Mya

I did a lot of research prior to having my son and IKEA has some of the safest cribs and mattresses around. Because they sell globally, their cribs have to meet the safety standards of the strictest countries they sell in which is somewhere in Europe.

We got the Sundvik crib and it's worked beautifully.

It's very safe and was easy to put together and I love how it turns into a toddler bed eventually. I went a few days ago and bought a second for my son. Plus, the cribs look great in the room.

I like how 2 sides are solid and it's not just slats all around. If you want one with the drawers, check availability before you go. My Ikea was sold out of every single crib with drawers, both models. I also like the mattresses, but stick with one of the two more expensive ones.

I didn't like the look/feel of the lower models.

We also got the matching changing table. To match the grayish wood tone, we got a regular three drawer dresser in the same finish (not in the kid's section) and then this sofa table to use as a bookcase. All together, it looks really sharp, and has stood up to my now-crawling son's wear and tear.

Plus it saved us so much money over getting furniture at the baby stores.

We also got a toddler poang chair and LOVE it. Highly recommend this toddler chair. We also got the art easel and I love how it folds up for storage. My toddler also loves the rocking moose. The soft stuffed balls are great too. I couldn't find any around here, but they have a few types at Ikea. Great purchase. The wooden toys are great too. The shape sorter, bath toys, bead roller coaster, the wooden walker, love all those. Just bought some towels this time and LOVE those too.

Loved the price and they're much larger than any of the other baby hooded towels Ive bought, and thicker.

Basically, I love Ikea.

Mya

I'm personally not a fan of coed showers but if you're going to go that route, a BBQ would be nice.

Neutral themes include jungle, sea life, sweets/candy/dessert-themed, farm animals, Dr. Suess.

Even though some people are not fan of alcohol at baby showers I'm okay with it and I think if the person pregnant is okay with it then you are good to go.

We knew we were having a girl so our colours were grey, yellow, and pink but I agree with neutral themes and colors like yellow, green, brown, grey will work well.

We also had games that both men and women would enjoy. My friends and family are big drinkers so we did beer in the baby bottle and whoever finished it first won a prize. We also did the guess the chocolate bar in the diaper and the game where everyone wore a clothes pin, and if you said baby whoever heard you say it or made you say it took your pin.

Whoever had the most pins wins.

Mya

Misplace a dying furby and you'll swear the house is haunted, there nothing 'fun' about some of the noises those things made when the batteries were going off. I had a Teddy Ruxpin when I was younger and I swear that thing talked to itself all night. I think we threw it in the attic because it really started freaking us out. I should go exploring for it if it wasn't sold in a garage sale at one point.

Mya

As you know there was a boy's section and a girl's section of toys. But it wasn't for gender equality.

The reason they do this, with all seriousness, is because the touchscreen registers has a button for boy and a button for girl. They can't/won't be bothered to go in every 6 weeks and change the word on the screen to some 6-8 letter abbreviation for My Little Pony or Hot Wheels that will likely confuse the workers ("What the hell is the "MyLitPny" button for!"). And since that's the options on buttons they can push, that's the words they use while asking.

For McDonald's, speed is king and anything that slows it down like additional words saying "Hot Wheels or My Little Pony" fifty times an hour and confusion from employees about buttons on their screen is unnecessary trouble.

I imagine that lots of McDonald's products are sold more to some demographics than others, but they wouldn't label regular Coke "man drink" and Diet Coke "woman drink." There are efficient ways to label things that don't involve enshrining gender stereotypes.

In a business judged by seconds, those moments add up over the course an hour, day, and week. Ultimately what will change it, at least at McD's, is enough complaints coupled with a software overhaul that allows for easily adding new items and having idiot-proof options as idiot-proof as boy/girl.

The way to combat it without going crazy is to answer the "boy or girl" question by looking at the sign to see the options and responding with "2 hot wheels and 1 Pony". This preserves the child's dignity and gets them the toy they want without an issue or discussion. The employee couldn't care less if your kids are boys, girls, purple, or imaginary.

I'm all for eliminating the gender titles generally speaking, but I know from experience this particular thing is simply for convenience.

Mya

I vaguely remember being asked to clean as a child, and I folded all my doll's clothes and sorted them next to my toy box.

I was so proud.

A few ideas:

  1. Fewer toys out at one time. Try a toy rotation with 5-8 options at any one time. Fewer toys to clean up makes it a much less daunting task.
  2. Toys that don't get cleaned up go "away for the day." My 3 year old was in a snit today and told me he didn't know how to clean up his play doh and whined on the floor for 10 minutes. I set a timer, offered to help, and told him that if he didn't clean it up by the time the timer went off, it would go away for the day. Welp, guess where his play doh is now residing. Top shelf of his closet, my friend. He needs to take care of his toys if he wants to play with them.
  3. Consistency is key. Knowing what to expect before dinner can help them get into a routine.
  4. I like the race idea. Nothing wrong with making it fun. Sometimes we'll be anteaters sucking up blocks, or pretend to be garbage trucks picking up trash. :)

At first, you need to be involved.

"Let's start with the legos. How many can each of you find? Bet I can find more!" Next time "You two pick up all the legos. Lets see how fast you both can do it! Starting now... 1, 2" Add in a little choice: "What should we all pick up first?"

Mya

Are you in the frantic last minute mode that most parents tend to find themselves in? You still have so much left on your list. How do you manage to find it all? Many of you will find yourselves lying in bed late at night and suddenly realize that you only have a loose idea of what I need. Crib. Carseat. Changing table. Some clothes and diapers. What else??? Eek!

Relax--you will probably use less of it right away than you think you will, and any gaps in stuff can be quickly filled via online shopping.

My brother had a crib but it was pretty much a stuff-depository for over a month, and they had a rare baby that will sleep in a crib we had a bassinet too, but it turned out to be a pain to get him in and out of it, so he ended up sleeping in the bed with them.

We had a chair to breastfeed in, but I started off breastfeeding in bed because staying in bed was more comfortable. I did start using the pillow after a day or two, but then later sent my husband out for a different one. I lived in comfy nursing pajamas but was shirtless a lot of the time.

Baby was born during a heatwave so we pretty much kept him in his diaper and nothing else so it was a few days until we decided to try clothes. We used receiving blankets to cover or wrap him when needed. We ended up changing him on the bed a lot instead of carrying him to the change table in another room.

Basically, we used diapers, receiving blankets and a breastfeeding pillow for a good week before trying any of his other stuff.

I totally get the need to prepare everything, and that feeling of "OMG, I have nothing and I know nothing" but you aren't going to use everything right away, and some stuff you'll end up improvising or doing things differently than you planned because it turns out to be easier, so it's okay to not have it all togeth