Having a Baby? What to buy and not to buy…

Wait what? A baby? Who’s having a baby?

That would be me!!! I gave birth to a handsome little boy named Mirza in late January of this year. He loves to smile and gnawing on his chubby hands. He adores his big sister very much, who loves the attention she’s getting from her baby brother πŸ™‚

Many have asked about my experience being a mom of two kids. A roller coaster of emotions is the short yet complex answer I usually give people :p But one thing I have noticed is that I’m trying to keep things as simple as possible – starting with the things we have for the baby. So I thought I’d share a list of things we use for the baby…

 

baby-on-the-go.png

Baby on the go: infant car seat (we use Alia’s car seat since it hasn’t expired), Snap n Go stroller, car seat cover from Milk Snob that can also be used as a nursing cover, diaper backpack that contains these items: 3-4 diapers, baby wipes, tissue, portable changing pad, hand sanitizer, 2 sets of clothes, a swaddle, a pouch full of ointment and medicine for mom and the baby like diaper rash cream and vaseline, and a water bottle. I also have a few baby carriers for when we don’t use the stroller – Boba 4G carrier and a ring sling.Β 

feeding

Feeding time: I nurse Mirza exclusively but I also pump a few times a week so my husband could take part in the feeding session (and I could sneak in some me time :p). So in addition to mama’s breast milk, we have Spectra and Medela breast pumps (if you live in the U.S., ask your insurance what it covers because you should be eligible for a free set upon delivery), breast milk storage bags, baby bottles, bottle sanitizing bags, bottle brush, bottle drying rack.

Play time: one of the Montessori principles that we follow is to give a child freedom of movement. By giving this space, a baby can confidently explore his/her environment and develop independence. We place Mirza’s movement area in the play area, an area that gets used the most and can be seen from the kitchen and the living room. His movement area consists of a mat, a mirror, and mobiles (I’m a huge fan of Montessori mobiles! I’ve shared ours on my IG account. After this, I’ll write a separate post on our DIY mobiles.) We also have a Baby Bjorn bouncer from a friend, and Mirza usually uses that when we’re having meals.Β 


Continue reading

Learn through Play with Baby Alia 9-12 months old

Another super late post by yours truly :p I just finished going through our online photo albums to look for pictures to use in this post, and wow… We sure were busy during this time of the year (thus a very long post)! A lot of outdoor activities and “jalan-jalan” aka sightseeing to new places, plenty of (very messy) sensory play, the beginning of self feeding, more #diytoys!Β 

IMG_20150630_095116

Baby-led weaning (by accident): Why by accident? Well, we didn’t start off with baby-led weaning (BLW) when Alia started solids at 6 months old. But for whatever reason, around 10 months old, she refused to eat puree and took more interest in self-feeding. I did my reading homework, online and using this book, and we said goodbye to all the purees. For those of you doing BLW, you’re familiar with the process – super messy hahah! At the beginning, she mainly used her hands (she still does now) and slowly we introduced utensils. When we went out, we brought disposable placemat like these ones, a bib, and her utensils (we use the ones from OXOΒ till now).Β Β 

She only became an enthusiastic eater recently (since we stopped nursing) – YEAH!!! Before that? Continue reading

Learn through Play with Baby Alia 6-9 months old

Obviously this post is long overdue… I mean Alia is two weeks away from becoming 20 months old :p But hey, it’s better late than never right?

So things were slightly different between February and MayΒ of 2015 since I had to go back to New York during the weekdays to finish grad school. Yes, I was a loyal customer of the Chinatown bus every Friday evening and Sunday night. Alia was with her paternal grandparents for the first two months, and then we put her in a daycare center for the remaining time .It was definitely a long semester, very exhausting, physically and emotionally. But we all survived! All because of the support of Alia’s dad and her grandparents, and because of my resilient lil’ Alia! πŸ˜€

I got through my days being away from her because my dearest husband sent me this kind of picture in theΒ morning. Boy, I miss those chubby cheeks! Hehehehe

IMG-20150224-WA0000

This was the story of my life every week – carrying a storage box full of gold liquid from NYC, followed by making a week worth of meal for Alia.

In between grading students’ papers, making lesson plans, and catching up on some sleep, we still did many explorations over the weekend.

Finger painting using yogurt for baby and food coloring (be sure that your child isn’t allergic to any of the ingredients)

Continue reading

Learn through Play with Baby Alia 0-6 months old

I was recently asked by a friend who’s expecting his first baby whether we got any sleep when Alia was a newborn. My quick answer was: We’re still not really sleeping :p And we miss sleeping in on weekends heheh… So when you have a newborn, feeding the baby and getting enough sleep areΒ theΒ main priorities of many parents. While I was on leave for the first 6 months of being Alia’s mom, I missed teaching my students. So in between nursing and taking some catnaps, I decided to be Alia’s very first teacher! πŸ˜€Β 

Here’s a glimpse of our lives then… Feel free to ask me any questions about the activities or materials that we used. πŸ˜€Β 

Water play: our very first messy play

Alia has always liked bath time so I thought she’d like to play with water in some other way. So I created a super mini and shallow pool for her.

Continue reading

Toys for babies? (0 to 6 months old)

It’s the second week of November and I know some people have started making a Christmas shopping list. Even though we don’t celebrate Christmas, I still like to see the word SALE when it comes to toys, books, and shoes!Β 

If you have a tiny baby, you may wonder what toys to get for the baby (at least I did). I know say to our friends who recently become parents or will become parents to not bother to get them any toys, and invest in great children books instead. Continue reading