Category Archives: Parenting

Babies in a Tiny House Part 2 – My Minimalist Baby Needs List

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My two turkeys!

Needs before baby comes home are very few.  MOST things can be bought after kiddo is home and making certain demands, I wish I would have known that but if you don’t get ‘things’ you feel utterly unprepared… So on round one I got way more things than needed

Here is my experience after two kids

What you need before baby comes home:

  • A car seat, this is the one I went with but there are seemingly endless possibilities.  We got this one for safety rating, price and weight.  There are lots of factors that go into it though, choose one that is right for you.  We didn’t want a heavy one because both James and I have broken our backs, turns out even a light one is pretty heavy to pack around… come to find out (like many baby items) its not actually best to keep them in their car seat, it’s not a great position, doesn’t help their core muscles develop and can be a hard position for their air ways.  You do what you have to do as a parent but we rarely leave the kiddos in their car seat, even if (and especially if) they are napping.
  • Some diapers.  You’ll probably get a pack of the right size from the hospital but you can have a pack of newborn and a pack of size 1’s ready at home, in case they are on the big side. (if you’re making a diaper cake for a baby shower start at a size bigger than NB, everyone gives nb size and my babies were only in nb for a week, size 1, 2 and even 3’s are great for new babes, they will eventually be in them!)
  • Something for them to wear, or 3-4 somethings (may be hospital provided). We had newborn sizes which fit for a whole week (I have big babies…) we then had to switch to 0-3 month.  At 2 months Miles is already in 6 month clothes and will probably have them outgrown in the next month… Kids grow fast, this is where you look at your family history and decide if maybe preemie is a good size to start, or if you should just start at 0-3 month… I had a stack of gift newborn clothes with both kiddos that I took back for larger sizes right away.
  • Some swaddles, 2-3 (may be hospital provided).  Depending on the time of year they are little you may want more or less and they may be heavier or lighter weight.  Both my kids hated being swaddled but they are still handy to have around as blankets (or towels ;-))
  • Some boobs (If nursing isn’t your thing the hospital will most likely have some different formulas to try. Each type has it’s own thing, probably don’t stock up pre-baby.  What you decided to start with will be determined by your baby and any hiccups (literally and figuratively) they may have.  Same boat for bottles, they will give you some to start if you go this way then you can decide to change if needed to something else (lower flow, shallower latch, whatever) based on a reaction to your babe.)

That’s it.  ALL the rest can be decided post babe.  It’s a good idea to have a safe place for them to lay down too (safe from hazards like pets, siblings and sleeping parents) but you’ll probably be their bed mostly for a while :).

Of all the things I bought (and it was a relatively small list) there are only two other things I would suggest using because I’ve been SO grateful to have them at times:

  • A baby carrier/wrap– You can go down this rabbit hole as far as you like (and like tiny houses it IS a rabbit hole!)  I always got really overwhelmed with all of the options and wraps, some people get really into it (there are some great facebook groups for baby wearing).  I didn’t want to spend a ton for something made in China and shipped across the world, nor did I want to spend a ton for a wrap that I don’t appreciate (read: feel like I can make on my own) so my solution was a home-made ring sling similar to THIS.  You can buy some rings HERE for cheap, pick up about 2.5 yards of some fabric (mine was a whole 3 dollars) and make your own.  For less than 10 bucks I made something that sells for a LOT more.  Sure it isn’t as pretty as some but man, that thing has paid dividends in how much use it gets, especially with two.  I don’t know how parents parent more than one kid without a baby wrap of some kind, I couldn’t do it!
  • A car seat mirror like THIS.  This one came because they are rear facing, I remember Hazel was about a week old and I was driving home solo from my first trip to the grocery store post baby.  I couldn’t see her but she was making weird noises (as newborns do).  I could not tell if she was choking or what.  A short ten minute drive turned into 25 stressful minutes.  I pulled over 6 times to check on her because heaven forbid something was happening and I didn’t stop!  She was fine of course but as soon as I got home I ordered a mirror.  It’s more fun to be able to see them anyway but it’s a safety thing too!

Things people seem to always have on their list which can actually be bad for babes:

  • Crib bumpers are not actually recommended because they cause more issues than they help. They do look cute but can be a suffocation hazard. If your kiddo has issues getting stuck in the crib rails they make mesh breathable bumpers, certainly not a need but if you find you want them you can get them later
  • Car seat accessories.  Car seats are safety devices, they are engineered to save your kiddo in case of a crash.  Anything you put on them or in them becomes a projectile in case of use.  Any blankies you tie in or under the straps make the straps further from your babe and make your babe a potential projectile.  Experts suggest you take things like coats off when strapping your kiddo in correctly and not use any objects in your car seat that aren’t manufactured and okayed for your specific car seat. Also, make the buckles snug and located correctly, I often see pictures on Facebook of babes strapped incorrectly (and that is a tough spot, do you tell them and be ‘that mom’ or do you hold your tongue… awkward… and unsafe.)  Some drives we wish we had some piece of entertainment (every rush hour we accidentally get caught in) but ultimately we have little in the car seat with Hazel and Miles, maybe a stuffed animal or a glove these days, one of Hazel’s favored toys… 🙂
  • Jumpers/bouncers/rockers, mom’s do what we need to do, baby ‘stuff’ is not inherently bad, use it sparingly though… and if you can design your life to where you don’t need it, more power to you!  But moms need showers, and to fix food, etc., like I mentioned in part 1, these items are designed for parent convenience, not baby development, they are often not great to leave babe in for extended periods of time.   I choose to skip them all together.

If you are a first time parent reading this, it’s hard not to stress, I certainly did, but you will have time once they get here to get whatever you may be lacking, in the middle of it it actually goes nice and slow in my experience, it’s in hindsight that it seems so dang fast!

If you are reading this in prep for a baby shower you’re attending and I just shot down all your gift ideas here are a couple things that would be sweet.

  • If your target is going to cloth diaper check out some cloth diapering services.  It can be pretty reasonably cost to get a year subscription, they come a couple times a week, pick up dirty diapers and drop off clean ones.  They are all over the country and you’ll be supporting your local economy while giving a HUGE break to the momma to be!
  • A gift card to something like SnapFish or Zazzle so momma can make a cool memory book for babe’s first birthday.
  • Clothes size 6, 9, 12+ months, there is a huge abundance of people bringing itty bitty clothes (because all things tiny are adorable!) but right around 9 months it all drops off and you have to start shelling out the bills.  Even if no one gifts the bitty clothes, worst case, momma will have to go grab them but mommas usually WANT to shop for those ones, it’s once that ‘cute’ wears off that the shopping gets dull, get THOSE sizes for her :).
  • Seasonal personalized items, Christmas ornaments, valentines day frames, etc. with the new family members name (or a gift card for something like that) are fun and will be a reminder through time.
  • Your love and support and KIND WORDS.  This is a WAY under rated gift!

Maybe that brings back some of the fun I stole away! 🙂

For more of my thoughts on parenting in a tiny house/being a minimalist parent I have a couple more posts worth looking at…

Babies in a Tiny House Part 1 – Where Do You Put All The Stuff

My thoughts to the ‘your kids will be embarrassed’ and such critics… (coming soon)

Lastly, If tiny houses are your thing but you don’t know where to start or how to build check out the eCourses I made HERE.  Better yet, for the next two days get the tiny house bundle including parts 1 and 2 of the ecourses plus LOTS more!

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Merry Christmas!
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He’s Here! Miles A. (aka Mr. T(iny))

He made it!  3 days before his due date!  My midwife was out of town at a conference again so it seemed the appropriate time to go into labor :).  This is the second kid with the same midwife and she didn’t deliver either of my babes! 🙂   It is quite alright though, she was great for both pregnancies and I had the same stand in midwife who delivered both Hazel and Miles.  Never saw her but to deliver both kiddos, but she was great at talking me through everything both times.  It’s so nice to have someone to make you more comfortable and relaxed while giving birth to little people.  I appreciate both of my midwifes :).

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main passtime

I had been having contractions for several days and HOPING things would get going soon… turns out being pregnant is still uncomfortable, ALL the time!  🙂  At 3:30 I started doing dishes, the LAST thing in the house left to clean.  Almost instantly contractions got a lot rougher and were 2 minutes apart.  I let it go for an hour to see if they would keep going then emailed James that he should probably come home, we might be going to the hospital soonish…  He came right home and tried to get me out the door instantly but I wasn’t convinced I was really in labor yet so we waited, drank some water and kept track of things.  At 5:15 I decided we should probably go check and see, so we went to the hospital.  At 5:30 I was checked in and not leaving until I had the baby :).  At that point I was at 6 cm dilated and the nurses were impressed I wasn’t screaming already :).  Labor is a different kind of pain than just ‘ouch’… it is lots of ouch too but… it’s just different, it’s productive pain so it’s easier for me to work through mentally, and it comes in waves, so I could relax in between and just trust the process would be over soon enough!

It was a pretty fast process really, check in at 5:30, by 10:00 we were cooing to our new little baby boy!  Most of the time was spent joking around between contractions and generally having a good time (weird to say for a labor story…).  I would be lying if I said there wasn’t a moment I considered letting them put lots of drugs in me for labor but ultimately I know that can slow down the process and can put unnecessary stress on the baby, if it was necessary I wouldn’t have hesitated but since it wasn’t I opted to try for another natural delivery with no drugs, it worked well the first go round, why not go for two?  It was rough but I am sure it made the difference between his birthday being the 1st or the 2nd, and I am glad to have had a shorter labor (with only 11 minutes of active ‘pushing’ :)).

We opted this time to just let my folks know so they could pick up Hazel (conveniently on their way home from work!).  No one else knew until after Miles was born, that way there wasn’t added pressure of people waiting in the waiting room or walking in the delivery room.  It was weird to be without Hazel for the night but she had a blast at grandma and grandpas.

Miles was exactly the same length as his sister (20.5″) and weighed 9 ounces more (8 pounds 10 ounces).  Apparently I make big (healthy!) babies :).  We got to do everything just as we wanted, I have two great labor stories and I hope to never be one of those people who like to offer all the worst case scenarios and horror stories to newly expecting mothers.  If I ever get caught doing that I give you all permission to slap me.  Labor isn’t always bad, it’s a pretty amazing process not to be feared!

SINCE BIRTH… Miles has been keeping us busy, he’s had some reflux issues that he seems to have worked through, the first several days he kept throwing up everything he ate and had a lot of fluid in his stomach.  He lost 5% of his weight in the hospital but today at his 12 day check-up he was up almost a pound from birth so we seem to have no issues feeding :).  He’s in the 90+ percentiles on height and weight.  He doesn’t have a tongue tie like Hazel did so feeding has been much easier on me.  He has been the quietest little guy, he sleeps all day and wakes up around 7pm and is in and out through the night but rarely wakes me up, he just looks around :).  We’re pretty smitten, Hazel adores him, I think he must have a raw spot on his forehead from all of her kisses.

She has had some adjustments to make but seems to be rolling with it pretty easily.  About three weeks before he was born we started putting her in ‘school’ (daycare) for two half days a week.  Mostly because she is a social butterfly and really wanted to hang out with the other kiddos (they go on walks right by our house).  She is LOVING school, we may bump up to four half days a week just so I can spend some one on one time with Miles and she really likes it.  We got a stack of her art projects and it is pretty cool to see all the things she is up to.  It’s hard to drop her off for the day but nice to know she really likes it and gets to learn and do so much!

I have the feeling that these two kids of mine are going to be COMPLETE opposites.  Hazel is a very strong willed individual with a lot of opinions… a ‘bossy pants’ some might say.  She’s completely extroverted and a social butterfly.  I think Miles will be more sensitive and easy going… time will tell but it’s been pretty cool to see their little personalities coming out!

We went shopping for Halloween costumes, I had this big plan that Hazel would be a cowgirl, Denver would be her pony and Miles could be a cow… Hazel had absolutely zero interest in being a cowgirl, no matter how many boots and hats she saw… what she wanted… er demanded, was Wonder Woman.  She saw the skirt, grabbed it and threw itt in the cart.  Went I put it back on the shelf she very calmly said ‘no’, grabbed it again and put it in the cart… I didn’t give in at the moment… but… this year we have Wonder Woman and superman… Denver can be bat dog 🙂 (pictures coming soon).  It cracks me up how opinionated Hazel is at 18 months, i don’t think I’ve ever had that strong of opinions, just makes me laugh, all the time!

Lets see, other than all the family shinanigans… Guillaume and Jenna fron Tiny House Giant Journey published their video tour of our place, it’s way better than any of my boring ole tours 🙂

Here are some images in no particular order: