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Hi.

Welcome to my blog. I document my adventures in life, wellness, travel, and crazy ass momlife. 

BABY + KID FAVES.

BABY + KID FAVES.

Being a new mama is hard enough, but having to make a baby registry? OH MY GOSH it is so overwhelming!! Especially with your first pregnancy. 

It is no secret that I love shopping. NOPE. Shopaholic right here. I also love to research and figure out the things that other mamas are loving, and try them. And thennnn make my own lists for my frannddssss of the things that worked super well for us with both our babies. 

Here ya go, all my most treasured things to survive the newborn + baby stage.


SLEEP. 

For both my babies, they slept with us the first week or two. Funny, because I am not a co-sleeping mama, and said I would never do it. I looove my space when I sleep. Well, turns out, both my kids are like me!!  They also love their space. But, when they were born, they just looked too freaking teeny tiny to me and I needed them next to me.  Both slept right next to me for a week.  Grey then went into the Rock n Play next to our bed, and we transitioned him to his crib in his room at 5 weeks old.  Mila slept next to me in the Dock-a-tot in our bed, and then went into her own room in her crib at 3 weeks. Both kids slept AMAZING in their own rooms. We got much longer stretches of sleep from them. Honestly, I kept inadvertently waking them up when they were in our room. I would roll over, get up to pee, and they’d hear me (and sense me and smell my milk. (I didn’t breastfeed, but still had milk to dry up) That mama vibe, ya know?!) and then they would wake up themselves. 

We had an Angelcare sensor in each of their cribs. It monitors their breathing and gave me major piece of mind!!! For Grey, we also used the Snuza on his diaper the first 5 weeks he was in our room, which also monitors breathing. With Mila, we didn’t use the Snuza because she only was in our room for 3 weeks, and also next to me in the bed, so I didn’t use it for her. Second baby and was more comfortable, I guess. 

I am very mindful about what my kids sleep in and on. Reality - we spend half of our lives sleeping. My kids each sleep 12 hours a night, and Mila naps twice a day for an hour and a half to two hours each.  That is a LOT of time with their faces pressed up against a mattress.  I wanted a mattress that was free of toxic chemicals and flame retardants. (Which are linked to SIDS.)  I loved Nook mattresses!  They are organic and made from coconut and latex. We have their Pebble Pure crib mattress, plus Grey now has a Nook full mattress in his room in his big boy bed.  

Jammies? Organic all the way. Same reason. I do not want flame retardants found in conventional pajamas and chemicals sitting on their skin all night. Nooooope. Gap has awesome organic jammies that I get for Grey, and for Mila, I do Kate Quinn, Kickee Pants, or plain Gerber organic onesies.

For swaddles and sleep sacks, we did Ollie swaddles, but my girl Mila wanted her arms OUUUTTTTTT.  So we switched to the Love To Dream Swaddle Up, and right to a Woolino sleep sack.  For Grey, we did the Merlin Magic Sleepsuit, and then to the Woolino once he could roll over. 

I LOVE the Woolino sleep sacks so much.  They are naturally flame retardant, super duper soft, they absorb moisture and keep the temperature regulated. You don’t need one for summer and winter. It works year round. They can go in the wash and dryer, and one size works for 2 months old to 2 years. The price tag scared me at first, but it’s the only sleep sack you need to buy! Mila is using the one we bought for Grey. <3 

||  ESSENTIAL OILS  ||
Guys. If you are doing parenting without oils (and life in general) you are seriously making it too hard on yourself. 
Creating a calming, relaxing, soothing atmosphere where your baby (and you) sleep 12 hours straight AIN'T A BAD THING.  
Get all the deets here, friend!


BABYWEARING

I am a huge huge fan of baby wearing.  Keeps my sweet babes close, while giving me my hands free. YESSSS please. Immediately from birth, I use Solly wraps. So incredibly soft, slightly stretchy, and keep babe so secure and close.  I love that I could put my wrap on before I left home, and when we got to the store or where ever we were going, I could just pop Grey or Mila in. I would wear them under my jackets in the winter - they are so thin and not bulky.  

With Grey, I used the Solly wrap until he was like 18 months. A bitttt past the weight limit, but we made it work ha. I also have a Tula, but I only use that when we went on trips where I did a lot of walking when we was much older - like when we took him to Disney at 2.5 years old. I am not a fan of the bulkiness, but for long wears like that and older kids, the Tula is AMAZING.  I put Mila in the Tula (or the Sakura Bloom Scout, which is a much more gorgeous and less bulky style) when I am running around the house trying to just get. shit. done. Chris uses the Tula or Scout mostly.

For Mila, I still use the Solly a ton, but I also have been using ring slings just as much now that she’s a bit older. I looove Wildbird and Sakura Bloom. The ring slings are nice when we are going somewhere and I am going to need to get her in and out of the sling a few times. It’s very quick and I can just throw it on, and her in it. With the Solly, if I take her out, I usually need to rewrap it before I put her back in. With the ring sling, I just throw her back in there. 


GEAR

||  STROLLERS + CARSEATS  ||
With Grey - I went with a very inexpensive infant seat and stroller.  Rookie move. The infant seat was sooo hard to adjust, it wasn’t smooth and I freaking HATED IT.  As soon as he had a decent amount of neck control, I switched him to a rear facing convertible seat, and would just wear him anytime we went somewhere.  I did that with Mila also. I basically never brought their infant seats into stores. I always wore both my kids as babes. (For Mila, I got a Maxi Cosi infant seat and I liked it a lot better. I still switched her to a rear facing convertible seat at around 2 months and I just wear her everywhere still. The infant seat is in Chris’ car.)

I also got a cheaper stroller with Grey, and it wasn’t terrible, but It definitely wasn’t as smooth or easy to use.  I eventually switched to the Baby Jogger City Select when he was a few months old, knowing that I could get the second seat kit in a few years when we had another baby.  It was a big investment for us, and I am sooo happy we did it. It is by far my fave stroller. I LOVE it. Now with two kids, we can configure the seats a million different ways, and it’s super easy to use.  We also have the kickboard on it for Grey, and he loves riding “on his trash truck.” ;)

Both kids have Maxi Cosi Pria carseats. We are huge huge huge advocates for extended rear-facing. We just switched Grey to forward facing a few months before he turned 4 years old, when he maxed out the height requirement. A lot of people ask us “where do his feet go?” - they just go wherever he wants! Crosslegged, up on the seat, to the sides of the seat. Whatever. He never complained about being rear-facing because he didn’t get a choice. That is what is safest, so that’s what we did, and he didn’t know any better anyways. People also ask us “isn’t that unsafe for his legs? Wouldn’t they break in a car accident?” Yes. Maybe. But, better a broken leg than a broken neck or spine. Forward-facing safety doesn’t have to do with how tall or heavy your baby is. It is an age thing - their spines are not developed enough to withstand an impact until they are 3-4 years old.  Keep those kiddos rear-facing until they max out your carseat’s height OR weight limit - whichever comes first. 

Okay, stepping off my soapbox now :) 

I love the Maxi Cosi seats! We takes them on airplanes with us when we travel too!

||  MAMAROO  ||
Oh my goshhhh the MamaRoo. Both my kids LOVED this thing. We loved it because it is much smaller than a typical swing, and our house is tiny. It also looks super cool and you can control it with your phone, via bluetooth. YASSSS. It mimics the way a parent moves. Love love love. 

||  MOSES BASKET + BOPPY NEWBORN LOUNGER  ||
Two of my favorites for the early baby days were the Boppy Newborn Lounger and our moses basket. 

The Newborn Lounger was amazing because it has a handle, so you can bring it anywhere you are, and it’s relatively small.  I’d put it next to me on the couch, in the bathroom while I took a shower, wherever. This is one of the items I tell every new mom they must get! 

The moses basket was great for Mila, because it protected her a bit more from her super eager big brother. :) I still use it now, I just sit her up in it with some toys, and she can safely play, out of the way of the dogs, without Grey running by and knocking her over. As she grows out of that, it can be used as toy basket, or for pretend play!

||  CHANGING BASKET  ||

I got a changing basket for Mila, it looked gorgeous on her dresser, and I loved that it could be used for other things in her room once she grew out of it. 


DIAPER BAGS

I HATE bulky diaper bags. Like hate so much. I also hate diaper bags that look like diaper bags.

I love both Fawn Design and Freshly Picked diaper bags! SO SO SO good. Chris can use either, and they both are backpacks or regular shoulder strap style. TONS of pockets and roomy interior. I am OBSESSED with them. 

Lately, I have been using a Nena + Co. leather convertible day bag (LCDB) for a diaper bag! It has backpack straps too, and with my second baby I am a much lighter packer. I leave the house with 1 diaper, 1 wipe, and that’s it. I live on the wild side with Mila ;)

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ODDS + ENDS

||  GATHRE MATS  ||
These are super thin leather mats that we use for alllll the things.  They come in multiple sizes, from a small changing pad size (I give these to new mamas! They are SO THIN and small, and wipe down easily. I keep them in my purse for changes in public places.) to a mat that can go under a highchair, to a play mat size, to a giant size for outside or inside play.  I pull ours out when we play with kinetic sand or playdough, I bring it to the beach, the park, whereever. Grey has one with a road print on it, and he drives his trucks over it. They have a super cool world map one I want for the playroom in our new house! They just came out with yoga mats too. Toddler, kid, and adult sizes. NEEEEED.

||  DIAPERS + WIPES  ||
Mamas. Let’s talk diapers and wipes and teeny squishy baby bums. 
We all love our babies and want the best for them. And we also want them to not pee and poop all over us all day, so clearly, they need those tushies covered. 

So, our skin is the largest organ of our body and absorbs ev.er.y.thing.
Which means that the diapers that we use are literally sitting on that skin, 24/7, 365, for 1.5-3ish years. 
Every single day. Every hour of the day. For years. 
That freaked me the F out when I had Grey. 

We use Parasol diapers and Seedlings wipes! Here is a big post I did on it. https://www.anniehauserblog.com/home/babybums

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||  PIGEON NAIL SCISSORS  ||
Forget the sketch nail clippers. Get these $10 nail scissors and thank me later. I also buy these for my mama friends! 

||  PACIFIERS  ||
Pacifiers are so freaking ugly. They don’t go with any outfits and are just ugly. BUT, they calm my babies and help them sleep SO. Let’s pick the healthiest ones and the semi-cutest ones! I love rubber Natursutten pacis:) 

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Grey slept with pacis at night until Mila was born. He gave them up himself, and then started waking up at 5 am. OMG IT WAS HORRIBLE. I wish he still had pacis sometimes. When I am really tired I dream of buying them for him lol butttttt he has started sleeping until almost 7 again, so we made it out of the trenches :) 

||  ZUTANO BOOTIES  ||
Socks don’t stay on babies. Don’t buy them. They are dumb. Buy these instead! They have stretchy tops and snap on and are amazing.

||  NOSE FRIDA  ||
Guys. It’s the best for snotty noses.  You won't suck up your baby's snot in your mouth. I swear it's not as creepy as it looks. 


FEEDING

I don’t breastfeed my kids. (Here is a post about it!) We use donor milk (THANK YOU, our friends) and we get our formula imported from Europe. Their standards are much higher than ours here in the United States, and the cost isn’t that much more expensive.  Here is where to get it - Huggable carries it! We use Holle Goat’s milk formula for Mila, and we use glass bottles from Avent. We try and use glass instead of plastic wherever we can.  They aren’t that much heavier, and they are super sturdy. I have dropped them plenty of times and haven’t broken one yet! 

For bibs, I love Aden and Anais Burpy bibs.  They are long and wide, and cover baby’s whole front and shoulders. Then, you take it off baby, and lay it over your shoulder as a burp cloth. So convenient! I used the Tommee Tippee bibs for Grey also - he was a super slow and messy eater, so if we didn’t use those bibs with a special absorbent padding around the neck, he got soaked. 

We gave both our kid’s probiotics right away when they were babies.  Right in their bottle, once a day.  Now that Grey is older, he takes his normally, or I put it in smoothies, applesauce, or yogurt. Healthy gut - healthy body. So much of our immune system starts in the gut! This is incredibly important, so we start them off immediately.  We give 1/4 capsule of Life 9 to Mila, and Grey gets either a packet of MightyPro (pre + probiotics) or a full Life 9 opened into his smoothie. We also love orange, Digize, and TummyGize  essential oils. LOVE. Love. LOOOOOVE. 
Grab a membership here to get them!

||  BABYLED WEANING  ||
I start the kids on solids (along with their formula, obviously) at 6 months old.  That’s when their bellies are ready. Gut health is so important! Don’t mess with it :) We start with veggies first, and eventually move to fruits, and oatmeal and grains. I stick with einkorn wheat, and do very very little gluten. We are doing Babyled Weaning with Mila and it’s been great. Baby-led weaning is an approach to introducing solid food where baby is allowed and encouraged to self-feed solid finger foods instead of receiving purées via spoon. Baby is in control of what they eat, and they eat whatever we are! Anything goes, with the exception of honey.  There are some awesome Facebook groups with tips and a better explanation! After a year, we transition from formula to nut-milks. We don’t do cow milk. Instead, we do almond, coconut, cashew milk and add lots of healthy fats in their diets.  Coconut oil, avocado, cod liver oil, seed and nut butters. 

I am obsessed with Green Sprouts cups - the are glass inside a plastic outer shell.  They have removable handles, and they have a sippy-type spout and a straw spout.  We skipped the sippy and went right to straw for MIla. 

For plates, we use bamboo! For Grey’s school lunchbox, we use PlanetBox! They are steel bento-style boxes :) They fit into Herschel lunchboxes too hollllla!


TEETHING
 

Okay, so teething sucks. Yeah. Ambler necklaces, Copaiba, and teethers are my JAM. We take Mila's necklace off when she sleeps, but it does have a safety clasp. 


Well friends, there you have it. All my faves!!!

DAT CANDLE LIFE.

DAT CANDLE LIFE.

NICOLETTE + HILARY'S KIDNEY JOURNEY

NICOLETTE + HILARY'S KIDNEY JOURNEY