Newborn Baby Gear: Must haves for a city dweller.

What does a baby really need? : Gear (0-3 months)

Want just the basics? Don’t have room for much more than that?  Here is my list of things I bought, recommend,  or saved for our newest addition.  The bare minimum this mom of 4 would say you should get in preparation for your new bundles first few months.

Let’s start with the basics, which I have broken down into the following categories:
sleep- play- eat- travel-bathe-diaper
SLEEP

-Crib:  a place to sleep in your room… or theirs!  A crib/pack and play,  or co sleeper… whatever it is you use.  We used a pack and play or co sleeper for the first few months which each kid, then they went to their crib.
Everyone has their own ideas on sleep, but the most important thing is that the baby sleeps, can I get an amen, moms?
-Baby chair/swing : I think our babies used their baby chairs more than their actual cribs for the first 3 months.  I put them in the living room or wherever I was sitting/recovering for the first few months, and since the newborn life is the sleep life, they slept perfectly in it all day in between nursing and visitors.
-Binkys/pacifiers:  I think Jack may be my first binky baby, and I am pretty happy about it, because how cute is a baby sucking on a pacifier?!
-Blankets: I swear by these ones from Aden & Anais (only the bamboo ones!).  They are so soft, my husband jokingly says he wishes they made them in adult size.  I use them  also as a nursing cover, carseat cover, blanket to lay the baby on, and burp rag.   I also recently bought these Solly Baby swaddles and love them too!  Just as soft and heavier than the muslin, if you have a fall/winter baby.
-Swaddle:  We use these, and love them.
PLAY
-A playmat:  Anyone will do.  Just something to look at for those few hours they are awake as newborns. Jack is just starting to really want to stare at something while he is awake, and watching him kick and coo at the animals that hang from the top, is just adorable.  If you want a beautiful one, I had my eyes on this one , but never actually spent the money to buy and ship it here.
EAT
This is one of the most complicated and cluttery part of babies gear… Whether nursing or bottle feeding (or both), you need so many things to feed a baby well.
-Burp rags:  Something to wipe up the spit up…anything.  ha!  old t shirts. or something fancy, Lord knows we don’t want to be smelling like cheese from our kids spit up all over us.  I use little muslin ones I found in here, but also loved having my favorite thin swaddles around to use as well.
-Boppy/nursing pillow:  Save your upper back now, and invest in a good nursing pillow.
-Bottles:  I have used these bottles   based on the recommendation of one of my first mommy friends 10 years ago!  Lots of pieces to wash, but less gassy babies, so I’d say it’s a good return on your investment.
-Breast pump: handpump  or normal pump depending on you r budget and how much you will need to pump.  I have used both, but really like a good hand pump because you can control the pull/suck.
-Storage bags for milk
-Formula
-Bottles
-Bottle drying rack
-Bottle brush 
-Nursing cover:  a friend recently bought me this one and swears by it!  The other three babies, I just used one of the apron looking covers you get at Babies R us.
TRAVEL
-Stroller: This could be a dissertation if I wanted.  So many strollers, so many price points (from  the price of a t shirt to a new car!).  I am gearing up to try a couple, but I’d say this is a need. Our city is pretty bumpy and cobblestoney, so I don’t use one here unless we are travelling or I know we will be somewhere that is easily navigated with a stroller.  Like a mall, or a specific park.
-Baby carrier:  My two go-tos with Jack are the Sollybaby, and the Ergo.  With previous babies I used the Moby Wrap, and all sorts of random clip on carriers, but overall I would say I love the Solly and Ergo the best.
The Solly is my favorite for the newborn days, when they just are so sweet, snuggly and sleep on you for a long time.  This is particularly helpful for outings, when your baby just sleeps through it all.   I will say the Solly, or any wrap for that matter is an investment in your time to put on.  I can sling mine on in a minute or so after 9 years of baby wearing, but in that rush of a crying baby, or trying to get out of a car with other kids it adds some time.
The pay off of snuggling your baby though, that’s priceless.  The ergo, is fast, and you can carry a kid from newborn until they are about 3…so if I were you, I would get both!
-Carseat: It’s the law!  Even in Istanbul, where we don’t have a car and use metros, buses, trams etc…  we use our carseat if we are in a taxi.  This is the one we have used for the last 3 kiddos, and we really like it.
BATHE
-Washcloths
-Soap: something gentle, pure and delicious smelling
-Towel
-Bath:  I had the big invasive baby bathtub with our oldest, but when it comes down to it throwing this bath seat in a big sink or bathtub is much easier, and takes up way less room.  Also, if you travel much- it folds up perfectly for your suitcase!
DIAPER
-Diapers: My all time favorite, which I can’t get in Turkey 🙁  I used them with Nora, and I can testify they work!  Also, they are soooo cute!
-Booty creme: To keep the rashes away!
-Wipes

-Changing pad/area: Changing table, floor, pad etc. Somewhere to diaper the little love.

How To Capsule a Family

Capsule wardrobes may seem cool, but the organizing process can be overwhelming… and doing it for 6 people even more so!   Here are some simple tips or steps to follow to help you figure out the process.
1.   WHAT DO WE HAVE? ::       
Take an inventory of what you have in your closet- I prefer making it visual by laying it all out there.  You may be super surprised at how many clothing items you actually have!
Go through your piles (person by person is probably less overwhelming than every clothing item in your whole house).
Get rid of things that you don’t like, don’t fit, or your kids grew out of.  If you have a huge pile (which I hope you do) of old clothes… donate  them, sell them, or trade them in!
I literally wrote down every single item of clothing my family owns… Type A much?  As I was going through everything, I realized I have some items already that I had seen in the mall and wanted to buy.  I had just forgotten about them in storage.  For me, it felt good to have this all organized.
2.  WHAT DO WE WANT?::  
Ask yourself these questions as you decide what to keep::  What has inspired me ?  What trends do I want to copy?  Why do I want to  keep it?  Does it fit?  Does it make you happy?  Is it even my style, or it something I wish I could pull off?
Throw it in a pile if the reason to keep it isn’t good enough.
Thought’s on wanting:
From what you have:  Think about whether or not it actually fits, if you’ve worn it in the past year, or if you’re even keeping it for a realistic reason.  If not.. toss it!  The real reason you want to keep it may be silly or not even make sense when you actually stop to think about it.
From what you don’t have:  I actually keep Pinterest boards of things that i see that i think are cute, or I want to copy basically.  This could help you as you plan out your wardrobe/style and shopping for the next season.
See my Pinterest boards for my whole family here!
3.  WHAT DO WE NEED?::
          Is there anything that we just need to complete our wardrobe this next season?  Did you just tear your rain boots and need a new pair? Did you kids grow out of all their jeans or rip holes in them?
Did you lose your favorite jacket?  Figure out what you need, add it to a list…
 4.  SHOPPING TIME!!::
Make a list of what you actually need so you’re not just buying whatever catches your eye!  Simplicity  and not just buying crap will make you feel better, I promise 🙂
Take your pictures or ideas of looks you want to copy and  go online, in the store, or on one on one dates with the kiddos.. however you like to do it, Go get your goods so you don’ have to shop for a few more months!

Old Clothes: How to Part with them

So, you have piles and bags of black trash bags full of clothes, bags, shoes and worn out, or too small kid items.

You’ve gone through all The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up… and bagged up what doesn’t give you life.

partingwitholdclothes

What do you do with them now?  Here are some ideas I have had… along with ideas I am going to try!

  1. Donate them to be re-sold, and make a few bucks toward the growing stock by using Thred Up.  (I have purchased from here before, but just sent in my first bags to be sold, I’ll let you know how it goes!)
  2. If you have time and energy to re-sell them on e-bay, do it!
  3. If you had invested in quality clothes you can also try doing an Instagram sale.  (Tips on having an Instagram sale).
  4. Hand them down to someone your size, or with kids younger than yours.
  5. Send them to your local goodwill, or thrift store.  Someone will love them, and buy them for cheap!

 

Any other fun or creative ideas out there?

Summer Capsule Wardrobe Preparation:: Traveling

Well, it’s getting warmer in Istanbul, and it’s also getting closer and closer to summer.

This summer, our family will be in a few different places: Southern California, Central California and Istanbul.  While both places are going to be hot.  I am figuring out how to make a capsule wardrobe for myself especially that will cover both climates and cultures.

bloguettes-stock-airplane-1605007

Both Istanbul and Southern California have warm summers.  California is hot and dry. Istanbul is hot as well, but much more mild… where it makes up for the heat in lower temperatures, it sure makes you hate humidity.    It is so humid and gross in Istanbul during the summer, I just could barely handle it last year.

As far as culture goes, the guys and Nora can all wear whatever they want.  I don’t know about you, but while I am overseas, I generally like to dress so I don’t stick out too much.  That being said, while in Istanbul I generally cover up a bit more than I would while I am home in Southern California.  While we are in California I can’t wait to let the sunshine hit my shoulders and legs!!  But while in Istanbul, I will likely find a couple pairs of cool summer pants. Which means I have to have the proper blend of summer pants and shorts to be comfortable in both places.

So as I plan my 37 pieces, I am taking into account these things… humidity, culture and comfort.  Always comfort.

Here are some things to take into account in your summer planning if you are going to be using a Capsule Wardrobe:

-Climate.   California gets upwards of 110 while Istanbul never hits over 90, and is on the water.  This means I need to buy accordingly.  Also evenings are chilly.

-Culture.  Where are you traveling?  Overseas? Europe?  Asia?  It’s always good to take into account what locals are wearing, if you’re crossing cultures.

-Location specific/Vacation specific items:  I will likely leave these out of my capsule.  Examples would be: a beach hat, camp clothes, or other random things you may want for your summer adventures.

-Clothes for the journey.  Are you flying in a plane?  Going to be in an RV all summer?  I am including things I know I can feel comfortable in on our multiple plane rides this summer.

 

What about you!!?

Where are you going this summer?

Are you going to try to capsule your vacation wardrobe?

And is anyone else excited for how easy this makes packing??