If I had a nickel for everything I didn’t know about babies, I’d be one rich lady. Before Dylan, I had literally been around one baby – my precious niece, Kaitlyn. So when it came time to register for and buy baby stuff, I was pretty clueless. Needless to say, we got and bought a ton of stuff… some we’re loving and can’t live without and some we’ve turned into dog toys. I wish I could make you one of those awesome Target back to school commercials detailing this list, que the “backpackkkkkks!” but I’m just not that cool, so here’s my “Love it” and “Gotta have it” list of infant stuff. The Gotta have it list are seriously things I couldn’t live without now.
Oh and please take this post for what it is – just one new mama’s (with limited baby exposure!) favorite baby stuff! I’m by no means a baby expert, I just know what makes me and my 8 week old baby boy happy!
Soft, light and super versatile! I typically use these for swaddling and cuddling, but I’ve also used as a nursing cover and even a burp cloth from time to time. I’ve even found myself sleeping with these… without Dylan!
Love everything about this car seat and it’s super easy to install / get in and out of the car.
The stroller is also super nice and such a smooth ride. My only complaint here is storage… I can barely fit my diaper bag underneath sometimes, but I carry a ton of stuff around with me!
Dylan LOVES this. We spend about 30 minutes everyday playing on it and he coos and smiles the entire time. We also do our Tummy Time on it because the mat is so soft.
This chair has been a lifesaver during dinner time and when I’m getting ready. It vibrates and keeps him entertained when I can’t hold him. I also love that it’s super light and I can tote it around the house with me.
This is seriously cool. It attaches to the crib and plays soothing music, while little fish swim by. It also has a timer and remote so I can restart the music without coming into the room. Playing music from this toy is now part of our bedtime routine!
I didn’t love this at first and still don’t think it’s as good as the BreastFriend pillow that I used while at the lactation consultant but it’s still a great pillow for nursing. I also love to prop Dylan up on it when we play or sit on the couch together.
I tried the Bjorn, the Boba and the Peanut Shell sling and although I like several things about each one, I LOVE the Ergo Baby carrier. It’s the most comfortable and feels the most secure. It’s also magical, as it literally puts Dylan to sleep in 2 minutes flat.
I think these are such a cute way to capture your little one growing! There are tons of these on Etsy but this would also be a great DIY project!
The Miracle Blanket This is the one product that actually changed my life. It took Dylan from 2 hour sleep sprints to 5… instantly! I initially thought he didn’t like to be swaddled because he could get out of every blanket and SwaddleMe swaddle… but he cannot get out of this one! It’s also super easy to change his diaper in, as you don’t have to undo the arm swaddle to pull his legs out.
Instead of a bassinet, we used this guy and Dylan loves it! He spits up a good amount, so this has been perfect at keeping him at an incline while he sleeps. It’s also super portable and lightweight. I’ve spent full nights rocking this sucker… I think I can do it in my sleep now!
This is another Dylan favorite and basically his seat in our living room when we’re not holding him. What’s great about this is that it plugs into the wall (so no batteries!) and it has a great sound machine. I switch between the white noise and the lullaby. Jer and I joke that we now hear the lullabies from this even when it’s not playing. I even start humming them randomly.
What a LIFE SAVER this has been. So I’m working on another post about my breastfeeding drama/journey, but basically I was nursing AND pumping 8 times a day and having my hands free for the pumping part was so very helpful. If you plan to pump, this is a MUST!
Watching Dylan fight gas pains is probably worse on me than the actual gas is on him. These gas drops are amazballs…. nuff’ said.
Jer did a lot of research on baby monitors and claims this has the best product reviews and after using it, I’m hooked! Talk about peace of mind… being able to watch my little guy sleep and even zoom in to see him breathe has been so comforting! I also love that I can talk to Dylan and play music through it.
I know I featured this in my baby organizing post, but this has seriously become the downstairs “baby station”. It’s where we change him and store burp clothes, blankets, the diaper bag, etc. It’s been so nice to have one spot downstairs where we store all his stuff!
Ok… enough of my favorites, what baby products are you loving?!
Disclaimer: Yes, this post title accurately reflects its contents (aka: we’re talking about a topic that involves my va-jay-jay) So if that’s awkward for you or if you’re a guy friend/co-worker please don’t read this
I’m back! Well… kind of. I’m still in a bit of survival mode as we are no where near sleeping through the night, but I think I’m finally starting to adapt. Thank you guys so much for the sweet messages and comments and a special thank you for all of the advice you provided along the way – it was used and definitely appreciated.
Over the past few weeks I also got several messages asking for new mama tips that I’ve picked up along the away and for my birth story. It may take a few weeks but I’ve got several posts in the works that answer pretty much everyone’s questions and I’m starting a new blog tab to archive it all (come back soon to check it out!) I’ll start with my birth story since I loved reading these before Dylan because I really think they helped prepare me a little for what was about to go down. Although everyone’s different, here’s the story of how baby Dylan made it out the va-jay-jay:
So ever since we got pregnant I had a feeling Dylan was going to be a June baby. His due date was July 4, but I just had one of those deep down feelings he wasn’t going to make it that far… and only partially because I was constantly fattening him up with cheeseburgers and milkshakes. So on Saturday, June 30, I went to bed a little bummed only to stand up minutes later to my water breaking. And “breaking” is such an understatement… it actually busted, exploded, gushed. It was a moment of “I just totally peed myself, wait.. that’s a lot of pee and I didn’t even have to pee… oh snap, that’s not pee, I’m having a baby… oh wait please don’t come out in the toilet like they do on TV!”. So I immediately called the after hours line of my OB to let the hospital know we were coming, threw our stuff in the car, and kissed Bo goodbye, promising to bring him home a baby brother. And then as soon as we got into the car, the contractions began. For the past few weeks of false labor pains I kept telling my friends how much I hated the saying “when it’s real labor, you’ll just know!” but it’s so true. In my experience, you can’t walk and you can’t talk through them. You can walk/talk between them, but not during them. They hurt like a mother trucker.
Ok, so picture what happens next in fast forward as it’s just pretty standard stuff: Got to the hospital, filled out paperwork with a dumb receptionist while having contractions, then went into a triage room where they realized I was telling the truth about my water braking, hence the lovely amniotic fluid dripping down my leg. Then I was taken to the birthing room where I got my IV and this dreadful belly monitor strapped to me. HATED the belly monitor, mostly because it was super tight on my contracting belly but also because it didn’t really work and wasn’t giving me credit for the contractions I was having.. I’m not talking about a gold star but a pat on the back for doing this cave woman style for a bit would be nice!
So my plan all along was to get an epidural as soon as labor started. Hell, I would have gotten one in the car ride over if that was an option.. and as much of the stuff as my body could take. I’m talking pain free people. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen for me since the doctor on staff was caught up with the woman in the next room screaming at the top of her lungs. So I waited and waited and waited. Two hours later I was 4 cm dilated and 90% effaced AND finally got the epidural. I was pretty nervous about getting it, but it was literally a little bee sting and felt a million times better than the contractions or the IV did. The only bad part of the epidural was the shakes. Oh the shakes… I wasn’t prepared at all for my entire upper body to shake uncontrollably and I think it totally scared my mom and husband, who watched this whole process as if I was the Discovery channel.
So after the epidural, the nurse left for a while and said, “ok, now you just gotta hang out. Hit this button if you’re in any more pain”. I’ll totally admit that my pain tolerance sucks and even with the slightest pain, I hit the button. So around 10 button hits and 2 hours later, I felt a sudden urge to push and more “water” running down my legs. The nurse, who I think totally underestimated these birthing hips left us for a while and seemed very surprised when she returned to find me 9 cm dilated and fully effaced, aka: time to push that bambino outta there.
I guess because of the movies, I always imagined using stirrups to brace myself while I pushed, not my nurse holding one leg and my husband holding the other. It was awkward but after about an hour I had the process down: every time I felt a contraction coming on (and the stupid belly monitor confirmed it) “my birthing team” grabbed a leg and a foot and I pushed 3 times for 10 seconds. This continued about every 3-5 minutes for an hour. Then the scariness started – I started contracting every 1 minute and Dylan’s heart rate significantly dropped and the entire room panicked and my nurse picked up the phone (later to find out she was ordering an emergency c-section). The doctor rushed in and ordered the nurse to give me a shot of something to slow the contractions and several people flipped me on all fours (think yoga downward dog). My hair was covering my eyes so I had no idea what was happening as I couldn’t read facial expressions, but as soon as I was able to see Jer’s face, I knew it wasn’t good. He was straight up flipping out. A few minutes later they flipped me back on my back and Dylan’s heart rate was back around 150. Whatever they did worked and we continued to push and push and push. Finally 3 hours later the new doctor (I think the Dr. shift change totally screwed me here!) decided to perform an episiotomy. I was able to watch the entire birth process in the mirror across from me (which I totally recommend for a medicated birth, so that you can gauge your pushes) but I just couldn’t watch this part. Then there was a snip (which I never felt) and then I was told to push really hard. So I closed my eyes, held my breath, clinched my fists and pushed with everything I had. What happens next is something I’ll never forget so long as I live – the moment they put my sweet baby boy on my belly and he looked up at me. Every parent talks about the love they have for their child but it’s truly impossible for words to explain this love. It’s like no other and by far the most amazing feeling in the world.
So that’s the story of how my sweet Dylan made his grand entrance!
|My postpartum healing story is lots shorter. I followed my doctor and nurses advice to a T and healed my episiotomy and third degree tear in about 2-3 weeks. Every potty I used an epi spray bottle, New Mama Bottom Spray, Tucks and Epifoam. This is literally a breath of fresh air for your lady parts – def def def recommend all three.The day we left the hospital I asked my nurse for extra pads, undies and tucks and she totally hooked a sista up! Trust me, you’re paying for it, so take everything you can – diapers, wipes, soap and those plastic buckets for storing it all!|
So all in all what has surprised me the most about this journey is that the birthing process has honestly been the easiest part. Breastfeeding, sleep schedules, fevers and a screaming baby are way harder! Working on a few posts to share all this new mama drama with you soon!
Hey guys – so sorry for the radio silence over here but I’ve been one busy mama. Ekk… so excited to finally call myself that. I’m so proud to introduce you to my son, Dylan Scott, who was born on July 1. He’s the light of my life and I’m enjoying every second with him! We’re still in a bit of survival mode, learning our feeding and sleep schedule but I’ll be back soon with some exciting posts – especially for all you mamas to be. I’ve learned A LOT over the past couple weeks and can’t wait to share it with you!
I’ve always thought the main benefits to being organized were two fold – (1) You know where everything is and can easily get to it without tripping, digging or cussing and (2) It just looks better and gives you that warm-fuzzy, yet super in-control feeling that you are a woman that has “got it goin’ on!” <insert flamboyant triple finger snap>. Sometimes I find myself organizing for reason #2 – take for example, my recent linen closet makeover. Sure, I could access all of my sheets and blankets while they were balled up in the linen closet, but don’t they just look so much better in neat little labeled bins? And every week (slight exaggeration on how often I change our sheets) when I open that closet, I totally give myself a little mental fist pump because I know I showed that closet who was boss.
So while I still have this full supply of nesting crack running through my super pregnant veins, I thought I would tackle a project that often makes me cringe – the mail/junk/remember-to-do/crap-should’ve-mailed-this-weeks-ago bin. Jer and I are famous, like mega-supa-star famous, for throwing random and important papers into our junk drawer. I think it’s the whole outta-sight-outta-mind concept, but every month I find myself sorting through this crap and realizing I forgot to mail or do something important. So to tackle this chaos, I turned to one of my most favorite blogs iHeartOrganizing for some tips and literally found myself taking a page out of her book… or should I say binder!
So without further ado, I’m proud to introduce to you… The Dorrough Family Binder. The one stop shop for all important family information. Although I totally intend for it to grow with our family, right now it has 4 sections: (1) Meal Planning (2) Contacts (3) Dylan (4) Important Dates. And yes, this is the Martha Stewart binder that I showed you guys a few weeks ago…told ya I had big plans for this bad boy.
I wanted the first section of the binder to house stuff that I might need quick access to for the other sections. Scissors for coupons that I’ve stored in the Meal Planning section, stamps for cards in the Important Dates section, zip-drive and itty-bitty tape measure for… Ok, Ok busted. They needed a home!
The first tab and the most frequented section of this Binder thus far is the Meal Planning section. Since my Relay Foods post, a few people have asked how I meal plan and this my friends is my answer. Sure, there are note pads and free word doc templates for doing this, but I think having your meal plan and shopping list on one piece of paper together is super helpful. So here’s how this goes down:
1. Every Sunday I pull out one of my Weekly Meals templates and in the left hand column plan our meals from Monday – Sunday. In the second picture below, you’ll see I’ve listed out some of our favorite meals for easy reference. This is super duper helpful and without it, I’d probably schedule pizza and spaghetti way too many times.
2. After listing out our meals, I then list out the ingredients I need to make it happen. I also do a drive by on our pantry and fridge to see what else I might need for the week.
3. I then log onto relayfoods.com and either quickly fill my cart from “my favorites” list or search out new items and place my order. (yes, I just grocery shopped in 5 minutes…. it’s life changing!)
4. Finally, I hang up this week’s meal plan in our kitchen for easy reference (and because I think this baby has literally eaten my brain and I can’t remember anyyyyything).
Aside from our list of favorite meals, I also use this dual pocket insert to house any coupons and last week’s Relay invoice, which actually had a 12% coupon on it!
Nothing fancy here… not even images, as I didn’t think my neighbors would appreciate their phone number and address on my blog. So in this section I have printouts with the following:
1. Our neighbors contact info
2. Emergency Info – Police, Fire, Family, Doctor, etc.
3. So I don’t have this in here yet, but one day when I have nothing to do (which I hear will be never, once Dylan arrives), I thought it would be a neat idea to print labels with addresses of those I frequently mail to – family and close friends, and have those live in this section for easy and quick reference.
Being the responsible parents-to-be that we are, Jer and I took a baby class a few months ago as we both have 0% experience with those tiny little people. The class was so worth it and we picked up a ton of information on vaccines, food, and hygiene. And since I have a hunch that we might need to reference this info in T minus 7 days, I decided that it needed a little home in the binder as well.
As Dylan gets older, I think this will also be a great place to house some of his daycare and school info.
So how many times have you forgotten a family member or close friend’s birthday? Sure, saying it on Facebook counts but there are some people in your life, you like to go that extra step for and send a gift or card to. As our family continues to grow, it’s been harder and harder to keep track of all of the dates, so taking another tip from Jen’s binder, I created an Important Dates template for our family:
Directly behind the dates, I use the dual pocket inserts to house cards for the next few months.
So that’s our Family Binder. I’m sure it will grow with time and take on new “chapters” but for now it’s working perfectly and has found a comfy little corner spot in our kitchen junk drawer.
More than happy to give y’all a free printable of both the meal planner and important dates template. Just let me know in the comments and I’ll send you a link to download.