Thursday, June 17, 2021

First Year Must Haves

 


As we quickly approach the one year mark,
I wanted to share a few all star products that became essentials during our first year as parents. I know I found myself researching anything and everything, and spending unnecessary money in order to find the products that worked best for us. Perhaps it’s mommy brain, but I am sure there are a few I will forget to mention. This post might seem all over the place, but welcome to parenthood!


1. ALEXA

How silly right? The truth is we actually didn’t purchase Amazon’s Alexa because we were having a baby… we actually already owned it and had received it as a Christmas present a few years ago. Although not a registry item, Alexa really came through for us and quickly became a favorite. We used it to sleep our baby, playing Disney music, white noise while he napped, and became a hit during our dance party prior to bath time. Of course you don’t have to spend money in purchasing an Alexa, but if your baby is anything like ours, a speaker is a must!


2. HATCH SOUND MACHINE 

This item was listed in almost all registries or baby must have videos/ posts I looked into. I didn’t really understand the concept of using a sound machine, perhaps because I had never truly been around babies, but oh boy did we sleep like babies. With a crazy bulldog and neighborhood kids playing outside our home, the hatch noise became a soother for our baby canceling all background noise during nap time and bedtime. 


3. DOONA

I know, I know… a controversial item. Let’s be honest, this item is pricy as f!! And if you’re looking into reviews, people will scare you by suggesting that the duo only lasts you six months before baby outgrows it. I decided to purchase it with that in mind and almost panicked once our baby was reaching six months. If I have any advice when considering the Doona I would say, every baby is different.  Keep in mind that some babies might out grow it quicker than others. With that being said, I had initially made my choice based on the fact that I saw us taking multiple road trips as we are a Disney family and go to the parks multiple times a year. What I decided to do, and highly recommend others do is, put your essentials or pricier items on your baby registry. Don’t get me wrong, I completely understand the excitement of wanting to add bows in 700 colors and 8 different bottle types, but if we’re being honest, you’re going to end up wasting money by doing so. Although someone might not be able to buy you a $500 stroller off your registry, gift cards or contributions to items exist! Unfortunately I was one of the moms who gave birth during a pandemic, but with that being said, the car seat to stroller still came in handy when it came to doctor appointments, switching between cars, and road trips.


4. ARTIPOPPE BABY CARRIER 

Baby carriers were one of the many mistakes I made. The truth is, my baby absolutely hated feeling tight, which is why swaddles did not work out for us. I started off with the mint wrap since it was one of the most obtainable items, as it was sold at my local target, my baby had good days and bad days in it. We tried the dolly baby wrap, which did become one of our favorites, the downside? Our baby got heavy quick, ultimately outgrowing the weight limit. We were forced to look into the sturdier baby carriers that would last us a few years. Boy moms, you get…. Your back just isn’t the same after carrying around a baby half your size. I had heard about artipoppe carriers and had seen them all over Instagram… but when it came time to purchasing one I quickly chickened out as the price screamed “save for a family car instead”. So we tried a different baby carrier. If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative, Tula became a favorite carrier that we used for a few months. It was practical and easy. Mother’s Day quickly came around the corner however, and I could not get over how cute the artipoppe carriers were, so I used it as an excuse and ordered one. I get it, some people can’t justify the price, but I am a long term planner and as someone who plans on having more babies, I figured some of these products are an investment. I fell in love with how soft and comfortable the carrier felt on my body despite carrying my heavy boy. I will say this carrier is one of the easiest and most practical to put on if you are going out on your own.  

If you are like me and have been putting off pulling the trigger, I do have a link that will save you $50 or so off! 


5. SKIP HOP BABY ACTIVITY CENTER

I always said that when I became a mom, I would shy away from having the obnoxious colored activity, swings, and toys all over my living room. Well as a parent you quickly learn how your living room will become a playroom. I had my eye on the Skip Hop Activity center for a while and one of our family members actually ended up gifting us it for Christmas. This became a life saver as it gave our baby something to entertain himself with while I would cook or take a shower (if you know, you know). If you still think the center is not too colorful I know a few sellers on Etsy have leg wraps to make it more modern. 


6.  ANGEL CARE BABY BATH SEAT 

This was also one of the man items I purchased solely based off of the videos and blog posts I saw online when it came to must haves. Our baby enjoyed this and it made it easy for us to give him a bath without freaking out about him slipping in the water. Highly recommend! 


7. IKEA HIGH CHAIR

To be honest, I didn’t really think splurging on a high chair was something I wanted to do. I followed a few girls that used this $19 chair and said it worked for them, so we drove to our nearest Ikea and purchased it as soon as it came time to introducing solids to our baby. I’m sure you’ve probably seen hundreds of people mention them, but @yeahbabygoods on Instagram actually makes adorable leg wraps, cushion covers, and placemats for the high chair, allowing you to customize and transform your high chair to your liking! A plus? they’re a small business, who wouldn’t want to support that! Check them out. 


8. BURTS BEES PJS

OMG I cannot rave enough about these pjs. We actually stumbled upon these randomly at Target one day. You know, Target kind of became an addiction during the pandemic, and not being able to shop for baby added to the fuel. I first purchased a pair of onesie during Christmas time and fell in love with the material and how snug they fit on our baby. Onesies are essentials regardless, but having an organic material that was soft and easy to clean became a favorite! We’ve collected a few onesies, and now two piece sleepers from their line and still use them to this day.


9. TUBBY TODD 

Prior to having a baby I wasn’t informed on truly how sensitive baby skin was, or what issues came up post birth. I actually heard about Tubby Todd through Instagram and knew other mama’s raved about their products. If I’m being honest, they weren’t the first brand we started off using, in fact Honest was a more obtainable option at the time and is also one of our favorites when we run out of our Tubby Todd products. I ran out of our body wash and decided to order their most popular trio to see what the hype was about. During my pregnancy I was working for a small business that also promoted clean ingredients and all natural process in creating them, so it almost became impossible to ignore clean products based off of my work background. I liked the idea of knowing what was touching my baby’s skin, making it easier to want to try the products out! Well, clearly they made my list for a reason, front the packaging, to the ingredients, and the amazing customer service… I fell in love! I know I’m a sucker for discounts, so I will link my code that will save you 10% off your purchase. Trust me, these products make perfect baby shower gifts, and a must have to add to your registry. 


10. POKE A DOT BOOKS

Yay we finally made it to the last and most recent favorite! At about 10 ish months, I made more frequent trips to Barnes and Noble with my son to introduce him to new books and find activities that could keep him entertained back home. I came across one of these books, but at first he didn’t quite comprehend the idea. I took it home, hoping that he would continue to practice. This month however, this book has become a FAVORITE toy. When I say favorite, I mean it’s helped us stop him from crying in the car, or keeping him entertained so mom can cook lunch. 

Wow, who knew 10 items would seem an eternity. Like I mentioned, parenthood involves finding what works best for your baby, even if it means trying out multiple of the same item in different brands or materials. Unfortunately, most things are trial and error, and what might work for one baby, might not work for another. With that being said, I hope I was able to distinguish a few key items to add to your registry or gift to someone you know who might be expecting!


I do want to mention one last site that I’ve really enjoyed, and that is @thebabycubby on Instagram! I don’t even know how I came across this site, but the layout and process of finding baby products based on reviews and tutorials made everything so stress free! You can become a member by signing up through email and earning points with every purchase! They have a variety of brands you’ll learn to love, and give really helpful videos that include details you might of not known about prior to a purchase. 


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