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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Opinions

There are benefits to being the second child. Despite being somewhat overshadowed by her older brother (at least at this age), Julia benefits from the fact that we at least have SOME experience in child care. That being said, there are some things that we've done differently with Julia than we did with Will. Some things we learned from experience, and some things are different just because the children are different. So, here are some random thoughts on child-rearing and child products: things that we're doing differently with Julia, things that I swear by for both, and things that I think are overrated.

Things I've Done Differently with Julia (and would now recommend):
  • 4D Ultrasound: We never had one with Will, but I loved doing it with Julia. The pictures we got then really look like her little face now.
  • Miracle Blanket: Will hated being swaddled, but I think we just didn't try hard enough. Now I'm just worried that Julia will have to be swaddled even when she's 12. The Miracle Blanket has lived up to its name for us.
  • Bathing: We just don't do it very often. Will got a bath almost every day as a baby; Julia is lucky if she gets one twice a week (although, now that she's in daycare it's much more frequent). Although it sounds like we're neglecting her, I really think it's a better approach. Her skin has been much better than Will's was. Plus, you don't have to deal with the hassle of a bath every day! (YAY laziness!)
  • Solid foods: Again with the laziness. With Will, I was so excited to start solid foods, so we started at about 4.5 months. I now realize that it's just something else to deal with (and, oh yeah, my doctor thinks there's no reason to start early; in fact he'd recommend waiting until later). So as of now, I'm not planning on adding foods until around 6 months.
  • Pictures on her birthday: I make sure to take a picture of Julia on the 8th of each month. I really wish I had done this with Will. Although we have tons of pictures of him, it is nice to have a picture each month, on the same day, in the same place.
  • The Snap N Go: We used the Graco system with Will, but I borrowed a Snap N Go from a friend for Julia and it is fabulous! It is so lightweight and easy. Then, you can decide what kind of stroller you really want and need once your child outgrows the bucket seat.
  • Worrying less: I feel like I am more "go with the flow" with Julia. With Will, I frantically read every baby book I could to try to figure out the exact right thing to do. Now, if something is working for us, I try not to worry about it. I'm trying to take the attitude that she will grow out of things as she doesn't need them anymore (like swaddling or the pacifier), so at this point, I really shouldn't worry about weaning her off of them.

Things I Swear By (and did with both children):

  • The swing: For my children, there is nothing better. I'm not sure we could have survived without it.
  • Breastfeeding as much as you can, supplementing if necessary: I love breastfeeding, but I've always had a bit of a supply problem (less so with Julia, who is not Enormo-baby). So, I give them what I can and then don't feel bad if they also need a bit of formula. With both kids, we've always given them a bottle of formula before bed, after they nurse (this is the only formula Julia gets), and both kids have always been reasonably good sleepers. Who knows if there is causation there, but I'm not going to mess with it!
  • Reading: I think it's the best thing you can do for your child intellectually. I already read to Julia.
  • Cheap bottles: We've always just used the regular Gerber or Medela bottles and nipples. I thought it was easier to try the cheap(er) bottles with fewer parts and see if they worked before I bought the expensive, complicated ones. The cheap ones worked for us!
  • Zipper sleepers: SO MUCH EASIER when changing diapers at night.
  • The Ultimate Crib Sheet: SO MUCH EASIER when changing sheets at night (or really anytime).

Things I Think are Overrated:

  • Sleep positioners: At some point, you will buy anything that you think will help your child sleep. In times of great sleep deprivation, I have bought one of these for EACH of my children. I used it once or twice with Will, and NEVER with Julia. Ridiculous.
  • Wipe Warmers: We never had one. It sounds like a silly baby gadget to me. Although, if I were the one getting wiped, I might be singing a different tune.
  • The sling: I am sling incompetent. I know some people love, love, love these, but I have never gotten the hang of them. I'm going to try again with the hip carry for Julia, but I really wish I hadn't spent the money. We've used it about three times so far.
  • Judging other Moms: Yes, there are certain things that are objectively bad decisions, but overall, I'm finally realizing that each mom has to do what's best for her family and what works for her child. There are plenty of things that I would never do with my children, but it might work great for someone else (aren't I so Zen?!). In reality, I struggle to keep this mindset, but I do intellectually believe that it's true.

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In other news, I have fixed the comments on the blog so that people can comment even if you don't have a Google account. I know that at least a couple of people are out there reading, so please leave a comment! If you're a mom, tell me what baby products you love or think are overrated.

1 comment:

recruitingcow said...

I just wanted to leave a comment because I could! I still love the Will-ful blog so much!