Top 10 Gift Items for Expectant Parents

On the journey to becoming a family of 3, I aimed to not acquire a house cluttered with clunky toys and devices.  I even found a crib that turned into GW his future twin bed. When all was said and done, I believe we faired off well during the journey.  Here are my top 10 most functional/useful/ necessary items for expectant parents:

The Car Seat
If you plan to get home by a vehicle, you need this else they wont release you with said child. Reason enough!

Baby 411 Book
When your concerned about what to do about all the crying or other random paranoid parent- of-a-first-child concerns, it was awesome to have this, which was a gift from a friend who found it useful herself.

Pack n Play

When we needed to crash at the grandparent’s, the Pack n Play with the built-in bassinet was clutch. When he got too tall, he eventually was able to take naps in the general area. I did buy from Etsy a couple of fitted sheets for it. Later on a 3″ mattress to make it more comfortable for future sleeping in our room. I recommend the mattress if needed – some swear their LO finally slept the night with the mattress added. As he got to the 19/20 to 24+ month timeframe, I sometimes plant him in it with a bunch of books and toys to stimulate his imagination and also get him away from the computer screen. I’m fact, I have a 2nd smaller one we got and leave it in our bedroom – it also fits inside a large luggage we’ve checked in on flights.

Boppy/MyBreast Friend/Harness Boppy

A friend gave me a boppy which I’ve used to hold up the baby who can’t sit up so early on. Later added the My Breast Friend to help with my tired back from nursing, and the pillow with the harness was clutch into getting a few extra minutes of sleep because I could let him sleep right after feeding since he’d be at an incline. (You can’t lay them down right away as they will spit up as their esophagus muscles/covering is not fully developed early on).
This one held him up after I slipped him in as he dozed – it was the only u-shaped pillow that didn’t have spit up stains.

Freezer-Stick Trays 

IMG_20160224_074350940 Milkies freezer sticks were clutch into prepping him his purees the first 12-16 months (before he started rejecting being fed by a spoon).  By having an assortment of purees (sweet potato, carrots, butternut squash, broccoli, pears, apples, etc.) I could take out all I planned to feed him in the morning and it would be ready (thawed) when he was at that day’s given mealtime.  I actually have one from Milkies that was given to me from my SIL and one I bought from another company.  I also highly leveraged Pesto Cubes to help freeze and defrost the frozen food sticks.

 

Rock ‘n Play Sleeper

Because I couldnt hold him up the whole day and, at the same time, I didn’t want him to get a flat head from laying down the whole day, this was a good alternative. It was a way to have the LO accompany me around the house when he wasn’t eating and I need a break to shower, cook, basically most things. I would imagine this also helped build ab muscles to be able to sit up at some point.

Mittens

If you asked me at 20 months what would the top 10 items, I wouldn’t have thought to add this. Luckily I had a running list of all the must haves as we went through the journey. Why do you need mittens? Because when you try to cut those tiny little fingernails so that the LO doesn’t scratch himself up, you will be so glad you have these mittens to slip on when you don’t have the opportunity to do the cutting in your delusional sleep-lacking state.

Burp Clothes


Lots of drool/spit up/saliva. This is why you may be doing a lot of laundry and changing his shirt/onesie a lot. They also now have bandana drool bibs that may help to limit the drool outreach.

Mombo chair

This finally helps to hold him up when he can hold his head up. I think this may have been around 5 months for me. We could also travel to his grandparents, whom i eventually got them one to keep at their place. We also took this along when we drive to vacation locations and will be away for a few days – he has a place to sit up, eat, converse with the adult company.

Bath Tub
I was given one from a friend and never appreciated it until I tried to wash him while holding up his little head, which he couldn’t support at the time. If you really want you can also just use a shallow basin if you are comfortable holding the LO up in the process.  There was a youTube video we watched early on on tips on bathing your newborn.  Bath wash and some natural sponges are probably more key though!

Bottles
Whether it’s BM, formula, or vitamin drops, you will need these. My LO took to these Playtex infant bottles bought by my mom (thanks Mom!) and even at 20+ months, doesnt take to the faster flowing bottles/nipples 100%.  You will also want a few extra holding bottles because if you’re going to take a long car ride, you will need some backup milks to keep things calm.

Food Feeders

When your LO gets close to eating solid foods but may not have teeth yet, this was great to introduce new foods to our baby to gnaw on.  I chopped up apples, mangoes, pears and probably a host of other foods.  My friend gave he the pacifier and I just bought the new inserts.

Pesto Cubes
Organic Baby Food for 1 Year Old This is great for those who plan to make their own baby food vs. store bought.  I have 2 sets of these – one 2 oz set and one 4 oz set and I used them to hold his daily meals and the 4 oz ones too helped to hold the freezer sticks mentioned above while they defrosted – the 4 oz could only hold 2 sticks frozen but if made fresh it could hold the full 4oz.  Even close to his 2 year birthday I travel with them filled with different cereals, crackers, berries while taking long walks, weekend trips, and vacations.  They are light so they work great and you can fit several into a small cooler.  (In the above you see my 4 oz of vegetables, 4 oz of fruits, 4 oz of grain (as well as a meatball for him to try) for my 1 YO in the form of 2 oz of sweet potato, 1oz of pureed carrot, 1 oz of steamed/pureed broccoli, a banana, and organic cereal).

Okay, I think there was more like 14 products I mentioned, but all highly recommended! Best wishes in your gift-shopping or wish-listing!

 

P.S. Diapers , wipes also never hurt. Perhaps some service /gift certificate that would deliver as needed may be best so you don’t bombard the house with months worth of diapers and wipes that may get lost among the gifts from your generous family and friends (or self!) ūüėČ

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Stop working

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I read that the key to being effective while working from home was to …stop working. ¬†How could one not stop to read. ¬†The jist was that a study showed the optimum work to nonwork ratio for effectiveness was ¬†52 minutes of work to 17 minutes of downtime.

But not just any downtime activity was eligible to count towards that 17 minutes of downtime. ¬†Watching episodes of your favorite TV show didn’t count for example. ¬†However prepping for dinner or starting the laundry did because it gave your brain the opportunity to rest and wander. ¬†When you return to your work location you’re apparently refreshed to kick off another round of productivity.

An immediate benefit is seen when the weekend hits and all those menial tasks you  threw into your 17minutes of downtime leaves you with an uninterrupted weekend to take it easy.

So, anyone down for a coffee break?

Post-Leveling (T)

It is now the 2nd weekend in May. ¬†This is the week where we are supposed to put our seedlings outside. ¬†We’ve put a lot of time and thought into our seedling process.

But first, let’s review our work from last week. ¬†This is a picture of the rocks we added to the side of the foundation for our retaining wall last week.

The retaining wall.

Our retaining wall.

We didn’t do too much more with the foundation this week but continued to work on our seedlings, placing them in bigger pots and assembling a cold frame so that we could place some of them outside. We read that 2 weeks before the last frost, when you transplant your seeds to the ground, that you should put them in a greenhouse or something similar so that they would get acclimated to the outside weather. We added an owl to scare away any rabbits or other critters who found their way inside the cold frame. We also put together 3 tomato teepees and planted 2 tomatoes and 1 tomatillo in them.

We also saw a¬†bird now sitting¬†in the nest we found last week. ¬†Coincidentally, it was Mother’s Day weekend.

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother’s Day!