New thoughts of what life will become..

I've spent some time this morning reading some blogs that are new to me. it all started with some jealousy over the newest "Blogland Quilting Bee" announced by Tumbling Blocks this weekend. I guess i'm kind of out of the loop with certain blogland-quilting stuff because I didn't even know about the virtual quilting bee started by Mama Urchin in February. Hmph. (I have been following the Common Threads project though).


I usually just read quilt blogs and craft blogs, and occasionally some home decor/living green blogs, but this morning I noticed a new category of blog-focus that really caught my attention.. the "parenting" blog. Most intriguing, Uncommon Grace. Wow. I've just never thought about this stuff before. Well, I don't have kids yet, but one is coming, very soon. Thoughts of when to have dinner and how to put him to bed are all new to me.

In the past week I have been reading this book and loving fabulous ideas like responsive mothering and baby-wearing which are not yet commonly accepted in the social circles I've been exposed to. I realize now that I will need support (in real life or online) to help me make the right decisions as I become a parent. I'm sure most new mothers have these types of thoughts and realizations, but for me it's all coming as a bit of a shock because C and I always just thought we'd figure it out as we went along.

Not now man, no way. I want to be more prepared. I want to have the sling ready before I come home from the hospital. I know this summer will be a bit hectic, but besides finishing the quilting on the baby quilts and setting up the nursery, I also need to do research on a good bassinet and car seat... Suggestions welcome of course. What else do I not know that I NEED to know?


Zegi said...

Just recognize that you can never be 100% fully prepared. Stuff happens--especially with kiddies around--and having a general plan is good but be willing to deviate. Otherwise you'll just go nutz. And of course an important thing that will make you feel guilty: you need to take care of yourself first sometimes. Ain't nobody happy if mama ain't happy!!

Leila said...

Not that I have any children but it seems to me that there's no reason to worry too much that you haven't prepared in the right ways. I'm sure that 100 years ago no one had read all of the books or had all of the slings ready to go when the baby arrived and they seem to have done alright. . .

Leila said...

Hey, by the way, I've been feeling like I'd love to participate in a virtual quilting bee as well! Maybe we should start our own?

rose said...

i agree that you can't ever be (or feel) totally prepared - and i also think that kids, even babies, are more unique than many of the parenting books recognize - for example, i was all excited to carry my baby around in a sling - i had two all ready - and i tried and tried but he absolutely *hated* being smushed up into the thing - he'd scream and struggle and try to kick himself free at even a month old. so we ended up using the stroller until he was big enough to sit up in the bjorn and face forward. (and we still use the stroller a lot because he's super-heavy!) at almost 5 months, he's just finally letting me put him into the sling in the hip-carry, but he still doesn't really like it. :)

i think that a lot of these books (sears in particular) can also make you feel crappy when things don't work out exactly as you'd hoped... (whether with breastfeeding, sleeping, your delivery, whatever!) all that said, i found that reading a range of books after the baby was born was helpful because i could choose what made sense for me and him. i thought that terry brazelton's touchpoints was kind and really interesting on child development. what to expect the first year has also been a great resource for me.

as for car seats - i'd say get the graco snugride while your baby is an infant. it's top-rated for infant safety, you can get gently-used ones for cheap because the kids outgrow them quickly, and it snaps into a stroller frame so you can take the kiddo out of the car without taking them out of the seat (and waking them up). i'm not sure about what the best carseats are for when the kids get older (you can only use the snugride until 29 or 30 inches).

good luck!! :) and sorry for the long comment... you'll be great and do it in the way that works for you and your family, which is the most important thing, after all!

SuzyQSparkles said...

I agree about taking care of yourself and having the gumption to just do what works for your family.

Some things that worked well for us:

Britax car seats. Expensive, but they go to high weight and height restrictions. VERY safe. Easy to install and use.

Maya Wrap sling (or one you make yourself), using their online info, http://www.mayawrap.com/n_sewsling.php

The slings are like FIVE seams. Real easy to make. Don't be tempted to use the WOF, you'll just have TOO much bulk. Just go ahead and sew the long hemming seam(s).

Maya Wrap Instruction Video. Find one. Local breastfeeding store. Local La Leche Leauge. Online. The video is BORING AS HECK but very informative. I'd watch a bit, then go stand by my bed with my baby and practice getting him situated right. You could even practice with a bag of flour, just for an idea of the weight and how to shift it around. You can also start asking people when you see them wearing a sling. Ask for a demo... I gave DOZENS of them!

If you are thinking of responsive parenting and slings and breasfeeding, you may also be thinking of cloth diapering. There's a WHOLE WORLD of this out there! I started by going to www.NaturalBabies.com. I called and talked with her and got all sorts of info. I wound up using CPF's (Chinese Pre-Folds) with Diaper Quality Service covers (plastic lined). There are SO MANY options out there, including AIO (All-In-Ones) which tend to have WAY CUTE prints and basically act like a disposable (no folding / layers) but you wash them yourself. They tend to be more expensive. You can also make your own diapers. As I said, there's a whole world of diapering, including wool covers (sewn or knitted), denim covers, lots and lots of stuff. You could look for an online (Yahoo! type) group, and or a local CD (cloth diapering) group. (In case you didn't notice, they use A LOT of acronyms.

We NEVER used a "bucket" to keep our babies in. For one, they are bulky, heavy, and awkward. Plus, if you were in the car and in that hard, hot plastic thing, would you prefer to be toted around in it some more, or in someone's soft, loving arms? I could transfer a sleeping babe from the carseat to my sling in a few minutes' time, then keep them with me (with less weight and strain on my back), discreetly nurse them (hands free), and keep nosey onlookers from handling my baby!

Okay, I'm on a total (good) rant here! There are lots of options, and you just figure out what works for you. We had a goal of spending as little as possible on "stuff". Many things are outgrown quickly, so you can find other new moms to trade things with, even share toys (a month at your place a month at mine). It was FOUR YEARS before I bought a Pack-n-play type portable crib. Then it was for a second child and he only used it briefly. Whenever I "needed" one, I would borrow one from a friend. There are lots of consignment type kids stores out there. Find them and use them... to trade in and buy stuff.

I had a friend ask what she could do to afford to stay home with her baby, and the two things I told her were breastfeed and cloth diaper. Starting cloth diapering cost me $65 (5 1/2 years ago). That paid for itself in like two months of disposable diapers and they lasted around a year!

Some things (like baby proofing) you won't "have to" have done until you're little one is mobile (crawling), so you'll have several months.

I REALLY liked the "Baby's First Year Journal : A Day-To-Day Guide to Your Baby's Development During the First Twelve Months" by A. Christine Harris PhD. She actually makes them for several years. Gave me a place to record things as they were happening.

You may want to hang a calendar in baby's room (somewhere you are a lot) just for jotting notes about activities / milestones / "moments". Then, when you want to do a scrapbook page or tell or story or something, you have a record of all the "little things" that happened. If you get in the habit of writing little things down, you'll remember to record things like haircut, step, food, etc. Also helpful for noting illnesses, food introductions, etc.

Wow! I am REALLY rambling! I'm gonna stop now. :D

SuzyQSparkles said...


I'm not done.

I just remembered, we always spent money on two things (new) for our kids... carseats and shoes.

Just about everything else we've been able to make / recycle / freecycle / trade / thrift store / etc.

Carseats can be in an accident and you can't see hairline fractures.

Shoe sole supports wear out after about 3 months wear, so, my boys have always had new Stride Rite shoes... once they started walking, before that, just Robeez if it was cold. You can make Robeez type shoes too. Pattern's real easy and should be able to find online tutorials.

All that money you get as gifts? Put it in an account for them right off. Birthdays, they usually don't need ANY MORE TOYS... just put that money in savings too and maybe get one or two things you *want* for them.

Maybe I'm "cheap", in fact I've been called a "Penny Vice" (instead of a "Penny Pincher", but my boys are well mannered and well cared for and even spoiled, I just try to spoil them with things that don't cost a lot. :D

Kristen said...


In terms of carseat, I would reccommend either the Chicco keyfit or the Graco snugride for an infant seat, or the britax seats for the convertible carseat. The above poster is right, that the infant seat isn't necessary, but if you live somewhere very cold or very hot it is nice to be able to quickly transfer the baby from the car to the house. Plus, if your baby is small, sometimes the convertibles don't work so well for newborns.

As for bassinets, we used the arm's reach co-sleeper, which we bought used on craigslist. It snuggles right up next to our bed and folds up pretty small. A pack and play might be a better choice if you will be traveling a lot because you can use it for longer and with an older child.

Also, I would love to do a virtual quilting bee!!! Let's start another one!!

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