10 Baby Registry Must Haves

I originally was going to write this post last summer. In fact, it’s been saved as a draft since June 2020. I think now that I’ve been a mom for almost 9 months I have a much better idea of what we really used daily and what we didn’t. I’ll be honest, we definitely had way too many baby things. If I had it to do again I would definite minimize the amount. I’m sharing the 10 most essential things we’ve used that you should consider adding to your own baby registry!

  1. Boppy Lounger

This is an absolute must have for me. I cannot believe how much we used and still use it to this day! Essential it’s just a specially designed pillow for babies. They start at about $32 and go up to $44 for some of the special prints on Pottery Barn. We have the grey preferred one and it’s great because it’s neutral and doesn’t show dirt as much. You can throw the entire thing in the washing machine and let it dry. It’s not approved for sleeping but if he dozed off on it while I was next to him I allowed him to continue sleeping since I was supervising. Otherwise it’s just a great safe spot to rest them when you need a hands free moment. Do not ever set it on any elevated surfaces even when baby is brand new. Newborns are stronger than you think!

2. Burp Cloths

I vastly underestimated how many of these you use the first few months. I also tried to use the “cute” ones. I have some from Milkbarn and they don’t absorb hardly anything. Get the plain white old school ones from Amazon. I recommend 2 packs and keeping them everywhere in the house!

3. Pajamas

You will live in pajamas especially the first month or so. Zip pajamas or gowns are my recommendation! We personally loved gowns for nighttime sleep. You just whip it up, change the diaper and back down. We did zipper or magnetic pajamas during the day. Do not ever get the snaps. Just trust me. Some brands I like are: Magnetic Me, Milkbarn, Kissy Kissy, Magnolia Baby, and Little Sleepies. They’re all great quality and last through countless washes. They are definitely more expensive than most but I would rather have fewer pajamas and do more laundry. I’m a do laundry everyday person so it wasn’t an issue. If you don’t like doing laundry as much you probably will want more pajamas. I think 5-7 in their size is a good number. We were probably changing 1-2 times a day depending and then a night pair. For more affordable options on pajamas I like: Cloud Island from Target and Burt Bee’s because they both have cute prints and zip up.

4. A Way to Feed Baby

You’ll have to choose what you want to do whether it’s nursing or formula or a combination. We chose formula only so we made sure to have bottles, nipples, and formula before. I wouldn’t buy any formula though because we ended up switching week one but I was able to donate it. The hospital gives you formula bottles as well to take home. We also have the Baby Breeze Formula Pro which I’ve spoken fondly of and is still a real MVP for us but it’s definitely not a must. You can mix a bottle by hand with water! We also have a sterilizer but it’s not essential either. You can wash bottles by hand but it just adds an extra layer of cleanliness.

5. Monitor

You can go old school and get a sound only monitor for around $20 or get a video monitor. Technically this isn’t a must have but it does allow you to let your child sleep without you being in the room with them. I really like the Lollipop Camera since it can be used anywhere. It has a grip that you can mold onto anything so you can move it around your home or take it with you anywhere. It also has a user friendly app that can be accessed from your phone or tablet!

6. Diaper bag

You don’t necessarily have to get a diaper bag but you need to set up a bag with baby essentials. Namely, diapers, wipes, a change of clothes, burp cloths, pacifier, swaddle. I love my Freshly Picked backpack so much. You truly can use a bag you already have if you like! You’ll be the one carrying it so do what you want.

7. Sound machine

It’s not something you have to have but having it is very convenient. Especially once they start going to bed before you. We like our Hatch because you can even control it from your phone. There are also sound machines as low as $10 on Amazon. My husband literally was hammering a drawer in the other night and Turner never woke up. Thank you, Hatch!

8. Car seat

You must have one to leave the hospital and they will check it! Make sure if you get a used one that it’s newer than 7 years old because that’s when they expire. The date is often on the bottom. We love our Nuna Pipa Lite but it’s definitely more expensive than a lot of them. $50 is the lowest I have found for newborn car seat. You want them safe though so it’s worth it.

9. Kick ‘n’ Play Piano

It’s probably the ugliest baby item of all time but it’s perfect for tummy time! Babies love all the colors to look at. Turner would lay under the hanging toys in awe! He still uses it now at almost 9 months and the piano comes off for them to play with when they’re older.

10. Somewhere for baby to sleep

This is totally up to you! It can be a bassinet, pack n play, or crib. A lot of parents like to have baby in their own room at first and the AAP actually recommends it. We did it for 5 weeks and if we were to do it over I would’ve moved him to his nursery the first week. I slept so much better when I couldn’t hear his every move. We used the SNOO Bassinet the first 5.5 months but it’s definitely not necessary. As long as baby has a safe place to sleep you are good to go!

What’s the one thing from your registry you couldn’t have lived without? Let me know below in the comments!

Baby Proofing Your Dogs

Baby Proofing Your Dogs

If you know me in real life then you know I absolutely adore my dogs. My black Labrador retriever, Reese, has been a part of our family since my husband and I were dating. We got her together and she was at our engagement and in the photo for our save the date. After getting married we got our Golden Retriever, Maddux, who is the energizer bunny of our dogs. My dogs were actually the first to know I was pregnant since they waited for the results with me because my husband was out of town! They kept me company throughout my pregnancy and months of quarantine once COVID started since my husband still had to go to work daily. They truly are my best friends! I cried a lot leading up to my due date because I was so worried they would be upset with me for bringing a baby home. Everyone would say when I was pregnant: “Just wait until that baby gets here, things will change!” I’m here to tell you that they do but for the better.

Maddux is technically “my dog,” since I was the one that got him and took care of him from being a puppy onward plus he is a male so he naturally gravitates more toward me. Once I got pregnant Reese must have been able to sense what was going on because she got very protective of me. I’ve heard dogs sometimes know people are pregnant before they even know themselves and I could definitely see how that’s true!

I want to share some tips that helped us with transitioning our dogs to their new baby brother. I obviously am not an expert in dog training of any kind but this is what worked for us!

Before we were ever pregnant we let our dogs be around kids as much as possible! We let kids pet them and love them while closely supervising them both. No matter what kids did to either dog they absolutely loved the attention and were so gentle! I know with COVID this may not be as much of a possibility but if you do have kids you see in your life and their parents are comfortable with it then expose your dogs to them! Of course remember some kids are afraid of dogs and in that case it’s better if they are put up. All of our friends that came around our dogs had dogs themselves so they were fine with the kids playing with them.

Play sounds of baby crying, babbling, laughing! Anything baby noise related play it for the dog often leading up to birth. That way they aren’t startled when they hear any of the noises. Our dogs don’t even bat an eye if Turner cries or makes noise of any sort!

Let the dogs be a part of the preparation process for baby when possible! We went in the nursery every single day and would hang out in there. We let them sniff around and even left the door open for them to go in as they wanted to explore.

Once baby was actually here we made sure to send a blanket and hat with his scent on it home for the dogs to investigate. I had my husband go downstairs and send it with a parent to take to our house. In COVID times this might not be possible but if it is not then maybe send someone in for a few minutes before you go inside with an item with the baby’s scent on it.

Once we actually got home the dogs were very curious. Maddux wanted to be close to him right away but Reese took a day or two to warm up. That’s just her personality though! She’s a bit of a diva. We still let our dogs sleep in our room (yes, they sleep in our bed) even when Turner was staying in there. We left the door open because some nights one or both of them would leave the room at first during the night. We let them be near baby as much as possible but we do supervise them very closely and never leave them alone just to be safe.

I try to show them the same amount of attention I always have throughout the day. They hang out with me during nap time and after Turner goes to bed we all cuddle. I’ve heard people say to only give them attention when baby is around and ignore them when baby is gone. We didn’t follow this advice and just give them attention whenever and it has worked fine for us.

Turner is starting to show a lot of interest in the dogs now! He has started to reach for them, turn his head to watch them and sometimes they actually make him laugh! As he gets older we will make it a point to teach him how to treat them kindly but will always supervise them when they are together. We have had zero issues with either of our dogs and interacting with baby. They do both like to lick him quite a bit so we say “Thank you” to them and move them away instead of saying no. A baby fence or play yard is a great idea to keep them separated if you want to! We don’t do it much yet but definitely will once Turner is on the move.

One last thing I worried about before baby was here was barking. Our dogs only bark if they think someone is at our home. That means every delivery truck, neighbor slamming car door, kids riding their bicycle past etc. I guess Turner hears it so much that 99% of the time it doesn’t wake him up when he’s sleeping. I think he just got used to it so it doesn’t bother him! Overall, the transition has been very seamless for us and it melts my heart seeing my original babies with my human baby!

Do you have any questions about bringing a baby home with dogs? Leave them below in the comments and I will be glad to answer!

Love,

Megan

What I’m Packing In My Diaper Bag

36 weeks over here! Things are getting real. I packed my diaper bag for baby boy last week. I’m not planning on bringing it the hospital but wanted it to be ready for his first doctor’s appointment and anywhere else we may have to go soon after birth. I have been loving my Freshly Picked diaper bag. It’s so roomy and of course super cute! It can be worn as a backpack as pictured above which is most likely how I will wear it.

It can also be worn as a cross body as pictured above. My dogs loved helping me pack the diaper bag! They are good helpers. I also consulted my mom for suggestions on things I should add. I am a first time mom so this is what I am thinking I will need. Here’s what I packed:

*Extra onesie

*Burp cloths

*Diapers

*Diaper Cream

*Wipes

*Premade Similac formula bottles + nipple

*Pacifier

*Swaddle

*Boogie Wipes

*Lotion

*Nail clippers

*Extra mittens

*Extra socks

*Portable changing pad

*Cover for pad

I’m keeping it basic for now and will add more things in coming months when we actually leave the house for more than an hour. Can you think of anything else that should be added for short trips away from home? Please leave me a comment below if you think I am forgetting something!

Even with everything packed the bag is only halfway full at this point! Plenty of room to add more items as he gets older and we need more things with us. I love how sturdy the bag is and that it can grow with us!

My diaper bag comes in so many other great colors if you are not interested in camouflage and black. I love all the different compartments it contains which makes organization a snap! Everything is so easily accessible between the different pockets. Freshly Picked doesn’t often have sales but they have given me a code to share with you for 25% off your purchase: FPXMEGAN25 and you can shop the bag directly here. Have any questions about this Freshly Picked diaper bag? Leave them below and I’ll be glad to answer them!

Love,

Megan

What I Didn’t Expect About Being Pregnant

I thought it would be fun to share some things that I didn’t expect about being pregnant.

  1. You won’t necessarily be sick the whole trimester with morning sickness. In fact, I only had a week or two of mild nausea that was easily banished with eating crackers and drinking spite. It was mild enough that it didn’t effect my daily life at all. I never actually got sick once!
  2. 99% of your doctors visit only include a urine sample, weight check, blood pressure, and listening to baby’s heartbeat. Somehow I thought there would be more to it but ultrasounds are few and far between unless there are problems!
  3. You might not get that burst of energy in the 2nd trimester everyone talks about. I feel like I was still so tired then but that it got better for me in the 3rd trimester.
  4. Shopping for baby clothes, yes even boys, is so addicting! Pump the breaks though because you have no clue what size your babe will be plus people will gift you clothes. I bought some fun things I absolutely loved but tried to keep it within reason!
  5. Feeling your baby move is truly the best thing on earth. It’s so special and magical but when your husband finally feels it too for the first time there’s no feeling like it!

6. The moment you find out you’re pregnant don’t necessarily rush out and buy all the maternity clothes. I’m glad I didn’t do this. Depending on what season you’re pregnant (especially 3rd trimester) and what your job is like you may not need much! I had planned to wear maxi dresses this spring at school but didn’t even need to worry about it because of COVID. I’ve mostly been able to work stretchy things I already had work. I did invest in a pair of maternity blue jean shorts and they’ve gotten their money’s worth.

7. Be prepared for people’s input. I’ve been cold my whole life but it got worse once I was pregnant. I kept my heat on on my classroom plus wore layers. People kept saying, “oh wait until 3rd trimester plus it’ll be summer. You’ll be burning up then!” Well, I’m 39 weeks and still keeping my house at 73 degrees with a sweatshirt on so apparently didn’t happen to me. Just take the input with a grain of salt and smile!

8. How your body grows and changes to develop your baby is unique to each person. I didn’t gain any weight first trimester and maybe 5-7 pounds second trimester. I’m up to 14 pounds now at the end. I didn’t truly show until I was in the third trimester. Despite eating plenty and never being sick during pregnancy. All of this is fine and normal. It’s also normal and healthy if the opposite happens to you and you gain more and show earlier. Your body is going to do what it needs to do so don’t stress too much about too little or too much weight gain!

9. You’re always going to find something to worry about whether it’s symptoms you’re having, what you’re eating or doing, labor/delivery and the health of your child. I highly suggest staying off doctor Google! Obviously ask your doctor anything you have concerns about but just know it’s okay to be a little anxious about things since it just means you want the best for your baby!

10. The most surreal moment is when you see your baby on the ultrasound and see that heart beating. The feeling is truly indescribable.

And here’s a bonus that I had heard before but until you’ve experienced it you really don’t get it: the last trimester speeds by until the final few weeks. Then it crawls and feels like years which is where I’m currently at! I’m going to be sharing more on that in a third trimester bump date post this week. What is something you didn’t expect about pregnancy? Leave me a comment about what it was!

Love,

Megan