Tried and Tested Gift Ideas for Your One-Year-Old Baby

Tried and Tested Gift Ideas for Your One-Year-Old Baby

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BABIES

Tried and Tested Gift Ideas for Your One-Year-Old Baby

10 of the Most Breathtaking Sights in Bavaria, Germany | Travel Destinations in Germany | Central Europe | Germany | European Travel Destinations | German Castles | The Alps
9 June 2017
THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

Don’t know what to say when someone asks you what your Baby would like for her first birthday?  I felt exactly the same way so I created this list.  My twins’ birthday is shortly after Christmas, so these toys are perfect for both occasions.

They’ve been testing them for the past 5 months, so now I can safely say that these are hands-down my 1-year-old twins’ favorite toys.

 

Why don’t we start with Mommy’s personal favorite…

Fisher-Price Go Baby Go Poppity-Pop Musical Dino

7 Toys for 1-Year-Olds You Will Never Regret Buying_Fisher-Price Go Baby Go Poppity-Pop Musical DinoI could play with this cute little Dino (by myself!) for hours and the babies love it too.  You roll the ball down the tail and it goes through a revolving gate and into the Dino’s “tummy.”  Then the motion detector feels that a ball is in there and starts the popping.  The balls keep popping up until they land in the tube and roll out of Dino’s mouth.

The babies then chase after the balls, pick them up and the fun starts all over again.  All the while he plays fun music (including their favorite: “If you’re happy and you know it…”) If there are no more balls in the tummy, the popping motion stops automatically and waits until the next time something touches the sensor in the middle.  Our babies not only enjoy using the balls, they also like experimenting with various other objects like socks, hair ties, puzzle pieces and smaller stuffed animals.  Like all things from Fisher-Price, this one is a mega baby magnet!

Hape – Farm Animals Wooden Peg Puzzle

7 Toys for 1-Year-Olds You Will Never Regret Buying_Hape - Farm Animals Wooden Peg PuzzleI can see the gears moving in their little brains when they play with this puzzle.  They love using two fingers (like tweezers) to pull on the peg to get the piece out, but getting the piece back in is a whole different ballgame.  I’ve shown then a few times, and I think they understand, but at this stage, they’d rather hold and suck on the pieces and toss the board around on the floor.  But that’s okay, they love it!

Mega Bloks 80-Piece Big Building Bag, Classic

7 Toys for 1-Year-Olds You Will Never Regret Buying_Mega Bloks 80-Piece Big Building Bag, ClassicThe bag alone is a baby magnet in itself.  Thea played with it for a half an hour before she even noticed the blocks.  The babies love watching me put the blocks together and then they get to take them apart again.  They haven’t figured out how to put them together yet, but they’re working on it.  There are a lot more blocks in that bag than you think.  (Takes awhile to pick them all up again too!)

ALWAYS BE PREPARED…


With this diaper bag checklist, your baby brain can rest assured that you’ll never leave the house unprepared.  Simply opt-in below to get it delivered straight to your inbox!

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Grow-With-Me Wooden Rocking Horse with Removeable Safety Surround on the Seat

7 Toys for 1-Year-Olds You Will Never Regret Buying_Grow-With-Me Wooden Rocking HorsI might have waited a while longer to get a rocking horse if it wasn’t for the removable safety surround.  We used it until they were about 15 months old.  Now they can climb on and sort-of rock themselves.  They smile and giggle the whole time they’re riding it.  They’re still figuring out how to rock effectively – and are having fun in the process.

First 100 Words and First 100 Animals by Roger Priddy

7 Toys for 1-Year-Olds You Will Never Regret Buying_First 100 Words7 Toys for 1-Year-Olds You Will Never Regret Buying_First 100 AnimalsThe babies use these books a lot!  They’re board books, so they can play with them and they’ll even withstand an occasional sucking session.  We do try to keep sucking on books down to a minimum, but the way I see it, they are the babies’ toys and they should suck on their toys if they want to; and if I can’t handle it, I should put them away and save them for prosperity.

Hape – Pound & Tap Bench with Slide Out Xylophone

7 Toys for 1-Year-Olds You Will Never Regret Buying_Hape - Pound & Tap Bench with Slide Out XylophoneOur Sven (a.k.a. “BamBam”) just can’t get enough of his pound & tap bench.  Beware!  If your baby is like mine, he will find that hammer to be the most amazing thing he’s ever held in his tiny little hand!  And be warned, we’re talking a lot more about “pounding” than “tapping.”  So far Sven has hit himself a few times where he winced but didn’t cry, and he hit his daddy a few times as well – making for some nasty looking bruises.  Needless to say, he only gets to play with his hammer when we’re in the room (but sometimes we aren’t fast enough.)  

Thea’s more for tapping the wooden balls through the holes and listening to them roll down the xylophone.  The hammer & xylophone are sometimes used on their own too.  Yes, I deem it a fabulous toy, even if it does require a little parental supervision (at least with our baby boy!)

P.S.  The wooden balls make for serious projectiles, especially if your baby likes to throw things (ours do!)  Sven just beaned me in the forehead with the green one the other day!

Fisher-Price Bright Beginnings Activity Walker

7 Toys for 1-Year-Olds You Will Never Regret Buying_Fisher-Price Bright Beginnings Activity WalkerThough we’ve had this one awhile now, I can’t tell you how much the babies are loving it.  It was exciting for them even before they could walk.  They sat on the floor and rolled the big ball in the middle and they especially love the revolving flaps at the bottom.  Just yesterday, Sven started in with the more intricate maneuvering of the spirals (left side).  The walker did its job well in helping them learn to walk and preventing a crash or two.  It also works great on the carpet – moving more slowly so that your baby has enough time to catch up.  

My babies still love pushing it around, even now that they’re professional walkers.

I certainly don’t regret buying this one, as it’s been a very helpful developmental toy and doesn’t take up as much space as other walkers do.

So those are our tried and tested toys for 1-year olds.  I hope this guide is helpful to you or a mama you know (please do share!) 

What are you baby’s favorites?  What toys do you suggest for 18 Months to two years?  Drop me a line in the comments below, I’d really like to know what you recommend.

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Pin it for later!Tried and Tested Gift Ideas for Your One-Year-Old Baby | Baby Toys | Baby's First Birthday | Toys for 1year old | 1 year old birthday | Gifts for Baby | Gifts for 1st birthday |

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How to Make the Best of an Overseas Flight with Babies

How to Make the Best of an Overseas Flight with Babies

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TRAVEL & BABIES

How to Make the Best of an Overseas Flight with Babies

10 of the Most Breathtaking Sights in Bavaria, Germany | Travel Destinations in Germany | Central Europe | Germany | European Travel Destinations | German Castles | The Alps
2 June 2017
THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

Hey there Mama!

Anxious about your upcoming long haul flight with Baby?  I can’t blame you – it can be pretty rough if it’s not done right!  But don’t worry, I’m going to hook you up with some practical information that will relieve that anxiety.

I felt exactly the same way before we flew 27 hours door to door with our 6-month-old twin babies last summer.  Luckily, I did my homework (just like you are now) and implemented extremely helpful tips from other mamas as well as experimenting with some of my own ideas.  We had a fantastic trip!

So without further ado – Here is how to make the best of an overseas flight with babies.

Feeding

1.  Plan Meticulously

You will need to plan in detail:

  • your flights
  • your transport to and from the airport (with your own car seat?)
  • which of the large items you will need to bring with you (stroller, pack ‘n’ play, car seat.)  Then decide if you’ll be checking them at the gate (stroller) or for the entire flight (pack ‘n’ play and car seat.)  How will you protect them from being damaged?  Will they cost extra?
  • what items you need to pack in your suitcases – for yourself and your baby
  • which items you need in your carry-on luggage and diaper bag – for yourself and your baby
  • be informed about what you can and cannot bring through security.  We were able to bring 3 liters of hot and cold water to mix for making formula.  We also had liquid medications on us.

I suggest making as many checklists as you need.  This way you can add things as you go and won’t forget anything.  You can download your free carry-on checklist here:

DON’T FORGET TO PACK…


How to Make the Best of an Overseas Flight with Babies | flight with baby | what to pack for flight with baby | carry-on essentials for baby | overseas flight | long-haul flight |Download your carry-on checklist so that you have everything you need for your overseas flight with baby.  Simply opt-in below and have it sent right to your inbox!

SEND ME MY CARRY-ON CHECKLIST!

Diapering

2.  Book the Right Flights

If possible, be sure to book your flights around Baby’s normal bedtime.  An early evening flight leaving at 7 pm would be perfect.  That way she’ll be even more inclined to sleep on the plane.  

We weren’t so lucky flying from Germany to the USA.  Our flight left at 5 am and our babies did sleep until their normal getting-up time at 7 am.  But they were wide awake after that.  They also dozed for an hour or two once they got set up with bassinets on the big flight.

Flying with Babies

Remedies

3.  Book the Bassinets

I highly recommend directly calling the airline and having them book the flight for you.  If your long flight doesn’t offer bassinets, ask if you could get a plane with them if you were flexible in your travel dates.  We were in an Airbus 330 and the bassinets were in row 29 right behind the toilet area (perfect for a quick diaper change!).  The sweet woman at Lufthansa booked seats 29D for me and 29G for Thomas – and blocked the 2 seats between us so that no one could reserve them.  It was a dream!  

Image courtesy of Trip Advisor’s SeatGuru

We were even able to bring our car seats on board so that we had hands-free a lot of the time.  Our babies loved hanging out in their car seats and were thrilled to stretch out in their bassinets once we got up in the air.  They would doze for an hour or so and then come back to their car seat or our laps and watch movies with mommy and daddy – or just play quietly with their toys.  Having those bassinets were a total game changer!

Questions to ask while Booking on the Phone

Another advantage to booking on the telephone is that you can ask all the important questions you need to ask like: 

  • Will I be able to check my stroller at the gate?
  • Can I bring my car seat on the plane?  (Make sure it’s not too wide and that it meets the regulations.)  If not, how do I go about packing it so that it doesn’t get damaged? 
  • How many bags am I allowed to check in without paying a fee?  Usually, you can bring one for you AND one for your baby, but I would check just to make sure.
  • What liquids am I allowed to bring with me and how much?  Although the airline is not responsible for this information, they can usually give you some tips on how to easily get through security.  We had over 3 liters of water on us as well as fruit pouches and liquid medicines and had absolutely no problem getting through security.

Yes, you can and should find all of this information online, but it’s always a good idea to have it confirmed by the airline.

Clothing

4.  Be Prepared for the Worst

If you’re like me, what makes you most anxious is that there could be situations on your journey that you just can’t control.  Flight delay or cancellation, Baby starts to run a fever or vomiting, baby has a diaper blow-out, you get a nasty headache, you have to sit in different seats than the ones you booked, Baby notices your anxiety and starts to get fussy or even starts crying, Baby has gas or sudden teething problems, high-altitude crying…the list goes on and on.  All you can do is to plan for those things to happen so that you’ll be prepared (and more relaxed!)

 

  • pack extra everything – especially clothing, burp clothes, diapers, wipes, and formula (if bottle feeding.)  
  • bring a thermometer
  • pack remedies for fever, gas, and teething 
  • bring headache medicine or peppermint essential oil for yourself
  • pack extra clothing for YOURSELF in case baby liquids get on your clothing (happens at home all the time, doesn’t it?)
  • relieve ear pressure during start and descent with something for baby to suck on (bottle, breast, pacifier, etc.)

Extras

5.  Pack Smart

My advice to you is:  keep it simple!  You don’t need to pack your suitcase full of diapers or formula when you can buy them at the drug store when you arrive at your destination.  

Forget about packing those fancy baby outfits with all the snaps and buttons.  You want to have fun and relax as much as possible.  Sweating over silly snaps, buttons, and layers is not what you need.

Pack an extra suitcase for your baby so everything has its place and stays organized.  This saves tons of time (and nerves!)

Now for your carry-on, be sure to get your free carry-on checklist so you don’t forget a thing:

DON’T FORGET TO PACK…


How to Make the Best of an Overseas Flight with Babies | flight with baby | what to pack for flight with baby | carry-on essentials for baby | overseas flight | long-haul flight |Download your carry-on checklist so that you have everything you need for your overseas flight with baby.  Simply opt-in below and have it sent right to your inbox!

SEND ME MY CARRY-ON CHECKLIST!

6.  Stay Cool

This is probably the most important tip of all.  If your baby notices that you’re anxious, she will get anxious too.  Keep a positive mindset and think to yourself:  “Wow, this is so cool!  There’s nothing better than seeing the world with the person I love most.”  Your baby will also be happy to have your undivided attention for a whole day – so enjoy the time being together.

Fully ignore the dirty looks from other passengers.  Almost every single one of them would be willing to help you if you needed it.  You’ll be surprised how many of them will begin to smile at you and flirt with your baby once they realize she’s not going to scream throughout the entire flight.  

If she does start crying, stay calm and check for the usual suspects and respond accordingly.  Is your baby hungry, thirsty, wet or dirty, cold or warm, bored?  Maybe she does have ear pressure issues?  Or could it possibly just be you sending out nervous vibes making her feel uneasy?

 

I hope my advice has somewhat eased your concerns.  If you follow these tips:  

  • plan meticulously
  • book the right flights (& the bassinets!)
  • prepare for the worst
  • pack smart
  • stay cool

you and your baby are sure to have a laid-back trip.

We’ll be doing another overseas flight this Christmas.  This time with 2-year-old twin babies toddlers!  YIKES!  I’ll keep you updated about how that went.  I’ll definitely have some more tips and info to share after that one!

Bon Voyage!

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Anxious about your upcoming long haul flight with Baby? Read "How to Make the Best of an Overseas Flight with Babies" and get your FREE CARRY-ON CHECKLIST so you don't forget a thing! | flight with baby | what to pack for flight with baby | carry-on essentials for baby | overseas flight | long-haul flight |

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The Most Important Items You Need for Diapering Your Newborn Baby

The Most Important Items You Need for Diapering Your Newborn Baby

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BABIES

The Most Important Items You Need for Diapering Your Newborn Baby

The Most Important Items You Need for Diapering Your Newborn Baby | Changing Table Essentials | Diapering Supplies | Diapering Station | Changing Station Supplies |

19 May 2017

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

Lovely greetings to you – you beautiful mommy-to-be!  

It’s perfectly normal to worry about diapering your newborn.  Deciding what supplies you need before you’ve ever even done it is a thing next to impossible!  Every mom’s brain ticks a bit differently and everyone develops their own preferences with time.

Having the essentials set up and ready when you bring baby home from the hospital can save you (and your fella!) a lot of hassle running out to the store when you have a newborn at home.  As a first-time mom to boy/girl twins, not only will I tell you what supplies you need, but I will also tell you what products I love and why.  So here are the most important items you need for diapering your newborn baby.

1.  Diapers

Obviously! There is a mind-boggling selection of diapers out there, but like so many other parents, I LOVE Pampers.  The Pampers Swaddlers size “N” even have a notch in the front to allow for proper umbilical cord healing.  We especially loved the wetness indicator (a yellow strip that turns blue when it gets wet).  It took a lot of the guess-work out of knowing when to change diapers.  We were amazed that our babies’ bottoms were still completely dry every time we took off a wet diaper!  We had absolutely NO issues with diaper rash, not once, ever!

This box of 128 diapers is the perfect start.  You want quite a few but not too many, as your baby will grow faster than you can imagine and you’ll be moving up to the next size before you know it.  

We thought we’d save a little money and tried other brands – even the generic ones from Aldi, but we always kept coming back to Pampers.  TIP:  Use the Amazon Family diaper subscription and get 20% off!

2.  Baby Wipes

Just like diapers, there are way too many different kinds of baby wipes to choose from.  But again…I LOVE Pampers.  Pampers Sensitive Baby Wipes fulfill 3 very important criteria:

  • They come out of the box ONE…AT…A…TIME!  You only have one hand to open the box and remove a wipe and if you’re like me, there’s nothing that ticks you off more than pulling out a wipe with 5 others clinging to it!
  • They are able to remove a lot of heavy mess in one wipe.  Pampers has found the sweet spot when it comes to texture:  they’re soft on baby’s bottom but tough enough to remove a heavy mess quickly.
  • To put it bluntly:  they don’t stink like toilet bowl cleaner infused with grandma’s favorite eau de toilette!


If you’re diapering two babies all day every day, you’re willing to pay a little extra money for wipes that come out of the box ONE…AT…A…TIME! Seriously!

3.  Wipe Warmer

Our newborn twins cried continuously every time we changed their diaper – it was heartbreaking!  But our wipe warmer changed all that when we got home from the hospital.

Once we started using warmed wipes, Sven would only fuss a little and Thea was totally fine.

I would buy this one all over again as it helped us keep our sanity during the first few weeks.

ALWAYS BE PREPARED…


With this diaper bag checklist, your baby brain can rest assured that you’ll never leave the house unprepared.  Simply opt-in below to get it delivered straight to your inbox!

SEND ME MY CHECKLIST!

4.  Changing Pad

Now, everyone has their own criteria when it comes to changing pads.  I’ve been using mine for almost a year-and-a-half and I’m happy to report that I still love it!  My personal criteria were:

  • It’s narrow and highly contoured on the sides so that baby can’t roll out.  Even now that my twins are walking and running (and spinning…and jumping…) they still have difficulties squirming off this pad.
  • It’s portable:  we always take it with us when we go on trips with our camper.
  • It doesn’t have any stupid designs on it.
  • It has a water-resistant, washable cover that is easy to remove and put back on.  I’m personally not fond of the waterproof pads because they are covered in plastic and you always have to cover it with a cloth changing pad cover, which I don’t find very attractive – but like I said, everyone has their own criteria.

We use disposable changing pads on top of our changing pad so that we’re not constantly washing the cover.  It can be pretty messy in the beginning.  Our newborn Sven peed almost every time we took off his diaper, so disposable pads come in really handy!

I bought ours on Amazon.de but it isn’t available in the States (or anywhere for that matter.)  But here’s the Amazon.de link to it anyway – maybe you can find something similar to it.  We just love it!
And here are the disposable changing pads that we use:
They’ve saved our carpets, sofas, and bed plenty of times, are just the right size, and don’t have any stupid designs on them – Perfect!

 

5.  Diaper Pail

Actually, I should have put this item at the very top of my list because having the right diaper pail can make your life so much easier!  We experimented with 3 different diaper pails this first year.  Now I am happy to report that we’ve finally found the right one.  Our criteria are (in this order)

  • it must completely eliminate odor
  • it shouldn’t have to be emptied more than once or twice a week (keep in mind – we have twins)
  • we should be able to open it with no hands
  • it should be easy to empty – no hassling with garbage bags!
  • it should be aesthetically pleasing and easy to clean

We love our Munchkin Step Diaper Pail Powered by Arm & Hammer and it fulfills all of our criteria.

We have no odor issues.  It makes a twisting motion when you close the lid so that odor can’t escape.  The Arm & Hammer pucks in the lid are sold separately and really do the trick!  The bags also feature odor control with baking soda in the plastic – they are simply awesome!

We change up to 6 diapers per baby per day and we only have to empty it twice a week!  Emptying is also a breeze.  Just take the pail out to the trash can and dump it in.  No more fighting with plastic garbage bags that don’t fit properly or even break.

It has the perfect height – no bending down to open it.  The foot pedal is a huge plus when your hands are busy with the dirty diaper.  You do close it manually – pressing down a little to make sure it’s closed tight.

The design is clean and functional – exactly what my architect-heart desires!

6.  Diaper Cream, Baby Oil + Friends

Before my babies were born, I bought the Burt’s Bees Baby Getting Started Gift Set and we turned out loving all of the products. The Baby Oil was especially effective on the tiny pimples that Sven got on his face shortly after he was born.  The Shampoo & Wash have a pleasant fragrance and don’t dry out the skin.  But I was always a little skeptical about all the unpronounceable ingredients on the packaging but didn’t know of a better alternative.

Until one of my readers, Sarah Prince from mynaturalbabybirth.com commented on my post “Pregnancy Essentials That Make You Feel as Good as You Look!” and recommended the Earth Mama Angel Baby products.  So I promptly ordered the Earth Mama a Little Something for Baby Kit to test.  Since then, I’ve ordered the big packages of Bottom Balm (because yes, we did have a few cases of diaper rash later on) body wash and shampoo and the baby oil.  These products are very effective, don’t stink and (best of all) aren’t full of chemicals!  Thanks again Sarah!

And that’s all you need to get started!  Once set up these items at your changing table at home, you can stop worrying because you’ll have everything you need at arm’s reach!

Did I oversee any other changing table essentials?  Have any Questions?  Drop me a line in the comments below.

I really appreciate you stopping by.  Be sure to check back for more Mother’s Little Helpers.

“The Most Important Items You Need for Diapering Your Newborn Baby”

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The Diaper Bag Checklist for the New Mom with Baby Brain

The Diaper Bag Checklist for the New Mom with Baby Brain

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BABIES

The Diaper Bag Checklist for the New Mom with Baby Brain

Pregnancy Essentials

12 May 2017

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

If you have a newborn at home, chances are you have baby brain.  Your brain is concentrating all of its energy to ONE thing – keeping your baby safe.  But sometimes you forget the most ridiculous of things – like forgetting to put a shirt on before you leave the house!

I remember once we took a Sunday drive to visit some friends.  It was only about 2 hours away – not a very long trip.  It sure turned into a long trip because mommy’s baby brain forgot to pack the formula.  And with it being Sunday in Germany, we couldn’t just go to the store and buy some.  We had almost made it to our destination when we had to turn around and drive back home.

That’s when I started a diaper bag checklist.  I sat down and physically wrote down everything I needed to be in my diaper bag every time I left the house.  All I had to do was remember to check the list every time I left the house.  It saved my butt a couple of times.

Diaper Bag

If you have twins or two small children close in age, I highly recommend getting the Skip Hop Baby Duo Double Signature Diaper Bag.  I wasted too much money trying 3 different diaper bags until I finally found this one.

What I especially love about this diaper bag is that I can get everything in there comfortably without it being crammed full.  It comes with a changing mat and has tons of pockets for easy organization.  I put my personal items, toys, and pacifiers (things I need to grab FAST!) in the outer pockets.  Another nice feature is that it has a built in, zip-up wet bag for storing dirty diapers, used burp clothes, bibs or wet clothing when you forgot your wet bags at home.  And the best thing is that it looks so professional that I will be able to use it as a purse/briefcase when my babies don’t need a diaper bag anymore, making it well worth the investment.

Thomas likes it too, and is so happy that he isn’t one of those daddies who has to carry around some silly-flowery-girly diaper bag all the time – and he really is the one carrying it most of the time! It’s one of the best baby items I’ve bought and it has been well worth the money.
The Diaper Bag Checklist for the New Mom with Baby Brain

Mommy Necessities

Of course, these things vary from mommy to mommy.  What I have on my list:  wallet (preferably with cash in it), keys, cell phone, glasses, sunglasses, lip balm, and a small bottle of water.
The Diaper Bag Checklist for the New Mom with Baby BrainThe Diaper Bag Checklist for the New Mom with Baby BrainThe Diaper Bag Checklist for the New Mom with Baby BrainThe Diaper Bag Checklist for the New Mom with Baby Brain

Diapering Essentials

I am prepared to change a diaper any time, anywhere.  Even though my diaper bag comes with a changing mat, I like to put a disposable changing mat on top of it, in case things get a little crazy.  Baby wipes, diapers & trash bags for dirty diapers are also on the list.
The Diaper Bag Checklist for the New Mom with Baby BrainThe Diaper Bag Checklist for the New Mom with Baby BrainThe Diaper Bag Checklist for the New Mom with Baby BrainThe Diaper Bag Checklist for the New Mom with Baby Brain

Feeding

Baby formula, bottles, a thermos with boiled hot water, bottle with boiled water at room temperature, and a burp cloth are all on the list.

and later:  fruit pouches, bib, baby cookies, cheerios, and a sippy cup with water in it for each baby.
The Diaper Bag Checklist for the New Mom with Baby BrainThe Diaper Bag Checklist for the New Mom with Baby BrainThe Diaper Bag Checklist for the New Mom with Baby BrainThe Diaper Bag Checklist for the New Mom with Baby Brain

The Diaper Bag Checklist for the New Mom with Baby BrainThe Diaper Bag Checklist for the New Mom with Baby BrainThe Diaper Bag Checklist for the New Mom with Baby BrainThe Diaper Bag Checklist for the New Mom with Baby BrainThe Diaper Bag Checklist for the New Mom with Baby Brain

ALWAYS BE PREPARED…


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Pacifiers – as many as you can find!

Our babies stopped wanting a pacifier at about 9 months, but before that time, we could never have enough pacifiers.  We especially needed them in the car.  They’d spit them out and they’d go flying somewhere I couldn’t reach from the front seat.  So I’d whip out a new one from the diaper bag.  One time we found all 6 under Thea in her car seat!  That girl!  My babies would ONLY take these pacifiers and I’m so thankful that they aren’t the kind with some silly stuffed animal hanging off the end or the ones that look like a giant plug.  I don’t know if I could handle seeing those hanging out of my babies’ mouths every day!
The Diaper Bag Checklist for the New Mom with Baby Brain

Teething Essentials

We always have teething tablets, violet root, Sophie the giraffe, and baltic amber teething necklaces with us wherever we go, but I can honestly testify that we haven’t needed ANYTHING except for the teething necklaces ever since the babies got them 5 months ago as they were 7 months old.  I am so glad my aunt gave them to the babies as a gift; I probably never would have bought them myself.

The Diaper Bag Checklist for the New Mom with Baby BrainThe Diaper Bag Checklist for the New Mom with Baby BrainThe Diaper Bag Checklist for the New Mom with Baby Brain

Toys

We prefer quiet ones for sitting in restaurants (or in airplanes!) but we usually can’t get around bringing some kind rattle with us.  Luckily our babies are more interested their new surrounding and don’t have time for toys.  Nonetheless, here are some of our babies’ favorites for when we’re out and about:  
The Diaper Bag Checklist for the New Mom with Baby BrainThe Diaper Bag Checklist for the New Mom with Baby BrainThe Diaper Bag Checklist for the New Mom with Baby BrainThe Diaper Bag Checklist for the New Mom with Baby BrainThe Diaper Bag Checklist for the New Mom with Baby BrainThe Diaper Bag Checklist for the New Mom with Baby Brain

We always keep these toys in the car or in the diaper bag, to set them apart from the usual toys at home (we do switch ’em out, of course.)  This way, our babies find them more interesting and play with them longer when we’re out-and-about.

Baby Blankets

We needed baby blankets even in the summer.  Those air conditioners are fiercely cold sometimes!  They’re also great as a car seat cover or sun shade.
The Diaper Bag Checklist for the New Mom with Baby Brain

Wet bag packed with a fresh set of clothing

For the inevitable spit-ups and diaper blowouts.  I pack one set of clothing in a wet bag for each baby.
The Diaper Bag Checklist for the New Mom with Baby Brain

This pretty much concludes the contents of my diaper bag.  I know it’s a lot, but as a new mom suffering from baby brain, you just can’t be prepared enough.  

Be sure to grab your diaper bag checklist so that you don’t leave home without the essentials!

Didn’t have time to read the whole post?  Pin it for later!Rest your mind at ease by using "The Diaper Bag Checklist for the New Mom with Baby Brain" so that you and your baby never leave the house unprepared! | Diaper Bag Essentials | Diaper Bag Organization |

ALWAYS BE PREPARED…


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How to Get Your Baby to Sleep Through the Night

How to Get Your Baby to Sleep Through the Night

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BABIES

How to get Your Baby to Sleep Through the Night

7 April 2017
THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

Was the last time you slept longer than 4 hours straight before your baby was born?  Do you wake up in the morning feeling like you partied all night, but you didn’t?  You’re so frazzled that you find yourself snapping at your husband, crying at the silliest things and go into a room forgetting what you actually wanted there?  Has sleep deprivation become so normal, that you don’t even notice it anymore?

Here’s what I did to finally stop the endless cycle of sleep deprivation.  But before I begin, I want to emphasize that every baby is different and every parent is different.  What worked for me won’t necessarily work for you.  Still, I hope there’s something in this list that will help you and your baby get one step closer to sleeping through the night.

Baby Sleeps in Her Own Crib in Her Own Room

If you share a bed with another person, then you already know how distracting that can be.  Sometimes your partner’s snoring, talking or moving in his sleep wakes you up in the night.  The same thing goes for you and your baby.  You’ll disturb each other so that no one can sleep soundly.

Even though you probably won’t have baby directly in your bed, if she’s in the same room she’s going to hear you (and possibly wake up and decide she’s hungry) when you or your partner move around, snore or talk in your sleep. 

The same thing goes the other way around.  Babies wake up more frequently than adults.  They’ll move around and maybe even cry a little, waking you up.  They may not even be that hungry, but you’ll automatically feed them anyway. 

Another factor to consider is that your baby may get so used to sleeping with you close by, that it could present difficulties when the time comes to get her to sleep in her own room.

If you’re still thinking “there’s no way I could sleep away from my newborn baby,” get yourself a top-quality video baby monitor.  Our monitor really helped me through the first few nights sleeping in different rooms at home.  When it’s on standby, it automatically turns on every time there’s any kind of sound in baby’s room.  That way you know immediately when your baby is awake. 

You can observe her to see if she really needs attention without having to go in her room.  The camera even has a zoom function, so you can even zoom in to see her facial expressions.  Another great feature is that it also tells you the room temperature, so you don’t even have to worry about it being too warm or too cold in baby’s room.  That wonderful baby monitor gave me the peace of mind I needed as a new parent.

Put Baby to Bed While She’s Still Awake

If you rock and sing your baby to sleep, she won’t be able to go to sleep without it.  We have friends who did that and they needed over an hour to get their baby to sleep.  He would finally fall asleep in their arms and then they’d lay him down in his bed, only that he’d wake up alone in his bed a half-an-hour later scared out of his wits because he didn’t know how he got there.  Then they’d start the whole procedure over again sometimes until 11 pm.  I don’t know how they survived it, but they did this for over a year!

If we’re in a pinch, we need a little less than 10 minutes to get our twins to bed.  This is what we do every night at 7 pm since the day they came home from the hospital 15 months ago:

  • quietly take them upstairs to their nursery – no more laughing or playing around.
  • change their diapers
  • put on their pajamas
  • lay them in their beds
  • give them their special stuffed animals that they only get when they go to bed
  • give them their bottles filled with formula (once they could hold the bottles themselves)
  • turn off all lights and sounds
  • kiss them and say “good night”
  • leave the room and close the door

Normally they sleep until the next morning at 7 am.  Exceptions have been when they’re sick, having teething problems, or having their wonder weeks and don’t sleep as soundly.  That’s when the sleep globulis really help.

Sleep Globulis

Globulis are tiny balls made with homeopathic ingredients.  They taste like sugar.

Living in Germany, we are lucky to have access to various homeopathic remedies which are strictly regulated by the government.  We use sleep globuli when the twins have their wonder weeks.  They are irritable, don’t relax and can’t sleep as soundly as they usually do.  I didn’t believe they’d work until we tried them, but I’ve never seen anything so effective.

Unfortunately, globulis have had some bad press in the USA – and for good reason.  They are not regulated by the FDA and may have caused the death of 10 toddlers, not to mention other side effects such as fever and vomiting.  The FDA is now investigating.

If I were an expert in homeopathic medicine, I might be able to tell you what to watch for when choosing which ones to buy.  But I’m not, so I can only encourage you to do your own research, ask your doctor, or refrain from using them altogether.

Routine Routine Routine

A routine is important for all babies.  Your baby takes comfort in knowing what’s going to happen next.  If they have their naptimes and bedtime at the same time every day, they know the difference between short sleeps and long sleeps.  When they wake up in the middle of the night, they know that it’s the long sleep, so they better go back to sleep ASAP because it’s going to be awhile until it’s time to start the day.  You’d be surprised how quickly your baby learns this – if you’re consistent about maintaining that routine.

My twins learned at a very early age that there are two “naptimes” and one “bedtime.”  Naptime is at 10 am and 2 pm.  Bedtime is at 7 pm.  We’ve been on that schedule since the phase where they stopped sleeping all day long.  They know exactly when it’s bedtime and act accordingly (with a few exceptions, of course.)  They also don’t mind taking naps during the day because they know that it won’t be long until they can wake up and play again.

Pacifiers & Swaddles

Many babies startle in their sleep because they suddenly have the feeling they’re falling.  Don’t ask me how the scientists found that one out, but that can explain why they throw their arms up above their heads when they’re startled, and why the power of a swaddle shouldn’t be underestimated. 

Eventually, there will come a time when your baby learns to calm herself after such an episode, but until then, a pacifier is her best friend and helps soothe her back to sleep.   

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Special Stuffed Animal

As a signal that it’s bedtime, my twins each have a special stuffed animal that they only get to have when they’re in their beds. 

Question Your Habits

It’s hard to know when the time has come for your baby to be sleeping through the night.  At some point, they reach an age where they don’t need to be fed in the middle of the night – this point is different for everyone. 

I was getting up twice a night with my twins until they were about 5 months old.  It was a pretty extensive feeding routine, lasting about 20 minutes each time.  I’d go downstairs and make their bottles, go back upstairs, take them out of their cribs and put them in their boppy pillows on the 3-seater couch in their nursery.  I’d sit in the middle, pop a bottle in each mouth and they’d drink until they were full or would fall asleep.  Then I’d burp them and put them back in their beds.  Then we’d do the same thing again 4 hours later.  It was exhausting. 

I was ecstatic when they transitioned to one feeding per night, but at some point, they were just playing around with their bottles and I felt it was a waste of time because they wouldn’t really drink.  It was frustrating.   

How to Get Your Baby to Sleep Through the Night

That’s when Thomas suggested that they might not really be hungry, they just thought it was fun to hang out with mommy in the middle of the night.  He suggested I put water in their bottles and give them the bottles in their cribs.  That way there was nothing fun happening and they might be motivated to just go back to sleep if they woke up in the night.

I took his suggestion as unjust criticism and didn’t even consider doing what he thought I should.  I don’t remember what I said but I bitterly thought “you aren’t the one getting up in the middle of the night – what do you know!?”

A few weeks later I was discussing it with my sister-in-law and she suggested the exact same thing.  She’s one of the few women I know whose child-raising techniques make sense to me, so I thought: “ok, I’ll give it shot.”      

The first night I put water in their bottles and gave them to them in their cribs.  They didn’t like it, but I sure did.  I went back to bed and they cried (but more of a “I want attention” cry and not a “I NEED attention” cry) for about 5 minutes.  Then they closed their eyes and went to sleep!  They tried it for another 5 nights, but I was consequent and kept giving them bottles of water in their cribs.  Then they slept through the 6th night!  It worked! 

Thomas was right – they just wanted to hang out with mommy in the middle of the night.  They weren’t hungry or thirsty, they just wanted some action.  They weren’t interested in waking up in the night once they realized that there was no more party and no more tasty formula.

So the moral of the story is – question your habits.  Those babies grow so fast, you have to constantly change your game to give them what they (and you) need.  I was a little slow learning that one.

Other Helpful Tips

  • make sure your baby has a full stomach before bedtime
  • Give baby a bath right before bedtime with Earth Mama Angel Baby Shampoo & Body Wash.  It contains lavender and vanilla essential oils which have a wonderfully calming effect on your baby (and on mommy!)
  • Magnesium Oil – Thomas and I use this on ourselves and it works wonders for our quality of sleep.  I have used small amounts on the babies (spray a tiny bit in hand and rub on their feet) and I believe it works for them just as well.

Many of you may not agree with my methods or ways of thinking and that’s perfectly fine.  As I said previously, every parent is different and every child is different.  The most important thing you can do is listen to your mama instincts and do exactly what they tell you to do.  Nonetheless, I truly hope you’ve found something in my list that you find helpful.  Maybe you even have something to add?  Drop me a line in the comments below.

Didn’t have time to read the whole post?  Pin it for later!How to Get Your Baby to Sleep Through the Night | Baby Sleep Tips | Baby Sleep Schedule | Baby Sleep Routine |

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What to Do When Your Baby is Sick For the First Time

What to Do When Your Baby is Sick For the First Time

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BABIES

What to do When Your Baby is Sick For the First Time

Pregnancy Essentials

31 March 2017

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

It’s that time of year again – when it seems like everyone I know is sick.  Thomas came home with it last Thursday complaining about a sore throat.  I really hoped it would go away within 2 or 3 days, but why should it be different than all the other times?  Nope, he has a full-blown cold now with the stuffed-up nose, coughing, sneezing, sore throat, and fever.    Sounds a little like the good old Nyquil commercial, doesn’t it?

As if dealing with a “man cold” isn’t bad enough, the babies have it too now.  The first sign of it was Sven crying uncontrollably in the middle of the night.  That boy only wastes energy on crying when it’s absolutely necessary, so I picked him up and soothed him.  And then I heard him try to breathe through his nose and my heart sank to my stomach – it was all stuffed up!  Then I heard Thea in her crib do the same thing.  She tried to breathe out of her nose but it wasn’t happening!

What to do When Your Baby is Sick

So I felt the backs of their necks, cheeks, and foreheads to see if they had a fever – nope, cool as can be.  I felt Sven relaxing and falling asleep in my arms, so I put him back to bed and they both went right back to sleep.  They are such nice babies!

I watched that baby monitor like a hawk for the next hour until I was finally able to doze off to sleep.  Of course, their colds were full-blown the next morning.

But what can you really do when your baby gets a cold?

First of All – Check the Signs

If you’re freaking out a little bit because this is your baby’s first cold just remember:

  • Everything is fine as long as your baby doesn’t have a high fever.
  • Everything is fine if he keeps drinking and wetting his diapers.
  • If the symptoms keep on for more than a few days, it’s time to go to the doctor.
  • If he’s running a fever and starts to seem apathetic, go to the doctor or emergency room.
  • Most importantly:  Keep calm and listen to those mama instincts.

Fever – What to do

I think the most important thing is keeping a close watch on them.  A baby’s fever can come or go within minutes.

As you probably know, a fever isn’t necessarily all bad.  Its purpose is to raise the body’s temperature enough to kill off certain bacteria and viruses sensitive to temperature changes.  Nonetheless, you don’t want the fever to get too high for too long.

My doctor told me that the magic number is 103° F.  If they seem too uncomfortable and can’t sleep even though they’re tired, I should give them acetaminophen suppositories.  If the fever continues to rise, I should call him.  If they seem apathetic, it’s time to go to the emergency room.  He also told me to be mentally prepared for fever cramps, which are supposedly normal, but I sure as heck never want to experience that!

Lucky for us we only needed the suppositories once – and they worked like a charm.

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Stuffed-up Nose

There’s nothing more heart-wrenching than a baby who can’t breathe through his nose.  He can’t drink properly, can’t sleep soundly, and is just plain miserable.

There are a few things you can do to somewhat alleviate the symptoms.  The most effective one is to put breast milk in a clean, empty nose spray bottle and use it as a nose spray.  As you know, human breast milk has antibacterial and powerful healing properties.

Because I didn’t have any milk, I used a combination of FridaBaby and saline spray and was very happy with the results.

Shorty before bedtime, I do a round of FridaBaby and saline spray and prop up their mattresses on one end with a pillow.  That way they can sleep slightly inclined and the mucus can drain.  The drainage sometimes leads to gagging or coughing, but that’s not the kind of coughing you’re worried about.

Coughing

The coughing you’re worried about is the mucousy bronchial coughing.  I can’t think of a better way to describe it, but you know what I mean.

I’m happy to say that we haven’t had too many issues with that type of coughing, but I probably say this because we use Prospan or Zarbee’s by the first mucousy cough.

There’s only one thing that I think works even better than Zarbee’s, and that is Prospan.  Ivy leaf extract is the main ingredient in both syrups, but Prospan seems to work faster.  It is so effective that Thomas and I both use is when we get ill.  It prevents the nasty bronchial infections we always used to get.

Lastly – A Few Extra Tips

If all else fails, there are still a few tricks to help your baby feel more comfortable so they can sleep better and recover faster. The Honest Company Breathe Easy Rub for baby’s chest, neck, back, and bottoms of feet really helps.  Not only does it help them breathe better, but the lavender oil helps them sleep better.  P.S.  It also works well for mommies with insomnia.  

A humidifier is a great thing to use if the air in your house tends to be on the dry side.  This too can alleviate baby’s coughing.

If you’ve read this article because your baby is sick, then I wish you and your sweetie (or sweeties) a big fat “Get Well Soon!”  You can rest assured, this will be over quicker than you think.  Babies tend to recover a lot faster than adults (at least that’s been my experience.)

Keep that chin up.  Everything will be fine, mama.

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