Category Archives: Cranky Parenting

Cranky Baby Essentials Guide Part One:
Dress Your Baby

Posted by: Maggie

As we prepare for baby number two, we’ve pulled out all our baby gear and reviewed all the registry recommendation lists to make sure we have everything we will need. In the process, we’ve reminded ourselves of what was the most useful to us and what we thought we’d need, but didn’t really use. So, I’ve put together this guide to share our knowledge with all the parents-to-be out there. I’ve split it into several categories of baby items and within each I’m sharing the “Must Haves,” “Nice to Haves,” and items that you can “Skip.” I hope you find this useful in prepping for your new baby!

When you start shopping for baby, one thing you will not be able to resist buying is baby clothes. Adorable, tiny, baby clothes. However, I urge you just to buy a few favorite special items, like a going home outfit and an outfit for any holidays that happen to occur within a month of your baby’s due date. For those feel free to splurge on Baby Gap or Mini Boden. For the rest, stick with inexpensive basics because they will grow out of them so quickly and wait until after your shower(s) to buy any clothes yourself. Like you, your friends and family can’t resist the adorable, tiny clothes either and will buy you tons and tons of clothes in addition to and often instead of your practical registry items.

Since newborns grow out of clothing so quickly, people tend to give 3-6 month or 6-12 month size items, so most of what you’ll get will be bigger and you’ll want to buy some Newborn size yourself. Keep in mind that they will probably only be wearing those for the first few weeks, and some babies are never that small, so go with the inexpensive multi-packs.

MUST HAVES

Onesies – We liked the Gerber Brand of plain white onesies in either short sleeve or long depending on the time of year and whether your home is on the cooler or warmer side.

Pajamas & Sleep Gowns – I highly recommend the zip-up kind of PJs, as opposed to the snaps kind, you do not want to be unsnapping and resnapping a bunch of snaps to change a diaper in the middle of the night. Sleep Gowns are also another fantastic option, that make middle of the night diaper changes easier.

Hamper & Laundry – Keep a hamper by your changing table and make sure it’s portable, because you’ll be doing laundry pretty often. We have a cheap fold-up one from Ikea, but I’ve seen a bunch of cute, pop-up ones at Target.

You’ll also want to get some baby laundry detergent if you don’t already use a “free & clear” or “sensitive skin” style detergent.

NICE TO HAVES

Booties & Socks – Cute socks are great for keeping those toes warm, but socks don’t stay on well unless they fit perfectly and as long as the baby doesn’t wiggle it’s way out of them. Booties are a better option for keeping baby’s feet warm. But honestly we mostly just went sockless and kept a blanket on Eleanor’s tiny cold feet while out and about for the first few months.

Hats – For colder weather and going out and about hats are great to keep baby warm. But like socks, hats don’t stay on baby’s heads very well. The best one we had was a finely knit one they gave us at the hospital.

SKIP

Baby Mittens – The thing is, baby’s come out with teeny tiny razor sharp nails that grow super fast. They will scratch up their face with them. So, a lot of people recommend putting mittens on to prevent that. However, babies are new and learning and exploring through their senses, so it’s not a good thing to cover up their hands unless you are swaddling them to sleep. Instead of mittens I recommend cutting or filing their nails as often as needed and even letting them get scratched sometimes. Believe me, they heal incredibly quickly and don’t really seem to notice the tiny scratches.

Shoes – Don’t put your baby in shoes. Feel free to get some and use them as nursery décor, but your baby doesn’t need them until they are officially walking (around 12 months old). It’s bad to bind up your baby’s growing feet, because it doesn’t let them use the muscles they’ll need when they are learning to stand and walk.

UP NEXT…Part Two: Get Your Baby to Sleep

New Baby Favorites

Posted by: Maggie

Well, I’m still pregnant (and pretty annoyed about it) and also technically on Maternity leave, so I thought I’d do some Cranky posts while I have a bit of time waiting.

Since this is baby number two we didn’t have very many things we needed to buy to prep for baby’s arrival. We’ve kept most of the baby essentials from Eleanor, so we didn’t register or buy very much. But there are a few new things that I’m excited about that I thought I’d share.

1. Ikea Stuva Dressers, $110. Eleanor and the baby will be sharing a room once he’s sleeping through the night. As it is, there is no extra room for a crib, so we needed to get rid of Eleanor’s dresser to make some space.  We decided to clear out her closet and get two new smaller dressers, one for Eleanor and one for baby. These Ikea children’s dressers are the perfect size and they are nice and low so that Eleanor doesn’t have a problem reaching inside to find her own clothes. They also come with different color drawer fronts (birch, pink, blue, and green) if you’re so inclined. I like the simple white front, so they’ll work if most any space if we ever pull them out of the closet or change the decor. p.s. I’ll be doing some new house tours in the coming months so you can see how our little place has changed to accommodate baby.

2. Target, Room Essentials, Y Weave Small Storage Baskets, $6 each. Our changing table is now set-up in our bathroom, because, again there is no space in Eleanor’s room. And because I have client meetings in our home most weekends I need to keep the bathroom looking clean and tidy, so I bought a few of these small plastic storage baskets to keep the things on the changing table looking neat and organized. I use one for extra changing table covers, another for washcloths and baby toiletries, and another for diapers.

3. Cake by Petunia Pickle Bottom, Cosmopolitan Carryall in Buttercream, $349. This was a very generous gift from my good friend and photo client, Kristy! I seriously am in love with this incredible gift. It is the most beautiful diaper bag with so many pockets for all your baby stuff. It also works as a fabulous purse and it’s padded enough to double as a camera bag. I ADORE it! Kristy was able to snag it in this beautiful Buttercream yellow at a sample sale, it’s no longer available in that color, but the other shades are just as beautiful.

4. Arm’s Reach, The Mini Co-Sleeper in Natural, $154. While the baby will eventually share a room with Eleanor, until he’s sleeping through the night he’ll be in the bedroom with us. We didn’t use a bassinet with Eleanor, she went straight into the crib in her room, so we needed to get something for the new baby that was small enough to fit in our little bedroom. This co-sleeper is a hand-me-down from my sister, who got it as a hand-me-down from a friend of hers. It is the perfect size! While we can’t actually use it as a co-sleeper (there’s not much room on the sides of our big King-sized bed), there is space on the wall opposite our bed next to the dresser that is almost the exact size of this co-sleeper. It’s perfect!

5. Boon Grass Countertop Drying Rack, $18. I love this cute and super functional drying rack. If you’ve ever washed bottles, you know there are a bunch of little parts that just won’t work on a traditional drying rack. The blades of “grass” keep everything up and allow the water to drain down into the tray, which separates from the grass for easy cleaning. We had a different bottle drying rack when Eleanor was a baby and I hated it! This one is so much better and so much cuter!

6. Aden & Anais, Muslin Swaddle Blankets, $50. These were a gift from my sister. I love them and can’t wait to get to use them. I’ve had my eye on these to use for my newborn clients for a while, I love the plain white ones for photos and the patterned ones are cute for everything else. They are super soft and nicely textured and have a little stretch in the them for swaddling.  They are also a nice big size so they can be used in a variety of ways, like as a nursing or stroller cover, a tummy time blanket, or a changing table cover.

And those are all my new favorite things! But as you know there are soooooo many other thing you need for baby, so I’m working on something for you new moms out there!  I’ll have a complete guide to all the baby essentials up soon! I’ll be working on it this weekend and if baby doesn’t arrive before then I’ll get it up on Monday (my due date) for you all!

Have a fabulous Easter/Passover weekend! Send your good wishes our way for a quick delivery that happens soon please, cause I am sooooo over this waiting!

Preschool Troubles

Posted by: Maggie

First of all, look at this girl:

Would you kick this sweet, adorable child out of school?

Okay, I’m exaggerating a bit. She didn’t get kicked out of school, but she did get kicked out of nap time at school.

It all started over the summer, when she stopped napping. Everyday I would pick her up from school at 3pm and most days I’d get the same report (from a frustrated teacher) that she had once again not napped. AND not only did she not nap, but she would not sit and play quietly. She was getting up and running around and thought it was funny that the teachers wanted her to stop. Yup, my kid is a trouble maker.

She had stopped napping at home on the weekends as well. We always attempt a nap and give her a period of time that she needs to stay in her room before she could come out. And occasionally during that time she would fall asleep, but more and more often she just played for a while and we let her get up.

When the fall semester started, they decided that they weren’t going to put up with her anymore.  I explained to them that I didn’t understand why they were having such a problem with her,  she behaves for us at home. But, then again, we don’t ever expect her to sit quietly for 2 hours! Honestly, I don’t know how that would even be possible or why they think it should be. Does anyone know any three or four year old who can sit quietly for 20 minutes much less two hours?

I recognize their frustration. Every other Pre-K kid is napping. And while they are, she wants to run around and make noise. So, what are they supposed to do? Have one teacher watch her while she plays in another room? I have no idea. So, they’ve asked me to switch her to a half day schedule. I had already switched from full day to 3pm at the start of the year. Now they’d like for me to pick her up at noon. Which, cuts my 6 hour workday to just 3 hours. Work is not crazy busy right now, so I’m managing, but I’m not thrilled about the arrangement.

Has anyone else out there had this problem? What did you or your kid’s school do with your preschooler who refused to nap?

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