Zero to Three Month Baby Ultimate Tools List
Z is 6 weeks old now, heading towards seven. He's certainly a much more interesting person now and getting more interesting every day.
Folks who think they know me ask questions like, "Does he have a blog? Did you register ComputerZ.net? Where's his pocket-protector? Is his GPS-enabled?" I'm actually a little more pragmatic than my friends may think. I want Z to be much more than the sum of his parents. I want him to make mud pies and put bugs in jars and hike. If he wants to code, great. Hopefully he'll spend him life not in front of a screen. This means I will be a more outdoorsy person (like my dad) so that he might find more balance in his life than I have found (so far) in mine. I want him to be comfortable in Portland, New York or Bulawayo. I want him to be a flexible and competent citizen of the world. I hope I have the tools to turn him into a interesting, non-neurotic individual.
Many of you have mentioned that you've either just had a child or are expecting. Many others with kid experience kindly offered me advice. Some I took, some I discarded. Here's some tools (and books and techniques and what-not) that we've found useful in this, the "fourth trimester" (While he's 0-3 months.)
- What to Expect When You're Expecting and What to Expect The First Year - These are the gold standard and are referred to a few times a week.
- John Rosemond's New Parent Power - The very kind Ted Olson of Microsoft sent me a copy of this book that he swears by, and a few hundred pages in and I'm loving the pragmatic and common sense approach to child rearing. Thanks Ted!
- Be Prepared : A Practical Handbook for New Dads - This fun to read (written by a comedian) Dad-specific handbook packed with great tips on how Dad's can stay sane.
- The Happiest Baby on the Block - This technique for calming totally works. A blog reader recommended it and it's right on. I tell everyone who will listen about this.
Baby Signing Time - We intend to start signing around 5-6 months (we both took ASL in college) and hope to incorporate this into our early child raising.
- BabyBjorn - This was recommended by many and while its a little spendy, it's worth it. It's expandable and will grow with him. I carry him around the house happily and he tends to sleep right on my chest after a few minutes of walking.
- Nojo Baby Sling - More flexible and soft than the BabyBjorn, this carrier lets you hold the baby in about six different positions and also allows Mom to breast-feed while he's in the sling.
- Sony Baby Monitor - I tried and took back a number of Baby Monitors and this one was the cheapest and had the best sound quality. The receiver is also rechargable and waterproof.
- Diaper Genie - Makes poo disappear. Yay!
- Graco Travel System - This combination car seat, car seat mount (LATCH), and stroller (pram) is a winner. Complex to initially assemble, but a snap to use. Wife Acceptance Factor is high and it will grow with him.
Boudreaux's Butt Paste - Great stuff, helps his tushy not be red. He hasn't had diaper rash yet.
AVENT ISIS iQ Duo - This is a great breast pump. We did have a blown power supply early on, but their support was great. What's really significant about this pump is that is has only one button. You pump "manually" like a standard manually pump and it records and watches your rhythm. When you find a rhythm you like, you just press the one button and it continues automatically what you did manually. Amazing. It's the iPod of Breast Pumps, if there can be such a thing.
- Boobs - It's good to have at least two of these. Man-boobs don't count. We're fortunate enough that breast-feeding is going well and I think Z will be better for it.
- Patience - Sometimes he just needs to cry to release stress. If he's fed, he's dry, he's healthy, he's slept, maybe he's just releasing stress.
- Routine - We figured this out early. Around 8pm we start the house winding down. We turn down the lights, turn on some music and I give Z a bath. We feed him and put him down. He's 6 weeks old and will sleep from 9 to almost 1am. He feeds then, and will sleep until 4 or 5. Feed again and he's down until 9-10am. For us, this equals success. Folks always ask if your baby sleeps through the night. As far as I'm concerned we've got that now, it's just that the night is 4 hours long. :) I don't expect him to sleep for 6 hours straight for a few months.
- Multilingual - Mo is already chatting with Z in Ndebele (Zimbabwe's Zulu dialect) and I'm hoping to include Spanish as well when it's time. Check out Milind's FAQ on raising polyglots.
- Swaddling - When he was in the womb he was swaddled 24 hours a day. If we swaddle him 6-10 hours a day, he's very comfortable and sleeps much better. We swaddle him while he sleeps and he is less likely to wake himself up by bonking his own head.
- Tummy Time - We let him chill and move around on his tummy for a a while every day, the intent being to avoid having him on his back too long and to build neck muscles. Seems to be working, he's starting to hold his own (giant) head up.
We now return you to your regularly scheduled technical blog.