Sunday, October 20, 2019

penny favorites: 0-3 months

Penny turns 4 months old next week and I am not emotionally prepared for my little girl growing up so quickly! It feels like her newborn stage and my maternity leave were ions ago! She's becoming such a smily little girl and it's been the biggest blessing to have her in our life.

I wanted to share a few of the items that we loved using during the first three months of her life. Of course there are so many other baby things we use, but these are purchases or gifts we are so happy with, and would definitely purchase again! Some of these items are ones we will use for months to come, and some are limited to the newborn stage.


Halo Bassinest: The AAP recommends room sharing (NOT bed sharing) for at least six months, and ideally up to one year, to help prevent SIDS. I looked at a bunch of different bassinets and loved the mobility of the Halo bassinest. It not only moves side to side so it's easier to get out of bed, but the front also bends down, so it's easier to pick the baby up in the middle of the night (I've read that lots of c-section mamas love it for this reason!). The one thing I wish I had known though is that you aren't supposed to use it when babies start rolling over, and as Penny is just on the verge of completely rolling back to front, we are going to be done using it soon. Part of me wishes we had gone with the combined bassinet/pack'n'play option so we wouldn't now have to also buy a pack'n'play for the rest of the year before we transition her to her crib (I think we are going to go with the Lotus travel crib as it doesn't have a weight limit and will be great for all the travel for the next few years!)

Tummy Time Book: This has been one of Penny's favorite things! It's great for a baby who isn't the biggest fan of tummy time because it keeps them entertained while they use their little muscles. It comes with a mirror (P's favorite!), black/white images on one side, colored imaged with tabs on the other, and the whole thing is of that crinkle material babies seem to love. I also think it's the cutest! We have an adorable play gym from Pottery Barn that we use for tummy time as well.

Portable Changing Station: newborn babies, and especially breastfed babies, don't need a lot when you're out and about - really you only need a few diapers, wipes, an outfit change, and a place to change your baby. Our little portable changing pack is the most used item we have! I love that I could just throw it in my regular tote bag, have everything I need in one spot, and not feel like I had to take our giant diaper bag everywhere. It's also great because it has a changing pad built in, which is handy for changing the baby in the car or a coffee shop without a changing table.

Diaper Backpack: okay, I don't think there is a ton of difference between all of the different diaper bags out there, but I really like ours! The backpack makes it easier to carry in and out of daycare, it looks nice and holds its shape well, has enough pockets to be able to organize everything nicely, and is large enough to hold 3-4 days worth of baby things for a longer weekend trip.

Evenflo Pacifer:  Penny would not take a pacifer for the first 10 weeks of her life. I tried all of them. Pacifers are another item recommend to help decrease the risk of SIDS, and it would be nice to have a method of calming an upset baby, which is why I kept trying different binkies. Evenflo actually sent me one to try out, and after Penny took right to it, I ordered several more. We have several adorable pacifer clips (this is my favorite one from Etsy) to keep them off the ground. She's not super attached to them still, which I'm actually totally okay with, but she will take them when she's upset and that's all I can ask for! If your baby is being fussy about taking a pacifier, I highly recommend trying these!

Sleep Swaddles: Silly first time mom here who thought I'd bring my baby home and swaddle her in her muslim clothes and everything would go great! But even though I'm a great swaddler, baby girl just wiggled her way out of all of them. I looked into a bunch of different swaddles but also didn't want to spend $50 on one swaddle, especially because she was occasionally having blow outs at night. I found this great pack on Amazon and we loved them for her for the first 8 weeks of life! They have velcro, so the swaddle stays super secure. We did start slowly transitioning her out of arms-in swaddling around 8 weeks, first by having one arm out for about 10 days, and then using the swaddle around her waist so she still had that pressure, to now being in an arms-out sleep sac (that while this is also $50, it actually can be used for up to 6 months, so I feel we are getting a bit more use out of it). From what I've read, you want to transition out of the arms-in swaddling before they start rolling over, but for the first eight weeks of life, this swaddle set was a life (and sleep!) saver.

Evenflo Travel System: Oh man...I put buying a carseat off for so long. There are just so many choices! From car seats that have a stroller with it to car seats that fit into different strollers with adaptors to travel systems to buying separate pieces and fitting them together, and all price points, I had no idea where to even start. I eventually decided that I wanted a travel system that didn't involve buying a bunch of different parts with adaptors and all of that. Next, I really wanted one that comes with a bassinet. Of course the biggest suggestion for a travel system with a bassnett is the UppaBaby...but we are residents and also felt uncomfortable registering for something so expensive, so I was thrilled when I came across the Evenflo travel system. It comes with a car seat, bassinett (that converts to a toddler seat), and stroller bottom. It comes in like 6 or 7 different colors (we went with Aspen Skies version which apparently is no longer available). We are so happy with it! I love the bassinet for going on walks, and used it for sleep for Penny when we traveled. It snaps into the carseat base it comes with in literally 1 second - we did buy two additional bases, one for my husband's car and one for my mom's. Of course it meets all safety requirements, but it looks nice, and is at a great price point. I'm definitely very happy with our decision in buying this system.

Solly wrap: being able to wrap my newborn up close to my body, especially while I was on maternity leave, was just my absolute favorite thing to do (and it was Penny's favorite too!). I had registered for a Solly wrap because I had read that the fabric was lighter and better suited for summer babies. I used it literally every day for Penny's first 7 weeks of life. We went on our daily walks with it, I wore her when I cooked and cleaned, wore her when we went to Target...all the things. The material is just so nice and soft, and babies seem to love being snuggled up tight against their parents. Highly highly recommend!

Noise machine: We read this book about having happy babies, and one of the things it talks about is using a sound machine for sleeping time. I already use a sound machine to sleep (especially when I'm sleeping during the day after call or when I'm on night float) so I already appreciate a good sound machine, but we got a travel one as well, which has been so helpful! It holds a charge all night, has several sound options, and is cute and small.

I'm going to cover nursing and bottle supplies in a later post, which is why I didn't cover any feeding items this time around!

We officially hit 4 months this coming week, so if you have a 4+ month old, I would love to hear about what items you love for this stage! She's starting to grab at things, so we are looking at a few more toys for her to interact with and would love any suggestions you have.