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.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Happy (Belated) Valentine's Day

Whoops... apparently I never scheduled this post to go live on Friday, so here are a few days-late photos of an adorable baby dressed for Valentine's Day ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Calvin just wanted to stop by and say Happy Valentine's Day to all of you!  I hope you have the happiest of days and know that you are loved!! xoxo
Calvin's clothes: red and gray Converse cribsters (they're Velcro!) ||| personalized Valentine shirt ||| green romper ||| black and red striped romper 

Monday, November 18, 2019

Fall Flavors: Pumpkin + Chocolate

Happy Thanksgiving week!  I am so excited to be with family this week and totally stuff my face.  This past weekend, we had friends over for a Friendsgiving brunch.  I've made this recipe a few times this fall, and it's been the perfect breakfast... or dessert!  What I love about this recipe is that you can make bread, muffins, or mini muffins from the same batter.  
Ingredients:
- 1 and a half cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 15oz can pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup milk
- 3/4 cup chocolate chips (or try chopped pecans, cinnamon chips, butterscotch chips, etc!)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a your choice of pan with cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt.
3. In a medium bowl, combine eggs, sugar, and brown sugar.
4. Once smooth, add in pumpkin, vegetable oil, and milk to sugar mixture.
5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold to combine, using a wooden spoon.
6. Once combined, mix in chocolate chips and pour into the pan.
7. Bake accordingly: bread - 65 minutes; muffins - 20 minutes; mini muffins - 10 minutes
I am always a fan of a little butter on any breads, but this bread almost doesn't need it.  Especially straight out of the oven, it's so warm, light, and rich.
Also, I could eat about 10 of these mini muffins in one sitting.
I hope everyone has an enjoyable, food-filled, restful, and fun Thanksgiving weekend!

 
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