My Hospital Bag for Baby #2

My due date is this Thursday and I am READY. My stomach feels pretty much stretched to capacity and baby’s little movements feel more like a kung fu master trying to escape imprisonment than the sweet flutters of a baby. I’m convinced this is going to be our wild child, just based on his/her movements in utero. Any woman who has been pregnant knows that no matter how good or easy your pregnancy was, by 40 weeks (let’s be honest, it’s more like 38 weeks) you are done. That’s not to say I’m miserable, I’m just ready to have my body back and to sit/sleep comfortably again. Funny story- I remember when I was pregnant with Ricky saying that I couldn’t wait to have him because then I would be able to get a good night’s sleep. I knew I would have to wake up with the baby, but at least the time that I was sleeping would be good, sound sleep. HA! Little did I know that my son would wake up every 2-3 hours for at least the first 6 months of his life and that does NOT make for a more well-rested momma. I do not have unrealistic visions of bright-eyed mornings this time around, but I am looking forward to sleeping on my back again. Oh, and I can’t deny that middle of the night baby snuggles are pretty good too.

Not only am I ready to meet my little one, but I feel about as prepared as I can be at home as well. Freezer meals are prepped, Ricky’s overnight bag is packed, baby clothes are washed and the pack n play is set up in our room. My hospital bag has been ready and waiting for the last week- just sitting on my rocking chair in the nursery, taunting me. I packed pretty minimally the first time around and didn’t feel like I was missing anything, so my bag is pretty light this time too! Plus since there are not nearly enough blog postings out there on what to pack in your hospital bag (oh wait…), I decided to enlighten all you soon to be momma’s with my suggestions!

Hospital Bag for Mom and Baby

For You and Hubby

  1. Bath robe– this is number one and so good for when people are coming in and out of your room. Nursing can be challenging at first and it is nice to be able to throw something on quickly to cover up, not to mention much cozier than hospital gowns. I suggest one made of modal so there is a lot stretch.
  2. Nightgown/pajamas that allow for easy nursing access. Target’s Gilligan and O’Malley brand has a few really good options!
  3. Nursing tank top– again, you want something that gives you easy access during those first couple days, but also that you are comfortable wearing in front of visitors/nursing staff. I got a basic black and white from Destination Maternity that held up well with Ricky. These were great for layering under cardigans so I didn’t always look like I was wearing a nursing outfit.
  4. Nursing pads– If you are lucky enough to have your milk come in right away, you are going to want to keep a set of nursing pads on at all times. When your body is still regulating and figuring out this whole breastfeeding thing, leaks are far more likely to happen than later in the nursing period when you have things more under control. I prefer Lasinoh brand, a few of the others can feel more like tissue paper and make crinkly sounds- not ideal when trying to be discrete 😉 I only pack a few sets in hopes that I will not be at the hospital longer than 24 hours.
  5. Lanolin nipple cream– this will help prevent chaffing and chapping in the early days of breastfeeding. I promise it will help- use it.
  6. Loose sweatpants- embrace the boyfriend pant. I hate to be the one to break it to you, but you’re not going to be slipping on your pre-pregnancy jeans in the hospital. Not gonna happen, especially considering you’ll most likely still look like you’re in your 2nd trimester (don’t worry, your uterus will shrink back down and so will your waist, but give it more than a few days). You’re going to want to be as comfortable as possible on your bottom half, which involves all things loose with extra room for those really, really nice hospital diapers. Did I say diapers?! I meant underwear…
  7. Large underwear- pack a few pairs that are up one size from your normal go-to. Let the granny panties shine- this is their moment. The hospital will provide mesh underwear along with MASSIVE pads- use them. They may not be the most flattering or comfortable things you’ve ever worn, but they get the job done. I also pack a few of my own extra large pads just in case, but didn’t end up using any of my own during my hospital stay. Here is a little tip- you know those Victoria Secret coupons you get in the mail for free underwear every once in a while? Use them throughout your pregnancy to stock up on bigger sized, full backed underwear- that way you are not distraught if they get ruined.
  8. Nursing bra – I realize a lot of these suggestions have to do with easy access to the girls, but that is a pretty big deal in the first few weeks. I really like these overnight bras. One thing I didn’t realize is that you’ll need to wear a bra (or cami with a built in bra) at night for quite a while because nursing pads at night are a must and something has to keep those things in place.
  9. Flip flops and warm socks. Hospital rooms can get chilly, so cozy socks are nice when you’re staying over night. You’ll also want flip flops for the shower as well as to walk down the halls in case you need to go to a different room for some reason.
  10. Toiletries- you are going to want to have your own bathroom items to make you feel a little more human during that first shower after labor. You will be worn out and unsure of how your body just performed such a feat, and it will be very nice to smell good and maybe even put on a little makeup to cover up those under eye circles. If you are lucky, people will stop by to see you and maybe even take pictures- it’s nice to not look quite as tired as you feel.
  11. Extra pillow because hospital pillows suck and your hubby might be nice enough to stay the night with you 🙂
  12. Outfit for hubby- if he doesn’t plan to go home overnight, then he’ll probably want a change of clothes as well.
  13. Snacks! Labor is not a short process (unless it is for you, you lucky B!) and you never know when it is going to happen, so having some snacks on hand for the man holding your hand is probably a good idea. Granola is our go-to.
  14. Chapstick. Everything I read about labor before I had Ricky said to bring chapstick because your mouth gets so dry during labor. This is true, but I can definitely say I never once thought to myself, “Hm, my lips feel a little chapped, can someone get me some gloss?” I was glad that I had it afterwards though.
  15. Camera- I got my DSLR camera right before Ricky was born and have not looked back! I definitely don’t know how to use it to it’s full potential, but it has been wonderful to be able to take high quality photos of my little man throughout his life. I am excited to be able to snap more than a few of the new little one as well, especially those first couple days! Don’t forget to charge the battery!
  16. Power cords- because it would be a travesty if you were not able to tweet/insta/post photos of baby immediately after delivery 😉 Just kidding… but you probably will be upset if you aren’t able to get ahold of friends/family who have been waiting on news!

For Baby

  1. Swaddling blanket. Hospitals provide a very nice, gender neutral blanket for baby, but you may want to bring your own for photos.
  2. Hat/Bow. Again, the hospital will provide a blue and pink hat, but you might want a different one for photos or to take baby home. I will admit that we did not bring our own for Ricky since we didn’t know the gender and probably will not bring one this time. If we have a girl though, someone will be making a trip to the store for at least one bow headband.
  3. Going home outfit. Baby will stay wrapped up in a nice little hospital provided onsie during the entire stay, but you will probably want to pack a special outfit for the little one to make their homeward journey.
  4. Baby wipes. This is one thing I did not bring for Ricky because I assumed the hospital would have them. Our hospital provided all the diapers you could need, but used washcloths instead of baby wipes. That is all well and good, but I would have preferred to have normal wipes to use during our stay instead of having to get a washcloth wet in the sink to change baby’s many poopy diapers.
  5. Boppy/ breast-feeding support pillow. Even if you are a seasoned breast-feeding mommy, it is helpful to have a little extra support when baby is so tiny. It may be bulky, but it was definitely worth it to me to have the boppy at the hospital

That is really it. Most of what you would normally pack in your diaper bag, the hospital will provide so there is no need to bring/use your own! If you have any extras you don’t think you can live without, go ahead and pack them, but consider leaving an extra bag in the car. That way you don’t have quite as much to lug around in between rooms, but it is always a quick walk away if you need/want it! Family/friends are also wonderful resources for picking up last minute necessities, like Sour Patch Watermelons or Arby’s 🙂

Best First Birthday Gifts

Ricky still plays with many of the toys he received for his first birthday and with his second birthday fast approaching, I’m trying to come up with a list of gifts with the same sort of longevity. Alright, his birthday is just over two months away, but knowing that there will be a new baby before then makes me pretty confident that a birthday list will not be at the top of my priority list come September. So, while I troll the internet for 2nd birthday lists, I figured I’d provide you with my favorite gifts for a one year old!

First birthday gifts are tricky because a lot of kids are still in the early stages of walking/getting around and at a very transitional period in their interests and abilities. Keep in mind that whatever you get for a little one’s birthday does not have to be their favorite thing that week, or even that month! Most kids get the bulk of their toys at birthdays and Christmases, which means those toys need to last for a while and it is ok to get a toy that the little one might not be ready for quite yet. I like to stash away at least half the toys from holidays/birthdays and bring them out over several weeks, once current toys start to lose their appeal. So, here are some of our favorites that have stood the test of time (so far)!

Best Birthday Gifts for One Year Olds

First Birthday Gifts

Melissa and Doug Car Carrier– This toy has been a favorite of Ricky’s for at least 6 months. He first received the toy at around 15 months and didn’t show a ton of interest right away. Within a month though, this became a daily favorite. He loves to place the cars on the carrier, move it up and down, as well as play with the four little cars by themselves. The best part is that I don’t foresee this getting put away in storage any time soon.

Melissa and Doug Stacking Train – Stacking toys are great for toddlers and this is no exception. Ricky’s obsession with vehicles actually started with this little guy. He calls it his “chooch”- short for choo, choo, of course!

MegaBloks– MegaBloks First Builders legos are wonderful for encouraging creativity in little ones! Ricky and I have spent many hours playing blocks and if he gets sick of them after a few days of playing blocks all day, I put them away for a week or so and then get them back and his excitement is renewed. These are just a classic toy that will keep kids’ interest for many years.

Wooden puzzles– These are great for little hands and are guaranteed to last. There are tons of great options out there, but we really like Melissa and Doug sound puzzles, this shape puzzle, and this Janod dinosaur puzzle.

Lawn Mower (or other mini-me objects) – Kids at this age love to mimic mom and dad. Some of Ricky’s favorite mini-me toys are his lawn mower, mini Dyson (for real, you guys- kids seem to adore vacuums) and a kid-sized broom.

Fun Sippy Cup – This might seem like a silly gift since most parents have strong preferences for different types of sippy cups, but I assure you that they will be thrilled after you introduce them to this little beauty. Karl and I saw the Lollacup on Shark Tank (fave!) and had to try it! It is a little pricey compared to most sippy cups, but this is not your standard cup- they aren’t joking when they boldly state that the straw allows little ones to actually drink all the fluid in the cup. Having tried many cups, this is by far my favorite.

Riding Wagon – I’m a little obsessed with our wagon. It is awesome. Granted, we probably didn’t need the full blown “deluxe” model, but our parents spoiled us and I’m not complaining. I have no doubt that this thing is going to last through all the kiddos and it is a huge bonus that we won’t have to worry about upgrading to a bigger version as our family grows. If you have a little more sanity and aren’t planning on quite so many kids, you could probably get a slightly less obnoxious version 🙂 Either way, a wagon is great for a first birthday as it is right when a little one is starting to be able to ride around and they have a good amount of time (hopefully) before they start refusing to sit and want to walk on their own everywhere.

June Book Favorites

Happy Hump Day! I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend! We spent lots of great family time. We went to a neighborhood waterpark for the first time and had a blast! Ricky has always loved water, so any place that has fountains and a water slide just his size is right up his alley! We also had his first swim class on Monday. They submerge the little ones in their first class, so I was pretty nervous but he did great! Karl was in the pool with him and it was the perfect daddy-son time. I love watching those two play and bond.

photo 1 (13)photo 2 (14)

Let’s dive into some of our favorite books from this past month! Like most little ones, when Ricky likes a story, that means we read it a minimum of twice a day for several weeks.

June Book Favorites

June Book Favorites1) Mighty Dads by Joan Holub – I included this book with Karl’s Father’s Day gift and it became a fast favorite. Ricky’s obsession with trucks continues and he loves hearing about how the daddy trucks help out their little ones. The pictures in this book are so bright and colorful, and I love how it highlights several different types of construction trucks and the functions they perform.

2) Scuffy the Tugboat by Gertrude Crampton – Let me start by saying that this is not my favorite story in the world. For some reason though, Ricky just can’t get enough. The book follows a grumpy toy tugboat as he leaves a toy store in search of a more adventurous life, only to realize that he is in fact very happy living a simple life sailing in the bathtub of a little boy. It is on the longer end for his age, but Ricky sits in captivation throughout this entire book, pointing out different aspects of the illustrations along the way.

3) I’m a Big Brother by Joanna Cole – We are doing our best to prepare Ricky for the arrival of baby in August, but there is also only so much a 21 month old can comprehend through words alone. Given that Ricky loves stories so much, I figured a big brother book would be perfect to help acclimate him to the idea of a new baby in the house. When Ricky and I made a trip to the bookstore, I was pretty surprised by the lack of options. A lot of the books were very dry (read: boring) and focused on much older children becoming siblings. This book is simple and highlights the interactions a little boy can expect when a new baby comes into their house, such as talking to the baby and snuggling the baby. It also points out that the baby will be too little to do many of the things big brother can do, such as play with toys or eat certain foods. My favorite part, though, is the fact that mom and dad love the big brother and he is his own special person, and being a big brother is just one more special thing about him. I may or may not have cried the first time I read the book to Ricky…oh pregnancy hormones.

4) Hop on Pop by Dr.Seuss – We have had several Dr.Seuss books on the shelf since Ricky was born, but previously he had absolutely no interest in them. All of a sudden, these are his go- to book grabs. He loves the part of this book when Pat almost sits on a cactus- he flips right to this page and says “No! Ouch!” Pretty adorable, if you ask me.

5) Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? by Dr.Seuss – I love the visuals in this book and the encouragement for little one to try making different sounds. Ricky has mastered a lot of the sounds, but there are still some tricky ones we’re working on. This is the perfect little interactive story to flip through over and over!

I hope you all have a great week!

May Book Favorites

I have always loved reading, but I have to admit that kid’s corner in any book store can rope me in faster than any other section. Time seems to stop when you are flipping through children’s stories and I love finding new favorites. Lucky for me, Ricky shares my love for story time and we read A LOT most days. He demands ~4 stories before both nap and bedtime, not to mention several pauses in playtime for a quick story throughout the day. His favorites are ever changing, but when he gets hooked on a certain book, it is not unlikely that we read that book for both nap and bedtime for a few weeks in a row. His current favorite (I have to admit I was rather surprised by his selection) is Good Night, Little Bear by Patsy and Richard Scarry. The kid loves this book. He picks it every rest time, and often wanders around the house imitating the story looking for something/someone of his choice that is “hiding”. So, given Ricky’s rotating list of favorites, I figured this would be a good monthly update! So, onto May’s favorites (a few days late).

May Book Favorites

1. My First Farm –  This is a picture book in which every page shows images of different animals and other things you’d find around a farm. We have enjoyed this book since Ricky was much younger, however, he is in a BIG transportation phase right now, so we currently only look at the two pages that feature different types of tractors as well as other farm vehicles.

2. Steam Train, Dream Train by Sherri Duskey RInker and Tom Lichtenheld –  This is my favorite of all Ricky’s stories- hands down. The images are beautiful and the phrasing is just so sweet and soothing for rest time. Ricky loves to point out the different animals and other objects throughout the book. He calls trains “choo choos” or “chooch” for short, so this is fondly referred to as his “chooch book”.

3. Things that Go (A look and find storybook) – We originally got this book (along with Planes ) before going on a trip to Florida several months back, but it has held Ricky’s interest for much longer. Each page features a different transportation area- construction site, train station, airport, city, camp site and outer space. Although he has memorized where each of the featured images is on the page, we love creating our own look and find scenarios, including colors and the difference between similar objects!

4. Good Night, Little Bear by Patsy and Richard Scarry – As described above, this is a current favorite. It is the perfect length story for Ricky right now at 20 months. At earlier ages, this book did not peak his interest at all, but now he sits completely still and listens to the whole thing day after day. The story depicts a father “searching” for his son around the house before bedtime, when in fact the little boy his hiding on his daddy’s shoulders the entire time. The one downside to many of the Little Golden Books- they often show photos of other stories on the back, which leads to Ricky picking a favorite and asking for it day after day until mommy breaks down and takes him to the book store. Luckily, they are only $4, which is a bargain compared to most kids books!

5. Planes by Byron Barton – As mentioned, we purchased this along with a few other books in anticipation for Ricky’s second plane ride (he was only 7 months the first time, so I was definitely not confident he’d remember). This book has very simple, short sentences on each page along with basic illustrations. I was actually surprised with how much Ricky took to this book given it’s simplicity, but he is only now starting to tire of it after 3 solid months of favoritism. I highly recommend this for anyone planning an airplane ride with a little one to get them excited about the trip!

6. How Many Bugs in a Box by David A. Carter – This was one of Karl’s favorite books as a kid, so my MIL got it for Ricky for Easter. He is obsessed. It is an adorable counting pop-up book that shows a different kind of silly bug on each page, going from 1 to 10 throughout the story. For a while, I could not read this story before nap or bedtime because he would want it read to him over and over and get very upset after the millionth rendition that I finally refused another.

There you have it, Ricky’s favorite stories this month. I took a trip to the bookstore this week and am pretty confident we’ll have another great list at the end of June!

Ricky's books

He loves picking out his own stories!

I miss reading quite a bit and it is one thing I hope to get back into now that I am staying home full time. That is the primary purpose of naps, right? So while I don’t have a long list, I can at least give you a couple recommendations that I’ve read over the past couple months.

May faves (mom)

The Witch’s Daughter by Paula Brackston – This is a really good, easy read. It is very interesting, but still relatively easy to put down, which is necessary when you don’t have all the time in the world to curl up with a book (ah, dreams). The story follows a witch throughout her very long lifetime, from becoming a witch in the 1600s to her life in the current day, and all of the trials she has faced because of her nature. I will warn you though, if you can’t handle flash-backs, this is not the book for you.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (and Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling – We went to Florida a couple months back and this is the definition of a great vacation book. Mindy is hilarious and the book is broken into short excerpts about her life thus far- either experiences or musings.

Lastly, a bump pic because I know you are all DYING to see my growing stomach. Yay for finally reaching the third trimester. If only I had the naiveté of a first time mom and thought this meant the baby was almost here. I don’t. I fully realize that while this is the final stretch, pregnancy, as well as waiting, only get harder from here. Should I have put in a spoiler alert for that bomb drop? Oops 😉

28 weeks! #yesIusedafilter #I'mpregnant,sosueme

28 weeks!
#yesIusedafilter #I’mpregnant,sosueme

Top Beauty Secrets (Baby Edition)

I love beauty secret blog posts. Even when I was younger, perusing Seventeen Magazine or Teen Vogue, the beauty section was always my favorite. What tips did the stars have to share? Obviously, there must be some key, some secret, to achieving flawless skin and hair! There, in those magazines, they were finally going to share these well-hidden tricks, or so they said. I’ve grown up a little bit since then and realize that beauty is relative and the “secret tips/tricks” are just a matter of finding the best products and routine for your body. That doesn’t mean I still don’t love reading up on what works best for others, as well as trying new products here and there to find my own latest and greatest favorites. My current favorite places for these types of posts is Say Yes’s “Secrets of Stylish Moms” series and Cup of Jo’s “My Beauty Uniform“.

This post does not reveal all my personal grooming habits or tips (which are really not worth sharing), but rather dives into what I have found works best for my little man. Most kids with food allergies are also prone to eczema. We have been very lucky to avoid it thus far, with the exception of some small patches on a very rare occasion. I am proud to say (little pat on the back- don’t judge me) that every time we go to the pediatrician, she exclaims how great his skin looks, especially for an allergy kid. This leads me to believe that we must be doing something right! So, let’s break it down.

Baby bath products

Ricky’s cheeks have always been the driest part of his skin. They used to be so red and rashy that they were part of what triggered us to believe he had food allergies, prior to the frozen yogurt incident. Since cutting out his allergens, his cheeks have completely cleared up, but we still use Baby Aquaphor every morning and every night before bed. This is to keep his skin moisturized as well as calm down any redness from daily activity, be that a little too much sun or getting smooched up on the face from a daddy or grandpa with facial hair stubble. If you have seen Karl or I, you know that our kids are destined to have very pale, sensitive skin. We are not a tan bunch over here. So, we like to act proactively in caring for Ricky’s skin (I typed the phrase “tender skin” first, but figure if Ricky ever reads this later, he might be a little less mortified if I leave the word “tender” out of that particular sentence).

For the rest of his body, we use Cerave every night. This lotion is practically a miracle cream, healing even the driest skin. I prefer the type that comes in the tub as I’ve found it to be a little thicker than the pump bottle.

California Baby Calendula Shampoo/Body Wash has been my go-to since Ricky was born. It smells amazing and has never irritated Ricky’s skin. There are a lot of bath products out there that contain soy, but this one is completely safe for my little man! We also use the California Baby Calendula Lotion on occasion if the heavier Cerave doesn’t seem necessary or we just want an extra dose of wonderful baby smell.

My favorite diaper cream is Baudreaux’s Butt PasteI’m happy to say that Ricky never struggled with diaper rash, so we did not have to use this often. However, on the occasions that a red booty seemed to be irritating him, this cream cleared it right up as well as helped prevent any issues if he was having particularly frequent bowel movements. Too descriptive? Nah- I’m assuming if you’re reading this blog post, you are either a parent or about to become one, so poop talk is just a matter of every-day life for you.

Lastly, 1% hydrocortizone cream. The brand is not particularly important here, but let me be the first to say that this stuff works. On the rare occasions that Ricky has had hives due to an allergy encounter or extremely rashy cheeks, a little bit of this cream would clear it up in 24-48 hours (if applied a couple times a day). Our pediatrician recommended it when Ricky was quite small because of his red cheeks- letting us know that if we had pictures or a holiday coming up, this would be a quick fix. That being said, it is not intended to us frequently, only as-needed.

So there you have it folks! Ricky’s version of “what’s in your beauty bag”- I hope this helps anyone looking to revamp their baby’s beauty routine or start a new one if you are an expecting mamma!

Summer Gear

What a beautiful weekend! We spent most of our time outside working on the yard. And by “working on the yard,” I mean Karl worked on the yard while I ran around with Ricky and supervised. Pregnancy has it’s perks 😉
We are in the process of removing an outdoor waterfall by our patio that hasn’t worked since we moved into the house. Over the last 3.5 years Karl has spent numerous hours attempting to find and remedy the problem, but to no avail. Even though we have never used it, I’ve always been averse to tearing it out because it was just so pretty and IF we ever got it to work, it would be even nicer! I realize now that holding on to such a large piece of landscaping that doesn’t function as it should is not actually a good idea, especially with an almost 2-year old that is very into exploring the outdoors. The last thing we needed was for him to climb up onto the uneven rocks and take a little dip in the nasty water that tended to accumulate in the “pool” portion of the waterfall. So- goodbye waterfall, hello wood chip play area for Ricky! My mom still has the Little Tikes play gym from when I was younger-  you know, the one that every 90s kid either had or had a friend that had, 4 different colored walls, one of which had a platform and slide attached. In case you didn’t grow up in the 90s, this is what it looks like:

90s little tikes

Excuse the blurry photo, but this is the best I could find online of a practically iconic piece of history. Anyways, we kept ours in the basement growing up, so it is in excellent shape and will be perfect for our new outdoor play area!

My mom was feeling extra generous and surprised us today with this water table as an early birthday gift for Ricky. She wanted him to be able to use it over the summer, so she (mostly) convinced me that 4 months before his actual birthday wasn’t too early.
We had a blast watching the little man splash and play in the water, which left me very excited for the next few months of summer heat. Ricky felt very ok about his new toy.

DSC_0519Just kidding, he loved it! What little kid doesn’t love playing in water? A few more adorable shots with his new favorite toy:

This kid LOVES playing with the hose!

This kid LOVES playing with the hose!

Playing with daddy

Playing with daddy

My mom doesn't baby him at all... oh grandmas.

My mom doesn’t baby him at all… oh grandmas.

A water table was one of the things I wanted most for this summer, but there are definitely a few more summer must haves in my book!
Summer Gear

1. A great take-along picnic blanket. I have an old one from Vera Bradley (pictured), but this one is similar.
2. Bubbles! Similar to playing in water, what kid doesn’t love playing with bubbles? These types of wands are super inexpensive and so much fun on a nice summer day.
3. Outdoor picnic table. Ricky loves having his own table to set his plate and cup in the kitchen, so I knew we had to get one for outside once grilling season rolled around. They are all pretty similar, but this one is my favorite.
4. Sunscreen. If you’ve seen my child, you know he practically glows in the dark. As soon as the nice weather started, this sunscreen became a diaper bag staple for me. I’m known to slather it on so thick he resembles Casper the Friendly Ghost even more than normal.
5. An excellent hat. If Ricky is outside, he is pretty much always wearing a hat (again, please reference his lack of pigment). Since he is going to be wearing it ALL the time, it was important to have a great, semi-neutral baseball hat. Karl’s brother gave us this hat for Christmas this past year and it fits him perfect right now. We get compliments on it pretty much everywhere we go and I love that he matches daddy!

Do you guys have any summer must-haves for littles? This is our first summer with a kiddo on the move, so I will definitely be learning as I go!

Favorite Baby Gear (0-6 months)

As I prepare for Baby #2, I’ve started thinking about our most used and loved possessions when Ricky was just a babe in arms (which seems like a lifetime ago). Luckily, I had several friends who were having their first babies several months after Ricky was born, so I have a nice little list of favorites that I created for them that I can refer back to for myself now.

Side bar- it is amazing having kids at the same time as your friends. Ricky is 3 months older than my best friend’s first child (boy) and 6 months older than my other best friend’s 2nd child (girl). When you are pregnant with your first child, that is literally ALL you want to talk about- pregnancy and baby stuff. It was wonderful having people in the same boat who shared my desire to talk about topics that made most people slowly back away and pretend they were needed elsewhere (ahem, breastfeeding and different styles of child birth are apparently not everyone’s first choice dinner topic). Not to mention, when the three of us girls get together, our kids are all around the same age and enjoy playing together. PLUS we get to compare notes about the different stages of development. Obviously, all kids develop at different rates, but it is nice to get a ballpark of what other kids of similar ages are doing.

Back to the fun baby products! Here is my list of registry must-haves from Ricky.

Baby Registry (0-6 months)

1. City Mini GT Stroller: comfortable for the little one, compact and easily folded (one pull strap and boom, folded in half!) and easy to handle. We also got the adapter that allows you to put an infant car seat on top
2. J Cole Bundleme Car Seat Blanket: this thing is amazing. Anyone in cooler climates that will have a child in an infant car seat during winter months needs to own one of these. This was such a time and hassle saver- this little car seat addition makes it so you don’t have to worry about bundling up the little one every time you leave the house in cooler months
3. Boon Grass Bottle Drying Rack and flower/twig accessories: This works really well for pump parts and bottles and looks cute on the counter. It is a basic design, but highly functional and aesthetically pleasing. If you are planning to pump exclusively, consider getting the lawn size, rather than the smaller grass version
4. Tommee Tippee Bottles: I did a lot of research before choosing a bottle because I was planning to breastfeed exclusively until I went back to work, and once I was at work, I wanted Ricky to take a bottle only when I was not available. I read a lot of great reviews for Tommee Tippee, especially for breastfed babies and for avoiding nipple confusion. However, I will also say that almost everything I read supported the fact that there is no best bottle for every baby- there are a lot of great options and one baby might take to certain bottles better than others. Other great brands to consider include Born Free, Dr.Brown’s, and Avent Naturals
5. Tommee Tippee Milk Feeding Bibs: these bibs are nice because they have a thick ring around the neck to catch milk dribbles, which is especially helpful when baby is just learning to drink from a bottle. Ricky was a hot mess the first few weeks because a bottle was so unfamiliar, so half the milk seemed to dribble out the side of his mouth!
6. Pack of cloth diapers to use as burp clothes: Cute burp clothes may have their place, but I am all about the cloth diaper. Those things will soak up an insane amount of fluid and you don’t have to think twice about using them because you aren’t afraid to stain or get them extra messy
7. Boppy Pillow: This thing was my BFF for pretty much the entire first year of Ricky’s life. Ricky was a really terrible sleeper and we did a lot of night time feedings, so this was especially helpful for a mommy that was having a hard time keeping her head up, let alone propping up a growing baby to nurse. This is also wonderful for tummy time and helping baby learn to sit up on his/her own. I prefer the Bare Naked version, purchased with a couple covers to change out when they inevitably get gross
8. Fisher-Price Rainforest Jumperoo: Ricky liked to see what was going on around him, so he preferred the bouncer/activity seat over play mats
9. Aden and Anais Swaddling Blankets: I know you’ve probably heard enough about these already, but they really are deserving of all the hype. They are perfect for swaddling baby, but also great for throwing over a shoulder when nursing or laying on the floor for baby to play
10. Petunia Picklebottom City Carryall Diaper Bag: I love my diaper bag. It has plenty of room, plus it looks like a purse and has a changing pad on the front that is very handy and can be removed for washing
Bonus- Extra changing pad liners: You will need these, especially in the early days with a boy 🙂

Registering for a baby before you’ve ever had one can be a pretty daunting process- there are approximately one million options for most products. I did a fair amount of online research in addition to asking friends who already had little ones, which helped a great deal. So, hopefully this is helpful to anyone looking for real, mommy-tested suggestions!