Happy (very late) New Year. Happy belated Valentines’ Day. And of course, Happy anniversary to the blog.
If you can even imagine, about 365 days ago I was pregnant with little Max and still in my first trimester. And flash forward to now, he is my “book-loving mohawk-wearing” six month old baby boy.
It is insane how fast this time has been flying by with him.
Jake and I also recently celebrated our four year anniversary so this has been a crazy way to start 2018.
We took Max for his first outing, to Cheesecake Factory for our celebration dinner. Then a couple weeks later, we followed up by having a nice evening home for Valentines’ Day. We also took some adorable pictures to add to Maxy’s “first-year” book.
There are so many things to look forward to this year; from starting my Nursing program to Max’s first birthday and vlogging and so much more. And as for the blog, I have made some updates so look around and tell me what you think.
I also added a section to shop with me! So now you will be able to find all the cool products I talk about. I’ll definitely create a post once the shop goes live.
Happy Holidays to everyone out there. We hope you’re having an amazing holiday season.
Because a lot of people have no idea what to get for little ones, we thought this would be a great post!
Let’s jump right in…
Gift 1: Something you want.
Maxy is just a tiny little fella so he may not have “wants” in the traditional sense, so we went with toys. Below is a Burt’s Bees Baby toy. Best part is, he’s already had this, he’s just never played with it.
Gift 2: Something you need.
Babies always need a ton of stuff; from diapers and wipes to teethers and soap. So we wrapped up his wipes and teethers and other things that he needed. I mean, he needs it’s anyways, why not make it a gift? 🙂 Below is a teether set that we gave him.
Gift 3: Something to wear.
This goes without saying, babies grow like crazy so it’s always thoughtful to give a little one some clothes. Here is a cute little Cat & Jack clearance outfit from Target and a pack of adorable Gerber sleepers!
Gift 4: Something to read.
Here is something you may not have thought of: Books! We started reading to Maxy when he first came home from the hospital and you can really tell. When he sees books, his face lights up like nobody’s business. He smiles and even tries to turn the pages. We had no choice but to get him some awesome books. Pictured below are the 17 books we scored for under $15 from Marshall’s. Best part is, books are the gifts that keep giving.
Just wanted to share some of my favorite brands and products with you guys.
For those of you who do not know, I am the QUEEN of free stuff, really! Trust me. So we scored tons of free samples of different products; everything from pacifiers and bottles to diapers and books. (I’ll do another post on how to get free items, later.)
Until then, check out our current faves.
*Pictured above are just some of the free and cheap products we have accumulated.
So, I shall jump right in:
- Skin Care: First let me say, this was so hard!
- Johnson & Johnson baby wash simply bc it is very affordable. This is especially a great pick for those babies who do not require a special soap for sensitive skin. Plus this is what we were given at the hospital; if it is good enough for them, it is good enough for us. (Runner-up: Baby Dove.)
- Baby Aveeno is our favorite lotion bc it keeps him very moisturized but not sticky. We loved this so much that we are planning to try their baby wash.(Runner-up: Honest Company.)
- Vaseline, yes plain vaseline, is our favorite all around moisturizer for days he feels extra dry. This is also highly recommended by our pedi! She went as far as saying to use this only bc it is very moisturizing and yet so gentle. You can also add this to any other lotion to thicken it up.
- I would like to add that we also LOVE Noodle & Boo and Mustela, however, we did not pick those bc they are more expensive than the other brands. We have also tried Babyganics, we did not love them but we did not hate them either. It is great bc everything is very foamy (so it is easy to use) but the smell is a turn off for me and they do not seem to moisturize him well. Although these did not work for us, I would still recommend them. And of course we love Honest Company wash/lotion since they are great for sensitive skin but it was not a necessity for Max.
- Diapers & Wipes:
- Target Up & Up is our absolute favorite diaper! They have all of our favorite features like a great fit and wetness indicator plus they are super affordable. Less than $0.15/diaper. (Runner-up: Huggies.)
- Others we tried: Pampers – expensive, Honest Company/ Seventh Generation – nice but Max does have adverse reactions to the other brands so we did not need sensitive skin diapers.
- Huggies wipes, hands down. These are very tough, unlike other brands yet they are still very soft and never caused redness. (Runner-up: Pampers bc they are shockingly soft.)
- Others we have: We have Honest wipes and Babyganics but we have not opened them yet.
- Detergents & Soaps:
- All Baby is our favorite detergent, bc it was the most affordable and smells great!
- We also have samples for Babyganics but it is unopened.
- Babyganics has our favorite bottle soap and multi-purpose wipes. They are non-toxic so there is no smell but everything is still very clean.
- GermX is our favorite hand sanitizer bc it smells great and leaves you feeling clean. (Runner-up: Babyganics foaming sanitizer.)
- We also have Honest Company, but it is unopened.
- Creams & Misc:
- Honest Company organic balm!!! This stuff is heaven sent! I love this cream so much that the whole family now uses it. We use it on Max’s moisture rash, Jake’s scratches, and I use it on the bumps on my face. This is a must buy!
- Diaper rash cream: Max has never had diaper rash (thanks to his amazing diapers and wipes!) but we have tried out a few samples just to try them. Our pedi recommended Desitin, should he ever get it. However, we found MotherLove diaper balm to be our fave bc it was a perfect consistency. The WalMart Parent’s Choice was our least favorite bc it was too thick. And all the others contain the same active ingredient so it probably does not make a difference.
- Earth Mama Angel Baby morning spray is our favorite “air freshener.” They offer a ton of products for mother and baby wellness so this spray is for morning sickness. Now, I never had morning sickness but I always spray this around the room.
- Breastfeeding & Supplies:
- Lansinoh smart breast pump is what I used and I do not recommend it. I only used it for about two months before there seemed to be a decrease of the suction. I am very disappointed! I have reached out to their customer service but I have not had any luck. I am in the process of seeing if a Medela In Style is better for me.
- Lansinoh nursing pads are my favorite for soaking up milk bc they are super absorbent. (Runner-up: Medela.)
Is everywhere, literally, and it is absolutely annoying! People will always offer their unwanted advice and as a mom, you have to decide if you will take it or not.
Now, for starters, people need to understand that just because you are a mom, does NOT mean you are an expert… at anything. And beyond that, most of the advice you will get is either irrelevant (b/c every family/mom/baby is different), outdated, or just plain ‘ole bad!
So I have decided to share with you some “great” advice that we have decided to straight up ignore:
- NEVER let baby sleep in your bed,
- So this is actually great advice, as it comes from the American Academy of Pediatrics for safe sleep. And honestly for that reason, I am 100% against cosleeping and bed sharing, however, I must admit, we are bed sharing. This was not by choice but let me tell you, if you have a c-section, it will likely happen. Here is why, after having major abdominal surgery, you will not be able to easily bend or twist to retrieve the baby from a bassinet and it will cause a lot of pain when you attempt it. When we first got home, he would sleep in a bassinet without any problems but it was too painful for me to lift him out. I pushed through and kept trying for about a week before giving up and I partially believe that was one reason my healing process took longer than expected.
- Give your baby mashed potatoes or pet’s milk to help him gain weight,
- Oh HELL to the NAW! So quicky story, Maxy would vomit up to eight times per day due to some unknown GI issues, so he had (and still has) poor weight gain. So someone, who will remain nameless, thought it would be a good idea to give him some abnormal milk and table food. This is the dumbest thing I have ever heard, why would I give him something that could possibly upset his GI tract even more? *rolls eyes*
- Do not give baby a pacifier,
- This is what they tell you if you are breastfeeding since it could cause nipple confusion. However, we gave Maxy one for two reasons: 1. I never planned to breastfeed so I did not care about nipple confusion and 2. Thumbsucking is one ugly habit to break. I see it first hand with my nephew.
- Do not put baby on a schedule, let him lead you,
- Nope! Growing up my mom was great – but she was an unorganized mess. (Lol, trust me, everyone would agree!) That actually drove me to (literally) be OCD about planning and scheduling. So I firmly believe children crave and NEED structure from a young age. And I will say, Max is three months old and he is already on a schedule that he recognizes. I believe he is so comfortable with his schedule b/c it started the day he was born.
- Lil’ backstory: at the hospital, we were told to feed him 1oz every two hours. So… this stuck, and as he grows and eats more, we just incorporate a few more things. For ex: He eats 3.5oz every 3 hours. At night, I massage or bathe him, feed him, then leave him to sleep. And get this – he puts himself to sleep. 😉
- Do not read parenting books/articles b/c it will not teach you to be a parent,
- It could be b/c I love school or it could be that I love planning, but I read everything I could get my hands on! After all, I am not able to go to my mom to just ask for advice about everything so I am alone in all of this. I truly believe all the great things we read and the classes we took, has helped us to parent Max. And he is one little independent guy.
- Be quiet when baby is napping,
- Based on things I have read, this is bad for baby. If you are always quiet when baby is napping, baby will grow to only be able to sleep if everything is 100% quiet. This means every little noise will wake your little one. No one wants that! We have been doing this and guess what? Max will sleep through the tv, talking, and even the fire alarm. Literally. Disclaimer: at night, you should keep noises to a minimum b/c that helps baby distinguish between naps and bedtime.
Okay, as you can probably guess, the baby is here!
And he has been here for a little while now; 2 months and 20 days to be exact!
The Babe: arrived via c-section on August 14 at 12:25PM. He came in weighing 7lbs 10oz and 21 inches long. He was literally the most beautiful baby I have ever seen. I was put under so I did not get to meet him right away. I am not sure what his very first cry sounded like but I bet it was beautiful. He is the sweetest little boy, much like Jake.
The Mom: I am doing great! My recovery went really smooth and I was not in much pain at all. I was actually able to comfortably walk before leaving the hospital. I was even able to quit my pain meds before the prescription even ran out. S/o to my amazing DR.
The Dad: Jake has been a real trooper during this whole entire process. He is the best dad anyone could ever ask for. He stays up late after working long shifts. He makes bottles in the middle of the night. He changes tons of diapers. He does it all, lol.
The Life: I would actually say were killing it. No, really. We are very lucky this little guy sleeps through the night and rarely cries. He is the best! Whenever we go to appointments, the staff always comment on how great we look, how organized we are, and how intuitive we have been. They always tell us they have never seen new parents handling things the way we do. This makes me really happy b/c I believe it. But it really is b/c we have the best baby, so he makes everything very easy for us.
Since I have been away for so long, I have decided to do weekly posts on various topics. I just want to share some things I am thankful for, some things we are up to, etc. Now, although I have decided, it does not mean it will happen. But I am going to try extra hard to make it happen. 🙂
Max Steele, the babe. ❤
I hope you are having an amazing day, like I am. So last month I posted a picture of some of my favorite baby items that we have gotten so far. And today, I would like to tell you about one of my absolute favorite brands for baby!
And what brand is that? The Honest Company, of course!
Below is a (FREE) trial size bundle of some of their most popular products, that I will most definitely be using on the little one. Not only are these products effective, but they are eco-friendly and free of harmful chemicals. So to me, it is a no-brainer. Their products are also backed by their Honestly Free Guarantee, which you can read about here.
But Guess what? Just when you thought this company could not do any better, they did it. Introducing their new collection of MLB Diapers:
These diapers are full of swag, not chemicals, and will have your little one dressed to impress!
Like, it seriously does not get any cuter than this. These diapers are great for the whole family; mom can use them knowing she is not harming her little one and dad can use them because he loves the team.
Even if you are not a huge MLB fan, you will definitely find a pattern that you love because they offer so many prints. Click here to see their entire line of fabulous diapers.
And what is the best part of their entire line of diapers? Two things actually; 1. The fact that the diapers are not only cute, but they are also sturdy, durable, yet disposable. And 2. The fact that you can order in bundles! (This means you will not be making midnight trips to the supermarket because you ran out of diapers.
It seems unreal that this pregnancy is almost over, as I am officially over halfway done. (I am 22 weeks and 2 days.) I guess its true when they say: “time flies when you’re having fun.” 🙂
This pregnancy has been so unique for multiple reasons. Well, for starters, I only recently started to “feel” pregnant. As I mentioned before, I have literally had zero morning sickness. Not to mention a lack of basically all other signs. If it were not for seeing this little baby during ultrasounds and the recent movements, I would probably be in denial.
So much stuff has changed since the last post:
Us: We actually saw the little one moving for the first time. (At our first ultrasound the baby was sleeping so there was not much to see.) However, this time was the total opposite. This baby was moving all over the screen, making faces (pictured above!), and I am pretty sure the baby even cried at one point during the ultrasound. (Sounds weird, I know.)
Me: I also feel like I am starting to show a tiny bit, although no one else notices lol. And I just got a brand new job and I am so excited to start because it’s a full-time position with great benefits and… I will actually be using my first degree.
Jake: He knows the gender of the baby! Initially, we wanted the gender to be a surprise but the morning of he decided he wanted to know, so the ultrasound tech gave him an envelope containing a pic and the gender. And trust me, despite numerous attempts to find out – from multiple family members, his lips are sealed. (However, I am pretty sure I know the sex based on his reaction.)
My Favorite Baby Finds:
Above are some of the pics we have taken since the last post, including some great things we have found for baby.
- Adorable diapers we got free from the Honest Company trial. Not only are these natural but they are waayyy cuter than the standard disposable diapers.
- “The Bump” which is the pregnancy bullet journal that I started as another way to track progress, name ideas, baby class schedules, etc. This is pretty cool because Jake and I both write entries about appointments and current feelings surrounding the baby.
- An awesome Foo Fighters shirt from Target that we got for super cheap. Now I actually did not know who they were but apparently, it’s a music group that Jake fancies. (They made a song called “Hero” that I love but had no idea they made it.) Ps… Jake obviously picked this out.
- A little unique outfit we found at H&M (also very cheap!), which we may bring baby home in. But it depends if I find a more gender specific outfit that is cuter, lol.
- An awesome picture of the cutest baby ever making a frowning face, as Jake often does. I will have to remember to post a side by side pic of those two because it is remarkable how the baby already takes after Jake.
- An old but great pic of the little one hanging out.
I look forward to updating you as more stuff happens during the journey.