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Tuesday, November 08, 2011

my favorite things… BABY GEAR edition

Before we dive right in: just in case you begin to wonder… I was soooooooooooo NOT compensated to write about any of these products.

{I mean, who am I? Oprah???}

We either received these at our baby shower or bought them ourselves. These are purchases I researched and chose to register for and these are my honest to God, non-influenced opinions! =)



 First things first, though this may be a little tongue in cheek and not a literal baby item, personally, my day’s productivity level {since baby} can be measured by what time I got to drink my coveted cup o’ joe and how strong the coffee is that’s now coursing through my veins. If you don’t own a coffee maker, I strongly suggest that you  purchase one. It also doesn’t hurt to get yourself a cute coffee mug to look at when the rest of the scenery in your house could pass for the remains of Armageddon…

Mommy. Needs. Coffee (with stains) Travel Mug


{Side note for those who are wondering: I’ve been enjoying my coffee since day one that this joyous little creature entered my life. I usually don’t have more than one cup a day – there are exceptional days though – and I haven’t seen any problems with breastfeeding and the consumption of caffeine. My little angel takes fantastic naps throughout the day and lately – knock on wood! – has been waking up just once or twice in a 10 hour stretch at night =)=)=) Praise GOD!}


The First Years BabyPro Sterilizer by Learning Curve

Speaking of Armageddon and the lack of cleaning that seems to take place with a newborn… a friend suggested this little gem to me for helping with the endless sterilizing of pacifiers, bottles, breast pump equipment, etc. I have used it at least a million times already in only 10 weeks and I LOVE IT.

   The First Years™ BabyPro Sterilizer by Learning Curve™



Angelcare Movement Sensor with Sound Monitor

Seriously, peace of mind – can you put a price on it? This device fits under the mattress and is SUPER sensitive to your baby’s every move, specifically breathing. If it doesn’t sense movement {breathing} within 20 seconds, an alarm goes off alerting you and hopefully startling the child enough to prompt breathing.


 Angelcare Movement Sensor with Sound Monitor - Angelcare  - Babies"R"Us


Also, a good baby monitor is a MUST! A sound monitor can do the trick, but a video monitor can be a mom’s best friend. Count the years you can continue to use it {I’ve been told} once he’s in his “big boy bed” and you just want to check on him without opening the door and risk waking him up – totally worth the $cha-ching$! I just got my monitor, a Safety 1st brand, this summer but can no longer find it online. There is an Angelcare monitor that incorporates video in the device as well, and if I were doing it all over again, I’d probably opt for that instead of having both monitors at my bedside. Live and learn!



Graco® Pack 'n Play® Portable Playard with Newborn Napper™ in Maddox

I love the newborn napper on this pack ‘n play, great for a bedside bassinet to keep the baby up higher and in your view, as well as giving your baby the little bit of incline they love and keeping super cozy.  There’s a tiny nightlight built in, but it isn’t really bright enough to be of much use. The vibrate and sound is a great little feature that we did find useful though. I haven’t used the changing table much but had no complaints when I did. Great for a travel bed and I’m assuming we’ll get lots of use out of it as a play pen when he gets a little older.


Pee-pee Teepee™ by Beba Bean

Okay… if you’re having a bouncing baby boy and you haven’t heard of these, consider yourself warned! IT will get you… ;)


Medela® Pump In Style® Advanced Breastpump with Metro Bag

I haven’t even been back to work yet but I’ve already used my electric pump a ton! I’ve been doing my best to save up a good freezer supply and it’s definitely MUCH quicker to pump and let someone else feed the baby at times. This weekend, we got away for a 24 hour span {more on that later!} and I even used this in the car. I.LOVE.THIS.PUMP. I have a manual hand pump by the same brand too… holy cow, it is night and day in speed difference and how much more milk I can get with the electric!


Lansinoh HPA Lanolin

Essential for breastfeeding moms! I tried the Medela brand, which was much more “runny” and even though some think the Lansinoh is too sticky, it was better at doing the job it’s made to do. In the first few weeks, I used it after every feeding. Now I only use it about once a week, though once daily would probably be better for the health of my little friends ;)

At the risk of you thinking I’m completely gross and downright weird, I’ve now been using it as…. chapstick!

My lips have developed insane sensitivities to random chapsticks and lip glosses and when Houston was about a month old, my lips reacted to a new lip gloss and decided to peel off completely, leaving them swollen and burning 24 hours a day for a full week. Though I truly enjoyed the look of my new Angelina Jolie-esque puffy pout, they were unbelievably painful, continually peeling, and made it extremely difficult to eat, drink, or kiss my precious little angel. My mom suggested I try this to heal them. Lo and behold it WORKED! I’m now on the search for actual lanolin based chapstick to make it more convenient for my purse than this large tube.

Lansinoh HPA Lanolin for Breastfeeding Mothers


Pampers Swaddlers 

I didn’t know we would favor one diaper so much over the others, but I will only buy these for now because of their OVER THE TOP HELPFUL little yellow line that changes to blue when wet. Love it! Truly saves all the guessing when the baby is crying and you’re not sure why. You can take a peek at the diaper without having to unnecessarily undress them just to find out they’re dry. I’ve compared prices using coupons, ordering from places online where you get cash back and there’s no tax or shipping costs, and STILL, Sam’s club beats all of those prices. We burn through this HUGE box right now in a little over 2 weeks!


My sweet little model showing off that tell-tell blue line and just how cute a dirty diaper really can be!




NEST Elliott Diaper Bag 

I looooooove my diaper bag! More than enough pockets, zippers, and room for organization while still staying stylish ;) I always get compliments carrying it.


Looks like Heidi Klum loves hers in black!


NEST Quilted Diaper Bag – Black

I really wasn’t wanting a diaper bag with lots of colors and busy patterns, I figured getting one in brown and one in black would take me far. I have not been disappointed with that decision. I love this bag that is also from NEST, but not as much as the previous bag. Sometimes I think I should have got the first bag in multiple colors!

NEST Quilted Diaper Bag - Black


I’m also diggin’ this NEST Canvas Diaper Bag - Khaki/Black!


custom designed baby bedding at Carousel Designs

I spent far too much time searching for the perfect baby bedding. Every time I liked one, it was waaaaaaaay out of my price range. {As in, more than I paid for our lovely king size bedding, 2 sets of sheets, decorative pillows, 2 dust ruffles to make it extra frilly, and 4 curtain panels…. yeah, some crib bedding is totally overpriced!}

This website has a fun little interactive tool you can use to combine your style and your fabrics to create one of a kind bedding you can see on the screen before ordering. It is a whole bunch of fun and surprisingly inexpensive!

Here’s the screen shot of the bedding I put together online before ordering:

crib bedding

…and in real life:

How’s that for accuracy?!



Skip Hop Funky Farmyard Activity Mat 

Nothing special – just a fun little place to let him kick and reach and stare at himself in the mirror. I love the little curved pillow that comes with it that helps him tolerate tummy time much better when propped under his chest.

Chicco®Cortina KeyFit 30 Travel System in Romantic

Researching the many strollers and travel systems that are out there: muy frustrante!

This travel system came highly recommended by… likeall of my friends who have kids. That’s all it took to sign me up. I haven’t had one single problem with it and thanks to the dog needing his daily walks, we have been strollin’, strollin’, strollin’. No probs with the carseat either – little man never protests and never seems uncomfortable.


Baby Jogger City Mini Single Stroller

We also got this jogging stroller at the recommendation of friends who navigate the streets of NY and Chicago with it daily. I’m a believer, but not from experience… it’s still in the box. When the boy can hold his head up consistently, we’ll be breaking this bad boy out! I’ll be sure to update you.


Fisher-Price® Zen Cradle Swing

Thanks to this little beauty, yours truly was able to finish typing this post while my sweet angel swings and slumbers! I love that the seat pivots so that you can experiment with which way soothes your baby better – swinging side to side or front to back. It also plugs in, battery free is a positive these days!



There is so much more to review… carriers, books, teethers, toys, bouncy chairs, bumbos… I will be back with those reviews as soon as they have been tested and tried! Hope you enjoyed =)



This resource for baby coupons might save even more money on these favorite things!


  1. I don't have a baby (nor am I preg) but I liked reading about all this stuff! :)

  2. I just finished nursing my little guy (he's 15 months now) and I use my lansinoh breast cream for chapstick too!

  3. Thank you for the honest review. I've been so disappointed with some other bloggers who only recommend things they were paid for.

  4. Thank you for writing this post! I am 20 weeks pregnant with a precious baby boy and so overwhelmed with every product out there! This helps SOOO much! :)

  5. Great stuff Stephanie!! We've used the angelcare monitor from day 1- I love the ticking, but be warned once Houston becomes wriggly you'll get some false alarms! you can buy another pad through the company.

    Love pampers and the medela pump!

    You've got this mommy stuff all figured out ;)

    Also, thanks for your sweet comments!

  6. I do have to say, I loved my Medela and the Lansinoh cream best! I wouldn't recommend anything else. And Pampers Swaddlers for the wee ones too!

    The "jogger" stroller isn't really a jogging stroller though, unless the front wheels lock. I do like the style of it!

  7. Pampers are the BEST. We have been fans since B was in preemie his now size 4 Cruisers!

    And Medela pumps are worth every penny!!!

  8. I am also super loyal to the yellow/blue stripe line on diapers! But I couldn't find a size 2 Pampers with it so we had to switch to a Huggies version with the same thing. Love that first diaper bag! I think I need to have another to swap in and out with my current one...

  9. So helpful! I bookmarked this post so one day {hopefully soon??} I'll come back and look at all the "necessary" items. Thanks!! xo

  10. I love hearing which products moms love! I love my city mini, too, and the swaddlers? BRILLIANT! I freaked out when I bought the wrong kind one time that didn't have the all knowing stripe :)

  11. I've written down your suggestions in my "baby prep book." I don't have any kids yet but the hubs and I are going to start trying soon!

  12. Great reviews on all these wonderful products! So many of them we also have! I love our Chicco carseat/stroller, we never did a diaper change without the teepees (until he could control himself better later on) and I agree...a good baby monitor does wonders! Peace of mind is worth the money! At first my husband didn't think we needed one but after several nights of all of us sleeping better (b/c I didn't "check" on him every couple of hours!), he was sold!

    Hope you are well and enjoying your time off!


  13. Thanks for all of your honest thoughts & reviews! I don't have a baby yet & not pregnant, but will probably come back to this posting for help when my Hubby and I decide to have a baby!
    I wanted to see how your pup is handling the baby? We have a dog and she's our world right now (and spoiled!) so I'd be interested to see how yours is embracing being #2 now :) Congratulations on your beautiful baby boy!

  14. Hah...I love that coffee mug. I'm gonna have to get one of those for both of my sisters!

  15. Oh honey! You're gonna LOVE the Baby Jogger stroller! We have that exact one (same color). In fact, we got the car seat adapter with it and voila, THAT was our "travel system." The day we registered for it, we saw a couple with their newborn baby using the exact thing we registered for and they RAVED about it. Now, we'll do the same thing! :) I love how it folds up. I can do it while holding my son in the other arm and I'm only 5 feet tall!

  16. ok so i have had my eye on that elliot nest diaper bag for the past month! but i have only ever seen it in blue or black! where did you find that tan color?!?! i LOVE it!

  17. Great post - thanks! Can you maybe do a snapsot of Houston's daily schedule??

  18. Thanks for the reviews. Oh so helpful:)

  19. Super helpful! Especially for a CLUELESS mommy to be! I'm 21 weeks and have NO idea what I'm doing! lol Thank the Lord for the internet!

  20. good information ... I have read and will be added to my personal knowledge... thanks

  21. I love reading other people's baby must haves... But I laughed at your commen about coffee... What nursing mom can survive without it?!! At the beginning they nurse like 12 hours out of te day! Ha so thankful my little guy is quicker now but I still need my daily coffee :)

  22. Thanks for this informative blog. I think this is a best option for car wheels & other accessories.

    caster pads & cart casters


I just shared my thoughts, I'd love to hear you share yours! {Besides, I'm tired of listening to the voices in my head.} I kid, I kid... ;)