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Lynette .......... Caedmon .......... Libby .......... Tom

Thursday, October 29, 2009

First Year Favorites




Often when friends are having their first baby, I get questions about what my favorite must haves are. Thinking back over the last year, I decided to compile a list. My mama brain is in full force lately...which means there's not much room in there and my memory may be short (could that be a result from answering so many questions about robots and construction trucks?). So here are some of my favorite things from Libby's first year of life:


Sling - with Caedmon I only had a Baby Bjorn. He spent most of his first year of life in it. However, my friend Erin recommended that Libby and I might enjoy a sling better. I did some research and decided on a Hot Sling. I don't necessarily put my strongest recommendation on that particular brand (although they do have some mighty cute fabrics for the style conscious mama). I think it may be an individual preference but I did like mine. I will provide a disclaimer that your baby may not love it right off the bat. Libby took a while to get used to it...maybe that was my learning curve too. For a long time, we swaddled her and then put her in the sling. She loved that!


Aden & Anais Muslin swaddle blankets - another discovery made with Libby. These are super lightweight (although they do have thicker ones for winter) and extra large which makes swaddling easy. Both of my kiddos slept much better when we swaddled them well (get it tight, they love it!) and both were summer babies so I didn't want heavy blankets. Also, the small blankets can be tricky for getting a good swaddle that baby can't get out of. Tom was always much better at getting a good swaddle but once we found Aden & Anais, I became a pro swaddler, too.


Trumpette socks - Again, a Libby find (second time's a charm, I guess). I think these are also more popular for girls but they do have boy styles. Socks were a big pain to me because they just don't stay on little baby feet that well. During the summer, I broke old wives tradition and my kids were just barefoot, but once the weather cooled, I always struggled to figure out how to keep those tootsies warm. With Caedmon, I resorted to using Robeez shoes to keep his socks in place. With Libby, I was introduced to the ever stylish Trumpette socks which really do stay in place!


Baby Activity Gym - These come in all shapes and sizes but I don't know how we would have survived without one. They keep baby entertained for much longer than anything else when they are in the immobile but alert stage. Both Caedmon and Libby loved ours and it gave me at least a few minutes to get something done.

Snap N Go stroller - The stroller decision was a huge one for us. We researched and pondered and researched and asked opinions and researched some more. However, for the early days, I put in a hearty recommendation for anything that will allow you to snap the infant car seat directly into it. We got our Snap n Go for less than $50, and it was definitely a worthwhile investment. Caedmon would fall asleep in the car and I could just snap the seat into the stroller and go. I had many a sanity walk around the mall with him asleep in the early days. Libby wasn't so good on the go, but I still enjoyed the ease of moving her whole car seat directly into the stroller instead of having to transfer her every time. Also, the baby can look at you while you push which makes them happy and keeps you at ease. Another bonus is that it has the biggest basket you will find on a stroller! We currently have 4 strollers (the Snap n Go, MacClaren Techno XL, Mountain Buggy Single, Baby Jogger Classic Double!

Beaba Babycook - While this isn't a necessity, it sure does make life easier if you want to make your own baby food. With Caedmon, I attempted to make my own food, but eventually opted for organic baby food from the store. With Libby, I made a majority of her baby food at home thanks to the Babycook. It is the steamer and blender all in one. I still occasionally pull it out to make some applesauce. It only takes less than 10 minutes to steam and puree so I often made Libby's food at the same time I was preparing ours. It makes about 3-5 servings so I would just put a little in the fridge for the next day too. Of course, you could use it to make the freezer cubes but I wasn't that good about planning ahead most days.


Ergo - With Caedmon, he spent most of his first year in the Baby Bjorn, especially since we were in the midst of house building and I was often at the site walking through construction. It wasn't until we were planning a trip to Peru when he was a year old that we discovered the Ergo. And, what a fantastic discovery it was! The two selling points for me are 1. it can hold up to 40 lbs (as opposed to the Bjorn's 20 something) and 2. you can wear front, back or side. Caedmon mostly rode on Tom's or my back. It is great for travel, but also extremely helpful for things like taking the dog to the groomer - when you need to have two free hands and the baby somewhere safe. The Ergo has an infant insert but I was not as fond of that. I have talked to people who love it, but I found the sling to be much handier in the first months of life. However, after Libby hit about 5 months of age, we used the Ergo A LOT! The amazing thing is that Caedmon could still be put in the Ergo, although, I'm not sure I would want to haul him around on my back for too long!


Exersaucer - Once my kids were wanting to be upright, the exersaucer was one of my life savers. With C, we borrowed one from a friend. It wasn't even a piece of equipment that I was planning to have but he loved it so much when we were at her house that we took it home with us. I can't tell you how many hours of freedom I gained from the exersaucer. Both kids loved to play in it, and it was often the only way I could get dinner cooked or other household chores accomplished.


Bumbo - another wonderful invention for mamas..especially when babies are too young to sit up on their own but want to be a part of the action.



Stokke Tripp Trapp - Okay. We didn't have this for the first year of life but I wish we had. We hesitated to put the money into it and then, alas, ended up buying one when Caedmon was almost 3. Crazy, right! It works great for him now. He feels like he is in a big boy chair instead of a high chair or booster. It looks cool and it is just the right height. If you're going to invest in a high chair and a booster, it almost makes more sense to just buy this from the get-go.

These are the top things on my mind right now. Of course, each mama has her favorites and some of these things may not be on your list. But this is what works for me. These are all things that we bought or borrowed on recommendation from friends and/or doing our own research.

2 comments:

  1. I am 100% with you on the sling. I bought a Didymos brand (check out www.slingstation.com for possibly EVERY sling/wrap/carrier invented). This allowed me use of it in about 7 carry positions, and 2-3 variations of each of those. From birth until they won't let you carry them anymore, it can be used for front, side and back carries. I didn't have it with my first but still use it with baby #2 who is 18-months old. Actually, we have about half the items on your list. Great compilation of ideas!

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  2. I really like this post, Lynette! :)

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the Ergo Baby Carrier, and am so glad that you had recommended that to me. In fact, I was just telling Eric today that the carrier will be so useful over the next months (& years?). I've used it twice this week with Isaiah already (and instead of the infant insert, I used a towel...it worked just fine).

    I'm on the lookout for a playmat/activity gym to use with Isaiah.

    I have to add that I love My Brest Friend Inflatable Pillow - it worked great as a gift sent from the States; and is compact enough (with the air out) to travel with.

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