June 15th our little bug turns 1!!!!! I’m so excited and so sad all at once. Last night I changed her into “big girl PJs” for the first time. My little girl is becoming a big girl.
In the lead up to her first birthday, we (hubby had a vote as well as little bug) decided to share our Baby’s 1st Year Favorites! All things mentioned are items we COULD NOT LIVE WITHOUT! Well, we could have but we wouldn’t want to. I don’t pretend to be Mrs. Mom of the Year, but one thing I’m so glad I did when I was pregnant was ask various friends what they couldn’t live without and what was a total waste of money.
I hope this helps any parents-to-be. Side-note: We only put our very very top items, there are many that were so close but didn’t quite make the cut.
Boppy: From day 1 for nursing through to the present when giving her bedtime bottle, this is used. I had a c-section and the boppy made first-time nursing a lot more comfortable for both baby and me!
Durable and worth it in a million ways.
It’s uses are endless! We plan on using in on the long flight across the Atlantic!
Don’t buy a cheap version, I’ve seen others and they go flat quite quickly. This is still standing the test of time.
Manual Breastpump: Circa 1990’s from my aunt…this pump was so fast compared with other newer versions I’ve seen and heard about. I only tried out one electric one and it was way slow compared with my little antique.
I will say though that once baby number 2 comes along (don’t get excited, we’re talking a few years down the line), I will see if I can try out a pricey double pump to see if it’s worth the cash.
Rocking Chair: The boppy fit perfectly on the arms and I was so comfy. Hours upon hours A DAY can be spent here when nursing, I recommend to buy well and make sure you get a foot stool! I know that in the US, I have a lovely glider with foot stool waiting for us! The poor chair has been used and abused over the past year, I’m so glad I scrubbed it clean before showing you all!
1. Back support (I have the back of an old lady)
2. Candles. We never used a lamp b/c it gave off too much light for those late night feeds in the first 2 months
3. Basket on the side with books for momma. I read 2 of the Twilight saga books and a few others to her in the first 4-5 months during nursing time in the day. It’s also a great time to read parenting/baby books. Giant water bottles were also usually stored behind the basket
4. Small basket on table for burp rags, lighter for candle, nipple cream
5. Blanket for momma and baby
Other items that almost made the list:
“Hooter-hider” for feeding in public, Dr. Brown’s bottles, Dr. Brown’s microwave sterilizer, reusable breast pads
BATH TIME and DIAPER TIME
Mothercare baby bath mat with chair: think of it as a bumbo for the bath. It’s great when baby can almost sit up. If baby is a bit small, place a towel behind the back for support.
We still use this but now without the chair part. Little bug loves to kick at the ducks.
Portable changing mat: public restrooms can be utterly gag-worthy and changing tables never seem to be available when needed. This was one of the best gifts we received.
This one is really big and even at 11 months her entire body stays on the mat. I think it’s at Ikea for a few bucks!
Fisher Price Swing: since about month 2, little bug has been taking her morning nap in here. I LOVE this thing. She’s a bit big for it now, but because she “knows” it’s nap time when I put her in it, she’s asleep in 10 minutes!
Mothercare Mobile: I was very anti-mobile until we tried it during little bug’s sleep training. She was instantly quiet and fell asleep in half the time. That was at about week 8 and we’ve had success ever since.
I would have never bought one. I received this as a gift at my baby shower…my MIL suggested I try it after a lot of hard nights with little bug, I’m so glad I listened to her. We’ve been a happy and well rested family ever since.
Baby Carrier: Week 2 to present, she’s been in this almost every day!
WE ALL love this beyond belief. She crawls over with so much excitement when I put it on. Our local village isn’t the best place for a stroller (bumped stoned road, hilly and little to no sidewalk) so this is the best way to travel around the town with her.
Baby Walker: Our little bug went into her walker very early…like 3 months. Back then she paced around in this while I would run on the treadmill! 40 minutes of lovely baby peace. This is another item she uses almost daily.
Car Mirror: GET THIS ITEM NOW! You can always see your baby when driving and they can see you! Our is a really big one, it’s great. This is nice for when they drift off to sleep and you see them sleeping instead of almost causing an accident by cranking your body around the seat to see them!
This was on the way to Portugal in August, the boppy and the edge of the bumbo made the photo too!
Graco Travel System: Most people get the whole car seat/base/stroller system and we went with Graco and are very happy with it! We got a steal on it from Amazon (they don’t have Graco in Spain and if they did it would be double the price of the US)!
I swear this thing does anything and everything we need it to. There is a lot of compartments at the top for drinks, key, change. There’s a massive basket underneath. We love this! We invested in the rain cover…thank goodness because in England we would not have survived! The only negative is that if you aren’t very strong, you make struggle b/c it’s heavy and big. We have managed to squeeze this into a Mini Cooper though 😉
TOYS & LEARNING:
I’ve done a bit of reading on the whole toy thing (wooden vs. plastic, simple vs. bells & whistles…) and reading will get you so far…it’s all about what baby likes. You know what…the books I read were all right when it comes to little bug. She loves the classic toys!!! These are our “go-to” toys everyday. If she’s crabby we make sure the favorites are close at-hand!
Stack-able cups: A great toy to see how their brains and hands develop! These were a fiver in England and they have probably been her favorite toy since Christmas!
Stack ’em, knock ’em down, repeat hundreds of times…it doesn’t get old!
Fisher Price Rings: If you don’t recognize these…you must have grown up in the woods. Ok, that was mean, sorry! These are another fab toy that really shows the baby’s stages of development. First they eat the rings, then they take the rings off, then they bang them together and now she’s started putting them back on!
Cheap, easy to find and you could probably pick one up at a garage sale for next to nothing!
Touchy Feely Flash Cards: An Easter gift and our “church toy”….I don’t know what it is but she’s completely obsessed with these. She’s dig in her diaper bag to get them out almost every day!
One side is the touchy feel part and the other side is a picture. These will be great for a long time!
Books: duh! I started collecting children’s books a few years ago and I love getting the classics as well as new ones. Sadly Spain has a SAD selection of English book stores so I’ve had to rely on Amazon which kind of sucks ’cause I like to actually flip through before I buy. One of little bug’s birthday gifts is going to be a membership to a type of Children’s Book of the Month Club. We read at least 20 to 30 minutes a day. Here are some of her favs!
Nursery DVD: Sometimes a parent NEEDS 28 minutes of quiet! This seriously stops her dead in her tracks. The nursery rhymes are sung by children and have cute bright illustrations! Not a classic toy but a nice thing to pop on once a week.
Activity Table: Yet another borrowed item from sis in November. Little bug was able to stand up at this point and went ga-ga over it right away. Many people wait until a child is a year old before getting one of these, but I’d recommend sooner depending on the type of activities the table has.
Most are reversible with giant Lego type blocks underneath. Out of all her “bells and whistles” toys, this one is her favorite!
That wraps up Little Bug’s First Year Favorites! If you are an expecting parent or brand-new parent I hope some of this was helpful. If you are a parent…what were/are your child’s first year favs? What a great things for the 2nd year?
Have a great weekend! I’m hoping to do share a workout post next time!