Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Top 10 Favoirtes - Baby Gear

I was pretty overwhelmed when it came down to the sheer reality of the amount of stuff we needed to buy for the baby, but the thing I valued most was input from other moms and learning what worked for them, so I thought I would share with you my favorite baby things for newborns to around 6 months or so. 

In no particular order:

Coffee and wine - just kidding.  Wait, no I'm not.  That doesn't count... it's a given. 

1. Swing - My Little Snugabunny Fisher-Price Cradle 'N Swing.  For reals.  This thing is a baby sleep miracle worker.  Pax would chill out in this thing and nap in there SO MUCH.  I love this swing.  It's incredible.  Worth every penny. You can get one on Amazon, or pretty much any baby store ever because this swing is super popular for a reason.  I'm super sad Pax has outgrown it.

2. BOB stroller - The goddess of strollers.  It's super maneuverable and easily steers with one hand.  I run All. The. Time. And this baby makes it possible.  It has an system for clicking in a car seat.  I would basically be a fat, depressed person without this stroller.  You can easily get this second hand to help with the high sticker price because they are well made and hold up nicely.  I was lucky enough to get a new one as a gift from my amazing parents.  The only down side is that if you have a second baby there is no way to convert it into a double stroller, so you'd have to sell it and get the double. 

3.  Aden and Anais - I love their products. I use one of their swaddle blankets all day and night every day and every night.  It goes everywhere with us.  I probably have 15 of these blankets and you can never have too many.  I use it as a play mat on the ground, a nursing cover, a car seat cover, a stroller blanket, and I of course used it to swaddle Pax when he was small and now I just use it as a light blanket in his crib at night.  I also have the bibs, sheets, changing pad cover, wash cloths, bath towel... I want all the A + A things!

4. Wrap - I have both the Moby and the Baby K'Tan.  I can't say enough good things about baby wearing.  Pax loves being held and loves being in the wraps. When he was a newborn he would go almost instantly to sleep. The Moby is great and I think it's more comfy, but I mostly wear it at home because it's really really long and I don't want it to get on the parking lot ground or airport floor or other yucky places. But with some of the holds you can take them in and out of it without unwrapping it. And I could nurse him while he was still in the wrap in the hug position which was so handy when he was smaller and eating all the time. The ktan is easier to put on because there's less fabric, but there isn't as great of back support and you have to order the correct size. I use it ALL the time when we are out. They both come with instruction books that show all the different holds and there are videos on YouTube. The instructions in the book are easy to follow and it's easy to get the hang of it. 

5. Honest Company diapers and wipes - We do the diapers and wipes bundle every month. Eco-friendly. Plant-based. No animal testing.  They clearly list all the ingredients in their products. Diapers are free of: chlorine processing, latex, lotions, fragrances, common allergens, phthalates, optical brighteners, PVC, heavy metals, organotins (MBT, DBT, TBT) & harsh petrochemical additives.  Wipes are free of: alcohol, chlorine, phthalates, formaldehyde, parabens, phenols, quaternary ammonium compounds, SLS & SLES, lanolin & unnecessary additives. I always thought I'd cloth diaper, and maybe I still will, but these diapers are awesome and come in such cute patterns.  The Honest Company gives me piece of mind.  I also have a lot of their other products and I've been happy with everything.  I love giving the Baby Arrival Gift Set as a shower gift.  They even have organic A + A swaddles!  I have my eye on getting those!  I want all the Honest things, really.

6. Bath mat - Pax is massive and grew out of his infant tub super quick.  I decided on this bath mat and it's great.  We use it every single night, it's held up great, no issues with mold or anything and he is free to kick and splash to his hearts desire. 

7. Play mat - We have the Fisher-Price Rainforest Melodies and Lights Deluxe Gym. He has spent countless hours playing under this thing. 

8. White noise maker - We have a noise machine and projector that I use a lot and even take with us when we travel. But... when he was small he slept in our room with us and we had an air purifier in there that makes a fantastic wind tunnel constant wooshing sound.  When he moved into his crib in his room the air purifier went with him and I swear that fantastic wooshing sound really helps him sleep.  It blocks out other sounds like the TV, our voices and the cat meowing outside his door.  It was an accidental find, but it works super well.  We have this one. 

9.  Rock n Play - like I mentioned above, when Pax was small he slept in our room.  Right beside me in his Rock n Play.  I loved having him close and he slept really well in this thing.  I loved to lay in bed and stare at him sleeping and make sure his little chest was going up and down.  It was so easy to reassure him with a hand on his chest and a little rocking back and forth.  Plus it was so nice to have him right there to scoop him up into bed with me to nurse.  He grew out of it really fast (just like everything else!), but it was perfect for those first months.  After he got too big for the Rock n Play he transitioned into the Pack n Play in our room before going into the crib in his room. 

10. Breast feeding support and a pump - if you plan on breast feeding I really suggest doing as much as you can to set yourself up for success.  Breast feeding is in reality very challenging and painful those first few weeks and can be frustrating for both you and your newborn, but having said that it's also incredibly worth it.  Read up about it online or get a book.  Take a class.  Get a lactation consultant on speed dial and go see her a lot.  I was so lucky to have met an incredible LC.  She taught the breast feeding class I went to, she saw me in the hospital and I went to her office a bunch of times in the beginning.  She gave me her cell phone number and she even responded to my texts when she was on vacation.  Having someone there to support you is so important.  And someone to check your latch because the latch is everything.  It's key.  Contact the La Leche League in your area.  For some reason I didn't get a pump before I had the baby.  And for the first few days I didn't have a pump and Pax wouldn't take my left side.  It was horrible.  In tears I finally sent my husband out for a hand pump so I could get some relief.  I used that hand pump for like a month SO many times a day because Pax never would take that left side, ever.  Finally after a month of that craziness I got an electric pump and it was like Christmas.  Since I was only pumping one side I got the Swing pump and I've been happy with it.  It does it's job.  I used it for my left side for 6 months.  I had a blissful 2 month break from pumping and now I'm having to exclusively pump my right side because Pax up and quit nursing a few weeks ago. 

The last thing I would recommend that doesn't get an actual number on my list because it's not an actual item is a night time routine.  I've talked about it on here before, but it's worth saying again.   Having a night time routine, the same thing every night really puts Pax into sleep mode and he has been a fantastic sleeper since he was 6 weeks old. 

I wish you best of luck, lots of sleep and lots of blissful baby snuggles!  

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