Thursday, September 22, 2011

Ten Tips on How I am Preparing for Baby # 2, With the Help of Seventh Generation

As many of you know, I am expecting my second daughter around November 14th of this year. She will join our 14 month old daughter, Savannah Rose. With a toddler at home, it has been hard to prep the nursery and get things ready for baby #2. Luckily, we can reuse Savannah's clothes and clothes that she never wore, and I have a handful of items, like bottles, pacifiers and diapers that Savannah never used, so we will use these with the new baby. Even though I had a lot of the baby stuff on hand, I still felt that I needed to make sure that the house and nursery were ready for a baby again -- safety being #1.

Since welcoming our first daughter, Savannah Rose last July, we have spent the past 14 months baby proofing the house and making sure that we only use natural and green products around our daughter. Also, being a cancer survivor, I don't like to have harsh chemical laying around and when I clean the house, I only use chemical free and natural cleaning products. Not only am I am concerned about the harmful chemicals my daughter is exposed to, but I also don't want to be breathing in harmful toxins unnecessarily. And, with baby #2 on the way, this is no exception.

While in the final preparation stage for our second daughter, I thought I would share with you some of the tips I have received from other moms, or picked up by having Savannah that will ease stress as the weeks wind down and you are waiting for baby to arrive. in addition to making a switch to healthy and more environmentally friendly products for use around the house, these helpful tips will make welcoming the baby home a little smoother.
Before I share my top ten tips for preparing for baby #2, I wanted to let you know about a trusted brand in our family since our first daughter arrived last year -- Seventh Generation.  

Seventh Generation wants to help make your home and our planet a better place for you and your baby. They are achieving this by offering Free & Clear baby-care products that include diapers, wipes and baby liquid laundry detergent. Seventh Generation Free & Clear diapers are free of chlorine, latex, fragrances and petroleum-based lotions and come in a range of sizes from newborn to stage 6. Moms who have used them on their babies report that the diapers are soft to the touch and have exceptional absorbency. And gentle as its diapers, Seventh Generation’s soft, cloth-like Free & Clear Baby Wipes are free of alcohol, synthetic dyes and fragrances and whitened without chemicals containing chlorine. 

I don't know what I would have done if it wasn't for Seventh Generation and their tried and true product line. I continue to praise them and suggest them to family and friends who have concerns and issues with other brands on the market. This will definitely be a brand we will continue to use for years to come, when it comes to choosing safe and chemical-free laundry and cleaning products.
And, now on to my tips -- Enjoy!!!!
Tip #1: Prep the changing station now -- Diapers, Diapers, Diapers. What I learned from our first daughter is that babies go through a lot of diapers. Expect to change your baby's diaper at least 8-10 times a day. After trying various diaper brands, we have found that Seventh Generation diapers work best for Savannah. She has sensitive skin like me, and the other diapers made her break out. Also, Seventh Generation diapers are super absorbent -- so, I don't have to worry about leaks or blow outs. While stocking up on diapers, don't forget to buy wipes and diaper rash ointment. We have found that natural products from brands like Seventh Generation work best. And, make sure the changing station is stocked and ready to go. You don't know how many times, I have had to try and reach for diapers, wipes or ointment, only to find that they are not available. So, I have to put the diaper back on the baby, restock my inventory and then change the diaper. This only leads to a frustrated mom and cranky baby. So, prepare the diaper changing area now to save on headaches later.
Tip #2: Have plenty of bottles on hand. Make sure that the bottles you are using are BPA free. I make sure to have at least 8 bottles sterilized and ready to go daily, so I am not scurrying around to find and clean bottles when Savannah is hungry. In the beginning, I only thought 4-5 bottles were needed, as I could clean them as I went, but with being tired, dropping everything when the baby cries and unexpected distractions, I found myself always out of bottles. If you have a dishwasher, make sure you through the bottles in to wash and dry each night, so you are ready to go the next day -- this is a big time-saving and sanity saver!

Tip #3: If you are not breastfeeding, be prepared to try different brands and forms of formula, and don't let price decide what is best for your baby. When Savannah arrived, we started her with Similac formula and worked our way through their various versions (gentle, soy, etc.) She was a very colicky baby, and ended up having to have surgery because at 1 month old she was diagnosed with pyloric stenosis. After this surgery, we switched Savannah to Gerber Good Start Gentle. We ended up using ready-to-feed formula and concentrated formula that needs to be mixed with water with Savannah, and we are expecting to have to use the same formula for baby #2. The powder formula just didn't work well with Savannah. Because Savannah is on the ready-to-feed formula, we pay around $125 every 2 weeks for formula, compared to $22/container of powdered formula. But, Savannah needs to feed and we can't go stingy when it comes to her formula, as she will be a very fussy baby and not gain the nutrients that she needs for proper growth and development. Also, make sure to check with your pediatrician. If you baby needs special formula, they may be able to write a prescription and have your insurance cover it in full. 

Tip #4: Don't overstock on baby food. I have enough food to feed a daycare right now. With foods coming in stages (1-4), I ended up stocking up when the price was right, only to be storing food in the pantry that Savannah is never going to eat. Now that she is transitioning to people food, she no longer wants pureed peas and carrots. I am hoping that I will be able to use all the boxed oatmeal and fruits and vegetable jars that I am storing with baby #2. Also, a baby's taste buds are always changing. One minute Savannah loved apples and peaches, and the next she could care less. Also, she never took to the boxed oatmeal. So, I have 5 boxes, of different varieties just sitting on the shelf. So, take it from me, save your money and hold back on baby food sales. They offer these sales every 2-3 months, and by that time, your baby may be ready to move onto the next stage of baby food.

Tip #5: Learn baby massage. This was a lifesaver each night with our daughter. In the beginning she was colicky and was difficult to put to sleep. Through books and online resources, my husband and I learned simple baby massage techniques that helped ease a fussy baby and calm her down, so that she could fall asleep and stay asleep. It didn't take long to learn and it is worth a shot when you bring home baby. Also, it is a great way to bond with your little one.

Tip #6: Make sure you stick with a routine. What I mean by this is, make sure you begin the bedtime routine at the same time each night. Start with a bath, followed by a massage. Then, take time to read or sing to your baby. Make sure the room/nursery is at a comfortable temperature and that baby is dressed appropriately. You don't want your baby getting cold or sweating and waking up in the night. If you stick with a routine, you will not only have a happy and well-rested baby, but you will also be a happy and well-rested parent.

Tip #7: Get your rest now. When baby arrives, your time with be consumed by the little one. You will wonder at the end of the day where the time went. We used to eat dinner at 5PM each night, and now we usually sit down around 7PM. Be prepared to adjust your schedule and if you don't get the laundry or housecleaning in one day, don't beat yourself up -- it will be there tomorrow. I find that if I tackle a room a day, it is much easier to conquer the cleaning, and I feel that I am staying on top of things.

Tip #8: Accept frozen meals in advance of baby's arrival and then help when offered after baby arrives. Yes, you may get tired of lasagna after awhile. But, it is great knowing you can open the freezer door and see ready-to-heat meals at your disposal. And, if the grandparents want to help out for a couple hours, take advantage of this time to pamper yourself and shower, change out of your pajamas, which you will learn to live in with the new baby, and brush your teeth. There have been days that I had to wait until my daughter was on her second nap of the day to take a hot shower and change out of my pajamas. You don't know how good it is to shower, brush your teeth and put on clothes that don't have spit up or food on it. This 15-20 minutes will help you recharge your batteries and get ready for when baby wakes up.

Tip #9: Babyproof the house. If this is your first child you may have a lot of work ahead of you to make sure your little one is safe. Pick up a baby-proofing kit at the store that includes outlet covers, locks for cabinets and drawers, toilet locks and more. Also, look online for safety checklists that can be printed off for each room in the house. Then, with a fine-tooth comb, go through each room, getting down on your knees and make sure sharp objects, harmful objects and items you don't want baby touching are not within their reach. Also, make sure there are no harmful chemicals around and that you have working smoke detectors. And, if this is baby #2 or more, you still have to go through each room and make sure things are safe for baby. Make sure your other children's toys are picked up and that small objects are not laying around. A few minutes can prevent choking hazards or something worse.
Tip #10: Make sure the car seat and crib are installed and ready to go. Because you don't know when baby will decide to enter the world, you want to make sure well ahead of time that the crib is made and meets safety regulations, and that you have properly installed and had the local fire or police dept. check the car seat in your car. This will save you in the end a lot of running around and stress if it is done well in advance, letting you sit back and wait for baby to arrive.

Tip #11 (Bonus Tip): Enjoy every minute of it. My husband and I have been looking back at old photos and video and can't believe how quickly our daughter has grown up. In the beginning we couldn't wait for her to start crawling and walking, and now there are times we wish she were still little and enjoying tummy time on the floor. They grow up quick, so make sure you slow yourself down to enjoy each milestone your little one accomplishes. 

These are just ten of the many tips I or any other new mom could give an expectant mom. Each day I learn something new or come up with a new tip to ease taking care of a baby. Don't worry if you feel overwhelmed before or right after the baby comes -- this is all normal, and will get easier with time and practice. If you are expecting a baby or know someone who is, I'd love for you to share this post with others and provide feedback. Also, feel free to leave comments below with how you are preparing for or prepared for your new bundle of joy.

About Seventh Generation

Seventh Generation is the nation’s leading brand of household and personal care products that help protect human health and the environment. Established in 1988, the Burlington, Vermont based company remains an independent, privately-held company distributing products to natural food stores, supermarkets, mass merchants, and online retailers across the United States and Canada.

More info on Seventh Generation:

Seventh Generation on Facebook

Follow @SeventhGen on Twitter

Disclosure: I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Seventh Generation blogging program, for a gift card worth $50. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

1 comment :

  1. I would think the Seventh Generation Diapers is one of the top choices in the market. Rash free, chlorine free and on top of that - environmentally friendly. My baby stop developing rashes ever since I used it. Read more about the Seventh Generation Diapers.