It is Wednesday, time for a real mom to share her favorite products. Today we have savvy mom, Kara. She has lots of truly fabulous choices and I know you’ll love them as much as I do. I love that she suggested some great smart phone apps – I have been meaning to put together a round up of favorite apps so Kara’s input is great appreciated. A big thanks to Kara for sharing her valuable insight to these fab products and we look forward to another “older infant” post down the road! I’d love to feature your favorite products too - email me for details (it is easy, I promise!)
Hello! My name is Kara and I’m a first-time mom to 11-month old Caroline (how is she almost a year old?). We live in a suburb 20 minutes north of Boston (so proud to be a Bostonian!), where I work 4 days a week in communications. While I’m still trying to figure out how to balance it all, this year has been one of the fastest and best years of my life.
I’ve always been a research-aholic and that carried over to baby products when I was pregnant. I loved reading “real mom” recommendations, and I based most of my registry off of these recommendations. A lot of my favorite products are sleep related. We have been blessed by the sleep gods, and Caroline has been sleeping through the night since she was six weeks old. I have no idea if it was complete luck or if any other these products are responsible. As a side note, I know I’m jinxing myself and any future children will probably be terrible sleepers!
I had a hard time narrowing down my favorite products – we were really happy with almost everything we registered for.
1 - Fisher Price Little Snug a Bunny Swing
We used this swing every day until she was 9 months old. She took most of her naps in this swing for the first few months and she was also very content watching the birds and looking in the mirror above her when she was awake. The swing enabled me to get things done around the house and my husband and I were actually able to eat dinner together most nights while she was swinging away. The best thing about this swing is that it runs on batteries or can be plugged in. This way you don’t have to worry about keeping batteries stocked. It was a sad day in our house when she outgrew this!
2 - Fisher Price Rock ‘n Play
This was highly recommended in the blog world and I’m so happy we got it. I tell everyone to register for this. Caroline slept in this at night for the first couple of months. The best features are that the baby does not lay flat which can help with reflux and digestive issues and it rocks back and forth. It’s very lightweight and compact. It barely took up any space in our bedroom and was very easy to move to different rooms in our house. We traveled quite a bit last summer and brought this with us wherever we went.
3 - Motorola Video Monitor
Having a video monitor gave me a piece of mind as a first-time mom. Caroline slept in her own room after 6 weeks and the monitor gave me comfort whenever I was worried about her. All video monitors are probably great because you can see the image of your baby, but we choose this one because it’s supposed to have the least amount of interference with wireless devices in your house. I also love that it displays the temperature in Caroline’s room. I was always concerned she’d be too hot or too cold and this helped me figure out what to dress her in.
4 - Aden and Anais Products
We love their swaddle blankets, security blankets, sleep sacks and burpy bibs. These were all must haves for us. My husband is the swaddle master and could wrap Caroline tightly in their swaddles when she was a newborn. These are perfect because they’re breathable and lightweight for the summer. Even now, I always keep a couple on me for coverage during walks or to lay down for her to play on. Once she was old enough she started using their security blankets while sleeping and riding in the car. Now, she sleeps in their sleep sacks and they’re the perfect weight for all seasons. We’ve been using their burpy bibs since she was born because they’re super soft, have great coverage and wash great.
5 - Infantino Activity Mat
This mat was great for tummy time and Caroline was entertained for long periods of time when laying down and looking at the mirror or hanging toys. It helped strengthen her neck and core and also helped with hand/eye coordination. You can collapse the bars on this mat and fold it up to store. You can also detach the bars and the mat is machine washable which is great since they spend lots of time on their belly and can spit up and drool.
6 - Little Castle Glider
Someone else recently posted about their Little Castle glider. It is one of the most comfortable chairs I’ve ever sat in, and it looks like a nice piece of furniture that you can use once the baby grows out of it. We use it every morning and night and have fallen asleep in it many times.
7 – iPhone Apps
It sounds simple, but there were a few iPhone apps that made our lives easier.
We tracked her feeding, diaper changes and sleeping on Baby Connect. This is great because multiple users could enter data and could sync between devices.
Caroline is a big fan of white noise and it’s always had a calming effect on her. We have a white noise machine and Sleep Sheep but found the white noise app on our phones worked the best and were most convenient. There are tons of noises to choose from. I have used this many times in the car, at restaurants, shops, etc. It works like a charm for us.
8 - Woombie
As I mentioned, Caroline loved to be swaddled tightly. Once she could break out of the Aden and Anais swaddle blankets we needed something that would keep her wrapped up. My friend sent me a woobmie and it was a lifesaver. She used the original swaddler and then once she wanted her arms out we used the original sleeper. This was thick and kept her warm throughout the cold winter months.
A big, big thanks to Kara for sharing her awesome favorites! And if you are interested in having your products featured, email me!