New Mom Essentials

09.23.10 5 weeks old

kate flaim article 5 weeks .jpg

I have to write fast: I got desperate and put Tucker in the bouncy seat outside the (open) bathroom door while I jumped in the shower, and lo and behold! He fell asleep. That’s the second time in a week that he’s slept during daylight hours without me actively moving him around, so I need to work quickly. The other day I finally went on Google Maps and worked out how far I’d walked, and it was 4.5 miles for the day. Yesterday I went even further. Otherwise he just catnaps on my lap or whatever, and I feel like for the moment I really need to focus on making sure he gets a decent number of hours of sleep each day. (Hey, at least all my old jeans fit really well, right?) We’re doing something right, though: At his four-week appointment last week he was over 10 pounds, and 23 inches long! (He was 7 pounds, 5 ounces and 21 inches when we left the hospital.) He’s incredibly strong and holds his head up a lot, and loves to “stand” on our legs and do squats. To celebrate his one-month birthday, he slept seven and a half hours straight the night before, but we have yet to repeat that glorious feat.

In the quest to find ways for me to, say, blog or cook dinner without holding a baby at the same time, Ben did some more internet research, this time coming up with what I call the Entertainment Pod of the Future, the 4Moms Mamaroo Bouncer. It seemed perfect--it even replicates the motion of a car ride (or a tree swing, or a wave...)! You can plug in an iPod, or it plays a variety of soothing white noise options. Unfortunately Tucker seems to find it boring. I think it’s too smooth, even when it’s on the highest setting. I imagine most babies love the rocking and up and down motions, which certainly make me drowsy if I watch for too long, but I’ve got a baby who nods off the minute we start jolting over the crazily bumpy brick sidewalks in my neighborhood. This is just too cushy! I’m afraid we’ll be returning it, but if your baby likes smooth rocking and bounding motions it might be worth the cash. Meanwhile I’m going to go inspect swing options at Target in the near future.

I pulled out a second carrier option to test out on some of my endless walks, since lugging the carseat up and down the stairs is exhausting, and I usually limit those trips to once a day. I’d already fallen in love with the ErgoBaby; this time I tried the Beco Butterfly 2. They each have pros and cons. The Ergo has a pocket on the front, which I find incredibly useful for my phone and keys, so I don’t have to fumble in my tote (I have the organic version; I think the sport version doesn’t have the pocket). I’ve also had better luck getting it adjusted for optimum comfort. On the downside, the fabric options are a bit blah, and it is very bulky when you use the heart-to-heart infant insert. I haven’t tried it without the insert, but when I see other people using it it still seems a little frumpy. The Beco is VERY good-looking, and comes in a variety of terrific patterns. It’s sleek and fits very close to the body, and the infant insert is more of a sling to keep the baby up high, without padding, so it doesn’t add bulk. Tucker has almost outgrown the insert already because he’s very tall for his age. I haven’t gotten the straps quite right yet, and it makes my back sore in a way that the Ergo didn’t, so I need to keep playing with it. I am so impressed by both carriers, though--it makes life way easier since Tucker passes out within minutes of being popped in either one.

Speaking of passed out, he’s not anymore. Until next week!

Kate Flaim is a freelance journalist and food blogger based in Cambridge, Mass. When she's not cooking or writing, she is gearing up for the arrival of her first child this summer.