The Best Baby Hats!

Since I have so many new and expecting mommas in my life, I thought I would finally get this post up!   image-1

I first saw Infanteenie Beenie hats on this blog. I loved that they were cute and functional! When we learned that Ryder would likely be born early, I went ahead and ordered a couple of hats for him. Little did we know he would be born 8 weeks early the very next day! Read that story here.

img_0556_012014bimg_0528_012014

When Ryder was in the NICU he was not able to wear any clothes until he was at least 4 pounds and could maintain his temperature. Since he was so long and skinny it took a  couple of weeks. I was so glad I had these hats in the meantime, because they were the only thing he was allowed to wear.

img_0148

The NICU nurses loved them too. In a way it made me feel more like he was ours than just another baby in the NICU.

image-13img_0151

The hats fit his teeny tiny head great, and they washed great! We had an unfortunate incident with Polyvisol and his feeding tube one night, but a little Oxiclean got it right out. I was so relieved since this hat was part of his homecoming outfit!

image-12img_0162

I have since gifted these hats to fellow NICU mommas, but they are great for full term babies too. They are made to fit all babies’ heads (Ryder was wearing them at 3 lbs, 5 lbs, and 7 lbs). I love that the girl ones have the cute bows without having to find a headband that won’t slip and slide!

il_570xn-969064270_6e5k

If all of that isn’t enough, my own sweet babe is a model on her Etsy site, here and here.  ;-).

capture

So I mean what are you waiting for, go stock up at her Etsy shop here!

image-1img_0190

*I bought these hats on my own, and all opinions are my own. I was later compensated for a review. Professional photos were done by Paper Moon Photography

Until next time friends.

Ryder’s Favorite Things: 15 Month Edition

Well Ryder is officially out of the baby stage. He is on the move all the time! Here are his current favorites, and the things we couldn’t live without!

sippy cup

Dr. Brown’s Sippy Cups– We tried every sippy cup out there. We finally realized that he actually drank more from these. They also have not leaked for us, unlike many of the others that claim leak proof! They are easy for him to hold too! I see now that this particular style was discontinued, but I still find them at Babies R Us.

tricycle

Joovy Tricycoo– This was Santa’s gift to Ryder at Christmas, and he can’t get enough of it! When we keep it in our entryway, he is constantly going up to it wanting to go for a ride. It is easy for us to steer, and I feel like he is completely safe with it. We just push him around in it in the house too. I am so excited that it can grow with him too!

IMG_4657IMG_4496IMG_4834

 

babiators

Babiators– Ryder is not a huge fan of having anything on his face, but these sunglasses seem to stay on the best! There also isn’t anything cuter than a baby in sunglasses!

1ryder-2042IMG_6267

elephant

Fisher Price Elephant Walker– We ended up with 3 walkers/push toys at Christmas. Ryder kept coming back to this one! It is the right height for him to be able to push, and it never fell over on him. We had others that would fall on top of him if he fell over. He also loves to sit on it and bounce!

IMG_4705IMG_5641IMG_5643

 

41BXB1JFJ9L

Fisher Price Swing– This has been the best $20 we ever spent! It is so easy to put the swing up and take it down, so we leave it inside most of the time to keep it out of the wind and dirt. It does not take up too much space on our patio, and it puts Ryder to sleep almost every time ;-).

IMG_5961IMG_5937IMG_5324

 

81SUiPDyvxL__SX522_

Fisher Price Space Saver High Chair– I may have blogged about this one before, but this is becoming so essential for us! It is so portable we have even taken it outside so he could eat on the patio with us! It has also proven to be very easy to clean!

IMG_5924

That’s all for this time. Ryder has gotten a lot of new toys recently for Easter and just some I had been saving since Christmas. I’m sure he will have lots more to share soon!

Until next time friends.

Ryder’s Favorite Things: 9 Month Edition

Well we have been busy going through all of our developmental milestones over here lately. Ryder is so busy and curious these days! I thought it was time to update our baby gear favorites. I think we saw the biggest changes from 6-9 months as far as what we used and how. For instance, so long bumbo and hello highchair. I also want to discuss car seat safety in this post. I am by no means an expert, but I thought I would share some links that have made us smarter.

Here are some of his favorite teethers/toys:

SmartNoggin Noggin Stik– When my aunt came to town for my brother’s reception she brought Ryder a whole lot of goodies, including this rattle. I had read about these on other blogs, but I thought $20 seemed pricey for a rattle. Well let me tell you, it is worth it! He loves it! It changes colors as he rattles (bangs) it around and it has a mirror on the bottom. It seems pretty durable so far too taking falls from the high chair and car.

51zOAS9YzuL

Sophie the Giraffe Teether– I think I have mentioned Sophie before, but really he loves her. I think the feeling is mutual. Thanks to my aunt, we always have a Sophie with us now too!

Vulli-Sophie-the-Giraffe-Teether--pTRU1-7953922dtWD_0596

RaZbaby Grape Teether– Ryder has phases where he likes different teethers. He still doesn’t actually have any teeth, but this is his current favorite. We freeze it for him and he goes to town on it! He also likes the Zo-li gummy stick baby gum massagers.

RaZbaby-Grape-Teether--pTRU1-16497158dt61UsB1VPmPL__SL1500_

Jellycat Soft Books, Puppy Tails– Ryder loves these books. We have the Puppy Tails and Rainforest Tails. They are so easy to hold on to with the tails, and have Velcro at the top to attach to anything. They also make his favorite crinkle sound.

71nMkVFReVL__SL1024_IMG_2053

Taggie Lovie blanket– The lovies we have are hand made by the woman who owns Cup of Tea here in Lubbock. We can’t take a long car ride without one. He rubs the taggies and sucks his thumb while holding it close to his face.

51iYUqTkY9LWD_0468

Baby Einstein Explore and Discover Soft Blocks– My dad bought these for Ryder a while back, but we just recently pulled them out. Ryder loves them! We stack them up for him and he knows to knock them down. They each have something fun in them like a rattle or a vibration. He also likes to chew on them.

41yEhuvWONL

As I mentioned at the beginning, Ryder is in his highchair now. Our table is bar height, not normal table height, and I did not want a highchair that would sit a lot lower than us. I love this one because we have it strapped on a chair, and he is our height. It has cleaned really well so far too and has a removable tray.

81SUiPDyvxL__SX522_IMG_2226

Now on to the serious business, car seats. Ryder is only 9 months old, but we just switched him into a convertible seat. Our Peg infant seats were for babies up to 30 pounds or 30 inches. We have been really happy with the Peg, but Ryder was 28.25 inches and growing fast. We did A LOT of research. We are all about the safety, and this is not an area we are willing to skimp on. I had seen a lot of information in blogs about the new Britax Boulevard ClickTights. We did more research on those specifically, and even though they weren’t out yet, they seemed to get the highest safety ratings. Chad even called a Buy Buy Baby in Dallas to see which seat they recommended, and this was it. I will give you several links with the reviews that we read as well as safety information.

So we knew what we wanted, but it wasn’t out yet and it was pricey. Very pricey. Well we happened to be at Babies R Us on a Saturday night (isn’t that what all young couples do on a Saturday?!) and they had just received 2 of these seats we wanted. Even better, you can use coupons on Britax seats! Most all other brands are excluded. So we got our seat with 20% off from my Babies R Us mailer coupon. We decided we wanted 2 seats, though, one for each car. I had another coupon for 15% and we decided to apply for the Babies R Us credit card to save an additional 15% on top of that. In total we were able to save about $190 on the two car seats. Who knew you could get a deal on a good car seat? So please do your research, find coupons, and plan!

pTRU1-18895842_alternate2_enh-z6IMG_2572

These car seats are big and very cushy with memory foam. The main highlight is that the seat portion lifts up so that you can use the seat belt to anchor it. Surprisingly, using the seat belt to anchor it as opposed to the LATCH system is safer. I was not aware that there are weight limits for the Latch system, and there has been more talk in the news with questions about their safety. Once we got the gist of installing these, I would say it was fairly easy. It was definitely easier than the bases for the Peg and they felt really secure. The last link below has a video showing an installation in 6 seconds! Chad feels like these car seats are more secure than Ryder’s infant seat. I also like that they sit up a little bit higher so he can see out of the window. I read that there really is no need to turn children to forward facing before the age of 2. They shouldn’t know any different anyways. I feel like since Ryder can see out of the window now, he will be quite content rear facing. We did have these convertible seats sitting pretty upright at first, because that’s what we had seen Ryder want to do; however, when he fell asleep he did not look comfortable at all. Chad was able to adjust the recline a bit and they seem perfect now. We also like the rubber on the straps and the extra padding on the shoulders. The straps would twist sometimes in the Peg and it was really hard to untangle them. I am really happy having these seats and knowing that they will last us a long time (up to 65 pounds)! Here are links to some more professional articles about these convertible seats and car seat safety in general:

http://www.thewisebaby.com/child-passenger-safety-week/

http://www.thewisebaby.com/car-seat-mistakes/

http://carseatblog.com/30080/britax-boulevard-clighttight-convertible-review-sometimes-things-just-click/– this is by far the best and most detailed review I have read!

http://babygizmo.com/2014/09/child-passenger-safety-tips-giveaway/

latch-regulations

 

Until next time friends… then Ryder will be in the double digit months!

 

More Baby Gear Favorites

Since Ryder is now 6 months old (how did that happen?), I thought it was time to update our favorite baby products that make life easier! We still love some of the baby products from my first post here, especially the Skip Hop activity gym, but our needs have changed some so here we go:

samsung monitor20140718-133843-49123859.jpg

Samsung Video Monitor– Ryder started sleeping his crib around 3-4 months and since he is primarily a tummy sleeper, a video monitor was a must! I love that I can see him breathing with the monitor, and it has a sleep mode so that the screen and sound only turn on if he starts stirring. The camera has great pan, tilt, and zoom. There is also a microphone so when he gets older we can tell him to lay back down 😉

diaper bagjeep bag

Timi and Leslie Diaper Bag– So when my best friend Nicole had her baby boy a couple of years ago she sent me a picture of this diaper bag and said she loved it! Of course we got it for her, and I had admired it every since then. I had forgotten the exact style, though, so when she asked me which bag I liked it was quite funny when I sent her the exact same one! I LOOOOVVVVEEE this bag. I love the size, the style, everything about it! We didn’t start going out with Ryder until he was 3 months old or so, but this thing goes every where with us now. I can fit everything I need in it too. I also love the wallet that matches. I do have a Petunia Pickle Bottom diaper bag too (I got it from the online outlet super cheap), and I use that for overnight trips to the grandparent’s house or to take to daycare. Chad has his own manly diaper bag that works great for him, and the backpack style is very practical for trips to the pool or other outdoor outings!

sound machine

Graco Sound Machine- I guess since Ryder was in the NICU, he was used to sound at night! We did use the Cloud B 4 Soothing Sounds Gentle Giraffe when Ryder was sleeping in our room since it was small and we could strap it to his Graco Sleeper. When he moved into his room, though, we started using our Graco Sound Machine. It has several different white noise sounds, including a heart beat. It has a timer, night light, and you can plug in your iPod. It can be plugged in to a wall outlet, or you can use a battery so it is very portable.

CVS dry wipes- I feel like I am giving out a well kept secret here. In the NICU they only used “dry” wipes to clean up dirty diapers. You just get these soft cloths wet with warm water and they clean up the mess really well! When we brought Ryder home, we tried the traditional Pampers Sensitive wipes, but we just didn’t like the smell or the fact that they were so cold! We did have a wipe warmer, but that made them smell even more like chemicals. Fortunately, one day at CVS I found these fantastic dry wipes! They are even better than the ones in the NICU because they are more absorbent and softer. We love using these just with warm water to clean up those dirty diapers. I will warn you, though, CVS only seems to have 2 boxes in stock at a time, and we will fight you for them! ha! They don’t sell them online, but they are in a blue box in the baby section.

20140718-132928-48568511.jpg

Baby’s First Aquarium app- I read about this free app on a mommy blog, and let me tell you… it is a lifesaver! Who would have known that cartoon looking fish swimming around on the screen could be so mesmerizing! When Ryder is screaming bloody murder in his car seat, this app will help him calm down and relax for at least 5 minutes! What can it hurt to try since the app is free?!

bumbo20140711-170139-61299123.jpg

Bumbo– I had heard a lot of different opinions about the Bumbo, but I am glad we registered for one. Not only does it help Ryder practice sitting up, but this is the only place we eat rice cereal and now some baby food. It is so easy to wipe up when he gets that sticky goo everywhere! It is also very portable. I know it is not recommended to put it on top of surfaces, like a table, but we are there for close supervision.

lots of links

Lots of Links– this may look simple, but it is great! There are enough in the bag that I have stashed a few in both of our diaper bags, on the stroller, on our highchair cover, literally everywhere. He can grasp on to them and put them in his mouth. I like that there are different textures too. Something simple to keep him entertained? That is a win in my book!

I am sure I will do another one of these posts in 3 months or so to let you know what is life saving for the 6-9 month range!

 

 

The Nursery

I am so thrilled with how Ryder’s nursery turned out! Chad and I both wanted a room that he could grow into and not out of! Chad is not a fan of pastels and “baby colors”. I am not a fan of baby themes! In fact, I was pretty dead set against a theme until I found the perfect fabric! I just knew I wanted something with different patterns and bold colors.

I have long admired the baby bedding on Carousel Design’s website. Even before I was pregnant, I would play around with the “design your own bedding” tool! They have everything from the fabric to the complete bedding sets. The sets are pretty pricey, though. I found the “on the go retro fabric” and knew that was it! Chad loves old cars, and it would be a great theme to grow with Ryder. I just wasn’t sure about the price tag so…. enter Etsy! Since Carousel also sells their fabric, I just did a search on Etsy for that fabric and found a ton of listings for complete bedding sets at much more reasonable prices. Once I had “favorited” a few listings, the shop owners even sent me fabric swatches for free! I was debating between the turquoise and orange color scheme versus the green and navy. We ultimately went with green and navy since it would be easier to work with when decorating the rest of the room. The Etsy shop, Baby Bedding by JBD, was so easy to work with! I told her which fabrics I wanted to use where, and she even made us a custom window seat cushion! We ordered a large blanket to use as a comforter later on too. Of course right now the adorable bumpers are in Ryder’s closet, but I can’t wait to pull them out again!

WD_2D64WD_EC19

WD_AEE6WD_E4FF

We ordered most of Ryder’s furniture from KidSpace here in Lubbock. We actually looked at A LOT of furniture. Since we were looking at convertible cribs, we wanted good quality pieces that would last through the teen years. We went with the Baby’s Dream Legendary Collection. I especially love his double dresser and hutch! We went ahead and ordered the nightstand and extra bed rails too, just in case that line was discontinued later. We ordered his furniture when I was around 22 weeks pregnant and did not expect it to arrive until after Christmas. I came home from work one day and was shocked to find that we had already received all of Ryder’s furniture and Chad had already assembled it! We did order the glider separately. We searched all over Lubbock for a glider, but we were not impressed with the fabric options or prices. We love the reclining glider that we found at Buy Buy Baby and the custom fabric! We had intended for Chad to go back out to Dallas to pick up the glider before Ryder was born, but naturally it came in on the day I had him! Chad had to go to Dallas the Friday before we brought Ryder home from the hospital to pick it up since they do not ship custom furniture.

WD_B515

How Chad surprised me with the furniture! The giant puppy is from Big Lots.

WD_E480DSCN2187

Fortunately, we had most of Ryder’s room put together before his early arrival! There were a few details I added after we finally brought him home. I decoupaged the letters for his name with scrapbook paper. The red gas pump was a gift from my parents. We found it at My Cup of Tea here in Lubbock. The navy toy storage bin is from Pottery Barn Kids. The rocking horse was actually made by my best friend’s dad when I was a baby! The signs on the wall with the crib and on either side of the window are all from Hobby Lobby! We had a lot of fun spending several Friday nights hanging out in the men’s corner of Hobby Lobby looking for retro car decorations. We also got the Route 66 lamp, a frame, and a gas can from there! The picture above his glider is of the dash of Chad’s old Jeep. The picture was taken a year after we were married by Alisa Joy Photography, and I think it fits perfectly! Chad also loves the nostalgia since the Jeep is currently being restored and that dash is no more.  We added a few more of these cool tiles we got as a baby shower gift. The cute red mini recliner was a gift from my Aunt Cindy for Christmas. It fits perfectly!

DSCN2180DSCN2181

DSCN2182DSCN2185

DSCN2189

I look forward to the day when he is playing on his rug with his cars and showing off his cool room to his friends!

WD_3B34

If you see anything else in the pictures that you want details for, just let me know! Who knew it could be so much fun decorating a boy’s room!

Making Life Easier… baby products for the first 3 months!

I did a lot of research while I was pregnant on what baby gear we would need to register for. I also talked to friends and read lots of blogs! Of course one thing I learned, it is very much individual preference! One of my favorite blogs for all things baby was: The Wise Baby . I love their “real moms favorite baby products” segments!

So without further ado, here is my list of products that have made our lives easier in Ryder’s first 3 months!

Boppy Newborn Lounger– So portable and he always seems happy in it! We can sit him by us while we are eating or getting ready!

boppy

Skip Hop Alphabet Zoo Activity Gym– He loves to “talk” to the animals. We have also already washed it a few times with no problems.

activity gym

Boon Lawn Countertop Drying Rack– We use the flower and twig accessories for the bottle nipples and pacifiers!

boon lawn

Wubbanubs– Easy to find in a diaper bag and they do stay in his mouth a little better! My favorite is this dinosaur because it is so bright and colorful!

wubbanub

Fisher Price Rock’n Play Sleeper– It fits right by my side of the bed instead of the bulky pack ‘n play and has a good incline since he has had “preemie reflux”.

rock n play sleeper

Peg Perego Primo Viaggio– I think it had the second highest safety rating when we researching car seats. It has a lot more foam than most car seats, and the locking mechanisms are metal instead of plastic. It is a few pounds heavier than the Chico Key Fit car seat, but totally worth it in my opinion. For the record, we also had to use the Chico Key Fit when Ryder first came home from the hospital because he was too small for the Peg. It was also a good car seat and my parents will be using it in the future with Ryder.

peg perego

Baby Jogger City Mini Stroller– Seriously you have to see how easy these are to fold with one hand! You do have to get the car seat adaptor and child tray separately. It is a very smooth ride!

baby jogger

Nose Frida– sounds gross, but seriously works! I also read an article about how the standard bulb syringes are so full of bacteria because you can’t really clean them out! All of the parts to this can be washed and there is a filter.

nose freda

Mamaroo– Ryder is not a huge fan of the swing, but I can’t leave off the Mamaroo! The car ride motion does buy us a short nap usually! I think he is enjoying it more the older he gets.

mamaroo

Aden and Anais Easy Swaddle– I love all of the Aden and Anais stuff, but this is even easy enough for Chad to use! Ryder sleeps so much better when he is swaddled! I love how breathable their blankets are.

aden and anais

Of course as Ryder grows and develops I am sure my favorite products will too! Check back in a few months for the next installment!