Baby Gear- What You Need & What You Don’t

baby gearI remember feeling overwhelmed when I was preggers with my first baby and making my baby registry. There was so much stuff to choose from and I didn’t know what I really needed. Well now that I’m an experienced mom of three, I thought I’d share the top items I couldn’t live without (aside from the crib, stroller, and obvious necessities) and some things I really didn’t need. Not because I think I’m an expert…far from it, but because I’ve learned from experience and from other moms, so might as well share the love, right?!

I couldn’t live without the…

  1. Rock-and-Play– This is a godsend!! It’s the only place my kids would sleep for long stretches at night during those first months. Especially since they all had acid re flux, so being on an incline was definitely helpful. Seriously, I don’t know how I would have survived without this thing. I have an old one, but the newer versions are even nicer and more comfy! You can buy one here!
  2. Nursing Cover- I love these Copper Pearl covers because they serve so many purposes!! They can be used as a car-seat cover, high chair cover, shopping cart cover, infinity scarf, and best of all- nursing cover. I love how they give full coverage so you don’t have to worry about being exposed during nursing sessions. Not to mention the patterns they offer are really cute!
  3. Nose Frida- Or as we like to call it, “The Snot Sucker.” I know it sounds gross but this thing seriously works SO well. It blows the bulb aspirators out of the water. Plus you don’t have to worry about mold like you do with those. Click here to buy.
  4. Triple Paste- I’ve tried so many diaper creams but this one’s my favorite by far. My sister recommended it to me when Miles was younger and dealing with a wicked diaper rash. It worked so fast!! It’s a little pricey, but you get what you pay for. You can get pick some up at any convenience store.
  5. Baby Carrier- A friend of mine mentioned how much she loves ring slings, so I decided to try one out. I ordered from Sakura Bloom, but Vienna Springs makes really nice ones too. Now when I take all three kiddos grocery shopping I can carry baby love in the sling and she falls right to sleep. This is a lifesaver- especially for moms with more than one kid.
  6. JJ Cole Bundle Me- I love this because it allows your baby to be strapped in safely without a coat and still snug as a bug. Click here to buy.
  7. SwaddleMe Blankets/Blanket Sleepers- My kids didn’t like being swaddled, but they needed to be if I wanted them to get decent sleep. Otherwise their startle reflex would wake them up constantly. The swaddle blankets are nice because they make it so easy for you. They also keep baby warm and safe without the worry of stangulation that comes with loose blankets. Click here to buy.
  8. Sound Machine- Babies sleep so much better with white noise in the background. I like the ones that have a heartbeat sound to mimic life in the womb. They’re especially helpful if you have other kids and you want to drown out the noise. Ahem…like me…You can find them on Amazon or at any baby store.
  9. Blackout Curtains- These are amazing! I wish I had them with my first baby. They keep the room pitch black so baby can take a nice long nap. Hallelujah!
  10.  Owlet Baby Monitor- I used the angelcare monitor with my first two babies, but then I discovered Owlet and I like it so much better. It’s a sock you put on baby’s foot which monitors their heart rate and oxygen levels. There’s also a base station and an app you can download on your phone that will alert you if something’s not right. I don’t have to hover over her crib or come check to make sure she’s breathing during the night. I don’t even worry about it! I can sleep soundly knowing she’s A-OK. You can’t put a price tag on that my friends. Actually you can…it’ll cost you $299. Click here to buy.
  11. Nuring Bras/Pads- If you’re planning to breastfeed, this one’s self explanatory.
  12. Breast Pump- I love my Medela Advanced Breast Pump! It’s a double which obviously cuts the pumping time in half. The best part is, my insurance paid every penny! Did you know you could do that? Click here to see if you’re eligible.
  13. Video Monitor- This is a must! As least for me it is. I like to be able to see my kiddies during the night and hear them if they’re calling for me. There are so many different models out there, so you can choose whichever one fits your needs.
  14. The Mommy Hook- I LOVE the mommy hook! You clip it to your stroller and you can hang your purse and all your shopping bags, so your hands are free to wrangle the kids. I use mine all the time- even when I’m not with the kids lol. They come in all different sizes and colors.the mommy hook

 

Now that we covered the must-haves, let’s chat about the stuff you really don’t need.

  1. Wipe warmer- Sure it sounds nice to clean baby with a warm wipe, but these things dry the wipes out. If your baby’s a little high maintenance, chances are they’re not going to like diaper changes regardless of how warm or cold the wipes are.
  2. Sophie the Giraffe- I don’t get what the fuss is with this thing. I don’t think it’s any better than any of the other teethers we’ve bought that cost less than half the price.
  3. Dreft Detergent- I lovingly washed all my first born’s clothes in special detergent. Now? I’m drowning in laundry. Literally drowning…so I use whatever the hell I have in the cabinet and call it a day. If your bambino has sensitive skin just look for anything “free and clear”, and you’ll be good. No need for special brand name stuff that costs a small fortune.
  4. Baby Shoes- They’re ADORABLE, I’ll admit, but come on! Baby’s usually not walking for the first year so save your money or go buy yourself some shoes! 😉
  5. Hand Mittens- If you really want mittens, you’re better off just getting the onesies and pjs that have them built in. Bonus- you don’t have to worry about them running away with your socks and tupperware lids.
  6. Infant First Aid Kit- I bought one and never used it. If you have bandaids, you’re good to go. And let’s be honest, if baby’s actually hurt or sick you’ll be running to the doctor, not to your handy dandy first aid kit.
  7. Baby Robes- Unless you’re raising a mini-Hugh Hefner, you can skip the robes.
  8. Bottle Warmer- I exclusively breastfeed, but I also pump and store milk in case I ever need to be away from baby during a feeding. I bought a bottle warmer and I wasn’t impressed. It’s easier to just put the milk in a ziplock bag and run it under warm water to heat it up. No special tools required. 🙂
  9. Newborn Sized Clothes- Newborn outfits are so tiny and cute that they’re hard to resist, but the average newborn weighs 7.7 pounds at birth, so they only fit in newborn clothes for a couple weeks. You’re better off buying 0-3 month stuff so baby can wear them longer.
  10. A Changing Table- If you have a big nursery and a budget to match, then go for it, but you really don’t need a changing table. You can just attach a changing pad to baby’s dresser and save the extra space.
  11. Baby Food Processor- At one point in time I thought I’d make all baby’s food from scratch hahahaha!! I was so cute and naive. Then life happened and I found myself loading my shopping cart with Gerber and I never looked back. BUT if you want to make your own food, a regular food processor or blender will get the job done just fine.
  12. Crib Bumpers- They’re cute, but it’s also been proven they can cause suffocation. If you’re worried about baby’s legs or arms getting stuck between the bars, just put her in a blanket sleeper.
  13. Stuffed Animals- If there’s one thing I HATE with a passion, it’s stuffed animals. Yet everyone always wants to give them as gifts. Can we please stop the madness already?! They never get played with and just end up cluttering the house. I have actual nightmares about stuffed animals…

That’s about it my friends! If you found this helpful please pin or share 🙂 xoxo

 

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Before Barre Photos

The beginning of my journey to becoming a healthier and happier mommy for my kids.

My sister, Michelle, started taking barre classes about 1.5 years ago and she always talks about how much she loves it. I can see why…she looks amazing (although she’d never admit it) and I’ve never seen her more physically fit. I told her I wanted to try it out, so she bought me classes for my birthday back in April. Now that I’m not pregnant anymore and I’ve had a couple of months to recover from delivery, I’ve decided to give it a try. Technically I started on Monday, but I forgot to take the “before photos”. Well…today I remembered. I can’t believe I’m doing this, but here’s my postpartum body in all it’s glory.

before barre

I plan on taking classes 3-4 times a week. If I like the results I’m seeing and am happy with how it’s going, then hopefully this will become part of my normal routine and I’ll be a healthier and  happier mommy for my kids. I loved (and hated- lol) my first three classes this week, so fingers crossed!!

I never belonged to a gym or worked out anywhere other than my house. I attempted P90X a couple of times but it’s really intense (although barre is too- but it’s a different kind of intense) and there’s no one to push me to keep going. When it got too difficult I’d say screw it and turn it off. At barre I can’t just give up. We’re all in it together and pushing ourselves to the point of exhaustion. I’m so much more motivated to work harder when I’m in a room full of people who are working their asses off too. Sure, I look like an idiot 90% of the time because I’m the least flexible person alive, but that’s okay! I don’t feel judged when I’m there…everyone’s really supportive!

I don’t have a deadline for the after photos, but I’ll post them once I feel like I achieved the results I want. Stay tuned…

 

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Raising Siblings to be Lifelong Friends

sibling friends

I think every parent wants their children to be friends long after they’re gone, which is easier said than done. My kids really do love each other and play well together most of the time, but they also fight like cats and dogs. They know which buttons to push and how to get a reaction, even if it’s negative.

I want them to play together, be there for one another, support each other, and create memories together. Not just as children, but as adults. Here’s how I’m trying to make that happen:

Real Apologies

In our home, we say I’m sorry. Not just a quick, insincere apology, but an actual heartfelt apology. Chloe used to say sorry all the time. It almost became a habit, which she probably picked up from me. Oops! We had to teach her and Miles when it’s important to apologize and how to make it count.

When to Apologize

  1. When you hurt someone’s feelings– this is never okay, and an apology is necessary.
  2. When you physically hurt someone– whether it was intentional or not.

How to Make it Count

We’re teaching our children that to make a heartfelt apology you have to reflect on what you did wrong and think about why it was wrong. Then you have to be willing to ask for forgiveness. It’s not easy, and sometimes their pride or stubbornness (don’t know where they got that from- insert cringe emoji here) gets in the way, but it’s worth it to me to take the time to teach them this valuable lesson.

Hug and Kiss Goodnight

When my husband was growing up, his sister would never let him or his brother go to bed until they gave her a hug and kiss goodnight. It seems like something so small, but you know what? They’re so close now as adults. They never go more than a couple days without talking, even if it’s just through texts.

Of course I want the same for my own children, so every night before they go to bed they always give each other a hug and kiss and say goodnight. It’s funny because Chloe actually started doing that on her own without being told. Miles, on the other hand, needed a little nudge lol.

Helping Each Other

I always encourage my kids to help each other out- whether it’s helping to clean up (regardless of who made the mess), or getting something for each other- they’re being taught to lend a helping hand. Thankfully, Chloe picked up on this right away and has always been a very helpful big sister. She’s a awesome role model for Miles.

That’s what we’re doing in our home to encourage healthy sibling relationships.

But when all else fails, or you’ve just had enough, you can always stick them in a shirt together and go grab yourself a cocktail 😉

sibling friends 2

What are some things you to do encourage strong relationships in your home?

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