Get Ready for Baby with These 5 Baby Gear Must-Haves

Shopping for baby gear is overwhelming! When Matt and I went shopping for baby stuff to prepare for Thomas, we walked into one of those big box baby gear stores and totally freaked out at the warehouse style stock of baby stuff and walked right out!

So if you are finding yourself in a similar totally overwhelmed place, don’t fret mama. We got this. I’m here to help!

Let me talk you through my favorite baby items which are absolute musts. These items will grow with baby for years and years to come so no need to keep upgrading your gear.

These 5 are my top MUSTS. This will totally get you ready from bringing home your baby bumble bee!

5 baby must haves The New York Mom

 

 

  1. Stokke Steps Highchair – Stokke is one of my absolute favorite baby gear brands. The quality is superb and their design is unmatched I have a love affair with this brand! While this is a luxury brand and some of their baby gear might break the bank, the Stokke Steps is totally worth it. This is a high chair which begins at the infant stage and goes all the way through the tween years! The infant seat can be removed from the chair to be used as a bouncer which will save you money on buying a separate bouncer. You win!
  2. Britax Affinity Stroller- This fab stroller can be customized to fit your fashionable needs. There are 3 frame colors and 6 color packs to choose from. The seat can be both forward and rear facing with a nice cozy recline. See my full review of this stroller. The New York Mom Britax Affinity Stroller
  3.  Chicco Keyfit 30 Infant Car Seat and Base – This  infant car seat takes your baby from 4 – 30 pounds. It has energy absorbing foam and is very easily spot cleaned for sprucing up. It’s also incredibly easy to install.It’s compatible with the Britax Affinity Stroller.
  4. HENSVIK crib from IKEA – This is an amazing crib for $99. It is formaldehyde free, sturdy and i love the simple design. This crib also converts to a toddler bed. In the world of over priced baby gear this is a HUGE value for $99.
  5.  Ergobaby Original Baby Carrier – I love this ergonomic baby carrier for toting your little one around. Those first few months, Thomas practically lived in this carrier. It’s great for promoting skin to skin and baby wearing. I love the softness of this carrier and just the overall organic comfort in which Thomas settles into it.

I hope this helps! I could talk about baby gear all day! Do let me know if you need any additional tips or suggestions for baby gear! And CONGRATS!!

 

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Aden and Anais – fit for my prince

Did you know there was a royal baby prince born recently!

And did you know that cute bird print swaddle which he was pictured in is made by one of my MOST favorite brands… ADEN + ANAIS!

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We’ve used Aden and Anais swaddle blankets for Thom until last month. He’s 8 Months now. I discovered the brand at a boutique baby store and fell in love with some of the prints as well as the soft muslin fabric. (you can also get aden and anais at target)

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We’ve moved on from swaddling to sleep blankets these days. And all summer we’ve been traveling… to florida, to shelter island, to Pittsburgh, to DC… our adventures have taken us all over.

One MUST-HAVE that we have packed every time is our Aden and Anais Bamboo Sleeping BagAKA sleep blanket.

This Sleeping Bag is super soft made of rayon from bamboo fiber muslin. It feels sooooo yummy great to the touch and just the best for Thom’s baby skin.

The zipper can be unzipped from the bottom for those convenient late night or early morning or 3am diaper changes. 20130821-145013.jpg

Sleeping blankets are great for babies. It reduces the risk of suffocating and baby is super comfortable in his own little sleeping bag! 20130821-145021.jpg

All of aden + anais fabrics are really soft and organic and the bamboo fiber muslin line is even snugglier and softer! aden + anais has really beautiful and simple prints that give it a unique… ” only my child has this’ quality. Thom is wearing the AZURE BEADS bamboo sleeping bag in all the above pictures.

For more info about aden + anais and their great products visit – ADEN AND ANAIS 

* I was sent products for purposes of this review. All opinions are my own. I discovered the brand all on my own and just happened to connect with their PR company who sent me the latest in sleeping blankets.*

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Ergobaby Swaddler – Review

Any new parent with a baby knows the value of a swaddle. For the first few months Thom would not sleep without a snug swaddle.
I’d love to share something that worked for us.
Introducing the Ergobaby swaddler. Its innovative, ergonomic design helps ensure that your baby sleeps longer and safer. The Ergobaby Swaddler is easy to use and is made of soft and breathable 100% Cotton knit terry.
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I am a fan of the ERGOBABY line. Their materials are all super soft and designed to give baby the most comfort. This swaddle in particular is designed to secure your baby’s arms while keeping hips and legs in the correct ergonomic position.
This swaddle has a few key features I’d like to mention:
  1. Arm Pockets – Secures baby’s arms and helps to replicate the fetal arm position of “hands to heart.”
  2.  Leg Pouch:  Provides easy access to baby’s diaper.
  3.  Healthy Hip Positioner:  Helps to keep baby’s hips and legs in the correct, ergonomic “frog-leg” position.
  4. Soft and breathable 100% cotton knit terry:  Helps regulate baby’s body temperature.
 The ERGO BABY swaddle is offered in 2 sizes.  S/M: Small/Medium (6-12lbs) 
M/L:  Medium/Large (12-18 lbs)
Find out more about ERGOBABY and this SWADDLER by visiting their site.
* this is a sponsored post. I was sent product for purposes of this review. all opinions expressed are my own.*
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Stokke Xplory – Stroller Review

Between my many gigs… I’ve been testing out baby gear for a handful of outlets including here on my blog.

Strollers have been one of my favorites to play around with.

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A stroller is like a car… the style, design, functionality, safety… all says something about  you.  You want it to perform, be functional…and having the “cool” factor always helps!

We’ve been using the Stokke Xplory as our primary stroller since Thom was born. So let me dish the deets about quiet possibly the coolest stroller on the block these days.

Stokke Explory

Hands down, the Stokke Xplory is one luxurious truly fashionable stroller. The Stokke brand is known for their sleek Scandinavian design. This is minimalist at it’s best. We have been stopped every single time we are out and about with this stroller and it surely elicits it’s fair share of glances and stares and ooh and aahs.

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So if you are stroller shopping.. let me share my Stokke Xplory experience with you. Pay attention… this might be helpful.

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Pros:

  • The stroller runs like a dream, very VERY easy to maneuver on the bumpy streets of NYC as well as the burbs. Totally smooth ride.
  • Adjustable Seat Depth – This is SUPER important. This feature accommodates the  smallest little babes and can be adjusted as they grow. Thom was a wee little man of 5 pounds when he was born and this fit him nice and snug and secure. These days  his 19pound 6 Month self is still in here snuggled up! Simply remove the insert when baby gets bigger.
  • The handle bar raises and lowers to accommodate your height… Lily loooves this feature because the stroller pretty much becomes mini for her to push Thom around in. She has full control since everything shrinks down to fit her.
  • The seat also lowers and raises. So your child can be higher up away from the dirt and nasty city puddles yet when you are meeting your gal pals at a cafe you can lower the seat so your child can see you while you nosh.
  • The seat has 5 seating positions: 3 positions facing the parents when baby is young so you can interact with your babe as you stroll & 2 facing forward to explore the wide world!
  • The seat is padded for added comfort. Thom seems to nuzzle right up and sleep when we go out and about.
  • Multifunctional Hood with ventilation. 3 levels of shade.
  • Swivel wheels make it REALLY easy to move around small spaces… like charming cafes in SOHO.
  • The fabric is water repellant.
  • I like the weight of the stroller… feels very sturdy and secure when I take Thom on our subway adventures.
  • ONE HANDED strolling. I can’t tell you how often I stroll about with a cup of coffee or holding Lily’s Hand… and this stroller couldn’t be easier to maneuver. You can even steer it with a finger… it’s that agile.
  • The wheels are not air-filled but soft material and don’t puncture.

Stokke Explory

Cons:

  • Folding the stroller is not the most convenient since it comes apart in two pieces. BUT.. it’s not difficult at all and we have gone all over New York with this stroller. BUT getting it in and out of a cab can be a bit of a hassle… since it folds in two parts. We have a Volvo… known for trunk space. The Xplory when folded up, takes up almost the entire trunk. So shopping bags and things don’t have much space.
  • No storage space… there is no traditional ” basket” that most strollers have. But I’m not one for over stuffed strollers. I’m a simple lines kinda gal and keep the clutter to a minimum. The Xplory does however come with a zipped up bag that matches the color of your stroller. This bag is compact yet stores a TON of stuff all zipped up and sleek.

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Overall, the Stokke Xplory is a good stroller that functions really nicely. My favorite feature is the raising seat,  this way Thom and I get to chit chat on our strolls in the park also when we are out and about on the train or subway, he is close to me and facing me and this makes me feel safer.

DSC_0049Again, If you are looking for a stroller with an over stuffed bottom row basket.. this might not be for you. Or maybe it will just inspire you to declutter. The Stokke Xplory has kept up with my lifestyle and certainly fits my design esthetic.

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Make sure you visit STOKKE to find out more about this stroller and their other products!

* I was sent a Stokke Xplory for purposes of this review*

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5 Months

This little man-man is 5 MONTHS. already! I know!

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A solid 17 pounds!

Gosh my heart just aches when I think about how fast he’s growing up. and Lily too.

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Matt and I met Lily for the first time when she was 5 months old. She was {and is} such a special baby. We had an INSTANT connection. I remember meeting her and there was this moment when I knew… I just knew she was meant to be in our family. At 5 Months she would look at me with these telling eyes and just smile and squeeze my cheeks and give me wet drooly kisses. It was meant to be. It was as if Matt and I were waiting for Lily all along and never even knew it. because when she made us a family… we all fit. perfectly. And it could not have been any other way.

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Thom at 5 months is also giving sloppy drooly kisses.. or trying to eat me… i can’t quite tell.

Although 5 months is a relatively short period, having him does feel like forever ago because of all the activity around these parts and I just could not imagine our lives without him.

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Since we skipped all these precious months and years – until age 3- with Lily… all this is a whole new experience for both Matt and myself. Babies are cool folks! I mean just watching them change every single day is such a gift in itself.

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Thom pretty much, eats, smiles, poops, and sleeps. He started saying ‘ MAMMA” 2 days ago and says it on a constant loop. Now yes, i know that he’s just saying this sound not knowing what it means… but man does it ever melt my cold cold heart!

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He’s always happy and smiling and sometimes just stares at me with these gorgeous eyes in serious thought … I think he’s just plotting a takeover.

5 Months is fassssst. Word on the street is that  it only gets faster from here… they do so much more so quickly. It breaks my heart you know… I wish they would stay little just a bit longer.

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Even my Lilypie, I notice fun changes in her every week… attitude, personality. She’s such an individual and is already teaching Thom some of her fun tips on life. I can’t wait! I can’t wait to see the two of them in action, Lily teaching Thom how to dig for worms, or how to swim or how to climb trees or where to hide the candy stash all over the house and both cars!

the new york momEvery night she reads books to him, her favorite books and he stops what he’s doing and listens to every word she says. When she’s done with the reading he gives her the gummiest-no-teeth smile you have ever seen and looks at her as if she’s the most beautiful girl in the world.

She is.

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So here we are 5 months… can we freeze frame this please.

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Lil Helper – REVIEW

Sometimes I wish I had a clone… often times I find myself feeding Thom with one hand, snuggling Lily with the other and petting Jonah with my feet while folding laundry with my teeth… Ok the laundry part is not real because I don’t do laundry!

But really, parents… it’s a juggling act right.

So we need a little help every now and then.

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Have you every propped up your babies bottle while he’s feeding? I sometimes prop it with a blanket or a small stuffed animal just to have a free hand.

Lil Helper to the rescue!

Lil Helper is a BPA free baby bottle holder. Created by a multi-tasking Dad, Li’l helper was designed to complement a baby’s natural gripping instinct making it simple for them to grab on to.

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Thoms has really enjoyed using the Lil Helper. He loves the little rattle at the end and since he has JUST started grabbing onto things, he’s kinda loving holding onto his bottle. Almost proud!

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I don’t let him have it all the time because he is really young and I like to hold him while he feeds but when I’m cooking or playing with Lily and I have Thom nearby, I set his bottle on the Lil Helper and he is perfectly happy being with us and I have both hands free to play with Lily… or fold laundry..or eat.. or just be!

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The Lil Helper is also great while I stroll around the mall during this bitter bitter BITTAH cold few months in New York.

The silicone handles make gripping easy for Thoms little tiny hands and little rattles on the edges keep him entertained. You can toss this in your bag and use it at restaurants, parks, anywhere really. Just keep an eye on the kiddo at all times. We have a whole plethera of baby bottles all different sizes and they all fit in this contraption!

One big thing to note – Thom still spazzes out from time to time, his 4 month self doesn’t have full control over his limbs yet. The Lil helper is very light and we sometimes give it to him without the bottle just for him to grip and shake.. occasionally it bonks his head but no harm done. it’s so light that it doesn’t hurt him.

This is a parent MUST HAVE you guys. It really helps me multi task and it’s one of those… ‘why didn’t I think of that’ items. So glad this came by my desk to review!

* I was not paid for this post but was sent product for purposes of this review*

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4 months

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Thom turned 4 months yesterday! Time flies when you are loving a smushy babe!

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He is developing a personality that is mainly smiles and winks and shy little flirty looks.20130405-112615.jpg

Happy 4 Months Thom… it’s wide wonderful world you are a part of!

 

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Easter Blessings

We had a great easter weekend with our family. Thom’s first Easter and this could quite possibly be the last Easter where Lily believes in the Easter Bunny.

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The Easter Bunny gifts Lily with craft supplies, bubbles, a kite and chocolate…always chocolate! Lily always looks forward to restocking her paints and  craft supplies this time of year.20130401-130112.jpg

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My sis and Matt’s sis came over to dye easter eggs and share in crazy shenanigans with us over the weekend.

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Thoms first Easter. Next year he’s going to be running around collecting eggs! and Lily will probably be the one hiding them. What a sweet image right!

But this year he was subjected to our decorating schemes.

the new york momLily picked out a seersucker vest and plaid bowtie for Thom. She has a good stylist eye.

Like father like son!

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Our siblings all live in the tri state area and we loved having them over yesterday. Lily is so blessed to be able to spend so much time with her Aunts and Uncles. And they in turn love being part of her and Thom’s lives.

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Thoms’ neck totally swallows up his bowtie… such a gundu baby!

I love these memories.

Happy Spring everyone.

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Baby Bjorn and their latest little model

Ha!

What happens when you take a bebe to a baby gear event… he becomes the token model of course!

20130328-212822.jpgMomTrends and Baby Bjorn gathered up a handful of NYC parenting bloggers earlier this month to connect with us and share some of their new goodies coming up.

In May2013 Baby Bjorn is launching the Bouncer Balance Soft… as modeled so well by Lil man Thoms! The bouncer is an upgraded version of their original bouncer which was the premier Baby Bjorn product launched in 1961. The Bouncer Balance Soft has softer fabrics and rounded design and just an all around snugglier feel. I love that this bouncer doesn’t have the bells and whistles like music, and toys and auto bounce like most bouncers these days. Sometimes simplicity is key ya know. The Bouncer Balance Soft also folds up nice and neat for storage and is ready to take along for trips to see nana banana.

Next up is the Miracle Carrier. Also modified  from the original, it’s seamless with softer fabrics and designed to support your lower back by an added waist belt for safer baby carrying.

Find out all about the latest products by checking out BABY BJORN.

*I was not paid for this post. I was gifted with a bag of Baby Bjorn goodies* 

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Sleepless nights and jellie bellies

I’m pretty convinced that Thom has started teething or “gumming” or a growth spurt in his mouth or something because between the extra amounts of drool that compete with Jonah’s slobber and the restless nights and the chomping on everything in sight… he’s been a bit of an eatie monster lately.

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He hasn’t slept through the night for 2 nights now. he gives us about 4 hours each night, which I know is good but he’s been clocking in a good 7 -8 hours for the past few weeks. He won’t let me put him down so I have him strapped onto one of the many body harness things I have and we just walk around and jam out to some old skool hip hop while toning my arms and working on some plies!

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This no sleeping business is making me one grumpy mom. Being home with a newborn is tough on the ole noggin. Not much going on in the conversation department and the repetition of cleaning and changing diapers can play mind tricks on ya.

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But then I look at this jellie bellie and that smile and it’s all erased.

This time is going to go by so fast.  This little guy is 15 weeks already. I mean 15 weeks ago we were all anxiously waiting to see what was going to come out… and as Lily says, ” I’m so glad he is the one who came out”. { but when she’s mad at him for crying and disturbing her sweet slumber… she is quick to say, ” i wish he was not the one who came out”. }

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Well Thom my little man-man…I’m glad you’re the one who came out too!

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