Friday, April 18, 2014

Newborn Essentials

Aside from the basics (diapers, wipes, powder, etc.), I am sure that every new or soon-to-be new mom has an idea about what might be helpful to have around during those first few weeks home with their newborn. I am also sure that this list differs significantly from person to person. Some people feel that certain things are useless while others can't live without that exact same item. I hear that from my mom-friends all of the time. So, that being said, I have put together a list of things that "I" think are essential (having gone through this once before), and hope that if you are on the fence about something, you will consider giving some of these items a try.....

#1 - The Graco "Sweet Slumber" Sound Machine - We had Oliver sleeping in a cradle in our room until he was close to 6 months old (I know - that's kind of a long time!!), so needless to say, the older and more aware he became, the quieter we needed to be. Since tip toeing around isn't really an option, we found that a white noise machine was essential to our nightly routine. This one is great for many reasons: I love the "white noise" sound, but it also plays lullabies and you can plug in your iPod if you so choose. Well worth the $ and we still use it for Oliver every single night.

#2 - The Little Giraffe "Bella" Security Blanket - All babies need soft and cozy things surrounding them, and this little blankie was Ollie's "buddy" ever since day 1. He liked to rub the satin trim and snuggled up to it in his crib (as soon as SIDS was no longer a concern). He still sleeps with it today. They are pricey, but good quality. We love it!

#3 - A trusty diaper bag - This is one of those items that some people claim is a waste of money, and they would rather use a large open tote or a standard backpack to lug around their baby "stuff". I however feel that a high quality "official" diaper bag with a good amount of internal and external pockets is a must have, especially now when I am going to be carrying around baby stuff for two. This is the Marc By Marc Jacobs "Pretty Eliza-baby" Diaper Bag. Yes, it is on the pricier side, and although I haven't gone out on the town with it yet, from what I can tell, it is going to be the perfect bag.

#4 - The 4moms Mamaroo - I didn't have this for Oliver (we had a standard swing that did the job ok), but a wonderful friend handed it down to me for baby boy #2, and I am already in love. The motion and the sounds seem so much more tranquil than the ones that the swing offered. I am hoping that Julian loves it as much as I do, and I don't see why he won't.

#5 - The Turtle Bath Sponge Cushion (exclusive to Babies R Us) - The bath was Oliver's happy place. He absolutely loved being in the water from the very start, so it became part of his nightly routine right away. We had a very basic plastic baby bath tub, so this little cushion was super cozy and also helped keep Oliver warm throughout the entirety of the bath. I highly recommend using something like this inside those the hard plastic tubs.

#6 - Bath Soap - Along with the cozy turtle sponge, I love a smooth, good smelling, moisturizing baby soap/shampoo. My favorite is this all-in-one Aveeno Baby Wash & Shampoo.  It smells amazing and can be used all over the body/head.

#7 - The WubbaNub Pacifier - In the hospital where I gave birth, they use the patented "soothie" pacifier for newborns. Many people aren't into pacifiers, but I am a pacifier advocate. I believe that it helps babies self sooth, and there is also a direct correlation to pacifiers and reducing the risk of SIDS deaths (the sucking reflex is directly linked to the breathing one). These little "WubbaNub's" are not only cute, but I found that the added weight of the stuffed animal helped keep the paci from falling out of my newborns mouth. Definitely a must have for the first few weeks home until you transition to a regular more substantial pacifier.

#8 - The Aden & Anais Burpy Bib Burp Cloth -  I used everything from cloth diapers to fancy hand sewn burp cloths when Oliver was a baby, and at the end of the day, these were my favorite kind. The shape helped prevent it from falling off of my shoulder mid-burp, and once baby food comes into play, you can snap it around baby's neck and use it as an actual bib. I probably saved 25 of these (that held up after being washed many many many times) from when Oliver was tiny, and I am looking forward to using them again.

#9 - Bottles - I was one of the lucky ones and was able to breast feed Oliver for a long time, so I am anticipating being able to do that again this time around - BUT - one thing that I failed at miserably with Oliver was helping him become comfortable with bottle feeding (whether it's pumped milk or formula) so that someone else could step in every now again to take over for a feeding. Oliver and I were locked together for months and months with no break, and while I loved the bonding time, I swore that with my next baby, taking a bottle would be no big deal. These Como Tomo Silicone bottles seem to be the most similar to an actual breast, and get rave reviews from my friends that have used them. I am looking forward to trying them once Julian arrives.

There are a ton of other items that can be added to this list, I am sure, but those are just a few of the items that I felt were essential, and that I am looking forward to getting the chance to use again VERY soon.

Thanks for stopping by :)


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Baby Boy Goodness

As I prepare for our 2nd baby boy to arrive (Julian Jett is due to arrive in approximately 5 weeks!!!), I have been trying to get myself to an at least somewhat "organized" place in regards to what we will need ready when we bring our baby boy home. That being said, while I have saved a TON of Oliver's baby clothes (from size NB - now), shopping is my happy place, so I have allowed myself to indulge in at least a few new just-for-Julian items that I simply couldn't pass up.

When my babies are brand new (up to about 3 months old), I tend to stick with what seems most comfortable. I don't like to put jeans or button up shirts on tiny fresh skin - too rough/rigid. Long sleeved onesies with cozy cotton pants are my go to, as well as footie pajamas (& baby gowns for the first few weeks home).

**Disclaimer: shopping for boys can be a challenge. Don't get me wrong, there are a ton of "boy clothes" out there, but whether they are actually comfortable & stylish is a whole other story. Since Oliver was born, I have been getting stopped by complete strangers asking me where I buy his clothes, and the truth is, I tend to shop at all of the same places that everyone else does, I just usually go the "less traditional" boy route with my choices. I like stripes and patterns way more than I like fuzzy baseballs and puppies (meaning no offense to those that love them.)

Here are some of my favorite clothing items for NB baby boys today....

#1#2 are both from one of my FAVORITE stores, Cotton On Kids. I personally prefer to go in to the store, but you can also shop online.

#3 & #9 are by one of my fav brands, Kickee Pants! They are so soft!! You can find them in a lot of different boutiques/stores, but I typically buy mine at They can be pricey, but has a pretty great selection of sale pieces.

#4 is from a store called Crazy 8. It is my understanding that it is the more fun/less expensive side of "Gymboree". Whatever it is, I tend to like it MUCH more -- Gymboree is pricey and is a snore in my opinion ;)

#5 is from my fail safe, Baby Gap. I can ALWAYS find cute comfy baby boy clothes there, and I never buy anything at full price. 

 #6 is from Old Navy, and again, you have to pick carefully, but I always manage to find the good stuff that fits well and is on trend. 

#7 is another favorite (more so for toddler boys than babies), H&M. They have some fun, quirky, out-of-the-box boy styles that I love. These scarf bibs are my all time favorite baby boy accessory :) (they have girl colors available too).

#8 Minnetonka baby moccasins are a must have. They are the "originals", and are still going strong. These velcro ones are easy to put on and are (in my opinion) adorable. They are especially great for those non-walking months.

And for those that are interested, here is a nursery update: 

In addition to clothing options, Julian's nursery is really coming together. It is changing & evolving everyday. I have found some really fun stuff to make his room feel cozy and current. Here are some of the newest additions.....

#1 & #2 are the fabrics that I chose to have a custom crib sheet (#1) and a custom stroller blanket (#2) made (with a gray minky-lined back)  The awesome etsy shop that I used for this is a shop called OliveAndAndrew owned by Kristen Worthington. Her shop is currently on vacation, but she will be back up and running soon and if you are in need of crib sheets, blankets, boppy covers, etc., you must check her out. I highly recommend her shop -- great fabric choices and impeccable sewing. LOVE! (email me if you'd like her contact info)

#3 is a "Metal Acid Etched Letter" from Urban Outfitters. I bought a "J" & a "V" to hang on Julian's wall. 1 for $12 or 2 for $20 = can't beat it!

#4 is one of my favorite nursery items - the <STEELE> Canvas Laundry hamper  (I picked the taller one). I found mine at Homegoods (randomly), but they can be ordered online as well. Super high quality and very functional.

#5 is also wall art from Urban Outfitters - The Venture Out wall print. It is currently sold out, but you should still check out their eclectic wall art selection. I am in love.

#6 is an alternative to the ever so famous "Sophie the Giraffe". This is "Lela the deer". Same idea, different adorable animal. A must have.

#7 is yet one more Urban Outfitters score -- The Beci Orpin Dreamcatcher.  This is arguably my favorite piece of wall decor so far.  Bad dreams go away!

#8 is the rug that I chose to help ground the space. I bought it at my favorite online rug shop It is a derivation of the West Elm souk rug, but is MUCH cheaper, and similar in quality. I am really happy with my choice.

#9 is an impeccably made blanket that I purchased from It is the "Weegoamigo Knitted Travel Blanket in Wilderness", and it seems like it is the perfect size/warmth for stroller cruising. It is a bit on the pricey side, but the quality seems worth it, and it is packaged perfectly to give as a shower gift if you need one. I can't wait to use it! 

So, there you have it. I am starting to get super excited to meet my little man and am finally feeling like things are coming together so that we are ready when he is. I hope these items help you feel inspired to seek out the "cool" baby boy stuff, and to veer away from the expected and traditional. Boy stuff can be fun and unique too!

Thanks for stopping by,