Okay so I am jotting this down as fast as I can, mostly before I forget, but also before Sofia wakes up from her nap lol. This last year has truly been the very best year of my life. Hands down.
The truth is, I always knew I wanted a family but I was not looking forward to the first year. I thought it was just a means to an end and something I would just have to go through in order to fulfill my dreams of having a family.
I cannot believe how absolutely amazing Sofia’s first year was.
It was challenging, hard, messy, wonderful, blissful, perfect. I’m simply not the same person I was a year ago. In all the best ways. Im a mom now and Im fully embracing it. What a gift I’ve been given, I never want to take it for granted.
I also never want to forget the tips and tricks I learned along the way in the first 12 months! Mostly, because now I want to have 15 more babies lol. But also to pass along to any new mamas out there reading this. I always want to be a resource for you all. 🤗
So here’s what WORKED for us & what items I’ll be sure to use again for baby #2-15 😆
We used @TakingCaraBabies sleep plan. Her courses are the best money you will ever spend. Sleep is life!! lol If you have a newborn right now, you might want to check out this portable sound machine. Game changer in our book! Oh and the right swaddle is KEY. I feel like every kid is different with these but for Sofia we used Swaddleme for 0-3m, Baby Merlin’s Magic sleep suit for 3-6m and then Halo winter weight for 6m+.
Also the Giraffe Pacifier is the ONLY paci that would stay in her mouth while she thrashed around in those early days. My Goodness. I’ll never look at a giraffe the same! haha.
*A note on sleep training*- We started implementing Babywise + TakingCaraBabies tips the millisecond she came out of my body lol. Like as soon as they cut that cord I was trying to nurse her and then took note of the time. At first, we just focused on getting full feedings and showing her the difference between night and day. She pretty much sorted out the rest with our consistent direction. By 7 weeks old she started STTN. God Bless 🙌🏼
I breastfed & pumped exclusively for the first 10 months of Sofia’s life with the goal of making it to one year. By month 7 she didn’t want to nurse anymore. She wanted to sit up and hold her bottle on her own, so cute. At the 10 month mark I began to incorporate formula into her bottles and began to slow down on the pumping regimen. I pumped for the last time about 10 days before her first birthday. (and I totally cried lol)
For solids– We opted for early exposure to all the top allergen foods (eggs, diary, tree nuts etc) and then did “Baby Led Weaning” method for serving solids. So we bypassed “baby food” and barely used purees. I love that she eats exactly what we eat now, makes meal time so easy. 10/10 would recommend BLW.
We have the @lovevery subscription which I totally recommend. Its so helpful in identifying developmentally appropriate toys for her. Just takes one thing off the mental to-do list, ya know? Plus they are Montessori, keepsake toys so I feel like baby #15 will still have these toys to play with haha!
Playtime with her is our all time fav. That interaction with her is priceless to us!! We also love an activity center lol. Im no expert but I feel like it fosters independent play. 💁🏻♀️ Now that she’s outgrown all of these, I love that she finds such joy & contentment in a pile of blocks in her room or crawling away to her reading corner by herself. Its a beautiful thing. Also, activity centers in the bathroom is how I showered during the day when Colin was working lol.
Below were the the most beloved “toys” in our home. All the bigger items break down back into boxes for easy storage so don’t be afraid of them!
I found Noodle & Boo from Kourtney Kardashian lol. She wouldn’t shut up about the scent on IG one day so I checked it out. Its also clean & cruelty free and the smell really is HEAVENLY. Nothing better than the smell of a clean baby, its bliss!!
Get yourself a good nursing cover. They are so functional. I used mine for feedings, to cover the car seat and now around the top basket of the shopping cart. So handy.
Sofia appreciated a warm wipe lol. Still does. Can you blame her? Here’s the other stuff the queen requests-
I really overthought her whole “nursery” while pregnant. I feel like at the end of the day all you need is somewhere for them to sleep, somewhere to change their diapers and some simple storage for their toys & clothes.
Total Waste (IMO):
+The Snoo– take a look at the radiation situation there. Its WILD.
+A Rocking Chair– we focused on minimizing rocking/bouncing to bed. Putting them to bed drowsy but awake has so many benefits.
+A Diaper Bag– just threw a diaper & some wipes in my regular purse and called it a day.
+Baby breeza– one more appliance on the countertop, no thanks. Hot water from our tea kettle works just fine for bottles.
+Sterilizer– are these just a placebo? lol My dishwasher gets really hot and my soap works good so I’ll pass.
+Muslin Swaddles– I used these never. lol Everyone said you couldn’t have enough? I don’t understand. They are useless to me. Get a good nursing cover and you’re set.
+Pack & Play– I don’t even own one. If she needed a nap on the go she’d sleep in the stroller or the ergo. For traveling, most hotels have these available upon request. Most of my friends have kids & cribs if I need to lay her down in a spare room so I don’t think I will be purchasing.
Are you expecting? I have a separate in-depth post on my hospital bag and what I used for post-partum here as well.
I hope you find this all helpful! If you are in the first year with your LO and there’s something major I’m forgetting, please leave it in the comments below!
Love you all!! Xx.