It’s crazy to think that we’re starting the final stretch of pregnancy. Watching my body change over the past 7 months has been the most humbling and exciting process. Every time I look in the mirror, I get giddy with excitement to meet our little one.
The growing bump has definitely challenged my wardrobe. I’m still avoiding maternity clothes shopping, so wrap dresses are becoming my go-to staple. Not only are they super comfy, but the wrap around waistbands allow plenty for room for the expanding bump (and chest!). Expect lots of wrap dresses post-baby as well. Easy access for nursing, comfy, and adjustable fit for the deflating body are just a few of the reasons I’ll be rocking a wardrobe of wraps come Spring.
Here are a few other wraps I currently have my eyes on:
As the days are getting colder, we all have the insane urge to pile on clothes until you are your own little heating system. Believe it or not, but there is a fashionable way to do this that DOES NOT include basketball shorts under jeans or a sweatshirt over a t-shirt which is over another sweatshirt. These layering systems are all great for around the house, but we do not step out in public like that. No way. So I decided to create a little “how to” guide on staying warm in the winter and layering fashionably. You can even shop the post below! Bundle up boys.
If you are anything like me, shopping for your guy is a huge pain and he tends to be super picky. That is why we are sticking to the essentials. Every guy needs a new coat for the winter and this one is amazing. New dress shoes are always a great idea, he can wear them for Christmas and New Years parties. I love getting my guy new grooming products and this comb is the best… it comes with three different engraved phrases you can choose from, not to mention that great travel bag. Have a happy holiday!
It’s hard to believe that we are getting ready to enter the 3rd trimester! February is going to be here before we know it. One thing that I’ve been working on since June, when I found out we were expecting, is a super detailed list of all of the baby gear we needed. We’re the crazy people that have tested out products in baby stores, talked to friends, and read endless reviews online about every single item we plan on using for our little one (by we, I mean mostly me).
For any newly pregnant friends, my advice is to start thinking about all of the gear early on. We’ve been able to find huge savings by stalking Craigslist for the exact products we wanted. Hello hardly used Baby Bjorn Bassinet and Stokke Stroller close to 50%! Oh, and our Mamaroo? Only $40 at a yard sale! Sure it takes a little patience and quite a bit of time to track down the items, but it is so worth the effort!
Here’s our round up the baby gear we plan on using and why we selected it. The general criteria we used were the following: will it make our life easier? does it have good reviews? is it gender neutral? is it a good value? would we still like it years down the road if we have another baby? We’ll keep you posted on how much of this we end up using and liking once the baby arrives!
+Bassinet: We’re planning on keeping the baby in our bedroom for the first few months. We decided on the Baby Bjorn Bassinet because it is very lightweight and the exterior is completely mesh, allowing lots of airflow for our toasty Arizona weather. Anything that can lower the risk of SIDS is always high on our list. Standard bassinet sheets seem to fit perfectly on it, so don’t waste money on the expensive Baby Bjorn sheets.
+Blankets: Between swaddling and breastfeeding, we ended up registering for both muslin blankets and stroller blankets. The modern, bold prints of the Hudson Baby brand landed them on our list. For a bit warmer blanket, I love this neutral striped blanket from Nordstrom. Both will be great to use as nursing covers or stroller covers with a newborn.
+Clothes: Since our baby’s sex is a surprise, it has curbed the baby clothing shopping that I would love to be doing. We’re planning on stocking up on basic onsies (both short sleeved and long sleeved) and a few fun onsies (like this one from J.Crew). Also high on the wardrobe list are Freshly Picked Moccasins. The little leather moccasins are gender neutral, made in the USA, and a really great brand that I am happy to support. I’m still on the hunt for little newborn beanies, but I’ve found cute gender neutral socks at Gap & Old Navy.
+Car Seats: Our original plan was to use the Maxi Cosi Pria 70 convertible car seat since it adjusts to fit a child from 9-lbs all the way to 70-lbs! Its’ safety reviews have it high on our list, plus the light colored fabric will stay a bit cooler in the Arizona heat. Since we don’t know if the baby will be over 9-lbs upon arrival and we would have to wake the baby to take it out of this seat anytime we left the car, we decide we are going to get an infant seat as well. The Maxi Cosi Infant Car Seat comes in tons of fun colors and also has great reviews.
+Stroller: The one item we planned on splurging on from the beginning was the baby stroller. After “test-driving” strollers, none of them seemed to compare to the maneuverability and aesthetics of the Stokke Xplory. There are so many things I love about this stroller. The seat can be forward facing or rear facing, the baby sits very high up compared to other strollers, it has a huge sunshade flap that’s easy to pop down, it has a built in diaper bag/storage, and it is pretty easy to collapse to fit into the trunk.
+Diapering: Our friends keep telling us that their kids love Honest Brand Diapers because they are extra gentle and free of many chemicals and allergens. Plus the prints are super cute! They’re a little pricier than the standard diapers, but we will probably give them a try. Another item high on our list is the Keekaroo Peanut Changer. You don’t need any fabric changing pads (less laundry!) and you simply wipe it down with a baby wipe to clean it. Plus, the material it is made out of prevents bacteria growth. For a diaper pail, we like the Ubbi Diaper Pail. The biggest selling point for us is the compatibility with standard sized kitchen trash bags.
+Baby Seats: The Mamaroo is one of the most popular baby items right now. Everyone seems to swear by its calming effect and swaying movements. I am hoping this will come in handy when I am cooking dinner or taking a shower and need to set the baby down for a few minutes. Now if only they made one of these in my size! We also decided to get a Bumbo Seat for our little one when it he or she starts learning to sit up.
+Baby Carrier: The Solly Baby Wrap is another item high on my want list. I’m hoping it will be a great way for me to keep our baby close and my hands free as I work during the day. You’re also able to nurse with the baby in the wrap.
+Health:Vick’s Rectal Thermometer is supposed to be one of the most accurate for infant fever readings. As for the nasal aspirators, I’ve heard great things about Nose Frida. Unfortunately, I just cannot picture myself sucking boogies out of the baby’s nose. The Boogie Pulley looks like a better alternative for us, as it is doesn’t blow air into the baby’s nose like the classic blue bulbs do. Since nails can be super sharp, we also have Safety First Baby Nail Clippers on our list. The Simba Soft Silicone Toothbrush has a stopper on it so it does not go too far down the baby’s throat. It has great reviews and some have said it has helped massage the gums when teething.
+Toys: We’re trying to avoid clutter when it comes to all of the baby gear. For this reason, we’re being super selective on toys, so we can fit them all into one small dresser drawer. I love Bannor Toys Custom State Rattles because they are handmade out of wood and safe for the baby to chew on. I also like the silicon chew beads when the baby is teething. The Spherovelo Ride On looks like a classic toy that our child will be able to use for a few years. It can help with motor skills and balance and can be used inside or out.
+High Chair: The high chair is one item we bought based more on aesthetics than functionality. Since most high chairs have similar features, we decided on the OXO Tot Sprout Chair. It fits in well with our kitchen and can convert to a chair for a child up to 5 years old.
+Bath: For an infant tub, we went back and forth between the Puj Tub (compact & modern) and the Angel Care Baby Bath Support. We ultimately decided on the Angel Care Bath since it keeps dirty water flowing through and seems to have less issues with the baby slipping down when wet. For bath towels, my sweet friend gifted us a grey set of hooded towels from Target when she found out we were expecting. They are so soft. I also love this little lamb towel.
+Swaddlers: There are so many options for swaddle blankets. We’re leaning towards the Ergo Baby Swaddlers because they are designed to allow the legs to be positioned in a way that helps prevent hip displasia. Plus, they are super easy for to take off for diaper changes. I’ve also heard good things about Swaddlepods.
+Baby Monitor: I’m on the fence on whether a baby monitor is a first-time-parent necessity or one of those pieces of equipment we won’t really use. Either way, we added the Infant Optics Baby Monitor to our registry for piece of mind. JD did the research on this one and it supposedly has a large display and works well in the dark.
So there’s our complete pre-baby essentials guide! I’ll be updating the list this Spring with our thoughts after using the products. I would love other mom’s feedback on what items I may be missing or what on the list may be unnecessary. Let’s hear it!
PS: The first picture is a little sneak peek at our nursery progress! The crib is officially up.
Guys, when shopping for that special someone there is one thing you need to keep in mind: buy something that will make her feel pretty. You can go the lingerie route where she can look amazing in it… or out of it; or the pjs way, still sexy but more for midday cuddle sessions. You can go the beauty direction with items like a hand painted hair brush or some body scrub, or maybe even a few candles for her to have the most relaxing of bubble baths. How gorgeous are these picks? And perfect for the holidays.