Favorite Things, Pet Peeves and More

Gratuitous picture of Jasper

Gratuitous picture of Jasper

So now that I’ve been at this Mommy thing for almost two months (!) now, I have some experience under my belt and want to share what has worked, not worked and what I wish would work in case there are any expectant moms who can benefit from it.

First, the RAVES:

Baby Wraps:
Moby wrap – I love the way my moby style wrap looks and feels and I love how compact it is to throw in the diaper bag. What I don’t love is that when Jasper falls asleep there is no head support and I end up using one hand to hold his head.. enter Babyhawk!

BabyHawk – (or any Mei Tai style baby carrier) is a soft structured carrier that ties once around the waist and again in front – ie a bit easier to get on and off than the Moby. Plus, I can put Jasper in it more easily without waking him up. For example, I discovered a new trick – if Jasper is acting fussy and I know he’s just overtired, I tie the bottom tie that goes around my waist and let the rest just hand down. Then I either bounce him on the bouncy ball until he falls asleep or put him on the breast until he falls asleep. I can then just pull the rest of the carrier up over his back and tie it around us. Brilliant! This isn’t possible with the Moby, it requires too much maneuvering to get him inside the criss cross, he would wake up. Also, it has great head support so I can truly be “hands free”and is more substantial and therefor easier to wear over more bulky winter clothing.

I love my BabyHawk so much I ordered another Mei Tai carrier (much cheaper) from an Etsy seller that has a soft minky lining for winter. I will report back if it functions just as well as the more expensive BabyHawk.

Update: I got the new carrier. It’s so pretty and really comfy, but it does NOT have good infant head support like the Babyhawk does.. will be useful when J is a bit bigger and has better head control!

Graco Snugride Infant Carseat: it clicks on and off from our stroller and swing with ease.. it is also by far the lightest carrier and it is still damn heavy with baby in it so in my opinion if you get a heaver carseat you are nutso! ;)

Uppababy Vista Stroller – One of my very favorite things. It’s a tad heavier than the bugaboo frog, but in every other way superior in my opinion. For one thing, it folds with the seat on it! The unfold is so simple.. it has tons of room in the basket and turns on a dime. With the adaptor our Snugride clicks right into it and it comes with a beautiful bassinet attachment that we’ve never even used because we are always using it with the carseat. But it’s nice to know it’s there if we need it.  Yes, it was very expensive (thanks mom and dad!) but totally worth it.

Skip Hop Outer Space Playmat – I resisted getting a play-mat because I really didn’t like the fisher-price ones that have so many primary colors, but of course Jasper has to do tummy time.. so Skip Hop to the rescue. This play-mat is much more palatable design wise but still has enough to entertain. In fact, it was only when I put Jasper on his back on this mat that I realized how fasicnated he is with hanging toys.. which led me to put up mobiles in his crib in his nursery as well as on the bassinet downstairs and thank god because he can sit and stair at a mobile for 30 minutes at a time! It’s the only reason that I have time to get dressed and brush my teeth these days.

Pamper’s Swaddlers Sensitive Diapers: The line that tells you if the diaper is wet is brilliant – All I have to do is take a peak under his onesie. The downside is they are hard to find.

Exercise ball: I bought this for the birth, but didn’t use it… but now holding him and bouncing on the ball is is the only way to soothe Jasper, even from the most frantic state.

Miracle Blankets: we haven’t been swaddling lately anymore, but when we did, these are the only way to do it.

Velcro toys that go on carseat handle: Got these at carters, Jasper can stare at them for hours and be entertained.

Disappointments/Pet Peeves:

Diaper Champ: Ok, so it does keep smells contained, but the damn thing gets jammed EVERY TIME we put a diaper in it! IMO, the design is simply flawed. So annoying.

Graco Sweet Peace Newborn Soothing Center (swing) : It’s a nice swing, Jasper doesn’t like it too much yet, but it’s soooooo noisy! Plus, there is an abrupt “stop” that it makes as it swings to the front, almost like it hit something.

Swadle Me blankets: We got about 10 of these as gifts.. unfortunately they just don’t work!


Things I WISH someone invented..

Some sort of attachement that lightly rocks the Graco snugride (I know they make a swing base for it,  but I’m talking like a little tiny “pedal” or something that just goes under it.)

A bouncy seat or swing that bounces up and down rather than side to side.. so I could give the bouncy ball a rest once in a while!

I’ll probably keep adding to this list.. for now, poor Jasper has his first cold and we’re both cranky and exhausted!

Pin It

Wall Display Templates for Photographers

You might also like

Holiday Gift Ideas? (gratuitous picture of Jasper) So now that November has settled in and the holiday season is just...
Wordless Wednesday ...
Jasper’s Second Week I have maybe 5 seconds before Jasper gets bored of the swing and starts screaming, so if this post gets...
It’s Very Hard to Do At my parents' new year's eve party Jasper told my friend Janaki  "Mommy hasn't gotten me a baby...
Scott says:

Skip hop has some good stuff – their Splash rack is great. For the baby gym we’ve been having good luck with the very large named toy called Baby Einstein Baby Neptune Ocean Adventure Gym

Kath says:

I would love a bouncing thing to replace my ball ( I use the bozu half-ball thing) but I wonder if its a safety issue. Maybe you could strap your kid into his car seat and lock it into a mechanical self-bouncer. Let’s get the Graco peeps on that in time for my second child, huh?

momBo says:

i liked moby wrap, but i LOVE sleepy wrap (www.sleepywrap.com) – so much easier to nurse in and much easier to tuck my girl’s head under the shoulder piece, i just stretch the piece over her head, no crying or waking up :)
great post ariana

andrea says:

I’m bookmarking this too! Thanks for all of the great advice. I had to chuckle when you said the car carriers are so heavy. After starting to look at them, I’ve been lifting 8lb weights everyday like a car carrier just try to be ready.

ariana says:

Farah, I meant to write in the review that Jasper hates when I tuck his head in.. he’ll always wake up, or if he is awake he’ll try to bust out!

Dawn, I do have a sling like a hotsling (a peanut shell). Unfortunately Jasper hates it, he really likes to be upright tummy to tummy with me. I also find it awkward, but that’s the thing about babywearing, it’s so individual to each mommy/baby as to what works and doesn’t. I have something on order for you that I’ll be sending your way soon, I’ll include a gazillion swaddle mes ;)

Dawn says:

Love your reviews. I would buy your inventions and then maybe you can be a gazillion-aire. I would add the Hotsling to the loves category. Not sure if you’ve tried one but they are very womb-like and both of my kids have loved them.

Sorry Jasper is sick! Hope he’s better soon! Love the new photo. And if you have no use for your Swaddle Me’s I’d be happy to take them off your hands!

farah says:

i tuck my sons head under the shoulder strap for support on the wrap like you have. i can post a picture if that would help you any

Jill says:

Thanks for the reply — that is a great idea. :) I, too, love these “favorite things” posts. I keep them bookmarked. And Jasper is just too adorable!

Melanie says:

Love the new pic! He’s so yummy! Our bouncy seat bounces up and down, the Boppy Cradle in Comfort. She always prefered this to the swing. We still use it, even though she looks like a giant in it ;-)

Mom Quixote says:

I just think I’m not knowledgeable enough to figure out the right combo, but I was guessing that the thing to do was to go with the AV mode, lol.

I can’t wait to try it out!

ariana says:

Good, I’m so glad you guys find these posts useful!

Jill, it’s kind of hard to say because for a tiny newborn I like the softness of the unstructured moby vs. the babyhawk. I’m not sorry I have the moby at all, (it’s so pretty, and we did use it a lot). I think baby wearing is one of those things that you don’t know what works for you and your babe until you try. What I would do if I had to do it over is get the moby from etsy and a mei tai carrier from etsy (vs. an expensive “name brand” one like babyhawk). You’d end up with two for under $100 which is a pretty good deal! Also, just FYI I’ve heard that some people like to do an extra fold of the bottom strap with mei tai carriers for newborns so that they sit higher up.

Mom Quixote, glad you like the photo! It was taken with that lens. The tricky thing about that lens is focusing correctly. I often do manual focus because of this. Of course if you use a narrower aperture it’s not as big a deal. I usually put my rebel on “AV” mode so that the aperture takes precedence over the shutterspeed. I don’t go wider than 2.2 generally or else there can be focus issues. What is it you haven’t liked about your shots?

Mom Quixote says:

I’m reading your post super carefully because I want to eat up all advice, but I first had to say that I love the photo, as per usual, and that I got the lens you recommended as a birthday gift!

Do you tend to shoot with a particular aperture/speed combo, or does it all depend? I’ve only played around with it a little bit, but I’m not sure I’m very pleased with my shots so far :(

Jill says:

Ok, so would you recommend getting a BabyHawk instead of a Moby wrap? I was just about to buy a moby (well, a knockoff from etsy), and I read your post. Thanks!

Rachel says:

I love these posts you do that show what you end up loving/hating in terms of baby gear. I’m due in 8 weeks with my 1st and I keep checking back to your site to see what worked or didn’t work for your little guy before I finish up buying everything. Thanks!