Emergency Contact Information

Even though we rarely leave The Boy with a sitter, I felt compelled to create an Emergency Information sheet for him soon after he was born. It’s actually nice to have on hand. I keep a couple of copies with the age and weight sections blank. Then I can just fill out a new one every few months or so. This is a handy, one-sheet to have for sitters or even for yourself.

I have emergency and non-emergency numbers for poison control, fire, police, and gas and electric. I have my home address and directions on how to get to my home. This might be especially helpful for a young babysitter who might need to tell an emergency service provider how to get to your home. I have The Boy’s name, birthplace, blood type, immunizations (I just pencil in “18 months immunizations complete” or something to that effect), age, weight and known allergies.

I have various family numbers listed, along with the names and numbers of our pediatrician, eye doctor, dentist and preferred hospital. At the bottom of the page, I’ve listed our medical insurance information and a brief, signed medical release statement in the event that The Boy needs medical attention and I cannot be reached. I’m happy to say (knocking on wood) that we’ve never had to use this information. It sure is nice to have all in one place though. I do leave a copy out when we have a sitter and I usually have a copy in the diaper bag for the rare occasion that I leave him at someone else’s house.

Poison Control
Fire Department Non-Emergency Number
Police Department Non-Emergency Number
PG&E Emergency Number

Home Address and Phone Number:
Directions :

Full Name:
Born at:
Blood Type:
Allergies to Food:
Allergies to Medicine:

Family Numbers:

Eye Doctor:
Preferred Hospital:

Medical Insurance Information:

Medical Release Information: I authorize any hospital or emergency facility to administer emergency medical treatment for my child, , in the event that I cannot be reached.

How to Start a Family Without Breaking the Bank

In case you need more information on starting a family on a budget, check out How to Start a Family Without Breaking the Bank over at GetRichSlowly.org.

The bottom line here is that it is possible to start a family without breaking the bank. In fact, if you were to wait until you’re financially “ready” to have kids, complete with all the trappings that new parents often view as absolute necessities, you’d probably never start a family.

Baby Bargains Book

Although this might be better found at a garage sale, Baby Bargains is a good book to have along if you are embarking on the journey that is called parenting. Particularly if you are going down the single-income road or are just money-conscientious in general.

The book lists great deals and money-saving strategies for a wide variety of must-have items, from maternity wear, baby clothes, and diapers to furniture, bedding, and toys. Extensive charts allow parents to compare and contrast name-brand cribs, strollers, high chairs, child safety seats, baby monitors, and more. Now in its seventh edition, the book has been completely revised and updated to include new sections on toddler topics like potty training and booster seats;the latest news on hot strollers, including new models from Europe; new reviews on ultra-modern nursery furniture brands; extensive charts that compare and contrast name-brand cribs, strollers, high chairs, baby monitors and more; and a special section on Canada bargains, with expanded reviews on Canadian brands and discount sources.

Book Review: The Happiest Baby on the Block

A friend lent us a stack of books before The Boy was born. One of them was The Happiest Baby on the Block by Dr. Harvey Karp. This turned out to be our ‘go-to’ book for all things soothing when The Boy was an infant. That tricky time between birth and 4 months old can be frustrating in terms of soothing and sleeping. For both baby and parents.

Dr. Karp describes the first 3 months of life as the 4th Trimester. Evolutionarily, he explains, babies had to be born with smaller heads in order to not cause harm to the mother at birth. This 4th Trimester, then, is a time period in which babies should be treated to situations that are as womb-like as possible. Dr. Karp of course gets into much more detail in his book. He has developed 5 steps to create a soothing experience for your baby.

The 5 S’s are: Swaddle, Swing, Sucking, Side, Shush. We found that a tight wrap, or swaddle, on The Boy really calmed him when he was fussy and helped him to sleep through the night. We swaddled him during sleep times from birth until about 6 months of age. This gives the baby that tight, warm feeling of the womb. All during gestation, your baby was gently rocked by your movements. This is where the swing comes in. We used a musical swing for nap times for the first few weeks. Most infants need to suck. Many sucked on fingers in the womb and they instinctually need to suck in order to eat after birth. Dr. Karp recommends a pacifier for soothing infants. One position that babies often feel most secure is a side hold. We would sometimes swaddle The Boy and hold him ‘football style.’ Shushing (or a white noise machine) may sound like what the baby heard in utero. We also often shushed him loudly while he was falling asleep. In our own experience the white noise machine did not work as well as mommy or daddy.
Dr. Karp writes with humor and includes some funny cartoons. There are also many anecdotes and personal stories from his own patients included in the book. It is repetitive, but I believe that this just enforces the 5 S’s and other ideas that he has put forth in the book.

If you are watching your pennies, then check this book out from the library or scour your local garage sales for a copy.

NOTE: I was excited to read The Happiest Toddler on the Block when The Boy got a little older. However, I was not as impressed as I was with the first one. It is still an interesting read, but it didn’t hit home like The Happiest Baby on the Block.

Free Diaper Bag?

As I was cleaning out The Boy’s closet this afternoon, it occurred to me that we really didn’t need to register for or buy a diaper bag. We actually own a total of five. One lives permanently in the car, the other four on the floor of The Boy’s closet. One diaper bag was lovingly knitted for us by my very talented sister, we registered and received two, and two came free from our hospital. The point of this post is to find out if your hospital gives away a free diaper bag and if it will suit your needs before going ahead and buying one.

We took a childbirth class (worth the $100 registration fee in my opinion) and received one free diaper bag there. The other one came home with us from the hospital when The Boy was born. Both free bags came with lots of free goodies, samples and information. They are both on the small side, but it would have been doable with just those two. I always over pack for every excursion anyhow. Another cool thing about the two free bags is that they both can double as a cooler bag. They are lined with easily-cleaned plastic and came with freezer ice packs.