Baby Favorites – First Six Months & Money Saving Tips

This weekend alone, three different friends asked for baby registry recommendations as they are expecting little ones this Spring. While I’ve included our favorite items in each of my monthly recaps, I wanted to compile our favorite items in one easy-to-reference and share list. While this list is in no means exhaustive, these are the items that we’ve used daily and many of them have traveled with us to Vermont, Georgia and Ohio.

Registry Favorites

While we were lucky enough to receive many of the below items during our two baby showers, a few of these items we bought on our own after she was born. Baby items are often expensive and certain ones are only enjoyed for a few months – if that! Over the past few months, we’ve discovered a few ways to save money when buying baby items.

Money Saving Tips

  • Almost every item on this list is carried at BuyBuyBaby. Did you know that their amazing 20% and $10 off coupons can be stacked and can be used online or in-store? Every time you receive one in the mail or email you can add it to your app so that you can easily reference it the next time you need something! There are a few brands, like Uppababy, that aren’t always included in the discount.
  • Recently we discovered that Uppababy is included in many Macys,  Saks,  and Bloomingdales promotions! For example, a few weeks ago many of their items were 25% off! If you have your eye on Nuna products, one reader let me know that they were 40% off in the last Nordstrom Half Yearly sale!
  • Don’t forget about places like Marshalls, TJ Maxx, Nordstrom Rack and outlets for great deals on baby items especially clothing and toys! We bought most of Katie’s pajamas and outfits from the Carter’s outlets and I recently saw that our local Nordstrom Rack carries an assortment of Skiphop, Little Giraffe and Fisher-Price items!
  • RueLaLa has a baby section on their site and this weekend BabyBjorn and many other brands are included for AMAZING prices!
  • Surprisingly, Amazon is often not the cheapest place for many of these items. Whether you’re buying a gift for someone or shopping for yourself, search the item in Google first before buying!
  • Check out your local mom’s group on Facebook to see whether people are selling lightly used items. While I’m not a fan of buying used teething items or toys, we were able to find bottles, humidifier and Bumbo on our local group. This is also a great way to sell items after you’re done using them!

Our Favorite Items

If you have any questions about the items below or there is a category I forgot, just let me know!

Your turn:  If you’re a parent, what was on your list of baby favorites the first year, or even better, what do you think Katie will love for months 7-12?

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Nursery Tour

pink and white nursery

Good afternoon! I can’t believe that it has taken me four months to give you all a tour of Katie’s nursery. This room has become my favorite spot in our home. The cozy space provides a sense of calm even on the craziest of days. When Bo and I decided to transition my home office into a nursery, we decided that the gray walls would remain, as well as the large white Ikea closets. Otherwise, we decided that we would use fabric, prints and other decor to create a peaceful, soothing nursery for our daughter. When purchasing furniture for the nursery, we had to keep in mind that the space of our Brooklyn nursery is only 7 x 12 feet. Many cribs or gliders were too large for the space, so our consideration set quickly reduced. Due to our space constraints, there are some things that aren’t ideal; but overall, we are very pleased with the space.

We decided, from the beginning, that we didn’t want to go overboard with a theme for our nursery. We chose Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit as an overarching theme as both our childhood nurseries had this theme. These prints and this adorable mobile are the main Peter Rabbit items in the room, while there are also some smaller touches like the switch plate and a few books.

Nursery 1

nursery book shelves

We placed the mobile above the changing table versus the crib as a book recommended this as a great way to help babies enjoy diaper changes more AND sleep better when they go down in the crib. We also placed a round mirror over the changing table to open up the room and provide a fun activity space as we read that babies love mirrors beginning as young as two months of age.

nursery changing table

Instead of buying bedding and accessories that tied into the theme, we chose pastel prints and a few stuffed animals and books while letting the rest of the nursery have a pastel tone. My friend Amy gave us this beautiful framed print which fits perfectly over the glider.

Once we found furniture and items we thought we liked, we added them to our registry and then, for the items we bought on our own, waited for sales. Luckily, we were able to get most of the larger Pottery Barn items 40% off during a sale!  After spending two different evenings looking at furniture in their Upper West Side store and taking countless measurements, we settled on the Kendall Dresser & Topper set and the Kendall Low Profile Convertible crib. We liked that once you remove the topper from the dresser it can easily be a dresser in a child’s room and the Kendall crib was more compact than many other styles while still being a convertible crib. We decided to use a gray Keekaroo Peanut on top of the changing table instead of a cushioned, covered diaper pad after having multiple friends recommend this. We have LOVED the Peanut and have even given it as a gift to a friend!  Since the room does not have any windows we wanted to use lots of white and color to lighten the space and ensure it didn’t feel like a cave. However, since the French doors do let in quite a bit of light, especially during the morning hours, we chose to invest in black out roman shades which block the light while also adding a pop of color. The found the fabric for the shades, Zoey’s Garden Fabric by Tanya Whelan Pink Green and White Faux Plaid, on Etsy. We then worked with SewLovelyByKelly to bring our vision to life!

pink and white nursery

The most difficult item to find was a glider that fit the dimensions of our room, was comfortable and could hopefully be used in a living room or family room in the future. There were so many lovely gliders that were WAY too large for our space as the corner dimensions were quite tight. A few of the smaller “NYC size” gliders we tried out in show rooms were either uncomfortable or way too narrow. In fact I remember basically getting stuck in one glider which is crazy since, before giving birth, I had average hips! We were thankful that a few of our friends and family gave us money for our baby shower which we put towards buying the Monte Designs Como Glider. When my mom sat down in the glider for the first time she said “Oh my gosh this is the most comfortable chair ever!”

We wanted a bright, soft rug that would bring color into the space while also being a comfortable place for us to play with Katie. As soon as we saw the Haper Rug we knew that this was perfect for the nursery and love the vibrant pink color. Another way we incorporated color into the room, while also saving some money, was to buy a poof in a light, mint green instead of ordering the ottoman that matches our glider. We found a poof on Etsy which was only $50!

Last but not least, the sheets for the crib are a fun pink and white bunny print which weave together the Peter Rabbit and pink theme.

If you have any question about our nursery, feel free to let me know!

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Our Favorite Item for Newborn Babies

katie thriving

There is no doubt in my mind that Katie is thriving. She’ll be four months old on Friday and is growing like a weed. While we owe her happiness in great part to the support system we’ve had, we also attribute it to the fact that thankfully, our baby is a strong sleeper. But, she wouldn’t have slept nearly as soundly those first few months without one of our nursery essentials – a swaddle. In fact, we are so in love with swaddling that we are giving swaddle giftsets to all of our friends who are expecting babies!nursery

During the first three months of a babies life, they are actually in their fourth trimester of life. In fact, according to Harvey Karp, the author behind the book The Happiest Baby on The Block, all babies are born three months early. Swaddling, or tightly wrapping the baby in a muslin or cloth blanket, makes the baby feel secure and snug like they did in the womb. It decreases their startle reflex since their arms can’t wriggle around. In addition, it has been found that babies who are swaddled during sleep and fussy periods experience less anxiety and colic symptoms.

Until a few weeks ago, when Katie started rolling, we swaddled her for her naps and nightime sleep. In the beginning, we used the large, muslin square cloths but as she grew older, swaddles that provided assistance through zippers and velcro helped us keep her strong limbs swaddled.

That’s why SwaddleMe products are perfect for infants as depending on the style, they feature zippers or velcro to ensure the baby feels secure. They just introduced five new additions to their SwaddleMe line of safe sleep products for infants and man do I wish we’d had these a few months ago.

SwaddleMe 4

While we used their SwaddleMe Original, their new innovative swaddles would have been so helpful especially as Katie entered month two and three, when she was starting to grow more mobile and we were trying to have her sleep in places other than her bassinet, such as the swing or car seat.

swaddle me kicksie and footsie

Their new SwaddleMe Kicksie is a legs-free swaddle which is perfect for warmer weather, such as the summer months and allows the baby to feel cozy in a 3-point harness such a swing. The snap bottom also makes diaper changing quick and hassle free, which is greatly appreciated during those middle of the night diaper sessions.   They also just launched the SwaddleMe Footsiea legs-free swaddle that features pajama-like footies which make it great for cooler weather or even homes with strong air conditioner.

Footsie-1024x1024[1]

Like the Kicksie, the Footsie can also be used in a 3 point harness. This would have been SO helpful last month when when we flew down to Savannah, keeping her warm on the plane, or once she started discovering her feet and kicking them during her naps.

SwaddleMe 2

In addition to these new swaddles, SwaddleMe has launched three new gift sets, which are perfect for every mom-to-be. In fact, I’ve already ordered a few of these since I have FIVE friends who are expecting babies this Spring. The Essentials Gift Set includes muslin blankets, bandana bibs, burp cloths and a SwaddleMe® Original Swaddle. The adorable Baby Bath Gift Set includes muslin and terry bath towels, washcloths and a cute hooded wrap. My favorite set, The Little Lovey Gift Set, includes not only the Original Swaddle and muslin blankets but also an adorable natural shape pacifier with a lovey attached!

This post is sponsored by Mom Trends, Meredith Corporation and Swaddle Me but as always, all opinions are my own. Thank you to MomTrends for the professional photographs.

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