Baby Preparations

Posted on the 18 January 2014 by Dr. Kathleen Hughes @kathmhughes
I've finally made it to 12 weeks in my pregnancy. .As I start to gain control of my intense pregnancy mood swings and symptoms, I realized, "I could have a baby in 6 months!?" There's so much to do. We just bought a house last Sunday, and it looks like we will be moving in 3 months. And starting in late summer, if all goes well, I'll be a suburban stay-at-home mom for a year.
That's definitely different than my life so far. I just spent 11 years as a univeristy student, part-time professor, and traveling researcher. I'm used to the professional working life. However, my field of study is child development, and I've always been kid-crazy... I just might have more book knowledge about kids than actual hands-on skills at this point.
I'm an overachiever, overanalyzer, and overpreparer. So I'm trying to plan everything already. After living like a student for so long, I'm used to a shoestring budget. When I started researching baby supplies, furniture, gear, and clothes, I was pretty appalled at how expensive it can be. The baby industry is making a sweet dime from someone.
While I know that I'll have to pay big bucks for childcare after my maternity leave, I don't think I need to shell out hundreds of dollars for the posh and hipster babygear that is being pushed everywhere. There is so much on the market that kids don't actually need, but parents are convinced they do. It's hard to navigate what are the essentials (like diapers, a car seat, and receiving blankets) and what are the optionals (like $90 star-shaped alarm clocks that sing music and tells you the temperature). So I'm determined to try to "stick to basics" and not fall into the commericalization of childrearing (even though childhood is likely the most commericalized aspect of our society).
Baby Preparations
But there's still lots of "stuff" that I'll need, or want. And admittedly, I have a huge nesting instinct. Already, I am planning and designing the nursery in my head. I already have a theme picked out. I want to paint the walls blue, and have a theme of a night sky with stars, moons, clouds, and raindrops for the crib, blankets, mobile, etc. On one wall, I want to have a day sky, with a raindow, multi-colored kites, and hot air balloons. Maybe some little toy planes as well.
I think it would be adorable, but likely crazily expensive. And my ideas are so specific that it might be hard to find exact items, even online. So that's when I decided that I'm going to make as much as I can myself. My approach will be to design my own crafts, and use really "back to basics" supplies and techniques that will be cost effective.
I know it's doable. I did something similar for my wedding, it was DIY with seashells centerpieces I collected at the Melmerby Beach in NS, a bouquet I designed from yarn pompoms and dollar store supplies, e-invites, paper programs, and a seating chart I designed in Microsoft Publisher, a gazebo my Dad built the morning of, a $100 dress and $10 shoes, and a cake made by my sister's friend, photography done by my close friend, a music playlist I made and played on my mp3 player by my neighbor. My sister did my makeup, my mom did my hair, and I wrote and designed the entire interfaith ceremony word-for-word.
Baby Preparations
Baby Preparations
Baby Preparations
For the baby, I'm sure my mom would be happy to knit or crochet something if I gave her ideas. I'm pretty handy at other needlepoint like cross stitch and plastic canvas. I've also sewed a few pillows (and dresses) by hand, so I think I could make a few stuffed animals and teddy bears. I'd love to make a mobile with plush clouds, and I could use a plastic canvas base to give them structure, and then maybe some beaded components and some plush stars dangling down. I also saw some great patterns for cross-stitchd crib sheets, and even alphabet wall-hangings for the nursery. Plus plastic canvas can be used for lots, like from supply organizers to small boxes.
There's a great bead store in town and while I don't need any custom jewelry, I'd love to make a dreamcatcher/suncatcher for the window. And there's a fantastic paint-your-own-ceramics shop, I could likely find a few ideas for lamps or piggy banks.
Before my 11 years of univeristy, I was a pretty crafty kid. My first favorite book was "Make and Do" a Childcraft enclyclopedia of crafts. I would love to teach my love of crafts to my kid, it offers something that electronic toys and gizmos simply cannot. One of the things I loved to do the most was paper mache. It's so versatile, you can make almost anything from just flour, water, and paper. Add in some balloons, and it would be a great way to make actual 3D hot air balloons as decor for the nursery.
Also, my husband is an origami genius. He's made a few geometric globes with origami that are simply astonishing. I'm sure he could make some toy planes or kites or other dangling decorations for the nursery as well.
So that's the plan. And this blog will be here to showcase what we try, what works, and maybe even what flops. I'll post any patterns I design and my recommendations for materials. I'll try to keep it simple and as housemade as possible. No artkits from posh craft stores for big money, and no $90 star-shaped clocks (if anything, a $5 clock inside a paper mache or plastic canvas star).
I'm sure I'll also write about a few other things here and there, like any renovations we do to the new house, and other pregnancy and baby supply topics, like finding second hand baby supplies, and prepping for baby in general.
Stay tuned!

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