Wednesday, October 17, 2012

3 Things to Make a Mama Happy

Life has certainly gone from full to fuller, hence the lack of posts lately.  I'm not finding all the time I'd like for writing, and I'm missing it for sure.  But life is good.  I'm counting my blessings, literally.  Each day my eucharisteo list is growing, and penning down the gifts is growing my gratitude, helping me grasp the moments.  I'm at 682 today.  Will I make it to 1,000 by the end of the year?  I'm hoping.  I know the gifts are there, and the pausing to note them, to breathe a "thank you," is changing me.

It is what is getting me through the craziness of three babies four and under.  There are a few other things that are helping me through my days.  Things that you actually buy.  I'm not a product-review kind of blogger, but these are the things of my life right now.  And my heart beats for other young moms, and so I want to share anything that might add a dash or two of sanity to their lives.

So here are my Top Three Baby Products: 

 
1.  Ergo -  This is hands down, without a doubt, my #1 don't-think-I-could-make-it-without-this baby item.  I've tried a lot of baby carriers, I mean, a LOT.  And the Ergo surpasses them all.  It is a baby's happy place, snuggled close to the beating of mama's heart.  Other carriers may provide the same idea, but have left me with either mastitis, pinched nerves, or aching back muscles.  Not so with the Ergo.  It's ergonomically designed to make you carry the weight in your hips rather than your back, making it possible to carry around a baby (or even toddler!) for many hours.  Trust me, I've done it many times.  It was thanks to the Ergo that I managed a baby and a two year old while living on the fifth floor with no elevator.  Seriously.  Now, as a mother to three, when baby needs holding and I need my hands free (so ... like multiple times per day) the Ergo is my answer.  It's just two quick clicks to get it on.  And yes, it is a bit pricey, but it is also the only baby carrier you'll ever need.  From infancy to "No thank you, Mommy, I don't want you to carry me any more." 

If you have a colicky baby or if you're living/traveling overseas, I might just wrestle you down and force you to get one, I believe it's that necessary.  But I've also been surprised at how much I use it here in America with my non-colicky baby.  It quickly soothes the fussies away, and it helps him get into that calm sleepy state, so I can then lay him down to nap.  He happily naps in it while we're out and about.

So if you're needing a baby carrier, GO BUY IT NOW.         

2.  Arm's Reach Co-Sleeper -  (click armsreach.com for all the info and options)Ok, I know this one will depend on your personal sleep preferences.  I know some moms can't sleep if baby is in the room with them.  If you're like me, though, and you want to have the baby nearby, OR if yo
u're like me and you're trying to fit five individuals into 917 sq. feet (#firstworldproblems), then the Arm's Reach is for you.  It is basically like a pack n' play with a bassinet, but one side is lowered and attaches to your bed.  That way you can co-sleep with your baby but still have your bed to yourself.  And for me, it makes a huge difference if I don't have to actually get out of bed for the night time feedings.

There are a lot of things that I used to think were necessities for babies.  But our lifestyle has forced us to simplify, and in the process I've been amazed at all that you can do without.  Like, we have never actually owned a crib.  In fact, rather than having a bassinet, a crib, a toddler bed, and a pack n' play, we just used the Arm's Reach.  Aiden slept in it from birth to 25 months (The bassinet attachment comes out).  Then he moved straight to a full size bunk bed. Oh, and just throw down a travel diaper changing pad onto the Arm's Reach, and voila!  It's a changing table.



3.  Woombie -  This product is new to me, and oh, how I wish I had this with my first two babies.  Parents know how babies love to be swaddled.  They also know how babies are experts at wiggling their way out of blanket swaddles.  So there are now multiple "swaddler" options out there.  We tried to go the cheaper route and got some swaddlers that use velcro.  They worked, sort of.  But it felt a bit like putting a baby in a straight jacket, and he would sometimes fight against it. He also hated the ripping velcro sound!  Then we got a Woombie as a gift, and I wanted to throw the velcro swaddlers in the dumpster.  The Woombie is so much better.  It allows baby to move his arms around as if in a womb.  But it keeps baby's arms close and secure, preventing the jerking movements that wake and startle him.  AND, it has a double zipper, which means I can unzip the bottom half and change his diaper, without unswaddling the top half!  He's a much better napper than my other two ever were, and I'm gonna have to credit the Woombie with this novelty.  Also, he looks like a big jelly bean in it, which makes me want to eat him even more!  (Ok, that's enough exlamation points for this post)   

There you have it.  I wish I could buy these three items for every mom out there, but you're just gonna have to take my word for it.       

Really, though, if you want to be a happier mama, these products ultimately aren't going to do it for you.  Making a list of 1,000 blessings?  That just might. 

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