Hi guys! As many of you know I’ve teamed up with Philips Avent and to do a mamalogues series over the past month or so. Basically mamalogues are stories that I’ve been sharing and encouraging all of you to share about special bonding moments between you and your baby or a time you used your mother’s intuition while parenting. I’ve absolutely loved doing this series because I feel like I’ve been able to connect with you guys on a whole other level! And one of the things I realized while doing the series is that many of you have wanted to know more about the products I’ve been using with Riley. And now that he’s just a little over one month old, I figured it was time to do another mommy must haves blog post sharing all the products that absolutely saved me over the last month and have really helped me bond with Riley. So this is a newborn edition of mommy must haves for all the new moms out there!
Everything I’ll talk about in today’s post are things that I either put on my registry when I was pregnant with Molly (I didn’t have one with Riley since he was baby #2), or things I wish I had! So if any of you out there reading this are expecting mamas, trust me and add these things to your registry! You’ll be so happy you have them once your little one arrives. And I say these are newborn essentials, but really everything in this post are not only essential for the first few months of the baby’s life, but really the first year! So if you’re a mom at home right now with a newborn or infant and feeling like you need a little extra help, I feel like the things in today’s post might just give you that extra help you need. Sometimes the smallest thing can make the biggest difference! And know I teamed up with Philips Avent for this post, but everything I’m writing is %100 true and what worked for me and Riley!
So here’s what I can’t live without right now and I definitely recommend putting on your registry if you’re expecting!
When Molly was a baby Kevin and I never had anyone watch her until she was nine months old. How crazy is that?! We were definitely helicopter parents and it’s not something I recommend! One thing I’ve done extremely differently this time around with Riley is I’m allowing myself to step away from the house and do things for me much earlier on. For example, a couple weekends ago I went out to dinner with my girlfriends and I went to my friend’s bachelorette party this past weekend. So what does this have to do with bottles you ask? Well Riley needed to be given a bottle because I was out of the house for a few hours and he gets hungry quickly. Kevin gave him his first bottle in a Philips Avent Natural bottle and he said it couldn’t have gone more smoothly. Riley drank it right up and it didn’t even seem like he knew the difference! Love that! So as you can see, bottle feeding has been essential for my peace of mind and sanity over the last month because it’s allowed me to have ME time. When mommy gets a chance to get out of the house and have some time to herself, both mommy and baby are ultimately happier.
But here’s the thing, not all bottles are created equal. That’s something I learned early on when we first started giving Molly a bottle. So for both Molly and Riley we ultimately ended up using Philips Avent Natural bottles. I wholeheartedly believe that these are the absolute best bottles to use, especially if you’re breastfeeding. The reason is that since I want to breastfeed Riley for as long as possible during the first year of his life, it’s important to me that he keep nursing. The great thing about this bottle is that the new ultra soft nipple is designed to feel most like mommy’s breast so the baby can easily transition from nursing to bottle feeding and back. I’ve heard so many stories from moms saying that once the baby switched to the bottle, they never went back to the breast and I was terrified of that happening with Molly and I certainly don’t want that happening with Riley. That’s why the Philips Avent Natural bottle is an absolute must. If you use these, share your experience in the comments below! We actually started using them because they were recommended by so many other parents we trust!
P.S. We also use the Philips Avent bottle drying rack. It’s the cutest one I’ve found that I think looks pretty in my white kitchen. You guys know I love everything bright and white in my kitchen!
Life can get pretty crazy when you are trying to run a website while you have a toddler, newborn and pup that all want your attention. Plus, I go back to work in September! How moms do it with more than 2 kids, I have no idea!!! You guys have soooo much of my respect! But Kevin and I are finding we can’t do it all by ourselves, especially since we don’t have grandparents that live nearby. Like I just mentioned above, Kevin and I never left Molly for the first nine months of her life. Which is just absolutely crazy when I think about it now. I think it’s because she was our first baby we were just so nervous to leave her with somebody. This time around with Riley, things are definitely different. While Kevin and I haven’t left him alone with anybody while we’ve both gone out yet, I certainly have gone out a couple times and left him with Kevin. And right now we’ve been so lucky that Kevin’s mom has been staying with us for a few weeks so the extra hands have been a lifesaver. I honestly don’t know what we would’ve done without Kevin’s mom being here the past couple weeks. But, she leaves on Monday and at that point we need to hire someone to help us out. Kevin works a full-time job and I’m about to go back to work in September. And in the meantime, I run my blog and work on a handful of other projects that keep me very busy during the day. So after reaching out to a few friends we were referred to The Nanny League to find a nanny. Every person we talk to that has used them to find a nanny completely raves about them! And honestly, I feel like hiring someone to care for your child is one of the single most important things you’ll ever do. I want this person to become like family to me, Kevin, Molly, Riley and Owen. We haven’t started meeting with potential candidates yet, but I will say that the experience so far has been so reassuring. The people we talk to have totally put our minds at ease and really listen to us to make sure they’re searching for the best possible fit for our family. I’m nervous but excited to start meeting with people! I’ll keep you guys posted in a future blog post on how it all goes.
But the point of this item, and the reason I say it’s a must have is because either hiring help or asking family and friends for help when you need it is so essential to keeping your sanity! I had a mental break down at eight months with Molly because I didn’t allow myself to ask for help and believed that I could do it all. The truth is none of us can do it all! Something always has to give somewhere. And for me, my sanity is what I was losing and that’s just not something I’m willing to risk this time around.
A good baby carrier is beyond essential when you’re a new mother or father. There are about 1000 different ones on the market and I’m sure many of them are very good. And while I don’t have a specific brand that I think is better than the other I will say that a sling/wrap baby carrier is absolutely essential. Especially the first few months! The more structured baby carriers are great too but I think those are better for when your baby is a little bit older. When you have a little infant at home, the wrap keeps them warm and cozy up against your chest. Plus another reason that I absolutely love the wraps is that you can spread the fabric out across your shoulders to help distribute the weight of the baby and this function has absolutely saved my back and shoulders! I know little infants aren’t that heavy, but when you’re carrying an 11-pound infant around all day (Yes, Riley is already 11lbs! Boy loves to eat!) and hunched over nursing 6 to 8 times a day, your back and shoulders start to ache. And many baby carriers just come over your shoulder blades and for me, that caused a lot of pain. The wrap allows you to spread the fabric along your shoulder blades so that the weight is distributed. Try it! Your back and neck will thank me!
A Pacifier – (Philips Avent Ultra Soft Pacifier)
Molly never took to the pacifier. I think that’s because we waited to introduce one to her until she was about five weeks old. At that point she was just using my breast as a pacifier and didn’t want to give that up. Ha! But here’s the thing, Molly didn’t sleep more than three hours at a time for nine months straight. So as I started looking into what many sleep experts were recommending, I started realizing that many recommend using a pacifier to help calm your baby. This not only helps to pacify them, but it also helps them sleep better at night. I don’t really know why but that’s just what I’ve read! So needless to say we really wanted Riley to take to a pacifier. So before he was born I bought a ton of different kinds. And this is the honest truth, he would not take any of them except for the Philips Avent pacifier. I don’t know what it is about these products but they’re just the absolute best and Riley loves them! He won’t take one all the time, but when he does take one I found that we are able to stretch his feedings a little bit longer. Now that he’s a month old and putting on a ton of weight, his pediatrician recommended that we start trying to stretch out his feedings to at least three hours. For the first month I was feeding completely on-demand and he would want to eat every hour at times. He barely ever made it to three hours. And I was OK with that in the beginning. But now that he’s over one month old, my mother’s intuition is telling me that he really should be waiting three hours between feedings. As any mother out there knows, the longer they can hold out in between feedings, the longer they’ll sleep at night! And even though it’s only been about a week since we started stretching out his feedings, or at least trying to, the pacifier has been such an essential part of that! When he’s fussy and starts crying two hours after a feeding, we’ll give him his Philips Avent pacifier and we are able to stretch him to that 3 hour mark. I think he really loves the soft silicone nipple on it. And I’m happy to report that the other night he had his first 4 hour stretch of sleep at night! Molly didn’t sleep for four hours at a time until she was nine months old. So as you can see, I found this to be a huge parenting win for us! So trust me when I say a pacifier will make all the difference!
Any new mom knows that middle of the night feedings and diaper changes are commonplace for the first few months of your baby’s life. And if you have a baby like Molly, their commonplace for the first nine months. So knowing that you’re going to be waking up every few hours with your little one throughout the night, it’s so important that you try to make those wake up times as short as possible. That means efficiently feeding your baby and then even more efficiently changing their diaper. Oh, and did I mention that most sleep experts recommend changing your baby’s diaper in the dark?! That’s right, in order to keep the stimulation as minimal as possible for your little one, it’s recommended that you change their diaper with little to no light. That’s where the zipper PJs come in. You don’t want to be fumbling with buttons on their pajamas in the middle of the night. So do yourself a huge favor and stock up on zipper pajamas if you’re pregnant right now. The 60 seconds of time that they save you in the middle of the night could be the difference between your baby fully waking up and staying drowsy and falling back to sleep quickly when they wake up at 12 AM and then again at 2 AM and again at 5 AM. You get the idea.
This last one is something I love now, but will be a TOTAL must have for me in the near future! To be honest with you guys, a bottle warmer is something we never used with Molly. We would either boil water on the stove, or put water in the microwave to heat it up and then add the bottle to that warm water afterwards. I didn’t realize how much easier a bottle warmer is until now! And now that I’ve used one, I’ll never go back! Ha! Especially now that we live in a two-story house. Right now I’m exclusively breastfeeding Riley in the middle of the night (bottles are a day thing when I have to work), but once we start giving bottles at night, my Philips bottle warmer is going to be a game changer! Basically, instead of going all the way downstairs to get a bottle and warm it up, Kevin and I will be able to do it all in our bedroom! Well, who am I kidding, Kevin is going to be the one giving bottles once I’m not concerned about keeping up my milk supply and actually able to sleep a little bit more at night. We happen to have a mini wine fridge in our bedroom. I know I know, this mama loves her wine. But right now we are using it to store milk! And if you don’t have one in your room (obviously this isn’t common), you can always just buy a mini-fridge and keep all of your milk in there. That way you can easily warm it up in the bottle warmer. By keeping everything confined to your bedroom it will avoid you making trips downstairs or trips to the other end of your house to warm up a bottle. And I don’t know about you guys, but when I have to wake up for those middle of the night feedings, I try to make them as efficient and quick as possible. Like I mentioned above, our sleep coach recommends keeping nighttime feedings as dark and quiet as possible. And by doing the bottles in the room, that’s going to help us make things so much more efficient so we can get little Riley back to bed more quickly! It only takes three minutes to warm a bottle, so the plan is to have Kevin change Riley’s diaper while the bottle is warming up in the room and then quickly give it to him afterwards. And in general, dropping the bottle in the warmer is so much easier than what we used to do which was boil a pot of water and then add the bottle for three minutes. Boiling the water took an extra 7 to 10 minutes! And I’m all about efficiency. And if you don’t want to do the mini-fridge in your room, you can always just use the bottle warmer in the kitchen and still save a ton of time by not having to boil water on the stove.
Hope This Helps!
Well, that’s all I’ve got for now! I really love today’s blog post because all of these things truly helped me during this first month with Riley. I’m really hoping that by sharing them, I’ll help some other mamas out there too! Do you guys have anything else to add to this list?! I’d love to know what your favorite things are and what any moms-to-be out there plan on putting on their registries. And if you’ve used any of these products tell me in the comments below! And as always, please keep sharing your stories with me on social media using #Mamalogues. I love reading all of them!