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Top Five Must-Haves to Welcome Baby

Our very own Beverly Mills, Head of Infant Merchandise, is here to share her expertise on what’s best in the world of baby necessities.

Bringing new baby home is such an exciting experience and you want to be sure you have everything you need. That’s why we’re here to help.  There are so many things for Baby out there, but we’ve narrowed down the top must-haves for preparing for their arrival.

You can find all these things and more in our week of very special events that’ll help you say “Welcome Baby" with complete peace of mind.

Car Seats

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You can’t leave the hospital without a car seat and you want to pick one that’s sturdy and comfortable. We especially love this one from the Italian brand  Peg Pérego because it meets and exceeds the most stringent side-impact protection test in the world.

Bodysuits

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As anyone who knows a newborn can tell you, babies go through a lot of bodysuits. We recommend having as many as possible so you don’t have to do the laundry every day. This one by Initial Request is just too cute and we love that it can be personalized. After you’ve spent so much time picking out a name, you want to be sure everyone knows what it is!

Layette Sets

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When you don’t have time to match outfits, layette sets are always there to save the day. This pick by Petunia Pickle Bottom is made out of the softest organic cotton and we think it’ll be adorable in pictures.

Blankets

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For a baby, blankets are all about softness and warmth—at first. But as they get older, blankets also double as makeshift capes, tents and more! That’s why we’re happy about featuring Little Giraffe. Their blankets are made in the USA, beloved by celebrities and so well-made that each blanket will be loved for years.

Carrier

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Last of all, don’t forget finding a good way to carry Baby around. Slings and carriers are more convenient than strollers and make fantastic alternatives when you’re going to crowded places like the farmers market. Experts say wearing these can soothe a fussy baby as well as promote bonding. Both are good things in our book!

We have several different styles by Slinglings because we appreciate the padded feel and the support that allows your little one to sit in a number of different positions.

This is a very special time for you and your little one, so we hope these picks will make every day as convenient as possible. Our Welcome Baby events will start running on 9/16 and continue through 9/24. Check back throughout the week because we’re featuring other top brands like KicKee Pants, Zutano and Kathy Ireland!

Beverly Mills oversees all infant merchandise at zulily. She’s always on the lookout for what’s charming and sweet for the newest little one in your life. She has spent her entire career in the merchandising world and loves sharing her expertise with zulily. 

the newbie: A New Babysitter

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By Melissa Walker, who can also be found blogging at melissacwalker.com


One issue I regularly have is that I have to wait for my husband to get home before I can head out. By the time he gets home, I’m meeting friends for dinner at 8pm or later… and that’s just too close to my bedtime for my liking!

So recently I met a college student who lives nearby and babysits for some of our neighbors. She’s lovely, very sweet and seems good with kids.

But Miss June is not having it.

My 17-month-old cries, screams and holds so tightly to my legs that the babysitter and I both have to work to pry her off. It’s very hard to leave and I find myself worrying about her until my husband gets home and texts me that all is well.

I know that she’s likely in a big ‘separation anxiety’ phase, and maybe it’s just a matter of getting her used to the new babysitter (she has a regular daytime sitter whom she takes to easily). I guess I’d just like some reassurance that it’s okay to leave her now and then with a babysitter. And that this phase will pass.

Is it? Will it? Any tips for making the transition easier?

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the newbie: Toddler Hair

By Melissa Walker, who can also be found blogging at melissacwalker.com


I have a confession: I don’t want to cut Baby June’s hair! While many of her friends are still bald, she has a lovely head of wavy brown hair that I just adore. Last weekend, she met her little cousin Clara for the first time, and Clara was obsessed with June’s curls, pulling at them every chance she got!

The thing is, her locks are always falling in her face and they often look more out- of-control than cute. Brushing is tough—and I’ve even seen the start of a baby dreadlock (I combed it out quickly!).

I’ve tried various types of barrettes and headbands, and they all end up as very interesting toys that go in her hands, her mouth… anywhere but on her head. Does anyone have any advice on something to try to tame her mane without losing those sweet curls that hang at the bottom?

If not, I think it’s time for the scissors.

the newbie: Ditching the Bottle

By Melissa Walker, who can also be found blogging at melissacwalker.com


At the 12-month visit our doctor advised us to move to full-time sippy cup usage and get rid of bottles. I was excited to stop washing out bottles and dealing with all the various parts involved—big step! As for the transition, I thought, “No problem!” June’s been drinking water from a sippy for months now, so I figured she’d be comfortable with it.

Boy, was I wrong.

When it comes to milk, this girl wants bottle, bottle, bottle. She throws the sippy cup with milk in it, refusing to drink. I’ve started giving her a big smoothie so she gets enough milk, but having her drink milk on its own is a real struggle without the “baba.”

I think she got dependant on the bottle as a comfort object, and I know we should break her of that, but it’s proving hard. I wonder if it’s just a matter of making bottles disappear altogether, or a gradual process…

Has anyone else handled this transition in a way that worked well?

the newbie: Separation Anxiety

By Melissa Walker, who can also be found blogging at melissacwalker.com


While June has had a lot of time with Grandma, her regular babysitter, and the other parents and babies in our apartment building, she’s starting to get a little clingy with me — even in familiar places! Last week we went to our usual appointment at the YMCA, where I drop her off in the childcare room and then get a workout in, and she clung to me in terror and screamed.

It seemed so strange — she knows this room and these babysitters. She usually sniffles a little bit but then gets distracted by all the great toys they have and the enthusiasm of the staff, not to mention the other kids, who mesmerize her. But this time, she cried and cried as I left the room. I felt awful, but I told myself that she would be fine. I was sure that I’d return to find her happily playing with the dollhouse or the cars.

No go. About 20 minutes into my Total Body Fitness class, one of the childcare providers came to get me to tell me that June was still crying. I put away my equipment and went to get her — she looked so fearful and worried that it broke my heart.

I know that separation anxiety is normal, and she’s almost 14 months old so maybe it’s just really taking hold of her now. Still, what’s the best way to deal with it? My instinct is that I need to continue to walk away and give her experiences where she has to work through this new fear, but that’s awfully hard to do!

Any advice?

the newbie: Food Play!

By Melissa Walker, who can also be found blogging at melissacwalker.com


June is now over 13 months old and eating three meals a day, along with some whole milk. I have to admit that I’ve never been much of a cook, but suddenly it feels very important to be making balanced, nutritious meals for her (as opposed to heating up ravioli, which is what I do for myself if my husband isn’t home—he’s the chef in the family).

If the baby had it her way, she’d eat bananas 24/7 (the girl asks for “nana!” all the time). She eats berries, too, and even pomegranate seeds, so we’re okay for fruit, I think. Snacktime is like a fruit explosion!

I’ve found some ways to have her eat vegetables—spinach in scrambled eggs, pureed broccoli under the cheese in a pita pizza—but I’m definitely looking for new recipe ideas. I even got the Jessica Seinfeld cookbook, but I’m not sure how much I want to use purees; I’d definitely like her to try the full vegetables, but I don’t want her to spit them out (she tends to do that).

I would love to hear what other moms do for their kids to have them try new flavors, eat well and enjoy mealtimes.

the newbie: Scheduling Time at Grandma’s

By Melissa Walker, who can also be found blogging at melissacwalker.com


June just spent her first night away from home, at 13 months, at her grandparents’ place. There’s a crib (same one we have), lots of toys, and of course we brought her blankie-animal and her pajamas, anything to smell like home. She did pretty well—I know she had a lot of fun and play time with the little dogs—but her grandma reported that she went to bed late and woke up early, losing almost an hour and a half of her normal nightly sleeping time. (This gave me anxiety.)

Not being there, I can never be sure exactly what happened. I wonder, though if anyone has any advice on how to navigate the first nights away from home. It won’t be a very regular thing, but Grandma has asked that she come at least every other month or so, just so they can have quality time.

I wonder if I should just let things go and try not to worry, knowing that she’s safe and cared for. And if she misses a little sleep in exchange for spending the day with Grandma, it’s okay?

Or should I strictly outline routines and rules? I’ve tried to communicate these, but I’m not sure how specific to be. I guess I’m afraid of being overbearing about her schedule.

Any advice?

the newbie: The Doll Appeal

By Melissa Walker, who can also be found blogging at melissacwalker.com


We recently had a toy swap in our building, and there’s one toy that every parent seems to want to trade away. It’s a hard-bodied baby doll with eyes that close and movable limbs, and it comes with a bathtub and a feeding bottle. To be frank, this doll is freaky.

But… the babies seem to love it! They rush up to it, hugging it and placing it in its big pink bathtub, dragging it along the grass and “mommying” it with fervor. And I wonder: What’s the deal with babies and baby dolls? Do they see themselves in its creepy blue eyes? Are they imitating the mommy role because it’s one that’s very much a part of their daily experience?

I, for one, will be happy to get June a less horror-movie version of this baby doll—that’s the plan anyway. For now, we’ll share this kooky specimen with the other kids in the building, and they’ll fight to feed her and bathe her and hug her hard, plastic body.

So, does anyone have a doll recommendation? One that both the babies and the parents can love?

the newbie: Tips for Traveling Overseas with a Baby

By Melissa Walker, who can also be found blogging at melissacwalker.com


We’re back from a 10-day trip overseas with June! It was intense, but awesome. Here are a few tricks I tested (I’ll leave out the ones that didn’t quite work!):

  1. Flight attendants are your friends. Find the nicest one and share a “What can you do?” smile when the baby cries, because she will! Our lovely attendant (the same one on both flights!) brought us airline-themed toys and games to distract June, and they worked, for at least half an hour.

  2. Let go of the first day. When you change time zones, babies get all kinds of kooky. We let June sleep at will on that first day, then got her back on wake-up and nap schedules on day two. By day three, we were all set!

  3. Be sensitive to her perceptions of this “new place.” We noticed that June was having fun, but there were times when she looked a little freaked out or worried while meeting someone new—she met LOTS of new people on this trip. Her dad and I made a point to spend at least half an hour each day where it was just the three of us hanging out as a family, to help her feel more secure.

  4. Bring familiar items. We brought her pacifier, sheets from her pack-n-play (they smell like her detergent), her white noise machine and her favorite sleep sack. Bedtime felt like home, and that made everyone happy!

We had a really fun trip, and hope for more (though I may go for a shorter flight next time).

Share your best tips for traveling with your little ones on the zulily Facebook page