Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Newborn & New Mom Essentials

These last six weeks with Henrik have been (overall) so great! There have definitely been some hard moments (like the time he stayed up until 6 am), but there have been far more fun times. He's just the best and I love him to pieces.

Many of my mom and mom-to-be friends have asked me about different baby products I'd recommend, so I thought I'd do a whole post on what I've found to be the most useful! These are the items that have made the transition to motherhood much easier for Henrik & me. They have all been very useful and I'd totally suggest getting any/all of them. In the interest of full disclosure, I have indicated which ones we received for free but rest assured, all opinions are my own!

For Baby 

MAM Newborn Pacifiers (c/o): My friend recommended these pacifiers to me because they're a little bit smaller than the green Avent ones so it's easier for newborns to keep them in their mouths. Henrik loooooves his and he has had no issues with nursing or taking bottles since using a pacifier.

Puppy pads: With only two changing pad covers, these have been lifesavers for us. The first week we had HMS home, I was washing the changing pads almost everyday! But now we just fold one onto the changing pad and it keeps everything muuuuch cleaner for longer stretches of time. Anything that helps reduce the amount of laundry I have to do is aces in my book.

Hunky smiling and hanging out on his puppy pad. Just today he made a giant mess on the pad as I was in the midst of changing his diaper. Had it not been for the puppy pad, the changing cover totally would have been ruined.

Snoo: Honestly, this bassinet has been the best baby buy so far. We decided to use the bulk of our baby budget on this and figured if it didn't work, we could return it (you get a 30-day trial). You should explore their website and watch their videos on how/why it works to help keep your baby asleep because they can explain it better than I can, but we have found that it works really well for Henrik. It doesn't always put him right to sleep if he's colicky (I mean it's not a total miracle worker), but it rocks him to sleep so I don't have to as much and helps him to stay asleep throughout the night. Often, he will sleep from midnight until 6 or 7 am, which is fantastic, and I attribute a large part of that to the Snoo. I'll hear him start to fuss or stir and the Snoo will kick in and get him back to sleep. It's amazing. It gives me a lot of peace of mind too because I know if the Snoo isn't making his crying stop after three minutes and it shuts off, then he needs me for food, diaper change, or snuggles. If you're considering making the investment and have more specific questions about our experience with it, let me know! I'd be more than happy to talk more about it. It's been worth every penny for us.

UPPAbaby Car Seat and Stroller (c/o): We loooooove our travel system. I'll do a full post on it in a few months, but basically it's perfect. I wanted the car seat and stroller from like the moment I found out I was pregnant so I was ecstatic when UPPAbaby offered to send me the whole system. It has not disappointed. The car seat is SO easy to get in and out of the car and the base is easy to install as well. It even indicates when it's locked into place correctly so it's basically idiot-proof (which I need). I love that it easily locks into the stroller and that the stroller itself is easy to set up and collapse. I was really nervous about figuring out car seats and strollers by myself, but this system is ridiculously simple and user-friendly. I have had no issues using it or setting it up. The stroller rides super smoothly as well. My mom was pushing it the other day when we were at the mall and she commented on how easily it moved and how lightweight it was. The quality is great and the whole system has all the features I could possibly want. Bonus? It can fit multiple kids so the system will grow with us as a family!

Us going on our inaugural walk with the stroller!

Gathre Mat: Wipes clean easily and is great to set out on the floor for tummy time. I think we'll be using this mat a lot outside too once it's warmer!

Burp Cloths: I have found that you can't have too many burp cloths, especially if you're nursing. Those first few weeks, I was leaking and there was milk all over Henrik and the burp cloths helped keep us all (relatively) dry. I tuck one into my nursing bra and sometimes under Henrik too. We like this one from Aden & Anais as well as these best. But really, as long as you have a small piece of fabric, you'll be ok.

Onesies: You also cannot have enough onesies. You go through so many of them and then if a blowout happens and one gets all stained and ruined, you don't feel bad about just throwing it away. I'm planning on buying more of these on our next trip to Target.

Tubby Todd Products (c/o): We use the Everyday Lotion on Henrik and it has really helped moisturize his dry skin.  I love that it is 100% natural so I don't have to worry about it being unsafe for him. It smells great too! We are planning on using their whole line of bath and body products because we have been so impressed. I have tons of friends who love their products too, which is reassuring.

Blooming Bath: We use this in our sink when we bathe Henrik and it works really well. It's soft so it provides a nice cushion for him and protects his head. We hang it in the shower to dry afterwards and fold it up and keep it under our sink. Plus it looks adorable for bath photos.


Swaddle Sacks: We often just wrap Henrik up in a swaddle blanket, but sometimes he needs to be seriously swaddled and that's where the swaddle sacks come in handy. We mainly use this one from Aden & Anais and it's nice because we can wrap him up in a blanket first then put him in the swaddle sack and he stays nice and warm. We also use this Miracle Swaddle one for when he doesn't need double swaddling (it fits a little snugger). Henrik is great at wriggling his arms free when we use a blanket to swaddle him but the swaddle sacks keep his arms in place much better. They're really effective when we're trying to get him to sleep and stay asleep. They are also very easy to wrap and use.

Aden & Anais Products (c/o): I love everything from them. They have adorable swaddle blanket prints, great blankets, swaddle sacks (as I mentioned earlier), burp cloths, etc. Their muslin fabric items are soft and pretty stretchy. I also really like their silky fabrics too. And guess what? All they're stuff comes pre-washed! I love their stuff so much that I've bought a bunch more since receiving our freebies.

Lou Lou & Company Blankets & Newborn Bundles (c/o): This is another company where I was sent some pieces for free and have since bought a bunch of other stuff from them. Their blankets are sooo soft and stretchy and adorable. I love their prints and they're always coming out with more! Plus you can get matching hats and mittens, which are my favorite. We have the blue plaid newborn set and this other set. I'm contemplating getting this one too!

I love the matching blanket and hat sets, especially for photos :)

Owlet Care (c/o): I heard about this monitor system long before I was pregnant and knew I would want one when I had a baby. It monitors their oxygen levels and heart rate and alerts you if either drop too low. It gives me so much peace of mind to know that he's breathing ok and is healthy. Full post on our experience with it is forthcoming!

Boppy: Great for nursing, obviously, but we also use the pillow to support our arms when we're holding him (or to hold my laptop when I'm blogging...). We let him lounge in it and use it to support him during tummy time as well. I really like how versatile it is. Plus you can get cute covers for it, like this one.

Solly Wrap (c/o): Another item that I knew about well before I was pregnant and immediately knew I wanted it. This wrap has not disappointed! Henrik loves to be worn so it helps soothe him while I'm cooking, doing laundry, etc. I wear him in it when we go to church so he'll nap easier and it prevents people from touching him too much during cold & flu season. So far I've only wrapped it for the newborn hold, but they have videos to help you learn how to do the different holds. This was another thing I was nervous about, but they make it super simple and with just a few practice wraps, I had it down! And true story, I fell in a parking lot the other day while wearing him in the Solly and not only did he not fall out, but he didn't even make a peep! It kept him totally safe and I know if I had been carrying him in my arms, I would have dropped him.

Happily snoozing away in his Solly Wrap. 

Fawn Diaper Bag (c/o): This is the best diaper bag. Hands down. It's gorgeous and not too feminine so Chris feels cool carrying it (I mean, Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis have the same one). It has tons of storage and wipes clean very easily since it's leather. I want one in every color, no joke.

MamarooThis is where I keep Henrik during the day if I'm trying to shower, work on my laptop (he's currently happily napping away in it!), clean, etc. and can't hold him. It rocks him and has different sound and motion options to keep him asleep. He's also content hanging out there when he's awake, which is nice. It's elevated slightly so he can see me as I do stuff around the house (it also helps with babies who have acid reflux). It looks really cool too so I don't mind keeping it in our family room haha.

For Mom

Robes: Ok all you moms-to-be out there. Let me tell you. Invest in some awesome loungewear. It will make you feel comfy and better about yourself while you're recovering. I decided to get a variety of robes since they're easy to nurse in and keep you cozy while looking pretty. These are some of my favorite ones: Barefoot DreamsPink BlushPlum Pretty Sugar.

PJ Pants: I am living in this pair from Target. Not like the best quality in the world, but I bought a big size in black and brought them to the hospital with me (definitely get a dark color). I've been wearing them pretty much every night since getting home. They're comfy and still keep me cool when I'm sleeping.

Lansinoh Nursing Pads: I'm still leaking a lot and these have been a lifesaver for me and my bras.

Coconut oil: I've been using coconut oil instead of nipple cream because it smells nice and works! And it's totally safe for baby.

Sleep Mask: Used this one in the hospital and still use it at home. It's great for when you're trying to sleep during the daylight hours. And it's super cute/soft.

Dwell + Slumber Dresses: I have two of these dresses and want at least ten more, that's how amazing they are. Loose, nursing friendly, comfy, pockets, and cute. They can't be beat.

Nursing Cover (c/o): I mainly nurse at home, but this nursing cover is great for the inevitable situation where Henrik decides he needs to be fed NOW and we're in public. We keep it in the diaper bag for emergencies such as these haha. It also works as a car seat cover, scarf, and grocery seat cover too!

Nursing Bras (Cake Maternity c/o & Target): The nursing bra I have from Cake Maternity is sooooo soft. I've been really impressed with the quality of it. If you want a more budget friendly option, I also have several nursing bras from Target that get the job done too.

Belly Bandit (c/o): I wore their shapewear during pregnancy and loved them and now that I'm postpartum, I use their Belly Band to help flatten everything out again. It also helps with posture during nursing, which is a great bonus.

Medela Hand Pump: So I got a free motorized Medela breast pump through my insurance, but thus far I do not like it. I think I just need to keep practicing with it, right now I much prefer the Medela hand pump (lactation specialist gave it to me fo' free when I was in the ER haha). It's more comfortable and gets much more milk out. Less of a hassle to clean too.

Eating his first bottle while I was in the ER! He took it like a champ. 

So there you have it! All of these products will undoubtedly help you get through the first few weeks with a new baby. Like I said earlier, if you have questions about ANY of the items I talked about, let me know! I'd love to help you out :)

About: To watch The Bachelor with my boys!
Glad: That my mom was able to watch Henrik tonight so Chris and I could eat dinner in peace :)
Wish: Hunky would stop growing up. He'll be seven weeks old tomorrow!
Days Until Christmas: 314!


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