09 October 2015

31 Days - Baby clothes and Belly Bandits

Today as part of the 31 Days campaign, I have three updates: one about baby clothes, a second about baby blankets, and a third about Belly Bandits. All kind of random, agreed, but sometimes that's life when one is a stay-at-home mom!

Probably the most exciting thing about preparing for a new baby is folding the clothes. At least for me, anyway, washing and folding all the little teeny sleepers got me pretty excited about welcoming this new one. We are choosing not to find out the gender of this baby, which we also did with Abigail. I thought I had a fair bit of gender-neutral newborn clothing, but when I went through all our stuff during the clean out, I realized that I was mistaken. So after much thought and discussion, I decided that I would wash a week's worth of girl newborn sleepers and the coming home outfit and buy a week's worth of boy newborn sleepers and a coming home outfit.

If we have a girl, I'll just send Matt up to the storage unit to get the newborn tote and we'll wash the rest. If it's a boy, he'll live in the sleepers until I'm healed enough to head to the nearest Once Upon A Child (an excellent used kids' clothing store) and stock up. I predict I'll get a few outfits from some family and friends if it's a boy too, so I doubt we'll be too desperate. Tomorrow I'll finish up the boy clothing stockpile with a coming home outfit and two more sleepers. If we have a girl, I'll either save the boy clothes for next time or donate them the next time our church has a baby supply drive.

I love blankets. I'm probably addicted to them. Blankets are my favorite thing to crochet, and I find soft, adorable baby blankets incredibly hard to pass by. So I have a huge glut of blankets. Over the years, I have learned to reign myself in and have also pared down my collection by gifting away the barely used ones (when you have 1,000 blankets, it's easy to find ones that have only been used once). I'm probably now "only" have 50% more than I actually need.

But they are all super girly blankets. I do have one boy-specific blanket that I bought when I was pregnant with Abigail. I will also be making this baby (boy or girl) its own special "'Kie," like the girls have (see Exhibit A)

Exhibit A

And a long-time friend of my husband's hand-makes my babies quilts, so my thick, high-quality blanket needs are certainly met.

With Abigail, I used flannel receiving blankets like they were going out of style. She had eating issues (even back then!) and usually each meal would need a new blanket, plus I would swaddle her in them. I think I had nearly a dozen and I never felt like I had too many. But with Eleanor, I rarely used them. She was a clean eater and quickly became too large to be swaddled in them (plus she wasn't a big fan of being swaddled anyway). My dozen receiving blankets pretty much just sat around.

My current problem is that I can only find half of my receiving blanket stash and the missing ones are the ones I have the greatest sentimental attachment too! The few I still have are washed and ready to go. I still hope to find the missing ones. The blankets are all girly, but I plan to use them even if we have a boy. Unless, of course, he goes through them as fast as Abigail and my missing ones never turn up. Then he'll get manlier blankets.

Lastly, those ever-popular muslin blankets. I got my first two muslin blankets (some off, not Aden and Anais brand) with Eleanor and I really liked them. They were soft, light, and much better for swaddling (for the two weeks I actually swaddled her). They were perfect to keep the sun off her without overheating her in the summer and they gave her something fun to look at and play with when she was in the car or stroller.

Awww! Widdle baby Eleanor!
Unfortunately, they too, are with the missing receiving blankets. I am still hoping they turn up, but in the meantime, I did buy some new, gender-neutral ones. These ones we take out in public, so I'd like gender-specific or gender-neutral ones.

Lastly, the Belly Bandits. Long story short, I decided to buy a Belly Bandit for after I had Eleanor and it was so amazing, I bought the next size down when the first one got too big. They are great for pain, but the biggest reason I love them is what they do for my body image. I hated my body after Abigail, but I was so much more confident after Eleanor. They shrunk trouble spots I'd had since before I had kids. Seriously, I could spend an entire blog post talking about these things, I love them so much. (And if you want me to, sound off in the comments.) Seriously, if someone asked me, "What is the single most important thing to own after you have a baby?" And they meant of everything: stroller, breast pump, tummy time mat, swing, crib, the whole nine yards, I'd have a hard time deciding between the Belly Bandit and my carriers.

Anyway, I pulled out my two from last year (two different sizes) and I bought a third one from Zulily in the next size down. The second one got too big when I was about 6 months postpartum (if I remember correctly), but these things aren't cheap and a third one just didn't fit in the budget. I had seen a significant enough improvement in my body, so I was satisfied, but I knew I was definitely getting an additional Bandit with baby #3. I found one on Zulily that only cost me $40 after shipping, which is $10 cheaper than Amazon.com and $10+shipping cheaper than buying them from BellyBandit.com. Anyway, the new one should arrive next week and my other two are sitting in my drawer, ready to go! I'll pack the largest one in my hospital bag and start wearing it as soon as I am transferred out of the labor and delivery room!

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