Well it happend, we survived the first year! I wanted to take a moment and compose a list of all the things that I believe really made a difference, and made it a little easier with this new transistion into motherhood. These are what happend to have worked for me, and I have positive testimonials to go along with them . I'm going to list the products as I used them. Let's get into it!
all pictures are from corresponding sites
This was a lifesaver! The Rock N' Play we used religiously for naps and bedtime till about 3 months. We kept her in our bedroom with us at night, and for nap time during the day, I moved the Rock N' Play into the living room. There is four different sound settings, and two different rocking speeds. It also vibrates as well, however my daughter was never a fan of that option. It folds easy to pack up to take on the go, and the cover is machine washable. The music options are great, because it keeps baby asleep even while there is back round noise. I stopped using this after about three months because I did not want her to get accustomed to sleeping with the constant motion. However it was still great to travel with.
This simple bather actually worked great. We used until about 5-6 months, by then she could sit-up on her own. It has an adjustable incline, and fits in both the sink and the tub. It's netting allows super easy clean up as well. For us this bather did a great job of providing some extra support during the first few months. Now that she's bigger bath time is more of a play time.
This truly lives up to it's name. The fact that I could clip this on and wear it like a pool float was everything. It had a little pocket too, that I would always keep random things in. Chapstick. drinks, my phone, Lanolin! It was nice to have some extra support especially when they are first so little. Plus IMO it's way easier to manuver than trying to prop a pillow, or the type with an open back because you would have to be still for it to not move. The back is also flat so it lays flush with your nursing chair, bed, or sofa. Highley reccomend this one, especially if you will be Breast Feeding.
Swaddle made easy. This Velcro sleep sack was a dream, literally. It had a zipper for easy night time diaper changing, and Velcro to keep babies nice and snug while they sleep. No need to 2:00 AM fumble with a long piece of fabric. I had a couple so I could switch them out on rotation. The fabric is a medium weight so it's not too hot or cool for the baby. This definitely gave us some extra hours of newborn sleep.
Baby wearing was and still is one of my favorite things to do. Thankfully my daughter still doesn't mind being in the wrap with mama. Solly's fabric is soo soft, and I know baby feels comfortable too. It is easy to learn how to tie the wrap, and it can fold into itself to fit into your diaper bag. This was a life saver on night time walks, any outdoor outing, or when mama just needs her hands and wants to make sure baby is ok too. It's also great for newborns, as you can adjust how snug you want/need them to be.
I loved this Travel System by Chicco. It came with a lock in base for the car, for easy in and out removal of the carseat. The convenience of putting baby from carseat to stroller with one click was so great. No need to take baby in and out of the carseat. The hood is very long and provides great shade, and there is a net window vent aswell. As she got older we used the stroller alone. It folds up so quickly and is pretty light to take on the go. It was nice having an all in one system. The basket is surprisingly big, and can hold quite a lot. Major Plus!
Can we just call this one a lifesaver! Or should I say datenight saver! I was recommended/told that this was one of my absolute neccesities if I planned on breastfeeding. It's true, you need it. If you plan on going on any outing, with out your babe for more than 2 hours, this is a must. It gives you relief and you can bring the little bottles with you for storage. As long as you bring your big mom purse with you, or just leave it in the car, you will be happy you have it! It's also great when you just need a quick release and you don't want to go set up shop, next to the plug in the wall.
3 to 6/7 months
I'll admit I was hesitant to get on the DockATot train, but boy am I glad I did. It was the perfect transition from the Rock N' Play. I felt safe knowing she was still snug like she was in the RNP, but now she was lying flat, no longer at an incline, nor needing motion to sleep. We used our Dock inside the Pack & Play in our room for about two more months, She co-room slept with us for about 5 months in total. It is so easy to travel with, and you can place the Dock on the floor of any room, and they have their bed with them. We even took it to the beach with us one day, and she slept so peacefully with real life ocean sounds! If you want to know more, here is a review I did with my experience.
This Activity Center allowed me to make myself breakfast and coffee everyday. I mean if that's not a reason to have it I don't know what is! The first time I saw my daughter flip the pages of the little book I lost it. It's great for all their senses and keeps them occupied for a good amount of time. It also allows you to do what you need to do, knowing they are learning and having fun. It has an adjustable height as well so as your baby gets bigger their legs can start to stretch out.
Baby wearing again, this is different I swear! The Tula is for when you are going to be doing some serious outings and you need that extra strap support. It is so comfortable, and my husband actually always wanted to baby wear when we were out. The Standard is for babies 15 pounds and up, there is one now the Free to Grow, that can be used from infant size+. I can't say enough about how great this was to just be free, and not have to worry about a stroller. Etsy also has so many handmade customized accessories you can buy from hoods, and strap drool coveres, it can be dangerous.
I used the DockAtot till about 7 months. By then she was rolling too much, so I decided to let her lay flat in her crib. She slept perfectly fine. I was concerned that she would want the snug feel, but again babies will surprise you. This was also around the time we stopped using our yoga ball. Yes for almost 7 months we bounced her to sleep: so much for not wanting motion to fall asleep. Hey it worked up until she got too heavy to bounce. She was also getting older, and the extra stimulation was keeping her up rather than putting her to sleep. So that's when we replaced the ball with our schedule of the three B's. Bath, Books, & Boob! Still going strong I might add. It's not a total necessity but a good Pack and Play will save you. It's great to travel and you can't take their crib with them. We recently used it the other day when she was a little sick so we could keep an eye on her. Once feeding time comes, prepare for messes. I really loved the silicon pocket bibs, up until at about 9 months. By then my daughter discovered she could rip them off. Now I use this Bapron Bip, it's a combo of a bib and apron that ties in the back. Any sound machine is worth it. We happen to use our Ipad, but a sound machine that doesn’t require Wi-Fi may be more ideal. We all do sleep peacefully with the ocean waves every night though. We also relied heavily on hand-me-downs. For us it really helped out, but take them in only as you see fit. No need to cause any extra clutter to your home. Oh my gosh, I almost forgot! Google! It's every FTM's right of passage to search everything. ha-ha. In all seriousness I feel the biggest and most important thing you could possibly need is SUPPORT. From whomever you may receive that from, take it and hold on to it tight.
Thank you to all my persons for the support and love you continue to give us.
Stephanie + Brittany here! We'll be sharing different topics week to week depending on what life throws at us! Funny moments, frustrating moments, heart to hearts, epiphanies, ideas, thoughts and anything in between.