by Borderstan.com July 3, 2012 at 3:00 pm 1,061 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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by Borderstan.com June 19, 2012 at 10:00 am 1 Comment

"Screaming Baby"

It is not a howler monkey. It is a baby finding her voice. (Luis Gomez Photos)

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

You’re standing in the hall, waiting for the elevator, and you hear someone screaming bloody murder.  Should you call the police?  If the sound is accompanied by shouts for help, please do.  Otherwise, it’s just my baby saying “good morning”!

At first I thought that I’d just ignore it. Maybe if I didn’t react, she would just stop? No such luck.  How about firmly telling her to please be quiet? Nope. She finds my admonishments amusing.

What is it about the sound of her own high-pitched squeals that she finds so entertaining? I know, I know, she’s finding her voice and it is an exciting thing. But can we just take it down a notch, especially before I’ve had my morning coffee? Any wisdom you more experienced moms and dads can impart would be much appreciated.

And to my neighbors, thank you for your patience — I promise that I’m not intentionally doing anything to encourage it.

Maybe if we lived on a farm, it wouldn’t bother me so much.  But we live so close to our neighbors, no yards separating the sounds of our lives, just some drywall.  It’s part of urban life that we all have to accept; we’ve sacrificed space for convenience.  After 12 years of living on top of my neighbors, I thought I’d gotten used to it, but having a baby has made me more aware of the soundtrack of city life.

Every time Baby has a screaming fit, I think of my neighbors and try to telepathically send them my apologies. The Friday night revelers waiting for the elevator seem like they’re in my living room. Fire trucks and government motorcades during nap-time have me leaning out the window shaking my fist.

Of course, I wouldn’t trade it.  The occasionally disrupted nap is just the price I pay for being able to walk out my front door and take Baby on a walk through one of the most beautiful cities in the country.

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by Borderstan.com April 18, 2012 at 2:00 pm 0

"Borderstan""Balconies"

Remember that we live very close to each other in this neighborhood. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Candida Mannozzi. You can reach her at candida[AT]borderstan.com.

Borderstanis, with the warmer weather upon us (and boy, are we getting some temperature spikes!) we are all pouring out of our homes to enjoy time outdoors. Be it sidewalk cafes, outdoor seating at our favorite restaurants, or, for the lucky among us, our own patio, deck or balcony, there we all are: enjoying the mild weather and the lengthening afternoons and evenings. The presence of more people and pets outdoors makes the city feel festive, alive and buzzing.

The warming of the weather does, however, bring with it a couple of possible drawbacks.

Noise Pollution

Let’s remember that in most areas of our ‘hood, residential units are located directly above, across the street, around the corner, or down the alley from our favorite haunts. While I’m not advocating everyone use “their inside voice” while dining or happy-houring al fresco, you may want to check-in on your volume, especially if the gathering you’re attending has consumed its fair share of un-inhibiting libations(!).

Your neighbors near and far will thank you for keeping the conversation limited to your table, rather than proclaiming it across the entire outdoor patio, or making it echo across the intersection.

Lights and Music

If you’re one of those lucky folks who can entertain in your own outdoor space, more power to you! Please think about your neighbors and their possible desire to have a quiet evening at home, or their need to tuck in because of an early morning conference call or departure on a business trip the next day.

So, especially if you’re entertaining or sitting outside enjoying a mild, breezy weeknight, consider taking your dinner guests indoors and turning the music and lights out or down, once the quiet hours for your building kick in. You’ll be raking in a ton of gratitude and that, especially among neighbors, always comes in handy.

All that said, I am just as jazzed as you about the longer evenings, warmer temps and the chance to sit outdoors without having to wear three to four layers of clothing in order to make it more than 10 minutes. Here’s wishing all of us many enjoyable hours in this lovely springtime and early summer weather.

Catch you on a patio or deck somewhere!

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