Newborn Survival Guide : My Favorite Baby Items

Our little Lucy girl is already 4 months old! The first 3 months of her life were fabulous, but the past month has been really fun! She is awake more during the day and interacting with us. We’re getting lots of smiles and chatter! :) So much fun! She’s also sleeping a lot longer at night. PRAISE.THE.LORD.

Newborn Survival Guide

Bringing home your baby is one of the most joyous occasions of your life. And snuggling your new little squish those first days and weeks is one of the best things ever….but those first days and weeks are also hard. Your life is thrown for one big, wonderful loop and you’re running on sleep fumes. It’s great to have a few things on hand to help make life a little easier. I thought I’d share my favorite baby gear items that helped me survive the first few months of motherhood! 

Baby Carrier

hava sling

Baby carriers are a must. Baby wearing not only helps keep your hands free, but its great for bonding with your baby. Babies that are worn are typically calmer and better sleepers. The Hava Sling has been my favorite for the first few months. I wear it around the house, to church, and the grocery store. Lucy pretty much always falls asleep when I wear her in the sling and is great for calming her when she gets fussy. One of the reasons I love the Hava over other slings, is the padded rails on the top and bottom of the sling. It makes it a little more comfy for mom and baby, and provides the support they need under their legs and especially behind the neck. 

Burp Cloths

burp cloths

 

You can not have enough or too many burp cloths. Babies are messy, and unless you want to be doing a ton of laundry every day….you need burp cloths. I love the Carter’s Burp Cloths for tucking under her chin while feeding. They’re soft and easy to get under there to catch any extra dribbles. Just your average, cheapo burp cloths are great to catch spit up.

Swaddle Sacks

swaddle sacks

Swaddling is awesome and helps baby sleep better. They feel cozy, safe and secure and it keeps baby from waking herself up with that startle reflex. We love swaddle sacks since they are easier to use than a blanket and you don’t have to worry about the swaddle coming undone. No blankets in the face! The first two months we used the Summer Infant SwaddleMe sleep sack. It is simple to use which is a huge bonus during middle of the night changes. Once she got a bit bigger and turned into a Houdini baby, we moved up to the Miracle Blanket. It truly lives up to the name! Once you get over the fact that it feels like a baby straight jacket….you will love it! ;)

Snuza Sleep Monitor

snuza

I was worried I would be one of those moms who stayed awake making sure my baby was still breathing instead of catching sleep when I could. Our Snuza Monitor was a life saver! It just clips onto the baby’s diaper and senses breathing and movement. If it doesn’t sense movement for a certain amount of time, it will vibrate to stimulate the baby. If it still doesn’t sense breathing, it will sound a {loud} alarm. The Snuza has given me such peace of mind! I definitely sleep better when we use it. We’ve had a couple of false alarms since switching to cloth diapers {sometimes the night-time diapers are a bit bulky and it’s hard to clip on}, but other than that it’s been great!

Wubbanub Pacifiers

wubbanub

We love our Wubbanub! They are like the soother pacifiers that you will get in the hospital, but with a small light weight stuffed animal attached. The benefits to these are endless! They’re easier to lose, I can find and reach it one handed in the car, and it’s easier for the baby to get the paci back into his mouth {once they are able to start grabbing}. Plus, they’re really cute. We have the Longhorn Wubbanub…because Texas. :)

Graco FastAction Fold Jogger Click Connect Travel System

stroller and car seat

I love love love our stroller and car seat combo. It’s so nice to just click the car seat into place, whether in the car or stroller. The stroller is the best one I have ever used. It is a jogging stroller…but I’m not a jogger. However, I chose it because it is so smooth and steady. I can push it one handed without the stroller swaying to one direction or another. It also has a lot of storage and even a place to clip your phone in. It can also be closed with one hand. It is by far the best stroller I have ever used! We have enjoyed using it for walks around the neighborhood or at the park. I’m sure it will be getting a lot more mileage this fall one the weather cools off a bit. Amazon often has this stroller system on sale. I bought it after Thanksgiving for about $100 off the normal price. 

Graco Soothing System Glider {bassinet, swing, bouncer – all in one!}

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I have never been a fan of buying a bunch of large baby equipment that will only be used for a couple of months. It’s a pain finding space to store such bulky things. I was super resistant to buying a bassinet for that very reason. I knew we’d only use it for a few weeks, and then it would take up space in the attic or garage. I was super excited to find the Graco Soothing System. It has a base that is a glider {swing} that can play music or nature sounds. Then, you can either place the bouncer seat onto the base and use as a swing, or the bassinet attachment to use for sleeping. The bouncer also vibrates for soothing. I loved not having 3 separate pieces of baby gear in our small house! 

What are/were your favorite baby items for those first few months? 

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Two-Tone Nursery Dresser Makeover

I’m still working on finishing up baby girl’s nursery, but I’m getting so close to done! One of the first projects I tackled for her room was a dresser makeover. I actually started it in December and I think I finally got it done in January. It was by far the hardest furniture makeover I have ever done! 

Two-Tone Nursery Dresser MakeoverI had been searching for the perfect dresser to makeover and double as a changing table for a few months. I finally found this 1960’s Drexel in French provincial style on a local Facebook garage sale group. I got it for a steal, and I knew it was going to need some lovin’….I just had no idea how much!

Two-Tone Nursery Dresser MakeoverClearly it had seen better days, but since I was planning on chalk painting, I didn’t think much of it. First things first… I bought a lead test kit at the hardware store to make sure we weren’t dealing with any dangerous paint. No lead was detected, so I was in the clear! The top of the dresser had some chipped paint and I had just planned to sand the top a bit to smooth out the finish before painting. However…the paint started peeling off in sheets. So, I kept sanding the body of the dresser until it was completely smooth…which meant I was down to the wood. Not an easy task.

Two-Tone Nursery Dresser MakeoverBy the time I got to the drawers, I finally had my “ah-hah”, “duh” moment and I pulled out the Citri-strip. This stuff is a miracle in a jug. I used gloves to apply the stripper on all of the paint and let it sit for about 30 minutes or so, then I came and scraped off the paint with a paint scraper. It came off so easily! It took me maybe an hour to finish all 6 drawers (including the time I waited for the Citri-strip to work).

Two-Tone Nursery Dresser MakeoverAll that was left to do was paint and wax! I’ve been in love with the two-tone look for dressers and wanted to try it out on this piece. I painted the body of the dresser with Simply White by Cece Caldwell, and the drawers were done with Carolina Sun Yellow. I have to say, out of all of the chalk paint brands I have tried so far, Annie Sloan is still my favorite. It is so easy to apply and goes on very smooth. I had to add a lot of water to the CCC paint and it still wasn’t as smooth as the ASCP. However, Cece Caldwell has more color options and I love that yellow! It’s so sunshine-y and happy! :)

I still had a ton of Annie Sloan clear wax on hand, so I finished with that. I love the wax from the ASCP line as well. 

Two-Tone Nursery Dresser Makeover

Two-Tone Nursery Dresser MakeoverI had the opportunity to get matching hardware for the drawers that were without, but decided to find something that was a bit more simple. I really wanted to find some clear acrylic drawer pulls, but I was working with a less common hardware size. I could have filled the wholes and started from scratch, but I really didn’t want to have to do that. I found these lovely bronze pulls from D. Lawless Hardware and I am so happy with them! They were very affordable and I think they look great on the dresser. 

Two-Tone Nursery Dresser Makeover

I can’t wait to show you more of baby girl’s colorful room! It’s pretty much our new favorite space in the house. :) 

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Two-Tone Nursery Dresser Makeover

CanvasPop Digital Print Giveaway

CanvasPop generously provided me with a framed print for review purposes. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Hi y’all! Time is flying by so quickly, I didn’t even realize it had been almost a month since I blogged last. I also feel like I just shot baby girl’s 3 month pictures like a week ago…but no. We’ll be doing 4 month pictures on Saturday. That whole “long days, short years” thing is so real! 

canvas-pop-giveaway-lucyLucy hasn’t had any professional photos taken since we left the hospital. Most newborn photographers in our area have packed schedules and want you to book with them months in advance. Since we only knew about our girl 24 hours before we got to meet her, that wasn’t really an option. I’m sure we could have found someone to help us out, but I decided to save ourselves a little time and a whole lot of money by shooting her photos myself {with the help of some newborn photo tutorials found on Pinterest}. 

I was actually quite thrilled to capture some really great shots of out tiny cutie. I was so anxious to display them on the wall and quickly ordered some prints from the photo department of the drugstore down the street. I was definitely disappointed in the print quality, and they came out a bit darker than they actually were. 

canvas-pop-printEnter the friendly folks over at CanvasPop. CanvasPop specializes in high quality photo prints and canvases. They take your photos and turn them into art….even your Instagram and Facebook photos! 

I ordered one of Lucy’s photos in a 16×20 framed and matted print. It was an exciting day when it arrived! I was so impressed with not only the quality of the printing, but also the frame itself. It was as if I had a custom frame made. It was ready to be hung with gallery quality piano wire. They even include the nail! {bonus!}. I highly recommend CanvasPop for your photo printing needs. 

canvas-pop-giveaway-titleYou can win your own framed print from CanvasPop! Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter to win. The winner will receive a framed 16×20 print {like mine}. You can also use the discount code LIKEASAT35 to save 35% off of your order!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The giveaway ends July 2nd and the winner will be contacted by e-mail. Good luck! 

I’ll be back tomorrow with a fun furniture makeover. See you then! 

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