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.

expensive stroller.jpg

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

weird changing table.jpg

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

no baby shoes.jpg

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

diaper bag.jpg

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.

Follow us on INSTAGRAM HERE, and FACEBOOK HERE!

author:  Ernie Gochez, Newborn Photographer

How To Feed New Parents

If you think that brining a meal to new parents is a nice gesture, you’re right. But! It’s ALSO a sanity, energy, hair pigment saving act.

Making a sandwich, seems easy right? Well you ungrateful sandwich maker, try doing it while being a new parent.

vegitarian meal train ideas

You see, new parents aren’t like us, let me explain; if you’re reading this around lunch time, you can probably get up, walk towards the fridge, put something together and come back to finish this blog. Easy!

A new mom on the other hand, will be hungry (sometimes hAngry), while feeding her baby for the 10th time in the last 1 hour, still contemplating if she should risk eating or holding her pee or starting the baby cry-pocalypse, all while dad runs to Target to get more diapers because the baby is a professional pooper, both parents pushing past the fact that they haven’t had more than 2 hours of interrupted sleep (10 minutes here, 3 there), and by the time this thought is done, her baby is hungry again, and she still hasn’t been able to eat herself because making a sandwich requires more strength than the vessel she calls her body can produce at the moment. If you think that’s bad, it’s actually worse…But true!

mealt train ideas for new parents

Okay, you’re now convinced that you need to run out the door with your famous casserole in tow to save your new mom & dad friends, but HOLD ON! There’s a right way to save them and a wrong way to save them.

Let’s look at the wrong way first, before you get yourself on the bad list with your friends.

Don’t make it complicated. If they have to pillage their pantry for some rare spice like black pepper, or navigate the valley of frozen breastmilk in the freezer for some protein, then you’ve already failed them. Hoping they have what is needed to finish a dish is already too much, even if they have it, new parent brain syndrome blinds them of the location, especially if it’s under their nose. So forget about an ingredient bag from your local Wholefoods, or a build your own taco tray, they’re too busy building a wall of diapers around the nursery. Also, don’t expect you’re getting dishes, or cutlery back this year, maybe next year, but definitely not cleaned.

feeding new moms

Now let’s look at the right way.

Do make it so easy that on a scale of “1 to put food in their mouth for them”, you’re right under that “load the fork level.” For example; the meal should be balanced with the right amount of veggies, protein, bread/carbs, fruit, and hydration. Bonus points to the friends that bring dessert, and a craft beer for whoever isn’t nursing. Include a serving tray (one for each parent), or plate that you don’t care to get back, and is preferably disposable. Make sure you include the necessary tools, such as a fork, spoon, cup, napkins, wet wipes, knife, straw, etc.. There should be no prep need to consume this meal. Having leftovers earns bonus points.

And PLEASE, just drop it off, unless they specifically say the words “we’d like to consume this meal in your presence while you observe our child for the next 10 minutes, then you need to leave before things get real.”

You get the idea now. Great! Go forth savior of the savory…

Oh, you still don’t know what to drop off? Here are some ideas:

 

1.       Chipotle or a Homemade Mexican Bowl.

Include utensils, napkins, sauce, GUACAMOLE, and chicken (because it’s a safe bet). If they’re vegetarian, or Vegan, just hold the animal protein, cheese, and sourcream, and add some Sofritas and or Fajita Veggies. Add a drink, and don’t forget the chips!

Chipotle Mexican Bowl Breastfeeding

2.       Pizza (not frozen!)

Bring the paper plates, some parmesan cheese, red pepper, and one of those brownie boxes they serve at Dominos. Safest to go with a peperoni pizza, or cheese if their vegetarian.

Pizza While Pregnant

3.       BLT or ALT

Bacon Lettuce Tomato OR Avocado Lettuce Tomato. Both sandwiches can be purchased at your local grocery deli, or subway. A nice lemonade will pair well. If you are not “ripe avocado challenged”, and aren’t a bacon newbie, then go ahead and make the meal at home. Add some chips, or fruit, or fries, or all.

Best Meal Train Foods

4.       Breakfast Burritos

Yes you can eat breakfast food anytime, and probably should, but this early morning meal is sometimes forgotten by friends. Reclaim the best meal of the day by providing a one handed food that is sure to please Meatatarians, Vegetarians, and Vegans alike. You can provide, bacon and eggs, or potatoes + eggs and cheese, or tofu + potatoes and veggies. Bring some OJ, and a waffle. MMMMMmmmmmMMMM MMMMMMmmmmm!

Vegan Meal Train Ideas

5.       Snacks

Stay balanced on the healthy-garbage spectrum. Oatmeal cookies, baked chips, sparkling water, fruit salad, GUACAMOLE, chips and salsa, fresh squeezed fruit juice, etc.. Or just let them indulge in some flaming hot munchies.

Best Snacks For New Parents

 

You are now ready my Padawan. However if you still want to be safe about it, you can just visit their Meal Train page or have a close relative or friend (you can be that person) start one. Meal Trains are great because the subtly say “bring food, drop it at the door, text us when it is present, and we shall consume in peace. Thanks! We love you!” Meal Trains detail what food to bring, what to put in the garbage disposal, and any food allergies such as green beans (no one likes green beans). You can go to Meal Train Page Here to learn more.

Best Recipes For New Mom

Still confused? Hire a luxury chef, like Gordon Ramsey or Chef Boyardee. J/K. Order some Chinese delivery or other tasty food delivery. You can go to DoorDash.com Page Here to find out who delivers in your area.

If you’d like to learn more about this subject or Doulas and Natural Childbirth, please Contact Us Here. You can also visit our Instagram via @babylovencp. You can also visit our FACEBOOK HERE.

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.

I'm Pregnant! Now What?!

All the excitement, fear (lets be real), and confusion is swirling in you, and making you double think everything you need to get done.

im pregnant, what do i do?

 Aside from jumping for joy, there are a few things that you should probably do. The following helps you get some of those things scheduled.

1.       Get In The Healthy Mindset

If you already have a healthy lifestyle, make sure you’re continuing your good habits, but don’t neglect a second look at your exercise and diet as you may be missing some key supplements such as folate or extra iron.

what should i eat when pregnant?

If you’re new to a healthy lifestyle, that’s okay too. It’s never too late to start making good choices. Some things you can do easily is reducing the amount of caffeine you drink, adding more water, eating extra protein, light exercise (see your midwife or obstetrician for advice), and even getting better (sometimes more) sleep.

You’re going to want to practice relaxation too, as a calm and centered you now, is a warrior when it’s time to push later.

2.       Choose a Midwife or Obstetrician

Midwife

Now; we are biased and do love the culture midwives bring to your birth, but there are many great obstetricians we know and love. Our advice; do your research!

You can start by calling your insurance company or visiting their “provider finder” site and making a list of the providers you’d like to interview. You can also check out Yelp and Google for the top midwife or obstetrician in your area.

3.       Find A Doula!

Read these articles if you have questions such as;

best doula in orange county
the best doula in orange county california

In the meantime, here is a simple way to answer this. Every expecting mother should hire a Birth Doula if possible. Birth Doulas provide necessary support during your pregnancy, and labor, and sometimes postpartum. Your Birth Doula experience is one you won’t regret, and their services can sometimes be covered by your insurance, HAS, or FSA.

To Find A Childbirth Doula Click Here. You can also use Yelp and/or Google to find Doulas in your area. The best Doulas are the ones who you feel a great connection with and are willing to grow their relationship with you… Like A Bradley Method Doula!

4.       Get Your Childbirth Education Classes Scheduled

best bradley method class in orange county

You’re probably reading this because it’s your first go around in the baby making business. Don’t worry, there are plenty of caring people who make it their business to teach you anything and everything you need to know.

Best Childbirth Class In Orange County

 

A well rounded class like The Bradley Method Of Husband Coached Childbirth will give you the best education on what to expect, healthy diet, labor practice, contraction timing, relaxation, mental and emotional preparedness, and partner (coach) involvement, and much, much more!

Consider booking early, as it gives you more time to practice the skills you’ll learn. If you’d like more information on Childbirth Classes, Click Here.

 

5.       Prepare To Announce The News

Don’t forget to tell dad first! Ha!

pregnancy announcement

Some moms like to tell their family and friends right away! Making a phone call, sending a text, or posting on social media are great ways to announce. But don’t forget, you only get to share the news for the first time, one time. So think about a cute way you’d like to do it too. You can hire a photographer to shoot some announcement photos, or create a clever card for mailing (Checkout Pinterest For More Ideas).

pregnancy announcemennt

You can also wait to announce the news until later. There are many moms that like to wait until their second trimester, and that’s okay too. It’s you and your baby, do what’s right for you.

There are plenty of other things you should also do, but we like to keep things simple here. Some other things we won’t go into detail are, talking about finances, going to the dentist, abstaining from foods or drugs that can negatively affect your baby, buying a car seat, etc.. This article was meant to help you get some of the basic things on your to do list.

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