Essentials

Must Have Baby Gear

Baby Gear
 
I was so excited to write this post because I truly love so many of these products. Okay all of them. They make life with a baby so much easier. When I was pregnant I was constantly Googling First Baby Must-Haves and Essentials for First Time Moms. It was extremely overwhelming because everyone has their opinion on what they think is best. Honestly, I think if you just randomly pick one of the many reputable options and commit to it with a good attitude, it will be your essential as well. For example, with the nursing bottles. Everyone had a different opinion on the best brand. The lady at Babies R Us said ‘let the baby choose the brand she likes’. Sorry but the baby doesn’t know how much the bottles cost. Eventually I just picked a brand of bottles and committed to it. Those bad boys are working out great and I think it’s because the baby doesn’t know any different. This exact same logic went along with many things like the carseat, stroller and baby monitor. How is one to narrow down such a giant selection? Even looking at reviews can be biased. Maybe that maternal instinct kicks in early and you simply just KNOW what to pick. I am not sure but in my case, it came down to picking something that looked good and in my price range (which happened to be on the low side). In the end I am extremely happy with the pieces I chose and am not quite sure how I would get through many days without them.

1.) Brica Rear Facing carseat Mirror – This was an item I registered for my baby shower but did not receive. I though ‘oh well’ it is probably not too necessary and never got around to buying one myself. After Hallie and I’s first road trip out to see the doctor, I immediately decided it was essential for me to see her face in my rear view mirror while driving. It was actually hazardous NOT to see her as I stressed the whole drive in wondering if the tiny seat belt straps in her carseat were choking her. Now that I have one of these mounted in the car I am so happy that I can glance back and be completely reassured that she is comfortable (and breathing). Mind you her cuteness is still distracting while driving!

2.) Crane Humidifier ‘Tear’ – I bought this guy at Babies R Us mainly because it was so darn cute but also because so many New Mommy Blogs insisted it was essential, especially when they get sick. Hallie is now just over 2 weeks old and already has a stuffy nose (WTF?!) so I am going to start using it in her room tonight. Hoping it will help her poor little nose. It sure helped me in the last trimester as I got very stuffed up, as many very pregnant mommas do.

3.) Medela Electric Double Pump – Ahh the breast pump. We did not get along. Some things are just not meant to be. I am loving pump free life though, I must admit that. For all pumping purposes though, this one wins hands down. It is easy to use, easy to clean, and who does not love the fancy backpack that it comes in. Super handy. The price is high but if you are going to be pumping, I recommend this one. Throw it on your registry and maybe a few friends will go in together!

4.) Amerigo Stretchy Baby Wrap by Mamankangourou – Hallie and I are still getting used to this wrap but we love it! The fabric is super soft yet sturdy and the navy and stripes actually look kind of cute. I have not checked out the DVD yet with all of the positions so we have just tried the little newborn snuggle. It works great though! Hallie just snuggles right in and I am able to use my hands, baby free. I can do wonderful things like sterilize bottles and even type on the computer! Two of my priorities right now, honestly hah. There are many options out there (Moby, Boba, Happy Baby Wrap) and I am sure they are all wonderful and functional in the same way. Go out and get yourself one (commit to a brand remember?!) and make life easy. I even tried to make one; turned out perfect but for the cost of the fabric, it cost the same to buy new. I guess I should also be honest here and say that I bought mine off of Craigslist for $20.00. Baby stuff is all the same: You NEED it and then as soon as you don’t need it, you want to get rid of it ASAP. Check out your local online consignment like Craigslist and I am sure you will find one dirt cheap.

5.) Phil & Ted’s Carrier Bag – I was against many baby bags from the start. Many of them I found to be a little sore on the eyes. I wanted to get a nice Lululemon bag that I could use for everything. I always believe if you need to buy a super functional bag (like said baby bag) get one that will look good with whatever you are wearing. I showed Henry the Lululemon bag I was after and he quickly squashed that bug. Guess $200 was too much. We swung by Target just to check things out and agreed on this bag. The Phil & Ted’s brand is durable and because it is black, will look okay with everything. Also it appears to be very unisex so Henry has no objections carrying it. You might laugh but these are important factors to consider! Well they were for me =). This bag has perfect compartments, side mesh pockets for water bottles, secret mommy pockets for all of my lip glosses (because I need to carry 20 of them for some reason) and a convenient changing mat, already put to use about ten times. I love this bag and am super happy with it!

6.) Tommy Tippee Travel Bottle Warmers – For Formula, these are awesome. You have to be quite careful with how long you have formula made for or how long it is out of the fridge, depending on if it was made from powder, concentrate, etc. These are fantastic for taking a couple bottles on the road with me so that little Miss can get her lunch no matter where we are. The velcro strap handles are great too if I can’t quite fit them into the diaper bag and need to fasten them to the outside or even to the stroller.

7.) Lastly, my pride & joy…. the stroller / carseat – Graco Click Connect Mode Travel System. This product is awesome. It is a stroller with toddler seat / bassinet and has the infant carseat. It was so easy to assemble and literally clicked together, hence the name. It is sturdy, light, and steers beautifully. The carseat is nice and compact, and the stroller folds up and down very easily. You can do it with one hand, often the case when carting around your fussy newborn. This stroller looks good and feels good, what more can mom and baby ask for?!

These are my favourite products right now for Hallie and I. They work with our lifestyle perfectly and make my life very easy. Happy mom happy baby remember? By no means am I saying you should go out and buy these. If you do, you will probably quickly realize why I love them so much. There are tons of similar options out there that will do the same thing. Again, just pick something, commit to using it and I promise, you and baby will love it. Don’t get overwhelmed by the millions of choices of baby crap that you can buy. My girlfriend said it best. ‘There is so much crap to buy for a baby. It’s all expensive and half of it you don’t need’. So be wise and savvy with your choices mommas!

 

 

Postpartum Favourites

Okay new mamas! Existing mamas! Mamas everywhere! I have learnt a few things in my first couple weeks as the new girl in town (mama town that is). Everyday I feel like I am getting used to this new job, finding my way through the haze. Of course, there are many set backs that reduce me to tears. I went to meet my dad for lunch and burst into tears when I could not figure out how to bring the stroller back up from it’s folded position. I also sobbed hysterically for no reason at all in the shower on a few occasions during the first few days. I am pretty sure I did not do anything in there like wash my hair or use the valuable time wisely. Just cry! I just think your hormones are ALL OVER the place in that first week (and maybe still are a tiny bit) so you can’t be held accountable for such outbreaks. That is the justification I am sticking to anyways.

I did however discover a few valuable tie bits of information during this crazy time. The main thing I am learning is if it is easy, do it. For example, my converse sneakers that slip on and do not require laces, on my feet any time I leave the house. They are just that easy. Sleepers and onesies that do not go over the infants head, my go-to outfit for Hallie lately. Sure they are all adorable. But the fuss she makes when I try to pull a onesie over her head and get her squirmy arms into the armholes, well no thank you at 3am at least! Learning some of these little valuable lessons made me want to share some of personal favourites with you. These are certain items I would say are essential during those first couple weeks, when adjusting to motherhood.
postpartum faves
 

1.) Size LARGE BKR Water Bottle. I picked up mine from a local boutique in Vancouver however you can order them directly from the website, or from one of the many retailers that carry them. I LOVE these water bottles. They come in all sorts or awesome colours and the handle is great for hanging from the stroller even with a mommy hook. We have a lot of stairs in our house too so this size works perfectly for when I head upstairs with Hallie and want a good supply of ice cold water on hand.

2.) The Bobbi pillow! This pillow as been a huge support for feeding time (no pun intended haha!). You can purchase cases for them in so many different cute prints too. Just don’t let the Hubs steal it for bedtime like mine has. He insists it is more comfortable than our pillows on our bed, which I am sure it is. But still…..

3.) My brother gave me this swing for my baby shower and I am so happy with it! I have it in a slightly different colour scheme but I highly recommend it. It is the Graco Duo 2-in-1 Swing and Bouncer. Also known as the magic chair, the lifesaver and the ultimate babysitter while mum manages to brush her hair and teeth sometime throughout the day. I love this as a swing and as a chair. So does Hallie!

4.) Nurser bottles – when I first went out to buy these, I was overwhelmed by the selection and had no idea what to chose. I was told, wait and see if your baby likes the brand. This seemed a little crazy to me so I committed to the Tommy Tippee set. They seemed like a great size and were affordable. Hallie seems to do quite well with them as long as they are slow flow – any faster and she gets the hiccups. I also love the Avent brand. I only have one that I received as a sample but must get more. They are exceptionally slow which also means a smooth night for mama (less gas for Miss Fussy here). Either way I think both are great options.

5.) Alright, lets get comfy ladies. Look good while we are doing it too. I will admit, there are days where 3pm rolls around and I am still in my pi’s. Not sure how this came about but it did! For those slow moving, chaotic days, I have settled on some trusty pieces from Target. All of their pyjamas and lounge wear are so comfy, affordable, and super cute. I stocked up before I had Hallie and am so thankful for it. I have many options I can just slip into and do not feel ashamed when the postman knocks on the door and I am in my housecoat still. Hallie ain’t the only comfy one round here!

6.) I mentioned above that my little one happens to get rather gassy. It is probably her adjusting to formula. My doctor recommended Gripe Water and I finally got around to trying it out. Wow did I have one happy baby! Did I mention that I was happy too? We slept! 3.5 hours solid for the first stretch and another 3.5 following that feed. It was glorious. I felt like an entirely new woman at the 6am feeding this morning.  Gripe Water, you are my new best friend.

7.) Along with the late nights, early mornings, and all things in-between, it is only normal for the bags to start appearing under our eyes and for the normally glowing skin to look rather drab. Mine was for sure! My mum is notorious for bringing over samples from beauty counters at Sears. When she gave me a handful of Clarins products, I fell in love with this particular Face Gel. It is a cooling gel and makes your skin feel incredible. The dark circles seem to have subsided as well. I will still be a Lancome girl however this is a fantastic contender!

8.) I mentioned above the easiness of sleepers… these ones are amazing! They are by Emma & Jack – again another Sears special from my mum. They are so great though that I stocked up on about ten of them. Hallie doesn’t seem to mind spending the whole day in them sometimes either. Pretty cute too – birdie and elephant prints are our favourite!

9.) Henry could not understand why I registered for so many of these. I think he is beginning to understand. Carter’s blankets are perfect for anything. Whether we are feeding, swaddling, cuddling or changing, you need like five on hand. Because the other five are in the laundry covered in pee and other special substances brought to you by Miss Hallie Marie. These are my preference because they are affordable, super handy, and come in all sorts of fantastic prints. You can never have enough!

I hope you enjoyed reading up on my favourite products that I have discovered on this bumpy road to being a new mommy. Again, these are just my preferences that I have personally found to make life easier at times. No matter how big the mess, I just gotta look down at this tiny bundle of joy and none of the mess matters. Have a great afternoon everyone! XO