Bringing Up Bébé: Breastfeeding & The ‘Perfect’ Mom

Welcome to week four of this book study and we’re officially halfway through! I am so appreciative of the ladies who have either joined in the conversation through the comments, linked up to share their thoughts, or even co-hosted with me. I have learned so much, and continue to do so, as I’ve read through the first eight chapters and I can’t wait to see what other kinds of French wisdom lies beyond the next corner. lisa two martinis.001

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I am excited to introduce to you our next guest blogger! Please welcome Lisa from the blog Two Martinis! She’s currently pregnant with her second child, who is due in April, and spends her time loving on her adorable son. When discussing which chapters she’d like to discuss, Lisa was pretty adamant about guest blogging for these particular chapters about breastfeeding and returning to work. I too, found myself (for the first time I might add, during this reading) at odds with the French practice related to the length of time a new mom breastfeeds and stays home with their newborn.

Without further adieu, here’s Lisa and her thoughts on chapters 7 & 8!


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Hi! I’m Lisa and I write over at my lifestyle blog, ‘Two Martinis’. I spend my days running around after my toddler and incubating a tiny little human who will be born in April! This whole motherhood thing is exhausting and so rewarding. I’ve found ‘Bringing Up Bebe’ to be fairly thought provoking, and I’m happy to be able to share my thoughts on chapters 7 & 8 with you! I found these chapters especially interesting because I’m a huge fan of breastfeeding and I’m also a stay-at-home mom. I guess I don’t have that much in common with French moms, but we’ll get into that…

Bebe Au Lait

The way Pamela Druckerman describes French women throughout this book (“Bringing up Bebe”) is fascinating to me, but especially so in this chapter, in which French moms come across as put together, happy, and even (gasp) sexy, albeit somewhat unfriendly.

The first difference she identifies between American moms and French moms, directly after the birth of a baby, is that French mothers don’t breastfeed, or at least they don’t breastfeed for longer than a few days. Now, I’m not sure what the statistics are around this assertion, but I find it pretty shocking in general. I guess, living in America, I was under the impression that everyone knows the benefits of breastfeeding, and they at least try to stick with it for a few weeks, if not months or years. Personally, I nursed my daughter for the first year of her life and then I still nursed her a few times each day until she was around 18 months old, at which point my milk supply dried up from pregnancy. Anyway, the thought that French moms don’t even try to breastfeed because of the inconvenience factor seems really counterintuitive to me, but I definitely see how it would make their lives a bit easier/more convenient!

Druckerman describes, “French mothers generally aren’t won over by the health arguments involving IQ points and secretory IgA. What does persuade them to nurse, he says, is the claim that both they and the baby will enjoy it. Many French mothers would surely like to breast-feed longer than they do. But they don’t want to do it under moral duress or flaunt it at two-year-olds’ birthdays. Powdered milk may be worse for babies, but in no doubt makes the early months of motherhood a lot more relaxing for French moms.”

Druckerman then goes on to describe that French women are very dedicated to losing ‘baby weight’ within a few months, postpartum. So, it appears, from this book, that French moms aren’t opposed to inconveniences when it comes to their appearances, even though they can’t be inconvenienced for their baby’s health. (Sorry if that statement seems harsh, it’s just what I got from this particular chapter!) And their bodies aren’t the only thing that French women want to claim back postpartum, they also want their pre-baby identities back, which means using child care and going back to work and having a house that isn’t overrun with baby toys, and generally fitting the baby into their lives instead of the other way around.

“In France, the dominant social message is that while being a parent is very important, it shouldn’t subsume one’s other roles.”

I guess the piece I’m missing in this chapter is… what about the kids?

Yes, I can see how it would be great if I could spend money on part-time child care so that I could go to the gym and get my pre-baby body back quicker (although, sidenote, breastfeeding made me lose the weight within a month or so… muscle tone, however, was a whole different story), but I didn’t have the energy to do this when my baby was still a newborn. If I had a few extra hours, I was resting or relaxing or cuddling my baby or doing other things I enjoyed. Yes, I worked out, but I didn’t pressure myself to do it just so I could look great.

What message does it send to children that having a baby is an ‘inconvenience’ and something that must be gotten over quickly? While I agree that women should maintain a semblance of their pre-baby identities and be more than ‘just’ a mom, I also think that it’s completely unrealistic that moms shouldn’t expect their entire world to change after having a baby.

I don’t think that moms are martrys, so I don’t think that they should act like sacrificing themselves is necessary or even admirable. I think that parents should go on date nights regularly and moms should work out and have careers (if that’s what they want to do) and maintain relationships with friends.

That being said, bodies change, marriages change, family dynamics change, careers can change, relationships with friends change, priorities change, routines change… everything changes! I find that the most frustrated parents seem to be the ones who aren’t accepting of this and continue to try to fit a square peg in a round hole – meaning their child into a non-child-friendly life. I think that having the expectation that life can simply continue on as usual, even with an additional family member, is unrealistic at best and potentially harmful at worst.

The Perfect Mother Doesn’t Exist

Did you know that, according to Druckerman, almost all French women go back to work after having a baby? I didn’t! Evidently, this is made easier by government run day cares. This is another chapter that had me scratching my head… I love staying at home with my daughter and I’m simply surprised that more French women don’t stay at home if they can afford to. I guess in America financial concerns are a major factor for women to either go back to work or stay at home, and those concerns are made easier in France, since with cheap daycare, it’s almost a no-brainer that a woman working is better for her family’s financial situation. So the stereotypical French mom is a working mom with a ton on her plate, who spends a large portion of her time away from her child, doing adult-type things and leaving the education of her child(ren) to the very-skilled daycare providers.

And then Druckerman goes on to describe the ‘stereotypical’ American parent whose “one-year-old had at-home tutors in French, Spanish and Mandarin Chinese. When her child was two, the mother dropped the French but added lessons in art, music, swimming, and some sort of math. Meanwhile, the mother, who’d quit her job as a management consultant, was spending most of her time applying to two dozen preschools.” The assertion is basically that Americans have the tendency to be overly involved with their children in general. That we follow our kids around the playground, narrating every step they take, while French moms sit on the periphery and simply observe.

Here, I guess I’m more French, because I simply don’t have the will nor the energy to narrate Clara’s every move, and I certainly don’t have her signed up for any language classes. To each parent their own, and I certainly know a couple of moms who fit into the American stereotype Druckerman describes, but I think that generally moms in America don’t relate to that at all. The moms I know are more concerned with getting through their days in one piece, and less concerned about their child’s collegiate prospects before they enter preschool. I wonder if our media simply makes it seem like American parents are more overly-involved than they actually are, or whether this is a breed of parent that only exists in certain parts and societies of America.

For American mothers, guilt is an emotional tax we pay for going to work, not buying organic vegetables, or plopping our kids in front of the television so we can surf the Internet or make dinner. If we feel guilty, it’s easier to do these things. We’re not just selfish. We’ve ‘paid’ for our lapses.” She continues, “French mothers absolutely recognize the temptation to feel guilty. They feel as overstretched and inadequate as we Americans do. After all, they’re working while bringing up small children. And like us, they often aren’t living up to their own standards as workers or parents. The difference is that French mothers don’t valorize this guilt. To the contrary, they consider it unhealthy and unpleasant, and they try to banish it.”

Here I will say, that if this description is true, French women have it right.

This chapter concludes with my favorite sentence in the book thus far. A Parisian friend of Druckerman assesses herself as a mother with this simple response, “In general I don’t doubt whether I’m good enough, because I really think I am.”

I can fully identify with this. I actually don’t feel a lot of guilt when it comes to my 18-month-old daughter. I had almost no anxiety when she was born and I still don’t feel worried about her health, future, temperament, etc. I also don’t concern myself with what she’s doing at every second or what she’s thinking or how what I’m doing is affecting her. Quite simply, I do the best I can every day and that’s more than good enough for me. I can’t explain what makes me a laid-back and confident parent, I just know that it seems natural to me. I don’t feel guilty and I don’t think I’m a bad mom. I’m certainly the best mom my daughter is ever going to have, which I plan to remind her of when it gets closer to Mothers Day. Anyway, if you’re a mom I hope you can say something similar. I hope that you feel good enough, because you are.

To Link Up:

  1. Link up your blog post relating to this book study (not a link to your blog) and chapters discussed.
  2. I encourage you all to visit and leave meaningful comments to each of the ladies who are linking up.
  3. Tweet or Instagram your posts and this book study with the hashtag #bebebookstudy so we can easily find each other!
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Lisa is a lifestyle blogger at ‘Two Martinis‘. She loves writing about a little bit of everything, but the topics closest to her heart are marriage, pregnancy, and motherhood. Through her writing, she hopes to encourage other women and mothers in whatever stage of life they’re in. 

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A Woodland Nursery Inspiration

Can you tell I have baby on the brain?

Cultivating a theme for your nursery is one of the most satisfying things a new mother can do while patiently (or not so patiently in my case, haha) waiting for their little one to arrive. This feeling of nesting, which is a very real feeling I’ve come to find, is alive and well and I am excited to pull everything together to make Greyson’s first experience in his new home as comfortable as possible – and not to mention adorable for the adults.

Although we are apartment dwelling at the moment, which includes only one bedroom and means Greyson doesn’t yet have an official nursery room to call his own quite yet. However, I have put together my inspiration board for a woodland themed nursery. Eventually we will have a home with more than one bedroom, but I am determined to create a cute, but functional, nursery for my little guy until then. To see more about the themes that have inspired my pregnancy, see my storybook baby shower inspiration board and photos from my shower.

Also, at the very end of this post I have a little goodie giveaway for you all so be sure to read all the way to the end!

early inspiration

Early on in our pregnancy my husband and I were visiting Babies R Us just to look around and get a feel for all the baby stuff we’d need down the road. Me being the super planner and all, I wanted to get my feet wet with all the different baby products so I knew where to start when putting together our registry (because realistically what husband really wants to do that?). While walking around we made it to the nursery section where they showcase all of their cribs and crib accessories such as sheets, blankets, pillows, etc. As we looked through all the different designs from gender neutral to bright colors, I quickly noticed that everything my husband was picking out had a fox somewhere on it…and voila, our nursery theme was born (no pun intended). I am so happy that this theme of ours came about so easily and naturally even if foxes and woodland animals are currently the trend with babies at the moment.

Now on to the goodies I’ve chosen for Greyson’s woodland nursery.

Cultivating a theme for your nursery is one of the most satisfying things a new mother can do while patiently (or not so patiently in my case, haha) waiting for their little one to arrive. This feeling of nesting, which is a very real feeling I’ve come to find, is alive and well and I am excited to pull everything together to make Greyson’s first experience in his new home as comfortable as possible - and not to mention adorable for the adults.

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This post contains affiliate links. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

1: Baby Crib

A baby crib is by far the most important piece of nursery furniture that any parent should have before baby comes home. We currently are using this Pack ’n Play, but I’ve had my eye on this Land of Nod crib for when we eventually move and Greyson has his own bedroom. Another great feature of this crib is the fact that it grows with your baby and that is perfect for us minimalists. The mattress can adjust heights and the toddler rail can be removed to convert it into a toddler bed.

2: Arrow Crib Bedding

To go along with a crib, it’s important that your little one has comfy and cozy crib sheets (and safe goes without saying). I fell in love with this grey arrow bedding set from ThePincushionStore on Etsy, but the price tag is way more than I would ever consider on crib sheets. However, with that said, the shop owner hand makes every set and includes a crib bumper, skirt, blanket, and sheet.

3: Birch Tree Wall Decal + Birdhouse Night Light

An easy way to create the woodland feel but staying on budget are these birch tree wall decals and bird house night light. You can find easily removable wall decals in all kinds of tree designs, but I personally love this simple *tree decal by PopDecals on Amazon and the bird house night light from TheTinyAcornByJLee on Etsy.

4: Wooden Wall Shelving

Wood anything is the perfect accent for any woodland theme and incorporating it into the shelving really brings the woodland theme to life! I’m all about these wall shelves for either displaying photo frames or even children’s books.

5: Baby Woodland Creature Wall Art

A nursery isn’t complete without some cute wall art and these baby woodland creature paintings are just what I was looking for Greyson’s nursery. There are so many options for woodland art, especially for a nursery, but I fell in love with these illustrations from JamesRiverStudios on Etsy (they come in a set of 6). The quality is very storybook-esque and they’re perfect for either boys or girls.

6: Baby Name Letters

I am so excited to get Greyson’s name letters in the mail and hang them above his crib! It’s a small touch that personalizes his little space and ties everything together. I found some difficulty finding the right font, but I was so happy to find these simple and clean letters from GoingGaga on Etsy. She’s a Canadian shop owner and it takes a while for her to handmade your order, but I know these letters will be of high quality and I am really looking forward to adding these to his room.

7: Woodland Crib Mobile

Since we have a Pack ’n Play right now that will serve as Greyson’s crib for the time being, the one other crib accessory that my husband has been ever so picky about (which is hilarious because he doesn’t have too many opinions and lets me do what I want) is the darn mobile! There are a zillion different woodland mobiles out there and this particular mobile featured on the blog Spindle Life caught my eye. I love the handmade quality of the animals and just love the wooden piece they hang from. We were thinking about attaching a wall hook that extends over the Pack ’n Play as a means for hanging it since we can’t hang anything from the ceiling (lease agreement). But, of course when I went looking for the link to buy this mobile I quickly found that it is in fact a handmade item, but made by the bloggers mother for their baby. Super adorable – but such a bummer. Onto Etsy it is…

8: Hand-lettered Wall Art

One of my favorite home decor pieces are hand-lettered canvases and this print from HouseOfBelongingLLC on Etsy stood out to me for hanging in our little guy’s room. I know his arrival will mean the greatest adventure yet for my husband and I and this print expresses exactly that. I love the rustic yet playful aesthetic that makes this print such a fabulous piece for a nursery.

Also seen in…

+ A fellow blogger, Lauren of Sobremesa Stories, features this SAME print in her rustic neutral nursery for her little one.
+ Another great print (that I seriously considered) from this same Etsy shop is featured in Nelle’s nursery from the blog Vintage Simply Love.

9: Glider Chair

During our most recent trip to Babies R Us we test-sat some gliders and rockers to try and narrow down the most comfortable and budget friendly. We practically loved everything we sat in, but the Kersey swivel glider chair and ottoman along with the Madison (not pictured) glider were amongst our top favorites and came in colors that go with our current furniture in the living room. A glider isn’t necessarily a must-have item, but knowing I’ll be nursing often made me want to invest in a comfortable chair where I suspect I’ll be spending plenty of time (not to mention my husband too for feedings).

10: Woodland Themed Accessories

Lastly, finding those final touches and accessories that give your nursery the perfect ending note was the most fun for me. These accessories are moreso for my enjoyment rather than serving a purpose for my little guy – but happy mom happy life, haha. Some accessories I fell in love with are the woodland pillows and this adorable woodland table lamp base from World Market.

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Here’s a few snapshots of the goodies I received from our storybook baby shower and a sneak peek into our makeshift nursery…aka our living room! I am so grateful for the wonderful stories we were gifted and I know Greyson will enjoy each and every one of these books.

Showing off the goodies from our storybook baby shower! I love how one party can generate an entire children’s library and memories that will last a lifetime. Here’s a sneak peek into our nursery and the goodies we’ve received.

These older children’s books were actually gifted from my mom to Greyson. They’re in a condition where I probably would only have them as ‘look but don’t touch’ in his nursery, but I just love having the children’s books she had when she was younger as a little piece of my mom here with us since we live so far away.

These older children’s books were actually gifted from my mom to Greyson. They’re in a condition where I probably would only have them as  ‘look but don’t touch’ in his nursery, but I just love having the children’s books she had when she was younger as a little piece of my mom here with us since we live so far away.

Has anyone heard of Lucy Darling? It’s such a cute shop and she makes beautiful baby items like monthly stickers, clothing dividers, and these lovely baby books! I ordered mine online, but I was happy to see the baby books stocked at The Paper Source. I love the colorful pages and I can’t wait to fill them out once he arrives. This will definitely be in my hospital bag so I can nab some cute footprints!

Has anyone heard of Lucy Darling? It’s such a cute shop and she makes beautiful baby items like monthly stickers, clothing dividers, and these lovely baby books! I ordered mine online, but I was happy to see the baby books stocked at The Paper Source. I love the colorful pages and I can’t wait to fill them out once he arrives. This will definitely be in my hospital bag so I can nab some cute footprints!

One request that I had from my storybook baby shower was that guests not only bring a children’s book with them to share with Greyson, but for them to write a little note to him inside. I loved reading through all the thoughtful words from family and these will last forever as keepsakes after he’s grown. Greyson is so loved and it’s great that he has these little reminders in his storybooks.

One request that I had from my storybook baby shower was that guests not only bring a children’s book with them to share with Greyson, but for them to write a little note to him inside. I loved reading through all the thoughtful words from family and these will last forever as keepsakes after he’s grown. Greyson is so loved and it’s great that he has these little reminders in his storybooks.

By far one of my favorite books we’ve gotten for baby Greyson is this story called The Little Boy Who Lost His Name. It is independently published by a company called Lost My Name and they create personalized storybooks for children and adapt them depending on if you have a boy or girl. All you do is fill in the name of your child, pick a character that most looks like them, and they generate animals and the plot based on the letters in your child’s name. Your child is the main character and goes on an epic adventure to find their missing name all the while meeting and helping various animals along the way. In return they give them a letter that will help them find their missing name. I absolutely cannot wait to read this to Greyson and to see his face (when he’s older, of course) when he realizes this is a book written just for him. The illustrations and colors are vivid, the story is adorable, and I’m just in love with the overall quality of this product.

By far one of my favorite books we’ve gotten for baby Greyson is this story called The Little Boy Who Lost His Name. It is independently published by a company called Lost My Name and they create personalized storybooks for children and adapt them depending on if you have a boy or girl. All you do is fill in the name of your child, pick a character that most looks like them, and they generate animals and the plot based on the letters in your child’s name. Your child is the main character and goes on an epic adventure to find their missing name all the while meeting and helping various animals along the way. In return they give them a letter that will help them find their missing name.

I absolutely cannot wait to read this to Greyson and to see his face (when he’s older, of course) when he realizes this is a book written just for him. The illustrations and colors are vivid, the story is adorable, and I’m just in love with the overall quality of this product.

Want 15% off your very own Lost My Name book? Use my referral link to get your copy or gift one to a friend or family member!

Personalizing a book is the perfect gift for your own child or for a dear friend or family member. I loved creating my son’s book and Lost My Name made it easy and affordable to create a keepsake that will last a lifetime!

Personalizing a book is the perfect gift for your own child or for a dear friend or family member. I loved creating my son’s book and Lost My Name made it easy and affordable to create a keepsake that will last a lifetime!

Personalizing a book is the perfect gift for your own child or for a dear friend or family member. I loved creating my son’s book and Lost My Name made it easy and affordable to create a keepsake that will last a lifetime!

Yay, you’ve made it to the bottom of this post! I promise it was worth it!

In celebration of Greyson’s arrival and all that goes in to making his first experiences at home comfortable, I am offering a $25 Etsy gift card so that you, whether your a new mom, mom-to-be, or just an Etsy lover, can fill your home with all the lovely things from these small business owners I’ve featured or your own favorite shops!

In celebration of Greyson’s arrival and all that goes in to making his first experiences at home comfortable, I am offering a $25 Etsy gift card so that you, whether your a new mom, mom-to-be, or just an Etsy lover, can fill your home with all the lovely things from these small business owners I’ve featured or your own favorite shops!

Giveaway runs from 1/25/16-2/1/16 12am PST

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Linking up with…

Hill Collection

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Bringing Up Bébé: Tiny Humans and Day Cares

Happy Sunday everyone and welcome back for week 3 in our book study of *Bringing Up Bébé by Pamela Druckerman! Over the course of the last two weeks we’ve been really jumping in with great conversation about the American vs French approach to parenting. I’ve been really enjoying this book and learning so much thus far and I hope you are too!

If you’re a first time visitor and are curious about this book study, be sure to check out all the details on the book study page. I’d love to have you join whether it’s just in the comments, writing up your own reflection post and linking up, or even snagging a guest spot! Oh, and don’t worry – this book is perfect for all women regardless of if you’re expecting, already have children, or have no children but are curious about parenting and learning new Jedi mind tricks.

*Amazon affiliate link

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tiny little humans

Being an educator and having spent a large portion of my early twenties studying child development and just how children learn, this latest chapter not only has me reminiscing about all those classes I took in the years past, but also has me changing my perspective from teacher to future parent. This chapter really digs into the core of French parenting in regards to how kids learn and who they are as growing individuals. Piaget is thrown in there along with Rousseau to give the reader a bit of a history/philosophy lesson on early child development and how that shapes not only French parenting, but the foundation of parenting as a whole.

I agree with Pamela’s assertion that the ‘American Question’ has always been: How can we speed these stages up? Piaget’s theory is based in that children should reach their milestones as they discover the world around them and that speeding up this process is neither possible nor desirable for the child.

“We Americans assign ourselves the job of pushing, stimulating, and carrying our kids from one developmental stage to the next. The better we are at parenting, we think, the faster our kids will develop” (pg. 82).

I constantly hear conversations amongst parents, friends of mine who are parents, and others discuss what fancy classes or prestigious preschools they’re enrolling their kids in – all in efforts to give them the edge above all the other kids, and not to mention the parents. I don’t personally believe that a child’s ability to reach a milestone is any indication of what good/bad of a parent you are – however I do understand this pressure parents put on themselves. I see it all the time.

Something that spoke to me was this French concept of a child “awakening” and “discovering” the world on their own and in their own timing. It occurred to me while I was reading that all of a sudden I feel validated in my teaching style and how that will translate to me as a parent. I’ve always had a firm, but gentle, approach to children and believing that we should offer them controlled choices. This is referred to as cadre, or a framework, in which children have very firm boundaries set by the adults, but are given the freedom of choice within those boundaries. It gives the child the feeling of being able to decide for themselves, but within the confines of adult-set boundaries or expectations. It’s amazing to see this described across the board both in French homes and child centers.

We, as adults, should offer our children controlled choices. This is referred to as cadre, or a framework, in which children have very firm boundaries set by the adults, but are given the freedom of choice within those boundaries. It gives the child the feeling of being able to decide for themselves, but within the confines of adult-set boundaries or expectations. It’s amazing to see this described across the board. Establish cadre in your own home with these easy-to-implement steps!

Download your FREE printable!

A major takeaway from this chapter for me was how the French envision children as these tiny little humans that are capable of understanding and learning, even fresh out of the shoot. I’m loving this idea of bringing baby home and introducing them to the home, talking to them and explaining the routines, introducing them to the family pets, etc.

Pamela describes an example of this ability to educate when her daughter was only about 10 months old. Her daughter had learned to pull herself up and soon begin pulling books off of a bookshelf. Pamela admits that she would just go behind her and clean up, whereas a French friend of hers one day interjects and kneels down beside her daughter and calmly explains that, “we don’t do that.” She then proceeds to show the young babe how to put the books back and tells her to leave them there. Pamela says the shocking part was that her daughter listened to her friend and actually obeyed her. It proved that even at 10 months old, her daughter was capable of understanding and learning a bit of self-control – something the French instill in their children very early on.

I certainly believe that babies are extremely observational, even rational, little people and should be treated as such.

Do/did you ever feel the pressure to keep up with The Jones’?

day care?

Did anyone else find themselves getting a bit jealous while reading this chapter about French day cares, or crèches? I personally loved the history lesson on how they were established, and even how the concept was brought over to America, to assist poor working-class mothers. Eventually, and like anything, these crèches evolved over time and now all kinds of variations of the centers are available.

The other thing that caught my attention, and inner educator, is the intense training all caregivers and auxiliaries de puériculture have to go through in order to even look after these little ones. First theres an entrance exam, out of about 500 applicants only about 30 will be selected to go to the training school. There, there’s extensive studies on reasoning, reading comprehension, math, and human biology. Those who pass and make it to the second round of training are given a psychological exam, an oral presentation, and interrogation by a panel of experts. THEN…those who pass that will go on to complete a year of coursework and internship, which of course is all set and determined by the French government. It doesn’t take much for anyone to realize that to work in a day care center in France is a career – a concept that is absent here in America.

I’ve truly enjoyed these last few chapters and I love how Pamela seamlessly connects one chapter to the next. I’ve got all kinds of ideas floating around in my mind about how I’d like to approach this whole parenting thing. It doesn’t seem as scary or unpredictable as it once did. I think reading through this book and having you all to talk it out with has really helped me get a handle on what to really expect!

Join us next week for chapters 7 & 8!
Also, there’s a guest post spot open for this week so if you’re interested please email me!

To Link Up:

  1. Link up your blog post relating to this book study (not a link to your blog) and chapters discussed
  2. I encourage you all to visit and leave meaningful comments to each of the ladies who are linking up
  3. Tweet or Instagram your posts and this book study with the hashtag #bebebookstudy so we can easily find each other!
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Top Picks: A Minimalist Baby Registry

Setting up a baby registry can be so overwhelming, especially for a new mom-to-be like me. Everyone has an opinion about what these “baby necessities” are, but yet every baby comes out the shoot with different needs and preferences. Want to load up on diapers? Guess what, you won’t know what size to buy until the little guy (or gal) arrives. Just because they are, in fact, a newborn doesn’t mean they’ll fit into those adorable little diapers. Oh, and don’t forget how sensitive their skin can be so don’t think that one brand fits all. Then it’s the debate over cloth diapers or disposable ones. Do us mothers get imaginary gold stars for making choices like these…about diapers? And what about wipes…

Living with a minimalist husband makes the task of acquiring baby stuff slightly more difficult. I must admit, though, that although I wouldn’t necessarily consider myself the minimalist he is, I am of the mindset that I don’t want my already small home to be overrun by baby stuff we don’t need. So here comes the discussion about what these basic necessities are and how you can have a baby without all the crap we think we need (or what everyone else tells us we need).

Not only are these decisions important (because everything you put on your newborn is, let’s face it, important), but living with a minimalist husband makes the task of acquiring this baby stuff slightly more difficult. I must admit, though, that although I wouldn’t necessarily consider myself the minimalist he is, I am of the mindset that I don’t want my already small home to be overrun by baby stuff we don’t need. So here comes the discussion about what these basic necessities are and how you can have a baby without all the crap we think we need (or what everyone else tells us we need).

Here are the top picks from my baby registry that I can’t wait to use with my little guy when he arrives.

Living with a minimalist husband makes the task of acquiring baby stuff slightly more difficult. I must admit, though, that although I wouldn’t necessarily consider myself the minimalist he is, I am of the mindset that I don’t want my already small home to be overrun by baby stuff we don’t need. So here comes the discussion about what these basic necessities are and how you can have a baby without all the crap we think we need (or what everyone else tells us we need).

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1: Baby List Registry

Everyone needs to start somewhere and I have found Baby List to be the perfect way to combine all the registries you would have to create at individual retailers all in one spot. Think of it kind of like the Pinterest for baby registries. You can pull items from across the internet (including Etsy!) and it compiles them in one place, which makes it easy for your friends and family to pick the items you really want. My husband and I live away from family so online ordering is key and Baby List makes it easy for others to shop for us with the convenience of shipping it right to our doorstep.

Another great feature is when you add an item to your list it automatically includes listings for other retailers that may have that same item for cheaper. So, it takes the work out of finding the best deal! Don’t know what to include on your registry? Baby List has you covered. They recommend all different kinds of sample registries for you to look through to get an idea of what you may want. Do you want everything under the sun? A minimalist (like us)? Baby List compiles their essentials based on your responses in a little survey to get you started. Already know what you want? You have the freedom to create your registry just the way you want it.

Need to see an example? Take a peek for yourself at our registry.

2: 4Moms *Rocka Roo Plush (NB-6 mo)

If you haven’t already heard of the glory that is anything practically made by 4Moms then you’re missing out. I pretty much want to register for everything they make and it comes down to the simplicity of their products and the fact that they can have multiple uses. This magical device is a baby swing that offers various ways in which to soothe your little one, 5 speeds, the ability to hook up to your iPhone for controls and music, and the padding is machine washable.

3: Owlet Infant Heart Rate & Oxygen Monitor

When it comes to safety I tend to have the spare no expense mentality – especially about my baby. Just watching one testimonial didn’t strike fear where there wasn’t already, however it did make me aware that literally anything could happen in the middle of the night. SIDS, rolling over, choking, etc. and the last thing I need is to put my baby to sleep and wake up to something very tragic simply because I didn’t know my baby needed help.

Owlet is a heart rate and oxygen monitor that incorporates hospital-grade technology into a small Smart Sock that your baby wears while they sleep. A base station is kept right on your bedside table and will alert you if your baby’s heart or oxygen rate dips below normal – that way you can intervene before tragedy strikes. This monitor is equipped to be compatible with Apple products such as your iPhone for remote monitoring (really enjoy that date night!) and even offers different sized Smart Socks so that the monitor can adjust with your baby’s growth.

4: *4Moms Infant Bathtub (NB-8 mo)

Another great product from 4Moms (I’m serious about loving absolutely everything they make) is this *infant bathtub. It works both in a kitchen sink or on the counter and is made to use with running water so your baby always bathes in fresh water while the tub circulates the soiled water out through small drains. There’s a temperature gauge to ensure the perfect water temps and this is a tub that you can use (recommended) for newborns up to 8 months or when your baby can sit up on their own. This is $50 well spent and I can’t wait to start using it!

5: Orbit Infant Travel System

I am all about starter kits that are innovative and, again, have multiple purposes. I don’t mind splurging a little for items that are safe, durable, and will make transporting my little guy simpler. This starter kit by Orbit is one of my favorite car seat/stroller combinations on the market. It’s called orbit due to the circular base it fits into and the ability to twist 360 degrees and lock your carseat into the base in your car or to the base in the stroller. 2-in-1! I am very much looking forward to not fumbling around with getting the carseat in and out of the car or even having to take my son in and out of a carseat just to put him in a stroller.

6: NestCam

Have you guys heard of Nest? They offer all different products ranging from smart thermostats and smoke/carbon monoxide detectors, but the one product I’m in love with is their *NestCam. Now, I understand it’s moreso an all-use video camera intended on 24/7 surveillance of your home or whatever room you place it in – but it will work perfectly as a baby monitor, too. It has night vision, an easy to use app for your convenience while you’re away, and notifies you via your phone of anything that seems out of the norm. Plus, it even has a feature where you can talk or listen through your *NestCam. How cool is that?! I also like the fact that even after my babe is all grown up and doesn’t need a monitor anymore, I can use it for the home. Win, win!

7: Diaper Bag

A diaper bag should be an item on anyones registry (some would even recommend two – one for mom and one for dad). I’m convinced (and maybe a little naive) that we can get by on one awesome bag and a portable changing mat. Pottery Barn offers diaper bags that are reliable and spacious (and who doesn’t like to have things monogrammed?). Since a diaper bag will soon replace my need for a purse, it’s important for me to have a bag that will allow me to keep my things as well as the baby’s all in one, easy to locate, place. Plus, it’s a bag that my husband can carry and not feel like it’s for a woman.

8: Gift Cards

I swear by gift cards and narrowing down the specific stores I shop at help those perusing my registry that much more. I’m never worried about receiving items I don’t want or clothes that look tacky or just something I’d never dress our son in. I personally could just dump the entire Carter’s store into my home and be very content. Going back to my diaper dilemma, having gift cards will allow you to make the purchases you may have to wait on until your baby comes home. This includes diapers, wipes, and clothing. Not to mention, gift cards are great because you have the choice in what you spend the money on. The needs of your baby may be different from the assumptions (or recommendations) others can make about what you might need and a gift card is always an acceptable gift.

9: Lost My Name Customizable Children’s Book

Okay, is this necessarily a must have registry item, probably not. However how adorable is this concept? And who doesn’t like customizing anything? I love the idea of customizing children’s books so that your little one has a book published just for them. Lost My Name follows the story of a little boy (or girl) who goes on an adventure to find their lost name. Over the course of the book they find one letter at a time and by the end of the story they have found their name! It makes for a great gift or a personalized touch for any nursery.

Want 15% off your own Lost My Name book? Use my referral link and after three people purchase or gift their own books, Greyson will receive their newest story: The Amazing Alphabet That Appeared In The Night!

Using common sense, these are just a few of the items that I’m most looking forward to using, but every family is different. Our circumstance is that we live in a one bedroom apartment and so we have to be smart about the space we use and the things we occupy that space with. Baby Greyson doesn’t have his own nursery yet, so making smart choices about what things he will need is an important decision. Besides, we aren’t made of money either so budgeting for baby is as equally important. We are taking the minimalist approach to baby stuff, but in the end that’s what works for our family.

Disclaimer: Amazon affiliate links are used throughout this post and are highlighted with an ‘*’ before the link. Any other referral or affiliate links will be noted as such.

Have you purchased any of these products? Anything you absolutely rave about?
Or what are your top picks for a new mom?

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