Baby Essentials – The Second Time Around

I know every mom that blogs probably has a list like this, and everyone and every child’s needs and wants are different. I never made a list like this with B1, but after having another baby I feel like I have a grasp of what was essential to our family for the babies.

I will say that there were some major differences with my two babies. When B1 was born we lived in a condo, that was on the third floor of our building and no elevator. With B2 we live in a multi-level home with a garage below the house. Obviously with B2’s birth B1 was a consideration when figuring out what items we needed to have the second time around.

Comfort Items

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I left out the obvious things like a crib, changing table, sheets, etc…

1. Summer Infant Classic Comfort Wood Bassinet – $140

Nick and I got this last-minute before B1 was born. Our crib wasn’t going to be available before his due date, so we knew we needed something. I knew I wanted a bassinet because co-sleeper beds freaked me out. I liked that this one was lightweight but sturdy, had a shelf, and was on wheels. I was able to roll B1 around the condo when I needed to get things done. I also kept the bottom shelf stocked with clothes, diapers, wipes, etc… That way at night I didn’t have to go into his room and get anything. It made nighttime wakeups much easier.

With B2, I love the height. B1 can see into the bassinet, but he can’t pick her up. Perfect. The downsides this time around are that it isn’t something that I can roll her around in, as it is her bed at night (until she moves into her crib) and so it stays upstairs. B2 has already grown 1.5 inches and is almost too big to be in the bassinet anymore, and so we won’t get too much time with her in it.

2. KACY Collection Morgan Nursery Swivel Glider - $450

We were supposed to get a glider when I had B1, but that never panned out. After Nick walked and sang B1 to sleep for the first 2 years of his life we decided we were going to make room in our budget for a glider this time around.

B2’s room is on the smaller side, so we needed something that wasn’t going to take up a ton of room. This one is super comfortable and the color matches her nursery perfectly. It’s small enough that Nick was even able to move it into our room while B2 is sleeping in there.

I cannot say enough that all new moms should get some sort of chair for the nursery. Your back and feet will thank you!

3. Graco Pack N Play Bugs Quilt TotBlock – $120

If you don’t need a Pack N Play that your baby can sleep in, I would recommend this one. Once B1 was more alert I would put him in this so I could cook, clean, do laundry, etc… but he would be container so I could turn my back for more than 20 seconds.

This would also be great to put out in the yard. Now that more of my friends have kids, or multiples, spending time outside happens a lot, but it is hard to chase after toddlers and watch babies. This will be super helpful for that.

4. Graco Pack N Play Yard with Cuddle Cove Removable Seat – $180

This is something that we got for B2, well my MIL graciously purchased for us. She was going to stay and help out for a good chunk of the summer. Unfortunately, due to some unforseen circumstances she had to leave early, and she bought this to assist me. The bed part is high enough that again B1 can’t pick the baby up. It also has a changing area and since B2 isn’t using the bigger sleeping area, I put extra clothes, blankets, and burp clothes there for easy changes. It also has pockets for diapers and wipes. It has been one of the most useful items we bought this time around.

Honorable Mentions

Bright Starts Bouncer – $30 – Both my kids LOVED this bouncer. Many people have a very strong preference for what type of bouncer or swing they love, and I swear by this one. We also have a swing, but neither of my kids really loved it that much.

Boppy Pillow – $30 - I use this every day. For nursing especially. I like that there is a gap between the pillow and the body, I think adds more skin-to-skin contact.

Aden + Anais Swaddle Blankets – $50 - FYI You can find these for MUCH cheaper at TJ Maxx or Marshalls! I didn’t really use these for B1, and B2 doesn’t love being swaddled, so I only do it overnight. They are great for the summer time in general though, because they are so lightweight. I drape them over both kids car seats when I am parked in the sun, to avoid the seatbelts getting super hot. I also use it to drape over B2’s lower body when she is in the car seat or stroller.

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5. Uppababy Vista Stroller System – $850

I know, this stroller system is extremely expensive, but I don’t regret it one bit. We were able to get ours for about $250 cheaper because it was a store model. It wasn’t actually used in the store, although you can buy those for a discount usually, ours was the window model, which means it was basically brand new, it just sat in a window for a few months. Also, it is still in great condition after 4 years of use.

What I love about this system, you can use it from birth until the toddler years. This system comes with a bassinet, but you can also buy an attachment to put your car seat in it (more on that below). It has a toddler seat that can face toward the parent or away. You can also buy an extra seat so you can put two kids on the stroller. There is also a ride along board, so if your kids doesn’t want to sit in the seat they can ride on it while you push the other child, or you can have two seats and a ride along board!

Other pros: A huge basket, I can do a ton of grocery shopping just using the stroller. The core rubber wheels which are puncture proof, that was essential for me living in the city. When you fold the stroller, it can stand making it easy to store. Super easy to fold, adjustable handlebar, easy to manuever, and a very easy click tight system. When you put in the adapter, bassinet, or seat the area where you click those items in shows a green sign when you’ve done it correctly and red if it is incorrect. It is very easy to get those items in and out.

Cons: It is big, it takes up a lot of space in the car when it is lying down. You can’t fold it when the bassinet is attached, you have to detach and attach whenever you use it. You can fold it when the adapter is in place but you can’t unfold it. Only when the seat is attached can you fold and unfold it. The tires are big, so it takes time getting used to those.

6. Ubbi Diaper Pail – $80

Again, not cheap. We originally registered and received a plastic diaper pail that took regular garbage bags. Registering was overwhelming to me and finally I was like F IT, I don’t need a fancy diaper pail. It lasted about 3 months, even with taking the bag out every other day, the pail STANK. We did some research and found the Ubbi diaper pail. You can use regular garbage bags and the smell doesn’t escape. We’ve had B1’s since he was 3 months old and haven’t had any issues. We bought B2 her own because B1 still wears a pull up at night, and we only empty his pail every few weeks. Plus I don’t have to go into his room at night to throw a diaper away. I mean honestly these kids can just use them as garbage cans when they get older.

Carriers + Nursing

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7. Ergobaby 360 Front Facing Carrier – $160

I haven’t used this a ton yet, some girlfriends gifted me one and I am super thankful and excited to use it. B2 is too big for the infant insert but too small to be in it alone, so I have used it around the house, but that’s about it. I can say it is very comfortable but does take some getting used to with all the buckles.

8. BabyBjorn Baby Carrier Original – $90

I have the mesh carrier, which is actually cheaper now since it is an older model. The mesh is super breathable for a summer baby. I use it now since B2 can be worn in this carrier now. The downside is that it does put a lot of pressure on my back. It is easy to put on, put the baby in, and take off.

9. Medela Symphony Breastpump – 

Most insurance companies should comp a rental of a breast pump. The Symphony is a medical grade pump, which you do have to get a “prescription” for from your doctor. Because of milk issues, I was able to get that prescription for both babies. The downside, this pump is a beast, if you have to carry it around just be aware!

Bottles & Bottle accessories

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When Nick told people at work that I was pregnant, a lot of his coworkers told him about the Dr.Browns Bottles. They are great for babies that have gas issues, as both of ours have. They may have a lot of parts but they are easy to put together. We have both the standard bottles and the wide mouth bottles.  A 3 pack goes for about $15.

Bottle Warmer – $45

You can get this for a bit cheaper on Amazon. I like to make a few bottles at once, so a bottle warmer is essential. I also usually put a bottle in the warmer, change the baby’s diaper, and then usually the bottle is ready. I like that it remembers the length of heating that you used for the previous bottle. You do need to make sure that you follow instructions and keep the warmer cleaned out, because if you don’t it will get moldy. We had to through the one we had for B1 away due to this.

Formula Pitcher – $17

Again, I like to make multiple bottles at once, and this is how I do it. It helps to eliminate the bubbles from the bottles, aka so the baby doesn’t get gas. You can make up to 4, 8 oz bottles at once.

Drying Rack – $18

I had a different drying rack for B1’s bottles but it had layers and water got trapped, and it got moldy. I like that this one is slanted so water gets collected in one area nad you can easily dump it. It also folds for easy storage when you aren’t using it or you have guests.

Car Seat

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11. Chicco Keyfit 30 Car Seat – $210

A car seat was something Nick and I spent A LOT of time on. The chicco keyfit was at the top of the safety list for Consumer Reports, and it fit into our ideal stroller. It is lightweight and easy to install. It is also very durable as we used it for B1 and we are now using it for B2.

12. Chicco Keyfit 30 Uppababy Vista Adapter – $45

Honestly, I didn’t use this for B1. I just used the bassinet seat, but the bassinet seat takes up space in the car, and also doesn’t allow me to use as much of the stroller basket as I’d like. I have been using this for B2 ever since I dug it out of its storage area. It was super easy to attach and detach, and it was easy to snap the car seat in. Life with two kids is more on the go than when I had just one, so this has been perfect for our busy schedules.

Now that I’ve shared a few of my essentials, what are yours? Anything you were surprised you absolutely loved or hated?

 

Confessions of a Mom, Vol. 10

Before we get to today’s post, I just want to say there has been too much loss in the past year, in the city of Boston and in my personal life. Many thoughts and prayers to the Boston Fire Department and to the families and friends of the two firefighters who lost their lives doing their job. Thank you to all first responders, everywhere, without you wouldn’t be safe.

Disclaimer: please read this post with an open mind and sense of humor. Sometimes we all need a good laugh.

 

When my toddler picks out his own clothes for the day

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How I feel about the fact that it has been freezing cold outside the past week

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How I feel that the temperature for today and tomorrow is “play outside all day” type of weather

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{Vol. 1,  Vol. 2Vol. 3Vol. 4Vol. 5Vol. 6Vol. 7Vol. 8Vol. 9}

Confessions of a Mom, Vol. 9

Disclaimer: please read this post with an open mind and sense of humor. Sometimes we all need a good laugh.

We just watched Frozen for the first time, and I think that Let It Go is not the best song on the soundtrack.

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When I have a sick husband and high energy toddler at home

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How I feel that it is officially spring!

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{Vol. 1, Vol. 2, Vol. 3Vol. 4Vol. 5Vol. 6Vol. 7Vol. 8}

Confessions of a Mom, Vol. 7

Disclaimer: please read this post with an open mind and sense of humor. Sometimes we all need a good laugh.

When it takes less than an hour to get B to go to sleep in his own bed.

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How I feel about passive aggressive and vaguebookers on FaceBook

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How I feel about the weather this week

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When I found out my favorite gym class was cancelled this morning

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{Vol 1, Vol 2, Vol 3, Vol 4, Vol 5, Vol 6}

Reasons Mommy Drinks

I received this book to review through my relationship with From Left to Write.

We know that I love the Mom humor. I like to be on the side of there is something funny (eventually) in most frustrating parenting situations.

When I was pregnant all I could find was picture perfect stories about pregnancy and technical stories, boring. Then I found this book: The Girlfriends’ Guide to Pregnancy. It was full of satirical humor and sarcasm and posting the honest truth about what happens when you are pregnant.

I was recently given the chance to read and review Reasons Mommy Drinks by Lyranda Martin Evans and Fiona Stevenson.

Reasons Mommy Drinks

This book is very similar to the pregnancy book. It has an anecdote for every stage in motherhood, starting with pregnancy and your baby shower and moves into stages like baby wearing, mom groups, and dealing with visitors. Along with every passage there is a drink to go along with it. For the pregnancy bits there are non-alcoholic drink, but we quickly move into the alcoholic ones.

One of my favorites? Nap Thyme. First of all the anecdote of how you have to get ALL THE THINGS done during nap time, spot on. The drink is also creative, and something I need to try, and soon. Since B has been on a nap strike for a month.

Nap Thyme

Ingredients

Lemon Juice
Sugar
1 ounce gin
3 ounces club soda
Sprig of fresh thyme

Instructions

Rim a glass with lemon juice and then sugar. Fill the glass with ice, pour in the gin, club soda, a splash of lemon juice, and sugar to taste. Stir gently. Garnish with thyme.

While I was reading this book, I was practically nodding along with every single story, saying to myself, that’s exactly how I felt! This book would make a great gift for any mom-to-be, new mom, or even if you’ve been a mom for a while, and since we don’t always have a ton of time to sit down and read, it is a book that is easy to put down and pick back up, and reads very quickly.

These hilarious ladies have a blog, but you can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

What is the one moment in parenthood where you look back and laugh, but at the time you were a mess?

For me? It was the time that B hid all his toys and then got very upset that he couldn’t find them. We both practically had a meltdown, and then I found them in our wine rack. One for you, one for me, thanks kid.

Disclaimer: All book links are affiliate links. 

The Great Debate: Baby Sprinkles

Since my last Great Debate went so well and sparked a lot of great conversation, I thought I would try another one.

I also want to clarify, I don’t necessarily believe in having these parties or not, they are things I have seen discussed with family, friends and on other blogs, and I wanted to discuss them here as well.

So what is a sprinkle? I first learned of them on Real Housewives of Atlanta (don’t hate) and they seemed to be exclusively a Southern “thing”. A sprinkle is a party to celebrate the second (or third, etc…) pregnancy.

It seems like these events, are less event-like, and more of a lunch with friends type of affair. It is also much more intimate than a baby shower. This usually very close family and friends instead of all the women in your families.

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Bridal Shower not Baby Shower

Personally, I wouldn’t mind having a lunch gathering celebrating a pregnancy, but I would also probably just call it a girls brunch, as I usually hate being the center of attention.

I also wouldn’t be upset or offended if someone didn’t throw a luncheon for me or the future child.

So now it is time for you to weigh in. Did I get the definition of Sprinkle right? What are your thoughts on one?

What makes a family?

This was not a post I was quite ready to share, but recent events have left me feeling like I wasn’t being honest with myself, or with you.

I know a lot of blog lurkers readers take issue with the fact that some bloggers make things seem happy and cheery all the time, even though we know they aren’t. I think that some things are inherently private, like your relationship with your significant other, your job or your children. Some items are just meant to be talked about with just that person, and some things are just too difficult to put on paper the computer.

I am falling into the latter when it comes to the subject of my family.  Every time I meet a blend in real life they are usually shocked when they find out I have 3 sisters, not 1. My two oldest sisters are my half-sisters as we have different fathers, my dad adopted them before my biological sister and I were born.

A lot of my upbringing was tumultuous and I don’t usually like sharing, so I am not going to share much here. Just know that my relationship with my two eldest sisters, is strained, at best. Recent nasty text messages that I received regarding my parenting have really got me thinking. What is family?

Everyone just keeps asking that I continue to be the bigger person and let it go, but when you have kids that all goes out the window. My immediate family is the most important thing to me, and I will do anything to keep them safe, and keep them from knowing people like this.

To me family are those that support you and love you. They can give you criticism and you can give it to them. No one is keeping score, it is a relationship where no one minds who is giving or who is taking in that moment.

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These guys are my family.

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These are who I call my brothers and sisters

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One day, he will be a brother too :)

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These are my parents

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This is a small sector of my wonderful friends

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I would be remiss to not include people I have met through social media & blogging. While I haven’t met you all in person, having your friendship and support is amazing.

Family to me is not blood. I think sometimes we let that cloud our happiness. If someone makes you unhappy, it shouldn’t matter that you were born into the same household. The only person you owe anything to is yourself.

Sorry for the heavy post today. Back to my antics tomorrow!

Confessions of a Mom, Vol. 4

Disclaimer: please read this post with an open mind and sense of humor. Sometimes we all need a good laugh.

 

What I am going to be like in 15 years.

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How I feel about exercise after the kiddo has been up all night.

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How I feel about mom’s who know it all, or at least tell me whatever I am doing is wrong.

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How I feel whenever my sister leaves.

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What are you confessing this week?

Check out Vol. 1, Vol. 2, and Vol. 3

The Great Debate: Gender Reveal Parties

I hope you had a chance to check out my guest post for Athena over at Fitness & Feta yesterday!

Let me preface this post and say I AM NOT pregnant. This post idea was sparked by a conversation I had with Nick, my sister-in-law and her husband.

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A bump throwback

Maybe, I didn’t notice, but I don’t think that when I was pregnant that gender reveal parties were a huge thing. I feel like with the boom of pinterest, came the boom of other things, pressure for the DIY wedding, to become the perfect parent doing all the things, and of course, gender reveal parties.

I like the idea of gender reveal parties. I think it is a cute way to include friends and family in your pregnancy, or to have some suspense in your pregnancy, even just for a little while.

So what exactly is a gender reveal party? It’s a gathering where you have friends and family somewhere and reveal the gender of your baby in a fun way. Some people send the information to a bakery (without knowing themselves) and the bakery makes a cake and you cut into it and the inside is either pink or blue. Or you can go the DIY route and make cake pops!

Another common and frugal idea I have seen is to fill a box with balloons, a kite or lanterns and the color is either pink or blue, you open the box and let them fly out and reveal the gender that way.

The last is to fill a pinata, boxes, or something of that nature with either pink or blue glitter and let it fall over the parents-to-be heads. (One of my fabulous mom friends told me about this one!)

Of course you can play lots of games at the party and make your guests guess the gender. There are multiple ways to do this, I polled some mom friends and there suggestions include, having guests wear clothes the color of what they thing the gender is. You can have those guessing girl wear a hair bow and those guessing boy wear a fake mustache. Or you can do something super simple and just have a chalk board and tally the guesses.

Personally, I think that gender reveals are cute. I hate suspense and always want to know right away about everything (this includes Christmas presents) so I think that a gender reveal would be a nice way to bring that suspense. I would probably have a cake made or something along those lines. Nick however, thinks they are stupid.

So here is where you chime in. Gender reveal parties: love em or hate em?