Sanity saver: how I make the baby’s bed

Making a baby’s bed is relatively easy: mattress pad, sheet, done. Because of SIDS, doctors have advised that babies sleep only a hard mattress with no extra sheets or blankets until they are at least one year old.

What doctors don’t tell you is that in the middle of the night if the baby oozes any variant of liquids out of any variant of orifice, the side effect is you becoming bald from pulling your hair out at the thought of having to change the sheets on the baby’s bed while hoping he doesn’t wake up too much.

Enter what my mom calls the “Linda Bradbury* Method” of making up a baby’s crib.

The idea is so simple it’s almost too good an idea: you layer your sheets with a pad in between them so that you can simply peel off a layer easily for a super quick change, and make the bed only once a week or so in one effort. As my mom put it, “Once you’re making the effort of putting one sheet on, putting 3-4 more on is nothing.” From personal experience now I have found this to be a 100% accurate statement.

felt pad - normal

A closeup of how thick these pads are. Notice there is no batting or fluffiness to them that makes the bed too padded.

Now before you go all, “But! But! But! BUT SIDS! You can’t have that many layers without it getting too fluffy!” I’m not using a traditional mattress pad in between all the layers. I’m using these “multi-use waterproof pads” that cost $8 a piece and are thin and not at all padded like the bottom traditional mattress pad. It is truly just a layer in between the sheets so any liquid doesn’t pass through them. This is the key to the whole shebang. However, if you do this and feel that it’s too padded and it makes you uncomfortable, then don’t do it. I’m just letting you know what we do and what works for us. I have personally never felt uncomfortable using this method because the in-between pads are so thin.

So here it is: an informative step-by-step guide on layering sheets. If I help at least one person from going bald due to ohmygod-I-can’t-have-to-change-the-sheets-in-the-middle-of-the-night-itis, then I will have done my job for the year. I usually layer about 4-5 sheets at a time.

Making baby's bed

*Linda Bradbury was my mom’s best friend in New Hampshire. She passed away in 2005 and remains to this day one of the objectively greatest, funniest, most caring, generally amazing people to have ever walked this earth. Much of my mom’s parenting wisdom comes from Linda and I am so honored to be able to pass this on to you all. Everyone who knew you still misses you, Fru.

How to buy art with spitup in your hair

This post is sponsored by minted.com. However, I am a truly obsessive avid fan and all words and opinions are my own. 

I wish I could pretend I was a confidant art buyer before Wee Connor was born. I imagine myself going to gallery crawls and sipping delicious cocktails made by “artisan mixologists” while schmoozing with the local artists and finding that one perfect piece to complete my perfect growing gallery wall.

minted spiral artHowever, that image of myself simply was not – nor probably ever will be – in my reality of existence. The thing is, though, I love art. A lot. I seem to have always lacked that ability to confidently “like what I like” and understand a lot of what I was seeing while still being able to understand how things would look in certain frames in certain areas of my walls while trying to purchase art in person. Also, wherever these schmoozy artsy gallery crawls take place is apparently not the Internet, which means some sort of “shower” is usually a socially acceptable norm as a requirement of attendance. My dreams of having an beautifully curated house full of art I actually like and could judge on my own while not having to leave the house were dashed.

…until I discovered minted.com.

Have you been? Have you? Go now. I’ll wait.

Are you back? Only two hours later? I’m impressed.

minted heart customMinted.com essentially has been the answer to my prayers in many ways. First, I can sit and look at minted.com while Wee Connor takes a nap and I have decided that I’m okay sitting around with some spitup in my hair for the time being. Second, the stuff is so cool. You can find something for any style, and sort by whatever you like – color, theme, room, shape. Finally, it’s all actual artists from around the world whose work has been selected by minted.com, so you can actually see who these artists are, where they’re from, and other works of theirs. So what I’m saying is: minted.com brings the artsy schmoozy gallery to YOU. And you don’t even have to get out of your yoga pants or get the spitup out of your hair! Go ahead and pour yourself a glass of wine (or a cocktail if you fancy yourself a “mixologist”) and sit on down and peruse in a judgment-free art gawking session.

And, even better, they have gorgeous customized art, too, in case you’re looking for something to complete the nursery or walls when your kids get a little older, or put a bunch of your wedding or engagement pictures or pictures of your cat into a cute collage. A lot of the customized “nursery art” I would gladly have above my bed.

minted save the dateAnd because their art stuff isn’t cool enough, minted.com also has great stationery and card collections, including their recently-launched Save the Date collection. Their Save the Dates can have pictures, art, different shapes, and anything you could possibly ever want. These artists who contribute to making these stationeries are so talented and beyond my comprehension that they could make something so beautiful.

So if you’re at all like me and have had one of those moments where you walk into your closet and suddenly hate everything you own, only to have that happen to your decorations in your house? Try minted.com. I have never been disappointed in anything I have ever ordered and while I do try to appreciate the abstract art of spitup patterns, sometimes having something else to look at that can be classified as actual, you know, art, can be nice, too.

And that’s how you buy art with spitup in your hair.

minted greatest adventure minted tangerineminted know not may be comingminted mid century moments

Notes from three months

Three months?

Three months?!

THREE MONTHS?! 

I blinked again, and apparently another month went by. We made it through the holidays and saw each set of my husband’s grandparents. While it was an inordinate amount of driving the two pictures of the “4 generations” at each location pretty much made driving more in 2 days than we normally drive in a year worth it, despite Santa not gifting me my one Christmas wish of giving my husband the ability to lactate in exchange. (Was it really that much to wish for? Really?)

With it being three months since Wee Connor’s excessively horrific entrance into this world I thought I would write down my thoughts since the last update on what my day-to-day life has been like since apparently the next breath I take I’ll be marching him to kindergarten.*


It’s perfectly acceptable to cry when your baby switches clothing sizes

im not crazyFor some reason when Wee Connor switched from the Newborn size to the 0-3 month clothes I didn’t really think twice about it. I think this is due to two factors. First, everyone I knew told me that the newborn size lasts approximately 45 seconds – if he ever even needs it at all – and so I didn’t mentally get super attached to the clothes. Second, because of the first factor of everyone telling me not to buy newborn clothes I only had about 6 newborn outfits, which meant doing insane amounts of really small laundry loads. I was ready for a bigger choice of clothes and less laundry when the 0-3 month clothes came along.

What I was not prepared for was the mental anguish putting away the 0-3 month clothes would cause me.

My husband came home to me with a big box putting away the 0-3 month clothes and talking to each outfit. “This one you pooped through 5 minutes after I put it on! Awww!” “This one was such a pain to put on but is so adorable!” “This sweater has a cat on it and is from your Mémé and you wore it to the vet’s office to impress upon the vet that we all love animals and that one time I came to the vet’s office in slippers accidentally was a fluke and that we are actually put together people, but it turns out that dressing your son in a sweater with a cat on it isn’t a way to give the impression of not being insane! Awww!”

And so on.

Now don’t get me wrong; Wee Connor’s wardrobe in the 3-6 month range is extensive. The outfits are adorable. It’s just that I had become a master of knowing the exact stock and outfit choices and now it’s almost a mystery again. I had grown a strange attachment to all those tiny little outfits and switching sizes is yet another reminder that my little one is growing up so fast.

SO FAST!


Google searches at 3:30am have entered into the realm of the truly absurd

computer-facepalmAs it turns out spending your pregnancy reading about perfectly-behaved foodie French babies who sleep through the night at two months didn’t expel a perfectly-behaved baby who sleeps through the night at two months into this grand world of ors. Or, apparently, at three months. It turns out I have a blue-blooded American sorta-kinda-sucks-at-sleeping baby. On the spectrum of people I know Wee Connor seems to fall right around the middle of the pack in terms of “making Mom a sleep-deprived monster.” He is waking up about 1-2 times a night for feedings, and we can’t seem to figure out if he is actually hungry or if he just wants some extra soothing after a few sleep cycles. In our sleep-deprived states we are leaning towards the latter.

The one hilarity about these night feedings is they have rendered my Google search history truly ridiculous due to the availability of my phone and iPad at my fingers and a lack of inhibition from my brain. Sometimes I think that Internet access should really be sequestered for moms after 1am.

Here is a sample of my recent Google search history from one feeding around 3:30am:

  • How many feedings should a three month old baby have in the night
  • Sleep training three month olds
  • Does sleep training ruin a person’s life
  • Does sleep training ruin a baby’s life
  • Wine as a health food
  • Wine as a health food for moms
  • Is there caffeinated wine
  • Is there caffeinated cookie dough
  • Does sleep beget sleep
  • Naps and night sleeping
  • Does crying it out harm a baby
  • Can velociraptors come back
  • Clever Girl YouTube Jurassic Park clip
  • Signs of an overtired baby
  • How to put an overtired baby to sleep
  • When does the next Star Wars installment come out

You’re going to need a bigger phone

"I think you have approximately 65,000 pictures of me in this chair, Mom. It's time. To. Stop."

“I think you have approximately 65,000 pictures of me in this chair, Mom. It’s time. To. Stop.”

No, not a physically bigger phone, especially if you’re like me and have small hands and trouble holding onto the iPhone 6 as is. (No, seriously, I might as well have bought a stick of butter for a phone for as well as I can hold onto it.) But I mean a phone that can hold all the pictures you’re about to take in its memory. “Oh, he’s sleeping on my knees! But in a slightly different way than the picture I took of him sleeping on my knees two hours ago!” “Oh, look at this ridiculous pose he has! It’s different than that other pose that looked similar because his head angle is 34.7 degrees more to the right.” “He’s batting at the toys on his play mat again! AND THE DOG IS LYING DOWN NEXT TO HIM THIS TIME!”  I was already a chronic picture-taker of my fur babies and so adding in pictures of a human puppy to the mix has almost maxed out the storage capacity of my phone.

Oops.


WD40 is one of the greatest inventions in modern history

wd40Do you know how much noise a creaking door makes when your baby is either asleep or falling asleep in his crib and you walk out of his room with a creaking door? SO MUCH NOISE.

I realize entirely it doesn’t actually make that much noise and that it’s mostly in my head. But for a mere $2 I can feel like I am solving a problem and that there is something concrete I can do to help my baby to sleep that doesn’t involve crying, reading sleepy cues, or my boobs. That, my friends, is what we in the biz call a win.


Babies are fascinating

stare marty mcflyWhen people ask me what I do all day I feel an extreme amount of confusion on what to say because it’s hard to explain to people without kids that your baby is probably one of the most fascinating things on the planet and what you’re actually doing for a vast majority of the day is staring at him. One day he can sort of bat at toys and the next day – literally the next day – he can grab a rattle and shake it happily. I don’t know how or why they are so fascinating, but they are. Getting to watch a human brain develop and grow is just so freaking cool.


Babies somehow know exactly how much something costs

throwing-money-awayYou might think this is great news that babies are born with an appreciation of the finer things in life. Or maybe this means that yes, you can have nice things after all. Unfortunately for you, babies know exactly how much something costs and do the exact opposite thing you would want to happen. And no, you probably can’t have nice things.

Pop quiz:

1. Your baby has the choice of two activity chairs. One is a motorized special plush-seated swing that “moves like Mom!” and has all sorts of different types of swinging activities that you can plug your phone into to play music and is exorbitantly expensive. The other is a $24 wire frame chair that vibrates. Which of these two will your baby happily spend his time in?

A. The motorized chair you drooled over your entire pregnancy and almost climbed into yourself because it looks so comfortable
B. The damn wire-frame bouncy chair thing that cost $24

Answer: B. Obviously.

2. You wear nothing but washable cotton shirts 95% of the time. When will baby spit up intense amounts of liquid onto your clothing?

A. When you’re wearing the logical choice of clothing for handling babies that you wear 95% of your waking hours
B. That time when it suddenly got cold out and you wore a sweater that you had forgotten was exclusively dry-clean only
C. Those times when you need to run out on an errand really quickly and put on a semi-cute outfit because you needed to feel human again

Answer: B or C. The less washable and/or expensive an outfit is exactly inversely proportional to how desirable a spitup rag it looks to a baby.


Dressing the baby up in ridiculous outfits that he has no say in remains one of the most hilarious parts of having a baby

bunny outfit pure angstOh, you thought that would get old? You thought I would still not laugh every time I put my baby in (and photograph, please see above) an outfit that will serve only to embarrass him when he brings his girlfriend/fiancée/wife home when he’s a grownup?

It never gets old.

These pictures here, for instance? This Ralphie-from-“A Christmas Story” furry animal suit? I found this at Carter’s when my mom came up to North Carolina after two days of false labor. We went shopping to take my mind off the fact that the baby was still inside and I had gone through two days of labor for nothing in return and I held this outfit up to my stomach and told Connor in utero that if he didn’t show up in the next day that he would be wearing this pink bunny suit at Christmas.

Guess who didn’t show up the next day.

bunny outfit connorAfter seeing these pictures it became painfully obvious that the pink fluffy bunny suit would be a tradition that clearly has to be repeated every year. You brought this one upon yourself, child!

Seriously though. This whole “having control of the clothes the baby wears” thing? I’m taking full advantage.

Insert evil mom laugh here.

 

 


*So you know that obnoxious “you don’t understand until you have kids” thing people with kids always said and you were all, “that’s totally obnoxious and I will never do that when I have kids”? Prepare yourself for one of those. Here we go.

Time, man. I thought it was going fast before, but this is something different. Chris at one point asked me why I was writing something on the calendar a month ahead of when it was taking place only to realize that he had basically no idea the month had changed because it had happened so quickly. On our last trip to D.C. before Connor was born my cousin told us at his daughter’s Bat Mitzvah that “the nights were long, but the years were short” and he couldn’t have been more right, apparently.

Long nights.

Short years.

Still totally worth it.