04 February 2019

January + Favourite/Regrets to Buy for Baby


January, January, where did you go? This month has just flashed past my face faster than I can believe. And now February has come in with a snowstorm and Ezra's experience with snow!



By all accounts, life is going pretty well. Some days, like the last two, are absolute perfection. Ezra has been the stuff of maternal daydreams--so snuggly and sweet, constantly looking up at his mama with his adoring dimpled smile and throwing his arms around my neck and giggling.



Then there are days like today. I just ran my fingers through my hair and almost gagged realising I have a head full of mini-dreads, thanks to Ezra burying his sick, snotty nose into my hair over and over again. He won't be put down for anything which means no expressing (still full time) or showering for the foreseeable future, but I can balance him on my shoulder, while I type, so... blessings?



In other news, Ezra has ALMOST started crawling thanks to a solid month of virtually nothing but tummy time. He can also take about 8 steps on his own on a good day. We also started weaning, which has been a mixture of baby-led and baby food. Amazingly, I didn't get much traction on the baby food until I realised he wanted to feed himself, and suddenly he became a hearty eater. There is no doubt he is a very independent little boy, which I'm sure will drive me to insanity when he gets older (but I'm enjoying it now--mostly because he pairs his self-determined streak with a ton of cuddles, so it somehow feels balanced).

January has been filled with fun times--a New Years Eve party with, what is now becoming, the annual game of Extreme Uno; a Mega Monopoly and mocktail night; and a Wagamama's birthday for our friend Byron. Ezra has been a champ for pretty much all of it, which makes my life a whole lot easier. I also am now a primary teacher on Sunday, which I absolutely love.




Also, now that it has been almost seven months since Ezra came into our life, I want to take a minute to reflect and write down a list of the best/worst things I bought before he was born. This is mostly for my own memory's sake, but I'll put links in case someone else finds it helpful.

Favourites

1) Glass Baby Bottles
There are only two things I really felt like I splurged on, and this was the first. From nannying and working in orphanages, I learned really quickly what a pain it is to sterilise plastic bottles. Also, I know they say that they are BPA free, but heating up plastic over and over again just doesn't seem healthy to me, so I opted for glass bottles.

There is no doubt they are expensive, but I've happily got by with two small, and one large. They are sturdy and don't break when dropped (unless one comes flying out of a backpack on to stone--yes, this happened to me). They are a dream to clean and, when the time comes, retain a lot of resale value.

UK:

 

US:
 

2) Bedside Crib
My second splurge item, as I bought almost everything else secondhand, was this sidecar crib. I love that it allows for cosleeping without the fear of having baby in the bed. Because I am a worrier, I can't imagine feeling comfortable in those early days if I couldn't hear Ezra breath or see his little glow-in-the-dark dummy move around. This also was extra helpful in the first week while I was attempting to breastfeed, as he was close at hand.

UK:


US:


3) Books
My top three books for a newborn are the following:


First 100 Words
I hadn't realised this book was so large when I originally ordered it, but I LOVE that about it. It can stand up by itself and kept Ezra's attention better than almost anything else in those early days (and still does now). It really helps with vocabulary building, and you simply point and read the words provided or expand to more descriptive words easily.

UK and US

        
Banana
This book is an inexplicable diamond. It was floating around in a nursery class I once taught, and I swear I have never seen a book capture the hearts and attention of toddlers better. At six months even it is far and away Ezra's favourite book; he'll often hold it out to me to read.

The book itself is a simple story of a monkey with a banana, and his friend who comes along and also wants it. Even though it only has two words in the entire book, when read properly it teaches about sharing, manners, emotions, and friendship.
 UK and US

        
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Possibly the best and most classic children's book of all time? Honestly, it boggles my mind what a clever little book this is. It teaches: days of the week, foods, counting, healthy eating, biology, and change over time completely effortlessly. And it is just a beautiful little read regardless. The story is also simple enough to keep Ezra's attention even at 6 months, but engaging enough as an adult to appreciate.
UK and US
        
4) Wooden Toys
As I've mentioned, pretty much everything we own is a gift, made by hand, or secondhand, and the toys are no different. This partially comes from wanting to be frugal but also wanting to sensible about the environmental impact of plastics and my absolute love of pedagogies like Montessori. I'm always on the lookout on facebook marketplace or gumtree for wooden toys, but I did get this one new on Amazon, and it is one of my favourites.

UK and US
        

5) Breastpump
If I were not exclusively breastfeeding, I probably would not have purchased an electronic pump. However, it has been a godsend (having a child has taught me over and over that I was born in the right time in history).
Here is the handpump I used:
Uk and US
        

Here is the electronic pump I used:
UK and US
        
Both have been brilliant.

Regrets

1) Cloth Nappies
I don't actually have a problem with cloth nappies, and had fully intended on doing them. But I did spend a fair bit of money getting everything together for something that didn't work out.

2) Formula
This is actually something I SHOULD have bought but didn't. I didn't want to give myself an out on the breastfeeding front so I intentionally didn't buy any and put myself in a really horrible position when I temporarily went dry on a Saturday evening after all the shops had closed. Nothing is scarier than having a newborn baby screaming at you in hunger and knowing there is at least 12 hours between you and relief. Prepare ahead of time.

3) Out of season clothes
I bought most of Ezra's clothes secondhand in bundles. There were largely in like-new condition, but several of them came with out of season clothes I was never able to use. Still worth it though, and especially now that I've seen how fast babies grow out of clothes, I can't imagine spending the money to buy everything new.

4) Colourful wraps
My sister-in-law gave me several colourful baby wraps, which I LOVE (and am seriously so grateful for), but I do wish I had gotten one or two in neutral colours. I'm not the kind of person that feels super comfortable showing up in bright yellow or lavender so it took some getting used to. A black or grey one would have done the trick.




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