Thursday, February 25, 2016

Baby Registry: Feeding

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So this is my second time writing this blog post... Thank you, blogger.

Part 5 of 7. Let's chat about what you'll need for feeding your little one.

This list can be split into two really - half for your registry and half for you to purchase later. We registered for everything, except the sippy cups. I liked just having it all up front but some may want to wait until they'll actually be using things before getting them.


1) BREAST PUMP: Your insurance should cover this so give them a ring to get the deets. Then remove it from your registry! If you'll be traveling a lot you may also consider getting a hand pump on top of the electronic one. If you don't have insurance then check Craigslist and your local resale sites/groups for a used one. Often times you will find barely used pumps that you can get for free or cheap(er) and then just buy new tubing for it. 

Personally, I hated pumping but I did try to do it once in a while for when I was going to be out for a night or just for the hubs to feed O. 

2) NIPPLE CREAM: A friend got me Earth Mama Angel Baby Natural Nipple Butter and it was great - natural, smelled delicious and did the job of keeping my breast feeding nipples not chapped. Most common is Lanolin cream which you will need to wipe off your breast before feeding - you don't have to wipe off the Earth Mama cream.

3) NURSING BRAS: The Bravado! Nursing Bra is highly recommended and it's what I used. The clips never came undone on their own and they were easy to get undone with one hand, too. My only complaint is that there was ZERO support. Which is great for comfort level but not so great for little lift. :) The removable pads included with the bra did help to add a little bit of support. 

4) NURSING COVER: Some mamas use a scarf or blanket but I preferred a nursing cover like the Bebe au Lait pictured above. Mine was a Boppy brand but basically the same. The semi-rigid neckline on this nursing cover makes it easy to position and check on your baby while they are eating It also keeps the fabric off the baby's face a little bit. 

5) BOTTLE BRUSH: Clean bottles. Get one with the small nipple cleaner as well. 

6) BOTTLES & NIPPLES: We originally only had the LifeFactory glass bottles with silicone sleeves. When Oliver was a newborn we had to supplement with formula and he didn't like the nipples on the LifeFactory bottles so we purchased a set of 3 Tommee Tippee bottles. The nipples on these are meant to more closely resemble the breast. After a few months with the Tommee Tippee's he was fine with the LifeFactory bottles. 

You'll also need to get nipples for different stages - they'll give a slower or faster flow depending on your babies age. 

7) BOTTLE DRYING RACK: We have a small square BOON drying rack and I love it. Love that it's not huge and that it's easy to clean- the green "grass" lifts out of the white tray. I am loving this long, skinny tray though and may need to get it instead for baby 2. We have two small areas of counter space on each side of our sink... anything to make it less cluttered where the dishes dry is a big plus in this house! We also got the little twig that goes with it to hang the cap & nipple pieces on. 

1) BIBS: Cloth and plastic with a pocket. I suggest around 10-12 cloth and 2-3 plastic ones w/ the pockets. The plastic ones you can just wipe down so you don't need that many of them. We have bibs with velcro but I suggest snaps. Oliver ripped the velcro ones off easily and scratched up the back of his neck in the process. I loved our terry cloth ones the most - they were easy to wipe things up with, absorbent and soft on Oliver's face. 

2) HIGH CHAIR: My mom got us a used Eddie Bauer wooden high chair that I really love the look of. I don't like that the back of the seat doesn't lean back and that it doesn't fold up. The fact that it is wood and doesn't look like a typical plastic high chair really makes up for that though. I never looked into others before having O since my mom had already gotten us one. Here's a Graco TableFit high chair I ran across while doing some research for this post that I really like- looks like a small footprint, machine washable and folds up.

3) BOWLS & SPOONS: For solids. We used the Munchkin Soft Tip Infant Spoons when we first started solids and have no complaints- good size for Oliver and has a little bit of depth to the spoon. We also got the Munchkin bowls but I like these Gerber Graduate bowls with lids, too. We've since gotten an Ikea set of plates, cups, bowl & silverware.

4) FORMULA: How much, if any at all, depends on your feeding plan. For us, the samples we received in the mail from different companies and the samples we received from the hospital were plenty until I weaned Oliver at around 10 months. (If you sign up with Enfamil and Similic and probably others, you'll receive free formula samples in the mail.) We only used formula to supplement when Oliver was newborn and not eating enough yet and once in a while if we were out and a bottle was easier than breast feeding.

5) SIPPY CUPS: There are so many! Pediatricians recommend switching from a bottle to a sippy cup by 1 year. I think we switched Oliver around 14 months or so....? I'm not really sure but it wasn't too long after his first birthday. We used soft tipped Munchkin sippy cups when we made the switch. Eventually Oliver bit through the tips of those and we switched to Nuby hard tipped cups. We've always just had two at a time and that's worked fine for us. We only use these sippy cups for milk in the morning and before bed.

We also have a Contigo water bottle w/ a straw from Target that we use for water primarily when we go out. At meal times O uses these nifty Munchkin Miracle 360 cups. A very highly recommended cup is the Thermos Foogo which also keeps liquids nice and cold - they come as a sippy cup and a bottle with a straw.

6) MUNCHIE MUG: We started out with these Munchkin Snack Catchers and UH. No thanks. Oliver was constantly pulling the lids off and spilling things everywhere. Friends of ours have this Munchie Mug and it's AWESOME. The top is fabric and it now comes with a "stay fresh lid" to use for storing snacks longer. A con is that it's a bit large so it's not going to fit into a stroller cup holder.

I read a reviewers comment recently that had a wonderful tip! There's a brand of gelato called Talenti sold in grocery stores that are the same size as the munchie mug. She interchanges the munchie mug's top onto the clean and snack filled Talenti container. Talenti Gelato is DELICIOUS, too. Win Win.

...Now I want gelato.

  • Baby Food Storage Containers: Depending on if you plan to make your own baby food you may or may not need these. For freezing the food in small portions I used the BEABA Silicone Trays and absolutely loved them. They are super easy to pop the food out of after freezing. Of course, we found them used. Score. We used the tray since then for a bunch of small portions of snacks when we went on a plane ride. Super win on that. Oliver loved it. 
  • Nursing Pads: I didn't need these at all since my flow wasn't super heavy. Many people need a buttload though. (Buttload? Why do people say that? Pretty gross.) Maybe start with a small box then get more, if needed. 
  • Nursing Pillow: If you read my list on what to pack for the labor/delivery hospital stay then you know my iffy relationship with this. I preferred pillow propping my arm up. Some of my friends actually brought their nursing pillow with them places... so it really just depends on you. 
  • Breast Milk Freezer Storage Bags: Will you be pumping for later use? Then get some. I think I froze all of about 20 ounces of breast milk... and I think that's a high estimate. Have I mentioned my dislike of pumping? 
  • Hands Free Pumping Bra: If you'll be pumping a lot then get one of these
  • Nipple Shield & Case: You may want this if you end up having issues with latching or just to keep your nipples from getting too sore. They are sized though so you probably want to wait until your milk comes in to get one. They sell them at Target near the bottles & breast pump stuff, as well. And apparently there are cases for them! Wish I would've known that. I used a plastic baggie.
  • Bottle Warmer: Nope. Just nope. Use a bowl of hot water.... or, the microwave.... which, yes, they say not to use because of hot spots but we just microwaved the bottle for a short 15-20 seconds to get the chill off and then made sure to shake it up a ton. But, yeah, listen to the experts, not me. ;) Either way, you don't need a bottle warmer.
  • Bottle Sterilizer: A pot of boiling water will do exactly the same thing.
  • Specialized Baby Food Maker: A food processor, blender or, my favorite, an immersion blender, will do exactly the same thing. You don't need another piece of equipment. And if you don't have any of those things and want to make your own baby food then I highly recommend going with the immersion blender. It purees so well!
Alrighty - that's all I got for now. Man, it's 8pm and I am ready for bed. We had a ridiculously loud storm last night and it had half of Boston up at 3am. No lie; it even merited a article about our lack of sleep. 

Night night.

Check out the other posts in my "Baby Registry" series!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Baby Registry: Clothing

We are some of the lucky Bostonians to get not one, but TWO, busted pipes after those sub-zero temps over the weekend. One on Monday and a new one was discovered today.  Hubs said the plumbing section at Home Depot was packed when they went on Monday and a lot of stuff was sold out.

Anywho - that's part of why I'm a bit late here. Let's chat about clothing. The quantity of clothing you need depends a lot on two things - (1) how much your baby spits up and (2) how often you'll do laundry. We have a washer & dryer in our apartment- if that wasn't the case, I would've done laundry MUCH less and therefore, gotten more clothing. I do laundry at least twice a week so I didn't need a lot. You do what works for you.

I kept this list fairly short since I don't think much is actually needed when they are newborn. Oliver lived in onesies & sleepers. Plus, you'll get clothes that you don't even register for. We also found that a few clothing items we registered for were no longer available in store when it came time for people to buy them.

1) COMING HOME OUTFIT: Is it necessary this is a separate item from the others? No. Is it necessary to have a cute outfit to come home in? No. But it sure is nice and fun. :) I brought along a newborn size and a 0-3 month size outfit. Oliver wore a onesie from Target that said "New In Town" with socks and a blanket tucked around him.
Oliver's 1st day @ home with his Papi
2) ALL THE ONESIES: In the (hot) summer, they can live in these alone. In the winter, you'll use them to layer up. Either way, you'll need 'em. Get the Carter's brand, not Gerber. Gerber shrinks up a bunch.

We registered for just a 5 pack of 0-3 month short sleeved onesies to start. We received a ton as part of outfits we got and I think we supplemented with one more 5 pack after Oliver was born. Did I mention he spit up all the time? 

3) SLEEPERS / SLEEP N PLAYS / FOOTED PAJAMAS: Whatever you call them - they are perfect. Oliver basically lived in these. Easy to get on and off, easy for diaper changes and no pressure on the umbilical cord.
Our favorite little monster sleeper. :)

You may also consider getting some sleeping gowns. We had 3 or 4 of these and liked them. They are like sleepers but without legs - just a "dress." 

4) SOCKS: Preferably socks that actually stay on! These can be hard to find. Our preferences have been Osh Kosh, Carter's, Nike and some brand we found at Marshall's that I can't recall the name of. Oliver has wide little Brazilian feet so the brand that works for him could be different for you if your baby has skinny feet. I've heard Gap can be good but I hate the 2 pairs we have from there. They slip off in two seconds. 

5) SUN OR WINTER HAT: Gotta admit, we never ended up getting a sun hat for Oliver. We were extra careful in the sun though and kept him covered up. If you'll be going to the beach or be outdoors a lot (without a stroller for coverage) then you should definitely get a hat to protect your little one. We were gifted a few winter hats so we didn't have to bother getting any. You'll get a little cap at the hospital but you'll probably want something more. 
6) PANTS OR LEGGINGS: Soft ones. With or without feet. We preferred them without since Ollie was born in the summer and we could put him in a sleeper if we wanted something with feet. 

7) HOODIE: I say go for the zip-up hoodie so there's nothing extra to pull over their head. Even if your baby is coming in the summer, I recommend getting at least a light hoodie for cooler days/nights. 

8) BOOTIES: Keep those toesies warm without the pain of socks. Probably more important in the winter. I don't have either but some highly recommended ones are Zutano and Robeez

9) THE CUTE STUFF: Fun & cute pieces or outfits, of course! :) 

Our favorite stores are Gap, Old Navy, Osh Kosh, H&M and Carter's. Also get a lot of basic tees from Target. Both of the outfits above are from Carter's (pants here). Oliver was average size after about 4 months and slightly below average before that. We found that Osh Kosh, Gap and H&M run large. Gap runs VERY large. Carter's was always pretty much right on with sizing or slightly on the small side.

Also, we always shop the sales! And take advantage of the end-of-season sales to pick up some items for next season! We usually try to do this with sweaters at least since they are the most costly items.

  • Additional sizes in each item, specifically onesies and sleepers. 
That's all for now. I don't have any pointless items except to say that you don't need to go crazy. Start small. We bought what we needed, in the right sizes, as Oliver grew and the seasons changed. 

Enjoy the fun of dressing up your little! 

If you haven't checked them out yet, take a look back at my other posts in the "Baby Registry" series, linked below!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Baby Registry: Bedding

Hi all!

It's FRIDAY! This seemed like a very long and a very short week. Yesterday, after being sick and stuck inside most of the week, I had grand plans to spend my morning with Oliver at a local shopping area... get some Starbucks followed by some browsing, let Oliver run around in the park area and give our bellies some pizza before coming home for nap time. It was going to be so good to get out. 

Alas, sometimes plans fail and you're reminded that your in-law's are coming over that night for dinner to celebrate your FIL's birthday. So instead you have to grocery shop and bake a cake which isn't really that bad (because you/I love to bake!) but then when you get to the grocery store (your 3rd stop), you realize you've lost your grocery list and you have to remember what's left. HA!

You leave thinking, "I did good." Ah, but then you are pulling out and remember - BUTTERMILK! I need buttermilk for the cake. That can't wait until after nap. So back into the grocery store you go. And your child is having a meltdown because he's exhausted.

Finally, you're home, and it's nap time (hallelujah!). But then your child decides that today is the day to take a THIRTY MINUTE nap. 

Oy. It was rough. 

Curious George to the rescue. Sometimes, mama, it's ok to let your kid watch too much TV. They will be O. K.  And sometimes, mama, you could skip making dinner and order in and that is O. K., too! I just happen to find comfort in cooking & baking so it helped me on this day.

Man, it was a day. It was ok by the end. I managed to flip the switch and enjoy myself in my kitchen happy place. Oliver got a little whiney towards the end. I tried to explain to him that if he'd take another short nap then he would be happier but he wasn't buying it. 

Love this little stinker. 

So let's get to it - Bedding. A semi-boring but also semi-fun portion of the list. Here's where some decorating can come into play... but still, it's bedding. If I was making a Top 5 Favorite Baby Registry items list, I'd pick two things from this category. So it's gotta be a fun list, right?


1) CHANGING PAD COVERS: I say two. Three if you really want to be safe but 2 has almost always been enough for us. Whatever brand you get, make sure it fits your changing pad. I think they're made basically the same size but just double check. Also, you can use a receiving blanket or something similar under your baby when you're changing your little one if you're worried about messing up the cover and your other cover is already dirty.

2) FITTED SHEETS: For the crib and the bassinet. I don't recommend registering for a full crib set. The AAP recommends not having pillows, blankets or a bumper in the crib in order to reduce the risk of SIDS. SIDS freaks me out so I follow their guidelines on this.

Anywho - get two fitted sheets for each (crib & bassinet).

3) WATERPROOF MATTRESS PADS: Ok, honestly, I wasn't sure if I wanted to put this on. I decided to because it's not that costly and it's going to protect the mattress from any pee/poo-splosions. Plus, I think it makes the mattress a little warmer to lay on than just the thin fitted sheet. We opted to get the non-fitted mattress pads. It's a little annoying to put on but really not that hard and it was a bit cheaper  so I went with it since I was on the fence anyway.

4) SWADDLE BLANKETS: LOVE THESE! Oliver loved to be swaddled. It calmed him down immediately. There is no guarantee that your babe will like it. I have friends who's babies didn't care for it at all. But they are good to have either way - you can use them as a light blanket in the car seat and stroller, as a nursing cover or to lay on on the floor. We registered for the Classic Aden & Anais swaddles originally. But THEN we were gifted the Bamboo Aden & Anais swaddles instead. WOO HOO! (It looks like they are now called "Silky Soft.") Oh my goodness, they are SO SOFT. Absolutely love these things.

5) SLEEP SACKS: Since it's recommended that you don't use blankets on your little one, unless you are watching them, you should grab some of these. Sleep sacks are wearable blankets. We had the regular ones but they also have ones that swaddle around the arms (like below). I've never used the latter so I can't speak to how well they work but they do allow baby's hips & legs to move. My mama recently sent me an article about infant & baby hip dysplasia that suggests not keeping baby's legs straight but allowing them to move.

6) FLANNEL RECEIVING BLANKETS: Given how much Ollie spit up, these go in my Top 5 list, too. We got all ours from Target. They have 4 packs for $10 and they're good quality and cute. I think in the end we had around 15-20 receiving blankets since we used them as burp clothes. Actual burp clothes or the ones DIY'd from prefold diapers are too small. I don't recommend them at all. The receiving blankets are absorbent and they're big so you can fold them to use a new, clean area. I also used them when I took Oliver to the park for lunch; I would dampen it, put it in a ziploc and take it along for easy clean-up.

7) PACK N PLAY SHEETS: Honestly, we barely used ours. Hopefully that's not too gross. We only used our pack n play as a travel crib and as a crib for when I was baby-sitting so it didn't get a ton of use. I know some people keep them set-up at their house for a crib in other rooms - if that will be your situation then you may want to get two or three sheets. Otherwise, one may be enough. Oliver did have one instance where he peed through his diaper while we were on vacation so we didn't have a back up but whatever.

OPTIONAL: You may also consider a mattress pad if you'll be using yours often and want to make things extra cushy for your little one. The pad on the pack n play is not anywhere near plush.

8) CRIB SKIRT: I considered calling this an optional item because, technically, it is. But it also makes the nursery look much nicer and hides the dust that's going to accumulate under the crib... well, at least if you have hardwood floors and live at my house where the dust never ceases no matter what I do.

OPTIONAL (or really, possibly later, in this case):

  • Crib blankets: People will most likely buy you blankets. You can register for these or not. We didn't and Oliver has 4 or 5. 
  • Full Bedding Set for Crib
  • Breathable Crib Bumper
  • Miracle Blanket: I wouldn't normally add random things like this to a "pointless" category but I was convinced on buying it and then barely used it - basically only if our swaddles were all dirty. It's a little TOO confining for my taste. The swaddles will be enough regardless. 
I think that rounds it up for today. Any additions you would make, current mamas? 

If you haven't checked them out yet, take a look at the NURSERY and TRANSPORTATION editions of my baby registry series! 

See y'all Sunday for the next portion of the registry list! Have a great Saturday!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Baby Registry: Nursery

Today we are taking a look at what you'll need for your nursery!

This is one place where I think you can purchase a lot of stuff used and still have great quality. Or not purchase things like a separate changing table when you can just use the top of the dresser with a changing pad. Why buy a piece of furniture that you're using only while your baby is in diapers and then it's useless? It's silly what the industry convinces you you need.

I went back and forth so many times on how to categorize everything - does a crib go under "nursery" or "sleeping?" Both. In the end I decided to stick all the nursery stuff together and then have a separate list for the "bedding" items. I will not pretend like this is the absolute best way to break things up - it's not even how I broke them up when I did my registry - but it's what your getting this time around. ;)

We actually didn't register for many of these things but purchased them ourselves or used what we already had.

A reminder - I'll give you the "Need It's" on the printable at the end of the series but I'll also be giving you some "Optional" items and I'll even throw some things out there that I personally think are pointless. Hey, you may consider some of my "need it's" pointless! Who knows. :)


1) CRIB: I don't think much explanation is needed here. We opted for the Ikea SUNDVIK crib for it's price ($119) and it's size. It's not a big crib that swallows the room up which we liked since Oliver would be starting out in a smaller room. It doesn't convert to a full bed but it does convert to toddler size. For us, the cost of a twin or full size frame wasn't comparable to the price of a crib that converts, especially given that you buy the conversion set on top of the cribs cost. (Especially given that my hubs works for a furniture retailer!)

2) CRIB MATTRESS: Not a lot of explanation needed here either. Just make sure that whatever mattress you get fits snugly in your crib so that your baby can't fall between the crib side & the mattress. We got a Sealy Soybean Foam Core Crib Mattress on Amazon. I don't sleep on it so I can't confirm it's comfort level ;) but it feels good to the touch and fits the crib well. No complaints here.

3) BASSINET: This is something I actually wasn't going to get at first and then a friend let us borrow theirs and my eyes were opened. See, our nursery is right next to our bedroom, like door opens from our bedroom directly into the nursery. I figured, hey, it's so close, it'll be fine. Crazy me. Of course I want him right next to us so I don't have to walk ALL. THE. WAY. to the next room when he fusses or needs nursed at night. And that's coming from a mama who's baby was sleeping through the night by around 4 or 5 months and only nursed twice a night. That being said, no, it's not absolutely necessary, but it certainly makes your life much easier!

Our friends let us borrow something like this Cariboo Folding Bassinet. Some great things - (1) It folds up for easy storage. (2) It's very light and therefore very easy to move from room to room. (3) Small footprint. Takes up very little space even when it's set-up. One thing I didn't love - It doesn't rock. Boo. You can push the actual fabric bassinet part a little bit but it's not intended to rock.

I happened to come across an UppaBaby bassinet for free this past year so I grabbed it up for baby 2. I think we'll purchase this Jolly Jumper Moses Basket Rocking Stand for use with the UppaBaby bassinet (or look for something similar). If this free bassinet hadn't come along then I seriously considered finding a used Cariboo or looked into this Arm's Reach Mini Cosleeper further.

4) GLIDER OR ROCKING CHAIR: We bought ours used on craigslist. It was in perfect condition as they hadn't used it much for their baby. We have a glider with the gliding foot stool. I definitely think this is worth the purchase. You'll get long term use out of it. Nursing in the beginning, soothing from night time wake-ups and before bedtime snuggles and reading as your little one gets older.

5) NIGHT STAND OR TABLE: This isn't a necessity but it does make things easier. We actually used a little table from another room in the house until we no longer needed it. The main purpose was to put things on while I was nursing or soothing - i.e. phone, kindle, water bottle, etc. Of course, if you want a small lamp in the nursery then you can put that on the night stand, too. Whatever you get - make sure it's big enough to actually set whatever you want on it.

6) DRESSER: Nix the separate changing table; that's just silly. Get a dresser that is low enough to put a changing pad on with plenty of drawers. We got a dresser second hand and painted it.

7) CHANGING PAD: Put it on the dresser. Done. We got the Summer Infant Contoured Changing Pad. It straps to the top of our dresser but the strap isn't that strongly connected to the actual pad. Ours ripped off but I think that's because our kid hates being changed it an extreme wiggler. It doesn't really make that much of a difference though - it's not like you should ever leave your kiddo on the changing pad by himself so the strap is just extra protection and keeps it from slipping around.

1) CLOTHES HAMPER: To put dirty clothes in. Mind blowing.

2) BABY MONITOR: We have to Motorola MBP41 and it has a really clear picture. We made the mistake of letting Oliver carry around the monitor screen and he broke up. Dumb move on our part. I haven't been able to find a replacement of just the monitor so we aren't using it right now. I haven't decided what we will do with baby 2 yet. There are sound only monitors as well but I found it helpful to be able to see how much he was moving around to decide whether to go in if he was fussing. There are also monitors you can get that work with your smart phone or tablets.

3) SMOKE & CARBON MONOXIDE ALARM: Hopefully you already have these installed in your home but if not, now is a great time to do so! Protect that little bundle.

4) HANGERS: To hang clothes. Oliver has a corner closet so we don't hang anything of his - it's all folded in his dresser. Along this line, you may want to consider installing an additional rod in your nursery closet to fit more of those itty bitty clothes. Or a shelf under the current rod to store shoes and other things.

5) HUMIDIFIER: In winter months and dryer climates this will  keep your baby's skin happy. Google the deets.

6) FAN: Specifically, a loud fan. We use a a Lasko Whirlwind Floor fan but it looks like it's no longer available. We live in the city on a busy street so we needed the white noise for Oliver's room. It's good to circulate the air and provide the white noise. During the winter we use it on low or medium and point it away from the crib. You could also opt for a white noise machine. I think the circulating air in the room is good.


  • Noise Machine or CD Player
  • Night Light (may end up needing later so you can opt to put it in the nursery now or wait!)
  • Storage Bins


  • Separate Changing Table 
  • Crib Mobile - stimulates baby, when you're trying to get them to sleep, that's not good. You could opt to have one above your changing table though!
If you missed my first installment on the baby registry then take a look back at what you'll need for your TRANSPORTATION needs here!

Check back on Friday for the next installment!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Sick Day

Hi all!

I'm giving myself a sick day today. Woke up feeling awful this morning and while I did get some of the post ready for today I didn't complete it. I may have if my little one hadn't decided to poop in the bath. Oh the joys of motherhood. ;)

I'll try to get it up tomorrow or Thursday.


Monday, February 8, 2016

Baby Registry: Transportation

Let's make this a week or so long series on the baby registry alone instead of overloading you.

While going through various lists and compiling my own I had three categories on my spreadsheet - Need it, Optional and Pointless. So I'll give you what I think you need plus my optional & pointless items. FYI: I am terrible at saying something is "Pointless" to everyone else... I mean, yeah, I think it's pointless, but I'm not much for taking hard stances on things. But really, I do feel this way. Don't be offended if you disagree.

So, anywho, first up we have -


1) STROLLER: Your stroller choice definitely depends on your living situation and future family plans. In our case - we live in the city and use the stroller a ton. We also plan to have more kids. We have a Graco Modes Click Connect single stroller and while I have no issues with it, I wish we'd gotten a stroller that could convert to a double. Like the Baby Jogger City Select or the Uppa Baby Vista, both of which get great reviews. We're looking to snag a used one once baby 2 is here! If you aren't using the stroller a lot and plan your kids far enough apart then this probably isn't a concern for you. Things to think about.

(OH OH OH. Edit to include this important tid bit. If you plan to do lots of jogging with baby in tow or do any trail running/hiking - look into stroller suited for those things!)

2) INFANT CAR SEAT: They do make convertible car seats that go from infant to booster but I think the infant car seat is totally worth the extra purchase. It comes with a base that stays installed in the car and then you can just click the seat in and out of the car and in and out of the stroller. We have the Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 which works with our stroller but also works with most other strollers with an attachment. 

3) CONVERTIBLE CAR SEAT: We registered for this but didn't end up getting it. You may want to consider not registering for it if you don't have the space to store it. You can always save up some gift cards/money to use for it later. We ended up going for the Safety 1st Grow N Go seat and are happy with it. A few things to consider:
  • A lot of reviewers complained about the space between the back of the seat and the buckle not being wide enough - meaning the buckle is tight against the kiddo. This was an important thing to note for us since Oliver is cloth diapered and therefore has a bigger booty. :) 
  • Friends of ours had a hard time finding a car seat that they could fit behind their driver seat (in rear facing position) with the drivers seat all the way back... keep that in mind if you are tall! The AAP recommends rear facing until at least 2.
  • Some convertible car seats are only forward facing
Here's some info I found helpful in figuring out what the heck I was supposed to get. There are so many options. 

4) CAR SEAT PROTECTOR: Fairly self explanatory - protects your vehicle's seat from getting a big dent in it from the weight of the car seat. Also helps keep it the vehicle's seat clean on the back and bottom. Comes in different colors to match your cars interior. Totally worth the purchase.

5) CAR MIRROR: See the baby. Done.

6) WINDOW SHADE: We have one - you may want two for both sides of the car. Ours is the Brica Smart Shade and while we won't be replacing, I do have two complaints. (1) It rattles sometimes. I hate rattling. Usually it stops on it's own or I can get it to stop by nudging it or rolling the window up and down. (2) It doesn't cover the full window so the sun is still in Oliver's eyes sometimes and he really hates it. There are some that suction to the window but then you can't roll the window down (without removing it) so that wasn't an appealing option for me. A wider one may be out there.

7) BABY CARRIER(S): I think these are more for city dwellers?? At least the structured ones but I can't be sure on that. There are two kinds - Soft & Structured

I'd say a soft carrier like the K'Tan or Moby Wrap are good no matter where you live. They are wonderful for shopping, walking around the house when baby is having a rough day and wants to be near you or just taking a walk sans stroller. We borrowed a Moby Wrap and I liked it a lot but it could get a little warm as it's not a breathable fabric and it was super long so there was always a lot of extra fabric for my fit. I think we'll buy a K'Tan for baby 2. 

The structured carrier is better for when they are older/bigger. We have an Ergo Carrier and I love it. The fit is good and it's comfortable. We don't use it as much anymore as I typically use the stroller but I used a lot when Oliver was lighter. It was also great to have in the airport when we elected to leave the larger stroller at home and get a small umbrella stroller when we got to our destination. 

8) DIAPER BAG: I prefer a traditional diaper bag but a lot of my friends use a back pack. Go with what you like! We got a Skip Hop bag in plain black and it's great. No complaints really. Skip Hop has a ton of options from the plain to the pretty. I just ran across the one above in the last week or so and fell in love. It's gorgeous! Two things I think are important - (1) Lots of pockets and (2) Machine washable. I LOVE that I can throw our bag in the wash. It looks like they don't sell ours anymore but it's similar to this one, just smaller.

  • The structured baby carrier that I noted above. You'll also need to see if that structured carrier needs a separate newborn insert or not.
  • BundleMe by JJ Cole. You can use blankets, yes, but blankets get kicked off. This is only optional based on the season, really. I think it's totally necessary if you're carrying around your babe in the cold. It's AWESOME. It fits right into the infant car seat and then zip up around them. I found ours at Marshall's for like $20. Score. 
  • Shopping Cart Seat Cover. It really just doesn't matter. Wipe the cart down with the antibacterial wipes that are almost always available and you're good to go.
That's all for today. 

Check back tomorrow for my NURSERY list. At the end of the series I'll post my printable and link everything together for you. 

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Coming Soon: Baby Registry

I'm working on a few lists for you mama's to be. Right now I am compiling a baby registry list.
After posting the labor & delivery hospital packing list a few weeks ago I decided to make a bit of a series out of it. Check that list out HERE if you haven't seen it yet!

Back to the registry list - It's not that easy. Every parent and every baby is so very different.

My list isn't minimalist but it's definitely shorter than a few others and there are a few reasons for that:

1) SPACE While our apartment is a great size, there's no "open concept" happening over here so I don't have space for a huge baby swing or exersaucer. Plus, I just can't do stuff everywhere cluttering up my house. I can barely handle when the blankets and pillows on my couch are dishelved.

2) MONEY We wanted to save it. We are primarily a one income family so we had to be mindful of what we spent. Yes, we got most of what we needed as gifts, but whether I am paying for it or someone else is, many things are still wasted money, in my opinion. That's just how I was raised. My list will definitely include some things you can personally cross off and even things you could do without - I'm not super strict on this but we were mindful of it.

3) AVOID AIDS We wanted to avoid a few things anyway - like using the swing as a sleep or soothing aid and using an exersaucer for extended periods. We figured we could always purchase a used swing later if Oliver ended up being colicky or something - but we didn't need it.

Still, babies need a lot of stuff and it's still a good size list. Before I sign off for tonight I did want to give one note on the registry. It's an important one that I don't want lost among the full registry post.

THE STROLLER! If you're planning more kids, go for a stroller that can convert to a double! WHY DIDN'T ANYONE TELL ME THIS!? (I'm shaking my fist at you, other mama friends!) We have a Graco Click Connect right now and it's pretty great but, man, we're just going to have to replace this thing in like a year! Boooo. Just go big to begin. I think we'll upgrade to a used City Select - it converts between single and double and you can add a glider board when baby 3 comes along... or, if baby 3 comes along. Obviously, it is dependent on your family planning and probably your transportation, too, but it is something to consider. (We live in the city so the stroller gets a good amount of use even with having a car.)

Anywho, check back this week for that registry list along with some of my recommendations!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Cinnamon Rolls

Lately I've been having some of the local mamas over weekly and it's been wonderful. Wonderful to hang with them and for Ollie to hang with his friends (/learn to share) and also wonderful that I GET TO BAKE and they can eat it so I don't eat all of it! YAY!

Having local mama friends is wonderful. Great to chat with during the day in our group texting thread, great to have over and have some adult conversation and great to get us out of the house for group play dates!

If you are a mama, I encourage you to try and meet friends around your neighborhood! It's especially nice as a stay-at-home mom to have neighborhood friends!

This week, I made cinnamon rolls for the mama's. I delivered a few to a couple mamas who were stuck at home with sick babes. :( It's been a rough week over here for all the babies and mamas getting sick. Oliver and I have avoided it pretty well this far. Fingers cross that that continues!

I use Food Network's "Almost Famous Cinnamon Rolls" recipe and it never disappoints and it's really easy. Ok, that's a lie, it disappointed once but that was my fault, not the recipes. My yeast/milk combo didn't foam up and I used it anyway - I ended up with cinnamon rocks. Make sure your yeast gets foamy!

This recipe also calls for cutting the dough into 6 portions - those would be HUGE so I do double that and end up with 12 cinnamon rolls. 12 cinnamon rolls that aren't the size of your face.

Look at that big beautiful blob of dough ready to be rolled out. MMM. It was even more big and pillowy before I took it out of the bowl.

These pictures are kind of not awesome because I took them at night and the lighting in our kitchen is awful.

After rolling out the dough you slather it with lots of butter then sprinkle the cinnamon/sugar mixture over it.  (I decrease the original cinnamon amount and do 1 TB + 1 heaping TB.) That spot on the far left is butter & sugar-less b/c it's going to be the "tape" that holds the roll together. You wet it just slightly so it'll stick to your rolled up dough.

To get 12 cinnamon rolls - Cut the rolled up log of dough in half, then cut each half in half. Now cut each segment into thirds. Wa-la, 12 cinnamon rolls. 12 regular-sized cinnamon rolls. If you want ginormous ones, go for the 6. :)

Place them in a greased 9x13" baking dish, cover it with saran wrap and let them rise for 45 minutes. After they've risen you can bake them or pop them in the fridge to bake in the morning.

In the morning, I pull the pan out of the fridge and put it on the stove while the oven is warming up. Typically I bake these at 325 for about 40 minutes. That's a little over what the recipe states but they weren't quite golden enough for me. This morning I pulled off a little piece at the bottom of a cinnamon roll to make sure they were done because I wasn't positive. Do that if you aren't sure. No one wants undercooked dough. Bleck.

Then drown them in the icing & enjoy with friends! YUM!

Go make yourself some cinnamon rolls! They are delicious and easy peasy. Well, easy peasy if you have a mixer, just easy if you have to do the kneading by hand. ;)

Click here for my printable with my adaptations!