Felix at Three Months

Posted by Carly Morgan

Poor little Bug Bug. His older siblings were on the blog non-stop during the first few months of their lives but Felix has gotten a little drowned out by all of the activities and outings and crafts we’ve been doing. It’s because he’s just quiet and gives me no trouble. He’s such a good little baby that sometimes I set him down and honestly forget about him for a while! I know, I know, sad third kid syndrome.

I do photograph the little bean all the time but usually it’s just fifty or so iPhone photos a day. Today I pulled the big camera out and really focused on him. Oh, that face! His smile is everything. Nobody has ever been so cute.

Things I don’t want to forget about Felix:

/// I swear he can say, “hi!” He tries so hard to talk when we talk to him and he can usually get a couple of “hi” sounds out before he gets too excited and just starts sticking his tongue out and waving his arms.

/// He lights up with a smile whenever he sees me or Kyle. Or Eva. Or Calvin. Or my mother. OK, whenever he sees another human he lights up with a smile.

/// The little teddy bear suit that was so big on him in the beginning is starting to get downright tight. I think he likes it because he sleeps so well when we let him nap as a bear! I love to cuddle him in it and feel the stubby little tail under my hand.

/// He tries so hard to grab the animals on his crib mobile as it goes around and I swear he’s getting closer every day. Pretty soon that zebra is going down.

/// He’s got  big old completely bald spot on the back of his head surrounded by dark hair. He also usually has a scratch or two on his nose because it took me a little too long to get to him for his morning feed.

/// He’s got stinky little boy feet whenever he’s been out in his plaid snow boots.

/// He’s amazed by blowing raspberries. I can stop any fit just by blowing a few raspberries.

/// He’s almost rolling over. So close. And I swear there are teeth right there below the surface. It’s going so fast!

Nursery Theme Inspired by Disney’s Moana

Posted by Carly Morgan

I think I’m going to quit my day job and just start designing Disney-inspired nurseries for a living. Think the kids will be ok if I give them my two weeks notice along with the grapes I carefully cut in half?

Moana is out-ish but we’re holding out for the DVD combo pack and haven’t seen it yet. So, in the meantime, I’ll just have to content myself with looking up Moana-ness on Etsy. Fair warning: if you don’t want the soundtrack to be stuck in your head for the next two weeks, you should just stop right here.

Oh, too late. I am Moaaanaaaaaa…

Affiliate Links: How Far I’ll Go – printable wall art /// Moana and Maui Peg Dolls /// The Nautical Quilt /// Vintage Pair Ceramic Conch Shell Table Lamps /// Rag Rug – coastal, ocean, beach vibe /// Dipped White Sea Grass Belly Basket /// Maui’s Tattoos framed art print

Using the Bloomlife Smart Pregnancy Tracker to Track Contractions

Posted by Carly Morgan

Disclaimer: I received this service for free in exchange for an honest review. The thoughts below are my own. 

I can’t believe that Felix is three months old and here we are only about a week and a half from him being four months old. What?? I feel like I found out that we were having a third baby about ten minutes ago…

You might remember that I have a history of rough pregnancies. For this reason, I positively jumped on the Bloomlife smart pregnancy tracker when I heard about it. It’s a contraction monitor that you wear on your stomach and it tracks the strength and length of your contractions and graphs them out on a smartphone app for you. I reached out to see if they would let me try it out and then spent the rest of my third trimester pretty obsessed with my uterus.

Wearable contraction monitor

Wearing the Bloomlife smart pregnancy tracker

Tracking contractions with the Bloomlife pregnancy tracker

In all honesty, I was only about 60% sure that the monitor would work because (1) nobody had anything like it on the market except the people making hospital equipment and (2) I’m not thin even when I’m not pregnant so I thought the little tracker might not be able to find my contractions. To be fair, when I’m pregnant I’m pretty much all pregnant belly but I was still happily surprised when it picked up contractions as soon as I had them and even picked up some smaller ones I didn’t know I was having.

I only wore it for about twenty minutes at a time most of the time but the kit that comes with the little tracking device included a stack of stickers and the stickers were reusable for about five times so I didn’t worry about running out. The service works like a subscription and you pay by the month and then return it so it’s not as expensive as it would be if every pregnant woman needed to buy their own tracker.

Bloomlife sticker and wearable contraction monitor

Using the Bloomlife contraction monitor during the third trimester

The one thing I will say is that I had crazy contractions starting from about week 30 and by the time I got to week 35 they were so constant that it wasn’t even worth using the Bloomlife monitor because it just lit up as one big contraction whenever I had it on. (Felix was born at 37 weeks.) I don’t think that would be a problem for most women because that irritable uterus thing isn’t that common and I had a cerclage that kept labor from progressing even with all of those contractions BUT that’s something to keep in mind if you have those issues because you might want to start the service a little earlier than other moms.

Contractions tracked on the smartphone app

If you’re on the fence about signing up to use the Bloomlife smart pregnancy tracker, I would say that if you feel a lot of anxiety about recognizing the signs and being in charge of knowing exactly what’s going on, the app makes it a lot easier. Personally I think there’s so much pressure on moms to understand their own body and be able to tell if something is “normal” even if they’ve never been pregnant before. The app lets the mom (and her partner/family/doctor) see the stats graphed in the app in a way that makes them easy to read and understand so you feel more informed.

I talked more about my experience with the tracker during my third trimester in my review video:

To learn more about the Bloomlife pregnacy tracker, you can visit their website or find them on Facebook and Instagram.

Reducing pregnancy anxiety with the smart contraction monitor

Angelcare: The Baby Monitor We Used for All Three Kids

Posted by Carly Morgan

Disclaimer: I received a baby monitor from Angelcare for free to facilitate this post. The stories and opinions below are my own. 

I can’t believe it, but we’re nine weeks into having Felix home! He’s getting so big and everyone has settled into a nice routine and we’re all starting to feel normal again. I’m always very anxious with a newborn in the house because I feel like you need to watch them all the time to make sure everything is OK, which is unfortunate since that’s the time of the least sleep you will ever get in your life. It’s really nice to be surfing away from those first weeks and on to the chubby baby months.

We made a poor decision this time around that didn’t help my anxiety in the beginning. When I was pregnant with Eva, we were gifted an Angelcare baby monitor that used a motion sensor to detect whether or not there was any movement (read: breathing) while the baby was in the crib. We used that monitor through both of the first two kids’ infancies before moving to a different monitor that had a video screen so we could see them after they were old enough to share a room (and pillow fight at 3AM). With baby Felix on the way, I decided we should get a new baby monitor and we ended up picking out a different brand we hadn’t used before.

Not a great idea.

It didn’t work or, rather, we couldn’t figure out how it was supposed to work and we didn’t know we couldn’t figure it out until we were ready to go to bed on the first night that he was home. We were bleary, worn out from staying in the hospital, desperate to try to get at least an hour’s worth of sleep, and we were fighting with this thing that was supposed to give us peace of mind. When we finally (sort of?) figured it out, I still couldn’t relax because I wanted to constantly get up to check if he was still breathing. What is that? I don’t know any parent who hasn’t done the are-you-breathing sleep check at least once and most of the moms I know still do it on a regular basis, even if their kids are old enough to be out of elementary school. There must be some sort of universal biological on switch for monitoring respiration.

We finally decided we were either going to need to get another Angelcare monitor or I was never going to sleep again, so I reached out to the company and they sent me the Angelcare AC1300 which is the fancier version of the one we used to have. We had installed in a few minutes and nine weeks later I think I’m finally catching up on my sleep, even with the night feedings!

The basic idea for this monitor is that an alarm sounds if no motion is detected for 20 seconds. The one trick is that you have to get used to turning the monitor off before you pick up the baby because it will start beeping loudly at you 20 seconds after you forget, but I’m always reassured that at least it is definitely working. It’s also a sound monitor (so you can hear baby cry if you’re in another room) and, unlike the older version we had, this one is a video monitor with a photo sensor so the video still works in the night. It also displays the temperature in baby’s room, has a built in night light option, and has an optional “tic” sound to tell you that it’s working when the alarm isn’t going off.

There are some other little features that we didn’t have before, like a parent unit locator (to find the video screen you carry around with you) and sound lights so you can see baby crying even if you’ve turned the monitor sound off. We’ve used that one because the baby sleeps with white noise and it can be annoying to walk around with that playing in my pocket. There’s also a digital zoom so you can get a better (non-grainy) look at baby. We haven’t used that last one too much because he’s pretty immobile still but I remember life with older babies and I’m sure we’ll be using that one all the time.

They’ve also made some changes to the cord, which I’m sure makes it safer but also made it a little harder to place in our nursery. I should mention that I was worried when I read the instructions because the camera unit is supposed to be at least three feet away from the crib but in our micro-nursery I wasn’t sure anything was three feet away from the crib. As it turned out, the best place for the unit to be was on the back of the door in the organizer we bought and that is just about three and a half feet away from the crib. Yay!

If anything, I’m glad we didn’t have more space to cover because I feel like the cord is a little short for a unit that needs to be three feet away, especially with all of the safety features that are now on it. Instead of being a regular cord, the cord now has these safety strips on it so you can keep it flat against the crib/ground. It’s probably much harder for little hands to grab at it now because of that so even though I had to fight with it a little to get it to be where I wanted it to be, it’s totally worth it. It’s also worth mentioning that Angelcare is coming out with a new wireless monitor this month that will render this hang up moot.

That blue rectangle on the end is a sticker that was supposed to be stuck to the bottom foot of the crib, by the way, but since we use a minicrib on wheels I didn’t bother with sticking it to anything. For some reason, I had concerns that the monitor wouldn’t work as well with a mini crib but if anything I feel even safer than I did before because the motion sensor takes up so much more real estate in this crib than it would have in the old one I used for the other two kids. I got it as close to center as I could while still reaching with all the cords and it’s worked perfectly so far.

As for the little prince, there was absolutely no notice that we had added anything to the crib even with the slightly thinner mini crib mattress. He’s just happy in there and when he falls asleep I’m happy because I can sleep or shower or cook or hang out with the other kids, etc., and not feel tethered to his side all the time. (Okay, not too tethered. I mean, look at those cheeks. You can’t escape those cheeks. Those cheeks need kisses 24 hours a day.)

To keep up with Angelcare and learn more about that new wireless baby monitor, you can follow them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest.

Using the Hatch Baby Smart Changing Pad to Track Growth

Posted by Carly Morgan

Disclaimer: We received this changing pad from Hatch Baby for free in exchange for an honest review. The opinions below are my own.

Hatch Baby Changing Pad

One of the big upgrades we made when we were preparing for baby number three was to switch out our old standard changing pad for The Smart Changing Pad from Hatch Baby. This smart pad has an internal scale so you can check your baby’s weight at home and pairs with the Hatch Baby app to track weight, feedings, diapers, etc. Both of our other kids had huge struggles with weight that ultimately led to the decision to switch them full-time to formula much earlier than I had wanted to so I wanted to make sure we were doing everything we could to keep track of how much this little guy was growing.

I was a little intimated by all of the bells and whistles that I saw online and wasn’t sure I’d use all of the fancy functions but it was surprisingly easy to use and set up. When you want to track your baby, you just tap on the screen to wake it up and it gives you options.

Hatch Baby

Tracking with Smart Changing Pad

We mostly use the weight function, which is very fast. You simply let the pad zero itself out while you hold the baby and then set the baby down. The reading is done in a few seconds and then it’s automatically synced to the app over your Wi-Fi so all of that data is waiting in your phone when you’re ready. This was especially helpful in the first few weeks when we weren’t sure how much he was eating if I nursed him. We could weigh him, feed, and then weigh him again to track the difference and since we were doing that over and over again you could see patterns in how much he ate each time.

I wasn’t sure if it was going to be too “medical” since it is a little baby scale on top of everything else and I wondered about switching out the pad, etc. As it turned out, I like this as a changing pad more even without the bells and whistles because it’s cushioned but firm where our other one was foam and not very sturdy. Having the little pad just pull away (it’s attached by velcro) is awesome because I can grab it easily with one hand when it gets really mucky instead of fighting elastic over four corners. I’d love to say I haven’t had to fight a really mucky pad too many times, but alas we’ve got someone with a pretty happy digestive system and sometimes things get out of control. The pad is machine washable (thank heavens!) and then I just hang it over our shower rod to dry.

The pad is totally secure once you velcro it on and the edges are raised to discourage baby from rolling off but we still use the safety strap. We’re using the same dresser as a changing table that we used for Eva and Calvin and after two kids I am very familiar with close calls. Felix is only wriggly right now and not in major danger of suddenly turning over but (A) when he does it would be classic Morgan style to do it for the first time on a changing pad on a high dresser and (B) I want him to get used to the safety strap being part of the changing process so he doesn’t fight it later.

Safety Strap on Smart Changing Pad

Baby on Hatch Changing Pad

The last thing I was worried about before I got it was how it was going to fit into the room. Felix sleeps in our room but there isn’t enough space for a changing table in there so his changing station is in the kids’ bedroom. There’s a limited amount of space in there, particularly when you’re talking about needing an electrical outlet, and I was afraid that we’d have to invest in a different piece of furniture if the old dresser was too narrow. As it is, the changing pad is lightweight, wireless, and fits perfectly. It’s so light that I’ve actually grabbed it and taken it to the bathroom to put him right on it after the bath to make changing him into his pajamas a little easier. Note: there’s no storage or anything built into this changing pad but I put a little basket nearby that holds everything we need.

Smart Changing Pad in Nursery

The good news is that the little guy is cruising with his weight. There was a difference between the weight readout we got from the changing pad and the one we got from the pediatrician but it was still great news and he’s solidly growing and well-fed and on his way to being my little chunk monkey. As a mom who has done the bony baby thing twice with two preemies, I am very excited to see the beginnings of thigh rolls.

Speaking of which, I just have to say – I was desperate to get him out at the end of my pregnancy even though I wasn’t to term because after my other babies came early and were fine it felt like it wasn’t that big of a deal and I just wanted him in my arms already. However, now that we’re two months in I can tell you that the last few weeks of baking really make a huge difference! There are all sorts of little things about him that add up to this all being a much better experience, like his sleep habits and how easy he is to soothe and how hard it is to feed him. Kyle and I have both said many times that if he had been our first we would have seriously considered making room for about ten more because he’s so delightful!

Some of that might just be the experienced parent thing, though. Between all this smart baby tech and the fact that we actually know what we’re doing by now, I am getting a whole lot more sleep. Hooray for actually enjoying the first year!

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