
  6. Diaper changing station. There isn’t a changing station in the bathrooms, so I’m going to borrow a friend’s pack n’ play. It has a small changing table attachment. I’ll put it in the hall near the bathrooms and provide some wipes and a diaper pail.
  7.  Keep favor bags baby friendly. Or just skip them. Candy and small toys don’t really work for babies, though older kids may enjoy them. I’m going to have some colorful plastic sippy cups for all the babies.
  8. Try to schedule around naps. Baby can be a little inconsistent about naps these days; I’m afraid she’s trying to drop down from two naps a day to one. But hopefully a mid afternoon party for an hour and a half or so won’t disrupt things too much.

Cupcake and Frosting Recipe

I’m also a little concerned about Baby overloading on sugar, so I’ve been doing some experimental baking. The plan is to make the cupcakes the day before the party and decorate them the morning of. I took a recipe from AllRecipes.com and made a few changes.

Cupcake Ingredients

  • 1 and 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼  teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter (I melted it instead of softened)
  • 3/4 cup granulated Truvia (instead of 1 1/2 cups of white sugar)
  • 3 eggs (instead of two, initially a mistake, but it worked, so I’m sticking with it)
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk (I used organic 2%)
  • 4 teaspoons orange zest (my addition, spices things up and masks aftertaste from the Truvia)

Frosting Ingredients

The frosting also comes from AllRecipes.com, again with modifications.

  • 2 (8-ounce) packages of cream cheese, softened (I used 1/3 less fat cream cheese)
  • ½ cup butter, softened (I used Smart Balance Light)
  • 2 cups of sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

I went with real sugar this time. This recipe makes A LOT of frosting, so I’ll probably halve the recipe and use it sparingly on the cupcakes. A ½ cup of sifted powdered sugar has 195 calories, as opposed to 234 unsifted, and 387 in ½ cup of granulated sugar. Since I’m substituting Truvia in the cupcakes, I didn’t think it was necessary to go overboard and make the cupcakes and frosting completely sugar free. I’m just trying to cut down on sugar-induced-baby-mania, so I figure a little won’t hurt.

I’m taking an idea from Martha Stewart and decorating the cupcakes to spell out:  HAPPY FIRST BIRTHDAY.

My primary goal is to just relax and have fun. I have been known to stress out before parties and run around like a maniac cleaning and staging before the guests arrive. I’m just trying to keep things simple this time and remember that Baby won’t care if the beverage napkins are perfectly fanned out or we run out of cheese.

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by Borderstan.com August 22, 2012 at 11:32 am 0

"Pink"

Should pink be more of a gender neutral color? (Luis Gomez Photos)

Last week Borderstan’s urban parenting columnist Leslie Jones (Heister) wrote “TWBP: I Hate Park” as part of her bikweekly column, TWBP (There Will Be Poo, follow her on Twitter @ThereWillBePoo.). Jones writes about living in Borderstan and raising a baby here with her husband — instead of moving to an outer DC neighborhood or the suburbs. The story in question focused on the fact that it is difficult to buy clothing for her little girl in any color other than pink.

“I Hate Pink”  caught the attention of the producers of HuffPost Live, a regular series of online live panel discussions. Tuesday evening, Jones was one of four panelists who discussed, “Toymakers Should Create Gender-Neutral Toys.”

As Jones wrote in her Borderstan column, “Actually, I don’t really hate pink, but I’m in active rebellion against the stereotype of little girls in pink. Sometimes people think Baby is a boy. I don’t really care; she’s dressed in jeans and a T-shirt and she doesn’t have much hair. Babies often look pretty androgenous at this age, and I don’t see being mistaken for a boy as some sort of slight.”

Regarding toys and gender, Jones wrote, “An article about gender-neutral toys on Today.com got me started on this rant. It asks if they are “much ado about nothing,” and I don’t think they are. I think it’s important to consider the choices you are making as a parent. That doesn’t mean you have to stress about every toy, every outfit; just that you should be aware that your choices, in general, are sending your kids a message.” And, “So the color pink isn’t responsible for the historical inequity of women; but for me it’s a representation. I don’t think everyone needs to follow my pink boycott. I don’t look at little girls dressed in pink and shake my head. Well, maybe I do a little, but I shouldn’t. Equality and empowerment are about being able to be whoever you want to be, and no one should be stereotyped based upon their appearances.”

What do you think? Do you agree with Jones? Do makers of baby clothing, toys and other products produce too many items that play to traditional gender stereotypes? Should more of the choices be gender neutral? One of the most common is blue is for boys, pink is for girls, for example. What about toys? Should you automatically buy your small son a truck and your girl a frilly doll?

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by Borderstan.com August 14, 2012 at 4:00 pm 1,523 2 Comments

From Leslie Jones. She writes about urban motherhood every two weeks in her column TWB Poo (There Will Be Poo). You can email her at leslie[AT]borderstan.com and follow her on Twitter @ThereWillBePoo.

"Pink"

Not so much in pink. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Not the singer; I like her. And I suppose “hate” is a strong term for the color, too. Actually, I don’t really hate pink, but I’m in active rebellion against the stereotype of little girls in pink.

Sometimes people think Baby is a boy. I don’t really care; she’s dressed in jeans and a T-shirt and she doesn’t have much hair. Babies often look pretty androgenous at this age, and I don’t see being mistaken for a boy as some sort of slight. (Though it did amuse me when someone once mistook her for a boy when she was in a blue dress.) It’s like if she isn’t in pink, she must be a boy.

Do little boys get all the other colors, relegating girls to pink? Girls should be able to wear whatever color they (or their parents) want, and so should boys. Husband looks really cute in a pink gingham shirt I got him and, if I ever have a boy, I’ll get him one, too.

Baby has a few pink items of clothing, but I try to avoid it because it makes me think of unpleasant stereotypes – of little girls dressed up like dolls and taught that their self-worth is tied up in their appearances. I’ve found it incredibly hard to find a bathing suit and pajamas that aren’t pink. I realize that pink isn’t a problem in and of itself.

I want to teach Baby that she is capable of accomplishing many amazing things, to have confidence in her intelligence and abilities, to value her mind and not put too much importance on her appearance. I don’t want for her to be plagued by body image issues or feel like she is limited by her gender. I think women still aren’t truly equal in our society, and that isn’t really so surprising when you think about the fact that women have only had the right to vote in our country for 92 years, this August 26.

So the color pink isn’t responsible for the historical inequity of women; but for me it’s a representation. I don’t think everyone needs to follow my pink boycott. I don’t look at little girls dressed in pink and shake my head. Well, maybe I do a little, but I shouldn’t. Equality and empowerment are about being able to be whoever you want to be, and no one should be stereotyped based upon their appearances.

I just want to be conscious of the messages Husband and I are sending Baby. I want to teach her to think critically about the messages that society is sending, inherent in every advertisement and children’s book, and pretty much every interaction she has with the world around her.  Husband and I like to gush over her incredible amazingness, and we try to use adjectives like “clever” and “strong” instead of “beautiful” and “pretty.”

Of course I’m terrible about slipping and telling her she’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen; it’s funny how ingrained certain things are. Those of you with boys, question: Do you say “beautiful” too? Or do you find yourselves saying things like “strong” and “smart?” And to those readers with girls: What do you say?  I’m really curious on both accounts.

An article about gender-neutral toys on Today.com got me started on this rant. It asks if they are “much ado about nothing,” and I don’t think they are. I think it’s important to consider the choices you are making as a parent. That doesn’t mean you have to stress about every toy, every outfit; just that you should be aware that your choices, in general, are sending your kids a message.

Baby has a doll and some stuffed animals, but I’ll admit that it makes me happy when she plays with her car. And if she asks for a toy kitchen set someday, I’ll get her one; just like I would if I had a son and he asked for one. I’ll paint her toenails and play dress up with her, too. But some of the fairytales I read to her may be edited a bit and she will be required to play in the dirt at least once a day. After all, it’s all about balance.

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by Borderstan.com July 3, 2012 at 3:00 pm 0

From Leslie Jones. She writes about urban motherhood every two weeks in her column TWB Poo (There Will Be Poo). You can email her at leslie[AT]borderstan.com

"Borderstan""Baby Hand"

What you need, don’t need and simply may want for your baby’s nursery. (Luis Gomez Photos)

One of my biggest concerns with staying in this neighborhood after Baby arrived was how we would fit her and all of the baby accoutrements into our small second bedroom.

While most days there is baby stuff scattered around the house, I have managed to create a place for everything in the nursery and I can tuck all baby-related items away if we’re having guests over.

You don’t need many of the things people will try to convince you that you have to have; here are some guidelines.

Things You Need for Baby’s Nursery

  • An Amazon Prime membership. For $79 a year you get free two-day shipping on tons of great items. Amazing for ordering must haves at your 3 am feeding.
  • Dr. Brown’s bottles.  For formula or breast milk, these bottles are the crowd favorite among my friends.  They purportedly cut down on gas and make baby suck a little harder, more like on the breast.
  • A Boppy lounger. It’s a pillow with a baby-sized cut out that you can plop your baby in and hopefully get a few minutes of freedom. Baby has grown out of it now, but I used to put it on the bathroom floor so I could keep her close when I tried to take a shower. Don’t ever put it on a raised surface because baby can roll out of it and hurt himself.
Basically you need a place for your baby to sleep, clothes to put her in, and something to feed her. Everything else is gravy. Don’t overthink it. My great-grandmother was premature and they kept her in a wood-burning stove warming oven for the first few weeks. Seriously.  You’ll be okay just trust your instincts.

Things You Don’t Need

  • A bottle steamer.  It takes up a lot of room and we never used it. I wash bottles in hot water with fragrance free dish soap and dry them on a bottle rack made by Skip Hop.
  • Dozens of onsies and outfits in every size. We don’t change for spit up or drool; it’s only going to happen again 5 minutes later. Just about every parent I know says that they have tons of clothes that their babies never wear. Get a couple of things and then see what you like, and what you need after the baby arrives.
  • Tons of toys, a bouncer, a swing, etc. Be strategic in your choices, and take larger items for a test drive before you purchase them. Baby hated the vibrating bouncer chair, and we did just fine without a swing. I did break down and buy a jumperoo after Baby had a blast in a similar model at her cousin’s house. It’s bulky, but it can be folded up and stored in the closet.
  • Crib bedding sets. According to new guidelines released by the American Academy of Pediatrics, you shouldn’t use bumper pads.  I like the clean lines of my crib and opted out of the crib skirt as well. I just got two crib sheets in cute patterns. If you really want a bumper, look into breathable bumpers. They allow air to circulate, but help to prevent little arms and legs from sticking through the crib rails.

Things You Don’t Need, But May Want

  • A wipes warmer. My husband thinks this is crazy, but it only takes up as much space as a large box of tissues and I like the idea of putting a nice warm wipe on Baby’s bottom at 3 am. I keep reusable washcloths in here as well as disposable wipes, and I use the washcloths for little touch ups between baths.
  • Muslin swaddle blankets from Aden + Anais. They come in super cute patterns, big enough to swaddle, and make nice lightweight blankets.
  • A rocker/recliner. Aesthetically, I don’t love wooden rockers. I splurged on an upholstered rocker/recliner and it has been one of my best buys. Baby has been in the nursery since the first night we brought her home; and for the first two weeks, so was I. So, I ended up sleeping in the chair because I needed to make sure she was breathing, obviously. I was able to recline to an almost flat position, and it was actually more comfortable than sleeping completely flat after my C-Section.
  • A cute diaper bag that looks like a purse!  There’s no need to sacrifice style in order to carry around everything baby needs for excursions and adventures.  I LOVE my diaper bag from timi & leslie.

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