Seven Baby Items You Can Skip Buying

Baby showers, congratulatory gifts, registries-galore—there is so much to buy (especially during the nesting stage). But you might not need it all; even if the experts say you do! Save a few bucks and put them into your savings account instead with these tips on what not to buy.

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There are a few things that play into what you should buy to prepare for your baby.  The biggest thing being; advertising! Yup, those ads in the moms groups, or the commercials between your favorite shows, and even the social listening ads you see when you log into Facebook, play a big part in what you buy for your baby.

When you’re becoming a new parent (again too), you tend to be easily persuaded by advertisements. Claims that, the high-tech thingamabob is going to ensure your baby is extra safe, or that the luxury material on the whatchamacallit guarantees a baby that sleeps through the night, are everywhere. That’s how a ~60+ Billion dollar industry makes their money. Estimates say that new parents will spend approx. $12,000.00 on their first baby in the first year alone.

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By the time you’re done making the list of necessary purchases, you may think “Does my baby really need ALL of this?” or you might just unknowingly swipe the Babies-R-Us card (for the perks of course). I hope you read this before you swipe the card, it might save you some green and free up some garage space.

Here’s a list of items you most likely don’t need.

1. Changing Table a.k.a. That Furniture Thing You Pile Clothes On

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When our son was born, we went out and bought a very aesthetically pleasing changing table, with shelves for necessary items like diapers, wipes, and a plethora of unnecessary items like a baseball themed “peepee cover” (you know, so you don’t get tagged while changing a diaper).

We really believed that the changing table was necessary, and we started using it immediately. But just as quickly came the sense that it was more cumbersome than useful. At night we had to get up, pick our son out of bed (we co-sleep), carry him to the changing table, wrestle out a diaper in a sleepwalker state of mind, then clean him and dispose of the evidence all while holding an awkward position between leaning in and leaning over. As time passed—like a few days, really—it became easier to stack a few diapers and wipes on the night stand, and change him in bed. The changing table eventually became the diaper rack/baby clothes pile holder/my work suit hanger (I know some of you know what I’m talking about). A couple hundred bucks that would have been better spent on more diapers; because that’s how diapers go.

 

2. Diaper Pail a.k.a. Diaper Silo

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First of all, if your baby is being breastfed her diapers aren’t going to be as putrid as the Arm-N-Hammer filter says they will. It’s known that formula fed babies can make more interesting odors than breastfed babies. Regardless, like beauty in eyes, odors are in the nose of the smeller, and your baby’s diaper might make you suspect they’re eating nuclear waste.

Don’t run to BuyBuy Baby just yet though. Diaper Pails aren’t things that can really be reused, or re gifted, and when your baby is old enough and graduates the diaper stage, you’re going to send it to the dump. If you’re stuck on the idea of locking up some offending diapers in a diaper coffin, then go to Target, buy a lidded waste basket, some doggie business bags, and baking soda. Add baking soda to the bin, package the diaper in a doggy bag, and send it to diaper afterlife in the receptacle. Saved you some bucks, and you can still reuse all the items even after baby graduates the diaper stage.

 

3. A Crib a.k.a. Escape Practice

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This one is based on sleeping choices. For us, we co-sleep. Not having a crib just makes sense. We started with a crib, and tried to get our son to enjoy his personal sleeping space. The only accomplishment was watching my son cry, and not getting enough sleep. We quickly felt we should try other things. We tried the bassinet for a while, and that worked well. As soon as he was strong enough to roll around in it, we moved him into our bed. Of course we did our research on co sleeping, and made some adjustments on our sleeping positons, but it worked great. We sold the crib, and invested in some waterproof sheets. Ha!

 

4. Shoes a.k.a. Giuseppe Juniors/Baby Jordans/Any Shoes

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Let’s make this one super simple… Your infant cannot walk! But what happens when he/she learns to walk? Great question! There is such a thing, that looks very cute, yet cost so little…socks (with bottom grips if you must), and they’ll work fine for the type of walking your little one will be doing. Now, if your 10 month old is found hiking a 5K, please purchase some baby hiking boots, and a shaving kit, as he’s probably the most interesting baby in the world. When you do get to an appropriate age/foot size, my advice would be don’t spend too much right away—those toes do grow fast. When they can fit in a shoe for at least 6 months, invest in some reinforced play shoes. Nikes will turn into spaghetti real fast.

 

5. Blankets a.k.a. Cute Fluffy Danger Blankies

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Save your baby from a hazard. Fluffy blankets can be heavy, insulating (overheating), and a choking hazard. Your safest bet is going to be a receiving blanket, or a swaddle blanket. These types of wraps are ventilated, appropriately insulated, and easy to clean. Thank Nana for quilting that awesome keepsake, and then hang it on the wall or keep it in the garage until she visits again.

 

6. Wipe Warmer a.k.a. Unnecessary Booty Luxury

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Have you heard of heat? Your hands give it off. Rubbing/holding a wipe in a closed hand can warm it right up. No fear of burns with this method. I’m not going to lie, if you happen to not warm the wipe in your hands long enough, the slight coolness may surprise your baby. Don’t worry though, they get used it, and it’s not torture. I’m sure your mom and dad didn’t have an electric wipe warmer, and you’re fine, but if you really want to spend money in the baby wipes section, use $100 bills.

 

7. Diaper Bag a.k.a. Mom's New Designer Bag

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Well this one is a toughie too. I’m not saying to walk around the shopping mall holding baby in one hand, while carrying a diaper and wipes in the other hand. I’m suggesting (from experience), that a backpack (even one with only 2 compartments) is more than good enough. I saved a hundred bucks, when I went to H&M and bought a backpack with a drawstring, and button closure (like one of those hipster bags) instead of the dad bag I really wanted. In my defense, the dad bag was a manly diaper bag. If you pack logically; wipes, diapers, snacks, bottles, clothes, are pretty easy to access and manage. Most diaper bags aren’t anything more than a confusing puzzle of extra pockets with an outrages price tag. As our son got older, carrying extra clothes, and snacks is still very practical in our bag.

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Hopefully you save some money after reading this (you’re going to need it for that toddler urinal you’ve always wanted to buy). If you already bought some of these items, check with the store to see if they’ll take it back (even without a receipt they can sometimes give you store credit.)

As always, if you have any questions on this subject, or questions about Infant CPR, Childbirth Prep Classes, Doula Services, Placenta Encapsulation or Newborn Photography, you can CONTACT US HERE.

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author:  Ernie Gochez, Newborn Photographer

10 Interview Questions You Need To Ask Your Doula!

Hiring a Doula is a great idea, but can be a nerve-racking experience if you don’t know what questions to ask. Luckily for you, we’ve made a list of must ask questions you need to ask your Doula during the interview.

Best Doula In Orange County

Before you continue, you may want to read the following; What Is A Birth Doula? OR How Much Should I Pay A Doula? OR How Do I Choose A Doula?

Here are the top 10 questions to ask during a Doula Interview:

1.       Why Did You Become A Doula?

Do you want to really get to know your Birth Doula? This is the opening question you should be asking. Being a Childbirth Doula is demanding, physically, and emotionally; which is why most Doulas need to have a genuine passion for what they do. You should hear a refreshing answer as to why they became a Doula, and some sincere dialogue on why they continue to be a Doula.

2.       How Did You Become A Doula?

Here you get into the technical aspect. You’re going to want to know what certification or training they completed for this job. The answer should bring you comfort that you’re hiring a professional.  If you’re interviewing a Doula with no certifications, or formal training, then you need to ask what experience has made her well equipped to handle a birth.

best orange county doula

3.       How Do You Plan To Work With Me And Dad During The Birth?

You should aim to find out what her Doula style is, and how adaptable she is too. She may be very caring and soft in her natural style, and that might be exactly what you’re looking for, but you may also want someone who can switch to being a strong coach/advocate at a moment’s notice. You can ask about how she supports dad too.

4.       What Additional Training Do You Have? What Additional Services Do You Offer?

A Doula may have extra training that sets her aside from other candidates. The extra training may be useful prenatal, and/or postpartum.

Some of the training you’re looking for is; Bradley Method (childbirth educator), Placenta Encapsulation, Rebozo Certification, Infant Massage, Breastfeeding Consulting, Newborn Photography, Infant CPR, and maybe even Car Seat Installation.

bradley method doula

5.       Do You Attend All Types Of Births? Hospital Births? Home Birth? Birth Centers? Water Births?

You want to get a sense of how versatile your Birth Doula is. If you’re giving birth at a birth center, and your doula doesn’t attend births there, then that might be a deal breaker. If you are undecided, this can allow your Doula to make recommendations on the type and place of birth.

6.       Do You Have A Backup Doula? Can I Meet Her?

Life happens, and sometimes an emergency, like an accident, or health can delay and or prevent your Doula from attending your birth. You need to know if your Doula has a backup, and what exactly happens if a Backup Doula is needed. You may want to also meet the Backup Doula; your Doula should be able to coordinate that.

top 10 orange county doulas

7.       What Does Your Pricing Include?

You want to know how many prenatal visits are included, if any. You should find out when they are on call for you. This should open up a conversation on what tools they bring to the birth. Some Doulas offer aroma therapy, or a Rebozo (you can read about that here), they can also offer photography and Placenta services.

 

8.       Do You Have Reviews We Can Read? Do You Have A Website?

You can learn a lot about your Doula from her YELP and her WEBSITE. A Doula who considers herself a professional, will have an online portfolio with great reviews. You can also ask if they have a business Facebook, or business Instagram. If she doesn’t have a portfolio, ask if you can call her references.

top 10 doulas in OC

9.       What Is Your Fee?

Cha-ching. You need to know how much your investment is going to be. Doulas can charge anywhere from $950-$3,000 on average here in the OC area. Be sure to talk about payment options, and how your Doula can help you with HSA/FSA/insurance reimbursements.

best OC doula

10.   Did You Click? Is There A Connection?

This last question is really for you, but don’t be afraid to flip the script and ask her if she feels like you clicked too.

Above all, if you have a good connection, and you trust her, pricing, and a website might not be as big of a concern. By the end, you should feel like this process was less an interview and more of a good conversation instead.

Of course there are many more questions you can ask, like; what’s your spirit animal? But this should give you a good idea on the best questions to ask.

natural birth doulas in orange county

If you’d like to learn more about Doulas Click Here. If you have questions about childbirth, Contact Us Here, or comment/DM on our Instagram via @babylovencp. You can also visit our Facebook Here!

What Is A Rebozo And How Can It Help Me During Labor?

A Rebozo is a hand woven fabric that is traditionally used as a shawl and has been found to be very useful in labor with certain techniques applied. The Rebozo has been known to help laboring mothers save energy, push effectively, and reduce pain and discomfort.

Rebozo For Labor

While there are creative ways your Rebozo Certified Doula can use the Rebozo, we’ll go over the three most popular techniques here. You may want to ask your Rebozo Certified Doula to practice these methods during a prenatal visit.

1.       Rebozo Sifting

Have you ever panned for gold? Jiggled a cup of Jello? Similar concept; except what your jiggling is a lot more valuable than gold. This movement helps a laboring mom reduce the stress on her muscles and ligaments. It can also reduce the pain felt during contractions as the added pressure can be very comforting.

So how do you Rebozo Sift?

rebozo sifting

Simple; you’ll need a partner, like dad, your Doula, or your Midwife. If you’re using one person, they’ll wrap the Rebozo around your belly, while not crossing the ends. Think of a shoe shine rag. Then with both ends in your partner’s hand, you can get on all fours, or on your knees while leaning over a squat bar/birth ball. Your partner then, gently sifts/jiggles your belly side to side.

If you’re using two people, such as a Doula and your partner, each one of them will hold an end of the Rebozo while they sift your belly.

2.       Rebozo Anchor

A Rebozo Anchor can help you push more effectively. How? When your Doula has placed you in the proper position for the Rebozo Anchor you will feel the correct muscles activate for more efficient pushing.

What’s the proper position for a Rebozo Anchor?

rebozo for labor

Good question! Your Rebozo Certified Doula will wrap the Rebozo around her back while sitting, then she will instruct you to sit in front of her will holding one end in each hand. Then, as you feel a contraction and the urge to push you should pull on the Rebozo ends while your doula counters the movement (kind of like tug of war). The resistance you feel when pulling the Rebozo, will help you push down and help push your baby out.

This technique can be practiced very carefully, but should be reserved to the pushing stage of labor as you do not want to accidently create an onset of early labor. I would recommend only practicing this with a Certified Rebozo Doula.

3.       Rebozo Squat

A proper Rebozo Squat can help you gain all the benefits of squatting during labor, with the added bonus of saving you more energy! Let’s get right into how to Rebozo Squat.

Rebozo Squat

Your Certified Rebozo Doula will wrap the Rebozo around your back, while she holds one end in each hand. You will then start to squat when she tells you it’s okay. Your Doula will act as a counterbalance for you, effectively balancing some of the kinetic energy needed. This will result in an assisted squat that will reduce muscle fatigue to you.

So there you have it, three of the most popular ways to use a Rebozo during childbirth. If youre still unsure of how to use a Rebozo, ask your Doula if she is a Certified Rebozo Doula; if so, she will be able to help.

You can visit our Doula Page Here for more information on how I use a Rebozo during labor for my clients.

If you have any questions about this topic or natural childbirth, Doulas, etc., please Contact Us Here, or DM/Comment on our Instagram page via @babylovencp.

How To Prevent Tearing: The Easy Way!

There’s a pain out there (more like down there) that can rival that of a 100mph toe stub on a cold winter night. They call it the Perineum Tear! DUN DUN DUN!

But there’s a way to defeat this foe before you even have to push, and it’s actually pretty easy. The following is a list of three easy ways to prevent a Perineum Tear.

1.       Kegel:

This isn’t one of those exercises that requires you to get up at 5am, and lace up a pair of running shoes. You can actually do Kegels sitting, at the office, during breakfast, at a park, during a movie, buying groceries, you can pretty much Kegel anywhere, and we highly recommend you do. No spotter needed! Kegels is a real exercise to strengthen the muscles in your Vagina. But how to I perform such a move? Is it like twerking? Both great questions. Your midwife can show you how to do a Kegel, and possibly even how to do a twerk. You can also learn how to Kegel while taking your natural childbirth class; The Bradley Method! You can learn more about the Bradley Method Class by clicking the link!

How To Kegel While Pregnant

 

2.       Relax:

how to relax while pregnant

Do whatever gets you chilled out as often as you can. Learning to relax, can be useful, especially during a stressful time. The more relaxed you are the more in tune you are with your body and thus the more control you’ll have during labor. Having this control during labor can help you get through it quicker and thus reduce the risk of a tear. If you’re new at relaxing, or you want to pretend you’re new, employ your partner to practice relaxation techniques, and relaxation massages on you. If you’re gutsy, hand your partner a palm leaf and some grapes. Great tools for relaxing include essential oils, music (anything that calms you), ottomans, meditation, exercise, etc.

 

3.       Squat:

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Every day is squat day. Squats can help you become more flexible, allowing you to get into better labor positions (see below), and can also help you strengthen the muscles necessary to help you push more efficiently. Why is pushing efficiently so important? Well aside from a short labor, knowing when and how to push helps you avoid unnecessary stress to the perineum. If you’re wondering how to properly squat while pregnant, click this link for a great video.

 

4.       Get In The Right Position:

Like satisfying a hard to reach itch, getting in the right position can sometimes be tricky. Lucky for you there are plenty of bears scratching their backs on YouTube. But for that person more interested in learning the right labor positions, you can learn plenty of creative and proven positions to labor while reducing stress to your Perineum. One way to learn these positions is by taking a natural childbirth class like this one! Or by researching labor positions that keep you from laying on your back with legs in the air. Gravity and baby weight aren’t the best combo when trying to avoid Perineum tears. One position that helps reduce Perineum Tears is the side position (see below).

labor positions

Last, but not least, avoid any interventions during labor if possible. Interventions such as Pitocin, vacuums, and even certain physical exams can increase the risk of a Perineum Tear. Your goal should be to have an as natural and intervention free labor as possible. You may want to hire a Birth Doula to help ensure you have the type of birth you want. Click the Doula link here to learn more.

If you have any questions about this topic or would like to learn more about natural childbirth, please contact us here, or DM/Comment on our Instagram page via @babylovencp.com

How To Naturally Reduce Pain During Labor

Obviously childbirth is painful. Contractions can be powerful, the “ring of fire”—although momentary—does hurt, and back labor is more than uncomfortable.

labor pain

 

But! Don’t rush to an epidural right away. There are plenty of safe, and natural ways to reduce pain. Using one of these natural alternatives can reduce the amount of “drugs” that enters your newborn’s body, help you better understand what is happening to your body during labor, and help your coach become more involved in your labor and reducing your pain.

The following are three easy ways to reduce pain during labor the natural way;

Childbirth Preparation Classes:

Yep! Getting your schooling on! Knowing what your body is going through as it transitions into pushing, or why you feel pain from a posterior baby is a great way to take control of how you feel during pain.

Classes like The Bradley Method cover how to eat for a faster labor, exercises to strengthen your body for labor, and relaxation techniques to calm you and help you push through the pain.

In the Bradley Method, the belief is that childbirth shouldn’t solely be a mom thing. Instead, Husband/partner coached childbirth is the foundation of the course. Knowing that you’re Husband/partner will be involved in every aspect of your prenatal, labor, and postnatal journey will help you reduce stress and relax. The education you both receive will help you better manage the pain of childbirth.

If you’re interested in Childbirth Classes to help reduce labor pain, click our Class Link Here to learn more.

reduce labor pain with a doula

Aroma Therapy:

With a rise in popularity, Diffusers and Essential oils are a great way to reduce pain during childbirth. You may be asking; “How does aroma therapy work for labor?”, well easy… actually it’s pretty technical, but lucky for you we’ve condensed the info into an easy to understand explanation.

During Aroma Therapy, essential oil molecules are disbursed through a diffuser and inhaled. These molecules enter your body, reach the brain and affect the limbic system. The limbic system is responsible for emotions, stress, and hormone balance—all things that affect how you process pain in a good way.

If you’re still unsure how to diffuse, or which type of oils to use, research and experiment at home before going into labor. If you have a Doula, you can also ask if she provides aromatherapy. If you still have questions, click the DOULA LINK HERE to learn how we use essential oils during your labor.

Essential Oil Diffuser During Labor

Massage Therapy:

Specifically massage therapy that is performed by your partner. Whether your partner is an all-star foot therapist, or alternatively has sand paper hands that do more damage than you began with, all partners can learn how to give better massage during labor.

“How exactly does massage reduce labor pain?” I’m so glad you asked! Labor Massage therapy relaxes muscle tissue which helps reduce painful contractions and spasms. Reducing muscle spasms will also reduce nerve compression which in turn relieves pain signals going to your brain.

“What if my partner doesn’t know safe and effective labor massage?”, you’re in luck. Click the Bradley Method Class Link HERE to enroll and start training today! We’ll have that husband/partner of yours giving you the best massages and relaxation techniques on earth. There is also a class where your partner gets to feel a massage first hand (for learning purposes of course) ;)

Massage During Labor

Your Doula is also prepared to step in and use her massage skills to help you reduce pain during labor. If you still need to find a Doula, click this DOULA LINK HERE or click the BLOG to learn more.

As always, if you have any questions on this topic or any other topics we haven’t covered please feel free to contact us HERE or comment/DM us on Instagram via @babylovencp.

Your Childbirth Support and Doula,

Christy Gochez