9-12 MONTHS BABY ESSENTIALS

Photography by Shadi Garman

Hi Friends! it’s been a while since I have done a baby must-haves post! Well, 3 months actually ha! I have done 2 so far, my newborn essentials  & my 3-6 month essentials. I missed 6-9 eek! It was a very busy time in our lives so I’m going to include some must-haves from those months in this post!

Baby’s First Year Baby Book: I LOVE this baby book! I received it as a gift from my best friend Mackenzie. It does a lot of the work for you in that it’s super interactive and the illustrations are super cute. I love it!

Baby Touch and Feel First Words Book: Charlee got this book from her Aunt Ashlea and I am telling you it is her FAVORITE book. She absolutely loves it and I always have it in my diaper bag to help keep her entertained. She loves to touch all the animals and items in the book and even learned to say “tickle tickle” from a page in the book!

NUK sippy Cup: At 12 weeks, our doctor told us to not only transition Charlee from formula to whole milk, but to also get her off the bottle and start drinking milk out of a sippy cup. We started by transitioning her to milk and it was surprisingly easy! We mixed 1/2 formula and 1/2 whole milk for a few days and slowly decreased the amount of formula. After a full week she had transitioned! Then the next week we tried the sippy cup and she took to it right away! The Nuk sippy cup worked really well for her.

Oxo-tot Sippy cup: This is another sippy cup that Charlee likes. It is a great way to introduce a straw to your baby!

Native Shoes: These shoes are AWESOME! They are waterproof and made of a rubber material making them super durable. I put these on her when we are heading to the beach or the splash pad or pool! Charlee is currently in a size 4 for reference.

Hair Bows: These are my go-to hair bows for Charlee. They stay put and aren’t too big :). PLUS they are inexpensive!

Kids Ipad cover: I have to be honest and say that Charlee does have some screen time. This only happens if we are traveling or out to dinner and she gets antsy. I do my best to limit screen time but let’s be real, I’m human and sometimes I need some help! We had an iPad that we weren’t using so we bought this

Travel Noise Maker: This is not only the best travel noise maker, but also the best noise maker in general! It gets super loud and drowns out all the noise. It is super small and lasts for HOURS after it’s charged. I highly recommend this!

I hope you guys enjoyed this post! I am so excited because this weekend I am heading down to NC to celebrate my baby sister and throw her a baby shower with my mom! Make sure to follow along on my Instagram stories to see what we planned!

xoxo-J

 

 

 

3-6 MONTH BABY ESSENTIALS

Now that Charlee is officially 6 months (closer to 7 now eek!) I can confidently share with you all my absolute must-haves that we used from when she was 3-6 months old.

  1. Bumbo changing table This was a part of my newborn necessities post. I love love love this changing table and don’t know how I survived without it for the first month. It’s a lifesaver! It wipes clean so any messes are easy to handle. It’s also cheaper than the keekaroo and is basically the exact same product.
  2. 50/50 Love to Dream Swaddle This product was amazing for transitioning Charlee out of the swaddle. It weirdly looks like it would be incredibly uncomfortable for a baby and I felt a little weird putting Charlee into it, but it totally worked and she loved it. We used it as is with the wings attached for about a month around 4 months old. Then we took one wing off for a week, and then the other side the second week. It was a totally seamless transition! I was so worried about transitioning her out of the swaddle and this product made is so much easier. Once she transitioned we used the swaddle without the wings as a sort of blanket. I highly recommend this product!
  3. Baby Bjorn Soft Carrier We have been through SO many carriers it’s embarrassing to admit. We started with the Solly Baby Wrap which was awesome when Charlee was super tiny. That lasted about a month MAX ha! I couldn’t wear that wrap after she was over 10 lbs, it really killed my back! We moved on to the larger Bjorne but for some reason Charlee really didnt like it! She was uncomfortable and I guess a little too small for it. We finally found this wrap and I still use it today! It’s soft but sturdy and really easy to put on. It will only last you around 7-8 months from birth but it’s worth it.
  4. Muchkin Latch Bottles These are great bottles and Charlee took to them easily. I know bottles are a very “by baby” item but these worked great for us!
  5. Baby Bjorne bouncer seat God bless this seat. I can’t tell you how much use we got out of this seat. I only JUST NOW am not using it. It lasted us a full 6.5 months.
  6. Skip Hop Activity Center Charlee loves this activity center. It’s also not an eye sore which selfishly was something I was concerned with. We have a two bedroom apartment and no playroom and the activity center in on display. This one is sort of chic looking lol and she also loves it. A WIN WIN!
  7. My Breast Friend Pillow I have used this pillow every day for every feeding since Charlee was born. It makes it so comfortable to feed her and offers that arm support you need.
  8. 7 A.M Enfant stroller bag I hate that I am STILL using this because that means it’s still cold outside, but this stroller bag is the best. It’s SO warm and I swear just radiates heat. I can put Charlee in a light sweater and a hat and she is almost sweating by the time I take her out of it. I feel really comfortable that she is super warm when we go on walks when it’s cold outside. It’s expensive, but worth it!
  9. Noggin Stick  This toy will always have a special place in my heart :). It was her first toy and she still LOVES it. Can’t say enough about it. We call it “Mr. Noggin” and every time I pull it out she starts to bounce and flap her arms. It’s a great toy to throw in your diaper bag for walks and trips. Charlee loves her “Mr. Noggin.”
  10. Take Along Tunes Toy Not sure why every baby loves this darn toy, but they do! This has been in the toy rotation from the beginning!
  11. Nose Frida The woman who invented this thing is a GENIUS! I swear Charlee has had a runny nose every week since she was in daycare. I have used this thing so many times and it really does the trick!

Ok that’s it for my 3-6 month essentials. Did I miss anything you can’t live without?! Leave a note in the comments!

xoxo-J

MY NEWBORN BABY ESSENTIALS

Hi Guys! Thanks for stopping by!

Over the last two weeks, I’ve gotten a handle on the items that have become essential for me (and my sanity) as a new Mom. I wanted to share them with all you Mommas out there! For expecting Moms, registering for a new baby can be overwhelming. Matt and I registered at Buy Buy Baby and scanned literally every possible item our baby could possibly need LOL! We ended up returning a number of things but at least we were prepared! The list below may not be a complete list, but so far my favorite, can’t live without essentials. These items make my every day a lot more successful with my Charlee Q.

  1. Bumbo Changing Pad– My changing table came with a changing pad on top of it, but it required a sheet and a boppy pad. Newborns have what seems like a million diaper changes a day which can get messy. I was constantly changing the sheet and boppy pad after every third change which was getting so annoying. This Bumbo pad can simply be wiped clean after every change. It’s also soft and comfortable for the baby as well. I got the grey color! LOVE it!
  2. Happy Mama Breastfeeding Bars – Breastfeeding hunger is no joke. Sometimes I am so starving all of a sudden as if I haven’t eaten in days! I keep a stock pile of these bars in my pantry to grab when I need to feed Charlee and just don’t have the time (or hands) to prepare something. They hold me over until I put her down to rest and can make something substantial for my meal. 
  3. Aden & Anais Swaddle Blankets– These blankets are seriously the best. They are so versatile and I have used them a million different ways since having Charlee. I use one to lay over my basinet when out walking to protect her from the sun. I use it as a swaddle, or as a blanket to cover her if she gets cold. The material is so soft and she loves it against her skin :).
  4. Simple Wishes Hands-Free Breastpump Bra, Pink, X-Small-Large -I didn’t get this bra until a week into breastfeeding. I was having to hold the pump in place every time and getting horrible back and neck pain. This bra is awesome and keeps the pump in place so I can be hands free. It also fits multiple sizes because of it’s design so unless you are plus size, the x-small-large will definitely accommodate.
  5. Skip Hop Grab and Go Double Bottle BagBlack, Black– I love this on-the-go bottle bag cooler. I pack a bottle with breastmilk every time we leave the house to make sure I have extra supply for Charlee. It comes with a freezer insert and keeps the bottles cold and milk fresh.
  6. Prince Lionheart® Evo™ Wipes Warmer in White/Grey-Charlee HATES getting her diaper changed and the wipe warmer has helped significantly. I would imagine having a freezing cold wipe up against your bum can’t be pleasant, right?! This is really helpful and has made a difference in her fussiness when we change her.
  7. My Breast Friend Nursing PillowI can’t say enough about this pillow. It is such a necessity. It is so awesome because you clip it on to yourself and immediately have tons of support when breastfeeding or just holding your baby. I brought it to the hospital and use it all day long. I recommend purchasing an extra cover though in case your babe spits up (or in our case poops) on it haha!
  8. Born Free Breeze Bottle Deluxe Gift Set in Clear-These are the bottles that work really well for Charlee. Every baby is different but these are great for my baby girl.
  9. Zoli ‘Buzz B.(TM)’ Electric Nail Trimmer-Charlee has the fastest growing nails of all time. This trimmer is safe on baby’s tiny fingers and does the trick.
  10. Solly Baby Wrap Carrier-I LOVE this wrap. My sister in law Lisa sent me this and I have used it every day since having Charlee. She just loves being close to Mommy or Daddy in the wrap and usually passes right out even if it isn’t really her nap time lol!
  11. Honest Hand Sanitizer-I love this sanitizer! It comes with a pump which is awesome to keep next to the changing pad on my changing table. It’s so convenient to pump and get sanitizer when you don’t have but one hand free! It’s also a gel and smells so nice and doesn’t dry out your hands.
  12. Jonathan Adler Rock and Play-This is a Godsend! We are currently doing our very best to get Charlee to sleep in her bassinet or crib for naps and at night time…it is a work in progress! While we continue to work on that, this rock and play rocker is the best and she loves it. It always puts her to sleep!
  13. Summer Infant Swaddle Blanket-This swaddle blanket was recommended to me by my friend Katie. There is no need to ever learn to swaddle with these! Charlee can’t get out of them and she absolutely loves them. We wrap her in them every night to put her to sleep!
  14. Baby Shusher-I love this thing! Initially it sort of freaked me out because the sound (shhhhh) that comes out of it is actually a person’s voice. As creepy as that is, it’s the reason she loves it so much. I also love that it is mobile and just needs batteries. I use it in her crib to settle her down and also in her stroller when we go out!
  15. Baby Mittens– We have to have Charlee in gloves constantly or she scratches her sweet face. I had one brand that worked OK but they fell off a lot. These Lucky 21 mittens are awesome and stay on all day. I will say they look kind of funny but I’m just happy she isn’t scratching herself anymore and I don’t have to keep putting them on!

Well, that’s it (for now)! I hope this was helpful! If you guys ever have any questions please reach out! I hope you will share with me your list of newborn necessities so I can share with our community :)! My plan is to make this a series and do updates with my favorite products as Charlee grows!

xoxo-J

 

Toddler Essentials 12-15 Months

 

Hi Everyone! Charlee turns 15 months old today! I thought I’d ring in the day with a recap of my must-have items from the last 3 months of her life. First, let me start off by saying the last three months have been some of the most fun but also the hardest days of Charlee’s life so far. This age is TOUGH. During this time, Charlee got her first 4 teeth, found her voice and decided she was going to let us know when she didn’t like something. With these cognitive behavior changes came a lot of adorable things, like new words and gestures and understanding. It also brought on the need for way more patience and coffee from her parents! These items are must-haves for me because they help in wrangling little wiggle worm toddlers through distraction and convenience!

Stroller Snack Tray: I got this last month and it has become a game-changer. Charlee can get a little fussy when she has been in the stroller longer than she wants to be.  Snacks are always a great distraction and I of course always pack snacks when we are on the go, but it is a bit annoying to have to stop and hand her a snack every 5 seconds to distract her. Queue, the stroller snack tray! I can pop a bunch of crackers and snacks in the tray and also place her sippy cup with water or milk there too. She also enjoys putting her sippy cup back into the holder over and over again. I linked the tray for bugaboo strollers, but every stroller company has one made specifically for them.

Nuk Sippy Cups: Speaking of sippy cups, these Nuk sippy cups worked amazingly well for Charlee. Charlee had to transition into the 12-18 month classroom at 12 months but before she could go she had to learn to drink milk from a sippy cup. These Nuk sippy cups made this transition easy. I also love these sippy cups because they DO NOT LEAK. We tried a bunch of brands and this was the only one that didn’t leak milk everywhere.

Halo sleep sack: My sleep sacks from halo brand have been a part of almost each must-have post I have done. They are just a great sleep sack and Charlee loves them. Charlee is currently sleeping in the size large sack. I read that babies can be put down without a sleep sack, but I just feel weird putting Charlee to bed without covers. Who wants to sleep without covers?! I don’t. These sleep sacks are super cozy and keep her comfy and sleeping soundly.

Ipad stand and case: We allow screen time for Charlee. I know a lot of parents try to limit screen time until the age of 2, but that is not what we have done and this works for us. I slowly started introducing Charlee to the show Little Baby Bum on Netflix around 11 or 12 months. It’s a great show that has a medley of nursery rhymes. It’s educational and cute and HAUNTS MY DREAMS haha! I sometimes can’t get the songs out of my head but that is neither here nor there!! At first she wasn’t really into it, but after a while she started to learn all the songs and now loves to watch her show. I let her watch her show in the morning if I need a shower before work (sometimes I shower at night), and then when we are traveling on a plane or in the car, OR if she starts to get antsy when we are out to dinner. It makes for a much more enjoyable experience for both Charlee and her parents! This Ipad stand and case is awesome because it’s made of a foam material. Charlee tends to drop the ipad a lot and this bounces and keeps the ipad from breaking. It can also stand up by itself which is great for when we are at a restaurant and I need to prop it up for her to watch.

Munchkin snack catcher:  These are awesome for toddlers. I bring one or two of these with me every time we leave the house. Charlee enjoys holding on to the handles and the snacks don’t fall out because of the brilliant design! These are also dishwasher safe making them easy to clean!

Skip Hop Baby Plates Set: I bought this set around 12 months when Charlee was officially eating more solids than purees. She loves these plates and actually learned to go “ooh ooh, ah ah” every time she sees the monkey plate coming out of the cupboard :). They are durable and dishwasher safe and work really well for toddler meals.

Skip Hop Toddler Utensils: I really like these utensils for toddlers. Charlee is still working on mastering the art of using her fork and spoon, but I always give her a utensil at every meal even if she just holds it. These are wide enough for her to hold comfortably and I like that they are made of stainless steel like a real fork. Makes it easier for her to get the food on the fork when she does attempt to do so!

Stride Right Shoes: Charlee started walking around 12-13 months. My Mom told me it was important to get Charlee supportive shoes since she was new to walking and needed assistance staying stabilized. I purchased these Stride Right Shoes and they were amazing. They helped Charlee keep her balance and the base of the shoe is wide to assist in her walking as well. I was a little worried about buying a white shoe because I thought it might get dirty. These were great though because the leather was treated so I could just wipe them down with water and a white eraser.

Toy baby Stroller: Charlee is absolitely OBSESSED with this toy baby stroller. I take her to the playground and park almost every day and she will push this thing around for hours if I let her! It is a great distraction and the best part is that it breaks down so you can throw it in your stroller storage bin on your way to the park. For those of you with cars this doesn’t really matter, but for us New Yorkers this is a plus!

Boogie Wipes: these wipes have been another must-have for me as a Mom since Charlee was born. They are so mild on baby’s skin and smell amazing. I buy them in bulk off of Amazon and don’t leave the house without them.

Baby Hair Gel: Matt found this hair gel on Amazon and I was so skeptical. Now I can’t do Charlee’s hair without it. This all-natural hair gel doesn’t get too crusty and it helps with fly aways and to tame Charlee’s adorable curls :)!

Let me know if you guys have any items that were not on my list that I need to know about! I love hearing from other Moms about what works for them! Also, if you want to check out my other must- have posts you can click the links below:

Newborn Essentials

3-6 Month Essentials

9-12 Month Essentials

xoxo-J

 

 

Toddler must-haves 15-18 months!

Photography by Brandon John

I can’t believe Charlee is 1.5 years old! It’s crazy she will be 2 in less than 5 months. WHERE did the time go?! I have been doing these must-haves posts since she was a newborn. You can check all of those out here.

This stage in Charlee’s life has been really fun, but also really exhausting. Charlee was quite possibly the easiest baby of all time so it has been a tough transition into toddler life if I am perfectly honest! All of a sudden she has started to have melt downs and makes sure to let Matt and I know, along with the whole world when she doesn’t like something. I have been feeling a little out of control with this new phase of life with Charlee and decided to sign up for the Positive Parenting Solutions annual membership and feel like I have gotten some amazing tools to help me handle her changing moods and curveballs she has been throwing my way.

The below items were awesome in helping us navigate this period of Charlee’s life!

Toy Kitchen: We got this toy kitchen for Charlee for Christmas and it has become her favorite toy of all time! She loves to spend  her time at the kitchen, making “soup” and “coffee” for Mommy and Daddy. The one we bought is from Ikea (you can see it above in the photo) and we really love it. The quality is awesome and it only took about an hour to put together. It’s also a great apartment size kitchen, plus it’s $79!

Silicone Toddler Plates:  I found these on Amazon and ordered them on a whim. These are super durable, machine washable and I like the compartments. Charlee is funny about different foods touching so she is also a fan. I like that they are also silicon and soft.

Sippy cup with straw: This has been the best cup to teach Charlee how to drink from a straw. Plus they don’t leak.

Lid-less kids cups: I did a little research and decided on these lid-less cups for Charlee. Luckily, in Charlee’s daycare class they no longer allow bottles so she has gotten really good at drinking for a cup with no lid. I like these since they are non-toxic and reusable.

Sticker books: From 15-18 months, Charlee would sit and play with her sticker books for an hour at a time. I love this specific set since she is a huge fan of The Hungry Caterpillar book.

Large comfy sleep sack:  Charlee has been in a sleep sack since she was out of a swaddle, but this sleep sack is a little different than the others. It is super cozy and a bit heavy making it feel more like a comforter or blanket, rather than a thin sleep sack. Charlee will eventually be sleeping in a big girl bed with a big girl blanket, but until then this has been a great item. She sleeps so well in it and it keeps her from trying to escape the crib since she doesn’t have much mobility in it.

Big Girl toys: My first purse, broom set, vacuum : Charlee started showing a huge interest during this development stage in copying Matt and I in household tasks or basic every day things. She loves to pretend to carry a purse, vacuum the house etc. Every time Matt and I vacuum, she runs to get her toy vacuum and join us! So cute.

Travel Harness:  During this time we reached the point where it no longer worked to have Charlee sit on our laps on a plane. She is a really tall toddler and she hated feeling cramped. This harness makes her feel safe and snug and acts as a car seat. It has been such a game changer for flights!

Carter’s Toddler Pajamas: I have bought a few different types of pajamas, but I feel like the Carter’s PJ’s are the best option for the price. We just had to order 2T. She is getting so big!

Scooter: Charlee’s Nana bought her this scooter for Christmas! It’s such a cute little scooter and she loves rolling around on it in the house and at that park.

Best ipad games: Peek a boo Barn!: I love this app and we keep it on Charlee’s tablet. It has been the way that Charlee learned all her animals! It makes me feel better about giving her screen time since it’s such an educational app!

Baby Shark Book: This is the best thing you can buy your toddler!!! This book plays every single Baby Shark song and has pictures and buttons. Charlee LOVES it!

Did I miss anything that you couldn’t live without during this toddler stage? Leave a note in the comments!

Xoxo-J