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    The Parker Baby Co. Blog

    10 Ways to Calm a Newborn

    fussy newborn

    As some of you may know, Sam and I have twin two year olds (Ava and Eleanor) and a two month-old (Greta). Ava and Eleanor were pretty fussy babies (or maybe it was just that there were two of them). Either way, it lit a fire under us to quickly learn how to calm them before it got out of hand. Same goes for Greta now. With 3 kids that are constantly needing something, we need a few things ready to try to help calm Greta down before one of the twins hits the other and a single fuss turns into a trifecta of meltdowns. It's all a juggling act, isn't it mommas?

    I have made a list of the 10 things Sam and I always try when we have a potential newborn meltdown situation.

    1. Nursing/bottle/pacifier

    I am getting the easy ones out of the way. I usually try this one first. The sucking reflex is extremely relaxing for newborns. If it’s been over an hour since baby last ate, she could be cluster feeding or going through a growth spurt. Either way, feed that sweet baby!

    1. Diaper change

    Another easy one. Sometimes I will change Greta even if she’s not too wet.  Something could be uncomfortable - the straps could be rubbing, the lining could be riding, etc.

    1. Skin to skin

    I personally love this one! Strip baby down, take your shirt off, lay baby on your chest, and put a blanket over the two of you. It’s so great for your milk production, your heart and your baby’s connection with you. Babies and parents LOVE a good skin to skin session.

    1. Swaddle

    Another favorite of mine that works so well! Get a velcro swaddle and swaddle baby’s arms to his sides, super tight! Most babies will LOVE this. Bonus tip: sometimes we incorporate the “double swaddle.” Use a traditional swaddle with a lightweight blanket, then “double swaddle” with a velcro swaddle over the top.

    5.Step outside

    I don't know what it is, but taking sweet baby Greta outside almost always makes her stop crying! Maybe it’s the sun shining in her eyes that takes her by surprise, or the wind that gently blows across her face that kind of 'wakes' her up. But ALWAYS try this one!

    1. Bicycle kicks

    Sometimes babies get gassy. Holding his feet and pushing his legs like he is riding a bike can help pass some gas he may be holding in. Lovely thing it is being a mommy :)

    1. Burp

    This is my husband’s go-to. Even if it's been an hour since eating, he will pat baby’s backs until something happens. And usually it does. I think it’s a sympathy maneuver for Sam ;)

    1. Stroller or car ride

    This was our “go-to” for our twins. When I was home alone with Ava and Eleanor and I couldn't hold them both, I would put them in the double stroller and push them around the block. When the weather didn’t cooperate, I pushed them around our house (desperate times!). Car rides are great to try, too! But sometimes the screaming baby in the back makes for a super-stressed driver.

    1. White noise

    Get a white noise machine! Just do it. Or you can turn the vacuum on and stand right next to it. Or download a (free!) white noise app on your phone. If none of these are at your disposal, try putting your mouth right by your baby’s ear and shushing.

    1. Walk around

    I never stopped walking when the twins were newborns (okay, I still don’t). They HATED when I would sit down. Especially when about 6:00 pm hit. I would just walk circles around the island in my kitchen.

    There have been times where I have tried every single one of these and finally something works. It's all trial and error until they can communicate!

    Guys, you are doing so great! Mommin' (and Daddin’) ain't easy. If you are reading how to help your baby, you are probably already doing a really awesome job.



    Stocking Up On Diapers: How many to buy, How to SAVE MONEY!!

    Stocking Up On Diapers: How many to buy, How to SAVE MONEY!!

    Anyone who knows me knows that I love a good deal. Having twins opened so many deal opportunities, so many opportunities to save money!

    Diapers are a costly necessity for babies. Some will argue that reusable diapers are the most frugal option, but we didn’t even consider it in anticipation of the craziness of being new parents. Here are a few tips to save money (and time!) on buying diapers.

    1.     Buy diapers on sale (duh.)

    I’m an active user on SlickDeals.net. If you haven’t explored SlickDeals, I strongly recommend doing so. I also strongly recommend doing so with your wallet in another room. Buying something you don’t need, just because it is on sale, doesn’t save you any money. But you need diapers, so always scan SlickDeals for diaper deals. Always compare diaper sales on a cost per diaper basis. Don’t be afraid to ask questions on SlickDeals, there are a lot of helpful members.

    You’ll find that a lot of the deals require and Amazon Prime membership. If you don’t already have a membership, I recommend getting one. When things get crazy in your house (and they will), having diapers delivered to your door is an incredible convenience.

    Pro tip: Set an alert for Pampers, Huggies, Up & Up, “diapers”.

    2.     Stock up before your baby arrives

    Now some of you might not agree with this one, but hear me out. Emergency diaper runs are expensive. You don’t have time to compare costs. You buy a small pack (even more expensive) to hold you over until they go on sale. We were guilty of this, and we paid for it. When our girls were using Pamper’s Swaddlers, we paid a whopping $.2803 a diaper on an emergency run, compared to the $.1441/diaper we paid on sale. That’s almost 2x as expensive.

    If you are going to follow this piece of advice, here is a rough idea of how many diapers each of our daughters used the first 9ish months of their life:

    • Size N: 190 (+ more at the hospital). Keep in mind that our girls were born early at ~6 lbs. Singleton babies will require MUCH less Newborn diapers (if any at all). I recommend getting one pack initially.
    • Size 1: 290
    • Size 2: 225
    • Size 3: >400. I stopped keeping track here, but my girls were in Size 3 for a long time.
    • Size 4: >500. Same situation as Size 3, it feels like the girls have been in Size 4 forever.
    • Wipes: We went through more than 1,500 for each baby during the first 9 months. Don’t be afraid to stock up. We had good luck with Pampers, Huggies, Amazon brand and Kirkland.

    Pro tip: Stock up on wipes, too (when they go on sale!!).

    Bonus pro tip: Take all the diapers you can from the hospital. You are already paying for them, you might as well bring them home!

    3.     Try different brands (in small quantities)

    A wise mother (mine, to be exact) told me that every new parent makes the mistake of buying the cheapest diapers once. But it is a mistake they only make once. It’s painful to have to throw away or give away diapers because your baby got diaper rash from them or had blowout after blowout. But that’s how you learn.

    We started with Pamper’s Swaddlers. They are the Cadillac of diapers, and they are more expensive. But they are a great starting point, because I’ve never heard of parents having issues with them. We moved the girls to Pamper’s Baby Dry when they were Size 2. We then moved them to the even cheaper Up & Up brand diapers when they were Size 3. We have only had great experiences with Target’s Up & Up diapers, we only wish we would have tried them sooner! That being said, every baby is different so I recommend trying small packs of cheaper diapers to see if they work for you.

    A brief review of some brands we tried:

    • Huggies Snug & Dry – We mostly used these in the hospital when the girls were born. They worked well when the girls were really young, but we’ve had issues with blowouts when we used them more recently.
    • Pamper’s Swaddlers – See my comments above. I consider these the best your money can buy, but they might be a little overkill.
    • Pamper’s Baby Dry – We used these for a long time as they are much cheaper than Swaddlers. We never had any issues with them. They do not have the wet stripe like the Swaddlers, but we never missed it because we change the girls’ diapers regularly.
    • Target Up & Up – Our new “go-to” for diapers. Cheap and effective. We have never had issues with blowouts or diaper rash.
    • Kirkland – We love everything Kirkland, but (sadly) we haven't tried their diapers. We will probably try them in the near future because we've heard good things.
    • Parents’ Choice – Stay away if you can. We had some gifted to us, so we tried them once. Never again…

    Pro tip: Dad’s – throw a diaper party. I’ve seen guys do this around a sporting event (Super Bowl, March Madness, etc.) and set the entry fee at one (or more) packs of diapers.

    I'm sure we are missing some valuable tips, so please comment below with your tips for new parents!