I am not lying when I say, I love and appreciate all real moms that share their favorite baby products with us on Real Mom Wednesday’s BUT I have a little extra special love for today’s mama, Kirby. She is one of my besetest gal pals and mama to one of the cutest, most lovely little ladies we know, “baby Anna” as Eloise so affectionately calls her. I am really proud of Kirby for sharing her favorites because whether she likes it or not she has had to hear my Wise Baby advice since about week 12 of her pregnancy! So without further ado, here’s wise mama, Kirby’s favorite gear!
Hello everyone! I am a first time mama to our sweet-as-can-be 6 month old baby girl, Anna. We live in a 1200 square foot condo in downtown Chicago, so maximizing our space with minimal baby gear was a goal of ours. With that said, I can’t say that I was very successful in achieving it. At one point, my husband thought we were operating a baby supply store here 🙂 I have been a loyal Real Moms reader and have found these posts so helpful. Here are some of my favorite products to date and ones that have helped make life a little easier since Anna arrived.
1. Marpac DOHM Sound Machine – We have used this since our first night home with Anna and still love it! Outside of Anna’s room is a pretty high traffic area in our condo. It’s where visitors come and go, by the staircase and in close proximity to where laundry is done. With this sound machine, my husband and I can go about the house while she’s sleeping and not worry we’re going to wake her.
2. Skip Hop Giraffe Safari Activity Gym – This adorable activity gym is a must. It has been used on a daily basis around here from the beginning. Anna entertains herself with the sweet animals that play music and/or rattle hanging from the canopy. It’s was a big help to me for those times when I needed to wash bottles, pump parts, make dinner, etc. Anna is just about 6 months now, so she’s in her activity jumper a little more often, but the detachable animals from this playmat have made the move with her and she continues to grab for them while bouncing around. http://www.buybuybaby.com/store/product/skip-hop-reg-giraffe-safari-activity-gym/1041849767
3. NogginStik – The Noggin Stik has been a “go to” toy for Anna for quite some time now. She loves watching the colors and shaking the rattle all by herself. I pack this one in my diaper bag for our outings. It is a toy she is always happy to see and very entertained by. It’s a little pricey as far as rattles go and we were lucky to have it gifted to us, but I say it’s well worth it!
4. Medela Symphony Hospital Grade Breast Pump – One thing I feel that I was least prepared for once Anna arrived was the intensity that is breastfeeding – wow. I struggled with it big time in the beginning and even sat down with a lactation consultant. She explained that breastfeeding was going to be a big challenge for Anna and me. She wasn’t latching well, which meant my milk production wasn’t being stimulated and our little girl wasn’t gaining weight. Lots of stress for a new mama! She advised me to rent the hospital grade pump to help with my milk production. This thing is AWESOME. I ended up exclusively pumping for 5 months with this pump and still have a supply of milk in the freezer. It would take me FOREVER (like 45 min to an hour…which is time no new mom has) to get milk with the pump I already owned. With the hospital grade pump, I could be finished in 10-15 minutes! For us, renting this pump was well worth the money ($60/month). Tip: The hospital where I delivered Anna sent me home with the parts for the hospital grade pump for free in case I decided to rent it. This cut down the rental price since we just needed the actual pump, so see if your hospital will send you off with these goods too!
5. Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleepsuit – Yep. We used this spacesuit…and LOVED it! I had read about the Merlin on a couple Real Moms posts and heard friends talk about it. Everybody swore this thing was magic and I was very skeptical. Anna loved to be swaddled. She was the kind of baby that could only be calmed down if she was swaddled tightly, so when she started to breakout the swaddle I panicked. We tried cutting out swaddling cold turkey and that did not go well. We needed another solution. I decided to give Merlin a shot and everyone was right – this suit is magic!! Anna slept wonderfully in the Merlin for about 2 1/2 months. She started rolling over recently, so we decided it was time to say good bye to Merlin. We had two rough nights of transitioning her and now she is back to sleeping through the night. I recommend this to everyone! We’re obsessed in our house. It really was the right product to help Anna transition out of the swaddle.
6. Medela Easy Expression Bustier Handsfree Pumping Bra – When you are exclusively pumping around the clock, it can be very difficult when you’re home alone all day with your new baby. Per the advice of my lactation consultant, I purchased this Handsfree Pumping Bra. It made life much easier to pump both sides at the same time while having my hands free to tend to sweet Anna. Highly recommend!
7. Summer Infant Bath Seat – Ok, so in the beginning, bath time was a stressful time. Anna hated it….which meant Mommy and Daddy dreaded it. We had a fancy seat that I had registered for and thought was great, but maybe it was user error or something because Anna did not feel the same way. I have to thank my mom for introducing us to the Summer Infant Bath Seat – game changer for bath time around here. Once Anna started using this, she loved baths! With the mesh seat, she stays comfy and cozy in the warm water. It’s very easy to wash the seat cover as well, just toss it in the wash and air dry.
8. BABYBJORN High Chair – Anna recently started using this high chair and so far we are big fans! Storage in our condo is an issue and this high chair works perfect for us. It folds up so easily and takes up very little space when not in use. Another big perk is that it’s very easy to clean. There is no fabric which makes it so simple to wipe down when you’re finished.