Category Archives: Products

Save or Splurge?

These are the things I wish I had, and the things I wish I didn’t. Things I splurged on but shouldn’t have, and things I wish I would have spent more money on… This post is mainly a reminder for me next time around. Hopefully I’ll have an actual clue for the next baby!!!

1. Bottles. Why, oh, WHY did I think I needed 20+ bottles?!? Seriously. I still have packs of bottles in T’s closet that haven’t even been opened. We’ve been using the same 3 since T was born. I know he will use them more when I go back to work in two weeks, but he’ll still only be getting 3 bottles/day. Even if I only wash bottles once a work week, I’ll still have some that went unused!

2. Glider. I love, love, LOVE my glider. I probably clock 2 hours/day in that thing. When T was first born, I was in it constantly. Unfortunately, I only spent $130 on it. I got the cheapest one Target had. I should have splurged here. The cushion on it is pretty thin/flimsy, and it’s already starting to show signs on wear. Next time, I’m selling ours on Craigslist and purchasing a nicer one.

3. Breastpump. I have a lovely Medela Pump-in-Style fancy-pants double electric pump. I also have a Medela Harmony manual pump. Guess which one I use more? The little, $35 manual pump. For sure. Hands down. It’s smaller, more convenient, and honestly, just as efficient. I get more milk in the same amount of time without the hassle of hooking up the tubes, plugging in, etc.

4. Swing. I didn’t want to buy a swing because they’re so expensive. We got a (great) hand-me-down travel swing. Ours is a few years old, but the ones they have now cost about $50. I love it. T napped in it constantly for the first 3 months of his life. He sometimes plays in it now when I’m getting ready. We will use it for the next 14 babies. The only downside: be sure you DO NOT (under any circumstances) run out of batteries. Thankfully, I married Mr. Prepared, so this is not an issue in our house. I just don’t think spending $100+ on a swing we would have gotten 3 months use out of is reasonable. Plus, the big ones are so… big.

5. Floor Gym. T loves his floor gym. He likes to play on it, and will last a good 20-30 minutes before he gets bored. But, he is honestly just as happy on a blanket. He lasts the same 20-30 minutes, and a blanket is less than $10.

6. Diaper Champ. So, I definitely like this one more than the diaper genie. It keeps the smell away & you don’t have to buy the expensive refill bags… just use your regular garbage bags. But honestly, it takes up a ton of space. I think a small stainless steel pop-up lid trashcan would work just as well. It would also probably be less expensive.

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Starting Solids!

It’ll only be a couple more months before T starts solids. Probably sometime in September. Apparently, there’s a whole list of items you “must have” for starting solids. Thankfully, we received a lot of wonderful items for this new stage of life, so I think we are prepared-ish.

This is completely new territory for me… so I’m going to ask for a little audience participation. I need your opinions on my list of items. This is what we have so far… Tell me what I’m missing, what I’ll love, and what I’ll hate!

1. Food Processor. Just a small one. I am planning to make most of T’s baby food (making your own costs less than half the price of buying jars!) Obviously, I’ll only be able to make small batches at a time in this processor. I’m not sure if I’ll regret that or not… But this processor got the best reviews in our budget.

2. Spoons. We have this 6-pack. I can’t imagine needing more than that until he’s a toddler? Maybe I’m wrong…

3. Bowls with Lids. We have this 6-pack of bowls, too, which I figure will be convenient since they have lids. We also have a couple of cutesy plates/bowls as well.

4. Mesh Feeder. This just looked like fun & I couldn’t resist. So I got it! I froze some breast milk in it the other day and gave it to him as a treat. He really liked the “boobsicle,” once he figured out it was his milk in there.

5. High Chair. I wasn’t sure how much space we would have for an actual high chair, so we got this small one that straps onto a chair. We weren’t sure if we would still be in our apartment or a house when we registered. So far, I like it… of course, we have only used it for playing since T isn’t actually eating anything yet.

6. Big Bibs. We have two similar to this one.

Is there anything I’m missing? Fill in my list for me, please! 🙂

A Few of My Favorite Things, Part III

Yep… More of our favorites! These items have really silly names. So if you are reading this blog and you don’t have kids… feel free to have a chuckle. The first time I heard of these products, I laughed. Not to go off on a tangent here, but does anyone ever think that they make WAAAAAAAAY too many baby items? I mean, seriously… and they convince you that you ab-so-lutely NEED every single one of them. It’s ridiculous. And genius.

Thankfully, we received about a million hand-me-downs, so we were able to try out all the different toys without having to shell out so much cash. That’s the most important part of having a baby… make sure someone you know has a baby BEFORE you, so you can get all the great hand-me-downs! Anyways, on with the list:

1. The Bumbo. If you look at my pictures on Facebook, then you know that we are pretty big Bumbo fans. According to our family, this item can also be referred to as the “bumper,” the “bummer,” and (my personal favorite) the “bimbo.”

T started using this around 6 weeks… basically as soon as he could hold his head up well enough to try it out. The second I put him in it, it was his favorite. He loves being upright so he can see the world, and the Bumbo helps him do that. T is still using the Bumbo quite a bit these days, although he usually prefers to be free to roll around on the floor. He likes to sit in it on the bathroom counter when I’m doing my hair and makeup in the mornings. He also likes to be on the kitchen counter when I’m cooking dinner. Basically… as long as we put the Bumbo in the center of all the action, T is a happy camper. I can’t imagine where he gets that from! When we were on vacation at the beach, I came back from shopping to find T in the Bumbo on the coffee table. All the guys were sitting around him playing cards, and he was just as happy as can be. He was about 10 weeks then.

2. The Boppy. Now, in our house, these two items get confused very often. I will get T up from his nap and ask John to grab the Boppy for me so I can nurse the little guy. John will come back with the Bumbo. This happens approximately twice a day. It becomes an interesting version of Who’s on First when I repeatedly ask him for the Boppy and he insists that he already brought it to me. Meanwhile, poor T just wants his lunch and could not possibly care less whether or not we have all the proper feeding accessories. At first, we had to use the Boppy at every feeding because I was not coordinated enough to support T, and feedings took so long at the beginning that I needed a Boppy and several other pillows to be comfortable. Now that we’re much better at the whole breastfeeding thing, I just like it because I can rest my laptop on it and blog while I feed! 😉 T also likes to recline in the Boppy on the sofa, on our bed, sometimes in his crib for naps, and on the floor. He thinks it’s comfy! Sometimes, John likes to put him on his belly in the Boppy and watch him vault over it. It’s actually pretty impressive.

My Etsy Obsession

Lately it seems like all I want to do is buy things on Etsy. Things I like. Things I want. Things I need. If you haven’t checked out Etsy, you should take a minute to do so. It’s like a giant online craft fair.

I have a whole list of items I want to buy, but my favorite by far is this adorable “car caddy.” Clearly it will be a good little while before T is ready for matchbox cars, but I am so in love with this!

It rolls up neatly, so it can fit in my purse. Then, when we’re somewhere boring like the dentist’s office, or a restaurant, or a grown up’s house where there are no toys… Voila! Instant entertainment! Hours of fun!

It unrolls into a little race track road, and has 5 tiny pockets for 5 different matchbox cars. Who doesn’t love tiny pockets?? Plus, the adorable car print is, well, ADORABLE! I may be jumping the gun here, but I’m just about ready to order one (or two, or three…) of these!

A Few of My Favorite Things, Part II

I told you I had a lot of favorites… here’s two more for ya! The first, we couldn’t live without! The second, definitely a luxury… but we get SO much use out of it:

1. Awesome swaddle blankets!

T loves being swaddled up tight… although he likes to have one arm out so he can suck his thumb. These blankets are the perfect swaddle blankets if you live in South Louisiana. It’s hot here. They’re muslin. Enough said! Plus, they come in super-cute prints and patterns. Elephants, monkeys, dots, stripes… We have eight of them floating around the house. I use them to swaddle T when he’s sleeping, and I always keep one in the diaper bag to use as a cover when I’m nursing. I used to use a “hooter hider,” but now that it’s so warm out I’ve been opting for these lightweight blankets instead. I can position them so that T’s head is uncovered, which is especially important to him in this heat!

2. Our Cadillac of a stroller:

Okay, I actually have a little experience in the stroller department. Many of you know that I was a nanny for several years in college. I did a lot of babysitting, which means I took a lot of kids on a LOT of outings. I got to test drive a million different strollers during that time. Most of them sucked! When it came time to pick our own stroller, I had a very long list of criteria. This stroller had to be GREAT. We are out and about all the time, so we needed something that wouldn’t be a pain. The Bob stroller is awesome. We have the 12″ version, because 16″ wheels seemed a little much for us– we aren’t runners, but we do go for occasional jogs. We love this thing. It turns on a dime, rolls over potholes with ease (which is incredibly important when your city was built on a swamp. Below sea level.), and isn’t nearly as bulky as I thought it would be. The front wheel locks, so when we use it to take T for a run, we are good to go. It also unlocks and swivels so that we can maneuver more easily. It has shocks, and the sun canopy extends waaaaaay out, so T is never in direct sunlight. Seriously, we love this thing.

A Few of My Favorite Things, Part I

It turns out I have a lot of favorite things. In fact, my “favorite things” often change from day to day. There will likely be several subsequent posts in this category… In this post, I’m going to show off two of my current favorite things.

1. These awesome reusable nursing pads!

I know I mentioned these in a previous post, but seriously, I can not get over them! They’re only $2.90 for two pairs, and they’re so adorable. I ordered 4 pairs, and spent less than $10 including shipping! They’re also super soft, and once you “break them in” they don’t show through your shirts. I bought them to use at night since T’s sleeping habits can be a little, uh… unpredictable, and I’d rather not wake up in a puddle. But, they’re so cute, I’ve been using them during the day, too. Plus, I’m sure that I’m saving a ton of money by not buying the disposable ones anymore! My only tip is not to put them in the dryer. I think I’m going to start washing them in a lingerie bag, too, so I won’t risk losing any of them. How terrible to have mismatched pairs of nursing pads! That would be a definite faux pas!

2. The Baby K’Tan!

 

Okay, the first picture was taken when T was just a little peanut. I used this sling CONSTANTLY when he was that small because I didn’t want germy strangers touching him when we were out and about. Plus, it was much easier to pop him in the sling than to unload the car seat and the stroller, load him into it, maneuver it through the store (and we have a super-maneuverable stroller, too. It’s another one of my favorite things. But, alas, I digress…), and then load it all back up again. Now that T is bigger, I use this sling & my Moby wrap a lot. He used to AL WAYS fall asleep as soon as I put him in the sling, but lately he likes to take in the sights. $55 is more than I normally spend on… well, anything. But, I had a 20% off coupon at diapers.com, and I also qualified for free shipping. So I got a pretty good deal. Plus, T likes to be “held,” and I like to have my hands free, so this sling was definitely worth the money I spent!

Why didn’t I think of this before?!?

I’ve been using the Lansinoh breast milk storage bags to freeze T’s milk for when I go back to work. They work great, have a double zipper seal so I’m not nervous about losing the milk to a spill, and they lay flat in the freezer. They’re fairly reasonably priced ($9.99 for 50 at Target), and I was given 2 packages at my baby shower. I recently bought a box because I had used all of the ones I had been given.

I may be a little late to the game here, but… I recently discovered these. I know, I know… why not just buy a regular .99 cent ice cube trays and store the milk in those. Well, if you’ve ever spent a painstaking twenty minutes in order to pump a mere 2 oz, then you know exactly why. If I put my milk in an ice cube tray and it spilled in the freezer, I’d cry. Seriously. It would be a big time, melt-down, totally-losing-it kind of cry. Yes, I know I can always make more… but it’s a LOT of work to pump, and I don’t just love doing it. The thought of wasting any is enough to drive me to tears. These breast milk trays have lids on them to protect the milk from freezer burn (although, if you read the reviews, they are not recommended for long-term freezer storage. The lids are not airtight.), and they are premeasured so that each cube is 1 oz. PERFECT!

I’m ordering these now. They’re definitely more economical, and having the milk frozen in smaller quantities will be nice too… I’ll let you know if they are worth it.