The Ultimate Baby Item (that you probably already own)

Even though we had watched Happiest Baby on the Block and practiced with our new nieceJason and I had a lot of trouble soothing Will when he was first born because (1) we were clueless new parents and (2) Will had some medical and dietary issues. We quickly learned that movement was the key to a (somewhat) quiet baby. My husband's best move was speed walking around the house. After a few laps, Will would usually quiet down. I practiced the mommy bounce-shuffle walk at all hours of the day and night, tried the bouncy seat with the vibration thing and all three configurations of our swing over and over again, and rocked until our rocker became squeaky, but nothing really worked consistently. I had read that newborns could be fussy, but I also read that they were supposed to sleep and that wasn't happening.

Then, one night while nursing and scouring the internet for help (because I refused to believe my baby was just "colicky"), I read that sitting on the corner of a bed and bouncing is soothing for many babies.  We tried it the next day and were elated by how well it worked.  Not only did Will seem content, but we could sit and sooth at the same time.  When we mentioned our new discovery to my sister, she said nonchalantly, "Yeah, you can do the same thing with an exercise ball." And then our lives changed.

We had not one but two exercise balls in our garage. Jason brought the one with the sand in it into the living room and placed it in a little nook next to the fireplace, and we sat and bounced for the next three months, first just to sooth Will and then to put him to sleep. The bouncing motion worked so well, that I started timing how long it took me to put Will to sleep. At first it was five to seven minutes, then five flat, then three, and then only two minutes on the ball, and he would fall asleep every time. I felt like we had discovered some type of blue bouncy magic.

Besides the fact that it just worked so well to sooth our previously unsoothable baby, the fact that we could bounce and sit or bounce and watch TV or move the ball around or use my mom or sister's ball when we were visiting were all blue bouncy bonuses.

We put our ball away over a month ago, but now that we are trying to break Will of his swaddle, I'm thinking about bringing it back out.  My sister still has her ball in her nursery because it works well for her sweet baby girl and like my second favorite Mama OT, she knows that you can also use the ball to play with your older baby or make tummy time less miserable for your younger baby.

Also, you can use the ball for exercise and support before, during, and after labor.

Really, the exercise ball is the ultimate addition to any nursery. So if you are pregnant and don't already own one of these blue beauties, put it on your registry. I'm not saying that the one you get has to be blue, but I can only vouch for the magical powers in balls of that color.


  1. What a delightful post! The carpet in the baby room is very cute as well!

    1. Thanks! I agree. My sis has great taste. That carpet is another item you could use before and after baby too. I believe she got it at Restoration Hardware.


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