5 Baby Items We Shouldn’t Have Purchased

5 Baby Items We Shouldn’t Have Purchased

Different things work for different people. The 5 items below did NOT work for us…

Receiving blankets

I’m sure these have a purpose. I just have no idea what it is. Too small for swaddling. Too thin for warmth. The soft cotton ones became cloth diapers in our house. The other ones sat in the closet until they got packed up and put in the attic. Sorry, receiving blankets.

Boppy Pillow

I have to be up front here and admit I DID use my boppy pillow…. like 5 times. I bought this “must have” item with breastfeeding in mind. Not once did I successfully use the boppy for breastfeeding my son. (See what did work in my upcoming ‘5 Items That Saved Me While Breastfeeding’) We did use the Boppy when Mini was learning to sit up buuuut more often than not, he slid out of it right to the floor. Although I know they work for some ladies, Boppy pillow was all hype, no help for us.

Night-time Aquarium Toy

During a time of sleepless desperation, I went on a hunt for the perfect night time crib toy to lull my baby back to sleep. After a ridiculous amount of research I settled on the Baby Einstein Sea Dreams Soother: Its got lights! It’s got music! The sea creatures slowly and hypnotically move around! Baby can turn it on by pressing a cute starfish button AND it has a remote I can use to turn it on and off! Turns out our child thinks the lights are too bright, the music is too loud, and the moving sea creatures are best carefully inspected. He also finds it highly entertaining to use that cute little starfish to turn it on- and off- and on- and off- and on- and off… and the snazzy parent remote never even got batteries.

Tummy Time Mat

Not to be confused with our very useful play gym mat, the tummy time mat is a soft (in our case, bear shaped) mat for baby to lay on. The thing is, we have a carpet that’s also soft and an abundance of blankets that could be tossed down so….

Nursing Cover

Although I highly reccomend the Boppy infinity nursing scarf for those looking for a cover, it just didn’t work for us. I make it no secret that my son and I suck at breastfeeding. Our lack of skill leads to him needing help latching (and relatching, and relatching, and STOP BITING ME, CHILD!) so I need to be able to see what’s going on down there. I thought the little mesh window would be helpful, and it was, but it just wasn’t enough.

So tell me, mommies and daddies of the world: What are some of YOUR waste of money baby purchases?

Our Kindermusik Free Trial

Our Kindermusik Free Trial

I first learned about our local Kindermusik class through a post in a mom’s group on Facebook. I’ve been searching for things to keep us both entertained lately and am a music education fan so after checking out the website and contacting the teacher, I was pretty excited for our free trial class!

(I’ll note here that I’m in no way affiliated with or sponsored by Kindermusik. Everyone is welcome to a free trial class, according to their website. Also, I can speak only for the local class that I personally attended. It seems the classes and materials are streamlined through the company but, of course, different instructors and locations will shape different experiences.)

Travel Group: Me (mid20’s-F) and Mini (8 months-M)

Location: My class was located in a church preschool. Very welcoming and safe location with locked doors on a back road off a major highway. No complaints here.

Parking: Locations will obviously vary. Ours had a nice spacious parking lot. Thank goodness. Don’t ask me to parallel park.

Timing: The location closest to me has infant class in the late morning on a weekday. This is perfect for us. If it’s too early there’s no way I’m making it on time and too late runs into lunch and afternoon nap time crankiness. Late morning: perfect. The weekday timing is great for us, too. I’m a work from home mom and having something to do to get out of the house is wonderful. On the other hand, I can see how this could be a downside for mamas who work outside the home. The length of class is about 45 minutes. This worked well for us too as a happy medium between too short and too long!

Cost: Free trial is obviously free. The proper full 8 week session is $100. That includes the 8 classes as well as some take-home supplies like a book, cd, and age-appropriate instrument so you can continue the fun at home. It breaks down to approximately $13/class. If you find music education valuable, it’s worth it. We will likely try to enroll any time I know we will be available for all classes in the session, skipping times when I know we’ll be away for vacation or holidays.

Activities: All activities are simple, teacher-led fun that is made for mommy (or other adult)/baby interaction as well as some baby to baby interaction. We started with a hello song that called out each baby individually and ended with a goodbye song that did the same. We played with shakers, scarves, instruments, and other supplies. Music was provided through both a CD and the group singing (No worries. Voices blend- you don’t need to be a pro vocalist to fit in here). We did some activities standing and others sitting. We did active sections with bouncing, clapping, dancing, and lifting and also calm sections where we sat and read with our little ones, rocked them, practiced infant massage, and even paired up to create towel hammocks for the babies to test out. I felt the pace and blend of activities was fantastic for the age of our little music students.

Appropriate Ages: Kindermusik splits their sessions by age. Mini and I are in the 0-18 month group. Our class included a range from a 1 month old to a 16 month old and all seemed to enjoy and get along in harmony and happiness. Both the teacher and other mamas seemed understanding and encouraging when there was any fussing or rogue wandering in the group.

Staff: The teacher is fabulous. She’s a woman with 2 grown children of her own who clearly really enjoys these classes and cares about the children. There were many of us there for the free trial along with the regular students and with one quick check she remembered every child’s name for the hello and good bye songs and everything in between. (I’ve been going to a breastfeeding group for months and can only remember like two names so this is top level impressive in my mind. Ha.) She was energetic and sweet with that genuine mothering warmth. It’s clear she really believes in what she was sharing with us mommies and babies and did a wonderful job of educating and having fun while balancing the class and still giving moments of individual attention.

Atmosphere: Physically it was a very clean and soft atmosphere. We took off our shoes, sat in a circle on a big gym mat, neutral walls, sunshine coming in the windows… typical daycare playroom. Posters were hung on the walls with song lyrics and activity instructions. (Psst, same posters also point out all the neat benefits each activity has like musical, social, physical, etc) As cheesy as it sounds, it was an overall quiet and safe space for little ones to play and learn. No harsh lights, loud sounds, crazy ruckus (well, except when the shakers came out), or otherwise undesirable elements.

Fellow Guests: All the other mommas seem lovely. I would imagine that an infant music class brings in a particular type of person so we are all bound to get along. In general, I got a warm and welcome feeling for both Mini and myself.

Navigation: Class was in a daycare, not a labyrinth. First door on the right kind of situation here. 😉 However, I did take a wrong turn getting there. Nothing new for me. Rite-Aid was not, indeed, the place hosting Kindermusik.

Breastfeeding friendly: That’d be a big yes. I asked to stay to feed my little man after class and was warmly welcomed to take all the time I need. Turns out the teacher nursed her two sons until they were almost 3! I chose to stay after and not interrupt our class but I would imagine we also could have easily stepped to the side during class as well with no problems. I just didn’t want to miss out on the fun.

Pack: Nothing more than you would bring on any regular trip out. All class supplies are provided.

DayTay Tips: Give it a try. Come ready to participate and enjoy. Be silly, sing, and laugh. Also- wear comfortable clothes you can move in and clean socks with no holes. 😂

Overall rating: 5/5

Summary: We had a blast. Will be signing up for class and going again!

Check out the Kindermusik site and find a class near you HERE.

*Live in Easten PA and interested in learning which class we tried? Send me a quick message and I’ll let you know!

Number One Piece of Parenting Advice

Number One Piece of Parenting Advice

I’m only 8 months in over here but I’ve already got my number one piece of parenting advice for the rest of my career as “mom”. Want to hear it? 

Stop listening to parenting advice. 

Okay, okay. That’s probably a bit extreme. Let me try this instead: Above all else, trust yourself. If you need support, find your tribe of like-minded mommas (or daddies) and listen to what they have to say. Then use it IF you feel it’ll work for you. 

Here’s my point, moms and dads… Every child is different. Every parent is different. Every family is different. Sharing advice, personal stories, and opinions is great. You know what’s not great? Getting down on yourself because someone else’s “golden secret” doesn’t work for you or makes you uncomfortable. Trust yourself and those mama bear instincts. Try different things. Be prepared to accept defeat and move on. Don’t ever be sorry for doing what’s best for your child. 

Let me take a moment to share an example. I’m going to share my current sleep secret. Are you ready? Its a good one. My 8 month old infant sleeps on a stack of blankets on the floor. 😂 Let me explain myself here before I’m reported to CPS…

The past month my little man has had a heck of a time staying asleep at night. I read article after article full of sleep tips and ‘ultimate sleep secrets’. I’ve gone from feeling like I don’t show him enough love to feeling like I’m coddling him too much. This is where finding your tribe and knowing your parenting style comes into play. I, personally, should have never read any article about crying it out. I’m not against it for others but my soul can’t take it and I really think my stubborn child would go blue before settling down. It won’t work for us and THAT’S OKAY. On the other end of the spectrum, I’m also not willing to have him constantly sleep in my room until he’s much older and THAT’S OKAY, TOO. Know who you are and who your child is and look for advice that fits the two of you. Don’t let yourself obsess and feel bad over advice that isn’t your style. 

After so much searching, it hit me that none of it was working and ‘What am I doing?’ because I know my child better than any random online article. So I watched him that night on the monitor. When I stepped back and paid attention to my child instead of desperately searching for an answer from strangers, I found the answer. It turns out being a crazy bed hog must be genetic. Just as I roll around and flail like crazy in my sleep, so does my son. He was trying to roll and spin and go crazy in his sleep and kept slamming into the sides of his bed and waking himself. That’s why he now has a blanket bed. Plenty of space, no fall risk, and no slamming into sides. It’s what works for us. If I would’ve trusted my own instincts instead of running to the internet to compare myself to all the “my baby sleeps perfectly” moms, I could’ve saved myself a lot of stress and negativity, along with a few extra of those sleepless nights. 

So. Call me crazy, ladies and gents, but that’s my advice. Stop looking for advice and start trusting yourself. Nobody knows your child better than you. You’ve got this mama bear (and papa bear, too)!