Wednesday, August 7, 2013

First Year Favorites - Part 3: The Whole First Year

See Part 1:Newborn and Part 2: The Later Months

These are things that we have heavily relied on since Calvin's birth. Buy them, register for them, get them in your house.
You wont regret it.

Fisher Price Snugabunny Swing:(< free shipping!)
This thing is pure gold. It plugs in so there's no need for batteries (although batteries can be used), the mobile spins, it plays music or white noise and it can face 3 different directions. The bunny was the only color option available when Calvin was born, but they've been so popular Fisher Price has come out with a few different designs to fit your decor/theme.
 Admittedly we had become a little to dependent on this as kiddo had a hard time napping without it for a while.
Be warned, while totally awesome and amazing, this swing is ginormous. We have a small house and I was able to find a good spot for it in the living room, but it takes up a good amount of space.

Kiinde Kozii bottle warmer :
If anyone tells you you don't really need a bottle warmer, tell them they can shut the hell up because they're obviously not really your friend. We LOVE ours. We use it not only for bottles but for his food and frozen milk bags too. This one actually swirls warm water around the bottles so there's no hot spots and it's self contained so you're not wasting water. They're the perfect temperature EVERY time. Plus, it has a super wide opening so you can use it with any bottle or jar. No boiling, no steaming, you just need to put a little more water in it every now and then. I really, really can't recommend this one enough.

Como Tomo Bottles 5oz and 8oz:
Speaking of super wide bottles. When Calvin was born we knew that I was going to have to go back to work first (more on that later) so we also knew this kid HAD to take a bottle. After researching and comparing like a cracked-out mad-woman, I bought these. They are so super close to a natural breast, the wide opening makes them easy to fill and clean and they're made from silicon so they're well insulated and easy to grip and there's no worrying about bpa's. He got his first bottle (out of pure desperation) at 3 weeks old and has been happy with either bottle feeding or nursing ever since. I have 4 of each size and have never needed more.
Boon Lawn Drying Rack: Essential. The cutest drying rack around. When I bought mine I was not aware that there was a difference between the "grass" and the "lawn" models. Do yourself a favor and get the "lawn" as it is bigger.
I hate not bring able to see my baby in the car. Especially when they're brand new and you're so paranoid they're just going to stop breathing at any moment. And with kids having to stay rear-facing until they're practically teenagers it's nice to be able to glace in your rear view mirror and see what they're up to. These mirrors are cheap and you can get them in just about every store with a baby section. Snag one and save yourself some anxiety.

Nose Frida Snotsucker Nasal Aspirator and Filters:
 I got this as a baby shower gift from my cousin "in the know." This is The Best "snot-sucker" out there. You actually suck the boogs out of your kids nose with the power of your lungs. So much better than the stupid bulb syringe that barely works and is a breeding ground for germs and bacteria. The Frida comes apart for cleaning and has disposable filters that keep any germs or mucus from getting to you.
Sounds gross, I know, but parenthood is gross so get used to it.

Graco Sweet Slumber Sound Machine
I think one of the biggest mistakes new parents make is teaching their baby to sleep in complete silence. So they end up tiptoeing around their own home, terrified they're going to wake the baby. And naps and sleep anywhere other than home are impossible.
Think about it. When is anywhere completely silent?
I mentioned this already in Calvin's Room Tour, but we LOVE this thing.
It has 12 different sounds, an MP3 jack, a sleep timer, can run on batteries if needed and has a night light!
Calvin starts yawning as soon as we turn it on.
It really helps drown out all the random background noises that could possibly wake him up at night (ie: neighborhood dogs, cars, random people yelling, etc.). It has come with us on every trip we've taken with him and makes him feel like he's at home.

The Baby Sleep Solution and the Total Baby iPhone App.
Calvin started sleeping through the night at 12 weeks old. I credit these two things with making that happen.
I read 5 different sleep training books and totally felt like Goldilocks. "This one's too strict, this one's too leanient, this one's ridiculous..." etc. Until I found Suzy Giordano's book.
She recommends a gradual process that's more about getting them into a really good eating routine then sleeping naturally comes with it. I know all babies and situations are different but it totally worked for us and Calvin's routine has made our lives so much easier.

The Total Baby app was awesome to use because I could easily track when and what he ate and even which breast I was on and how long he fed. We also kept track of when he slept and for a while when we changed his diaper and what was in them. There's also a place to enter in their growth, Dr's appts., vaccines and milestones. When you're sleep deprived you really can't remember anything, I can't tell you how many times Tristan and I had this conversation:
"When did he last eat/poop/sleep?"
"I dunno, let me check my phone."
Total Sanity Saver!

 Petunia Pickle Bottom Boxy Backpack
OK. This diaper bag is a little frou-frou, however, the number 1 reason I love it so much is the fold out changing pad attached to the front. It is so convenient to just put down the bag, unzip the pad revealing the pockets specifically for diapers, wipes and cream and just plop him on it. It even makes changes on those scary public bathroom changing tables bearable. The pad also is removable for washing.
This bag comes in a bajillion different colors and designs and if you keep your eyes open you can find one for a really good deal. Be sure to register your email address with Every once in a while they have a temporary outlet store where you can pick up some of their discontinued and leftover products for a significant discount.

Medela Pump in Style Breast Pump :
I touched on this in my post about breast feeding here, but I feel it bears repeating. I have been pumping since kiddo was a few days old. As my almost constant companion i highly recommend this pump. Don't scrimp on your pump! You will regret it if you cheap out.

OK. Did I miss anything?

We have a busy weekend ahead of us. Auntie Dani's getting married!
Prepare for a long post about that as well as a ton of pics of Calvin in his tux.
I can't wait!

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