As hard as it is for me to believe, we are quickly approaching the end of Adelaide's first year. So, I thought I would share a few things that we've really loved over the past several months. 

As I started thinking through my list, I quickly realized there are quite a few things that I really love/loved, so I decided to divide it into 2 parts. The first one will be "necessities". Of course, none of it is probably necessary, but it's more of the baby gear that a lot of people would probably consider getting. The second list will be more of the fun, though unnecessary things that we/I really loved.

Part One:

*Note: I have included links to where we purchased each product. I am sure most of these things are available at multiple retailers. We made most of our purchases based on best price and where we had gift cards :)

1. Ergo Baby Performance Collection Baby Carrier and Infant Insert: I loved it. Adelaide loved it. Jordan loved it. There were several weeks where our nightly routine was to put Adelaide in this and go for a walk around the neighborhood. It was our go-to. If she wouldn't sleep? Put her in the Ergo. If she wouldn't stop crying? Put her in the Ergo. It was our answer to pretty much everything. Adelaide would go in there and conk out before I could say "Call mom!" I will say that in the Texas heat, this thing gets hot and it's the Performance Collection. It makes me wonder how hot the standard Ergo might get for mom and baby. Something to consider.

2. Baby Jogger City Mini Stroller: This was our big ticket item. We were ecstatic when Jordan's Aunt Pam got it for us! We don't have anything to compare it to, but I can say that it's super easy to use and it seems to have an incredibly smooth ride. We love how low the canopy can go , but it does seem   (like everything in Texas summer I guess) to get hot. Not a lot of air flow. But that may be the same with all strollers.

3. Nosefrida: Yes it is disgusting. Yes I did say (before Adelaide was born) that I would never use this. But when your 3 month old is sick, you'd do anything to make it better, or at least keep it from getting worse. And I'm telling you, this works better than any plain-jane bulb aspirator you'll find. And it's really not that gross when it's your own kid. After a couple of times, you won't even think twice. Promise.

4. The First Years Bottle Warmer: We didn't get a bottle warmer initially, because we didn't want to get Adelaide used to warm milk, because then what would we do if we were out and we didn't have  warm bottle... didn't want to spoil her... you know, first time parent worries. But once we started mixed formula in bulk (with the Dr. Browns Formula Pitcher, can't believe I forgot to include that!) and keeping bottles in the fridge this was great. I've only used one other warmer, but I like this one better. It gives a specific amount of water to put in the warmer based on how full the bottle is. It clicks off on its own when the bottle is ready, so you can pop it in and just come back whenever you're ready. We've loved it.

5. Baby's Only Organic Formula: If you choose to go the formula route for whatever reason, this is where we landed and we've loved it. We went through several different formulas before ending up on this one and I am so glad to have found it. Based on my research (I am by no means an expert), this was the only truly non-GMO formula. Others say they are non-GMO, but it is my understanding that the DHA in those may be derived from GMO sources. So, whether that is true or not is up to you to find out, but that's how and why we ended up on it though. It is slightly more expensive than name brands, but in my opinion, it's worth it. We found it at our local Sprouts and Whole Foods, but it's cheaper if you buy it by the case online.

6. Zoli Cup: This is the straw cup that Adelaide learned to drink from at 10 months. It's got a weight at the bottom of the straw so it stays in the liquid and the lid doesn't come off when she drops throws it on the ground. 

7. Munchkin Bottle Drying Rack: We've got two of these, one for clean and one for dry. It's the system we've used since day 1 (an idea I saw on a blog somewhere, unfortunately I don't remember where). It's worked out great for us, those racks will hold tons of stuff and don't take up any more space than the cuter, but in my opinion less functional, drying grass/flowers you'll see.

8. Summer Infant Video Monitor: I think this is a slightly newer version of the one we have. Ours had a battery that was recalled, which was replaced for free. We never had any problems with it though. Initially, we didn't plan to get a video monitor, but I can't tell you enough times with enough enthusiasm how incredibly glad I am that it's what we ended up with. Being able to peek in to see what exactly is causing a noise you hear, without having to give yourself up is priceless! I also love to just be able to take a peek every so often, just for the reassurance. And I'm fairly certain this will come in handy still for the next couple of years during nap and at night. The peace of mind this things offers is worth the price if you ask me.

9. aden + anais Sleeping Bag: This is what we've been using for naps since we got Adelaide out of the swaddle. Usually she just sleeps in footy PJ's at night, but I like to put her in this during the day when her legs and feet are exposed. This is nice a light, but still offers a little warmth to those exposed areas.

10. Halo SleepSack Swaddle Blanket: We had a couple of these, one fleece and one cotton. We used it every night until we got Adelaide out of the swaddle at 5 months. Once she was done with the swaddle, I cut the swaddling tabs? off of the fleece one and continued using it as a SleepSack until it got too warm for fleece.

11. Crane Cool Mist HumidifierAdelaide went through several bouts of sickness; colds, ear infections, croup... Every time the doctor's office would tell us to use a cool mist humidifier when she was sleeping. We actually used it every single night from about December until around April or May. It's really quiet and puts out a lot of mist. So much that one night, when we wanted to be extra sure that she was getting the moist air, we scooted it a little too close to the crib and the corner of her sheet was soaked in the morning from all the mist! Lesson learned!

Wow, that got really long. Who knew I had so much knowledge to share? Ha! But, I have to share one more thing today, the source of almost all of my knowledge when it came to making choices about what to buy. Baby Bargains. I spent hours scouring this book, highlighting and tabbing. It was pretty over-the-top, I realize that now. But It gives a breakdown of almost every option (about 4x as many options as I even knew existed in most cases) in every category. I don't know how anyone could ever narrow down the fifty-million options without it! I would highly recommend it to any clueless first-time parent such as myself.

Bet that got reeeeally boring to most, but oh well. Maybe it will be useful to someone!

Part Two coming soon. Maybe it won't be as long?

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission (we're not talkin' a new wardrobe here, more like snack money :). Regardless, I only recommend products  I use personally and believe others may enjoy as well. Thank you for supporting the companies that support me and my family!


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