My favorite baby products from our first year as parents

by Amanda @ Our Capital Life, 11:56 AM
I always find it helpful to see what products others are using for their babies.  One of my best friends is due with twins soon and I've been promising her this post!   Please note this is not anywhere even close to be an extensive list of everything that we used for Haddie during her first year.  Like, barely scratching the surface, but these are my/our favorite things. There are so, SO many more things that we use every single day but they are kind of basic and I don't like them any more than other things of their variety.  They just get the job done! The list is kind of loosely sorted by age, but we used a lot of these things throughout. *This list includes affiliate links*

Newborn (0-3)

Owlet - this is hands-down the best big money we've ever spent.  I was absolutely terrified of SIDS and this allowed me to sleep more peacefully.

Mamaroo - we bought ours secondhand after we discovered Haddie bouncing around happily in one in the NICU!

Butt spatula- a small but simple handy tool!  You can use this instead of your finger for applying butt cream!

Which leads me to our favorite diaper rash cream, Triple Paste!  It's basically a combo of multiple other creams and has worked better for us than anything.

Fisher Price Soothing Motions Bassinet - I love love loved our bassinet! I did a stupid amount of research on bassinets and settled on this one.  It sways ever so slightly, plays sounds and shoots a light display on the wall. The mesh sides are safe for sleeping and it was just so cute! Oh, I love it and miss her being small enough to fit in it!

She really enjoyed her play mat.  I'm sure other ones would do, but I loved that this one had a mirror, fun things to look at during tummy time, and the toucan on top and the giraffe on side are detachable and she still plays with them to this day.

Nursing products (again, not extensive, just my faves!)

Haakaa- I hate pumping and once I discovered this, I only pumped when I had to be away from Haddie for a long period of time.  I built my entire freezer stash using this!  I declared it God's best gift to women after the tampon.  You just stick it on the opposite side that baby is nursing on it and it catches what leaks out as well as acts as a mini pump. Amazing!!

Soothing gel pads - these provided much needed relief.  Ahhh.

Nursing cover- loved this one!  It's pretty, stretchy, not too hot for baby, and also fit over her carseat to keep her safe from the weather and prying strangers

Brest friend nursing pillow - I tried multiple nursing pillows and this one worked the best because you can tighten the strap and it stays in place to support the baby

Medela lanolin - this was Haddie's preference, not mine but she wouldn't nurse if I used any other brand!

Dr Brown's glass bottles - We bought a ton of plastic bottles before I started my journey to a more nontoxic life. Luckily, the Dr. Brown's were her favorite bottle already, so I just swapped them out for glass.

Grass drying rack - this came in so handy for drying pump parts!


Turtle light -- ahh this glorious light soothed Haddie during many late nights and she still loves to look at it

Baby Einstein aquarium - she also still loves this! It's provided nearly a year of entertainment for her.

"Mrs Unicorn," as we call her - her very first lovey

We used the Halo velcro swaddles in the beginning, but once she started busting of of it, we switched her to the magical transitional swaddling/sack, the Woombie.  Highly recommend!


Little chair - I didn't even know these existed but my friend Marissa gave us one for a shower gift and it proved to be extremely useful!  I could put her in it while I showered, while we ate, basically any time I needed her to be corralled

Teethers: necklace for mom (what an amazing invention!) - this is similar but not exact to mine, Sophie,

Pacifier clips -- Haddie hated pacifiers, but we used these to clip teething toys to us or her stroller when we were out ant about! Not linking because I don't have a specific brand we liked, but couldn't not mention them!

Faucet cover for bath - protects their little heads from crashing into the faucet plus she loves looking at it

Pack n play - we have gotten so much use out of this! She slept in it in our room after she outgrew the bassinet, we have taken it on every vacation, and I actually still put her in it from time to time when I need to get something done. While I like ours, any pack n play would do, so no link here.


Jumper - she absolutely loved this thing!  Provided hours of contained entertainment. She still looks at it longingly like she wishes she could fit in it!

Shopping chart cover - ahh, my saving grace!  I take this thing everywhere that I go. I am a bit of a germophobe and this allows me to put her in a shopper cart or restaurant high chair without freaking out.

Toddler teethers - Haddie's favorites are the banana and small Sophie

Activity cube- we gave her this for Christmas and she just loves it. All of the sides have something different for her to do and it's made from nontoxic materials.

Sleeping friends set - she found this at Target herself.  She loves it, it's adorable, and a little fun for me to play with too.  Fun to pretend the little critters are camping!

Coffee Date

in , by Amanda @ Our Capital Life, 7:30 AM

If we were having coffee, I would first and foremost be lamenting the fact that the Cherry Mocha is gone from Starbucks.  It is by far my favorite drink they make and its only in stock for about 3-4 weeks around Valentine's Day and then *poof*, it's gone as quickly as it came. i would begrudgingly be drinking a toffee nut latte instead which is a close replacement for my second-favorite and also seasonal drink, the Chestnut Praline Latte. Of course, I'm actually writing this post at 11pm and I'm drinking Cab Sauv...

I would tell you that we have had an animal in our attic/wall for a few weeks and finally had a "wildlife removal expert" come out to trap and remove it.  So far they have trapped not one, but two raccoons.  Ew. I also feel horrible because they have to put them to sleep per Maryland law.  But, they needed to be gone before they destroyed our house!  I would also tell you that I'm pretty sure Pumpkin has fleas, which is disgusting and may or may not have come from the raccoons in the wall.  I have to drive into the city to get medicine for him tomorrow and then attack my house with the vacuum. I don't think I should use flea powder or bug bombs with Haddie in the house!  He's only ever had fleas once before and it was literally like one single flea. I haven't actually seen any fleas on him even after I gave him a thorough checking, but he's been scratching himself and I found some "flea dirt."  EW. Now I'm itching.  MOVING ON.

I would tell you that feeding a toddler isn't as easy as it seems.  One day she's into purees and the next day she'll refuse them and only want grown up food.  The next day, ALL she will want is purees.  Yesterday, she finally figured out how to eat from a pouch and downed the whole thing in a few minutes, but today wanted nothing to do with the pouch.  Pair all this with having to closely scrutinize everything to make sure it doesn't have dairy and I'm about to go insane!  She's also obsessed with water, which is cute but sometimes difficult because she won't eat because all she wants to do is drink water!  I finally bought her a stainless steel sippy cup today.  Previously all we had was a plastic one which she's obsessed with, but I don't love her using plastic if we can avoid it.  It's the same style and company so hopefully she'll like it as well.  She actually drinks really well out of regular glasses but those aren't feasible for her walking around and keeping with her throughout the day.  She's discovered toddler junk food, as I call it -- melties, freeze-dried fruit cubes, and broccoli curls are her faves. She also loves carbs and salt which isn't ideal! Any tips to get a toddler interested in actually eating healthy food would be great. A friend told me tonight about Feeding Littles -- they have a course on feeding toddlers that I'm considering taking -- have you taken this course? Thoughts?

I would tell you that working while being home with a 13 month old is also not as easy as I thought it would be.  Not that I thought it would be easy, but I thought it would be doable! It's not.  I have to get all of my work done before she wakes up and after she goes to bed.  Occasionally I can get stuff done during naps but not much and I have to join some meetings during the day.  She screams through the entire meeting and pulls my keyboard the whole time.  It's nearly impossible and I stress so bad every time I know I have a meeting because it's so hard! I have two tomorrow and I'm already stressed about it!

Since pretty much all I talk about these days is Haddie, I would tell you that I've been trying to get her out and about more often to have new experiences and for socialization. So far, we've only gone to story time at the library and I took her to a museum, but I want to do more.  I'm thinking music classes, swimming lessons, the aquarium, and mommy & me yoga. Anything I'm not thinking of?  My goal is to work up to having one activity/outing per day.

In other news, I would tell you that we finally bought a new mattress!  We went to 3 different mattress stores and returned to Mattress Firm a second time to purchase it.  We laid on dozens of beds.  At Mattress Warehouse, we took an assessment on a machine that determines which firmness level you need.  Of course, I got plush/soft and Bill got firm or extra firm!  We ended up buying a medium firm mattress that is a hybrid of memory foam and traditional.  It was double what we intended to spend and sadly we aren't in love with it.  Neither of us feel like we are sleeping as good as we expected, it's kind of hot, the sheets don't stay tight to it, and my back has been hurting (though less than on our old busted on) and Bill's hips hurt.  It has a 120 day "trial" period so we are probably going to exchange it but we are giving it a little bit more time.  I know it's a first world problem, but it's really disappointing.  We have been looking so forward to a new mattress for so long and saved up and finally were able to get it and we don't love it.  It's just hard since we need drastically different beds!  We were considering getting 2 twins and pushing together but I really don't think that sounds fun.  Also, what do you think they do with the mattresses that people try out for 120 days and then return?  Gross.

I would end our coffee date by telling you how much I'm loving this season of Real Housewives BH and how VERY jazzed I am for New York to come back on Wednesday!!!! I'm loving Denise Richards on BH and I'm glad it seems like the old Rinna is back.  I'm 50/50 on if I'm going to like Erika this season and dare I say, I no longer hate Dorit?! NY is my absolute favorite though and I'm dying for it to start.

With that, we must bid adieu.  Until next time, my friends!