The first 6 months + all our fav items

Oh our little Lainey love. She was a tough little newborn. Her first 3 months (at least) we struggled with reflux and gas pain. She always seemed to be uncomfortable, arching and fussing. She would sleep in 2 hour increments day and night and didn't let us get much sleep. If she was awake, you were usually just trying to settle her. Luckily, it wasn't our first rodeo so we knew the steps to take and it really didn't stress us out the same way it did the first time around (Halle wasn't quite as bad, but did have reflux as well). We started probiotics, did lots of tummy time, gave a dose of ranitidine here and there, burped her more frequently, massaged her belly, bicycled her legs often, fed her as upright as possible and just battled through it. I did not change my diet which may have helped, but we knew Halle outgrew it around the 3-4 month mark so we toughed it out until then and lo and behold Lainey also grew out of it without diet change at 4 months. Lainey has always napped well throughout the day, but like I said, didn't sleep overly well through the night. It's funny because with Halle I would have never co-slept, but with Lainey I was just so much more tired balancing it all that there were some stretches where she slept on my chest or in bed with us; we were in survival mode. We kept her in a bassinet at our bedside until 3.5 months before moving her into her own room in her crib. At 3 months, we also transitioned her from napping in her swing to her crib in her room. We transitioned night sleep shortly thereafter into her crib. I would have moved her into her crib sooner like we did with Halle, but she wasn't sleeping more than 3 hours at a time if we were lucky, so it was just much easier to have her in the bassinet. I do find that we all sleep better once they are in their own room, but I was personally not mentally ready to do it until after 3 months with both girls. Once she was in her crib, we would get anywhere from 4-6 hour stretches between night time feedings. We started sleep training around 5 months and it was a tough couple weeks, but she now sleeps from between 7 and 8 until 5 or 6 (with a dream feed between 10-11 pm), feeds and then goes back to sleep until 8ish usually. I would try and drop the 5/6 am feed, but I prefer having her feed then and sleep in a bit than being up at 6 for the day. After about 2 months, her day wake times stretched from 1 hour to 1.5 and now at 6 months is up to 2 hour wake times with 30 minute to 1.5 hour naps. She is the happiest little girl now, unless she is tired; she likes her naps. During these wake times, she has progressively gotten more and more interactive and active. She started being able to roll from belly to back at 4 weeks accidentally, and then purposely at 8 weeks. She actually rarely rolls over now as she has always loved tummy time and doesn't seem to care; opposite of her sister who used to roll around everywhere at 6 months. She has rolled over from back to belly a handful of times, but usually just rolls to her side to play with toys and somehow always ends up shuffling around her tummy time mat on her side. She started cooing and smiling at 8 weeks, along with tracking things with her eyes from a distance. She has loved her hands from about 7 weeks and is much more drooly than her sister ever was. Luckily she absolutely loves baths, because she needs them often ( she didn't start loving them until 7 weeks). She started interacting with her toys around 2.5 months and then actually grabbing and hitting them at 3.5 months. At 4 months, she became the happiest baby ever and is so smiley! Her older sister was always serious and tough to get to smile, but not this little gal. She is always babbling, yelling and started gargling and blowing bubbles around 5 months. At 5.5 months she started laughing, but still remains pretty tough to get to laugh; she prefers just to yell when she's happy or entertained. She loves attention, and makes it known when she wants it. She has loved her jolly jumper from 3 months, and is slowly starting to like the standing activity center. She is pretty short, so she can't jump as great as she would like to even on the lowest setting. She is getting the hang of sitting, and is pretty good now with no support. We always keep a breastfeeding pillow behind her just in case she throws herself back. Lainey would prefer to stand over all else and is quite strong as her reflux was so bad when she was younger. She has always had a super strong neck and core from week 1. She loves being in the high chair and is super entertained by watching us eat. We started solids just before 6 months starting with rice cereal. Funny story...I sent my husband to the grocery store to pick up some rice cereal and he brought home puffs which say made with rice cereal on the packaging but also say 8 months+. The second time he went, he brought home banana flavored, and mango/carrot flavored rice cereal, so Lainey is yet to have just plain cereal haha. We are much more comfortable with feeding this time around, so are ramping up her variety a lot quicker than we did with Halle. We're trying some baby led weaning, but I am always a little cautious as I see choking at work and it definitely sticks with me. Her favorite foods so far are black beans and yogurt with peanut butter. We have been super fortunate this time around with Lainey taking a bottle and soother. Halle refused a bottle or soother; we have a bottle graveyard of almost every brand out there haha. We use Dr. Browns with Lainey and haven't needed to try any others (we started giving one in the first week we brought her home and have stayed consistent with it). As far as soothers, she would only take the tommy tippee closer to nature ones as a newborn, but will now take the round itzy ritsy brand which are super cute and easier to keep clean; the tommy tippee ones are two separate pieces, so I found hair would get wrapped around and when washed, water would get into them. Aside from all of these milestones, Lainey has gotten to swim in a pool numerous times, get out for a daily walk, has been skating and sledding numerous times, has been to our mountain property camping, has been to the zoo, has met lots of friends and family, and is thriving in a pandemic. She has always been in the 10th-25th percentiles for height and weight, but you'd never know it with the sweet cheeks she's got on her. She continues to grow and change so much daily, and we just could not love her and her big sis any more.


Our favorite and most used baby products the second time around:


The first 3 months:


- Nuna Pipa car seat: we used this seat for Halle and Lainey so far, and I cannot say enough about it. It is light, easy to install, comes with an infant insert and is good for 7 years.

- Stroller: We have a city select stroller, and it has been great! We actually got it handed down from friends who used it for their two kiddos who are now 7 and 5. It is obviously an older model, but they clearly hold their value and are worth spending the money on. They are versatile, being able to add up to 3 toddler seats at a time, a skateboard on the back, and it works perfectly with the newborn seat and a toddler seat together. It folds up easily, and fits in our small SUV with the toddler seat no problem. If I were to buy a brand new stroller today, I think I would buy the uppababy model as it is super light and again very versatile. Do your research, but both strollers are great purchases and are worth setting aside a good chunk of change for.

- Halo bassinet: It is a higher price tag, but we have got it from friends and have used it for both of our girls. We lend it to friends in between so that we don't have to store it, and it has held up through it all. It swivels over the bed, the side rail lowers to easily roll over and place them in, it has a light, a vibration setting and breastfeeding setting. I highly recommend.

- Sound machine: Pick one that can stay on all night, has different volumes and is portable. We have the Dreamegg portable sound machine, and love it!

- Sleep sacks: our favorite light ones for spring and summer are to love to dream swaddle up ones (great until they can roll), and woombie grow with me. For cooler weather, we love the kyte ones as well as winners actually carries a lot of cute warm styles. We used swaddles for the first few weeks as well, and it is worth spending the money on the copper pearl ones that actually stay tight.

- Breast feeding pillow: We have the jolly jumper boomerang nursing cushion, and it is holding up great after 2 babes. It is cozy, has interchangeable, washable cushions and also works great to wrap around them when they're learning to sit.

- A leather back pack diaper bag: We have a Deluxe & Co. (Canadian brand) and it is a cheaper version of a fawn design style. Go leather because they are wipeable, and cute. The back pack is key so that you can be hands free.

- Baby Carrier: We love our Ergo baby 360. It is super versatile, babe can face in and out, and it comes with a newborn insert. It can go on your chest or back as well.

- Medela Pump: They have different versions at different price points, but they are all great and worth the money! There are a bunch of new hands free styles out now (not medela) that are also worth taking a look at. If this was my first child and I didn't already have one, I would definitely look into that.

- Haaka: This is probably my most used baby product. I use it for my morning feeds everyday when my boobs are engorged and most days get at least 3-5 oz. If you don't know what it is, it is a little bottle that suctions to your boob and collects the milk that otherwise would have just leaked out. We use the milk I collect with it for her dream feed and then I avoid having to pump later in the day.

- Nose frida nasal aspirator: Lainey has only had one very minor cold, but she has always been a congested baby from day one due to her reflux. We used this a lot! A definite must have. We also have the hydrasense one and I love it equally and it comes with saline which is nice as well.

- Baby swing that reclines back (she hated the mamaroo as it was more upright), along with a bouncy chair for the bathroom you shower and get ready in. We received both of these as hand me downs from friends and they have been fantastic! The swing goes side to side, not forward and back and she loved this from day 1. It is nice to have a swing that is fully reclined back so that if they are swaddled, you can place them in and not worry about waking them to fasten them in. (if you still use one after they start rolling, make sure you fasten them in). We use the bouncy chair still, but stopped using the swing around 4 months.

- Baby bath tub: we had a little tub just from babies r us that we used for the first 3 months, and now just lay her in the bath tub on a hand towel. She loves baths and splashing around, so now it's easier to just keep the water at ear level and use the towel so she doesn't slip around.

- A tummy time mat that has sensory toys and a mirror that hangs down. I think 98% of babies love mirrors and it's pretty darn cute to watch. As they get older, its nice to have the sensory toys and anything that rattles or makes noise to keep them entertained.

- Sensory toys- fatbrain toys makes amazing baby toys!, Lainey loves this stuffed bunny that has a crinkly body (it was a gift, so I'm not sure the brand), lamaze has really great options, and vtech has some great (really annoying) ones that the girls both love. We have different textured balls, rattles and like I said before, a mirror is a must.

- Knit padraigs: super random item to love, but honestly they are the only booties that will stay on your baby's feet. We love them! There are numerous brands that make them, so you can shop around to find different price points

- Bumbo: Once your babe is able to support their neck, these are awesome and you can take them with you when your babe is a bit older to use as a portable high chair.

- A good lotion: You will use this post every bath. Baby's skin is DRY!

- A good zinc diaper cream: We have had the best success with Sudocream. We tried so many with Halle, and sudocream has always done the trick. Make sure baby's bumb is dry after using wipes before closing the diaper or else you are locking in that moisture and worsening the rash. We also had to rinse wipes with Halle as her skin was so sensitive, but didn't have to with Lainey. Every baby's skin is going to be different, so you will learn as you go.


3 Months and up:


- Monitor: Once your babe is in their own room, you are going to want a monitor with a good quality picture. We had a V-tech one for Halle and the battery sucked! We got a Heim vision one for Lainey after reading reviews on amazon, and so far it has been great. It is a lower price point, has a big screen, clear camera, great night vision, 2-way mic, zoom, you can move the camera around the room and the capability to play lullabies (we don't use that feature). I have friends that use their Nest cam which also works great, and it is a great feature to be able to use an app on your phone if you want to pay a little more for some of those brands.

- Rocking chair: worth splurging on! You will spend a lot of time in this, so make sure it is comfy and reclines!

- A tummy time play water mat- we didn't have one with Halle, but they are so neat and Lainey absolutely loves it. We got ours off of amazon and they are great to put under their feet in the jolly jumper, or just under them for tummy time; another way to keep them happy and occupied.

- Jolly jumper: our absolute must have. It keeps her happy the longest so I can get workouts in. They take up a lot of room, but they are so worth it!

- A circle of neglect, you know the standing activity centers. We have a skiphop one, and it is great; you can move the toys all around and remove them entirely if you need to clean it (because puke happens...a lot if you're Lainey).

- Wipeable crib mattress and at least 3 sheets: Once your babe is sleeping longer, there will be blowouts and bedding peed through. Make sure you get a wipeable mattress or have a few mattress covers on hand. Your laundry increases substantially with these little babes!

- Humidifier: Possibly specific to Calgary as it gets so dry, but this helped with Laineys congestion overnight. We have the TaoTronics small bedroom humidifier, and I have no complaints thus far. - Chatbooks: Not a baby item, but we have made picture books of the girls since Halle was born and we love them! If you suck at getting pictures printed like me, then this is such a great option and can all be done on your phone through their app.

- Bibs: We love full, long sleeve shirt bibs. Your babe is going to stick their hands in their mouth, so it's nice to save their sleeves as well as the front of their shirt while feeding them. Take a look on amazon, they have the cutest patterns and a large variety.

- Sippy Cup: Once your baby is 6 months old, it is time to start giving them sips of water. We found the most success with the nuby no spill slipn grip cups to start- they are cheap and have handles for baby to learn to drink themselves. After Halle got the hang of this one, we started with the munchkin weighted straw cup, and the 360 sippy cup. The 360 cup can take a while for them to get a grasp on, but is great once they get it. At 3, Halle still prefers her straw cup along with just an open cup (which you can also just start babe on- Ez Pz makes some good baby starter cups)

- IKEA Highchair: These are so great for so many reasons. They are cheap, light, wipeable without having to come apart, and Halle at age 3 still fits in it (she likes to try it out after Lainey has been in it).

- Portable Highchair: we have the Guzzie and Gus portable high chair that fastens to your table or island and we love it. Back when we could actually leave the house, we would use it at restaurants, friends and family's houses, and actually used it as our sole high chair for Halle. The only reason we aren't using it again with Lainey is because we love the IKEA one, don't have as much room at the table if we have it fastened on all the time, and it isn't as wipeable (you have to take it apart and wash it in the washing machine).

- Books: We start reading to our girls from month one, and have found the best starter books are the collection by Sandra Boynton. They are simple, cute, short and both girls love them. Halle can memorize them as a toddler now and read them to us; they are still come of her favorites to this day.


I hope this is helpful, and congrats on your little ones! I am sure I am missing some, but let me know if you have any questions about baby items and if they're worth spending your money on.


Lots of love,


Jen

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Hi, thanks for stopping by!

I am beyond excited to share this journey with you all. I appreciate any and all feedback. Let me know content wise what you would like to see more or less of. I am here to support, inform, empower and learn with you. Thanks again for joining me in this beautiful chaos that is motherhood, working, and fitness with balance; momma.runs.

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