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Mom Favorites and Must-Haves

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When I think about when I got pregnant with our first baby, I remember how how elated I was. I never thought I’d be so excited to pee on a stick (TMI). Finding out I was pregnant was the happiest feeling in the world next to marrying my amazing husband. I tied the good news onto a bow and then onto our Great Dane, Shatzi. She always ran to the top of the stairs to greet Scott when he came home from work. Obviously he was just as excited as I was – he paced the house and said he felt like he needed to go running or something. Ha!

Once reality started to hit, I knew I had to start my research. Not only did I reach out to a couple ladies that were already seasoned Moms, but I googled, checked out Amazon reviews, read Consumer Reports as well as Baby Bargains. Baby Bargains was my Bible when it came to baby products. This book was extremely overwhelming, but I used it when I had narrowed certain things down. For instance, I knew I liked a Pottery Barn crib, the Graco, Lauren crib as well as the IKEA Gulliver crib. Once I had narrowed down my crib search to those, I checked out Baby Bargains to see what the safety, quality and cost ratings were. There were some areas that I read a little more and was glad. An example of this was the bedding section. I had no idea that some companies didn’t have elastic all the way around the crib flat sheet. I was so happy that I read that because it is a safety issue. Basically, I promise that you won’t regret buying this book, but do not let the size of this book scare you. Use it as a reference and guide for when you are curious about certain items. When you register, take Baby Bargains with you!

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Now that you have the Baby Bargains book and are completely overwhelmed, are you wondering how MUCH of everything you will need? Now that I have two kiddos, my magic number has proven to be 3.  Three sheets, mattress pads, waterproof changing pad liners, miracle blankets, sheet savers etc etc…one for the crib (bassinet etc.), one for the washing machine and a spare just in case you have a middle of the night blowout!

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Alrighty, are you starting to feel more confident about this whole mom thing? No?  Have no fear! We’re in this together. :) I have been asked many times if I could have only one thing as a new mom, what would it be. I’m going to exclude the obvious like my Chicco Keyfit. A car seat is an essential so it doesn’t count. I have a really really hard time narrowing it down to just one. SOOOO, you’re gonna get three. Remember I said three is my magic number? :) I swear I didn’t even plan that. I seriously thought about it right as I was writing this. Here are my fab 3 (swaddles count as 1!!)…..

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  • Swaddling Blankets – This is a two-fer one. You can’t say this is 2 products because if you do, it’ll ruin my fab 3 thought. Just go with it, ok?  If you’re wanting to use a traditional swaddling blanket, I suggest Aden + Anais. These blankets are great because they’re much more than a swaddling blanket.  It’s a swaddle, lightweight and medium weight blanket, and burp cloth all in one. If you’re like me though and want a more modern day, dummy proof swaddle, buy or register for {3} Miracle Blankets. I know, I know, the price! You guys, my kids have all slept through the night at very early ages and I have to credit the Miracle Blankets. They’re amazing. They’re even Daddy proof! Also? They’re bust-out-of-swaddle-proof (if you do it right). If you know me, you know I have large kids and I was able to swaddle until 6+ months. Don’t judge. They loved these darn swaddles especially when they were super tight. The first time I wrapped BG all gently. Then I realized how naive I was and wrapped that sucker tighter. Best. Sleep. Ever.  I found out about the Miracle Blanket from Happiest Baby On the Block. Dr. Harvey Karp is brilliant and I wish I could be friends with him. Actually, that’s a lie. He kind of seems like a dork, but man is he smart! If you’ve never heard of the 5 S’s I totally recommend this DVD. Don’t bother reading the book. I rented the DVD at the library (yes, those still exist) and watched with my husband. It’s 1 1/2 hours long, but you will learn so much. My husband and I would quiz each other on the 5 S’s. Yep, we’re dorks.
  • Video Monitor – Years ago before the thought of having children even entered my mind, I remember video monitors just hitting the market. I thought they were the dumbest thing ever. Why would you need a video monitor? Get a life, parents. Stop staring at your child! Umm yeah, I was wrong. So, so wrong. The Summer Infant Baby Touch is AWESOME. I can immediately think of 5 friends that have the same one and every single one loves theirs as well. This is probably the best purchase I’ve ever made for my kids. We have the main camera as well as the additional camera since our kiddos are in different rooms. Why is a video camera so important? If BB cries in the middle of the night I can just look at the monitor and know he is fine. He’s just having a bad dream or trying to get comfortable. If I didn’t have a video monitor I can guarantee I would’ve ran into his room the second I heard him crying. There are so many moments that I look at the monitor just to ease my mind – hear a weird noise outside and think someone may have stolen my daughter – check the camera. Boom. She’s still there. I was very grateful for the monitor when we transitioned from a crib to a big girl bed. The second she tried to get out of bed I could go into her room. It definitely freaked her out, but aren’t kids supposed to think we have spidey sense?
  • UPPAbaby Vista Stroller – This was the first baby product I started researching. I knew I wanted to invest in a good stroller and not have to buy a new one with future children. I read reviews, my baby bargains book as well as stroller stalked. I really was a stroller stalker. I’d stop people in the middle of the parking lot to ask the brand of their stroller. Knowledge is power! I had 3 (there’s that number again) strollers I wanted to test drive because they met most of my wants/needs in a stroller. A stroller that turned double was extremely important.  I eventually decided on the UPPAbaby because it has a huge basket, turns into a double, has 4 wheels, and my husband who is taller can push it comfortably. I also loved the wheels and shocks. Another plus with the UPPA is that the customer service is unbelievable.  I busted a wheel and they sent me a new set for free within 3 days. Seriously, these things are like cars! K, loves her Phil & Teds. I came very close to getting this. It is another great stroller! There are a lot of fancy strollers out there. Bottom line – whether you want an inexpensive stroller or a higher end one, do the research (or don’t because I already did it for you!), figure out what you want in a stroller and then test drive it, fold it and lift it. 

I don’t want to overwhelm any of our new moms out there, so I’m going to save even more info for a later post. Be sure to check back to see the rest!

If you’ve been thinking about cloth diapering, you should check out our cloth diapering post.

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    • Ashley says

      Haha! My craziness is definitely going to come out in this series. Brace yourself! At least people can benefit from it. :)

    • Ashley says

      You won’t regret it. That thing is amazing! I love that it pans the room, so when A is in timeout I can find her haha

  1. Lauren says

    I have six weeks until baby no name is here so Make sure you finish before then with the series for me,ok? Haha! I think I have all of this! Now I have to re read my baby books for a refresher!!

  2. Kati says

    We have the UPPAbaby Cruz Stroller (smaller version than the Vista) and absolutely LOVE it! The stroller is so easy to push and glide and we love the large basket. So worth the extra money (I know it is a lot!). Also, had to deal with their customer service and had a great experience!

  3. Kristin H says

    “…check the camera – BOOM, she’s still there” – about died laughing! You guys are doing a phenomenal job!! Keep the posts coming!

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