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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

My Favorite Baby Items 4 Months to 8 Months

      As Anna grows and gets bigger, the things we use for her change (and sometimes get bigger).  There are obviously things that she doesn't need anymore that didn't make this list.  However, there are a few things that will reappear.  (Once again, any links to the items will be attached to the pictures.)

Baby Connect (Activity Tracker) App:

      Yup, we're still using it.  In fact, when Ty got his new Android phone he made sure to get this app.  It's been so incredibly helpful.  We have been able to see how much she's eating, how often, diaper changes, reminds us to give her solids meal.  I also really like to be able to keep track of her weight and height and this app is a great way to keep those recorded.  It helps us know when she needs to go down for a nap.  That's probably the best part.  I'm really bad at remembering things and keeping track in my head so this app really has been a life saver. 

Arm's Reach Cosleeper:

      We used this up until about 6 months.  Mostly for traveling, since she transferred beautifully to her crib.  I would highly recommend it!  I'm so glad we have one for the next time.

Graco Pack N' Play Playard:

      Ours is a little more girly being pink and brown with flowers instead of plaid, but the same general idea.  This has been great as a travel bed for Anna, as well as a more contained play area when I need to take a shower, workout, or just get something done.  We bought ours at a garage sale and it's been well worth it.

BreathableBaby Breathable Mesh Crib Liner:

      When Anna started rolling over, we knew we couldn't have the crib bumper in the crib anymore so out it came.  Then, Anna started smashing her face up against the railing and getting her feet, legs, and arms caught between them.  Finally, we decided to get a breathable liner so that she wouldn't get her limbs stuck.  I sleep much better at night knowing she's safe and so does she.

Halo Sleepsack:

      This is a must have.  Anna rolls around and crawls all over her crib.  Thus making a blanket practically useless.  The sleepsack is great because it keeps her covered and warm.  The zipper starts at the top instead of the bottom, which I think is genius.  I bought mine from Amazon, but I would suggest watching (my favorite baby discount site) and waiting for a deal from them.  They've had a deal for them a few times in the last couple of months.

Sassy No Scratch Bottle Brush:

      This brush should have gone in my last list.  I really love that they clean the bottles (I use the Avent brand by the way) and don't leave them all scratched up.  In fact, I really think that they might clean even better than your typical brushes.  It does come with a small bristled brush for the nipple, so you can get into the hard to reach area.  I have noticed some of the little stringies will come off if pulled too hard.  That's mostly been at the top though and really not that bad.  Overall, I really like this brush.

The First Years Spinning Drying Rack:

      This probably should have been on the list last time too.  I was getting tired of just using a towel and the bottles not drying very quickly that way.  The bottles dry much quicker and better with this rack.  I take it with us EVERYWHERE because I like it so much.  I refuse to have to dry them by hand when it's so easy to use this.  It takes up less space and keeps it all organized. 

Evenflo Exersaucer:

      Once Anna grew too big for the bouncer and was able to hold her head up properly on her own, we wanted something we could put her in to preoccupy her whilst we were able to get things done.  I found an exersaucer on Craigslist for only $10, when I went to get it I saw how incredibly dirty and covered in stuck-on-food it was.  I felt bad and bought it, but I really regretted it.  I decided that it would just be a gift because the girl seemed like she could really use it, but I decided that I would say something the next time I was in a situation like that.  I just hate confrontation.  Anyhow, I ended up getting this one and have loved it.  At first, we had to take out most of the things because she would get so frustrated that she couldn't really pull them or control them, so she really was only playing with anything that spinned.  Slowly, we started adding things back to it and it was great to put her in it and walk into the kitchen without worrying about her.  Now that she is much more mobile, she prefers to pull herself up onto it and play with the toys on the outside.  She definitely likes her freedom.

Escali Baby/Toddler Scale:

      Yup, we're still using this beauty.  We actually try to weigh her about once a week to see how she's doing.  I think soon we'll be able to take the cradle top off and she'll be able to either sit or (gasp) stand on it. 

The First Years Jet Stroller:

      We actually have a stroller that was a packaged deal with our carseat at the garage sale we bought it at.  However, whenever we went somewhere, it took up a large portion of our trunk, which is small enough being that we own a sedan.  We knew we wanted a smaller stroller, especially one that would collapse nicely and take up little room.  After some searching and pricing, we decided on this stroller.  Since we plan on having more children (who knows when), we decided the black one would be best since it's a basic gender neutral.  The shoulder straps were the most important since when we first purchased it she still wasn't sitting up on her own very well.  Otherwise we would have gone with a regular umbrella stroller. 

Outlook Shade-A-Babe:

      With both strollers, we struggled to keep the light from her sensitive little eyes.  I got a deal on this for half the price on  I told you I loved that site.  This has basically eliminated the problem and helped protect her from UV rays as well as any bugs and bees that come near.  It's very easy to put on and also easy to adjust.  Another very highly recommended item.

        What are you're favorite items for this stage?  Did you use any of these or something different?  How did they work for you?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Anna turns 8 Months!

      Once again, my little love bug is aged another month.  She's really just the bestest and sweetest little girl.  Sometimes I can't keep up with her constant changes.  The other day I went into the kitchen for a minute and when I came back it was like I was looking at a different baby.  The same, but somehow different.  She grows too fast.  When you guys figure out the cure for that, let me know.

      I'm trying my best to not be a helicopter parent, though Ty is much better at this than I am.  When she falls or bonks her head, he reminds me that we need to take our cues from her and not the other way around.  She feeds off of our reaction, so if we are calm, then so shall she be.  However, this is easier said than done for me.  Regardless, I'm trying to let her do her own thing.  I want her to feel free to take (safe) risks and not be afraid of trying something.  I'm the opposite of that too often and she shouldn't become that way because of my overprotectiveness.  Haha.  Is my mommy badge showing yet?

Newest Accomplishments:

-  She has been sitting up on her own now and she stays that way for awhile.  She'll grab a toy and just sit and examine it until something else catches her attention.

- My girl is a crawler! She seems so much happier now that she's able to get around on her own.  There were signs before, but the actual first crawl was on her 7 month mark.  She really likes to reach milestones on her monthly birthdays.  We made a barricade to keep her "contained", but Anna is a smarty and finds gaps to get through.

-  On the few occasions she's gotten through the weak side of the barricade, she's turned a bit of her attention toward our very steep stairs.  Even when she has mastered stair-climbing, I'm not sure I want her going up and down them.  I still have to pay attention so I don't fall and break my neck.  But I digress.  She's a pretty good climber.  She's reached six stairs (with either Ty or I behind her of course) before getting bored and trying to turn around. 

-  Her world expanded when she was finally able to pull herself up on things.  She likes to make her way around the barricade (the coffee table, couches, banana chair on it's side, and the entertainment center) and in her crib.  I'm really not excited about that last one.  The other thing she likes to pull herself up on is mommy and daddy.  We are the only means to get her to where she really isn't able to go yet. I get so excited every time I see her crawling towards me, thinking that she'll want to cuddle, only to have her get frustrated that I'm not picking her up and taking her to her desired destination.  Gets me every time.  Oh well.  I'll take what I can get.  

- She's finally holding the bottle on her own.  There seems to be a little too much distraction for her to be left to her devices though, so we still hold her while she holds the bottle.  I don't mind.  It's a good way to get some cuddles in.  

Some things we are loving about Anna right now:

-  She's such a happy girl.  The two of us have a fun little game that we like to play.  I'll laugh and she turn to look at me, smile and laugh right back, then go back to what she was doing.  This can go on for quite some time before she gets bored.

-  Finding new ways to tickle Anna and getting her to laugh is a favorite of both Ty and I.  There are the classics, like the armpits, sides, and tummy.  However, there's been a new discovery.  When Ty takes her hand or foot to his unshaven, prickly face and wiggles his chin, she lets out an adorable laugh.  

-  We finally made a breakthrough in naptime!!!  I couldn't think of anything else to do, so I consulted the Sleep Sense book since it worked so well before.  I looked up the nap time schedule that applies to her age.  Turns out, she didn't need as many naps and needed to have more awake time between naps and bedtime.  Once I started stretching out time between naps, suddenly life got so much better. 

- She talks and babbles quite a bit.  Mostly it's:  dada, nana, mama, baba.  However, there are some other cute little sounds that make it in there.  Those are little harder to convey.  :)  I don't consider them words though since she's not really making any kind of association with them. 

-  Her favorite toys are mommy's chunky jewelry (specifically a couple of necklaces and a bracelet) and hair.  Not her own of course, though it's starting to grow and get just tinsy bit thicker.  Mostly, it's my bangs or her daddy's when she gets a hold of it.

-  A few Sundays ago, she started clicking her tongue.  I would imitate her and she loves it.  It's like we are speaking the African clicking language with each other.  Haha.  

-  She's finally starting to understand how funny Peek-a-Boo is and that clapping is fun.  It's a great technique to get to calm down if she starts getting overly upset.

-  During her naptime and nighttime routines we always sing to her to get her ready for bed.  However, when she's awake I'm trying to come up with some fun songs to sing.  Her favorite right now is "Popcorn Popping".  I always make sure to do the actions that I learned in Primary to go along with it and she loves it.

Some things we aren't loving so much:

-  Solid foods are a little bit of a struggle still.  I don't want to force her because I want it to be her choice.  However, I know she's interested.  If we eat in front of her she stares at us and what we are eating and starts reaching for it.  Most of what we eat she's not ready for yet.  Though I did give her some hummus.  She didn't seem to enjoy the taste, but came back for more.  I broke down and gave her some Brown Rice Cereal and then started to introduce more variety and we are making progress.  In fact, she seems to enjoy listening to Weezer while she eats and that somehow calms her down enough to lean in for more bites.  What funny girl. 

- Now that she's getting more solids in her diet, her bowel movements have been quite STINKY!  They are definitely the least enjoyable task. 

-  Even if her diapers aren't stinky, sitting still is basically not happening during the changes.  We have to make sure she has some kind of toy to distract her beforehand.   That doesn't always make a difference sometimes.  She loves to kick her legs and run interference between my hands and the button snaps of her onesie or clothes.  Now that she knows she can move, she doesn't understand that that doesn't necessarily means she needs to.

-  This rash.  Oh this rash!  We continue to try different things to no avail.  The Yoreganics helps, but it's not a cure by any means.  She scratches so relentlessly and we put Caladryl on to help, but that only lasts so long.  We took her to see Ginger (She's also Anna's pediatrician) and she gave us some things to try, so we'll see.

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