Favorite Baby Products: Sleep

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I have tried so many baby products over the past 8 months, so I am going to share some here!

What better category to start with than sleep? I mean I am not getting any, but I have tried soooo many products, methods, routines, etc, why not let you all in on what has been going on over here! Oh and if any of you have any tips....please help a sister out!!

  1.  Snuggle Me Organic (pictured above) - This is a baby lounger that is designed so the side come up and 'hug' the baby when he is placed in the middle. Because Atlas prefers to just sleep in my arms. All. Night. Long. if he could, I thought...this should work like a charm! I use it for one or two of his daytime naps, and he sleeps better and longer in it than if he naps any other way so for us it is a winner.
  2. Hatch Baby Rest - Night Light and Sound Machine - In love with this thing. I mean it is a night light and sound machine so whats the big deal? Well, you can control it from an app on your phone, set timers and favorite sounds etc. We have two because Aaden loved it so much he was stealing Atlas'! Aaden prefers blue light and bird sounds, for Atlas we use a dim red light (apparently the best color for sleep?) and rain sounds. I can set it to automatically turn on at bed time and go off at wake time. You can also have multiple settings on each one and tapping it with your foot cycles it through your favorite settings. Really awesome when you are holding a sleeping baby in your arms!
  3.  Aden + Anais - Muslim swaddle blankets are such a staple here. We swaddled Atlas (probably way too long if you asked experts) I think until 5 months or so? He slept for longer stretches when he was wrapped tightly. Do we see a trend here? This baby likes feeling nice and close and tight. We also have used them as burp cloths, bibs, an anchor on chairs (tie it around him while sitting in a chair so he is secure) a car seat cover, etc.
  4. Love to Dream - This is a swaddle sack that is designed to hug the baby and have his hands up so he can suck on them, but they are still inside of the sack. The concept is great, I thought it would be perfect for Atlas since he was always trying to get his hands out of the swaddle...which would inevitably wake him up, but I didn't see any improvement on his sleep so it wasn't a winner for our family.
  5. Nested Bean Zen Sleep Sack -  Another swaddle sack that didn't work out for us even though its another good concept. It is lightly weighted on the chest and sides, giving the baby the feeling of being hugged and having someones hand on them. Atlas was not fooled by it.
  6. Sound Sleeper App - There are probably a zillion noise machine apps out there, but this is the first one I downloaded, it was free, it worked for us so we stuck with it. You can set a timer on it so it will play for x amount of minutes and the fade out. It can be played through the bluetooth in the car (mainly how we use it) Atlas favorite setting? The car sound. Where he likes to hear it the most? While we are driving....in a car.... insert quizzical face emoji here haha
  7. Owlet Smart Sock - We used this for a solid month. Atlas gave us a scare when he was 4 weeks old, he spit up in his car seat and started choking. Thank goodness this happened as we pulling into our driveway. It was silent and we wouldn't have known except that I could see him struggling when I went to get him out of the car. It took a few minutes to get him to calm down, cough, and be back to normal breathing, but the rest of the day he struggled after each feeding. We ended up taking him to the ER to make sure he hadn't aspirated and he was perfectly fine, but the next day we bought the Owlet for peace of mind. It connects to an app on your phone and a base in your room. You are alerted on your phone and on the base if there is an issue, whether it be serious, or just that the sock has moved and needs adjusting back to normal. After a month I found myself forgetting to put it on him, and we stopped using it. It is not cheap, but at that time it was worth that peace of mind.
  8. Wubbanub - Such a lifesaver for us. So many great things about these cute pacifiers. Atlas took a pacifier from day one and had no issues with nipple confusion. He didn't cry for a pacifier, but when I would give him one he was like, "oh great idea!" and took it and would fall to sleep. Amazing. What makes the wubbanub special is that it is harder to lose, it gives the baby something to hold onto and play with, which also makes it easier for them to find it and put it in their own mouths eventually, and it acts as a weight so a newborn can't push it out accidentally as easy. A little trick? Swaddle that sucker into the blanket. There is no way that paci is going anywhere.
  9. Angel Dear - (Fawn pictured above) We are die hard angel dear fans in this house. My best friend's mom gifted a giraffe lovey to us for Aaden at his baby shower....9 years ago. This is a relationship at this point. Us and Angel Dear. Aaden still loves his 'giraffey' and most people who have had babies in the past 9 years have received an angel dear lovey from us. Atlas has the fawn set. Trust me on this one. If you are going to get this for your little. Buy the pair and a spare (or at least a pair) you will lose one, or your little one will leave it somewhere, or it will be in the wash at bed time...you need a backup. Aaden just learned about his backup when Atlas was born and saw both...totally felt jipped and like life was unfair so we had to break the news. He NEVER knew that he had 3 at one point, he has two now. (one is lost forever)
  10. Sheepskin Rug - I have heard great things about sheepskin rugs and babies...one being that it helps them to sleep better. I have a friend who it worked wonders for and she swears by it. It might have made a slight difference for us. It definitely made his sleep space cozier. Other benefits to using a sheepskin rug is that it helps to prevent allergies, regulates body temperature (great for a new baby,especially a preemie), and reducing bacteria and other pathogens. So I make sure to use it when he was playing with his play gym and hanging out on our hardwood floors. So even if it didn't improve his sleep by much I knew he was reaping the other benefits.
  11. Solly Baby - I used this wrap until Atlas was 3 or 4 months old. You can use it up to 25 pounds. I loved using this in the early days because it held him so close to me. Any newborn desires that, but he was a preemie so it was even more vital. He would nap so peacefully and I would be able to get things done...or just stare at him. Isn't that what usually happens?
  12. Wildbird - Once Atlas was about 3 or 4 months and more alert, he wanted to see the world. It seemed like he didn't like feeling so confined in the solly wrap, so I started using the ring sling. It gave him a little more freedom of movement and I could wear him more to the side, allowing him to see more of the world. He loves the feeling of being close and snuggled up and frequently naps when I wear him in the sling. I can usually count on him falling asleep if I sling him up around nap time. Bonus...my hands are free!
  13.  L'ovedbaby - (Beige pictured above) I LOVE these footed jammies. I love how soft they are, that I am putting organic fabric against my baby's skin, the colors are beautiful. i couldn't reccommend this brand more. They are expensive. Pro tip: join a BST group on Facebook for any of your favorite brands (especially those pricey ones) and you can find them new and/or in very good condition for a fraction of the price...you're welcome!
  14. Primary -  I love the footed sleepers here too. This company is awesome because you can find basics in plain colors and not have graphics and patterns and bling. It is nice to find simple clothes at a reasonable price. But seriously....softest jammies ever.
  15. Childhoods -  Ok so this one is a bonus. I am sure I will do a post on favorite clothing brands and you will see these three repeated. I am including this one because I have heard that their night sets are to die for when it comes to softness. I haven't owned one, but I have several other pieces from their brand (hoodies, rompers, shorties, and gusset pants) and this is quickly becoming my favorite brand. Pretty pricey...but remember my pro tip above? yeah.                           

Whew! I hope anyone who has a new little, one on the way, or knows of someone who could use this info, finds this helpful. I'm sure there are brands and products you have heard of, but hopefully you've learned of one you didn't know so much about.

I'd love to hear about what brands you love, what products help with sleep, and if anything here has been useful for you!

 

 

 

 

Spring is Here: Local Nature Spots

I have let the winter and having a new baby keep me indoors for the past 7 months, so I think it goes without saying that I am ready to get outside and enjoy the nice weather and the beautiful places not far from here.

We lived in a little apartment in Albany for Aadens first 3 years, so I was always looking for some place to explore with him. I am going to share 6 of those places with you, but there are soooo many more than this around here!

 

 First up is  Huyck Preserve  in Rensselaerville. There is some neat ruins from an old mill that Aaden enjoyed discovering, as well as a couple of hike options, a waterfall, and a creek. The drive there is really pretty, but be sure to bring your bug spray. Every time we have gone there have been soooo many bugs!   

First up is Huyck Preserve in Rensselaerville. There is some neat ruins from an old mill that Aaden enjoyed discovering, as well as a couple of hike options, a waterfall, and a creek. The drive there is really pretty, but be sure to bring your bug spray. Every time we have gone there have been soooo many bugs!

 

  Hollyhock Hollow Sanctuary  is up next! We love this little spot. You can hike here too, but we come for the swimming. I love finding little swimming holes, and this doesn't dissappoint. There are all sorts of rocks and fallen trees to climb around on, but it is slippery so we always have to take caution. Aaden loves skipping rocks, and this is a great spot for doing that, there are also lots of frogs!   

Hollyhock Hollow Sanctuary is up next! We love this little spot. You can hike here too, but we come for the swimming. I love finding little swimming holes, and this doesn't dissappoint. There are all sorts of rocks and fallen trees to climb around on, but it is slippery so we always have to take caution. Aaden loves skipping rocks, and this is a great spot for doing that, there are also lots of frogs!

 

 This spot is near and dear to my heart, this was my backyard growing up! This is in Stuyvesant on the riverfront. This place has a long beach area that people will fish, boat, swim and even camp at, but we like to go down to enjoy the sunset, skip rocks and dip our toes in to cool off.   

This spot is near and dear to my heart, this was my backyard growing up! This is in Stuyvesant on the riverfront. This place has a long beach area that people will fish, boat, swim and even camp at, but we like to go down to enjoy the sunset, skip rocks and dip our toes in to cool off.

 

 The  Albany Pine Bush  is a pretty spot to go for a little hike, the sunsets there are beautiful and we almost always see a train go by. I have seen people fish and boat here too!   

The Albany Pine Bush is a pretty spot to go for a little hike, the sunsets there are beautiful and we almost always see a train go by. I have seen people fish and boat here too!

 

 Across from the Stuyvesant riverbeach is the Coxsackie Riverside Park. There is a paved walkway along the water, a little beach, and an awesome playground as well as a big green area for picnicing and playing sports.      

Across from the Stuyvesant riverbeach is the Coxsackie Riverside Park. There is a paved walkway along the water, a little beach, and an awesome playground as well as a big green area for picnicing and playing sports.

 

 

  Normanskill Farm  is so close to us, this is the spot we visit the most. There is a really cool bridge that is overgrown, a beach, fields, and a community garden. It is also a dog park so people go there often to walk their dogs.     I could easily list 10 more spots, but I'll keep it short and sweet right now. I'd love to share a variety of local spots frequently, so I will save the other places for a future blog post.  I'd love to hear about your favorite places to get out and explore nature. Comment below and let me know! I'd love to discover places I have never been

Normanskill Farm is so close to us, this is the spot we visit the most. There is a really cool bridge that is overgrown, a beach, fields, and a community garden. It is also a dog park so people go there often to walk their dogs.

 

I could easily list 10 more spots, but I'll keep it short and sweet right now. I'd love to share a variety of local spots frequently, so I will save the other places for a future blog post.

I'd love to hear about your favorite places to get out and explore nature. Comment below and let me know! I'd love to discover places I have never been

New Year, New Website

This past year has been challenging, heartbreaking, and joyous all at once. I have watched my older son grow more independent and have struggled with the challenge of that transition. I have navigated personal heartbreaks including a miscarriage.  And we have celebrated the birth of my beautiful baby boy.

For these reasons and many more, I have found it hard to keep up with my website. I have been envisioning a complete makeover and overhaul of my blog for about 2 years, and I finally feel ready to make that vision a reality.

I want this to be a place where I can connect to you all on a more personal level. Before, I was only sharing client sessions for the most part, or group projects I was part of. While I will continue to do that, I will also be writing about adventures we go on, local places to check out, and personal posts about the musings of my life.

Here are some photos of our family in the first months after welcoming little Atlas in September.