Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Itty Bitty's First Birthday Party

My darling baby boy turned one year old this month. Man did this past year fly by! This momentous occasion deserved a delightful birthday party. There were friends, family members, other babies, cake, Caserta Pizza, singing, and so much more.  We kept the whole party incredibly low key - with my only decorations being a Happy Birthday sign, colored plastic table cloths, and one set of streamers around the columns in our living room. Aside from that, we wanted to keep the party simple, and stress-free. The only item that took a little planning was Itty Bitty's birthday cake - which I drew inspiration from Pinterest.

I had heard from many friends that first birthday parties can often be overwhelming for the birthday baby, and that they rarely know what to do with their massive smash cake.  Itty Bitty's favorite food is blueberries, so I figured I'd put blueberries all over his birthday cake to show him that this was also food.

It worked!

My favorite photo was after the party was over, and Itty Bitty dove into the mountain of presents. 

Many thanks to all that came and made our (not-so) tiny baby's first birthday ever so special.  
A special thank you to Dana and Jay for helping capture some of these fantastic shots!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

BobaAir - Minute With Mary {video}

A short one minute review of the BobaAir (Boba Air) baby carrier. 
Fun facts: 
The Boba Air is super easy for parents on the go. 
It's intended for children 15-45lbs, and zips into it's own little pouch!

Full review - coming soon!

Monday, April 21, 2014

16 Newborn Necessities: Baby Must Have Items - Tall Mom's Top Picks

Itty Bitty turned one year old this month! Man, did that year fly by. I've been doing a lot of reflecting about what things were like, back when I was pregnant, and then with a newborn. So I'd like to share some of my reflections and top picks for things that either made my life easier, or I wished I'd had on my baby registry a year ago. So, without further ado, here's my post on Newborn Necessities - Baby Must Have Items!
Are you pregnant and don't know what the heck you really need on your registry? 

Or, have you already had your shower and you're still concerned that you haven't gotten all of your newborn necessities? 

 Well, have no fear! I've compiled what I believe is the comprehensive list for newborn must-have's. At the very least, this list should have you covered for the first few weeks. Well, this, and dinner being delivered.

1. Lanolin - if you're breastfeeding, you're going to want to pick some of this up and store it in your hospital bag. The purple colored one is super thick, and is great for your first week or two of breastfeeding & pumping. Whereas, the yellow colored container is better for maintenance.

2. Boppy Pillow - or a reasonable equivalent. I also packed my Boppy pillow in my hospital bag, and was so thankful that I did because I learned how to breastfeed with my own pillow, and it was easier for my husband and guests to hold our newborn baby. Trust me, if you're not used to holding a baby, you're going to be scared, nervous and, ultimately, your arms are probably going to get tired! So, save those biceps and get yourself a Boppy.

3. Swaddle - Try your hand at the regular swaddles. They are nice - and who knows, maybe you'll be one of those origami pros who can swaddle up their baby in no time. But then there are others ::cough:: Tall Dad and Tall Mom ::cough:: who may be a bit tentative in the swaddling process - so I'd recommend you grab yourself at least one package of the SwaddleMe's or the Halo Sleep Sack. You're life will be made so much less complicated.  I promise.  You'll be glad you did.

4. Zipper Pajamas - do not, I repeat,  DO NOT waste your time on button-up pajamas. Receive some at your shower? Return them immediately and get yourself some zipper ones. Sure, the zipper pajamas are never as cute, but you're going to be changing your baby's diaper at least 15 times a day.  Believe me, the last thing you want to deal with is screwing up the buttons, or the absolute frustrating amount of time it takes to actually button the whole thing together while the kid squirms and cries. You may think you're smart enough to get the buttons right.  You're not.  Trust me.  Zippers. It's the only way.

5. Bucket Car Seat - hospitals won't let you take your baby home without one. Just make sure you have it installed correctly.

6. Newborn Mittens - Get a couple of pairs of baby mittens. They aren't necessarily meant to keep your baby's hands warm, but more to help your new tiny baby not look like Edward Scissorhands. Their nails are razor sharp, and some little ones just love to claw away at their face.  You know what is great too?  Those baby kimono's that have long sleeves and the mittens built into them. 

7. Disposable Diapers - Size Newborn - Even if you're planning on cloth diapering, at least think about getting yourself a box of disposable newborn diapers. These are generally the brand the hospitals use, so we kept using them at home. Once again, your baby's diaper needs to be changed at least 15 times a day. Yuck.

8. WubbaNub Pacifier Wubba what? Don't judge, just buy one, or register for it. It's like god's gift to frustrated parents. It's a pacifier attached to a beanie baby-like stuffed animal. The beauty of this pacifier, is that you can strap it in with them in their car seat, stroller, or even their swaddle! That way, if your tiny baby falls asleep and accidentally spits out their WubbaNub, all he or she needs to do is move his or her head a smidge and pop - there's the pacifier! Brilliant!

9. Manual Breast Pump - If you're breastfeeding, consider yourself warned. Day 3, or 4, after giving birth, you're going to wake up to find your breasts have become hard as rocks and as big as Dolly Parton's. If you do not have an electric pump, I'd recommend using this manual one. It will help ease your pain & pressure. I actually prefer this pump over my super fancy hospital grade one, and find that even 11 months later, I am much more efficient at pumping on this small hand-held device than that monstrosity of a contraption. Cheaper, in this case, is better.

10. Burp Cloth Cloth diaper Your baby is going to spit up everywhere and, especially, on everyone. So do yourself a favor, and buy a couple of big packages of the cheapest simple cloth white diaper inserts you can find.  Like, the ones our grandparents would have used. Then you can go out and get yourself a couple of "cute" burp clothes if you'd like. These are the ones I'd offer my guests. My favorite fancy brand is Aden and Anis - because they double as snap together bibs!

11. Fisher-Price Newborn Rock 'n Play Sleeper, Rainforest Friends - Your tiny baby will need a place to sleep, and having this Rock 'n Play is a freakin' godsend. If you want your baby to be next to you while you eat, watch TV, shower, hang on the porch, etc. - you can just drag your rock and play, and, tada, there's your sleeping baby. I'd pick this over a swing or a bouncer, and even over a bassinet. It accomplishes all things, and if you need to be frugal - this is the best choice!

12. Moby Wrap - or some type of universal carrier. You may find that your baby likes to be close to you all of the time, so wearing him is going to be the best option. I like the Moby because anyone can wear it, and it's super soft. As Itty Bitty got older, I moved onto a more structured carrier, but for those first few weeks, I lived in my Moby Wrap and Nuroo Pocket.

13. Diaper Bag Don't make the mistake that I did and not get a diaper bag. I remember walking into our pediatrician's office for our first appointment with Itty Bitty's diaper and wipes in a plastic shopping bag. Get yourself some kind of bag. Personally, I like having a backpack. I wore my baby a lot, and having my hands and shoulders free from a bag has made life so much easier!

14. Nursing Cover - If you're breastfeeding, congrats! If you're super comfortable nursing anywhere in public without a cover - congrats again! At first, I was a bit shy, and felt the need to cover up. Now, as Itty Bitty has gotten older, I have started covering up a bit more because he gets easily distracted, and my breast is showing more often than not! I would highly recommend the Nuroo Nursing Scarf over ANY nursing cover or shield. All of the other fabrics I tried became wrinkled in my diaper bag. The last thing I want to do is more laundry, or god forbid, iron my darn nursing cover. Get the Nuroo Scarf if you can. You'll be happy.

15. White Noise Machine - Recreate the sounds of the womb by getting yourself a white noise machine that PLUGS IN. Don't get a battery operated one that is only on for 45 minutes. Those are fine for travel, but your baby needs those sounds nonstop throughout the night. My little guy is a light sleeper, and he would wake up as soon as the ocean waves stopped playing.

16. First Aid Kit - Make sure you have baby nail clippers, and a really good thermometer. I personally like the non-contact infrared thermometer, because I don't have to stick anything up Itty Bitty's bum. It's your choice!

Well there ya have it! My top 16 Newborn Necessities! What else would be on your list?

Stay tuned for my 0-3 month, 3-6 month and 6-12 month Must Have Lists!

Disclaimer: I wasn’t paid to promote any of these items. Though some of these products were gifted to us, my comments are based on our tried and true experiences with using them. Hope you have an opportunity to try them out as well! Some links are affiliate links.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Thank You Itty Bitty For Taking A Nap

It may have taken him over a year, but Itty Bitty is finally napping once, sometimes twice a day. This may seem like a small feat to many, but if you've followed along with my baby sleep posts (read this one, this post, or even this one), then you understand that sleep is pretty much the biggest deal in my life right now. I live with a cup of coffee in hand, have my own library of sleep training books, and have spoken with several sleep consultants. Needless to say, as I type this mini post right now, I'm delighted to say that my little guy is currently snuggled in his crib, chilling out with Mr. Sandman. 

Small victories my friends. 

Small victories :)


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Easter Basket Ideas For A Baby

One of my favorite memories from growing up was delving into my Easter basket. My parents always made it a fun mix of little toys, arts and crafts, and of course - candy. My baby is only a year old, so I'm not too keen on giving him a ton of sugar. I will, however, be giving him one super cool (and super inexpensive) Easter Basket!  Here are some ideas for an Easter Basket for a Baby!

1. Bubbles - what kid doesn't love bubbles?

2. Pacifiers - one can never have enough! Maybe get a cute spring themed Wubbanub, like the WubbaNub Lamb - Adorable!

3. Hats - your baby will most likely be outside a lot now that it's springtime. Why not cover their precious face from the sun with a cute spring hat?

4. Headbands - cute and cheap: what more could a new parent ask for?

5. Bibs - aside from his super super newborn days, my kid has lived in a bib. He drools like a Saint Bernard. Cute Easter Bibs are a must!

6. Easter outfit - or you can but your toddler an adorable Easter outfit. I'm cheap...and just am sticking to a bib. 

7. Books - springtime books are lining bookstore shelves. Farm animals, baby animals, flowers - you name it! Maybe you can even get a baby Easter themed book. I picked up this one because it's touch and feel. And it was $4

8. Stuffed Animal - my baby may not be getting a chocolate bunny, but I might get him a cute and cuddly stuffed bunny.

9. Bath toys - baby ducks are just super cute and scream springtime. Stock up on a few and sprinkle them in the basket. I'd suggest finding ones that do not squirt - because squirt bath toys often get moldy inside. Yuck. 

10. Music - buy or make your little one a new CD or mp3 mix. If you're really trying to be frugal, just throw on some different music on Pandora during the day and take some time to dance with your baby :)

11. Ball - babies LOVE balls! Plus, they come in all different sizes. Find one that fits your baskets, and watch your baby have a ball. Get it!

12. Snacks - is your little one eating solids? Maybe pack up some puffs inside Easter eggs.  If your baby is eating purées, stick a couple of their favorite flavored pouches in the basket. Colorful and useful! 

13. Egg music shakers - or purchase (or make) some musical egg shakers. They are Itty Bitty's favorite instrument besides his drum.   

14. Cars - not a real one. A toy one. 

15. Socks - any reason to buy more socks is a good reason to me. I always seem to lose them!

16. Sandals or shoes - baby shoes are expensive. I don't believe in baby shoes until the little one is standing and walking - but now that Itty Bitty is at that age, I need to get him some footwear. 

17. Lots of lovin! - above all, your baby or toddler isn't really going to remember what you gave them for Easter. So my biggest suggestion to you is to give them extra loving, take tons of pictures, and enjoy your time together. You'll all be able to look back on those photographs for years to come!

What was your favorite thing to find in your Easter Baskets when you grew up?

Monday, April 14, 2014

5 Fantastic Baby Easter Board Books

Check out one of these 5 Fantastic Baby Easter Books: The Ugly DucklingThe Tale of Peter Rabbit Story Board Book,  Pat the Bunny (Touch and Feel Book)Bright Baby Touch and Feel Spring , and Bright Baby Touch and Feel Easter

My one year old baby absolutely loves board books.  He now knows sign language for "book" and will sign for it and ask for it out loud.  Granted, he calls a book "DAK," but we understand what he is asking for, and are more than happy to read to him.  I'm slowly phasing out our winter and snow books, and have purchased several spring books to put inside of our baby's Easter Basket.  I picked these because some are touch and feel books, whereas others are pure children's classics!

What springtime board books do you recommend?