Must Haves | Pregnancy must haves

Top 10 Mommy Must Haves

By on May 31, 2012

Click the item to buy or add to registry.

I have been asked by many friends and readers about items I found to be the most helpful when Ace was born. I thought prior to having him I knew exactly what I would use and not use because I had experience watching babies since I was 17. Man, it is not the same when they are yours! I bought things I never used and never purchased things I wish I had and later ended up caving and buying. I can not tell you how many times we went to Babies R’ Us those first few months returning and buying things. I mean that registry was a joke. We got a lot of useful items but things that I thought I really needed ended up being returned or never used.
In an attempt to help soon to be mommies and new moms I am going to make a list of things I found most useful and things I never touched. The funny thing is some Mom’s loved certain gadgets I never used and I used things other Mom’s hated. I will try to post what I found the most useful and if you’d like add to the list in the comment section. I am also adding a widget for Amazon so you can easily find these items to buy or add to your registry. It has been one crazy year of learning, hope this helps!
Must Haves!

1. Boppy Pillow: This was used straight from birth. My back was killing me from pushing and having an epidural so nursing was a struggle because I was so uncomfortable and everyone told me to bring the boppy pillow with us to the hospital and I am so glad I did. I used that thing every nursing and if I didn’t have it I was so awkward nursing Ace. It was my life saver. I will be getting an extra one next time around so I have one in the bedroom and one in the living room so I don’t have to drag it around everywhere with me to nurse. I also used this for tummy time and to help Ace when he was learning to sit up. This got use all the way up until he was 7 months old. Heck even our dog liked the Boppy when our son was done using it.

2. Angel Care Monitor: I know a lot of people love the video monitors and I think they are great. The thing about the video monitors is you can’t tell if your baby is sleeping or not breathing. This freaked me out. I knew that I wanted a monitor that would sense if my baby stopped breathing. SIDS was so scary to me and as a new Mom I had such an easier time sleeping knowing I had this monitor to warn me if he wasn’t moving or breathing after 5 seconds and so on (although I still checked in the middle of the night, ha!). It rarely had “false alarms” and if it did it was time to up the sensitivity. I highly recommend this monitor. Another reason I love this is because our son slept in our room for the first 7 months of his life. The video monitor would have gone to waste and honestly I would love to have a video monitor now that he is older because he plays in his crib before he falls asleep and I want to see what he is doing so it may be worth investing in. They do make one with a video monitor as well if you are interested in both.
3. Colic Baby Relief: Ok so this I am putting all in one category. When Ace was first born up until 8 weeks or so he was so colicky. I felt like my baby would never stop crying. I finally discovered quite a few items that saved us! Here they are!

  • Gripe Water: the only thing you can really give babies to help with tummy issues.
  • Gas Drops: Another remedy if gripe water doesn’t work.
  • Bottle Medicine Dispenser: I don’t know about you but my baby was not easy to squirt medicine in his mouth. I felt like I was going to choke him or something so we tried this and he sucked it down, no problem.
  • Baby K’tan Carrier: I tried the Moby but it took me so long to get the wrapping done and get Ace comfortable in it that he screamed the entire time. The Baby K’tan took me 1 minute to put on. I watched the video once and watched myself put it on in the mirror and was a pro after that. I used this not only for colic but Ace was never a fan of the infant car seat and so I brought the K’tan everywhere with us. If he woke up in a store I put it on and stuck him in it. Going to Disney? No problem, just wear the K’tan to carry him around. 
4. Pumping/ Breastfeeding:
  • Medela Pump in Style: My milk supply didn’t come in till 4 days after Ace was born. My poor baby was starving and I have supply issues so a pump was a must in our household. It helped when I had to supplement after nursing so that my body thought Ace needed more milk. I loved the double pump because it made pumping go by way faster. 
  • Hands Free Pumping Bra: This made pumping so much easier. I was even able to pump in the car on road trips because I put the bra on and covered up with a blanket and read a magazine.
  • Breastmilk storage bags: These are great room savers in the freezer. 
  • Nursing tank tops: I loved to wear these under t-shirts so that way I could just lift up the shirt and pull the tank top down making breastfeeding in public discreet. 
  • Nipple Butter/Cream: I was fortunate enough not to use this a lot because Ace had a great latch but pumping was made easier when I used these because of how much I had to pump. 
  • Nursing Bra Pads: Great for Mom’s that leak. I didn’t need these a ton because of my low milk supply but I definitely a whoops here and there.
  • Nursing Bras: They just make nursing easier because they snap open, simple as that.
5. Bottle Feeding: If you are like me and have to supplement then a great option for nighttime feedings and on the go feedings is the Tommee Tippee system.  The bottles have a formula dispenser that sits inside the bottle. This was the BEST thing for nighttime feedings for us.  We would put water in the bottles then formula in the formula dispensers and close the bottle up. When baby wakes up and you are half asleep there is no measuring to be done. We never heated Ace’s bottles so we would just dumb the premeasured formula into the bottle, shake it up and fed him. So much easier then going into the kitchen to make a bottle.
6. Aden & Anais Muslin Swaddlers:  We used these A LOT! I used them to shield the infant car seat from sun, prying eyes at the store (people always want to touch a baby, germs!), swaddling Ace and they were so large I even used them when I was chilly, ha! They are super soft and the best blankets ever. I would suggest these over receiving blankets.
7. Flips Cloth Diapers: My favorite cloth diapers, hands down. They are super trip, have great inserts that are super absorbent and fit from 7lbs to 35lbs.
8. Mobile/ Soothers: My son LOVED his mobiles. We put one above his changing table. This one was bright and it was the first thing he ever smiled at. We also had one that played music and moved in his crib. He loved to watch this before going to bed. He also has a soothing sounds giraffe and lamb. They have different sounds that help sooth baby to sleep. He loves the heartbeat, rain and ocean ones.
9. Portable Swing: When Ace was born he had jaundice. This meant he had to be on TWO billiblankets because he was 1 point from going back into the hospital and the easiest way to keep him wrapped in them was to have him sleep in his swing. He spent the first week sleeping in his swing at night and during the day. We had a normal size swing and it really annoyed me because during the day I would be in the living room and I would have to have Branden lug the swing in from the bedroom then when he got home move it to the bedroom. We finally bought a portable swing to keep in the bedroom. Had I thought about this before I would have just bought the one swing and moved it around because it was light and easy to move. I also used this when I pumped and Ace didn’t want to be in anything else.
10. Playtime: In the beginning I found “entertaining” Ace to be difficult because he was so small and didn’t have much expressions yet. Here are things that I found the work best to keep him “entertained”
  • Activity gym: Any type works. I got the Fisher-Price Rainforest one and he loved it because the center lit up and changed colors. 
  • Board Books: Ace LOVES books. I have been reading to him from the start and when he started smiling and showing excitement over things he would wave his hands up and down and kick his legs when he saw me take out a book and turn the pages. He now knows how to turn pages and will sit and listen to a story. Board books are especially great because he loves to explore the books with his hands and mouth and they are very durable. 
  • Jumperoo: Such an awesome play area before baby can crawl and even sit up. Ace still goes in it even though he can crawl. 
  • Bouncer: When they can bat at toys this is a great thing to get. We had two, one that had a rainforest “show” and another simpler one that we got real quick and cheap on a trip and he ended up loving it. They can be simple just make sure they have toys that appeal to your baby. My Mom had one that had farm animals and he was OBSESSED with the cow. I think it was the black and white contrast so really think about what will work for baby’s interest, not what looks cute.
Those are my top 10 that I can think were the most useful.  Of course you are going to need newborn diapers, wipes, onsies, crib sheets (don’t waste money on the crib bedding set) and anything else you find absolutely essential but these are things people might not necessarily think about or might be questioning. I also wanted to give brands that I thought worked well for us.
Now onto what I never used, found wasteful, could do without to save money or even things you can wait on buying.
1. Crib Bumpers & crib skirt: We have these but honestly it doesn’t make his room any cuter or put together and the bumpers are a hazard. The skirt was removed once his crib was moved down to the lowest level so we don’t even use that now.
2. Wipes Warmer: We bought one from consignment store thinking it would help for diaper changes, it didn’t.
3. Diaper Genie: A simple trash pail works fine.
4. Bassinet: Ace never slept in his. I could have just used his pack n’ play if I needed something but he co-slept with us, slept in the swing or little lamb seat the first couple of months and then we put him in his crib and he slept better there.
5. Bumbo Seat: Ok, I know, I know. EVERYONE talks about this amazing seat. I am not knocking it. I think it is great for SOME babies. If you end up having a baby that is chunky you are not going to get a lot of use out of it though. What I suggest is waiting to buy any type of seat like this till your baby gets to the age where they are able to sit in one, around 4 months. The downfalls of this is babies with thicker thighs can’t fit in it well, it does not have any type of strap around the baby’s waist and a baby can easily throw themselves out of it. Another option that we found was the Summer Infant Super Seat. This one is great because it grows with your baby AND has a fun little activity center around it. It can be strapped to a chair and used as a feeding seat when baby gets old enough and has a strap around the waist so baby can’t throw themselves out of it. It also doesn’t secure babies in the seat by the legs so it is great for chubbier babies. My son is almost 11 months old and his legs are starting to get tight in them but my nephew who has chubbier legs grew out of his seat by 5 months.
Things I want for next time.
1. Moses Basket: I have used these before when I nannied and I like them for when the baby is sleeping and you want to bring him around the house with you. You could also use this instead of a bassinet.
2. A comfier Glider: We have the standard glider a friend had generously given to us and I still use it but since I fell asleep a lot in that glider when nursing Ace I want a super comfy one for the next baby.
3. Manual Pump for when I am out and about and need to pump quickly.
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Must Haves

Sophie the Giraffe

By on May 30, 2012

I’d have to say one of my son’s favorite toys to this day is his Sophie Giraffe. Prior to having him I had seen this teether everywhere. I had heard so many great reviews on it and the fact that it was made from natural rubber was an added bonus. It was the first toy I bought for him. He loves to make it speak and chew on it now that he has his bottom teeth. I highly recommend this little guy for anyone wanting to get a toy for their new baby or as a baby shower gift. 

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Uncategorized

June is coming!

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Starting in the month of June my blog will have some great things coming up. First we will have featured posters. I am very excited for these women to share their stories.

I will also be having my first GIVEAWAY!! Everyone loves a good giveaway. Stay tune…

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organizing

By on May 29, 2012

I got a surprise day off today so Branden and I decided to do some more work on the house.  We needed an area rug for our living room and some other random odds and ends. We decided to go to IKEA. We got a great rug for really inexpensive, which is what we need with two dogs and a baby. They ruin everything so we don’t like to spend too much on things we will be replacing a lot. Once we are done with the living room I will do a before and after of that because we are working hard on getting it perfect!

Hot Mess!
Organized Bliss!

I also needed some organizers for my bra drawer. I always see ideas for organizing bras and was in serious need. I usually just throw them in a drawer and wish my expensive Victoria Secret bras good luck. I ended up getting the SKUBB 6 pack of storage boxes. They worked great. They come with two long boxes, 2 small square boxes and, 2 bigger square boxes. I used the 4 smaller ones for my bra drawer and the two bigger ones for undies and bikinis that I keep in another area. My drawer went from hot mess to organized bliss!

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Perfectly Imperfect Mom

By on May 28, 2012

We have a new look and name! I soon will have a new domain name as well. If you have my link on your site please change the name to Perfectly Imperfect Mom and the new link is http://www.perfectlyimperfectmom.com
Thanks!

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Cloth Diapers

Crash Course in Cloth Diapering Part 2: Questions

By on May 25, 2012

Ace in a Bummis Super Brite Diaper Cover



How do I know what type of cloth diapers are best for my baby and me? 

This is the question I thought about most before I had my son. I did a lot of research on the different types of diapers and asked other cloth diapering Moms what their opinions were on which diaper they liked most. I never got the same answer. The reason being is every family and baby is different. Babies not only differ in gender but size. I noticed Pocket diapers that worked perfectly for a friend with a chubby baby girl did not work well for my skinny baby boy. Some of my friends preferred old fashioned prefolds while others liked the convenience of Pockets or All in One diapers. There are so many options out there that it is hard to say what will be best for you.

Ace in a Flip diaper cover, size Medium

Then how do I go about finding the right diaper for my family? 


The best suggestion I ever got was to try different types of diapers. It seems like it could cost a pretty penny to do so but the best thing about cloth diapers is you can buy them used and they are just as good, sometimes better, as new diapers. Cloth diapers become more absorbent the more they are washed and if someone has taken excellent care of their diapers then buying preloved diapers is a great way to say some money while trying out different styles. Also if you have a friend who has used cloth diapers, they may be willing to let you borrow theirs and see how you like it. Cloth diapering Mom’s are usually so excited to find someone else interested in cloth diapering their baby that they are more then willing to help you out.

Ace in a pocket diaper

But isn’t it expensive to cloth diaper my baby?

For me the cost of diapers was a small reason for cloth diapering. I truly did it because the thought of all those diapers in a landfill grossed me out. I thought it was going to be expensive to start up cloth diapering and it would be a bit of a financial burden on my family until we got all the diapering supplies we needed. I found this to actually be quite the opposite. I started my diaper stash with 2 preloved Flip diapers and 6 inserts. I believe I spend about $40 on those and they we in new condition since the person who got them didn’t use them but had prepped them. That saved me at least $10. I also decided to get some pocket diapers that I found on sale. I got 4 for $8 each from Cloth by Tel (no longer selling diapers). So right there on about a day’s worth of diapers I spent about $72. This seems like a lot of money for a days worth of diapers, right? Wrong! The best part is after they are dirty you just wash them and reuse them. So in reality you just saved yourself money because you aren’t going through disposables for at least one day every other day if you do a wear, wash, wear, wash routine with a days worth of diapers. This seemed a bit silly to me so it made sense to have more then one days worth of diapers. We had gotten 2 Gdiapers from Babies R Us and they came with one insert and we bought a pack of 6 inserts, we had also gotten 2 packs of size 1 OsoCozy prefolds. We bought all of these with gift cards from our baby shower or got them as gifts for my shower. So essentially this didn’t cost us anything but you can get these preloved for really cheap. This helped give us at least two days worth of diapering. If our shells or covers didn’t get dirty we could easily go three days with all the inserts we had. We also bought ten pockets super cheap on ebay for probably $50. These were more for fast changes then anything else.

Ace in an All in One diaper

Isn’t using “preloved” diapers gross?


Since cloth diapers are cleaned in the washing machine it isn’t much different then washing a onsie that your baby had a blow out on and reuse it or giving it as a hand me down. When you clean a cloth diaper you wash the poop off prior to washing it in the washing machine. We use a diaper sprayer attached to our toilet. If the idea of using another baby’s diaper grosses you out consider buying inserts or prefolds new but preloved shells or covers. This way you can save money on part of your diaper stash.

Ace in a Thirsties Duo Wrap cover Size 2

What are the benefits to cloth diapering?

I have found many benefits to cloth diapering. One of the main ones is how much money it saves us on diapers. We use disposables for bedtime and usually one when Ace wakes up when I go nanny(4 days a week) in the morning since his first diaper is usually a poopy one and its easier for me to change him out of that before getting all of our cloth diapers set up at their house. That means we usually only use about 50 disposable diapers a month. Sometimes more if we are going to be out all day and we don’t want to carry around a huge wet bag with us. Also my son poops at least 3 times a day, usually more. No clue why but that would be a ton of diaper changes. Most babies don’t seem to poop that much so you may be able to change them less but not my kid.
Another benefit is my child has only had diaper rash once and it was when we were out of town and we used disposables. Because he poops a lot and has sensitive skin disposables just don’t help in the rash area. Other then that his bottom has never had an issue.
The best part is we are creating less waste! We do love the fact that we don’t have a ton of nasty disposables going into the landfills.

Ace in an OsoCozy pre fold size 1 with a Snappi to secure it. 

What is the actual savings from cloth diapering?

Since I mostly cloth diaper I couldn’t tell you how much it would cost me to diaper my child in disposables in a month because it changes based on whether we are out a lot or if we goes days without touching a disposable (once in awhile we will use cloth for bedtime). Overall we can go awhile with a large box of Luvs diapers. The box holds 108 diapers and we usually buy them when we see them on sale for $16.99 at Target. A lot of time they have them on sale and buy 2 and get a $5 gift card. We figure its worth it to splurge on 2 boxes. Those can last us awhile. I can’t even remember the last time we bought diapers.
What I can tell you is that if you buy the right cloth diapers (One Size diapers) they can last you from about 8lbs to 40lbs or so. So the upfront cost is only a fraction of what you would pay long term for disposables. Here is a great site that breaks it down Cost Savings: Cloth Diapers vs. Disposable Diapers

If you have any more questions please feel free to email me.

Check out Part 1

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What I'm Loving Wednesday

What I’m Loving Wednesday

By on May 23, 2012

I am Loving…

The face Ace makes when he eats an orange. He screamed when I took it away to make sure there wasn’t any seeds.

That I got to see one of my best friends from high school on Monday night on his layover to Puerto Rico and met his girlfriend.

That we are going to My Gym this weekend for a free class. Can’t wait to see how Ace likes it.

That it is cloudy out right now while the babies nap.

Our living room makeover. It’s slowly coming together.

And of course these guys! Everyone please say a prayer for my Dad. He is having surgery tomorrow on his lip for skin cancer.

Branden, Ace and my Dad!
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Weekend Rewind

Weekend Rewind

By on May 21, 2012
Little Moments Like This
It’s time for Weekend Rewind!

FRIDAY

This weekend was pretty full. I got off work early on Friday so Ace and I went and visited the family I used to nanny for. I started watching them about 8 years ago. The oldest daughter is now 15. I can’t believe it.

SATURDAY

After nap hair

Living room color “Refreshing Pool”

Bran painting! 

We had planned on baby proofing the living room and went to Buy Buy Baby and bought a bunch of stuff. We also wanted to update our living room so we went to Home Depot and bought some paint. When we got home we had lunch and I went to the movies with my sister to see The Hunger Games again since she hadn’t seen it. Then when I got home Branden had already switched out the old curtains with the new ones. By new ones I mean the sheets I bought at Walmart for $5. I couldn’t find curtains the color I wanted and these ended up working well. He put them horizontally so they would be short so Mr. Ace won’t pull on them. I like the long ways but for now this is going to have to do. Then he got started on priming the living room. It was so nice to have the brown walls painted over. Our house gets so dark so we want to lighten it up with a light aqua color.
For dinner we ordered pizza and watched House Hunters with our roommate and just hung out at home. Nothing major.

SUNDAY

Blurry but this is Taylin hugging Adonis

Sunday Adonis, Mom and I all went to church. We met up with my cousins who were gone for the past week. I am super close with them so it was great seeing them. We saw an old friend at church and her daughter is about 3 months older then Adonis and she was giving him hugs. It was so sweet.

After church we met up with my Dad and had lunch at Beverly Hills Cafe. One of mine and my Mom’s favorite places to eat. Adonis was entertaining everyone and was so silly. He has such an awesome personality.

Then we went home and both napped. I was so tired and Branden came home right as we were waking up. I went to the Farmers Market and Publix and got something to make for dinner. Branden was in charge of getting Ace to bed. He ended up waking up later in the night and was talking to himself and my guess crawling around because eventually he started crying and I went in there and he had his foot stuff in one of the rails. I put his sleep sack on him and tried to get him to go back to sleep. He ended up fighting it and I found him standing up in his crib. We gave him a bottle and he finally fell asleep at 2am. UHG! This whole learning a new skill and keeping yourself up with it is not my favorite thing. I hate that he gets upset.

Our weekend wasn’t too exciting but definitely was busy! Hope everyone had a great weekend.

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loss

At a loss…

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Today I was driving to work when I got a call from my brother. It was surprising since I never get a call from him early in the morning. He called to tell me his cousin’s (we have different fathers) baby girl had passed away. What heart breaking news. It kills me to know someone is suffering this type of loss let alone someone I know. This beautiful little girl has had a struggle from the start. She was born at home (her mother had her and her older sister at home, no complications) and something wasn’t right so they rushed her to the hospital where she had open heart surgery. She made it through but had many ups and downs since her surgery. I can not even imagine what this family is going through. I just want to ask everyone to pray for them and their older daughter.

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10 Months Old!

By on May 17, 2012

Adonis,
Today you are 10 months old. It is incredible to me that we are only 2 months away from your first birthday. I love your laugh and “dance moves”. You are extremely friendly, outgoing and know how to make everyone pay attention to you. 
You weight about 21 lbs and are 30 or so inches. You wear a size 3 diaper but we are moving you up to 4 because that was the next box we had. You are still on the medium settings on your Flip diapers and smallest setting on your Thirsties size 2’s and pocket diapers. You are almost grown out of your medium Gdiapers. You wear 9 to 12 month clothes.
Getting into trouble with Brady
This month you have finally started crawling.This was actually my Mother’s Day gift from you. Your crawl is very you. You crawl with your own funny style and spin in a circle on your butt. 
You also have gotten your first tooth! It broke through on May 7th. Your second one is coming in right behind it. You had a rough couple of nights from it but during the day you have been the same easy going baby you usually are.
One of my favorite things you learned to do is give kisses. If I say kisses and make a kiss noise you will lean forward and touch your mouth to mine. You are an open mouth kisser though so we need to work on that one, ha! You also give fives. I can’t remember if you started that the month before or not though. You also learned to pull yourself up to a standing position on somethings. 
We got you your first swing and put it up on the patio. You seem unsure of it which is kind of funny to see for you because you usually smile or laugh at everything.
I am almost positive you say “da” for dog. You did it for the dog at the house we babysit at and have started saying it around our dogs. You are also obsessed with Simon. You laid down to drink a bottle and were grabbing Simons paw and he put his paw in your hand. You were so sweet with him until you were done then you grabbed his ear and freaked Mommy out. Tanner is still the one that watches over you and doesn’t really come near you unless you have food. 
On Mother’s Day we had you dedicated at church. You did so well. Grandma, Grandpa, Uncle Dustin and your cousin Briana came to celebrate with us and it was great seeing them. After we went to lunch with Grandma, Grandpa and Aunt Ashley. You decided to play the game “let’s throw everything on the ground and make Grandma and Daddy pick it up”, yeah that game is getting old.
Adonis and Brady hold hands when they eat
Right now your day consists of lots of playing with Brady. One to two naps a day (2 if I am nannying and 1 if its the weekend usually).  You are becoming less interested in milk and more interested in food. You will drink about 4 ozs sometimes 5 or 6 about 5 times a day. You are an excellent sleeper and will go to bed around 7:30 and sleep till 7:15 when I wake you up or on weekends its later.
Your absolute favorite thing is being read to. You get so excited and bounce on my lap and turn the pages. I think you are going to be a bookworm. You also are still obsessed with music and dancing and have started staking your butt back and forth when you are on your hands and knees and you hear music. I love this.
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