So earlier today I was thinking about some of the things that we have and use for Gus and it made me think that I should start a running list of the things that I love the most. Heck, Oprah has her favorite things, why can't I have mine?
Here are some of my favorite things that we've used with Gus as a newborn:
Graco SnugRide Quatro Tour stroller and car seat, car seat activity bar, and Graco SnugRide Frame Stroller
I picked these as the first things because they are the things that we've used the most. I think it's VERY important to check the weight and height limit on the car seat... we didn't and while I LOVE the Graco SnugRide system, I wish we had looked at this. Graco makes one that goes to 30+ pounds which is wonderful and I highly recommend it! I didn't think Gus would weigh more than 22 pounds after the first year, but he's at 19.5 and we still have four months until he's one! I'm hoping he slows down for a bit and we can keep him in the SnugRide for another four months and then transition him into a forward-facing upright car seat.
The activity bar is something that Gus loves. It keeps him entertained while he's in his car seat. It was neat to watch him go from not even noticing it, to seeing it and trying to reach to touch it, to be able to turn it on and make it light up.
I originally was NOT going to get the frame stroller, but have found it to be the absolute greatest purchase. I use it DAILY and it makes it so nice to just keep Gus in the car seat and snap him into the frame stroller. It's very light and easily fits into the back of the Edge. We also have the stroller that came with the car seat, but it's heavy and not easy to use with the car seat. Once Gus out-grows the car seat, we'll keep the big stroller and us it instead of the frame stroller.
Total Baby app for iPhone $4.99
When we got the hospital and met Gus, the nurse came in and gave us this sheet that she suggested that we use to keep track of his feedings, diapers, and sleep. I always knew we were going to keep track of this information, but thought it'd be Steve (the anal-retentive one) that would make an Excel spreadsheet to keep and track the data. We were in MI and didn't know when we'd be coming back home with Gus, and I did a quick search on the app store and was delighted when I found this app. It was the best $5 that I've spent and I still use this app.
I have EVERY diaper change in here and I can look and see how many diapers we've changed since his birth (for the record it's 1,774), how many ounces of food he's had each day, when his last bath was, when he last slept and for how long, and then I can also see all his milestones, growth information, and vaccine information. It's incredible!! I'm sure there's something like this on other devices and not just on the iPhone.
There's something called "Itzbeen" or something like that, that you can use in your house. It's great and works like this app, but the app is awesome because you take it with you and can update info right there. This app is also great because you can email reports and then open in Excel and see a graph of the information.
Rump-A-Roos One Size Cloth Diapers (available at Kelly's Closet)
We love cloth diapering. I can't imagine how depressed I'd be knowing that I was spending so much money on paper diapers that just get thrown away. Consider this... as I mentioned above, we have used 1,774 diapers on Gus. Now, for the first two months we used paper diapers because we were in MI, so that number becomes 1,347. It costs about $25 for 70 diapers... so we would have spent around $480 in paper diapers. Now... we use cloth and each Rump-A-Roo is about $22, however, at Kelly's Closet, when you spend $35 you get a free diaper. So... I'm not sure of the math, but I'm pretty sure that we have spent about $500 on the diapers that we have (35 total cloth diapers). However, these cloth diapers are one-size which means they grow with Gus and will last until he's potty-trained. We don't have to buy anymore and our $500 investment is set. If we were to use paper diapers, we'd be $20 away from the same investment amount AND still only at eight months of use. Basically, in the long run, it's so worth the money and they're so darn cute!!
We love the wipes and Gus loves the wipes warmer. The diaper pail bag is where we put the cloth diapers after we've rinsed them. The wet bags are medium size and go into the diaper bag and you put a wet/soiled diaper in there until you get home.
Bum Genius Diaper Sprayer
We change Gus upstairs in his nursery and downstairs. Because you never know when a number two will appear, we have two diaper sprayers for our house (one in the upstairs bathroom and one in the 1/2 bath on the main level). The diaper sprayer hooks up to the toilet and has a little holster where it sits when not being used. It's used to spray the poo off a soiled diaper. I know... seems gross right? It's really not. We change Gus and then put him down and then immediately rinse the diapers so the poo is "fresh" and comes off the soaker pad quickly and easily. I guess you're supposed to hose off poo from a paper diaper too before disposing of them, but no one does.
Cute Diaper Bag and Diaper Changing Kit
I have a thing about diaper bags... to me, they should look as much like a purse as possible so that you can carry it and not also carry a purse. I like J-Cole bags a lot, and you can also find diaper bags made from your favorite purse companies. I personally use a Vera Bradley one and love it so much. You'll also want a diaper changing kit... it's an all-in-one kit that holds diapers (even cloth), wipes, and a changing pad.
Gerber Cloth Diapers, Dr. Brown's Bottles, and Munchkin Formula ContainerBefore I go too much further, I have to give credit where credit it due. My very good friend Aimee is a mom of two little boys and she really gave me a lot of the tips and suggestions when it came to creating our baby registry. She knew exactly what things worked and what wasn't worth buying. I trust her and knew that she wouldn't lead me down the wrong path. So far, everything she said we should get and we got, we've loved.
Okay... first thing is buy some old cloth diapers (the kind your mom used). They're like $12 for 12 of them and are cheap. Use them for burp cloths. They're easy to wash and last longer than a towel. Keep several of these in your diaper bag... there's nothing worse than needing a burp cloth while you're out and about and not having one.
Dr. Brown's bottles- there are so many different bottles out there and we've tried them all. We always come back to Dr. Brown because they worked the best when Gus was always spitting up. He had slight reflux for about six months and only the Dr. Brown bottles helped reduce the amount he was spitting up. They're expensive, but worth the money and they last a long time.
Munchkin formula container- This thing is amazing. I have several and keep at least two in my diaper bag. You pre-portion the formula and then when you need to make a bottle, you just add the water, and dump the formula. It's so easy. Once he's done with bottles, I'll use the containers for snacks. You'll just need to keep a bottle of water in your bag as well (I use an old Diet Coke 20 oz bottle).
Activity Gym and Tummy Time Mat
When we got the activity gym, I can remember Gus being so tiny that he couldn't reach anything that was hanging down. I thought it'd be forever before he'd be able to use the gym. It didn't take as long as I thought! He was in the gym at about a month old and enjoyed looking at the toys that hung down. By two-months-old he was reaching for them and was able to roll from his belly to his back. Now he's eight-months-old and he's used the gym to learn to stand up on his own- not sure if that's what the gym is supposed to do!
The tummy time mat was great. I think a lot of the reason why Gus was crawling at six months is because he had plenty of tummy time and had strong neck and back muscles. He used the mat a lot and several times a day. He doesn't use it anymore, but loves the mirror from it.
Burt's Bees Baby Bee Wash and Newborn bath
We use Burt's Bees (of course) and when Gus was a little guy, we used the Baby Bee Wash. It has a tear-free formula and smells delicious. I used it as a shampoo and wash.
The newborn bath lasted Gus from his birth until he was about six-months-old. We don't have this whale one (it's super cute though)... the one we have is similar but not as cute.
Okay... that's it for the newborn favorite things! I hope this list helps someone and if not, it was fun to remember all the fun things that Gus used when he was just a wee one!