New Mom Must Haves

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I haven’t been a mom that long but there have been some items I think are really great so I’d like to share with new moms, moms-to-be and anyone else interested! Here are some of my personal favorites in no particular order:

1. Boon Drying Rack. I have the Lawn and I love it. There’s also smaller sizes which include the Patch and Grass. Personally, I think it’s crucial to keep your bottles and their parts separate from your regular dishes and these ones aren’t an eye sore in your kitchen.

2. Boon Bottle Cleaner (Forb). I have used all the regular sponge cleaners, Munchkin, Dr. Brown’s, you name it, and I always ended up with the same results: the sponge on top would fall apart after a few weeks. I also worried about mold (you know, that moldy smell you sometimes get after you wash dishes and realize your sponge needs replacing?). I saw this at Target and couldn’t pass it up. Silicone, BPA free and won’t store water on it! You can also get on their website.

3. Chicco walker. I absolutely love this walker and my daughter does too (check out my videos on her on Instagram)! It has a lot of great features on it including various sounds and little gadgets to keep your peanut busy. It moves smoothly and the wheels also rotate in any direction. There’s also bumpers on the bottom to prevent from rolling off stairs. I purchased at Buy Buy Baby and used a 20% coupon (because it is a little pricey).

4. Fisher Price Brilliant Basics Baby’s First Blocks. These are one of the few toys my daughter plays with. I have bought a ton of different things but she always goes back to these. They’re great for teething (she currently loves putting them in her mouth), banging them together or on anything she can! They also help to develop early motor skills such as hand-eye coordination. I’m looking forward to the day she can place the shape in the proper place without my help!

5. BabyGanics Moisturizing Daily Lotion. I just love this lotion! I know everyone has a preference when it comes to this, but the best thing about this lotion is how thick but non-greasy it is as well as being fragrance free (they do have fragrance ones as well but Emma’s skin a little sensitive like mine so I didn’t want a smell). Here’s some other great things about it:

  • Created with the Plant-Based Ingredients including Shea Butter, Olive and Avocado Oils
  • Non-allergenic formula that is extra gentle on skin
  • Pediatrician & Dermatologist tested
  • Exclusive 100% natural NeoNourish Seed Oil Blend to help nurture and support baby’s skin
  • No: parabens, sulfates, phthalates, mineral oil, petrolatum, artificial fragrances or dyes
  • Never tested on animals

6. Aden + Anais swaddle blankets. I really do love everything Aden + Anais. Not only do I have their swaddle blankets that we used the first three months of Emma’s life, but I also have their thicker blankets as well as towels, wash cloth sets and bibs! I truly love their products. You can get at most baby stores. Target has a line created especially for them that they carry (I prefer Buy Buy Baby because of the coupons).

7. MAM teether. I love this teether! It took me a while to find one that Emma really liked and this was it. It’s easy for her to hold, it doesn’t get too cold and she loves biting on the top bristle part as well as the sides. It’s by far her favorite (she also loves this strawberry one too). Obviously every baby is different, so you might end up trying a bunch (like I did!) or finding a good one your child loves right away. This one is definitely my recommendation.

8. Baby Ecos laundry detergent. I wanted something that would be good for Emma’s sensitive skin and since I use Ecos already, I was super happy to find out that their was a baby version! It’s hypoallergenic and keeps clothes soft with a built-in fabric softener. I actually get mine from Home Depot (surprisingly!) because it’s cheaper than any other place (Costco, Sam’s Club, you name it, I’ve checked them all!). They also make a stain remover that I get as well. Shipping is free for orders over $45!

9. Dr. Brown’s Microwavable Steam Sterilizer Bags. These are awesome! And they aren’t just for Dr. Brown’s bottles, you can put any kind in here. My girlfriend told me about them and since then I’ve been using. They’re perfect for traveling and I feel really comfortable about my bottles being ‘clean’ (I should note I soak them in hot, soapy water first then sterilize afterwards).

10. Wine. Lots and lots of wine! 😉

 ps. I was in no way endorsed to promote any of these products although I should be;)

The Art of Baby Registering

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So you’re having a baby….congratulations! Now the fun begins because just like you did for your wedding, you get to register for all these fun baby items that people will buy and give at your shower, right? WRONG! Baby registering is nothing like wedding registering…at least, in my opinion. When you’re registering for wedding gifts, you’re picking out towels, dinnerware and household items, none of which really matter what you end up choosing because it’s all really based on preference (although a few things do require careful consideration). When you’re registering for baby items, you are registering for health, safety and the overall well-being of your child.

Let me start by saying the research itself was completely overwhelming. My girlfriend let me borrow what I’m told is the pregnancy bible ‘Baby Bargains’ book. This 900-page book is filled with information about what you need, don’t need and how to shop/register for your baby spending money where you should based on mounds of research and reviews. The book is really incredible and I suggest any new mom purchase or borrow it but be warned, it will make you question everything! I went back and forth on so many items, not to mention researching online myself and reading reviews that it made my head spin!

Why do we as moms-to-be do this (or at least, why did I)? Well, because this is my first child and I want to be able to provide the best for him or her (on a reasonable budget of course!). And as I bond with this child growing inside of me, I already feel completely protective of this baby and want to know I did everything I could to keep him or her safe. I know that only goes up to a point and it’s ultimately up to God, but if I can get a car seat that keeps my child safe if we get into an accident, then at least I can feel good about that!

So, the art of baby registering? Well, I don’t think there is any but for moms-to-be, I’ll give a few of my own personal tips:

1. Research. Research, research, research! There are a lot of items out their for babies and an overwhelming about of brands to choose from. Figure out which items are most important to you (for me it was: furniture, car seat and stroller) and really look at lots of reviews. Get the Baby Bargains book or join Consumer Reports and read up about the items you’re most concerned about. Also take into consideration not skimping on price when it comes to those (while the best isn’t always the most expensive, with some of the bigger ticket items, the saying ‘you get what you pay for’ does hold true). Don’t also be afraid to ask friends for help!

2. Talk to other moms. You know your friends that have kids? Well, they know a thing or two about what products they like, don’t like, what you can get away with not getting and what are ‘must haves’. Take a friend registering with you, in fact, take a few! I went two different times with one girlfriend and the other time with two! I got their opinions and advice then with my own research, made my decisions. It’s super helpful to talk to others who have been through it already, especially those who are close to you. Are you the first of your friends to get pregnant? Check out baby sites like Baby Center or The Bump for chat rooms on EVERYTHING! It also doesn’t help to ask a cousin or even aunt who recently had a baby on her advice or if you feel comfortable enough, a co-worker!

3. Take a break. Registering became my second job. Everyone knows me by name at the Buy Buy Baby I registered at and I would find myself checking and adjusting my registry several times a day. I would read something and remove an item, then re-add, then delete. I was honestly making myself crazy! That’s when I had to step back and take a break. I stopped reading and researching as well as checking my registry. When I came back to everything (a few days later), I made final decisions on items I wasn’t sure on and called it a day!

4. Stick with your decisions. It’s very hard not to be swayed by others, or even question your own judgment. Am I getting the right product? Is this item safe? You will question everything, I know I did! I think what I found to be best was sticking to my decisions. I had friends ask about particular items or even family members call and say they saw a car seat here or something else there but I would just say that I’m happy with what I’ve picked out. It’s a great way to prepare for when the baby comes, because you’ll have to stick with many of the decisions then too and of course, it’s one big learning and growing experience!

5. Have fun! I don’t think I really took the time to do this. I said to my two girlfriends who were with me, “this is so stressful” and they said, “no, it’s not, have fun with it, this is such an exciting time for you”. It wasn’t until that statement when I realized, yes it is. I can worry and be all ‘nutty’ about products or I can have fun looking at little outfits and all the fun toys they have for babies now. Don’t let your worrying take away your fun.

While I’m no pro to registering, I can tell you I learned a lot in the process and feel a little more prepared for this peanut’s arrival 🙂

Congratulations! It’s a ?

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My husband and I have decided not to find out the sex of our baby. This seemed to actually infuriate some people. “Why would you do that?” we’d get asked with a judgmental look upon their face. That was only the start of judgments and opinions we’d soon get! The answer I wanted to give the majority of the time was “BECAUSE WE CAN!” but I would politely reply, “We want it to be a surprise.” And why not? Because there are so many surprises in life?

I can’t imagine a more incredible surprise then birthing my child and having my husband tell me that we made a baby boy or baby girl. I literally cannot wait for that day! But if I’m being completely honest, there is another reason we’re waiting….

For the longest time, I told myself if I ever got pregnant I’d have to know the sex immediately. I’d need to plan! I am a Type A planner, always have been, probably always will be. But the minute we found out, I had a moment and said, “Let’s not find out, let’s be surprised,” to which my husband smiled and agreed. He was always fine with not finding out the entire time, but it was me with my impatience and ‘need for now’ that couldn’t wait. Something just feels right about this surprise, as if it’s the way God intended it to be. Then again, I still haven’t told you part of the reason we’re waiting….

Well, for starters there is a guarantee that day the child is what was predicted. I read a few article that said doctors are right 90% of the time while others said 100%. Some sites stated that with boys it’s 100% and girls 70%. While these odds are high, I’m sure you’ve heard of maybe even known of one person who thought they were having a boy or girl (nursery set, clothes washed and ready) and ‘uh oh’ they had the opposite! The planner in me would go CRAZY! As I said before, the ‘surprise’ factor is also pretty great. But I think for this first time around we’re waiting because of our love for our own genders! My husband wants a boy while I want a girl.

It’s funny as we talk about it and realize how much we really do want our own gender. My husband, growing up with two older brothers, actually said to me the other day, “I don’t get women, I wouldn’t know what to do with a little girl,” to which I replied, “Same goes for me and men!” I grew up with one sister so I completely understand where he’s coming from. Don’t get me wrong, we want HEALTHY first. That’s all we truly care about it, but when it comes to playing favorites on boys and girls, you will definitely hear us state our feelings!

But when it really comes down to it, I love this child so much already that I know the day I meet him or her, I will be so much more in love the sex won’t matter. Sure, if it’s a boy I’ll be sad about not being able to buy little dresses, have tea parties and all the fun things you do with little girls, but I will also love how much this little boy will love me (as I’ve witnessed from many friends who have sons). And, while it’s up to God what we’re blessed with, there’s always the second and maybe even third time around! Either way, I know we are lucky so boy or girl, I couldn’t be happier.