Our Must Have Newborn Products

With Mark now nine months old, we have pretty much transitioned out of all our newborn products and are rapidly entering the world of toddler toys & gear. When I was pregnant last year, I read what felt like hundreds of blogs and articles trying to figure out what the best baby products were and which ones we “needed”. As those blogs and articles were invaluable to me, I wanted to share my experience with all the other mama’s to be out there. And since I already have a serious case of mom brain some days, I figured this would be a valuable resource when we have more littles in the years to come. Some days mom life is a blur, so I figure it was best to document it all before I forget 🙂

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Favorite Finds: Shopping Steals for Baby

It’s officially the best shopping week of the year, well in my mind at least! Even though we are on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean and won’t be visiting any actual stores, I am most certainly taking advantage of all the online sales. Having a growing baby means we are constantly needing new clothing for Mark & with our first home on the horizon, we have quite a long list of planned purchases. Thankfully, we have the best parents who are graciously storing all of our shopping finds until we are back Stateside so we are able to take advantage of Black Friday sales. If you are looking for any steals on baby gear, baby apparel, or other odds and ends see what I have picked up so far & what I plan to grab later this week! Happy shopping 🙂 

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Mark’s First Christmas: Holiday Gift Guide

We are oh so excited for Mark’s First Christmas in just a few weeks! We will be heading back to the US to celebrate with our extended families and have timed planned in both Texas and New Jersey (bringing Mark’s total flights to 18 in 9 months.. yikes!).  While we are thrilled to be spending the holiday at our parents, I can not wait for next year when we can decorate and host! Christmas is my favorite time of the year and it’s so hard not decorating our apartment as we are gone for most of December.  We have totally already called hosting Christmas for the family in 2018 and I can’t wait!!

As this is Mark’s First Christmas, Brett and I chatted how we wanted to handle holiday gift giving. We wanted a rough plan for how we would gift not only for this year, but also in future years (with potentially more littles running around!). So, in addition to setting a budget, we decided on the  “something you want”, “something you need”, “something to wear”, & “something to read”! And of course, some fun little stocking stuffers! My mom always gave my sister and I an ornament that represented our year and I plan to carry on that tradition for Mark & our family.  Of course, as Mark can’t request anything this year, we will be making his gift selections. So, what is on Mark’s Christmas List? Check out our Baby’s First Christmas Gift Guide below! 

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New Favorites: Teethers & Teething Toys

It’s been one heck of a week for Mark. As if teething FOUR top teeth at the same time wasn’t enough, Mark came down with his first real sickness and earned himself his first trip to urgent care. Thankfully, the little guy is on the mend and we are back to focusing on those pesky little teeth coming through.

Mark appears to be quite the “efficient” teether. His first two teeth cut on the same day and he currently has four top teeth coming through (eek!). While he may be efficient, Mark really hates teething. He keeps us on our toes and it takes a lot of work to figure out how to get him some relief. During our first bout with teething, Mark was only soothed by wooden teethers (you can read about about that here). Of course, during this round of teething Mark has totally changed his preferences and we had to go back to the drawing board. So in case your looking for some new teething options, I’m sharing Mark’s current favorite (soft) teethers!

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Splish Splash: Our Bath Time Routine

Bath time is one of our favorite parts of the day. Mark loves all forms of water so it isn’t surprising he is a big fan of bath time. He loves getting to splash about and kick kick kick. Recently, he has really been packing a punch with his kicks and we find ourself soaked 🙂 Since starting Baby Led Weaning, bath time follows Mark’s dinner as he is typically a hot mess from feeding himself. We do our best to bathe him daily but admittedly have the occasional “skip day”. We’ve been following the same bath time routine since the day Mark was born and make sure we use the same products whether we are at home or on the road.

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Swim Essentials for Water Babies

It may officially be fall, but we are still pretending it is summertime and sneaking in all the summer activities we can. Granted, it isn’t difficult considering we are currently in Houston where it has been in the nineties everyday! With all the heat, we are spending tons of time in the pool. We are so lucky that Mark seems to loves the water as much as we do. He’s gone swimming a bunch and he seem to love it more each time!

It took us some time to figure out what pool products worked best for Mark.  went through a number of products before finding our favorite pool essentials for Mark. We needed things that worked for his first pool outing around 16 weeks old but as we had a number of swim sessions planned, wanted things that would last a few months. We’ve been thrilled with our items so I’m sharing our checklist below! Be sure to check it out if you are planning any pool time with your little one. 

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The Softest Cotton Blankets

How did I not know about the brand Magnolia Baby when I was shopping for Mark? I can’t believe these super soft cotton products were not on my radar. Never again will I make that mistake. Thankfully, we were gifted a Magnolia Baby Blanket and I immediately fell in love (and ordered a bunch more!). With the most adorable prints, a touch of beautiful embroidery, and super soft double layered cotton, these are a winner.

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Baby Gear: Our Favorite Four Items

I spent many months researching baby products and prepping for our little one. As a first time mom, all I could do was hope what we picked would be enjoyed by Mark & actually useful. With thousands of baby products on the market, it can be hard to tell what products will work. I relied heavily on reviews, blogs, and forums when narrowing down my list of purchases. I also tried my best to follow a responsible consumerism mindset, paying for products that would simplify our lives and benefit our little one even when that meant going with a more expensive option. After 20+ weeks of testing, using, and reviewing our baby products, I’ve rounded up our four favorites “big ticket” items! 

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Favorite “First” Teething Toys

Oh the joys of a teething baby. Mark had his first teeth cut this week (his two bottom ones!) and boy has it been an experience.  Mark started displaying signs of teething about 8 weeks ago but it took many weeks before we could see anything under his gums & an additional week for those pearly whites to finally break through.

Needless to say, the past 6 weeks have been filled with Mark jamming everything in his mouth, occasional screaming, a little less sleep, a lot more coffee, and the cutest rosy cheeks. Thankfully, after this experience, I think we finally have a few tricks to help Mark deal with teething in the future. 

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Our Diaper Bag Essentials

Let’s talk diaper bag essentials. I remember the first time I left the house with Mark neurotically reviewing checklists I found online. Did I have everything? What if this happened? Or that? What if, what if, what if. It felt a bit daunting in the beginning and I was definitely WAY over packed. Months later,  I have narrowed our list down to the essentials (aka things we actually use) and am sharing our list with you.

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