Now that baby #2 is three months old, I'm finally able to catch up a little bit on things I planned to do before I realized how much busier I would be with two boys. So, without further ado, here are some of my favorite things that either didn't exist when I had my first, or I just didn't know about them. As they say, when you know better, you do better.
Diapers: So this is a no-brainer, because I actually used these with my first. I absolutely love my Smart Bottoms 3.1 Organic one-size cloth diapers. I love the fact that I bought them years ago, used them with number one, and they are such high quality that I get to use them again. A few brands I went through prior to finding Smart Bottoms didn't even last through a year. I expect these to last through this little one's whole journey and then still be able to get some money back selling them used. I did start with some newborn Born Smart diapers, but I didn't prep them enough and never really got a good fit with them.
Car Seat: Despite the fact that my little guy is currently hating all car rides unless he is sleeping, I do not blame this on the car seat, but rather my baby just hating car rides, as most do. I have the Uppababy Mesa in Henry, the ONLY car seat on the market made without ANY flame retardant chemicals. They get around this requirement by making it with wool, a naturally flame retardant material. They even have a patent on their process, so no other car seat manufacturer can do this for another number of years. Not only is it chemical free, but the base is completely fool proof to install, less than a minute! The seat itself looks very rich and the material is very soft. There is a lot of padding to keep the little guy comfortable for when he is sleeping in it.
Playard (Portacrib): I am loving my Nuna Sena Mini. The size is perfect for the limited space we have. It is extremely light, and did I mention, it is free of hazardous chemicals? I even got an organic crib sheet for it too. Granted my little guy only sleeps in it for the first stretch of sleep at night because he needs to be with me after that, I am happy to have it and plan to use it for him on trips, rather then relying on a hotel portacrib option. Despite it's small size, it is definitely big enough to fit him for as long as he would need it.
Co-sleeper: When the little guy is in bed with us, I definitely feel safer when he is snuggled up in the SnuggleMe Organic co-sleeper. I love that it is organic, that the cover sheet is very easy to wash and the way the sides curve in around him when I place him in the "hammock-like" center really helps to cradle him and curb some startle reflex that wakes him up when he is not in it.
Swaddle: Every baby is definitely different. My first loved being swaddled until he didn't need it anymore and slept very well in the SwaddleMe Velcro Organic swaddles. This one would fall asleep okay in them, but as soon as he woke up he HATED the fact that his arms were stuck down by his sides and I couldn't get him to go back to sleep. Enter the Love to Dream Swaddle Up Organic swaddle. Besides being a cinch to use (just stick the baby in and zip up) it is awesome that my little one can self-soothe with his hands in his mouth. Because he can move a bit more, he still wakes with a little of the startle reflex, but it's better than the way he would scream from not being able to move at all. Another genius element of these swaddles is that it has two zippers. Although we are no longer doing diaper changes in the middle of the night (thank you Smart Bottoms) when we did, zipping up the bottom zipper and not having to take off the entire swaddle was great for getting him back to sleep easier. Nothing wakes a sleeping baby faster than ripping open Velcro.
Diaper Bag: Last time it was very important to me to have an organic diaper bag. I liked the one I used, it served it's purpose, but with the amount of time I'm wearing it, I wanted something more comfortable this time around. I am very pleased with my Ju Ju Be BFF backpack. It not only holds a surprising amount of items, it also has so many sections to organize like a wiz. Although I have to admit I needed a Ju Ju Be expert to show me how to best utilize all the section and pockets. The ridiculous amount of prints are fabulous and the fact that it is machine washable is amazing. I don't worry about taking dirty diapers around with me because if necessary, I can through my diaper bag in the wash.
Nursing Supplements: Although I thankfully haven't been having as much of a supply issue as last time, I at least now know that there are some really yummy options out there to support milk production. Munchkin has partnered with MilkMakers and their lactation bars and cookies are pretty yummy. Who doesn't want an excuse to eat cookies and sweet treats in the name of milk making goodness? The chocolate salted caramel have been my favorite by far.
Baby Carrier: I have to admit, I thought I was all set in this department. I went through a number of different baby carriers with number one and saved my favorites. Well, just like technology changes in only a few short years, apparently so do baby carriers! I am in LOVE with my Ergobaby Omni 360 carrier. Not only is it an adorable Hello Kitty print (so what if people assume my boy is a girl because of it) it is so supportive and comfortable. I have even worn him in it in the heat and it hasn't seemed to bother him. Being able to nurse in it is also a huge bonus, especially because we tend to be out and about more than I was with my first at this age. I am looking into trying out their new linen carriers as well, but for now, I will sport Hello Kitty all day, every day.
Bath: I saved my bathtub from my first, but our bathroom is completely different than it was last time around and a big jacuzzi tub and a very shallow double sink do not lend themselves well to a traditional plastic bathtub. Enter the Blooming Bath. The padded flower sits extremely well in our shallow little sink and I don't have to worry about my little guy throwing an epic fit when it is bath time. I typically bathe him when number one is taking a bath already, which warms up the ambient temperature of the room nicely. In addition, I also love my Scrubbee by Big Bee Little Bee. It is very easy to hold, I feel like it cleans the little one very well without hurting his delicate skin AND it helped get rid of his cradle cap as well, win-win-win!
Events: Now this may seem like a silly category, but I didn't know about any mommy events until my first was almost a year old. Through these awesome mommy events I've made some great friends, learned about a lot of these products, and even won some of the items above! I highly recommend checking out Mommycon. They are a mom convention that travels around the country, bringing cloth diapering and babywearing experts with them. I have attended almost every year and am looking forward to this year as well. In Los Angeles, I love going to SoCalMoms events, including their Great Big Family Play Day. Even with a little baby in tow, I had to stay the whole day from 9am-5pm in the crazy heat, because it was just that great of an event! Another awesome yearly event in the Celebrity Red CARpet Safety Event that focuses on car seat safety and all around safety. Their gift bags are ridiculous and the giveaways are huge!
Thank you for taking the time to read all about my favorite things. Be sure to comment below with some of yours. As my little one grows I'm sure I'll have many more things to add to this list. Looking ahead I'm trying to decide which Activity Cube to go with. If I can avoid more "lights and sounds" and "replacing batteries" as he gets older, that will be great!