Monday, August 11, 2014

Month One Favorites

To follow up my list of favorite items during the newborn stage, I thought I'd start making posts of my favorite items at all the baby stages - partly to help out new mamas and, not going to lie, partly to help jog my memory come Baby Anderson #2 (not happening anytime soon).

1. Animal Alphabet Thank You Cards - People LOVE giving baby gifts. I don't know if it's because buying baby items is so fun (everything's so little!) or if it's because fellow parents realize how much work (and money) it is to have a baby, but regardless, mamas-to-be and new mamas, prepare to get spoiled. I bought bulk baby thank you cards for my baby shower and realized how convenient they were to have laying around the house, as we received countless gifts even after my shower. Heck, six months later, we're still receiving gifts for little Syd! And if there's one thing my own mom raised me to do is to ALWAYS SEND THANK YOU CARDS. (People who know my mom are definitely laughing right now.)

2. Carters Microfleece Sleepers - Okay, I will fully admit to sometimes over-dressing Sydney. I mean, do you know how many adorable clothes and accessories there are out there for girls?? It's so hard not to -- let's be honest, every day she goes to daycare in like a five-piece ensemble. But when she was a newborn baby, I let her be a newborn baby. I never dressed her in anything that wasn't soft, comfortable and easy-to-wear. I was a new mom and she was this tiny, fragile living doll, and I wanted her to be as comfortable as possible. These sleepers were my everyday and every night go-tos because they're soft, easy to put on and super affordable.

3. Keekaroo Peanut Changer and Munchkin Waterproof Changing Pad Liners - These two go hand-in-hand (at least in my book). The peanut changer was fairly new to the baby scene when I got pregnant, and a bunch of my girlfriends who had recently had babies RAVED about them. I was initially skeptical because they weren't that cute, they didn't have many color choices, and were they really THAT much better than a regular changing pad? I finally caved after hearing how these moms couldn't live life without theirs, and now I totally agree. We didn't change Sydney on the changing table very much when she was a newborn (she was so tiny!), but after about a month we started using it and have never looked back. Simply put, moms love this changer because it's so dang easy to clean. The only negative feedback I read was that it can sometimes be cold on your baby's skin, so we got Munchkin Waterproof Changing Pad Liners, and they work like a charm. Plus, they're pretty inexpensive and easy to clean up as well.

4. iBaby Feed Timer App - This app is AWESOME. I initially registered for some baby feed/sleep handheld electronic thing, and I'm so glad a girlfriend told me I wouldn't need it because I can't imagine lugging something else around just to keep track of her eating/sleeping/diaper schedule. This app has it all - it monitors how long you breastfeed, tracks how many ounces of bottles you give, measures how long between feedings, etc. You can also log your baby's dirty diapers, sleep patterns, solid foods intake and even your pumping schedule. The best part is that it analyzes the data for you, so when your pediatrician asks how long she's nursing on each breast and how long between feedings, you can give your answer with confidence. :-)

UPDATE: Apparently it's only for iPhones and iPads...womp womp. Sorry, Android and Tablet users!

5. Carters Sherpa Hooded Bunting - With Sydney's due date at the beginning of February, I knew a bunting would be a must-have but couldn't make up my mind which one I wanted to get (shocker). One day we were browsing through Carters and suddenly my husband walked up to me with a little pink bear suit in his hand. He so matter-of-factly picked out a snowsuit to bring her home in, and I couldn't bear to tell him I was already leaning towards a few others. It was so tiny and adorable in his hand, and he was so proud of himself! And you know what? It was the least expensive option, and Sydney loved it. She stayed cozy and warm in the suit and always slept SO WELL when she had it on. Because Syd stayed pretty small and because winter in Colorado lasted a little longer, she actually wore it home from the hospital and all the way through three months. Did I mention it's super adorable?? I mean, look. She was a little stuffed animal.


6. Babyganics Foaming Hand Sanitizer - These are everywhere in our house (still). Baby is in its first month alive - need I say more? Actually, I have a love-hate relationship with this hand sanitizer. I love it because it's non-toxic and totally safe to use to immediately handle your baby right after, but a major con to me is that because it's so safe and non-toxic, it doesn't contain any alcohol (which is what makes your hands dry so quick after applying). So, it's a little wet and you kind of feel like you have to dry your hands off on a towel, but don't worry - you'll get used to it fast because you'll use this all. the. time.

7. Bubba Envy Tumbler - I'm sure you're sick of hearing your doctor and nurses tell you to drink water by now, but honestly I can't emphasize enough how major drinking water plays in maintaining your milk supply (if you're breastfeeding!). Drinking water used to be such a chore for me; I would always forget, and when I would remember, I would always want something else to drink. I started swelling in my 37th week and suddenly I became psychotic with drinking water to try and keep the swelling down. I've always been like the little girl in the movie "Signs" that leaves glasses of water all over the house, and finally it started paying off with my new water addiction. But that wasn't enough, so I started chugging 2-3 glasses of water right when I woke up in the morning so I could get a good head start on the day; before I drove anywhere (anywhere - even for the five minute drive to the grocery store), I would stock my car with at least three bottles of water; I started using big plastic tumblers to drink out of...until that came to a screeching halt when I spilled my entire glass all over my nightstand four of five nights in a row. So I finally bought the Bubba tumbler, which I had heard about before, and I loved it. Finally - a big glass for my water that kept it cold without condensation dripping everywhere, it was pink and cute, and I liked the straw. And, it didn't spill when I knocked it over.

8. Johnson's Baby Hand & Face Wipes - These are pretty great. They're soft and gentle on your baby's face and so handy to have in your diaper bag, on your changing table, in the kitchen, etc. I bought these on a whim during a weekly routine Target visit in the weeks leading up to Syd's arrival, and I kind of thought maybe it was something I should put back because they were probably going to go unused... WRONG. We used these (and still use these) all the time - for Sydney's dried milk mustaches, when she would spill down her neck, etc.

9. Gerber Long-Sleeve Side-Snap Bodysuits - When I finally decided to change Sydney out of her pajamas, I still wanted something comfortable to put her in. I liked these Gerber bodysuits because they fit well and didn't have a lot of extra material, but I especially liked them because of their side-snap feature (helps keep the belly button free of irritation), easy to put on and the built-in 'mittens'.

10. Medela Quick Clean Micro-Steam Bags - THESE THINGS WERE LIFESAVERS. As I've mentioned before, I don't like a lot of clutter, especially on my countertops, so while I originally registered for a sterilizer, I'm glad I didn't get one because it would've meant one more item I would've had to leave out on our counters. Anyway, yes, you can sterilize the old fashioned way by boiling water--and we did sometimes when we had lot of bottles built up--but for the most part, I didn't have time to wait for a huge pot of water to boil. These sterilizing bags changed everything for us; all you do is fill the bag up with whatever you need to sterilize (bottles, nipples, pump parts, pacifiers, etc.), fill the bag with two ounces of water, pop the bag in the microwave for 1.5-3 minutes, and voila! You're done. Amazing.

Hope you enjoyed!

End note: Please know my month-by-month favorites usually don't include baby staples like crib, car seat, stroller, etc., nor are any of these posts sponsored. These are just the items we found to be especially helpful during those times and wanted to share. :-)

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