19 September 2017

Disneyland with a Baby

As you may have noticed via Instagram, we recently were crazy enough to bring a 6 month old to Disneyland. I am thrilled to report that it was much easier than we expected and she did incredibly well (especially given the 90 degree heat).

This was our second round trip flight with Audrey so we at least knew what to expect on that front. A couple things about that - The Ergobaby is my best friend for air travel. We check the stroller at the gate (put it in a protective bag! Alaska airlines offers free thick plastic bags that you can throw away at the end) and that helps us schlep our bags around the airport. We've also found that dressing her in zipper PJ's seems to work really well (just make sure to pack a back up in your carry on). I always worry about germs when we travel with Audrey on airplanes, so we bought a bunch of these Babyganics Alcohol-Free Foaming Hand Sanitizer in travel size - it was so nice to "wash" our hands super often (especially after being on rides).

But anyways, back to Disneyland.
It was insanely hot and sunny while we were there (What gives, September?!) so sunscreen was super important. I used two different ones on Audrey - a spray and a cream. For the spray we used Goddess Garden Organics Kids SPF 30 Natural Sunscreen and cream was Coola Baby Suncare Unscented Mineral Sunscreen . We had her in the stroller so she was shaded by the canopy, but when she was in the Ergobaby, she wore this brimmed bonnet (buy all the brimmed bonnets, trust me. They are insanely cute.).

She had several Disneyland outfits, all of which came from the Gap. I think their Disney x Gap line is super adorable.

(her Disneyland bows are from  HERE!)

Two items that were worth their weight in gold were a) stroller fans and b) hearing protection earmuffs. I can't stress those two items enough - don't go to Disneyland in the summer without them.

I bought two fans ahead of time, just in case something happened to one of them, but we ended up using both at the same time on either side of her stroller. Super happy with the decision to buy two, so I'd recommend that. Make sure to bring extra batteries because the fans just sucked the life out of batteries really quickly.

As for the headphones, Audrey literally slept through a 9:30pm fireworks show at Disneyland thanks to those earmuffs. It made nap time actually possible without having to leave the park. She just snoozed in the Ergo or in her stroller, totally unaware to the loud amusement park she was in. We went on rides with her WHILE SHE SLEPT. Yeah... just get some noise canceling headphones for your babe.

Next up, our dock a tot. Seriously, this thing makes travel a cinch so we bring it everywhere. She can sleep anywhere (pack n play, bed, the floor, anywhere) really easily because her bed that she uses at home every night, travels with us. Making sure she got good sleep at night was important to us so she wouldn't be a terror the next day and I owe that all to the dock a tot. I am seriously considering buying her the next size up because I don't know how we are going to live without our current one once she outgrows it.

Lastly, the Magic Kingdom Mama's blog was SO helpful when planning our trip - especially this post that told us every ride we could go on with an infant.

I don't really have any park trips, as this was our first trip with babies (my sisters and their kids came too!) and I am not sure we were very efficient. Regardless, we had such a fun time and are all are really excited to go back!

18 September 2017

First Foods

We started offering Audrey tastes of our food around 5 months just to see if she was interested. For the most part, she was! So one Friday her and I walked to our local farmers market to pick up a few organic fruits and veggies. We started by getting blueberries, peaches, bananas, sweet potatoes, and avocados. I then spent the afternoon steaming and pureeing the produce and freezing it all in 1oz portions to use throughout the month. She doesn't each much right now - about1 tbsp at a time- it's more about just getting used to a spoon and swallowing (not as much for nutrition as she's still drinking just as much breastmilk). Anyways! Here are some of the things we got to get us started.

So as a first time mom, I didn't really know where to start with introducing foods. The Big Book of Organic Baby Food really helped teach me what foods were good to start with, how to prepare them, etc. I highly recommend this book if you are also a first time parent.

I froze all the purees in ice cube trays because they are about 1oz and after they were frozen, I removed them from the tray and put them into labeled freezer bags to save space (see example pic below!). When she's ready for more food, I just take a couple cubes out of the freezer and let them sit in the fridge to defrost. I also ususally add more breastmilk to them before feeding to her, because she seems to still gag really easily on any chunks of food.

Spoons. Let me tell you all about these Spuni spoons. I am obsessed! They are the perfect portion size (not too much food in her mouth) and I love that she can latch on to them much easier than other spoons. They are more expensive than other spoons I looked at, but honestly, totally worth it. I bought two packs (so four total spoons) and thats plenty. 

We have a ton of cloth bibs for Audrey because she spits up a lot, but I didn't want to have to do more laundry now that she was eating real food. Enter, the plastic bib. She wears one while she eats and then I rinse it off in the sink, let it air dry, and done. No washing machine required. Audrey only uses these bibs for solid food meals and it works really well. 

Ohhhh the high chair sagas. You can spend a pretty penny on high chairs, let me tell you. My dream high chair would be the Tripp Trapp but it just wasn't in the budget right now. I've seen a ton of people using these inexpensive IKEA highchairs and so we went with that option! The bonus is that instead of the blue and red striped cushion that we bought with it, I opted to order a cover from Etsy and voila, a super cute (and cheap) highchair was born. Even with the highchair + cushion + new cover, it was much less expensive than other high chairs I looked at. The one thing I don't like about the highchair is it doesn't have a foot rest. But overall, a win! 

We have carpet in our dining area (SO annoying) and since spills are inevitable, I knew we needing something under Audrey's high chair. We have a Gathre changing pad for our diaper bag and I remembered they also make highchair mats! I love the Gathre mats because they are stylish but also super functional - they wipe clean easily, which is what I really needed in a highchair mat. The one we got matches our decor and fits perfectly under her chair, saving our carpet. 

Lastly, probiotics. Introducing solid foods can do a number on babies tummies. I wanted to make sure Audrey was feeling her best (and let be honest, pooping like normal) so I made sure to add probiotics to her morning bottles. Her digestive system is changing and adapting, so I thought it was important to help her as much as I could. We really like these probiotics - you can buy them from Amazon and just add 1/4 tsp to a bottle once a day. I think it's definitely been helping her tummy adjust to the new foods. 

And that's it! 

17 September 2017

When your baby has a cold

Babies with stuffy noses are the most miserable little creatures. Followed closely by their miserable parents. Audrey came home with a stuffy / runny nose after our trip to California (honestly, airplanes are just giant germ tubes) so here are some things that worked for us, in case you're in the same (sleepless) boat.

1. Honeywell Germ Free Cool Mist Humidifier. This is going to make a huge difference in how well everyone feels in the morning.  

2. Forehead and Ear Thermometer. You want a quick read option, and I liked that we could use this on her forehead or in her ear. We purchased a rectal thermometer for when she was tiny, but never used it as this is her first cold. I didn't attempt to take a rectal temperature on a wiggly 6 month old... 

3. We have the Fridababy NoseFrida Nasal Aspirator, but honestly I use the Baby Nasal Aspirator Bulb Syringe just as often. She hates having snot sucked out of her nose regardless, so I just do whats easy and fast.  

4. Zarbee's Naturals Baby Soothing Chest Rub. I love this option over Vics. I didn't put any on her chest (as she never developed a cough) but I did rub it on the bottom of her feed before naps and bedtime. My second place choice was Matys All Natural Baby Chest Rub

5. Dye Free Infant Ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil works).  In a couple of studies, Ibuprofen provided faster and more long lasting pain relief in kids (vs acetaminophen (Tylenol)).  

6. Boogie Wipes, Unscented. I didn't want her nose to feel worse after all the wiping, so I bought a 3 pack of these saline wet tissues and was super happy with them.

7. Oh! But I did forget one thing - saline drops. You can find them here

And that's pretty much it! Since I am still breastfeeding, I personally made sure to hydrate and take lots of vitamin C so I could pass on along as many healthy antibiotics as possible. The only thing not included in this list is wine....and if your baby has a cold, you're going to need some wine.

04 May 2017

Baby Must Haves- The First Month

We welcomed our daughter, Audrey Emerson on March 13th - weighing in at 6 lbs 14 oz and 19.5 inches long. Whoop whoop! I know as a first time parent, you sort of guess at what your baby will really need when you bring them home. She is now 4 weeks old (WHAT?!) so here are our must-haves from her first month of life.

1. 4 Moms bath tub and The Motherhood Collection wash cloths - We had originally ordered the Angelcare Bath Support tub but quickly realized that it didn't work with our bathroom/bathtub set up. Luckily we also had the Blooming Bath  given to us by a friend so we used that for sink baths for awhile. In the meantime, I ordered the 4 moms tub and Audrey loved it. It's a little big, but works perfectly for what we need. Also the Motherhood Collection washcloths are amazing, I can definitely see why they have amazing reviews on Amazon. They are the perfect size and insanely soft.

2. Pigeon nail scissors - These were recommended by a friend who said they are her go-to gift at baby showers. I ordered some and oh boy, do they take the stress out of cutting tiny baby nails. Do yourself a favor and get these, for sure.

3Green Sprouts Muslin Burp Cloths - Our daughter is a spitty one. I had originally ordered only one pack of these burp cloths, but loved them so much I literally ordered three more packs from Amazon and threw out the Burts Bees burp cloths we also had. They are big, absorbent, and wash really well. Don't bother with other burp cloths and just get these ones.

4. Pampers Swaddlers - our petite little princess doesn't quite fit into most newborn sized diapers. I had ordered some packs from Honest, Bambo, Parasol, and Seventh Generation to see which ones we like best - but the only ones that fit her now are the Pampers Swaddlers. Amazon seems to have the best price for these.

5. Kickee Pants Footies - Since Audie was under 7lbs at birth, none of the 0-3 month clothes we have for her fit. So I quickly ordered 5 pairs of Kickee Pants footie PJ's in size Preemie (4-7lbs) and its all she wears pretty  much. Side note - bamboo fabric is delicate. I'd suggest not putting yours in the dryer so the material holds up longer.

6. Swing - A God send. If you don't have a swing, add it to your registry. She takes almost 100% of her naps in her swing downstairs and we LOVE it. She also has a little bit of reflux, so the incline helps her little tummy. I don't know what we would do without the swing. We got the Fisher-Price Moonlight Meadow Cradle 'n Swing.

1. Spectra S1- Speaking of pumps, I was lucky enough to actually have two breast pumps at home before Audrey was born. A Medela and a Spectra. Initially I used the Medela and it was fine, but upon reading a few glowing reviews of the Spectra, I decided to switch and haven't looked back since. The Spectra is small, light weight, quiet, has a nightlight (!) and has a rechargeable battery inside so I can pump without an outlet if needed (and I have pumped in the car now twice, so it comes in handy!). Plus I honestly think it gets milk out better than the Medela. I still use the Medela pump parts, just ordered this little gadget to make it connect to the Spectra tubing.

2. Rock n Play - So we had planned on using both our Halo bassinest and the Dock A Tot for Audrey's sleep time,  but then we realized she has reflux and sleeping flat was making her throw up a ton. I was washing the Dock a Tot cover literally every day because she spit up on it so often. It was stressful for me to hear her in the middle of the night puking, so one night we decided to put her to sleep in the Rock n Play instead since it is slightly inclined. OhEmGee. She went right to sleep and had very minimal spit up. We ordered this one and highly recommend the auto rock n play version.

3. Dr. Brown glass bottles - Audrey wasn't gaining weight appropriately (and had jaundice) so despite my original plan to not pump until she was a month old, I had to start pumping after every feed starting the first week of her life. Thank goodness I already had these Dr. Browns glass bottles. She loves them and they help with her reflux. Even if you are planning on exclusively breastfeeding, save yourself some stress and have a few bottles on hand ahead of time - just in case you need them really suddenly. It was honestly such a relief to already have bottles that we loved at the house when we needed to supplement with additional breastmilk instead of having to run to the store and figure it out then.

4. SwaddleMe Swaddles - I've got a baby who likes to be wrapped up tight to sleep. If she's tired and not swaddled, she will loose her mind. Ha. So, order at least three of these (if not more) in case your baby spits up a lot like ours, they will constantly get dirty and be in the wash.  We currently have 5 in the rotation and that seems to be a good number.

5. Dohm white noise machine - Audrey sleeps so much better with some white noise. For example, last night she was incredibly fussy and then Nate started vacuuming and she fell asleep in my arms. So, do yourself a favor and order this noise machine. Ours is on my bedside table and we have it on every night. Well worth the money.

6. Sleeper gowns from Carters- These make middle of the night diaper changes a breeze, so Audrey sleeps in them every night as her PJs. The inexpensive Carters ones are my favorite, although we also have a few from Kickee Pants as well.

7. Baby Best Ever First Socks - these are expensive little baby socks but I promise, well worth the money. They actually stay on her tiny feet and have since day one.

8. Solly- I knew this would be a must have, so I can't emphasize it enough - get a Solly wrap! Audrey loves them, they pack easily in my diaper bag, and we use ours all the time for on-the-go naps. I've wrapped her up every time we have eaten out at a restaurant and she snoozed the whole time. WIN.

And that's pretty much what we use every single day her first month of life!

Also - I've kept my baby registry open and updated if you want to see what we have and love! https://www.babylist.com/baby-feltner

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