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Thursday, June 7, 2012

My Favorite Baby Items Newborn to 4 Months

      Though my daughter is only a few months old, I've been able to get a lot of hours worth of use out of certain items.  These have become my favorites/can't-do-withouts.  You might be able to go without them or think they are silly, but these are what have worked for us and I'd like to make mention of them for future reference. (All links to these items are attached to their respective pictures.)

Baby Connect (Activity Tracker) app:

      The veteran moms will probably laugh and think I'm such a silly first timer, but I don't care.  This app has saved my sanity.  It tracks EVERYTHING.  Eating (nursing, bottle, for older kids solids), pumping, sleep, diaper changes, doctors appointments, weight, height, length, milestones, the works.  It will even give you graphs of your data and show you the amounts entered in each day.  My favorite feature is the reminder alarms.  I like to be reminded when I need to pump and when Anna needs to eat.  You can get the app for your iPhone, iPad, Android or you can go to the website.

Arm's Reach Cosleeper:

      From the beginning, I wanted my baby to sleep close and to be able to form that bond right away.  I loved (she just moved into her crib in her own room...I died a little) being able to look over at her in the morning and see her beautiful smile when I said, "Good Morning."  I really did love waking up to both my loves every morning.  Though I didn't love getting up in the middle of the night sometimes, it made it easier to take care of her right away with her being right there.  Due to my need to recover and lack of ability to do much other than feed Anna, Ty had her on his side of the bed for the first week or two.  Both of us agree that we were glad we had the cosleeper and and that she was so close to us.  This also collapsible so it has been great for traveling.  The pouches on the side were great for holding ready diapers and wipes and the bottom held the bigger supply.  It was annoying to break it down and dealing with all the locks and such, but I've kinda got the hang of it so that it takes about a minute.

First Years Close and Secure Cosleeper:
      Another cosleeper?  Why yes.  We used this to elevate Anna when she was still a little tiny.  My mom used it and put it on the futon when she would take her for the night while she was here helping out.  She loved it.  This also folds up and making it, too, great for traveling.  If we had a King size bed, we would definitely use it to put her in the middle.  My favorite thing about it is the little night light at the top.  It also makes for a great changing pad.

Snug & Tug Swaddler:

      This was a purchase suggested by my mom because of how well the one my sister-in-law uses for her kiddos worked for them.  I never really gave much thought to swaddling.  Anna has always loved having her hands close to her and we've encouraged it, however at night she can swat at herself and wake herself up.  This means that mommy and/or daddy wakes up.  Once we figured out how it worked, which really turned out to be super easy, we put her in it every night and haven't had trouble with her waking up earlier than she normally would.  The velcro makes it really easy to wrap and hold together without worrying that it will come undone.  That being said, no swaddler is immune to the wiggly-houdini hands of a baby.  For the most part though if you make it tight enough there should be no escapes.

My Breast Friend Nursing Pillow:
      In the beginning, I thought I was going to be an exclusive breastfeeding mother.  Things didn't turn out that way, exactly, but while I was breastfeeding I loved it.  It lifted Anna high enough and I really like the back support it offered by wrapping around me.  The pouch in the front was great for holding Lasinoh and the nipple shield in between feedings.

Fisher Price Papasan Cradle Swing:
       I love, LOVE, this swing.  Hands down one of the best things we bought.  It really is great for her to hang out in while I get things done and she swings away and watches the pretty lights and butterflies above her head.  Anna loves it!  It really helps to get her to give into sleep when she's fighting it.  The great thing about this swing is that you can adjust it to swing back and forth or side to side. 

Fisher Price Calming Vibrations Bouncer:
      Ours doesn't look quite like this and it doesn't have the bar with the danglies, but it's basically the same type.  This is the second best way to get her to calm down or fall asleep.  At first she wasn't a fan of the vibration option, but I think she grew into it.  She definitely loves the bouncing though. 

Moby Wrap:

      A friend gifted me the Evenflo BabyGo carrier and we've tried a few times and neither us or the baby cared for it.  It just seemed difficult to figure out.  The Moby, however, was really simple.  Anna loves being wrapped up close and snuggly.  Especially when she was brand new.  In the beginning, THIS was definitely a guarantee that she would fall asleep.  Can you tell that was a big deal?  Haha.  She is always very secure and leaves my hands and arms available to get things done.  

Aden & Anais Burp Cloths:
      Nobody likes baby throw up, well any kind of throw up for that matter, but it happens and there really isn't any way to avoid it.  Burp cloths are a must.  Of all the ones I have, the Aden & Anais ones are THE best.  They are super absorbent and large.  I really love the way they curve in the middle so it fits nicely on the shoulder.  When she is older they can be used as bibs with the help of the little snaps on the ends.  I have three of these and so wish I had more.  I got them on for a bargain.

 Simple Saline Spray:
      The first time Anna became congested, I kind of freaked out.  I didn't know what to do and how to help her get over that.  I used the suction bulb, but it just didn't seem to do much.  Then I did some researching and remembered that my brother and sister-in-law gave us this stuff (actually it isn't the baby kind, but seemed to be just fine).  I enlisted Ty's help with holding her down so I could spray and suction with better ease.  Anna hated the experience, but eventually sort of got used to the routine.  Lay down while daddy holds her still, mommy sprays the saline up the nose, wait a little bit, then mommy uses the suction bulb to get out any mucus possible.  By using the saline spray, you can actually get the bulb further in (because apparently you're supposed to go as deep as you can) and get more accomplished.  I firmly believe this helped relieve her congestion much quicker than normal.  The saline itself helps to fight off infection and virus.  All-in-all, I will definitely always have this stuff handy.

Escali Baby/Toddler Scale:
       This was a Zulily purchase and I have not regretted it, though it was a bit of a splurge.  I love being able to check her weight at will and it's incredibly accurate and easy to read.  It works a lot like a kitchen food scale in that you can adjust the unit type, tare, and memory.  I really like the tare feature so that I can lay a blanket down and it doesn't count towards her weight and she can be warm.  Once she's old enough, the cradle portion can be removed and she can stand on a small scale.  I love using it!

Breast Pumps
This was definitely deserving of it's own category.

Phillips Avent Manual Pump:
      When we first started with breast feeding, I wasn't sure my milk was coming in and if Anna was getting enough from me (something that would later be proven).  So we decided to get a manual pump because the one I had bought at a garage sale wasn't giving me any suction (that's the next one).  Ginger had suggested the Avent bottles and so we went with their manual pump.  It took a little getting used to, but eventually I got the hang of pumping and was able to get the suction I needed to produce.  Turns out what I needed was the massage cushion with the five petals to help initiate the let down.  This was a great benefit, but manual takes a lot of effort and my hands were killing me by the end.  Also, it seemed like the bottle kept untwisting somehow and I had to keep checking it to make sure it stayed in place. 

Medela Single Deluxe Breast Pump:

      At some point, I had had enough of the manual and thought I'd give the electric one I bought at the garage sale a try.  At first, it was the same story as before and I didn't get any suction.  Then, I decided to put on the massage cushion and whoala!  Finally, I didn't have to keep doing it the hard way.  It really was great to finally not have to manually pump anymore. 

Phillips Avent Massage Cushion for Let Down:

      After awhile of pumping, I was finally able to not need the cushions, but like I said, in the beginning it was completely necessary for me and are good for those of us who are flat or inverted.  Though they are Phillips brand they fit on all of my Medela breastsheilds. 

Medela Pump in Style Advanced Breast Pump with On the Go Tote:
       As great as the electric pump was, it was still a single.  Doing one side at a time was taking a really long time and it was starting to wear on me.  Ty and I discussed it and agreed that a double pump would be a great investment because I would still be using it for awhile and then it would come in handy with any future children.  BEST DECISION EVER!!  It, obviously, takes half the time and when we go somewhere it's really easy to pack up and take.  I highly recommend it if you are in the market.  

      It's important to note that a lot of the regular baby items were thrifted by garage sale or craigslist.  Just because it's your first doesn't mean you should spend an outrageous amount of money.  Nearly all of Anna's clothes are hand-me-downs.  Not like she knows.  

      I hope this might be of some help to someone.  If not, it was good for me to get it all down so I can remember for the next little one.  What are/were your favorite things to use for your baby during the first four months?  I'd love to compare since these are the only things I've used so far. 


  1. I think my all time hands down baby item is my vibrating bouncer. that thing goes EVERYWHERE with my babies. it was so easy to shower with them in the bathroom in their bouncer! plus Cambree was a lot a bit jealous of her baby brother and i couldn't let him out of my sight or she would do harm so he traveled in the bouncer all over the house! i also loved my nursing cover with Bridger!

    1. What nursing cover did you use? I like mine, an Udder Cover, but I hate how it just kind of hangs flat and I feel like you can still see what's going on. Maybe, it's just different with pumping rather than when breastfeeding.

  2. I actually made my own. does yours have boning in it? mine had boning at the top so it stayed open so i could see the baby but nobody else could. I also made mine longer so that i could grab the fabric and tuck it under the baby so it wasn't just flapping everywhere. also i don't know how big your swaddle blanket goes but i loved the adain and anas blankets for swaddling. they are super duper big and really light weight, they worked super well for my big baby and especially in the summertime! then you watch youtube videos and find the best swaddle for your baby!! HAHA oh and you can get them at target. i wonder if they sell the burp clothes you love too?

    1. The nursing cover does have boning at the top and it's long. Hmmm, maybe I'm just overly self-conscience. We do have a Aden & Anais blanket that we would use for swaddling, but it would come undone too easily and the swaddler stays put. I do love the blanket though and still use it often. I'll have to check Target though to see if they have those burp clothes. They are amazing!

  3. There are a lot of good things in here that are so helpful for moms. I had a Boppy and a Breast Friend, and I used the Breast Friend for the first two weeks because it rested high enough that it didn't push on my incision. Since then, I've lent it out to several friends who have had c-sections. It's a good one for that. A lot less painful. After a bit though, having to put it behind me got annoying when you're nursing constantly, so I switched to the Boppy. A double pump is definitely necessary. And we swaddled a lot too. Good advice!


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