Thursday, March 12, 2015

Parenting Must Haves - UPDATE!

I wanted to update my new parent "must haves" from when I first wrote about the newborn stage in June 2014 - when the boys were not even 4 weeks old. You can find my newborn suggested items here.

Now that we have fast-forwarded about 9 months, here are both me and Jim's favorite baby items at this stage....it ranges from clothes to toys.

Warm Hooded Onesies:
Nana Phelan bought the boys these 9 month "Burts Bees Velour Hooded Buntings". Since that is a complicated name, Jim and I called their their gray suits. They were the best thing ever this winter -- the boys loved being snuggled and cozy, and we loved knowing they were warm.


Halo sleep sacks
When the boys were younger (and during the summer months) they wore an Aden and Anais light cotton sleep sack to bed. Now that it's colder, they have been wearing the fleece halo sleep sacks and they made a noticeable difference at night. They were much warmer. When they woke in the morning, their little hands weren't chilly anymore!



Jumper/Exersaucer
We had a couple different jumpers and exersaucers for the boys to share - and also to make our lives easier when traveling. Auntie Chrissy bought the boys little exersaucers in MA for Thanksgiving and Christmas...that was amazing. Less stuff for us to lug around (especially when multiplied by two!). At home, we had one jumper and one exersaucer (on loan from cousins Luca and Leo) so the boys can share...and not be bored with the same thing. They LOVED all of these! And it buys mommy and daddy time to get some things done around the house, or just a break on the couch for a bit.


 

Activity Gym
The boys could not get enough of this activity gym I bought on amazon. My "budget" for each item was not to exceed $35...for exersaucers or toys in general. The jumper we got at Target for $35, the exersaucer was borrowed and the ones for up north Chrissy bought both for $70 at a gently used second-hand store. Even their little walker was less than $25 on amazon.  They outgrow these items so quickly, it's best not to invest a ton of cash...again, especially when there are two of everything.

The boys when they were about 3-4 months....


And the boys now...haha


Red high chairs
Okay, so there was $5 over budget, but they are so worth it. We have brought these mobile high chairs everywhere - up north to Grammy and Grampa Callahan's house, Nana and Gramps Phelan's house and to our house in Cape Cod. And they can be thrown in the washing machine for easy clean up! I believe the weight limit is for a three or four year old, too...so they should last a while. We typically attach them to a kitchen table to feed them, but we have even attached them to my parent's coffee table because it was really sturdy.


Baby "oball" rattle balls
These oball toys are the best. They make noise, they fit their little fingers perfectly and they keep their attention. Caden and Conor both love them - but Conor is OBSESSED with them (look at his face!!!). Now he grabs on to both and then bangs them on the ground at the same time. He thinks it's so cool. He also recently started hitting it around the room, and then he crawls after it. It's almost like he's playing fetch with himself. I don't know, but nothing beats a happy/entertained/quiet baby, right? These are a must buy and they're only $8.


Sophie is fantastic. I would say Caden is more interested in Sophie than Conor, but they both love it. It is expensive, but still within my $35 budget. It is more than just a toy, it's a teether and Caden loves biting away at it each day.
 

Here's a snapshot of their main interests -- they love books, playing with their "wub a nub" pacifiers; but haven't actually used a pacifier since they were about 4-5 months old. They really like those orange stuffed animals in the middle. Their cousins Ben and Brady McCarthy gave them to them last summer! And Conor looooooooooves the monkey, like LOVES it. It brightens Conor's mood without fail every single time. They also play with the oball toys and Sophie, of course....AND their quilts from Abby. :)


And I still recommend having a changing station on each level of the house so you can change the baby/babies any place you are playing with them. Nothing is harder than trying to carry two babies upstairs to the nursery to change them both (while crying). It's easier for everyone to just stay put. :)


Last but not least, here's the boys schedule these days!  I must say, daylight savings really helped us push the hour out a bit, now they are waking at 7AM and going to sleep at 7:30PM...way better! It's simplified and we are finally at a really great place. Happy, proud Mom over here.

7AM - Both wake and have 6-8oz bottle, play upstairs in nursery for an hour

8:30AM - Pureed bananas and oatmeal, play downstairs in living room 

10AM - 4oz bottle and both nap in nursery (the other 4oz when they wake)

1PM - Lunch (fruit, cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, puffs, etc)

3PM - 6-8oz bottle, then naptime (the remainder of their bottle when they wake, refrigerated)

5PM - Dinner (veg, rice cereal, grilled cheese, fruit for dessert, etc)

6:30PM - Bath, bottle, and bedtime routine

7:30PM - Sleep

I will eventually write about the "must haves" for toddler stage whenever we get there. :)

Til next time!
Shaz, Caden and Conor