Mom of 4: My Newborn Baby Must-Have Items

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Jolene is two months old now, and that means I’ve officially had four newborn babies in the last eight years. That seems crazy to me, but time goes fast.

Over the years, I started to embrace minimalism when it comes to the items that babies and children require. Our house is less than 1,000 square feet. Yes, you read that right! We have a smaller home, so each item we bring into our house needs to have a specific purpose.

Babies don’t NEED too many items. It is the parents who think babies need the entire infant section at Target. We want to purchase all of the cute clothes, create a Pinterest worthy nursery, and buy all the new parenting gadgets.

If that’s how you want to spend your money, then go for it. I prefer to purchase the items I know I need and save our money for items that are truly wanted or needed.

DON’T GO OVERBOARD WITH CLOTHES! As much as dressing babies is adorable, they outgrow clothes so fast. Purchase mostly secondhand to save yourself money.

Now, I’m not going into the most obvious items. You need a car seat to leave the hospital or if you ever want to leave the house. You need clothes, diapers, and a way to feed the baby. Those are obvious, but what about the less obvious items?

Baby Carrier

Without a doubt, my favorite item for a baby is a baby carrier. I love babywearing! I started wearing my first because it made sense. Who doesn’t want to have both hands available? My second child was high-needs, so babywearing was essential. I had to babywear my third if I wanted to survive and take care of my two older kids. Now, with baby four, babywearing is part of my daily routine.

For the newborn stage, I love the Moby Wrap! It is so soft and comfortable, but it is tricky to learn to use. A ring sling is an invaluable tool at the newborn stage as well. I’ve used all types of wraps; woven wraps are one of my loves. I use the Tula Free to Grow the most often right now.

Muslin Blankets

Oh, I love muslin blankets! I still have several from almost six years ago; we used them heavily after the birth of my second child. Muslin gets softer with washes and use, so those are like butter.

Muslin blankets are a versatile item, which why I love it. You can use them for their intended purpose, like a blanket. They are thin and breezy for spring and summer. Fold the blanket for fall and winter. A muslin blanket makes the perfect nursing cover. Also, these are swaddle blankets, so swaddle with them! If you have large and long babies as I do, these are much easier to swaddle with than those darn hospital blankets.

Gripe Water

Babies are fussy at times. Gripe water is a sanity saver. I tell every parent I know to get a bottle. They cure hiccups, gas, tummy aches and more. Gripe water is an herbal medication safe for babies two weeks and older. Seriously, get a bottle or five.

Boppy

It is no secret that I have c-sections. A Boppy is very helpful while breastfeeding and recovering. Use it as a blocker when your toddler climbs on your lap. Your incision is safe under the Boppy. I also use it to help prop up the baby while nursing so I can have both hands to type or read my kids books. Sometimes, Jolene falls asleep in my arms, and I lay her in my lap on the Boppy.

Rock and Play or Swing 

Babies don’t need dozens of contraptions to keep your child happy. Having a Rock and Play, a swing, and a vibrating seat makes little sense. We don’t have the space for all the baby gear, and that’s ok. Pick one or two that you want to use.

We have a swing (that vibrates) and a Rock and Play. The RNP can move from room to room, so I may have it beside my recliner or in the kitchen while I teach reading. The swing is stationary in the living room.

Remember, your child might hate everything besides your arms. That’s a huge possibility.

Cosleeper

Babies need a safe place to sleep. Right now, we don’t have space for Jolene to have a separate bedroom until we finish our room addition. That’s fine because we are a co-sleeping family! We use an Arm’s Reach Cosleeper for the first months of our baby’s life.

 

After having several kids, I see how babies truly need. Most of what we buy our babies is because we want it for them. Yes, they might enjoy it. Jolene loves her play mat and looking at herself in the mirror. She likes her sit-me-up seat as well. That doesn’t make them a necessity!

If you are a minimalist like me or want to save money, stick to the basic items. That saves you a lot of money in the long run.

 

Introducing Jolene Renee

I’ve been absent for several weeks, but it’s for a great reason! Our sweet baby girl arrived on March 13th, a whooping 9lbs 15oz and 23.5 inches long. Surprisingly, she wasn’t our largest baby!

My c-section went well. We did have a hiccup when we realized that my uterus was rupturing. It was scary, but we praise God that Jolene and I came out safe and happy. My recovery has been wonderful. Andrew was off work for six weeks, and he took wonderful care of me throughout my first few weeks of recovery.

She is now almost 7 weeks old, and life is slowly getting back to normal. We are trying to find our new norm, which is hard! The kids and I had a set routine before the baby arrived, and now we have to find our new norm. It is very slowly happening.

Connor, our third child, is two years old and is slightly struggling with the adjustment. He loves his baby sister a bit too much. His love is an aggressive love. However, he is craving more attention than ever before. We will find our balance soon. It’s hard to believe she has been here for only seven weeks, and we can’t imagine our life without this sweet girl.

I am so thankful and happy to be done with pregnancy. While I loved each of my pregnancies carrying my four kids, we are ready to put the chapter behind us. No more babies for this family! It is a bittersweet time, knowing that as she grows, it is the last time I will have a baby this age. However, we are ready to pursue other dreams, expand our homesteading efforts, travel, and see where God takes our family.

So, I am back and ready with some wonderful information to bring to you all! Spring gardening season is upon us, and we have seeds in the ground finally!

Naturally Treating a Yeast Diaper Rash

A few days before Christmas, Connor and Caelyn came down with croup. Caelyn has croup each winter because of her asthma, but it was Connor’s first encounter with the joyous viral illness. At the same time, the doctor said his ears looked infected.

Yay! Just what any mother wants to have is two sick kids over Christmas break. Typically, I would try to treat an ear infection myself before turning to antibiotics, but desperate times, folks! I didn’t want a miserable baby over the holidays. So, she prescribed us some medications and off we went home.

She prescribed a stronger antibiotic than I typically use for an ear infection, but I didn’t think much of it. However, two days later, I noticed a rash developing on Connor’s butt. Being a mom of three kids, I know my diaper rashes. Instantly, I told Andrew he had a yeast rash. I stopped giving him the antibiotics immediately and started treatment.

Yeast can be hard to kick! There are times when you will need a prescription cream. I’ve had to use those before as well. However, some yeast rashes will respond to natural treatment options. Here are some things to try!

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How to Naturally Treat a Yeast Diaper Rash

Lots of Diaper Free Time

First, you want to give your baby plenty of diaper free time. Connor is almost two years old; he loves to be naked. Yeast loves warm, moist environments, like your child’s diaper. Diaper free time dries their butt and helps get rid of that yeast-prone area.

Frequent Changes

Babies can’t be naked all the time. Connor wishes he could be, but that’s not practical a toddler not potty-trained. If you put a diaper on your baby, make sure you change him often! Every hour to hour and a half is ideal. You want to avoid that moist, warm location as much as possible. Cleanliness is crucial for ridding your baby of yeast.

Bleach Your Cloth Diapers

I know; I’m breaking some cardinal rule to cloth diapering. I’m a rebel, but hear me out. Yeast can live in cloth diapers. I’ve done it several times where I would treat the yeast rash and it would keep coming back. The diapers weren’t helping the issue. Add some bleach to your first rinse cycle to kick that yeast!

Reduce Sugars and Carbs

Yeast also loves sugar. Don’t we all? If your child is on solid foods, consider his diet. It is wise to reduce carbs and sugar for the next few days.

Probiotics

Your child will benefit from a probiotic. If you are breastfeeding and the child is not eating solids, you should take the probiotic! They sell gummy probiotics which make it even easier for your child to take them. Also, give your child some probiotic yogurt, just make sure the sugar content isn’t too high.

*You can also use yogurt, plain with probiotics, as a cream on your child’s butt! It might seem strange, but it’ll feel great.

Avoid Chemicals and Fragrances

Wipe your child with warm water and nothing else. It can lead to worse irritation. I made that mistake over Christmas and my son’s butt paid the price for my mistake.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is naturally anti-fungal, the best thing to get rid of yeast! You can use it plain as your child’s diaper cream. Another option is to mix a few drops of tea tree oil into the coconut oil, so long as your baby is over six months old and its very diluted! Tea tree oil is also anti-fungal and anti-bacterial, a double whammy for the rash.

 

If your child’s yeast diaper rash isn’t going away within a few days, consider a call to the doctor. Sometimes, yeast is so persistent that you need a prescription cream. However, starting a regime of cleanliness, air time and coconut oil should kick it before it gets bad!