Monday, February 13, 2012

My favorite things! For surviving parenthood...

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!

2. 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!

4. 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!

5. 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!

6. 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!


  1. I loooove my carrier, use it all the time! And I might have already said it, but I LOVE the pic in your header...too cute!

  2. Thanks so much!
    Can you believe our little boys aren't too far from ONE??!! I am not ready!

  3. What!! Kangaroo Korner went out of business! I remember you posting on BZ how much you loved your fleece pouch- and I got one which I LOVE LOVE LOVE!!! I always suggest it to new moms. In fact mine has been used for my kids and quite a few more. I also had the Ergo once patrick was born and that thing is a blessing too. Liked the pouch for when they wer smaller and the Ergo for bigger-despite having the insert. The Ergo was awesome to take to the Outer Banks to climb the dunes of Jockey's Ridge and for days when I would go to market. I would put Patrick in the Ergo, Alli in the stroller and hang my market bag off the back. Great post!

  4. Hey- I saw that you left a comment on my blog. I am actually 23 weeks pregnant today but our daughter (another girl!) has been measuring 5-7 days ahead which I'm grateful for. I love this post- I actually just removed the baby bjorn from our registry and added the ergo baby carrier per your suggestion. I'm considering a Moby wrap for myself (there is no way I'm going to get Joe to wear one lol) It's a little different being in AZ, I have to try to find things that are the opposite of warm. Ergo has a performance model that has more mesh in it that I think we will go with- our little ones sweat more than they shiver here lol Feel free to offer any more suggestions, registering and getting ready for baby is daunting!

  5. I cannot tell you how happy I am for you and your husband. I think about you often and wondered how you were doing. Did you get a preventative cerclage?

    I used the moby wrap, but it wasn't my favorite, but a lot of friends have used it with a lot of success! I completely understand the whole hot/cold thing...we have to have both, because it's cold in the winter and hot in the summer!

    I will surely be doing more "reviews" - let me know if you have any ideas for blog posts!


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