baby/ toddler clothes – how much & what do you really need?

My Experience

Now that my daughter is almost two and has been in daycare full-time for a year I feel I have finally figured out what clothes I actually need for each season, and more importantly how many items of clothing I need.  For me space is an issue, I don’t physically have the luxury of storage in my house like I am used to in the US.  I only have a small dresser that you can see in her nursery.

Since I buy clothes on sale/ clearance only and often buy items in advance (I have clothes for her until she is 5!) I use one drawer in her dresser for everything that is the right size and season, and the drawer below is for the next size/ season.  This has worked well because it forces me to not over buy, but also allows me to instantly see what I already have for the next size/ season.  Even though the drawer is small, with my clever folding I am still able to fit a lot and probably too much to get good use out of things.

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these baby shoes are made for walking

My Experience

My daughter started crawling at 8 months and within two weeks was cruising around her pack-n-play.  I started looking at walking shoes when she was 10 months thinking it might go quickly, and I needed to be prepared with appropriate shoes.  We were at my parents at the time in the US. So my mom and I went and looked at shoes to see what was out there, because I don’t get to spend much time with my mom, but also because everything is cheaper in the US (or at least it used to be until Brexit!).

First we went to Stride Rite on our own and looked at the shoes – there was a lot of leather in boring colors and nothing that I thought was cute.  Next we went to Journeys for Kids with my daughter.  Speaking to the manager I found out that a good pair of shoes is essential for learning how to walk correctly.  I initially wanted to get her converse because I think they are so cute.  However the manager informed me that they are hard shoes to learn to walk in because the sole doesn’t flex.  New Balance are flexible soles that she recommended for first walkers.  I also learned that when babies are learning to walk they need to be barefoot to get the ‘feel’ for walking, however if you wait too long to put proper shoes (not soft soles) then it becomes difficult for them to accept shoes becoming a struggle for both of you.

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how to do long road trips with a baby

My Experience

So it’s been awhile since my two month trip home but I have been super busy adjusting back to the time difference, getting ready to go back to work and now being back at work. But I didn’t want to lose some of the tips I knowledge from this summer.

Over the course of two months in the US we had nine days that we were in the car for a long haul (longer than three hours) so we became quite good at driving cross country but also knowing what to do with our baby because being trapped in a car with a baby that wants nothing more than to not be strapped into a car seat for hours on end can be an utter helpless nightmare.

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how to conquer long haul flying & jet lag

My Experience

We flew to Raleigh on American from Heathrow so it was over seven hours on a plane with an eight month old baby.  My husband and I are both experienced world travelers so flying this distance is not a big deal for us since it’s sooo much better and easier than flying from Sydney.

Before we left a friend of ours takes the same flight to Raleigh on American and let us know that there is no in-flight entertainment on the plane.  Yes you read that right none in the back of the seat in front of you.  There may be some on overhead screens but nothing for you to control when you want to.  So I would definitely check out what your plane offers before making any flight arrangements especially with kids.

Our return flight from Philadelphia was a red-eye.  I was really not looking forward to it and had no idea how it would work since she all of a sudden was no longer sleeping easily and often cries in sleepy anger for 10 minutes to an hour before falling asleep.

And then there is the jet lag to overcome both times.

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packing for a weekend away in the car with a newborn

My Experience

My husband wanted to get away for the weekend thinking it would be nice to relax (maybe for him!) after our baby girl arrived.  We booked a hotel in the New Forest for the weekend and it was about a two hour car drive there.

Needless to say while it is nice to get away you quickly learn as a new mom that relaxing is no longer has the same meaning – it’s hard to relax when you still have to pump and feed at the same times which limits your mobility.  Packing for a weekend was probably the same effort with slightly less stuff than if I were packing for the week.  Babies have a lot of gear and if you are pumping or formula feeding then you have even more stuff to pack.

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my baby bag is too small

My Experience

I didn’t research diaper bags at all before I registered for one.  I just read reviews of the ones I liked the look of that were gender neutral for baby and not too girly for my husband.  I’m glad I didn’t spend more money on a guy’s diaper bag because I think it’s a total waste of money.  You only need one good baby bag – who wants the hassle of taking things in and out of multiple bags?  It’s like switching handbags it takes time and you are always forgetting something hidden in a pocket.  Let’s face it you’re going to be the one who has to transfer everything for your partner, so you’re just creating more work for you. On top of all the hassle of having two bags there is also the additional cost because even cheap ones aren’t that cheap.

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starting solid foods, puree vs. baby led weaning

My Experience

If you read My Formula & Frozen Milk Strategy you’ll know that I just started formula at 24 weeks and solids at my baby’s six month by month date (two weeks later).

Before I go on I must clarify that US weaning and UK weaning are completely different.  In the US when a woman talks about weaning her baby it’s about getting them to STOP breastfeeding at any age ,she is trying to ‘weaning the baby from her boob’.  In the UK I have no idea if there is any phrase for this process, but UK weaning means to START eating solid food (here it’s confusing as well solid means mashed up to whole food and everything in-between).  I know it really makes no sense to me either being American.  So Baby Led Weaning is about starting solid food BUT in a very specific way.

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how to choose the right baby bottle for combination feeding

My Experience

I combination feed my baby – nurse and pumped in the beginning and now pump and formula so bottles have been a staple since the second week she was born.  If you are going to nurse and bottle feed formula or expressed milk you need to make sure that the bottles you use are compatible with breastfeeding so that your baby doesn’t get confused and your nipples don’t get trashed.  I knew I was going to be pumping before I even delivered so I had my pump delivered to my house and my bottles purchased – you can read all about my pumping experience  Breast pumps and pumping or exactly how I combination feed read My Formula & Frozen Milk Strategy.

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