So, I thought it might be fun to do a "favorite" things post to highlight a few (lifesaving) things I think make my life easier with four kids who ultimately rule my life...
1. Kangaroo Korner Pouch - unfortunately, they've gone out of business (I do not know why...). I will be honest, I almost cried when I found out they had closed. We've been using their fleece and cotton pouches since our oldest was 7 months old. So, you can't buy a new Kangaroo Korner pouch, but I highly suggest buying an adjustable pouch if you can find it, and if you can find a fleece one, grab it! The pouch is ideal for the wee ones - easy to keep warm, snuggly and very easy to nurse in, too. Once they get a bit older, the hip carry is one of my favorites. Baby wearing for me didn't start in full force until my 2nd daughter was born, then it was an absolute necessity for reasons I could go on and on for. I am on the search for a pouch that is as amazing and high quality as these ones were for us! Let me know if you find one or know of one!
Ergo Baby Carrier - by far one of my favorite, life saving items. If you are a mom, then you must purchase one of these. I've had my original one since Mairead (purchased in early 2007) and now onto our 4th child, it is still in perfect condition with lots and lots of life left in it. It has made shopping with my four kids by myself easier than you can imagine. The ability to carry a child on my back gives me the opportunity to do things like clean my house, shop, go for walks, hike, etc. I don't use the hip carry very often - I use my pouch for that, but have friends who do, and say it's great! I would say the ergo is ideal for babies 5 months and older unless you have an infant insert! I have used the baby bjorn (very briefly with baby #1) and honestly, I found it very uncomfortable once baby hit about 10lbs, and I don't think the baby looks that comfortable just hanging there. With the ergo, I've carried my 2-3 year old toddlers on my back before quite comfortably, actually!
3. Aden + Anais Muslin Wraps - Having worked as a labor & delivery nurse before kids, I swaddled like a pro, which was a lifesaving ability having children who loved swaddling. After three kids, I was always on the look out for a lightweight, stretchy swaddle blanket for my babies, especially since all four of them were obsessed with being swaddled! I heard of Aden + Anais and thought it would be a great thing to try! And let me tell you, I wish I had learned of these before my forth child. They are awesome! They are big, lightweight, stretchy, breathable and cute! These are even great if you have a spring/summer baby who is loving swaddling but you're afraid baby will get overheated - not with these! Go check them out!
Brookstone white noise machine - I don't know about you, but my kids have turned me into a white noise junky. With our 2nd daughter, Lilah, she was an amazing sleeper, but it had to be quiet. She didn't want to hear a thing. At first, we used a fan, but then, it didn't seem loud enough. So, I did a little research and came across this one. Now, we are still using the same one with our 4th child. It is great because it is compact, and works with a plug or with batteries, which is great for traveling! It has white noise and various other "baby soothing" sounds. The price is a little steep ($69) but, it has worked very well for our family, and we've used it for 3/4 of our children, and has traveled all over the place with us! I'd surely say we've gotten our money worth out of this!
Zutano Cozie Booties - I am not quite sure how I missed the boat on this product. After Clara was born, my parents had given a pink pair. I had never seen them before, but I knew they would be just perfect since she was a small infant in the winter in Maine, these were probably the best thing anyone had given Clara. They are soft. Cozy. and they stay on....and most importantly, they keep the tootsies nice and warm! They are machine washable, and they come out super soft and clean! I had always used robeez, but these I have to say are far superior to them, and they just look comfortable! Now with baby #4, zutano cozie booties are an absolute must. Callum has a pair of brown and creme, and he wears them everyday. No joke. I am also a fan of zutano because they are a Vermont based company that takes pride in good products. My children have worn zutano clothing and it is always high quality, comfortable clothing. The one thing I wish they would do is add some non-slip grips to the bottom of the bigger booties for the new walkers and walkers!
Britax B-Ready Double Stroller - Strollers are one of those things I have a love hate relationship with. Being a huge advocate of attachment parenting, I am not a huge stroller person, but with four kids who are all close in age, and a mamma who prefers to be on the go, a good, easily maneuverable double stroller is vital to a successful outing! We started life off with the Zooper Tango double, and that was just not good. It was hard to steer, it was hard to shop with, and storage was difficult. Then, we saw this one. I ordered it after reading great reviews (I never even laid hands on it before purchasing), and I have to say, all the reviews were right. It is a great double stroller! It can be pushed with one hand, it's like having a single stroller, but easily suits two children with ample storage space! It is a bit heavy, but it folds very easily. I love the versatility with this stroller, allowing Callum (the baby) to face forward to me or face outward. The big girls love to sit in the "jump" seat as we call it. The fabric is easily cleaned. The storage is big enough to store one of my kids. This stroller is awesome in a mall or any tight spaces, it really is like using a single stroller. I get stopped frequently by people asking what I thought of it, and honestly, I think it is great as far as strollers are concerned. Of course, there are negatives, but there are negatives with every stroller I have owned, but the positives far outweigh the negatives. I will be honest though, there were a few little "annoying" problems, like the back wheels squeaking, so I called customer service and Britax and without any serious questioning, new wheels were in the mail - free. Then, the jump seat wouldn't close, all I had to do was send in a photo, and the wheels still squeaked, so what did Britax do?? They sent me a completely brand new stroller and jump seat! We've had the new one since September, and we haven't had a single issue with it. So, A+ for customer service from Britax! So, if you're like me, and hate to drop a pretty penny on things like strollers, have no fear, because you know Britax is going to stand by their product 100%.
Stay tuned for more reviews of lifesaving products and a few other fun things I have in store for my blog - this could get exciting!