BABIES. I just love 'em. Well, that wasn't always the case. Truthfully - I find them a wee bit terrifying, but there's nothing like jumping in to get your feet wet. A couple of things made my life SO MUCH easier during Baby1(Pilot) + Baby2 (Penn)... and if I have learned anything at all it is that Baby3 will probably prove me to be a big fat liar and like none of the things that worked for her sisters. That's how it goes. Here's a run down of my favourite things. MY DISCLAIMER READS: I AM NO EXPERT just sharing happy baby links.
1. ADIRI bottles. I love them. NOTHING bad to say about these bottles AND they have even made improvements on the old design. I am so excited to start using them again. I'm not afraid or ashamed to admit that I am a bottle feeder. That's what works for me. That's what works for my babies and a happy, stressfree mom does more for a baby than feeding from a breast. I have been looked down upon and judged and had my arm twisted all sort of ways by all sorts of people when it comes to this topic. This works for me and I am happy. I heart WATERGEEKS for carrying the new bottles, too.
2. LAUNDRY BASKET. Instead of a bassinet - both Pilot and Penn spent their first couple weeks in a laundry basket beside my bed. OH, I suppose that I could have used a bassinet and paid way more than $7.99, but that is not my style. The girls also used plastic containers as bathtubs until they fit comfortably in the sink. OLD. SCHOOL. AND. PROUD.
3. SOOTHER LEASH. There is nothing like hearing the terrifying sound of her soother being spit out with force from the carseat facing AWAY from you in the backseat of your car to make you purchase one of these PRONTO. We had a bunch from Small Potatos. LIFE. SAVERS.
4. CHALKBOARD PAINT. This might seem odd... but as soon as our girls could hold chalk - THEY LOVED TO DRAW ON OUR CHALKBOARD WALLS. It was hands-down the toy that got used the most. I can't imagine life without a messy wall for eager little creative minds. Seriously. (Pilot was using the wall before she could stand or walk.)
5. JJ COLE SLING. There's a zillion different kinds of slings... this one was easiest for me and it had pockets so I could get outside with the babe and the dog and have somewhere to put my keys, dog poop bags and little camera. It was easier for me to adjust than the other slings and light weight enough that nobody overheated and I didn't feel like a hippy child wrapped in three miles of fabric.
6. A BOON BAG. (Or three!) OH MY GOODNESS. I seriously don't know what we would do without our BOON BAGS. They are big, soft, empty bean-bag type creatures that you put your stuffed animals inside. When full - they turn into enormous stuffies for lounging on. Or landing on. Or tumbling into. Or napping in. If we didn't have these I HAVE NO IDEA what we would do with the zillions of stuffed toys we have received. I love these.
7. BOUNCEY CHAIR. (The chair pictured here is NOT the one I have, but this Maclaren is so dreamy I would really, really like it.) Our bouncy chair was the only thing that would calm baby Pilot. We would bounce that thing for hours. Penn loved it, too - BUT NOT IF IT WAS BOUNCING. Evenso - this was my FAVOURITE baby apparatus.
9. PHIL & TED DOUBLE VIBE STROLLER. Whew. BEST. INVENTION. EVER. It's pricey, but I have used every single day since we got it. I have worn two tires out completely. I have taken it travelling. Best stroller in the world. Can be a single. Can be a double. CAN BE FOLDED AS A DOUBLE. Weighs less than 20 pounds so even after 2 c-sections you can lift it in and out of the car with one hand. Makes life with babies who are less than 14 months apart A DREAM. I am hopelessly in love with Phil & Ted.
10. DwellStudio FOR TARGET. Sigh. OKay - this is new. I just picked up a couple pieces for Baby3's new room and I am impressed. $10 for the crib sheet and it's beautiful. It SO TOTALLY kicks the butt of my $10 plain white cotton sheet in the nards.
11. The LODGER SHELTER. This is from the UK and I wish that I was from the UK, too. (Man, their stuff is cool.) I got it off Ebay UK. I shop there because the shipping is cheaper and faster to Canada than from the US. Go figure. This is a heavy weight sling THAT YOU CAN LEAVE THE BABY IN WHEN THEY ARE IN THEIR CARSEAT. Wow. Brilliant! That's an amazing perk if you have sub-arctic winter babies. Like I do. You have not heard a baby angry until you take one out of their cozy car seat to transfer into a sling at -30˚. LOVE this sling so much.
12. SKIP HOP BOTTLE RACK. I used this for 2 babies and it was GREAT. Nice, stylish thing to have on your counter for 750 days in a row. I have just recently switched to the BOON GRASS rack because my counters are setup a little differently. I'll let you know how it goes.
13 & 14. MATERNITY CLOTHES. Anything with the word "maternity" attached to it is bound to cost more than it should... but I swear by a Bella Band of any kind. I wear my regular jeans unbuttoned with the band overtop. It's not a look I would like to sport for 10 years at a time, but for the 6 short months that you need a little more breathing room - IT WILL DUE. I also buy cheaper long t-shirts + wraps. They have served me better than any piece of maternity clothing I have owned. The t-shirt in the graphic is from Target $9.99. I have a million of those. I ALSO HAVE 4 Liz Lange maternity tops that are IDENTICAL and cost $14.99. I go with pants UNDER the belly, leggings, tights and all that jazz. Skirts. What I learned from the first two pregnancies is that THEY GO SO MUCH FASTER than all the new clothes are worth. Borrow clothes. Get creative. I can turn pretty much any dress into what works for maternity. JERSEY IS YOUR FRIEND. Treat yourself to nice skin products, hair cuts and good makeup. If you feel good - you can rock whatever clothes you're in. SHOW OFF THAT BELLY.
15. SWADDLE ME blankets. These blankets are genius. They have the swaddling instructions right on them and both Dan and I perfected a 5 second swaddle that fits tightly enough to stand your baby up on end. Not kidding. We can do them in the rain, in the dark, in the alley, in the back of the car... you name it. Both of our girls slept best in a tight swaddle and these blankets were the biggest and the best. They must use some kind of magical fabric.
16. The PHIL & TED TRAVELLER. This is essentially a "play pen" only when you fold it down it's small enough to fit into an average suitcase. It's sort of the OPPOSITE of one of those "pack and plays" that weigh a ton and get all crazy when you need to collapse them. They can be used at the beach. They are perfect for outdoors and have bug screens and all kinds of other great things. I took ours in the shower and rinsed it out perfectly. I can't say enough about the awesomeness of being portable with babies. Oh, AND WHO DOESN'T LIKE BLACK???
17. TIFFANY'S BOX. This was sort of a joke and sort of not a joke. I'm not really one to support a "push gift" or whatever they are calling it now... but there is something to be said for a small piece of sentimental jewelry that says "hey - I know that must have been hard and I thank you and you are awesome". Oh yes - I know. THE BABY IS YOUR GIFT. And that is true as well... but a little piece of sparkle never interupts your warm fuzzy thoughts by screaming their heads off or barfing in your hair. Men - take note. (Lisa Leonard has GREAT stuff that you can personalize with names and initials!)
And that's about it for us. There are a million other things I'm forgetting.... I wonder how Baby3 will change this list? I wonder what Dan would add to this list? What is on your list?? What are your MUST HAVES?
Today: new + old. I have an appointment to listen to Baby3's heartbeat and then we are preparing for a Halloween weekend full of old VISITORS! My Mom + Dad. My Grandma + Grandpa! Let the party begin! I am excited to see them and SO are the girls. Happy Halloween!