The past 4 months with Baby B (aka Declan!) have been a whirlwind. The first month was HARD, especially once Kenny went back to work full-time and I was home by myself. There were times that my mom would come over just so I could nap and/or shower while she watched Declan. The only times I really left the house were to take Dec on walks around the neighborhood and getting dressed really meant going from my pajamas to leggings.
I am happy to say we are light years away from where we were month 1&2! Dec started sleeping through the night around 3 months and will typically wake up between 5:30-6:30am. He’s more engaged in his various toys, loves his morning walks with Grandma, and his 2 favorite things to stare at are ceiling fans and anything outside.
I’ve been slowly figuring out what items have been crucial to us and what we barely used at all!
Most Used Products for Months 1-2
- Love to Dream Swaddle UP – These swaddles are designed to allow babies to sleep with their hands up (Declan’s preferred position). Most swaddles are designed to keep the arms pinned down to prevent the startle reflex from waking the baby but with the Swaddle UP the fit is snug enough that the baby’s arms can be up while still calming down the startle. I bought 2 of the these from Amazon and they were a huge improvement on Declan sleeping better.
- Uppababy VISTA – Uppababy makes some great products, and they are pricey, but honestly (IMO) worth the investment. Bundling Dec up in the stroller and going for walks several times a day got both of us out of the house, enjoying the fresh air. Plus I could lay him in the bassinet and roll him around the house when it was too chilly or too dark (ie it was 3am and he refused to sleep). Below are some key details about the stroller:
- Comes in some great colors (I definitely went with one of the blues), and the new version has even more options
- The wheels are heavy duty >> they’ve performed fantastically on any surface (and there is some rough, uneven pavement throughout downtown Fredericksburg) and the braking system is super easy with a foot pedal plus a green/red light indicating use.
- The system comes with both the infant bassinet and rumbler seat PLUS a bug shield to cover both, a rain shield for the rumbler, and a zip in bassinet cover for chilly days. We had a pretty cold Spring so the cover was great for added warmth/wind blockage during our walks.
- The MESA car seat snaps in to the stroller base with no extra attachments
- We were able to utilize the bassinet for sleep the few times we’ve traveled
- Able to easily use for running (won’t transition to the actual jogging stroller until Dec is able to sit up on his own and control his head better) though I wouldn’t take it on trails for anything above a slooooow jog
- There is large storage compartment underneath
- Everything is easily washed! >> both Dec and my cat have thrown up inside the bassinet, and its super easy to unzip the lining and pop in the wash.
- Carter’s nightgowns – With Dec being on the small side and the newborn tendency to pee all the time, these nightgowns wound up being our go-to outfit. We got several hand-me-downs and I also ordered a few more after I realized how much we were relying on them. The banded bottom helped Dec feel more snuggly (he liked to curl his legs up) and made all those diaper changes super easy. I was sad when he finally outgrew these!
- Snuggle Me – Declan LOVED this from day one, it’s like a long hug to snuggle into and works really well to comfort/calm. I still plop him in it from time to time even though he is a little long. Bonus – I’m a big fan of sustainably made and organic products so being able to find things for Declan in that field is great. Also since he napped and lounged in this almost all day, I placed a changing pad waterproof liner under his blanket so I didn’t have to wash the Snuggle Me and cover as often!
- Muslin blankets – We love using the aden & anais muslin blankets pretty much 24/7. They’re soft and breathable but also really cozy plus I love the patterns/colors! During the day I would have one nearby to wrap him up or just drape across, then at night I would use these for swaddles if he would pee through the others.
- Ergobaby wrap – I definitely had to watch a youtube video to figure out how to wear this thing. But once I had it figured out, it was a breeze. Declan falls asleep super easy in the wrap so it was great to wear him around the house and get some cuddles in while I got stuff done, and also to calm him down during a meltdown.
We stopped using the swaddles once Dec hit 8 1/2 pounds and then just gave up on swaddles in general. The nightgowns we phased out around month 3 as he grew out them and we only use the Snuggle Me sparingly (I mostly keep it in the bassinet during the day to keep the cat from sleeping directly on the sheets!)
Most Used Products for Months 3-4
- Comotomo bottles – These bottles are supposed to be designed to mimic breastfeeding. I’m not entirely sure how accurate that is, but I do know it was extremely easy to transition Declan over to these both with breast milk that was pumped and formula. At this point he recognizes his bottles and gets really excited when he sees one coming his way! The silicone base is super easy for him to grab and squeeze and the dual air vents in the nipple keep air from entering as he attempts to gulp his food. The bottles come in 5oz and 8oz sizes, and the nipples grow with the child and come in “slow flow”, “medium flow” and “fast flow”. Right now we’re transitioning over to medium flow and only using the slow flow for his bedtime feeding. (FYI the 5oz bottles come with slow flow and the 8oz come with medium flow, though all the nipples can be purchased separately as well).
- Pehr playmat – Aesthetically I love this mat. Functionally we all love this mat! In the earlier months, I used this to lay the Snuggle Me on and to work on tummy time. Now we use this playtime every day! His wooden gym is typically placed on top of the mat and his favorite toys scattered nearby. I try to give him a lot of free play so he can figure out what he likes and what he can do, and he’s loving life! He also routinely takes a mid-day nap on this because he passes out mid-play (or mid-cry!).
- BabyBjorn bouncer – There is a million good things I can say about this, its such a great product! We had to wait to use it until he was little bigger (the first time I put him in it, his head was barely above the strap!) but since then he has loved it. There are 3 height settings and the liner is mesh so super breathable while he hangs out.
- WubbaNub pacifier – So many options on animal choices, but I specifically went with the tabby cat since we have an orange cat 🙂 Now that Dec has more control of his hands, he loves to hold and hug the cat while he’s using the pacifier. He hasn’t quite figured out how to put the pacifier back in his mouth after he accidentally yanks it out so he ends up sucking on a paw or tail but he’s still happy about it!
- Ergobaby Omni 360 carrier – I use this carrier more often when we are out and about and still use the Ergobaby wrap more around the house. The few times I have taken Dec inside a store (if I have to bring him, I aim for opening hours so less people will be around), I prefer to put him in the carrier so he’s close to me and can fall asleep while I walk around instead of carrying the car seat. The carrier is super breathable (notice a theme with all the fabrics I chose?!) so there’s less sweating from both me and Declan. There is a few different ways this carrier can be worn, though so far we’ve only done the facing inward. Once he has more control of his head, we’ll flip around so he can see the world as we walk!
In addition to all these products, we also have a play-kit subscription from Lovevery. I’ll dedicate a longer post to that and the other specific toys that have become favorites but for now I definitely recommend anyone with an baby or toddler to check out their play-kits!