Monday, March 3, 2014

Monthly Favorites: Months Seven & Eight

When it comes to being a new mom, "free time" no longer exists. And if by some amazing miracle you happen to somehow get a couple of minutes to yourself, I doubt researching baby products is on the top of your list. Whenever my son is coming to a new age and needing new products, I heavily rely on my fellow mommy bloggers' recommendations. No need to waste precious 'you time' trying to navigate through the thousands of products out there only to find out they're poor quality or useless. So I decided to do my own monthly favorites posts to help out my fellow mommies!

I will also let you in on any deals or money saving tips with each product!
Monthly Favorites: Months Seven & Eight

Monthly Favorites: Months Seven & Eight by julia-crystal

1.Baby Merlin's Magic Sleepsuit: If you have kept up with my Monthly updates, then you know how much trouble I had getting Myles to sleep at night. I pretty much bought any and everything I read about that could help with baby sleep. I swaddled Myles at bedtime from   2 1/2 months to 5 1/2 months. Around 5 months, I started half swaddling him with one arm in and one arm out. I did that for about 2 weeks and then started using the Baby Merlin's Magic Sleepsuit. Since I already had enough sleep problems, I was looking to find something that would help make for a smoother transition from swaddling to not. I was really worried that without the swaddle he wouldn't sleep at all and it would be really hard to nurse him in the middle of the night. I read about this swaddling alternative on an internet forum and decided to give it a try. In my wildest dreams, I was hoping that it would be the answer to all his sleep problems. I read other people rave about how their child slept all night the first night they used it... Of course, that was no where near the case for us. The testimonials on the website are probably extreme cases that are few and far between. However, for what it was worth for us, I loved it. It actually worked great as a sleeper during the winter months when I didn't want to give him a blanket yet. Aside from swaddling, I never felt comfortable with putting a blanket in the crib with Myles. So for the really cold winter months, I would dress Myles in a onesie, sleep pants, and socks, and then put him in the sleepsuit. It worked perfectly to keep him warm and provide some of the comfort that he used to get from the swaddle. It didn't keep him from moving all over, but it did seem to help him feel comforted and not as squirmy as he would have been without it. On the website, they go for $40, but I got the inside scoop and got mine for a deal. I called the company and asked if they had any ones that were returned. I didn't care about what color it was, so she had one in the size I needed in yellow that had just been returned. By doing it that way, I got mine for 1/2 price, only $20! 

2. Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Fun with Friends Musical Table: I've seen this table every where, so I am guessing most people know about this one. I actually didn't know anything about it when I found it at a resale shop for $10. It didn't have working batteries so I didn't really know what it did at the time, but Myles needed a play table so I picked it up without hesitation. After getting it home and learning all its features, I was totally impressed. Not only did it help with his confidence and strength in standing, but the educational content is awesome as well. It has settings for both English and Spanish, and also a musical option. It teaches numbers, colors, common objects, animals, actions, etc. It also has an added bonus of being able to lay flat on the ground, if you take the legs off. Educationally, this is the best play table I have seen. It is one that can grow with your child for years.  

 3. Antilop Highchair with tray: In Myles' 8th month update I talked about how he was over his booster seat. He wouldn't sit in it long enough for me to try to get him to eat anything. Within minutes, he was crying and squirming to get out. He still wasn't really eating any food since his baby food strike months before and now that he wouldn't sit in his high chair, I was at an even bigger disadvantage. The only time he didn't mind the high chair (for at least longer than a couple minutes) was when we would eat out. For whatever reason, those seats didn't bother him as much. So I started looking for a chair that was more like the ones you get at restaurants. I wanted to get a wooden one, but I didn't find one before I decided to go with this Ikea one. It was the perfect choice because of the price. I really had no idea how Myles would respond to a different chair, so I definitely wasn't going to spend tons of money on one that he wouldn't stay in. I had it in my checkout cart for a couple of weeks because.. well.. I am really good at procrastination. But wouldn't you know it, I found the exact one with a tray on a resale site for $10! Procrastination for the win! For the price, it can't be beat. The legs come off for easy portability. It's very lightweight and easy to clean. The only thing I really didn't like was that the tray was hard to take off. The best thing to do is to put a plastic mat over the tray. That way the top can be cleaned just by taking the mat off and washing that. This is also a cheap choice for a second highchair for the sitter or grandparents. 

4. Cosco Umbrella Stroller with Canopy: Myles also decided that at 8 months, he no longer liked sitting in his stroller. We finally transitioned him to the big boy seat in his stroller and he was not having it. He didn't like that he couldn't see whoever was pushing him. He would squirm and twist around until he got so upset that he would start crying and freaking out. I would have loved to have grabbed up a UPPAbaby Vista so that Myles could have looked at me while we strolled, but that wasn't quite in the cards for us. Like with the highchair, I didn't want to spend a lot of money when I had no idea if a different type of stroller would even make a difference. I wasn't even really actively looking, but when I saw this one at Target with a canopy for only $20, I had to give it a try. It didn't fix all of our stroller issues, but he did like this one way more. He sat in it for longer before freaking out and I liked the convenience of it. It is way easier to push and cart around when taking trips. It is perfect for day outings like the zoo or for travel. I would recommend spending a couple extra dollars on the one with a canopy; it really makes a huge difference on sunny days.

5. NPR Music- Tiny Desk Concerts: At this age, Myles wasn't into any kids shows: cartoons, educational programs, movies, etc. If I turned it on, he would have absolutely no interest in it. I stopped having the TV on when he was about 4 months old, so he just did not know or care about it at all. I was glad that he didn't want to watch it (that was my goal and reason for not having it on after he was 4 months old), but I did wish that there was something that would keep his interest for longer than 2 seconds for when I had to cook, clean, or if he was upset when I had to leave. My step-dad likes to watch music on NPR. They have a series called Tiny Desk Concerts that is available to watch online. Since he watched them frequently, Myles eventually started to show interest in watching them with him. Myles could sit on his grandpa's lap watching the music forever. He really liked the bands with lots of different instruments playing, especially the brass ones. It always amazed me how he would just sit and listen/watch music for 30 minutes straight sometimes, but wouldn't even give the TV a glance.

6.Boogie Wipes -Grape: Myles got his first cold this month and these things are must-haves for a sick babe. I normally don't feed into the hype of products just because they are popular. If something is honestly unnecessary, I'm not going to get it just because it is marketed for the baby. Because of that, I was super hesitant to buy these wipes. For the price, I wasn't sure they were worth it. However, I was desperate to get Myles over his congestion. What sold me was the the saline in them. I knew how much saline was supposed to help with his congestion, but I had been too scared to use a saline mister on him. So the wipes seemed like the perfect alternative. These wipes are amazing and worth every penny. They don't dry out sensitive baby skin, they smell good, and they are so super soft. As a super cheap momma, if I think they are worth spending the extra money on, then they are a must-have. A good place to buy them is Babies R Us when they are having a sale. I just stocked up when they were BOGO free!
 

7. Nosefrida The Snotsucker Nasal Aspirator: This is another one of those products that you see plastered all over 'favorites' and 'must-have' lists. I, of course, was a little skeptical about the NoseFrida craze, but again I was very desperate to get Myles over his cold. I was looking to try almost anything to get all the mucus out of his nose. It is seriously ridiculous how much mucus a baby can make every day. I would use the aspirator bulb that we got from the hospital (thinking it got all his snot out) and within minutes he couldn't breathe and snot was running down his face again. I was hoping that all the reviews and recommendations of this product were true. I wasn't sure it would be that much better than the bulb. When I first tried to use it, I was a little confused. I was so used to the bulb that I figured the end should go into his nose. But the end wasn't as narrow as the bulb and it didn't really seem to go that far inside of his nostril. I figured if it didn't go all the way up there that it wouldn't get the snot out. I was quite skeptical after my initial test. And to be honest, by the time I got it in the mail, his congestion was cleared up. So I held onto it for the next time. I didn't need it again until he was 12 months and got another runny nose. That was the true test of the NoseFrida. And yes, this product totally stands up to its hype. First of all, it is way more sanitary because you can actually see the mucus get cleaned out (who knows what is inside of the bulbs!). Secondly, you don't have to put it all the way in their nose, so there is no concern of hurting or going too far up. And most importantly, it works! That thing can suck up boogies like nothing else! It seems so wrong, but it feels so good seeing all that nasty mucus coming out. It's like you feel accomplished knowing their nose is clear.. at least for the time being... I mean seriously... how do babies/toddlers produce that much mucus?!?
 

8.  HooplaKidz: This is a channel on YouTube that my step-dad found when he was looking for music to play for Myles. This is by far my favorite channel for nursery rhymes, fun songs, stories, spelling, and learning in general. Like I said earlier, Myles had no interest in kid's shows. I would put on Sesame Street and he would get mad, but if a HooplaKidz song was on, he would be in a mesmerized trance of song and dance. It was only HooplaKidz though, he didn't care for anything but Tiny Desk Concerts and HooplaKids videos. He didn't watch them very much so I think that was part of the allure as well. But the videos they make are very colorful, the songs are fun and catchy, and the videos are slow moving for younger children. I have read that big reason the AAP recommends no TV before 2 is that most of shows are too fast moving for their brains to take in and follow, which can lead to the development of ADD. With these videos, it's easy to follow and they usually repeat each song twice. Myles loved any songs with animals: Animal Sounds, Five Little Monkeys, BINGO, etc. Now I play ones that are geared more towards learning like ABCs and phonics. He also loves the Spell Well series they have. It teaches them to spell words with fun videos and information about each word. When Myles went through one of his freaking out in the car phases, I would play the songs through the stereo and he would instantly chill out. If your child likes music, I would definitely check this channel out!



What are your child's current favorite products? 


4 comments :

  1. Totally agree on the "no free time" thing! And also totally agree with the Nose Frieda. Wish we had come across it from day 1!!! We've been using it for over a year though now and love, love, love it!

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  2. I am so with you on the NoseFrida! They need to sell them at the hospital on the way out!! Forget the bulb, that thing is the way to go! I'll probably be using it until he's in college lol... "Let mommy suck your boogies out!" "But mom I can blow my nose on my own!"

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  3. Brittnei WashingtonMarch 9, 2014 at 10:02 PM

    Babies/toddlers really love stuff like number 2. JR seems to get so excited when playing with stuff like that! I'm trying to remember what we did about his high chair during this time because I don't think we got one until he was like 11 months. lol. Thanks for sharing this one with us at Countdown in Style, too :)

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  4. April @ 100lbcountdownMarch 11, 2014 at 7:13 AM

    I just received a baby sleeper to review and I'll be doing it shortly. So far so good. I've heard great things about the Nose Frieda, but haven't tried it yet. My daughter's favorite thing is to run around outside throwing a ball in the street! LOL! We watch Preschool Prep DVDs almost all day long. She doesn't sit and watch them, but at least if she glances at the television, I know it's something educational rather than a commercial for something that I have to buy her. This is a great list. Thank you for sharing with Countdown in Style.

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