Some Useful Tips For New Parents

One of the Physician’s Assistants I work with is currently pregnant, and I’m totally living vicariously through her. I love being pregnant! This is also her first pregnancy, so shes been asking me a lot of questions about raising babies and whatnot. There is so much information to impart but I can’t think of all of them in one sitting. Usually, it randomly comes to me when I think about my own baby boy. So I decided to make a list of some tips we felt to be quite useful for first time parents.

Below, are a few things I could think of on the fly that could help you if you’re also a new parent, or going to be. Feel free to drop any tips you have, as a veteran parent, in the comments!

#1 – Don’t buy name brand diapers or wipes

With my first child, I was all about Pampers, and hated Luvs with a burning passion. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the luxury of Walmart or Target in Germany (although they did have some equivalents) to purchase generic-brand diapers, and even if I did, one can only wonder if I would’ve used them… And it’s such a shame, because I’ve come to find that generic diapers/wipes seem to be of equal or better quality than name brand. However, the overall best thing about generic is the price, because babies are definitely not cheap!

#2 – The “butt spatula” or any other spatula is pretty nifty

No, I did not make this up, but I wish I had thought of this. The butt spatula is literally what it sounds like – it’s a spatula to spread diaper cream on your baby’s bum. Now, I know it seems like a trivial thing to have, but honestly? It spreads on that cream evenly and way better than my finger can, but that’s not the BEST thing about it. The best thing about the butt spatula is that you don’t get cream under you fingernails (gross!). We were given a butt spatula at our baby shower, but a small spatula from the kitchen section at a department store works just as well. Who cares if you get odd looks in the restroom when you whip out one of these bad boys? At least you won’t find diaper cream under your nails!

#3 – Boogie wipes are also pretty nifty

When I was first given these, I thought this was dumb because it’s basically a wipe saturated with saline, but boy was I wrong. I’m a crazy mother when it comes to my kids faces and needing to keep them clean. Rubbing wipes all over their face may suffice, but the Boogie wipes are probably better for their faces. As an added bonus, these wipes are awesome to have if you’ve got a cold, allergies, or you nose is just runny. This doesn’t make your nose raw and irritated.

#4 – Pack-n-Plays are actually good cribs/bassinets

With my first child, I was cutting it real close in terms of making sure I’ve got all the necessary hardware to bring him home. I was frantically searching for a decent crib, but couldn’t find a mattress to save my life. One of my co-workers suggested that I should buy a Pack-n-Play just for the time being. The Pack-n-Play idea worked out so well that I ended up not bothering with the crib and raised my first born in it. Also, Pack-n-Plays now have attachments for a changing table, so you’ve got everything in one without having to buy more!

#5 – Despite being incredibly disgusting, Nose Frieda is the bees knees

Seriously, gone are the days of the nose bulbs. I love my Nose Frieda, even though my son doesn’t! It initially sounded disgusting because it’s typically explained as a tube that you suck your child’s boogers out. Not sure why I didn’t think they would have a stoppage system to prevent parents from sucking up their kids boogers, but it’s there. Sucking up your child’s boogers is still pretty gross but extremely satisfying. Especially when they’re no longer congested, and they do a way better job than the regular bulbs.

#6 – Invest in a baby food blender… Or just a blender

We bought the Magic Bullet baby blender with the intentions of making our own baby food, but it didn’t end up that way. I prepped and froze some food that I made for him once, and that’s about it… But, these are not useless in regards to raising your baby. Our son is still on breast milk/formula and we do feed him Earth’s Best and Beech Nut baby foods, but it is pretty nice to be able to blend up some parts of our dinner so he can start eating our food.

#7 – Baby clothes is expensive! Save your money by going to second-hand stores

I get caught up at Target in the baby section because of the baby clothes. They’re so cute and seemingly cheap, but those things can rack up quite a total if you’re not careful! Fortunately for us, we were given a good amount of baby clothes at our baby showers (one at work and one from family) that we didn’t have to worry and needing to buy more clothes for him. Also, we knew some families that also had baby boys and were willing to give us their kids clothes that didn’t fit anymore. So that, too, brought down the need for us to buy baby clothes, while also increasing the supply we had.

Also, baby’s can literally blow through outfits. There have been a couple times where our son leaked out of his diaper during long road trips that it was better to just throw away his onesie rather than keep it to wash later.

#8 – Pee Pee TeePees are more of a novelty item than anything

My mom bought us a Pee Per TeePee from Buy Buy Baby, or something similar to it. It looked more like a sports cup than a little cylindrical piece you put on your little guy’s privates to prevent an accidental spray. The idea and concept behind it has good intentions, but honestly, a baby wipe does just as good of a job, if not better. It also limits the amount if items you need to fish out of your diaper bag to change your little man.

#9 – Glass bottles are better than plastic bottles

I’m sure that glass bottles have always been a thing, but I don’t remember seeing a lot of them when I raised my first born. There are a couple of obvious benefits to having glass bottles, one of them being that it makes cleaning pretty simple. What I’ve noticed about plastic bottles is that the smell of rotten milk likes to sticks around, and it’s a process to get rid of it. With glass bottles, you don’t have to worry about that. Also, it makes warming up a breeze! Trust me.

The only down side to them is how fragile they are. Our baby boy has smacked bottles out of my hands during feeding, which makes us down on bottle.

I’m sure there are more tips we can think of, and we’ll be sure to post them when we think of them! Do you have any tips for new parents? Let me know by dropping a comment below!

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8 things to do (at home) to save money

I’m in the military and I have the luxury of having 9-to-5 work hours (its more like 0730 to 1630), plus my weekends off… Currently, my husband does not, which is a total buzz-kill for my weekends. BUT, I’m not complaining about that, since we’re living in a dual-income household; single-income really sucks, even though the bread-winner is in the military. Side-note: we’re REALLY hoping he’ll be able to transition from reserve to active duty next year, and then our would be looking better financially.

Anyway, since husband is making that dough mostly on the weekends/my time off, I usually stay at home. In part, because we have two young children, and it becomes a nuisance to corral & pack up the kiddos to do anything outside of the house. And since I’m staying at home, I’m technically saving money… So long as I don’t wind up browsing through Amazon. The only problem with that is, I get bored very easily.

So, how do I save money, and resist the urge to online shop? Well, here’s a list of things I could do around the house. I’m sure there will be lots of changes along the way, but that’s great!! It means I’m saving some serious moolah!

#1 – Clean the house – I’m pretty sure you knew this one was coming, or that it would be on my list somewhere. There is literally always something to clean around this house, considering we are a 4-person household with two little boys. Cleaning primarily means laundry and dishes… Either way, you know what I mean by cleaning the house!

#2 – Declutter – This is an attempt at living the minimalist lifestyle. Its ridiculous how much crap we accrue each year, and how much of that crap we basically abandon and forget about. As a bonus, you can actually make money by selling some of your unwanted items on local yard-sale or marketplaces on FaceBook. Craigslist is also an option, but I’d rather not risk my own safety. If you don’t have the patience to sell you purged items, you can also donateGiveBackBox.com can help you get rid of those unwanted boxes you have laying around your house from your online shopping, and the best part about it is that it’s FREE.

#3 – Meal prep – To me, meal prep means looking up new recipes on Pinterest (lol). We typically don’t lunch prep, since we’re all pretty okay with just eating PB&J’s with some snacks, like string cheese, seaweed snacks, Goldfishes, etc, etc. On occasion, we’ll eat left-overs, if we have any. We also don’t normally require actual meal prepping since we buy most of our main food staples at Costco; we keep things like frozen chicken breast, frozen various frozen veggies, and some canned foods, in stock all the time in our house. I’ll make a post about our Costco shopping trips later on…

#4 – Make baby food – I suppose you could categorize this under meal prepping too, but I’m still breastfeeding, so pumping pretty much makes up this category. We invested in a Magic Baby Bullet (About $60 from Target) when baby was about 4-months and, so far, have spent a total of $2 on frozen peas and carrots. The $2 has made about 12 little containers of baby food. I’d say this was a very good investment we’ve made thus far.

#5 – BLOG – LITERALLY… This keeps me from spending!! I suppose this could also wind up making me some money in the future, but that’s only if I actually keep up with it. I’ve attempted to create and maintain blogs in the past, but it seems that trying to make money from a blog is just not in the cards for me… I’ve also lost probably a couple $100 in trying to make blogging a thing for me. I think I just need to be real with myself and realize that I’m probably not going to stick with it… but if I do, might as well invest in that domain name!! Perhaps I’ll just wait until I actually make my 100th post before I invest in a domain name. Seems like a good reward for keep up, I guess.

#6 – Maintaining my Perfectly Posh business – Yep, I’m an independent consultant… Or something. Honestly, I’m more of an avid Perfectly Posh user that reaps the benefits of being a consultant. BUT, sometimes I do somehow manage to make some money from myself and working it as a consultant. If I pushed myself a little harder in making sales and reaching out to new potential customers, I could be making more “play money”. Again, this would probably make for a good post in the future… maybe that 100th post will come by a lot quicker than I thought!

#7 – Study – To make it a bit clearer of who I am and where I stand in society, I’m in the US Air Force. I’m a Staff Sergeant (SSgt, or E-5) with about 10 years of total military service… I put on SSgt just before my 4-year mark, and if I studied and played my cards right, I could’ve made the next rank at my 6- or 7-year mark… I just didn’t study. Promotion testing time for me is around February/March of next year, so I definitely have the time to study – despite having two younger kids at home to manage. Again, another great way for me to get more money LOL… ALSO, studying would also mean taking college classes. One of my goals in life is to become a medical primary caregiver, and the military has a program called the Inter-service Physician’s Assistance Program (IPAP). I just need to hurry up and take classes so I can finally submit a package…

# 8 – Exercise – I’m kind of laughing at myself as I type my reasoning… My husband bought me a rower for Christmas, since I like to row at the gym. So now, I really don’t have much of an excuse to not work-out. I could also walk the dogs and kids around the block to do something active in my life.

Those are all my great ideas to do at home to save money. I’m sure I can think of more later. What are some things your do at home to save money? I’d like to know!!