A big life changing event in March put a whole new spin on what a Pretty Sweet Life is to me. My husband and I have been blessed with our first little one, my mini dreamboat (he’s all daddy!), and we are so in love with him! How feeling as much love as I do for him in an instant is even possible is beyond me, but it’s real.
To say motherhood has been an amazing journey so far is an understatement. I know with my all my heart and soul that being a mommy is my purpose in life. Motherhood, so far, is rewarding, but it’s also tough. My guess is it always will be challenging, but a different kind of challenging at each stage. Currently, my world is composed of late nights, early mornings, figuring out what different cries mean, trying to give myself a little grace so my body can heal (this is especially tough for me), getting into the groove of my new normal, gummy smiles and lots of snuggles. Oh the smiles and snuggles. Those make my heart skip a beat and help the first time mama self doubt melt away a little bit.
During these first couple months I’ve been able to test out all the fun and useful baby items that we purchased or were gifted and I thought I’d share my favorites, what I consider to be my baby essentials, in case you’re in a similar season of life or are preparing to be.
Moms on Call
Moms On Call 0-6 Months is basically a baby survival book. It’s full of tips, how-to’s, what-if’s and solutions, and lists of what you will and won’t need for the first 6 months of your baby’s life. It also has sleep training schedules for different stages that break down when baby should eat, play, and sleep. Getting my little on a schedule sounded like an impossible challenge, but I was up for it. Mama needs some sleep! Moms on Call is a real nighttime game changer. It may not be smooth sailing everyday and night and sometimes I have to stray from the schedule (which can be adjusted) because, well, life happens, but overall it’s such a help. I’m certain that the reason my little one is sleeping much longer stretches at night is because of the schedule he’s on. I wish I’d started sooner!
CYBEX Stroller & Infant Car Seat
When it came to purchasing a car seat and stroller I was overwhelmed with the number of options out there. To help weed through them all I did a lot of internet research and read a lot of opinions on what works best for other parents. I searched for carseats and strollers that are compatible with each other, had excellent safety features and ratings, and a stroller seat that can face me and outward. Once our options were narrowed down my husband and I set out to test drive strollers. Cybex turned out to be our favorite and here’s why: While at the baby store we learned that other brands that also have European counterparts do not have to meet the same safety standards when sold in the US as the do in Europe and so they don’t. We also learned that the European safety standards, such as the speed at which they are crash tested, are higher. After learning that, our choice was easy. Cybex, doesn’t change their gear to get by with lower standards. They follow the higher standards, what’s sold here can also be purchased across the pond.
I absolutely love our car seat and stroller, though I’ve yet to use the stroller seat because he’s still so young. I do, however, use the stroller base with the car seat all the time. It “drives” smoothly, handles city terrain like bumpy, cracked sidewalks easily, and the base folds nicely and isn’t too heavy. The infant seat is not the lightest, but the only time I’m really lifting it is when I take it in and out of the car. I made the decision long before my mini dreamboat’s arrival that I didn’t want to lug the baby around in his car seat. I much rather remove the babe and use a baby wrap or carrier (I’ll be sharing both of those with you too) if using the stroller in’t practical.
Solly Baby Wrap
When I first found out I was pregnant I was certain I would be a baby wearing mama. And, I am! It’s soft, cozy, comfy, and perfect for being out and about or for when I need to get things done around the house. I love using it to tackle chores all while soaking up baby snuggles and keeping my mini dreamboat content. Getting the wrap perfect might take a little practice, but it’s worth it.
Infantino Flip 4-in-1 Convertible Carrier
The Infantino Flip 4-in-1 Convertible Carrier is extremely useful and easy to use, especially for apartment living. When I need to let my pup outside to use the bathroom I can’t just open a door up and let her out into a backyard. This carrier helps make the process of taking Lola outside so much easier. I just throw this on and slide my little guy in. (That being said, this grass solution placed on the balcony is a lifesaver for when baby boy is napping and I can’t leave the apartment.) In addition to the ease of use, the carrier, most importantly, has great support for the baby and is comfortable for us both, and bonus – it’s under $30!
Love to Dream Swaddle Up
I love this swaddle and so does baby boy! He’s loved his hands up by his face since he was born and this has been such a sleep saver. I know all the traditional swaddle experts out there will say that your baby may just seem like they don’t like to be swaddled, but when done properly they will be soothed to sleep almost instantly. Well, my little guy actually did love to be swaddled for a while (still does for nap time), but one day he changed and now completely hates it for bedtime. I’ve tried the traditional swaddle blankets and multiple different brands of traditional velcro quick swaddle blankets. Believe me, I have them all and this one works – for my baby. I think it’s important to remember that every baby is different, and when it comes to what works for swaddling and sleep it’s definitely not one-size-fits-all. I can’t recommend this swaddle enough though and it you’re having trouble or just simply want to stock up on different options give it a try.
The Leachco Poster is hands down one of my most favorite purchases. This lounger has been a total life saver. I’m not a single parent, but am doing it on my own for a while since my husband is deployed. Because of this, having a second set of hands and arms isn’t a reality right now and well, sometimes I need to do things like my hair and cook. Being able to put the baby in his lounger and still keep an eye on him while doing chores is fantastic!
Clean Touch Ink Pad
This isn’t technically baby gear, but I still find it to be an essential. I’ve loved this ink pad film so much to capture baby Kyle’s prints. It’s made getting my little guys hand and foot prints so easy and mess free. There’s no dipping wiggly fingers and toes, all you have to do is press your baby’s little hand or foot against the ink film. One side is touch friendly and the other side has the ink and transfers the print to whatever you’d like. I’ve used it on cards to his daddy and grandparents, and in his baby book. (“pro” tip: getting your baby’s print may be easier when they are sleeping)
I hope that you’ll find these items as helpful as I have. I’m sure as baby boy grows I’ll end up with a new list of must haves to share. I’d love to hear from you what has been a lifesaver or what you’re looking forward to trying out. After all, as I’ve been told, it takes a village.