Ava’s Shopping Trip With Nana!

Last weekend we went out for a shopping trip with my mom all for Ava and she had the best time! We really only made it through Buy Buy Baby before Ava ended up passing out. But, we can’t really blame her, we somehow managed to spend 2 hours in there!

Here are some of the goodies she got! I will place the links to everything underneath as well.

products left to right: Maxim© Preschool Collection 40-Piece ABC Wooden Block Set,Re-play 7-Inch Toddler Divided Plate in Blush,Fisher-Price® Doodle Pro® Super Stamper,Sesame Street® 4-Piece Happy Little Monster Pajama Set in Pink,Sesame Street® Best Friends Fun Long Sleeve Coverall in White/Pink,Bonnie Baby Bunny Romper in Peach,Gerber Graduates Pasta Pick-Ups 6 oz. Turkey & Vegetable Ravioli,Pacidose Medicine Dispenser,Dr. Seuss’ Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are? Book,Priddy Books “First 100 Numbers” by Roger Priddy, Disney® 24 oz. Princess Bubble Bath, Babyganics® 6 oz. 50+ SPF Sunscreen Lotion, Munchkin Super Scoop™ Bath Toy Organizer



And here is a pic of my sleepy girl about a minute after we buckled her in the car!

Where is your favorite place to shop for your little one?

6 Tips for Surviving Teething

When I was pregnant with Ava there were a lot of worries running through my head, as there are with any new parent. However, the one thing I remember being super scared about was whether or not I could handle when Ava started teething. I was so scared about one night I was crying and asked my dad, “What did you and mom do? How did you make it through it?” And he told me then that “Parenting is just a bunch of phases and you get through it by taking it one phase at a time. Teething is hard but it’s just another phase.” And guess what? All that fear, Ava has almost all her teeth, and it has never been that bad. Honestly. Here are my best tips to surviving teething!

1. Toys, toys, and more toys!

We had so many teething toys for Ava, especially when she was getting her first few teeth. You want them in a variety of textures because your baby will like all the different feelings on their gums. You may also want a few of each because you’ll need to wash them, inevitably you’ll lose some, and you NEVER want to be without one. These are some of Ava’s favorites!

RaZbaby® Teether

green sprouts® Cool Soothing Ring Teether

Nuby Silicone Teethe-eez Teether with Bristles, Includes Hygienic Case, Pink

 Nuby Ice Gel Teether Keys

 Munchkin Fresh Food Feeder, 2 Pack, Blue/Green

2. Binkies for days!

Binkies will always soothe your baby, teething or not and just like with toys you want multiple. If you are still expecting I would avoid getting too many of one kind until your baby arrives. All binkies are made different by each company and a lot of babies end up having a certain type that they like more than others. So, while you should get a good number of pacifiers you should wait till you know your babies favorite type or it could end up being a waste of money. And if your baby doesn’t have a preference please know how lucky you are! Ava absolutely had to have the  Nuk brand. (This info can also be applied to when you buy bottles. All companies make their nipples different as well.)

3. Everything in the freezer!

Toys, binkies, even wet wash cloths! Your baby will love the cold on their gums! This is another reason I do suggest multiple toys and binkies. When first started teething cold binkies were her favorite thing ever. So, we bought about 10 binkies and would constantly rotate binkies when they started to warm up in her mouth. Pull one out of the freezer, exchange the cold one for the warm one, throw the warm one back in the freezer and repeat. Same goes with her toys once she finally learned how to hold them up to her mouth herself.

4. Soothing Gels, and pain medication

Giving Ava medication was something we wanted to refrain from as much as possible, however, no one wants to just watch their baby in pain. So when cold toys didn’t work we would put natural soothing gel on her gums (we liked the Nuby soothing gel with a teether binky) or we would give her infant Tylenol or even a natural kind of pain medicine, whatever you prefer. Sometimes it can be difficult to feed Ava medicine with just a syringe so I also always use the Pacidose Medicine Dispenser which is a pacifier with a whole in the back of it for you to put the syringe in and push the medicine through. Your baby will suck down all the medicine and not even realize! He/she will just think they’re sucking on their binky! It’s such a genius idea! I love that thing so much that I included it on my 9 Products That Helped Me Rock My First Year As A Mom post.  

5. It is okay to walk away if you need to

I know, I know. This one may turn a stomach or two but hear me out, if you are feeling overwhelmed your baby can definitely tell and they will also get stressed out and no one will feel any better. So, if it gets to a point where you feel like you need a break put your baby in their swing where they’re nice and safe and as comfortable as possible and leave the room for 5-15 minutes. There is nothing wrong with needing to take a few minutes to collect your thoughts! We have no problem doing it at work, well HELLO, parenting is a 24/7 job and yes, it is overwhelming at times! Taking a few minutes to yourself to take deep breaths and think about what you’re going to try next is a great thing to do. Lower your heart rate, clear your mind, and try again. Just like anything else you’re trying to accomplish. When you come in calmer than you walked out that alone will settle your baby down just a little.

6. If you are overwhelmed ask for help

There is nothing wrong with needing help. I know it’s hard as a parent to want to ask for help, for whatever reason we want to be the answer to all our kid’s problems but sometimes that’s not the case. Sometimes we need help and its nothing to be ashamed of. Let your partner know you need help, call in the grandparents, or even call a friend who has been-there-done-that! When it comes to any part of raising you baby, asking for help may be the best thing you can do. Trust me! When they say, “It takes a village to raise a child,” they are not kidding! Never underestimate the power of a parent tribe!

I hope that this article has served its purpose and all you parents out there reading find it a little helpful. If you have any tips of your own that you think will be helpful to any other moms and dads reading please drop your advice in the comments below!

9 Products That Helped Me Rock My First Year As A Mom

Hey everyone! Excited to FINALLY have this top baby products post up for you! Since Ava has turned one year old I’ve been thinking a lot about what products really helped me get through my first year as a mom with as little stress as possible! I can’t believe all the great stuff they have out these days for babies. I have put together a list of these products to give you guys ideas of what awesome products are out there and different uses they may have to make your life as a mom a little easier like they did for me!

  1. 4Moms mamaRoo Baby Swing

This swing was everything until Ava hit 4 months and started sitting up on her own. I actually didn’t even have any kind of swing on my baby registry and this was a gift that my mom’s friend happened to pick up for us (Shout out to Sylvia for real though because this was our most used item of Ava’s first year.) We were actually super afraid of Ava sleeping in her crib, in our bed, or even in a bassinet. We had a choking scare her first night when we were still at the hospital and from then I was petrified of her laying flat. The first two nights at home I tortured myself by keeping my eye on her all night and not getting any sleep but then my mom told me that she used to have us sleep in our swings sometimes. At this point Ava was sleeping in her bassinet and spending the day on her play mat, on her boppy, or in my arms so I gave our 4Moms swing its first try. Ava fell right to sleep and guess what, I finally did too! Haha! So needless to say that is where I had her sleeping every day for her first 4 months. This swing came with so many awesome features, for starters you can easily adjust the angle you have your baby laying at so you can have them laying flat, nearly upright, or anywhere in beyween! There are 5 different motions that the swing can move you baby in and you can change the speed of each motion as well. Car motion setting on speed 2 was Ava’s favorite and had her falling asleep instantly when I turned it on. It also has a variety of soothing noises that you can play for you baby and you can adjust the volume on it as well, not only that but you can actually hook the swing up to your bluetooth and play any lullaby you’d like! Aside from those sweet features my favorite thing about this swing was how it wasn’t as big as most other swings. See we lived in a two story 950 square foot condo when Ava was first born and didn’t have much room in the first place. This swing didn’t take up much space and was also so easy to move around. We had a very narrow stairway at our house and I had no problem taking this thing up stairs, down stairs, and from bed room to bedroom. It was everything I didn’t know I needed.

2 . GRACO Pack N Play On The Go

One of my most used products my first year as a mom was definitely Ava’s Pack N Play. I didn’t use it much at home until we were ready to have her stop sleeping in her swing but still wanted her in our room. So between months 4 and 6 or 7 we had her sleeping in it at night as well. It is very easy to fold up and put away and also to pack up and take out and about with you. You can take it on a road trip, out for a picnic, endless possibilities! The first few months my parents really helped out by allowing Ava and I to come over during the day or even spend the night sometimes and whenever that happened we had Ava sleep in her Pack N Play then as well. I definitely don’t know what I would have done had we not gotten the Pack N Play for Ava.

3. Kids Fresh Foods

So after Ava’s first 4 teeth came in we started giving her real foods one at a time. I would make her chicken, cooked veggies, pretty much anything. Once the doctor says you’re clear to feed your baby things other than pureed baby food you immediately look for what new things to feed them. I personally LOVE cooking for Ava. I think its’ so much fun (plus I may as well get her used to my horrible cooking early! Haha!) but I don’t always have the time to cook her mini meals. I used to do packaged frozen vegetables and separate the for the week so that all I had to do was throw those in the microwave but still had to make sure I had chicken cooked and everything else I wanted to feed her. Well, then I discovered KidFresh Foods and it made things so much easier for me! KidFresh Foods sells frozen fish sticks, spaghetti rings, mac and cheese, meat balls, and chicken nuggets but they make sure to incorporate veggies into the recipes for each item and use the healthiest ingredients for you little one, absolutely no GMOs! It’s a perfect, worry free, fast meal when I am too busy or too tired to make Ava something myself. It is as healthy as if you cooked it and more convenient than a drive thru! 30 seconds in the microwave and your little one’s food is all prepped and ready to go! I included a link directly to their page instead of any one product so that you guys could see what foods they make and who their vendors are!

4. Dr. Brown’s Bottle Warmer

Dr. Brown’s Bottle Warmer is a product that I used every single day. I recommend this bottle warmer over other ones because it is SO easy to use. Everything is shown on its little timer in the front and the warmer comes with a little sheet that tells you if your bottle has x ounces you need to put it in the warmer for x minutes. My mom had the Avent bottle warmer which had a knob and neither of us could really tell what it was doing or if it was even working, she may have just gotten a broken one delivered but after we tried it out she also ordered the Dr. Brown’s to have at her house instead because it was that much easier compared to her last one. Bottle warmers are important because when you feed your baby milk that isn’t warmed up to body temperature it makes them colic-y which makes them gassy and it makes their stomachs hurt a lot, they’ll spit up/throw up and it is horrible to watch your newborn baby go through. I would recommend getting any bottle warmer even if you don’t choose this one because heating up a bottle over the takes a while and you’ll have to keep washing whatever pot you put the bottle in, putting it under the sink also takes a long time, and putting your baby’s bottle in the microwave is just so bad for their health on so many levels. Between convenience and the fact that as long as you keep your bottle clean it’s also healthier for your baby, I think personally that this is an investment worth making.

5. Diaper Bag Back Pack

There are sooo many diaper bags to choose from. Everyone has their style preferences which is somewhat important, but for me I was trying to find something that could hold as much as possible and at the same time as budget friendly as possible. I saw so many diaper bags that were over $100 and I couldn’t believe it! And I’m not going to tell you guys not to get these nice diaper bags if you want them, but I will caution you to think about the fact that milk, and baby food, and even sometimes pee will be getting all over this bag so being practical will always be a good choice here. The diaper bag that I had purchased when I had Ava was the Sunveno backpack diaper bag and I love it so so much. The fullest I ever had this diaper bag was actually when I packed it to give birth to Ava. I do not know what I was thinking but here is what I had in it. I had

  • 20 diapers
  • A pack of wipes
  • 3 bottles
  • One take home outfit
  • 3 plane white onesies
  • 2 pants
  • 3 bows
  • 2 knit caps
  • 2 swaddle blankets
  • 1 fluffy blanket
  • 3 pairs of socks
  • 3 binkis
  • A stuffed bear
  • Rattle

(By the way. You don’t need all those things packed for your hospital stay. Post to come!) Luckily, because my diaper bag was back pack style it was super easy to carry regardless of how full it was! The bag itself is also so lightweight! This diaper bag has 3 pockets in the front that will actually keep your milk nice and cool so it doesn’t go bad while you’re out and about. It’s got lots of pockets for extra storage, holds your water bottles on either side of the bag, and basically you can fit everything you need for mom, dad, and baby in this bag no problems.

6. Baby Boppy

I loved the baby boppy! Whoever created this little pillow was a genius! It is perfect for everything! It was great for Ava’s first 3-4 months before she learned to crawl. It is yet another good napping spot for babies. I would keep Ava in the center of our rug in the middle of the living room. I could do dishes and peak over and watch her either napping or watching baby first TV, or when I was also ready for a quick nap time I would cuddle up right next to her and nap with her. One of the best things about the boppy, to me, was that it was also perfect for tummy time! I feel like playing with Ava while she was on the boppy and constantly having her on her belly on it is what helped her build the strength to hold her head up so fast. There are so many different tummy time activities that you can do on the boppy! I was constantly on Pinterest looking for new ways for Ava and I to play! Hopefully sometime within the month I can put out a new blog post for tummy time activities to do with your baby on their boppy. There is one last thing about the boppy that I know a lot of you will love, and that is that they make a boppy specifically for breastfeeding! It is supposed to help moms get their babies laying in the perfect breastfeeding position with almost no effort at all! Unfortunately, I cannot tell you guys my personal experience with this because I was not able to breastfeed my daughter. However, I did get one for a friend for her a baby shower and even now that her son is 9 months old she still uses her boppy to breastfeed.

7. Pacidose Pacifier

So this next product I actually saw one night on shark tank while I was pregnant and it was such a simple idea but SO helpful. All it is is a pacifier with a hole in the back of it that a syringe fits through so that you can get your baby to take their medicine with little to no fussing. I didn’t initially have much need for it because Ava has only gotten sick once and it was right after the new year. However, she started teething at about 4 months and has not stopped yet. She only has four more teeth to go so my poor girl is in pain quite often! Some babies are okay with taking medicine and don’t mind it very much, but Ava was NOT one of those babies. She did not want the syringe in her mouth, she spit out whatever we finally got to go in her mouth, it was terrible. However, I only went through two nights of fighting her to take the Tylenol before I finally went to Buy Buy Baby to pick one up! And of course, the next night she was in pain with her teeth and needed a little dose of Tylenol it was SO MUCH easier to get her to take it. She didn’t even notice she was taking it! She just thought she was sucking on a regular pacifier! I personally would recommend just going ahead and getting one before your baby needs medicine. It will be much easier to just have it on hand rather than to wrestle your baby to get him/her to take it, so they can feel better

8. Baby Play Yard

Okay so this baby fence is something I bought when we finally moved into our new house in August and oh my gosh do I wish I had just gotten it in May when she started crawling! It is so easy to put together and you can choose how many panels you get with it which determines the size of the fence, I got the 18 panel and there was PLENTY of room for Ava to play with all her toys. She was so content crawling back and forth in it and it is actually where she learned to walk. Alex and I would stand on opposite side of the fence and one of us would help her stand while the other one called her to come to them. It wasn’t as nerve racking because she knew to grab the fence if she was about to fall. It was also so nice to have her in one designated spot where I knew what was in that area and knew that she couldn’t get out. It made doing work around the house and working from home so SO much easier and there was so much less pressure on my shoulders too! Obviously you can get this product as soon as you’d like but I personally don’t see the need until they start moving around.

9. Diaper Genie

I definitely feel like you can’t make a list anywhere along the lines of “What you need your baby’s first year” without making sure you have a Diaper Genie on that list! I had 6 friend and 2 cousins have baby’s in the last 2 years and not one of them went without a Diaper Genie in their home! Diaper Genies have been around for forever, your mom probably had one when she had you and your grandma probably had one when she had her! A Diaper Genie is basically a trash bin specifically made for diapers and trapping in the stink. This came especially handy when we lived in our little condo. There was no way in hell that I would have ever wanted to wake up at 3 AM for Ava’s feeding and changing, finish the obvious duties, put her diaper in an old plastic grocery bag, run downstairs, put on my shoes and jacket, take a walk to the dumpster, toss the hot mess, walk back and then crawl into bed every single night so that my house wouldn’t stink up overnight. I can honestly feel exhaustion kicking in just thinking about that being my routine for a year! So yes, this is an absolute must have for all new parents! Even if you live in your own house I’m sure you don’t want to run to your trash bin outside every night. You will want to sleep! Convenience is the main reason everyone needs this product, and when you are a first-time mom, you will want ALL the convenience you can get!

(When using this product you will also need the plastic refill bags that the diapers fall into as well as the odor eliminator packets to keep the stink to a minimum)

Disclosure: There are some affiliate links below and I may receive commissions for purchases made through links in this post, but these are all products I highly recommend. I won’t put anything on this page that I haven’t verified and/or personally used.