It’s Real Mom Wednesday! And today is a great one, not only because there is a sweet, smily baby on the screen but because mama, Melanie has an awesome list full of baby gear, apparel and fun toys. Enjoy Melanie’s fabulous line up of favorites and if you have some of your own to share, we would LOVE to have you. You can find all of the details, here.
Hello! I’m Melanie, first-time mom to six-month-old Ella. My husband, Ella, our 100lb puppy, and I live in a 2,000 square foot house in the city of Richmond, Virginia. My friend shared “The Wise Baby” with me while I was pregnant, and it quickly became one of my favorite resources as I eagerly prepared for Ella’s arrival. When shopping for baby items, I choose products that are durable, affordable, and if possible, serve more than one purpose. I’ve loved reading what other moms have found most useful, and I hope my list of “favorites” proves useful to you as well!
1. I chose to use cloth diapers (BumGenius 4.0) with Ella and invested in our stock during a Black Friday sale while I was pregnant. Unfortunately, Ella is prone to diaper rash, and the cloth diapers seemed to make it worse. After asking a few fellow moms for tips, I learned about GroVia BioLiners and Magic Stick All Natural Diaper Ointment. The moisture-wicking action of the liners and thin layer of skin protection provided by the ointment work wonders to prevent diaper rash. Ella is much more comfortable and I am relieved to be able to continue to use cloth diapers on her.
2. Infantino Discover and Play Activity Mirror – Like many babies, Ella hated tummy time at first. I purchased this activity mirror to prop up in front of her to make tummy time a bit more interesting, and now this is our “go-to” toy throughout the day. Not only will it prop up on a flat service, but it can also be hung (it comes with a tie, and links to help attach it to items). It’s a great toy to travel with as well!
3. Baby Bling 100% Nylon Headbands – I LOVE putting headbands on Ella, but hate when they leave a mark or dent in her head. My friends’ baby girls wear these headbands, so I bought a couple for Ella to try, and they are now my favorite ones. They seem far more comfortable for her, they leave no marks, and they’re adorable.
4. Solly Wrap – I know this is a fan favorite already, but I have to continue to sing its praises. Initially, my husband was a little shocked about how much we paid for (in his words) “a piece of fabric.” He quickly changed his mind after we used it for just one day though! The main selling point for the Solly Wrap over others is lightness of the fabric. On warm days I’m able to wear Ella in my wrap without both of us becoming drenched in sweat, which is a huge “pro” in my book.
5. Mustela Foam Shampoo for Newborns – I’ll admit that this is a pricey shampoo to buy someone with very little hair, but when Ella developed cradle cap I decided to give the Mustela Foam Newborn Shampoo a try. Within just a couple of uses, Ella’s cradle cap completely disappeared. A little bit goes a long way with this shampoo, and since it’s a foam consistency I don’t worry about it getting into Ella’s eyes.
6. Angelcare Movement and Sound Monitor – Angelcare Movement and Sound Monitor, Aqua/White This product monitors movement and sound through an under-the-mattress sensor, and sounds an alarm if no movement is detected for 20 seconds. Having this monitor provides us with such a peace of mind, and is actually really reasonably priced as well! The settings are easy to change, and the monitor can be used to detect just sound or just movement if you’d prefer to track only one.
7. Flap Happy Baby Girls’ UPF 50+ Floppy Hat – Ella has a small head, and the two 0-6 month sun hats I had purchased while I was pregnant were huge on her. Thankfully, I discovered the Flap Happy hat that comes in several sizes and many adorable patterns and colors. The 0-3 month size fits Ella perfectly, and I love the way it ties under her chin. Since sunscreen is not recommend for babies under 6 months of age, I’m also grateful for the UPF/UV50 protection this hat provides!
8. Graco Pack N Play Playard with Bassinet – The key to this item for us is the hanging toy bar. Essentially, the Pack n Play serves as another play gym for Ella! She loves looking at the hanging toys, and I can also hang the activity mirror (above) from the bar so that she can see herself. When we travel this summer I won’t be able to bring her floor gym, so I’ll be grateful that the pack n play can serve as both a sleep and play area for our little one.
9. Fisher Price Soothe and Glow Seahorse – I’ll admit that I added this to my registry simply because I thought it was cute. I’m so glad I got it though, because the seahorse has been a life saver! The soft music and glow of the seahorse really seem to calm Ella and help to signal to her that it’s time for bed. The best part about it is that since it’s small, I brought it with us during our long drive to Florida and it soothed Ella when she became fussy in the car.
10. Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump – We’ve taken several road trips already this summer, including a day trip to the beach. When I’m not breastfeeding, I pump with an electric Medela pump, but for our long trips in the car and day spent in the sand I wanted a more convenient way to pump. This manual pump is great–it’s compatible with the electric Medela pump parts and is very effective! It’s small, and easy to store too, which made it especially great to use while traveling.