Friday, April 10, 2020

10 Little Baby Things You Won't Regret Buying (or Registering For)

I thought we did a pretty good job registering for the big things we needed: bassinet, crib, swing, diapers, not too many clothes... but the one department I knew nothing about before baby was all of the little things we'd need along the way.  Luckily, I had some very sweet mama friends who provided us with these items in gifts for Calvin (some of which I was like, "why do I need this??" when I got them... boy, was I wrong.) 
The thing about these items: when you need them, you need them NOW.  I am so glad that we had so many of these on-hand when Calvin was born, and now I sneak a couple of these into each baby gift I give to a new mom and dad.  My mentality is to buy something off their registry and then add a couple of my own little touches that I know they'll need along the way.  All but one of the links below (not affiliate or sponsored links) are from Amazon, so hopefully if you need one of these ASAP, you'll be able to get it while still social distancing.  Here are my favorites:
1. All the wipes: baby, hand, boogie, and pacifier.  For baby wipes, we use Pampers Sensitive refill packs to fill the wipe warmers and wipe bags (below).  I tried to find a link to these great little Wet ones packs that we keep in the diaper bag, but with the Covid-19 related shortage, everything was sold out.  When Calvin has had a runny nose, Boogie wipes were great with the Nose Frida, and babies throw things on the ground all. the. time. and I love these Pacifier wipes.

2. I had no idea how to travel with wipes in a diaper bag - haha!  This Refillable travel wipe pouch is such a better sustainable way to bring wipes on the go!

3. This Diaper bag dispenser is basically dog poop bags for babies' diapers.  They have a light scent to them, so when you accidentally leave a diaper in your bag for a week, you won't be that upset.

4. A Baby toothbrush set isn't something we needed for a few months, but when Calvin started eating real food (before he even had teeth), we started using it.  This was one of those items I'm glad someone bought us because I never would have remembered to start brushing his teeth when I did - haha!

5. There are so many options for clipping babies' little daggers, but we loved these Safety First nail clippers (or you can buy this whole set that we use a bunch...comb, brush, nail file, tiny bottle for giving Vitamin D).

6. We first gave Calvin Infant Tylenol when he ran a slight fever after his first shots.  This was one of those items that when you need, YOU NEED IT, and don't want to run to the store for it.  Calvin loves grape, and it's been helpful when teething, too.

7. Zarbee's Cough and Mucus was something I found on my own, and we've used it a few times when Calvin had a cough.  Again, grape is the best, and if baby is under 1, make sure you get the kind without honey

8. Johnson's Sleepy Time baby set was a gift from a friend.  We registered for a couple of trail-size bath sets.  I wasn't sure what products or scents I wanted, but when we got this, it was perfect.  The scent is so perfect, and we made every item into Calvin's bedtime routine.  Nightly bath and shampoo, then lotion as he nurses before bed.  10 months later, our routine is still the same!

9. Mike does all of our baby dishes, and he loves this Babyganics foam bottle soap along with the Dr. Brown's bottle brush.  (The Babyganics soap link isn't Amazon, but you can buy the refills on Amazon here.)

10. Lastly, something for mom.  Soothies gel pads were the ONLY thing that made me feel better during those first couple of difficult weeks of breastfeeding.  I would suggest buying a couple sets and putting them in the freezer in between uses.

What did I miss?  What were your favorite little baby items?

Friday, April 3, 2020

Baby's First Easter Basket

Happy Spring, friends!  I hope everyone is staying safe during these crazy times we are currently experiencing. Working from home with a 10 month old, I'm trying to look on the bright side and enjoying spending as much time with my baby as possible.  While he's napping and sleeping, I spend time working, but I've also done quite a bit of online browsing and shopping.  I'm looking for first birthday party ideas (which will probably postponed this month, but I can still plan!) and shopping for first birthday gifts.

With Easter in a little over a week, I thought I would share my current thoughts for Calvin's first Easter basket.  Like a lot of you, I'm buying all of these things online, so hopefully I've given enough time so that y'all can shop for most of this, too.
Personalized Easter basket - I found a lot of "First Easter" baskets, but I decided to get one that he could use year after year.  Obviously, Etsy delivered!  It looks like that one I ordered isn't available for Easter delivery, but this one from the same shop is!

Candy - When I went to the grocery store a couple of weeks ago, I stocked up on some Reese's, Cadbury mini eggs, and Junior mints eggs (our favorites) to fill eggs with.  (I've hidden them so I can't eat them before Easter haha).  I imagine Calvin will love shaking the eggs with the candy inside.

Teething egg - I've been getting targeted advertising for these on social media forever, and since Calvin is currently cutting 3 teeth, I thought this would be perfect.  I also got him the Molar magician from the same company.  They're having a buy-2-get-1-free sale right now, so I bought an extra egg to save as a gift down the road.

Carrot teether - Like I said, little boy is teething, so why not give him a few options.  Plus, this is so festive!

Wooden puzzle - Calvin is obsessed with Melissa & Doug wooden toys.

Egg matching - Another festive toy that will be great for him as he gets up.  I also like this one with the little faces.

Pajamas or personalized shirt - My mom ordered this one from Etsy.  She gets one for him for every holiday, and I love the little dino.

Books - Every holiday, we give Calvin a book and write a little note in it to him.  I have so many of these from family members as I was growing up, and I cherish them so much.  I've been asking friends on Instagram for book ideas, and they did not disappoint for Easter/Spring.  Here is the full list from my post.

Egg fillers - foam finger puppetsplush finger puppetsSnoopy stickerschocolate bunny rubber ducksspring flower rubber ducksmini Easter rubber ducks (theses fit really well in the jumbo size eggs)
FYI - I know I've done a lot of sponsored posts in the past, but my posts right now are in no way sponsored or contain affiliate links, I just hope these can be a resource for other parents.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Top Baby Items for Months 3-6

Not sure what's in the water here in Charleston, but so. many. of my friends are expecting little ones this year!!  I wanted to start getting some baby posts together so that I can remember for myself as well as share with others what has worked well for us, and what I'd recommend.  Everything below is for months 3-6, and I'll be back soon with a 6-9 month post (in a couple weeks when Calvin turns 9 months... how is that possible?!).  And, of course, like I did for my first two months post (click here to read that), I am also sharing a few items at the bottom that we registered for and simply never used.  I know everyone is different here, so these are just my personal preferences!
1. Pack 'n Play - Let's start with sleep.  Calvin slept in a Halo Bassinest for the first couple of months, and little boy smushed his face into the side all the time. He seemed to sleep well like that for a while (cozy, maybe?!), but when we went to New England to visit family for the first time, he slept so well in a Pack 'n Play, so at 10 weeks when we got back, we switched him over to one in our bedroom.  Yes, having a giant Pack 'n Play in your bedroom isn't ideal (Calvin didn't move upstairs to his crib until he was 6 months old), but I'm so glad we did it.  By 10 weeks, he slept 12 hours a night!  HOWEVER, the one I was gifted cost $120, and I've learned that the only real accessory we needed was the infant bassinet (not the napper/changer), and you can save $40 with this option.
2. The Ollie - Calvin loved his swaddles.  Not sure why, but from day 1 (well, day 6 when he got home), we would use the Sleepea swaddle at night and swaddle blankets during the day.  Well, baby boy was a Houdini, so when I saw the Ollie on Taking Cara Babies, I knew I had to try it.  Well, they cost $65.  That's a lot for a swaddle.  I found a lavender one across town on Facebook marketplace for less than half price, so you know Calvin rocked the lavender!  We slept in his Ollie in a DockaTot for naps until he was 5 months when we started sleep training, and he loved it.
3. Merlin's Magic Sleepsuit - We did things a little backwards when it came to unswaddling.  Usually, people unswaddle for naps first then nighttime after naps are going well, but we did the opposite.  Calvin took some rocking to get down for a nap but always went to sleep at night like a champ.  At night, we tried one arm out, then two arms out when he was a little over 4 months, but we quickly realized we needed an in-between.  I borrowed a Merlin suit from a friend (it was pink!! - love it), and we used it for about 3 weeks before he turned 5 months old.  It was the perfect transition for Calvin.  I know it looks like it would be puffy and warm, but we put him it in naked, slipped on some socks (there are no feet on it), and he was comfy around 68-70 degrees at night.
4. Burt's Bees Beekeeper wearable blanket - From the Merlin suit, we went to a regular sleeper with the beekeeper on top.  At first, I was a little resistant to the idea because I thought it would be another thing to transition out of, but when I started to learn the benefits: helps teach a sleep association by putting it on to start every nap and bed time, keeps kids warm without the safety hazard of a blanket, keeps kids from sticking their legs through the crib rails, and prevents standing in the crib when they get older, I was on board.  I love the Burt's Bees brand for the blanket, and he wears either flannel or cotton sleepers from Carter's underneath.

5. Activity gym - Calvin has played on this since he was a couple weeks old, but around 3 months, he really started kicking on the mat and grabbing for toys.  He even rolled over for the first time on this mat.
6. Rainforest Jumperoo - This thing is expensive, but this was another Facebook find!  I bought one for $15 when Calvin was 3 months old, and we started using it when his feet could fully touch the ground around 4 months.  He's loved it ever since.  Yes, it's one of those giant, loud, way-too-bright toys that takes up half your living room, but even if he's fussy, I put him in this, and he's content and laughing!

7. Bumbo floor seat - Gosh, I shop second-hand a lot.  This one was $5 on my neighborhood page and worth every penny.  I used it when I was cooking and took showers, and Mike used it in the garage working.  Calvin even had his first big belly laughs in this when he was with Mike.  We love it.
8. Sophie the freakin' giraffe - There is absolutely baby crack in these things.  Around this age, Calvin wasn't too obsessed with the actual giraffe, but he LOVED the teether that came with it in the gift set.  I plan to do a whole post on toys and what ages he's loved them, but I also thought this deserved special mention here.

9. Swim diaper - We brought Calvin to the pool for the first time at 5 weeks.  We learned quickly that they don't make disposable swim diapers below size 3 (I think he was in size 1 at the time), so we bought this reusable one on Amazon.  It's amazing and has adjustable snaps to fit up to size 5.
10. Ring sling - I finally figured out how to use this thing!! And we've loved it ever since.  I love carrying my little snuggly boy close to me.
And, of course, here are a few items that we haven't loved or used.  If you have any tips and tricks to use any of these, please share them!
1. Electric nail file - We tried everything to cut Calvin's little daggers.  We started with the nail clippers in this Safety 1st kit, and Mike joked that he was 58 for 60 with the first 6 nail cuts (I lost track after that), meaning that he only nicked Calvin twice.  (Trust me, he always tried so hard, that baby was just squirmy!)  Mike didn't love doing the traditional nail cutting, so we bought one of these filing kits.  Well, he wiggled a lot, and I swear it filed his skin more than the nails.  So, we went back to the regular nail clippers.

2. L'ovedbaby kimono onesie - This was a suggestion from a friend to not have to pull poopy onesies over the baby's head, but these weren't that soft (especially for the price), and gosh I hate snaps!

3. Nursing and car seat cover - We never used it as a car seat cover (Calvin is nosy and likes to look everywhere haha), but I used it a lot during the first month or two.  Now, I've definitely become more comfortable with breastfeeding, and that paired with the fact that he eats for 6-7 total minutes instead of 15-20 minutes per side, it's not even worth putting it on.
4. Baby wrap - Yeah, still never figured this one out.  I always felt like he was going to slip out the bottom, but if we have another kid, I've told myself I'm going to master it - haha.

5. Door jumper - As much as Calvin is obsessed with the Jumperoo, he is equally not as in love with this door jumper.  While the Jumperoo keeps him stationary to jump, in the door bouncer, he swings from side to side a lot and has had some close calls with the door frame.  Also, at this age, he couldn't even stick his arms out of it, it was so tall - haha!  We use it sometimes for a change (and it's good for travel), but overall not as good as we had hoped for.

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