When I first found out I was pregnant I was ecstatic. For my entire 9 months, I researched EVERYTHING from the foods I ate to every single item that I added to my baby registry. By the time Amari was born, I had more crap then I knew what to do with. Now, I am 4 months in and I am doing pretty OK with this motherhood thing. I learned quickly which items I would never use again and which items I couldn’t do without. Now that it is the end of the year an everyone is doing their “best of 2018” and their “year-end roundups”, I figured what the heck… I should do the same. So, here is my list of my favorite items that made motherhood such a breeze that I felt like I was given some sort of cheat code; and now I am passing the hacks off to you.Kiinde Bottle Feeding System – Everyone loves to throw around words like “revolutionary” and “one of a kind” when talking about their products. But the makers of the Kiinde System really epitomized this. And if I could throw in one additional word, its COMPATIBILITY. In all of my bottle feeding and breast pumping research I had come across nothing as innovative as this. Instead of bottles, Kiinde utilizes a system where their twist pouches lock on to all major pump brands. You pump and store your milk directly into their bags. So now you don’t have to worry about losing that precious liquid gold when transferring your pumped milk. By the time I had gone back to work, I had about 55 bags of milk stored in the freezer and having them in bags was a huge space saver. When it’s time to eat, just snap the pouch directly into the feeding bottle, squeeze the air out of the pouch, and pop their nipple on top! Baby doesn’t like the Kiinde nipple? Just use one of their adapters to twist on whichever brand’s nipple your little one desires. Not quite ready to commit? The people at Kiinde were Kiinde enough (pun intended) to loan me a link so that you can get a FREE (yes free) starter kit (valued at $49) to test out. You just have to pay the $6 shipping. Totally worth it! Now hurry up and get yours here before they are all gone!
Fisher Price Sit Me Up – I knew that Amari would be laying for quite some time, and I obviously knew he would eventually sit up. But I never really thought about what happened in between when he doesn’t want to lie staring at the ceiling all day anymore but he can’t quite sit up without using my arm as his sole method of support. Putting him in a baby carrier is cool and all but do you really want to cook with your child hanging over the stove like that? Listen kid, I can’t hold you up like this all day! Mama has laundry to do! This is where the Fisher Price Sit Me Up came in handy. It’s not as large as other baby chairs and is specifically designed to provide your child with the support to assist him with sitting up until he can manage to do it on his own. So you can get that precious other arm back to finish folding your clothes (or not) with!
White Noise Machine – I personally HATE hearing a single sound when I sleep. So with the natural order of things, I assumed Amari would be the same. I would put him down to sleep in his crib and as soon as I walked out of the room (it never failed) either the door would close too hard, the doorbell would ring or Chewy and Leia (my dogs) would all of a sudden bark at a piece of dust that flew too close to their noses! After time and time again having to run back and shush my son back to sleep, I decided to try a white noise machine like this AuCuTee Sound Spa It actually emits a soothing sound to put Amari to sleep as well as to drown out all annoying outside noises. I was honestly pleasantly surprised at how well it worked. Now turning on the white noise machine is part of our evening routine. As soon as I turn that bad boy on, my guy is knocked out in less than 5 minutes and we no longer have to tiptoe around the house! Win-Win.
Want a free one? I’m holding a contest the week of December 31stthrough January 5th. Go to my IG page JustaNJMom and find the contest picture for the rules. The winner will be chosen January 5that 8pm.
Nosiboo Eco Nasal Aspirator – Not sure if you guys know this, but I work in a pathology lab. We literally see body parts all day and I do not flinch. Put me in the general vicinity of snot and my gag reflexes are on full tilt! I literally had to beg my mother to aspirate Amari’s nose the first time he was congested! So when JustABxMom gave me a Nosiboo as a baby gift I was like “nuh uh, nooo way am I doing that!” and I tucked it away for a re-gift (don’t tell her I said that). Then Amari had his first cold and was producing more mucus than that little body should be capable of. I had no choice but to get to aspirating. I used the typical nasal aspirates and it felt like as soon as I finished a job, there was a whole new mucus crew coming out of his nose. I felt like I was putting that darn thing up my poor baby’s nostril every 5 minutes. I will admit, I finally used the Nosiboo out of frustration. I put it together, closed my eyes and sucked! I opened my eyes up. Whoa, this wasn’t bad at all! And everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) came out. Guys, this is no joke, I didn’t have to touch that boy’s nose again for almost the entire day. When the next day came, I (very willingly) pulled out my newfound Nosiboo friend and got to work knowing that my child would actually be able to breathe for the rest of the day! LISTEN TO ME PEOPLE… If I can do it, you most certainly can. You will literally be working harder and not smarter if you don’t get one of these. If I haven’t convinced that you can do the deed by mouth, they have a Nosiboo Pro that has an attached vacuum to do all the dirty work for you.
Binxy Baby Shopping Cart Hammock – This is absolutely on the top of my list of “things you thought you didn’t need, that you find out you really do when it is too late”. The first time I went to a supermarket with my stroller, it wasn’t until I had pulled out the shopping cart that I realized “duhh how am I going to roll both of these things around at the same time?” Contrary to what people think, shopping carts are NOT configured to hold your baby’s car seat. Did you know that 24,000 kids a year are treated in hospital emergency rooms because of shopping cart-related injuries? Yep, and Amari will not be one of them! So I disappointedly turned away (sans groceries btw) and searched for a solution. After quite a bit of digging and research I found this Binxy Baby shopping hack. It is a super soft, 2 layer upholstery weight fabric that comfortably cradles your baby in the shopping cart while you do your shopping. It’s engineered to hold up to 50lbs and stretches to fit most standard size shopping carts. If you don’t feel like taking your child out of the car seat, that’s ok, because they include an attachment strap that can be used to secure your infant car seat. The coolest part is that it’s so small, you can roll it up and put it right into your diaper bag or purse. I personally just keep mine in the back of the car and pull it out whenever we go to the store. Amari loves being able to see what’s going on around him so he gets less fussy (my child is just as nosey as his mama) and I get to interact and play with him while I get my shopping done. This is a real pic from a real day that I went food shopping. Before the Binxy Baby I had Amari in a carrier and after 15 minutes he would get hot and bothered forcing me to just run in and grab my necessities and run back out. Now I literally stroll through the isles and actually have the luxury to comparison shop without either of us getting frazzled. Do not get stuck at the store like I did before you realize what a necessity this Binxy Baby hammock actually is.
Sprout Baby App – From day 1 in the hospital they give you a pen and a piece of paper and make you write down EVERY. THING. YOUR. BABY. DOES. What time did he poop? What color was it? Did he eat, which breast? How long? Good grief, I hate writing (ironic huh?)! I figured there must be an app for this, after all, there is an app for everything right? Of course, there was. There actually were a lot of them. However, some had certain features but were missing others. Sprout is the most comprehensive baby app that I have ever seen and has everything you need to track your baby’s everyday habits, all in one place. It has tools to track your child’s sleep, feedings, breast pumping sessions, diaper changing, as well as any additional activities you choose such as tummy time or baths. There’s a medical records section where you can record your baby’s health changes, plan doctor visits, record your baby’s growth and development. There is even a memories area where you can upload pictures and memories of all of your little’s “firsts”. Then all of the pertinent information is compiled to a snapshot page that gives you daily tips and all of your information at a glance. The best part is that all of this data can be exported to excel spreadsheets if you choose. They are currently only available through the Apple iOS and you can try it free for a week. But trust me the $7 is utterly and completely worth every single penny.