New Parent Tip: Baby Bottle Labels

Finger tapeTired of using masking or Scotch tape to label that burgeoning collection of breast milk storage containers in your refrigerator/freezer? Check out Baby Bottle Labels.

For $6.50 you get one pack that contains 96 3” x 1” waterproof labels. Also, unlike office tape or address labels, these Scotch Tapebaby bottle labels are easy to apply and remove. You can save even more by taking advantage of the “Special Offer” pricing which includes three packs (288 labels total) for $15, which would normally set you back $21. The “Special Offer” works out to about $0.05/label.

Breastfeeding, pumping and storing is already a ton of work and stress for new moms. In my limited experience, the more simplifiers you can put in place to keep things organized the better. Do the math: For $15 you can label three containers per day for over 3 months. By then, both mom and baby will be settled, freeing you to explore less expensive alternatives.

Earning my black belt in Karp Fu

This is my testimonial on the effectiveness of the soothing techniques described by Dr. Harvey Karp in his book The Happiest Baby on the Block. I’ve been successful triggering Owen’s “Calming Reflex” using the five S’s as he describes. Here is a picture of me putting Owen down following his circumcision using the first four S’s.

Owen the Happiest Baby on the Block

Your mileage may vary. Here are descriptions of the five S’s (in order of application):

  1. Swaddling: Tight swaddling recreates the confinement of the womb.
  2. Side/Stomach position: Holding the baby on the left side slightly face down.
  3. Shushing: Karp uses a loud "ssh" sound similar to the loud white noise that is present in the womb.
  4. Swinging (and jiggling): Gentle but constant jiggling (especially of the head) is intended to remind babies of the constant motion they experienced in the womb.
  5. Sucking: Breast or finger, mostly. Karp also recommends the use of pacifiers.

Borrow the book, watch the DVD or attend a “Happiest Baby” newborn care course at your neighborhood hospital (e.g., Overlake Hospital in Bellevue, WA).

Owen at 1 week

Our friend Carla, aka Bus Chick, has been taking a picture of her daughter Rosa every week since birth. I find documenting the growth of one’s child in this manner fascinating. Since I also enjoy taking pictures I decided to follow Carla’s lead and publish a picture of Owen on the weekly anniversaries of his birth. So, here we go…

Owen at 1 week

Here is a close-up entitled “Owen of Arabia.”

Owen of Arabia

It is becoming very apparent we don’t have any clothes for our little guy. His diaper and onesie wardrobe with blanket accessory is getting tired. Anybody enjoy shopping for baby clothes? We’ll pay. 🙂

Winner: Baby Stats Contest

The winners of our “Baby Stats” contest are:

First Place: Adam E
Second Place: Sally
Third Place: Kev

Here is the final scoreboard. Note the actual answers at the bottom of the image.

Baby Stats Results

Congratulations Adam, Sally and Kev. Your gift cards are on the way.

Adam, aka Bus Nerd, and I go back almost 15 years as Microsoft Interns in the summer of ‘94. Sally is my little sis and Kevin is my big bro. Anyone who knows Adam probably is not surprised by his win given his penchant for baby data and numbers. It also helps that he is the proud father of nearly 17-month-old Rosa Caroline. In the end, it was all pseudo-educated guessing but I hope you had as much fun as I did watching the entries come in.

The results are quite interesting.

  • Only 7 points separated first and third place. Sally and Kev were both a single middle-name syllable from winning or tying for first.
  • Tara was 1 hour of labor short of jumping from fifth to first.
  • Overwhelmingly, you all chose boy over girl and you were right.
  • The dubious honor of earning zero points belongs to Christy.

The point allocations worked out much like I planned. For the most part, people who answered more correct questions finished higher than those who answered fewer. For example, Sally finished higher than Kevin despite Kevin getting the big 17-point question correct.

If it is any consolation, I would have finished with 12 points but only because I had the inside-scoop on the boy and girl names I preferred. :ashamed:

Things I learned the first night with my newborn

TB and I are now the proud parents of a beautiful baby boy, Owen Marcellus. Team Smith was discharged from the hospital yesterday afternoon and headed home for what surely will be the first of many evenings of fun and excitement. Gratefully, Grandma Rhonda and Auntie Tonia were with us to make sure we newbies didn’t damage their new grandson and nephew.

Owen Marcellous

Here are 10 random discoveries I made and lessons my son taught me during our first night together.

  1. Surely 3M or Dow Corning can bring to market a meconium-based adhesive. That stuff is crazy.
  2. Three hours of uninterrupted sleep never felt so good.
  3. The inventors of the BabySense V Baby Movement Monitor by HiSense should all be awarded the Nobel prize.
  4. Pre-baby, I never gave breastfeeding a second thought, strange that it now consumes so many of my thoughts. Fathers-to-be: Attend a breastfeeding course with the mother.
  5. My hands shake when I get very tired.
  6. A wooden kitchen rolling pin is excellent for an emergency, self-inflicted back massage.
  7. I need to hit the weight room. Maybe I’ll jump on the 2009 One Hundred Burpee Challenge.
  8. The iPhone’s lack of MMS support sux. It did not bother me before I became a dad.
  9. I am a swaddle master. I wonder if there are any competitive swaddling events.
  10. 500+ word blog posts are long gone. The new hotness is brevity, baby photos and sleep.