Category Archives: newborn

newborn

My Breast Pump Talks to Me! Newborn Sleep Deprivation At Its Finest


I had a complicated relationship with my breast pump.

I used an electric breast pump with my daughter (the Medela Pump in Style Advanced), and I swear to you that the damn thing would talk to me while I was pumping!


My breast pump talked to me while I was pumping.


Let me explain:  I was victim to the common side-effect that goes along with mothering a newborn: sleep-deprivation (see You Know You Have a Newborn When…Grocery Shopping and Your Robe and You Know You Have a Newborn If…Toilet Flushing Phobia for more on the topic of sleep deprivation with a newborn).  I also spent several accumulated hours sitting on my couch, hooked up to my electric breast pump…pumping away….while simultaneously hearing the exact same stupid, rhythmic pattern of my breast-pump’s motor noises – over and over and over again (i.e., the motor noises that my breast pump’s working motor made while I was in the actual process of pumping milk).  Over time, I swear to you that these motor noises formed into words – and these words were simply whatever words that my deliriously exhausted sub-conscience brain decided to pick out.  


Words Spoken To Me By My Breast Pump:


The “words spoken by my breast pump,” courtesy of the sub-conscience portion of my brain, somehow always managed to be the most random, utterly stupid, and pointless phrases imaginable.  The words that my breast pump would speak to me depended on the suction speed that I decided to set the motor to during any particular pumping session.  


Examples of Utterly Stupid Phrases that My Breast Pump Spoke To Me:

  • “Have-some-get-some” (Translated: “Have some, get some”)
  • “Not-da-ma-ma,” (Translated: “Not the mama.”)
  • “Ma-chu-Picc-hu” (Translated: “Machu Picchu”)

My breast-pump only speaks in four-syllable words or phrases when it spoke.  I don’t make the rules!  

I have considered therapy.  

Instead of therapy, I just tell myself that this was totally normal and that this would totally happen to anyone who hadn’t slept for any duration longer than 2-hours for several days/weeks/months on end.  

(Don’t answer that.)

Breast pumps deserve names too.

My breast pump’s name is Ursula (I will explain why later in this post).  


And yes, I named my breast pump.  She deserves a name!  When I needed to manage my breast milk supply at 3:00 AM, it was Ursula (i.e., my breast pump) that would wake up with me.  It was my pump, Ursula, who kept me company at 3:00 AM while everyone else in my world was peacefully sleeping in their beds.  Ursula and I hung-out every 2-hours around the clock during my daughter’s newborn phase.  She became my bestie.


Ursula, the Breast Pump

My relationship with my breast pump went south when my breast pump turned into an evil sea witch.

My breast pump wasn’t always named Ursula. She went weeks just being my nameless companion until one night, when she became an evil sea witch.  

Let me explain…

Do you remember the evil sea witch, Ursula, from the movie, “A Little Mermaid”?  


Well, one night, my breast pump started channeling the voice of Ursula, the evil sea witch.

It was about 4:30 AM one night and I was pumping away, and then, suddenly, for whatever reason, the subconscious part of my crazy brain somehow decided to pick out one of the four-syllabus movie lines said by the evil sea witch, Ursula, in the Disney cartoon movie, “The Little Mermaid.”   For those of you who have seen the movie, “The Little Mermaid,” you might remember the evil sea witch, Ursula, who had her two stupid sea-eel sidekicks who were named Flotsam and Jetsam.  In one of the scenes from the movie, Ursula, right before she sets out to attack the poor mermaid and Prince Erick, yells for her two eel sidekicks for backup; and then Ursula yells, “Flotsam! Jetsam!” in her evil sea witch voice.  Well, “Flotsam! Jetsam!” (syllables: flot-sam-jet-sam) is exactly what my brain decided that my breast pump was trying to tell me.  


(Yes, you read the above paragraph correctly.)

(I’m surprised you are actually still reading this.)

My breast pump turned into Ursula, the evil sea witch, every time I turned it on.  

It’s like the damn thing was taunting me.  And the way that my breast pump said the names “Flotsam! Jetsam!” to me was in the exact same way that Ursula does in the actual movie (though my breast pump’s channeling of Ursula’s voice was slightly distorted and, obviously, way more robotic-sounding).  


See video below for the an example of the words of Ursula, the evil breast pump witch.


Turn to 0:45 in the video to hear the exact words/names that my breast-pump says:


This is all incredibly strange because I have not seen the movie, “The Little Mermaid,” in over two decades. (Yes, I consider that to be the strange part).


(As I write this, I’m seriously second-guessing posting this at all, but I’ll keep going anyway…)


In conclusion, there is apparently absolutely nothing serious that goes on in my brain.  

My sub-conscience’s choices of words to attribute to a rhythmic pattern of noises seems to shed light on the fact that there really isn’t anything of a noble or serious-nature going on in my brain.  This is somewhat humbling, as I would have preferred to go on believing that, at the root of my sub-conscience, stirs some deep and noble idea, or some sort of life-changing, four-syllable life revelation.

Instead, at one of the deepest roots of my sub-conscience, lies three Disney characters from under the sea. 


What has your breast pump said to you?


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Do It Yourself Nursery Decorating Art Idea

Mommy Mia’s DIY Nursery Art Decor Project 

Our Nursery Theme Pottery Barn Penelope 

DIY Baby Nursery Art 
Pottery Barn Penelope Theme
We wanted to decorate our nursery for our daughter, but we were on a budget.  Our theme was Penelope by Pottery Barn Kids.  I decided to take a stroll to Hobby Lobby and let my creative juices guide me as to how to make my own nursery decor for my daughter.  I wanted it to be cute, and also add a sentimental touch that would be meaningful to my daughter (hopefully) when she is older – assuming she will appreciate that I made it myself.  This is what I came up with. 

(Total Cost of DIY Art Nursery Project: about $20)

Nursery Art 1:

BEFORE
AFTER

Nursery Art 2:

BEFORE
AFTER


DIY Steps to Baby Nursery Art Decor:

Step 1:  Bought 2 of these frames from Hobby Lobby.  The frames had flowers pre-printed on it.

Bare frames from Hobby Lobby.

Step 2:  Found cute little cardboard animals/frogs cut-outs from Hobby Lobby that would match her nursery (her nursery theme is Penelope from Pottery Barn).

Little cardboard animals/frogs
from Hobby Lobby.

Step 3:  Put together random pieces of scrap paper on a piece of cardboard using a glue stick and added the cardboard cut-outs using a hot glue gun.

Cardboard frog and butterfly cut outs glued to scrap paper.
Cardboard dog and fence cutouts glued to scrap paper.


Step 4:  Added my signature so my daughter can one day see how much her mama loved her even before she was born.

Added Mommy’s signature
on picture number 1.
Added mommy’s signature
on picture number 2.

Voila!

Final Result for DIY Penelope Picture
Frames for Baby Nursery

We hung the pictures right next to her changing table.



Share your ideas for DIY Nursery Projects here by commenting below! I’d love to see/hear your ideas!



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How My Carbon Monoxide Detector Saved Us – True Story

How Our Carbon Monoxide Detector Saved Us


Protect your family from carbon monoxide poisoning.

A TRUE STORY:

It was 9:15 pm on a Friday night in our house; it was just another typical night in our household.

My overtired 19-month-old toddler had just finally drifted off to ‘lala land’ on my shoulder (I had kept her up late that night to spend extra time with her, because we were leaving for vacation the following morning and she would be staying with “grandma”).  I had been rocking my daughter in the glider in her bedroom, and I was just standing up to go set my daughter in her crib when I suddenly heard Mr. Mia shouting loudly from the living room downstairs.  
   

My initial reaction was to tell Mr. Mia to “shhh!” because he was being so loud that I knew that he was going to wake up our finally-fell-asleep little toddler (it had taken me almost an hour of singing and rocking to get my overtired toddler to that groggy state), but then I heard something in his voice that somehow gave me the feeling that he wasn’t just shouting upstairs to ask me one of his typical Mr. Mia type-of-questions (such as, “Where is my pen?” or “Where is the kitchen soap?” or “Where is my FILL IN THE BLANK WITH ANYTHING HE LEAVES ON THE KITCHEN COUNTER FOR LONGER THAN 3-DAYS AND THAT I THEN PUT INTO A DRAWER?”

Something in Mr. Mia’s voice, as he called up our stairs, told me that this might be urgent.

It turns out that our carbon monoxide (CO) detector had detected carbon monoxide in our basement.  The Carbon Monoxide Alarm was going off – our CO detector has a voice alert and it kept saying, “WARNING! WARNING! CARBON MONOXIDE HAS BEEN DETECTED.  SEEK SAFETY.” 


To be honest, initially, I was skeptical as to the accuracy of our CO detector’s alarm.  Why? First, the CO detector had been sitting in a box in our basement (we hadn’t installed it yet – it was left over from our prior apartment).  Second, my only prior experience with a carbon monoxide detector was a “false alarm” due to a faulty CO detector device. This false alarm had occurred while I was in college and back home at parents’ house for holiday break, and I had spent hours being absolutely terrified until the firefighters informed me that that the CO alert was a false alarm due to a faulty device.  But this time was different.

I was wrong to be skeptical.  It turns out that this was not a false alarm.


This is the brand and model of the Carbon Monoxide Detector that may have just saved us: 
The Kidde KN-COSM-B Battery-Operated Combination 
Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Alarm with Talking Alarm

Link:  Kidde KN-COSM-B Battery-Operated Combination Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Alarm with Talking Alarm

Thankfully, Mr. Mia was not-so-skeptical of the carbon monoxide alarm’s alert.  Our carbon monoxide alarm didn’t have a digital readout that could tell us the “level” of carbon monoxide that was present, so we do not know the level that was initially detected.  Mr. Mia ran downstairs and grabbed the beeping detector from the basement (where it had been in the room with our furnace and hot water heater), and the alarm stopped going off as soon as he brought the detector to our first-floor/main-floor level.  Then, as soon as he carried the carbon monoxide detector back downstairs to the basement, the alarm immediately started going off again.

The scarier part of this story, as I previously mentioned  is that we hadn’t actually installed the carbon monoxide detector in our new house yet; we had purchased it for our old apartment, and it was still sitting in a storage box in our storage room (the same room as our hot water heater and furnace).  

By about 9:20 pm (5-minutes after I heard Mr. Mia shouting for the first time), I was standing in our front hallway, with a very sleepy baby on my shoulder, as Mr. Mia and I formulated our an action plan.  Our first step was getting us, especially our young daughter, out of the house immediately.  Mr. Mia held our daughter outside of the house as she slept on his shoulder, and I ran back inside the house for a blanket for our daughter; and then ran back into the house, again, and grabbed our two dogs.  We put our dogs inside of my car that was thankfully already parked in our driveway (and, therefore, out of the potentially poisonous house).  Then, I started to ‘google’ the telephone number for the fire department in our city, and I quickly realized Google was taking too long at getting me the answer for the correct fire department location, so I dialed 9-11.  This was the right decision.

The fire department arrived within about 10-13 minutes. 

Unlike my first experience with carbon monoxide, this time, it was not a false alarm.

The fire departments’ equipment also detected carbon monoxide.  

The fire department called our local energy provider company to come out and inspect our situation.

Our local energy company’s technician arrived at our house at about 10:15 pm, and their equipment also detected carbon monoxide.  


The fire department determined that the leak had come from either (a) our hot water heater, or (b) our furnace  however, the fire department could not determine which of the two that the leak was actually coming from (the furnace is usually the more dangerous of the two, as the furnace circulates air throughout your house – meaning that it would also be circulating carbon monoxide – this would kill you quickly); our local energy company professional had better equipment and he determined that the leak was coming from our hot water heater.    


Mr. Mia was “on duty,” so to speak, with the fire department and the energy company.  What was I doing?  I was driving around our neighborhood with two extremely hyper dogs jumping around my car, with an already overtired toddler in the car seat – a toddler that I was trying to “soothe” back to sleep as I drove the car around my neighborhood 100 times.

Eventually, that night, the CO detectors for both the fire department and the CO detectors that belonged to our energy company stopped detecting CO.  This was a good sign,  but we still didn’t understand why or how the leak was occurring, or why it had suddenly appeared to have stopped.

The fire department, and our energy company, advised us to open the windows, and “to be really safe,” they advised us to evacuate our house until we could have a professional inspect our hot water tank and furnace.


The following morning, we had a heating and cooling professional, along with a plumbing professional, come look at our hot water tank and furnace   The ultimate theory for the CO leak is that there was an air circulation issue in our house (long story…that’s a whole other post), and that had somehow caused our hot water heater to emit CO.  

Did you know that a bird’s nest can cause a carbon monoxide build-up in your home?

I’m still scared.

But I’m also extremely grateful.  Thank God we had a Carbon Monoxide detector sitting in a U-Haul moving box in our basement.  What if we hadn’t?  We got extremely lucky.  We assumed that our smoke alarms had a CO detector built-in (which was a stupid assumption), but our smoke alarms, in fact, did not.   Again, thank God we had a detector in our basement.  

One of the other scariest parts of this mess was that we were leaving for vacation the next day, and our dogs were going to be in our house while we were on vacation (we had a dog-walker and family to come to our house to take care of the dogs while we were gone).  What if this would have happened just one day later, while we were gone?  What would have happened to our dogs?

Please let this be a reminder to you – a reminder to install Carbon Monoxide Detectors on every level of your home.  Over 200 people die each year from Carbon Monoxide poisoning.  It’s known as the “silent killer” in homes.  



Top Rated Carbon Monoxide Detectors:
The Kidde KN-COSM-B Battery-Operated Combination 
Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Alarm with Talking Alarm
Link:  Kidde KN-COSM-B Battery-Operated Combination Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Alarm with Talking Alarm

 
Kidde KN-COPP-LPM Battery-Operated Carbon Monoxide Alarm with Digital Display
Kidde KN-COPP-LPM Battery-Operated Carbon Monoxide Alarm with Digital Display  
Kidde KN-COP-IC Hardwire Carbon Monoxide Alarm with Battery Backup and Digital Display, Interconnectable
Kidde KN-COP-IC Hardwire Carbon Monoxide Alarm with Battery Backup and Digital Display, Interconnectable
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Make your family’s Carbon Monoxide safety a priority today.
Purchase a Carbon Monoxide Detector for each floor of your home.
If you have a Carbon Monoxide Detector, change the battery, and make a note to do so on a semi-annual basis.
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You Know You Have a Newborn When – Toilet Flushing Phobia

You know you have a newborn if….

You’ve suddenly developed a “toilet flushing” phobia.  What this means is that you used to flush your toilet freely – whenever the process was warranted and without a care in the world.  Now, suddenly, you fear that even the subtle flush of your toilet may wake your sleeping little nugget ..and you’ll be damned if you lose any more sleep.  You take the risk- the risk that you may forget to flush the toilet later on, and that someone else just may see your un-flushed toilet.  Is it worth the risk?  Yes, yes it is….

You’ve already damned your dogs for waking up your sleeping newborn last week with their barking, and you’ll be damned yourself if you become the one responsible for waking your sleeping baby, because waking up your sleeping child is, effectively, the same as eliminating your very brief opportunity to nap, shower, or change your underwear. 

Did this happen to me?  Yes.  Many things changed once a newborn baby came into my life.  Did I knowingly walk into a WalMart store, wearing my bath robe?  Yes.  (See You Know You Have a Newborn When – Your Robe).  I also developed a complicated relationship with my electric breast pump, and I swear the damn thing started talking to me (See My Breast Pump Talks To Me!).


What weird things did your sleep-deprived self do when you had a newborn?
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The Must-Have Clothing Item For Your Newborn Baby

Side-Snap Onesies and Your Newborn Baby


Your Newborn’s Wobbly Head:

Side-snap onesies take the pain out of dressing your newborn because you don’t have to worry about pulling a shirt over your newborn’s wobbly little head.  Remember: they must be SIDE-SNAP onesies.  Just lay out the side snap onesies on your diaper changing table pad ahead of time and you can avoid the painfully scary process of pulling a shirt over your babies unstable little head.  This is the best advice I have to offer for newborn dressing solutions, and side snap onesies are an essential part of the list of Top 25 Must-Have Newborn Baby Items.

Babysoy Kimono Side Snap Onesie
Another Helpful Tip: 


I only had three side snap onesies for my newborn and I’d enter a state of panic each time I realized that all three onesies were dirty and needed to do laundry.  I would recommend keeping at least six on-hand.


Where To Buy: 

You can buy side-snap onesies at Target (in their baby section – they are made by Gerber).  You can also buy them from Gerber’s website.  I haven’t seen these at Walmart.  The average price is about $9.00 for a three-pack.

You can also purchase different varieties of side snap onesies through Amazon.com, but these tend to be more expensive than Target.

Want more must-have baby items?  

View our constantly updating list of Must-Have Baby Gear.


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Top Humidifiers for Baby (Easy-to-Use)

 

Top Cool Mist Humidifiers for Baby, Toddlers, and Preschools
In our post, Top 20 Items to Have On Hand This Flu Season, we talk about all of the items that you should have on-hand in case baby gets sick.  This post focuses exclusively on baby-safe humidifiers,  After great research and several failed attempts to find an effective, easy-to-use, safe, non-noisy, easy-to-fill, cool-mist humidifier for my newborn and toddler, I have, at last, narrowed it down to two different humidifiers (from different brands) that meet all of the above criteria: the Remedies Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier With Colored LED Lights and the Crane Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier.  these are my conclusions as to the best humidifiers to use for your baby, toddler, or preschooler.  Please share with us your favorite humidifier for baby by commenting below! 





1.   Crane Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier – Hippo


Crane Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier – Hippo

Link:  Crane Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier

 
 
 
 

2.   Remedies Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier with Colored LED Lights

Remedies Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier with Colored LED Lights
Link:   Remedies Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier With Colored LED Lights

 

 

 

 
 
Both humidifiers are:
  • Effective at easing my child’s cold symptoms
  • Easy-to-use
  • Filter-free
  • Easy to clean! (compared to other humidifiers)
  • Easy to refill tanks (both the tanks fit in my small bathroom sink)
  • Quiet operation (unlike the Vick’s brand humidifiers that I have used)
  • Non-ugly
  • Small, yet still offers a 12-hour operation when used on a medium setting
  • Cool-Mist
  • Reasonably-priced
 
Tip:  
 
The  Crane Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier is available in the DROP SHAPE (see the bottom of post for an example of the drop-shape) at Target and Wal-Mart (in-store), whereas I have only been able to find the Remedies Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier With Colored LED Lights  online or ship-to-store.  So if you’re baby is sick right now, I would most definitely go head to Wal-Mart or Target instead of waiting for the Crane Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier to be shipped to you.  
 
 
IMPORTANT:  You will not find the  Crane Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier in the typical humidifier section at Target or Wal-Mart (it is NOT located in the section with the adult humidifiers); you must go to the baby section and you can usually find it near the baby-proofing items.
 



Other Findings:

 
I did find a good number of moms who recommended the Vicks V4500 FilterFree Humidifier (shown below), because this model features Vicks Vapor Therapy with an integrated scent pad heater.  I bought this model when I was in a pinch and needed a humidifier for my sick child fast, and found this is my local Wal-Mart.  
Vicks V4500 FilterFree Humidifier
Link:  
Vicks V4500 FilterFree Humidifier
 
I personally found the Vicks V4500 Humidifier to be noisy, difficult to clean, and its tank was difficult to refill in my bathroom sink (I had to use my bath tub). All of that outweighed the Vick’s Vapor therapy feature for me.
 

All-in-all:


All humidifiers out there are annoying to deal with on some level because you have to clean them regularly and refill them daily.  The  Remedies Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier With Colored LED Lights and the Crane Cool Mist Humidifiers  have been, in my experience, the two humidifiers that will be the least pain in your bum;  this is based on my own trial and error, my research on discussion forums and online reviews, and also my research on Babycenter.com; my research indicates that most other moms out there agree with me.  

 

 

 

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FuNote:  

My top favorite humidifiers also come in other fun colors:
 
 
 
Crane Drop Shape Cool Mist Humidifier 
Crane Drop Shape Cool Mist Humidifier 
Link: Crane Drop Shape Cool Mist Humidifier 
 
 
(More colors available for the Crane Cool Mist Humidifier.)
 
 
 
 
 
Crane Drop Shape Cool Mist Animal Humidifiers
Crane Drop Shape Cool Mist Humidifier 
Link:  Crane Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier
 
 


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Top 25 Must-Have Newborn and Baby Items

Top 25 Must-Have Newborn and Baby Items Image


Save your sanity during the newborn phase of motherhood by making sure that you are prepared with these 25 must-have newborn baby items and products.  I am willing to put my reputation on the line here and say that these baby products are the most practical, easy-to-use and convenient newborn baby products out there (especially the Leachco Newborn Podster).  These items are available on Amazon.com, which is where I purchased each of these items, but you can also find most of the products at Target, Babies’R’Us, and BuyBuyBaby. 


Last Updated:  October 2015


Top 25 Newborn Baby Items:


1.  Leachco Newborn Podster 
Link:  Leachco Newborn Podster

Leachco Newborn Podster Image - PinkLeachco Newborn Podster Image
LeachCo Newborn Podster

The  Leachco Newborn Podster is my absolute number one favorite baby item of all time.  No question about it.  You can view my post about this product at How to Make Mommy’s Life With Newborn Easier, and the top uses for the Newborn Podster.  We feel so passionately about this product that we will be donating a number of them to an HIV Orphanage in Vietnam (see How My Favorite Baby Product Will Help Orphans With HIV in Vietnam).  I cannot find this item anywhere but Amazon.com and Babies’R’Us.  


2.  Boon Grass Bottle and Nipple Drying Rack

Link:  Boon Lawn Countertop Drying Rack, Spring Green 

Boon Grass Drying Rack


The Boon Lawn Countertop Drying Rack is fantastic, and in my humble opinion, it is the prettiest drying rack out there.  More importantly, it works great for drying nipples and bottles.







3.  Rock ‘N Play Newborn Sleeper
Link:   Fisher-Price My Little Snugapuppy Deluxe Newborn Rock N Play Sleeper

Fisher-Price Newborn Rock 'N Play Sleeper
Fisher-Price Newborn Rock ‘N Play Sleeper

I refer to the Fisher-Price My Little Snugapuppy Deluxe Newborn Rock N Play Sleeper as the “Magic Cradle.”  I love this thing.  I brought it with me almost everywhere I went with my baby. It’s easy to bring from room to room, and easy to fold-up and bring with you on the go. Fisher-Price now has a vibrating edition of the wonderful Rock ‘N Play Sleeper – the Fisher-Price My Little Snugapuppy Deluxe Newborn Rock N Play Sleeper.






4.  Soothe and Glow Seahorse Baby Soother

Link:   Fisher-Price Soothe and Glow Seahorse Baby Soother

Fisher-Price Soothe and Glow Seahorse
Fisher-Price Soothe and Glow Seahorse

The Soothe and Glow Seahorse Baby Soother is made by Fisher-Price, and I swear this little seahorse is magical when it comes to babies.  Newborns go from crying to happy within a seconds when you put this cute little, glowing seahorse in front of them. I would become frantic when it would run out of batteries during our baby’s newborn stage.  I love the Soothe and Glow Seahorse Baby Soother so much that I made my sister buy a “back-up” seahorse for her house.  You can see more about this magical seahorse and other baby toys in my post Top 25 Baby Toys.






5.  Video Baby Monitor

Link:  Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor With Interchangeable Optical Lens

Video Baby Monitor Image

Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor With Interchangeable Optical Lens


I highly recommend getting a baby video monitor – it will bring you more peace of mind than you can imagine.  I recommend purchasing a monitor that has a “mute” button feature that way you can get some sleep.  The  Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor With Interchangeable Optical Lens not only has a “mute”button, but the display is activated by sound, so it will turn on if the baby makes noise.  Tip: Many of the Motorola brand monitors do not have a mute button. Hopefully Motorola updates their next model with the mute button feature.  If you are interested in a WiFi Baby Video Monitor, the WiFi Baby 2.0 is a great option, but is complicated to set-up.  With the WiFi Baby 2.0, you will be able to view the video stream from your iPhone, iPad, Android, Mac, or PC (you can also use the WiFi Baby 2.0 as a Nanny-Cam, and record video and audio).




6.  Crane Cool Mist Humidifier

Link:   Crane Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier


Crane Cool Mist Humidifier Image
Crane Cool Mist Humidifier

This adorable Crane Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier is easy to clean and easy to change, and they are filter-free.  The Crane Cool Mist Humidifier will also fit in most bathroom sinks, whereas many of the Vick’s humidifiers are so bulky that they need to be refilled in a bathtub (which is annoying).  Also, if the hippo-look doesn’t appeal to you, a new a noteworthy humidifier (as of 2015) is the Remedies Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier With Colored LED Lights.   The Remedies Humidifier is also a cool mist humidifier, and it is very quiet quiet – as a bonus, it not only automatically shuts off, but it has seven different colors of LED lights that can help distract a sniffling child (The Remedies Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier With Colored LED Lights is shown below).  See more on humidifiers at Best Humidifiers for Baby that Are Easy-to-Operate.

Remedies Cool Mist Humidifier
Link:  Remedies Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier With Colored LED Lights







7.  Side-Snap Onesies

Link:   Kimono Bodysuit Side-Snap Onesie

Side Snap Onesies ImageSide Snap Onesies ImageSide Snap Onesies Image
Side-Snap Onesies

Side-Snap onesies are essential for your sanity if the thought of putting a t-shirt over your baby’s wobbly head makes you nervous.  Avoid that pain and invest in at least five side-snap onesies for your newborn.  The above picture is a link for side-snap onesies that are sold on Amazon.com, but side-snap onesies on Amazon are extremely expensive (a single side-snap onesie can run about $17.99), so I would highly recommend going to Target and purchasing a 3-pack for $9.99 (Made by Gerber).  Nevertheless, I have provided a link to the expensive version from Amazon.com for you to take a look at (Kimono Bodysuit Side-Snap Onesie).  For more on side-snap onesies at The Must-Have Clothing Item For Your Newborn Baby .





8.  SpaceSaver Swing and Seat (Vibrates)
Link:   Fisher-Price Space Saver Swing and Seat, Rainforest Friends

Fisher-Price Rainforest Friends SpaceSaver Swing

A lot of baby swings end up taking up a lot of space, but the Fisher-Price Rainforest Friends SpaceSaver Swing is great because it won’t take up 1/4 of your living room.  The 
Fisher-Price Space Saver Swing and Seat, Rainforest Friends has all of the features. It vibrates (which is a very important feature in a baby swing and many of the expensive swings do not have this), and this swing is easily portable from room to room.  







9.  Swaddle Blankets with Velco
Link:  Summer Infant SwaddleMe Blankets

SwaddleMe Blankets
SwaddleMe Blankets

Get yourself Summer Infant SwaddleMe Blankets blankets (make sure that they have velcro) – these are so much easier (and safer) than the traditional swaddle blankets.  The velcro makes the swaddling process significantly faster and easier for tired moms and dads.  






10.  HALO Sleepsacks
Link:   HALO SleepSacks

HALO Sleepsack Image 
HALO Sleepsack

I love the HALO SleepSacks for after the “swaddle phase.”  I recommend getting two of each size (S, M, L)  for the first year.  Amazon.com sells them for about $20, but if you have a Marshall’s store nearby, then you can get amazing deals on these ($7.99).



11.  Little Tummys’ Gas Relief Drops
Link:  Little Tummys Gas Relief Drops 

Little Tummys’ Gas Relief Drops

Little Tummys Gas Relief Drops have saved my sanity a few times when we were trying to find the right formula for our baby (which resulted in baby having an upset tummy).  These things are great at relieving tummy pains.







12.  OXO Dishwasher Basket 
Link:  OXO Tot Dishwasher Basket 

Oxo Dishwasher Basket Image
Oxo Dishwasher Basket

If you’re going with the Playtex Drop-In bottles, then I highly recommend the OXO Tot Dishwasher Basket because it is the perfect size for the Playtex Drop-In nipples (which don’t easily fit inside the slots of most dishwasher baskets).  It is also very convenient to have a large dishwasher basket versus many of the common Munchkin dishwasher baskets found in stores, which can usually only fit five Playtex Drop-In Nipples (the OXO Tot Dishwasher Basket can fit up to ten nipples).





13.  Kick and Play Piano Baby Gym
Link:   Fisher-Price Kick and Play Piano Gym

Fisher-Price Kick and Play Piano Gym 

The Fisher-Price Kick and Play Piano Gym is our favorite because not only does it provide a mirror (babies love mirrors), but the kick-able piano feature provides for a ton of entertainment for baby by playing music and lighting up – babies love it.   Another great feature about this baby gym is that you can level up the piano as baby grows and starts sitting.  The only downfall to this baby gym is that it is hard for the baby to roll over all the way without getting caught in the arch.  You can see my little one playing with this baby gym at my post: Favorite Baby Gym Photo Time.  She loves this thing!  This baby gym also made my post Top 25 Baby Toys.





14.  Boogie Wipes

Link:  Boogie Wipes

Boogie Wipes Image


Boogie Wipes

Boogie Wipes are great for wiping noses without irritating baby’s skin by rubbing it raw.  They have grape-flavored and also a fresh flavor.  These are a must-have to keep in your diaper bag, and I’d recommend getting one for your changing table as well.  We talk about the best items for your sick baby more in the post – Sick Baby:  Top 20 Must-Have Items to Have On-Hand.




15.  Secure-A-Toy Straps
Link:   Baby Buddy Secure-A-Toy 

Secure-A-Toy Image
Secure-A-Toy

The Baby Buddy Secure-A-Toy is an amazing invention that prevents your baby from losing toys when riding in the stroller.  I love these things.





16.  Jolly Jumper Car Seat Cover
Link:  Jolly Jumper Car Seat Cover 

Car Seat Cover

Car seat covers are a great and easy way to keep your newborn warm in the cold winter months when getting in and out of your car.  Amazon.com sells the Jolly Jumper Carseat Cover, but you can find these at Marshall’s for quite a bit cheaper.



17.  Laugh and Learn Fun Activity Table
Link:   Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Puppy and Friends Learning Table

Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Fun Activity Table Image
Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Fun Activity Table

The Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Puppy and Friends Learning Table is the BEST activity table out there.  Unlike other activity tables, the Laugh and Learn Fun table has multiple settings (e.g., Play, Music, Spanish, Learning Time), so it keeps your baby occupied and entertained for longer than other single-setting activity tables.  You can remove the legs for baby to use it during the Sitting phase as well.  See more about this table Keep Baby Busy, Keep Mommy Happy, and I also mention this great toy in my post Top 25 Baby Toys.




18.  Playtex Drop-Ins Bottles

Link:  Playtex Baby Drop-ins Nurser Bottles

Playtex Drop-In Nurser Bottles Image
Playtex Drop-Ins

The Playtex Baby Drop-ins Nurser Bottles are the best bottle out there – in this mom’s opinion.  I could go on and on about these bottles and how much I love them.  The disposable liners make cleaning these bottles substantially easier than any other bottle out there (no more putting bottles in your dishwasher). More importantly, the liner system prevents your baby from gulping air during feedings.  Also, if you plan to have kids in the future, the drop-in bottles are better for storage because you don’t have to worry about the plastic going bad.  





19.  Toys Links
Link:   Sassy Ring O’ Links

Toy Links Image
Toy Links

Get yourself the Sassy Ring O’ Links. Toy links are great for attaching toys to strollers and babies just love to hold onto these with their tiny fingers.  Your baby will also love to chew on these toy links (great for teething)! 



20. DaBib
Link:  DaBib 

Da Bib ImageDa Bib Image

Da Bib

If you have a baby with “hole” in his mouth that appears during bottle time (meaning the milk drips out of their mouth and gets everywhere), then DaBib is perfect for your baby.  It keeps your baby’s clothing clean and keeps your baby’s neck dry.  I love, love DaBib.  It’s a lot more expensive than other bibs, but worth every penny.  See more on bibs at Top 5 Baby Bibs that Actually Work.





21.  Disposable Diaper Bags
Link:  Munchkin Arm and Hammer Diaper Bag Dispenser

Disposable Diaper Bags Image
Disposable Diaper Bags

These Munchkin Arm and Hammer Diaper Bag Dispenser are very handy to have.  You will get dirty looks if you put a stinky diaper in a public trashcan without one.  Just strap these on your diaper bag and refill as needed.




22.  The NoseFrida Snotsucker
Link:   Nosefrida The Snotsucker Nasal Aspirator

Nosefrida Snotsucker Image
NoseFrida Snotsucker

Now, let me explain a little bit about the Nosefrida. I was very reluctant to try this product initially –  the idea of sucking boogers out of anybody’s nose made me gag, but I swear to you that this thing works better than any nasal aspirator out there, and when your baby can hardly breathe because of all the snot in his nose, you will want this thing.  I promise you that the boogers don’t get in your mouth – even with the massive amount of snot my child has, the snot/boogers hasn’t even reached the filter yet, let alone anywhere near my mouth. This thing is awesome.  I talk about my love for the  Nosefrida The Snotsucker Nasal Aspirator in my post How the Nose Frida Changed My Boogie Little Life, and you can also find a video of my baby loving the Nosefrida on that same post.

23.  Washable Changing Pads

Link:   MyKazoe Waterproof Changing Pads

Washable Changing Pads Image
Washable Changing Pads

Keep changing pads on-hand near your changing table to eliminate constant changing pad laundry runs.  These MyKazoe Waterproof Changing Pads are great, but I’ve seen Babies’R’Us selling changing pads (made by Babies’R’Us) that are made with terry cloth and these work really well too.






24.  Sippy Cup Bungy Cord
Link:  SippiGrip Sippy Cup Bungee Cords
Sippy Cup Bungy Cord Image
Sippy Cup Bungy Cord

If your baby is like my baby, then she will love to throw her sippy cup on the floor once she gets to the “high chair phase.”  Prevent this with the SippiGrip Sippy Cup Bungee Cords.  Genius.



25.  O-Ball
Link:  Oball 

O-Ball Toy Image
The O-Ball Toy


Baby’s love the Oball because they can fit their tiny little fingers around it.  It’s costs about $4.99 and is a toy that is worth every penny.  This toy is also included in my post Top 25 Baby Toys.

26.  Huggies Newborn Diapers

Link:   Huggies Little Snugglers Diapers for Newborn

Huggies Newborn Diapers Image
Huggies Newborn Diapers

The Huggies Little Snugglers Diapers for Newborn are my favorite diapers for newborns because they have an umbilical cord cut-out to prevent your baby’s umbilical cord stump from getting wet with pee (it is best to keep your baby’s umbilical cord stump dry in the days after baby is born).


Share your must-have newborn 
and baby items by commenting below!

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Make Life With Your Newborn Much Easier – The Newborn Podster

Newborn Podsters and Your Happiness



I want to kiss the inventor of the Leachco Podster.   This is the greatest invention of all time. This is my absolute #1 favorite baby product out there.  THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT BABY ITEM EVER!  Read the reviews on Amazon.com….they are not lying….it is amazing.


I bought the Podster when my newborn was 3-weeks old, and it changed my life. The Leachco Podster trumps all baby swings, bounces and other baby gear that I have tried, and I have tried a lot.  (Note: the Boppy brand makes a similar item, but don’t be fooled – this one is much better).  

“How do people have babies without 
these Podster things?” 

  –   Quoted by my friend, Allison 

The Podster (lounger) is my “go-to” gift for every single pregnant friend that I have.  I beam with pride after my girlfriends call me in their tired postpartum state to thank me and tell me that they have no idea what they would do without this product.  

Newborns fit into the Podster so perfectly.   This thing is a life-saver for the unpredictable nap times of newborns. It’s like LeachCo. had a team of brilliant physicists working in a lab and mastered the science of a newborn’s physical body structure and found the perfect shape that meets a newborn’s sleep-comfort needs.  I put my newborn daughter in the Podster in the center of our bed while we both napped.  My daughter napped in the Podster while inside of her crib. (I watched closely on my video baby monitor with the volume on high to make sure she didn’t roll over).


The Podster is easy to move from room to room.  It is sooo much more portable than a swing or bouncer. The Podster is as portable as baby gear gets.   I took this thing with my everywhere.  I packed the thing in my suitcase when we flew to Grandma’s house in Idaho for a visit.


When my arms and back were tired, I would set her in the Podster on the couch and feed her a bottle.  This thing saved me so much back pain…it brings happy tears to my eyes.  You can set the Podster on the counter or floor of your bathroom while you do your makeup, pluck your eyebrows, etc.  

Great for Bath Time:   You can lay out your infant bath towel on the Podster while your baby takes a bath.  It is perfect for the quick transfer of a wet naked baby and the perfect surface to wrap that wet baby up in a cute little hooded baby towel.



Safety Reminder: Do not leave your baby unsupervised in the Podster.  Your baby can learn to roll over at any time.




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You may also like these articles:

7 Things You Should Avoid Saying to a New Mom

7 Things You Should Avoid Saying to a New Mom


I recognize that I may have been grumpier than the average newbie mama bear (see I Almost Ate My Professor for Lunch – Graduate School and Pregnancy for more on that). That said, I want to share with you the most annoying things that people said to me in the first few weeks after my child was born. Here they are:

7 Things You Should Avoid

Saying to a New Mom


1.  “Sleep when the baby sleeps.”

  • I swore to myself, over and over again, that if one more person told me to, “Sleep when the baby sleeps!” that I was going to slug them.  Turns out that I’m too polite of a person (or too much of a chicken) to do that.  I do understand the concept behind this advice (and I tried my best to follow it).  It’s actually very sound advice; however, let the pediatrician and the other doctors/nurses give this advice to the new mom, because, if she was cranky and tired like I was, this will annoy her after the 1000th time that she hears it.

2.  “Breast is best!”

  • I don’t disagree with this statement, but this saying gets very old, very quickly for some women, especially if they are already having a hard-time with breastfeeding.  To better illustrate my point, here is a clip from the movie, “Office Space,” that does a great job of showing you how I felt each time that someone said, “Don’t you know that ‘breast is best!'” to me.
    3.  “Cherish these moments.”
    • I understand the idea of “living in the moment” and I am a huge advocate of parents not getting too caught-up in the day-to-day chores and of parents making the effort to enjoy the time that they spend with their children (see my post You’re Gonna Miss This – A Reminder for Parents for more about my strong feelings about this matter); however, a tired new mom does not need to be reminded of this.  It might make her feel guilty if all she can think about at that moment is a shower or a hot dinner.  Unless you are going to watch her newborn baby for the next 12-hours (and miraculously produce her breast-milk from your own body, if she is breastfeeding)…while she takes a shower, shaves, eats a hot dinner, and gets caught-up on 8-hours of sleep, then I suggest that you lay off of this advice.

    4.  “A woman at my work had twins, and she was back to work in 3-days!”

    • If you say this to a new mom, be prepared for the look of death (a.k.a., the look that a person gives to you when they are attempting to kill you with their eyes).  I swear to God that someone said this to me – and they actually said it to me multiple times, on multiple occasions.  By the third (or maybe fourth) instance that this person told me this ‘story,’ I lost it – I lost my mind, and it did not end well for that person. 

    5. “I’m so tired.”

    • Unless you also have a newborn that wakes up every 1-2 hours to eat, then just shut up. 

    6.  “You’ll lose that baby weight in no time!”

    • What I wish I would have said to this comment: “Yeah, so will you!” (this would have been a terrible come-back if the person happened to be skinny – in which case, I have been trying to think of a great comeback to skinny people for the past 2 years….).

    7.  “They’re sleeping through the night at this point, right?”

    • Do not say this. Just don’t. 


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      Hilarious Blog Post From a Fellow Mom Blogger – Very, Very Funny

      Source: scarymommy.com via Melissa on Pinterest


      You must read this blog post,  A Letter to My Childless, Pregnant Self, if you want to laugh your butt off.  This blogger is HILARIOUS.  

      Here is a direct link to this blog post from this blogger’s website:  A Letter to My Childless, Pregnant Self.  You will laugh.  You might cry.  It’s that funny.