It’s not like holiday pictures and cards are part of my normal yearly routine, but this is one of those things that having a baby made it feel like this was a big THING that I couldn’t wait to do.
We had thought about doing some photos outside, but the weather was bad, so we improvised – and I think it turned out great. That’s the other thing, we were on a bit of a time limit once you factor in the ordering the cards and then the time it will take to get them addressed and mailed and..well, you get it.
I didn’t post any on Facebook or anything, lest it ruin the “magic” moment of people opening their cards (I know, I know – I’m crazy) but I felt like a couple on here would be fine.
I think I’ve seen the idea floating around Pinterest, but I made an ornament for Oliver’s first Christmas.
I got the clear ball from Michael’s and then cut the paper that had been at the head of his little hospital bed into strips and dropped them inside. Then I finished it off with his hospital bracelet.
It didn’t take very long to make, but is something that is obviously hugely sentimental. I can’t believe how tiny his little wrist was! And, I had been wondering what to do with that little piece of paper – this feels perfect.
Oliver has been eating baby food for a while now. I was going to wait until 6 months, but he was meeting all the milestones much sooner, and he seemed ready. As excited as I was to start solids, I had no desire to feed him just to see him eat, and really wanted it to be more of something he needed.
We also skipped rice cereal. I gave it to him once, and he cried the whole next day. Given, it could have been anything, I suppose, but there isn’t a lot of real value in rice cereal, so we just went into purees, and then some purees with oatmeal.
The two bigs reasons for me to make his food:
- Price. Seriously, I’ll spend money on his stuff without batting an eyelash because I’m a crazy person but I can’t get over how much cheaper it is to make his food. Sweet Potatoes are like $1/pound and two medium size ones will make several meals. Meanwhile, the smallest jars of baby food are around 45 cents each.
- Knowing what’s in them. AKA the gross factor – eating a jar of baby food is really not that appealing, but if you offer someone pureed sweet potatoes or pears, well that doesn’t seem nearly as bad.
The early foods:
- Sweet potatoes
- Butternut Squash
- Green Beans
The list is sort of in the order we introduced it. All of these things are low on the possible allergy list, and pretty easy to puree.
Tips and Tricks:
- You don’t have to peel the apples or pears, just wash them well. I guess this depends on how paranoid you want to be, but honestly it is so much easier to just chop them, cook them a bit and then puree them. The skin gets soft and purees easily
- The first few times you give baby solid foods, you can mix a little breastmilk or formula with the puree. This helps with the taste adjustment.
- It’s easier to bake the sweet potatoes – the taste is a little richer, and they slide right out of their skin
- You can use oatmeal to make anything a little “heartier” or thicker if you need to. For breakfast we blend half a banana with oatmeal and a splash of water, and he loves it.
- Any of those combinations work well. We gave him a pea apple combo, banana butternut squash, pear and apple whatever. It’s also a good way to introduce new foods if baby seems unsure about them.
- Some people have a concern that if you introduce fruits first your baby will eventually not want to eat vegetables. Oliver’s pediatrician did not share this concern, so we didn’t worry about it.
- You can cook and puree frozen fruits/veggies and then refreeze them. You just aren’t supposed to let a bag of frozen food thaw and then stick it back in the freezer
- If you do freeze food, try freezing it in small batches one food at a time (more on this later) and then you can mix them as needed when you thaw them.
- Pumpkin is one of the only foods that it’s supposed to be cool if you use a can – if you pick up a can of pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling) the only ingredient is pumpkin and it’s not kept in any sort of sauce.
You only really need some form of food processor or blender. But, there are a few other items that help.
- Food processor and or personal blender – we use the food processor for the batch stuff, and I’ve had a Magic Bullet and that is helpful for small things. You don’t actually need any of the special baby ones, unless you really want it.
- Small containers – there are tons of options for baby specific ones, like these. You can also buy just small tupperware type containers. There was a moment when I thought I went overboard with tiny storage things, but I think it’s good to have plenty of options. Anyway, the baby specific ones have a little tray that keep them from getting lost in the fridge, which I like.
- I bought some of these Kiinde pouches and a the spoon that attaches to make my own little pouch things, which have been kind of helpful for when we’re on the go.
- Ice cube trays (preferably with a lid) – this is good if you make a big batch of something. Freeze them in the trays, empty the trays into ziploc bags to open up some space in your freezer and then take out when necessary. Options here or here.
When you first start making baby food it may be a little much to cook enough to eat and freeze. The first time I did it, it felt like a LOT. But it was nice the next week to not have to worry as much.
I also think there’s a mental thing here too – a lot of the other moms I know who made their own baby food breast fed, and I think it helps with the transition. I still feel like I’m making the food he needs each day. And, like I said, it does just feel “right” to not be icked out by trying his food.
Well, we’re officially past the 6 month mark. I don’t know why, the halfway to a year mark wasn’t that big of a deal, but this one definitely felt bitter sweet.
Oliver is clocking in at over 19 pounds (probably closer to 20-21 at this point, actually) and to be honest I can’t quite remember his length. But, he was around the 75% for both, so he’s a pretty chunky monkey.
He’s still working on crawling, he can go backwards and do circles like nobody’s business, but we haven’t gotten down the going forward yet. He can stand up, supported. He’s still VERY alert and taking it all in. When I drive him to daycare in the morning I love watching him look out the window because it looks like he’s taking in the whole big world out there.
We’re doing a combination of solid foods and breast milk. He eats about 3 meals a day. We’ve added in things like mangos, peaches, and green beans to the basics.
Nope. I don’t know what the answer is here. He still wakes up once a night, and I was bringing him into our room and feeding him, then putting him back. But then I started to feel like he was really only eating for comfort and so we tried to get him to go back to sleep without eating but it was really hard. We did it once or twice and it took like an hour, and then once night he cried and cried and so we gave in. So, last night we gave in and just fed him.
I’ve read all the stuff and a lot of it has to do with putting him down for bed, which he’s fine with.
We dressed him like a chicken for Halloween, which was awesome. We’ve also got his Christmas pictures taken and are just waiting to see the finished product.
I have two baby showers in a couple of weekends. I’m so excited! I also faced a little dilemma – do I go off of the registry or do I go a little rogue? Maybe a little of both?
I decided to a little round up. Now, I wouldn’t necessarily call these my baby must haves, but things that in those first few weeks/months are great for mom. Some of these might even make good gifts right after the baby is born.
Hospital “Kit” – it would be great to get/give a little bag with some face wipes, dry shampoo, hair ties, toothpaste, etc. And maybe a little chocolate to boot.
Anything breast feeding related - probably most significantly nipple cream or breast pads. I know that seems like a weird gift, but I would have welcomed it. Actually, I did get an open but almost full box of breast pads and some milk storage bags. Those were great because I didn’t realize how many storage bags I would need.
And, truthfully, I think things like this say “I support your breastfeeding journey. I get it”. And in those early weeks you need that so much!
Shutterfly Gift Card – I used Shutterfly to make a photo book of Oliver’s Birth and birth announcements. I also just ordered some prints off of there. A gift card would be a great way for a new mom to have just regular prints or some cute things shipped to home (so you don’t have to leave).
Pizza/Take Out Gift Card – I got someone a Domino’s gift card as part of their baby gift a while back, and I’m still happy with what a great idea that was. That way, the new parents don’t have to go anywhere! (and yes, meal drops are amazing, but this doesnt hurt!)
Aden + Anais Swaddle Blankets - Okay, these are a little more conventional, but I love them that much. They are perfect for swaddling, and new babies love a good swaddle. Plus, they are adorable without being overly cutesy ( I know, that’s a weird description, but when everything in your life is suddenly so super baby themed it’s nice). And the material is safer than most because it’s very breathable, helping panicky parents feel safe about wrapping the little bundle up like a burrito.
A light weight bath robe – I bought one while I was pregnant and I loved it. I was glad I brought it to the hospital, so I could throw it over my gown, but it’s also nice in those first few weeks too. You can throw it over whatever your wearing if you have company, or put it on at night when you spend hours in that rocking chair – it is easy to get the front open, after all. I bought because I read a suggestion to put it on over your work clothes in the morning when you have a little one, so spills get on that instead of you, but it’s good wayyy before that too.
Things you cannot have enough of – bath wash, wipes, baby socks, bibs. Things that either don’t have a specific size, get used a lot or are used for a long period of time.
Plain onsies and/or zipper PJs – I don’t know why all PJs dont zip. And plain onsies go with everything. There’s no pressure if your kid poops on it. It’s great.