When I first found out I was pregnant, one of the first few things that I did was find a photographer. I knew this was such an important time in my life and that I wanted to hire someone who’s style and photography I loved. I knew I had a budget to stay within (the bane of my existence), so I did some major digging to find the perfect photographer who was experienced in maternity/birth photography, had a style that matched mine, and also fit within my budget. I was so stoked when I stumbled upon Makenna! She checked all of the boxes and I could not have found her at a better time!
This past weekend, we were completely showered with love as we had our baby shower. We were given the absolute best start to our little family. Surrounded by friends and family, we celebrated our little Bubba Boy! There is not enough gratitude in the world to express how we are feeling after this weekend.
So when planning the baby shower, we (Ruben and I) had decided that the baby shower was going to be a girls only thing. It’s just not in his nature to go to these things. Call it whatever you want, but that’s just how he was raised. Baby shower’s are for the mama and her friends and dad goes and does his thing during the meantime. When we told our friends, a few of the guys (really, mostly just Jaime) was so disappointed. So we decided to do a small co-ed baby shower with our closest friends only.
Ivette and Celeste (seriously the best friends ever) volunteered to host and plan the whole thing and they seriously did such an incredible job. I’m kicking myself in the butt for not taking more pictures because it was SO CUTE! It was “Tea Party” themed and they had the cutest set up on the table with toast and jams and jellies and avocados and everything your tea part heart could desire! And then they had another table with drinks and doughnuts and animal crackers and cupcakes! And they also had a station where you could write “Midnight Messages” on diapers for us to read when we are changing diapers at midnight. It was so cute! They seriously went all out and I was blown away. When they had first mentioned it, I for sure thought this was going to be a casual thing that we just played a few baby games at someone’s house. But it was full-on baby shower! I walked in and got a little emotional seeing all the prep that they had done for everything and for me and Ruben.
It was a small gathering (and some came and went when they needed, which is totally fine), but it was perfect. It was our regular group of friends; Moni, Whit and their beautiful baby girl Kaiila; Phil (and Ulu was at work and we missed her like crazy); and Mariah. It was so perfect. We sat down and ate and caught up on life and talked about babies and everything. Then it was time for games.
They had the best games ever! The first was just a word scramble game and Jan kicked all of our trash! Then we did a “Guess the Waist” measurement game. It was hilarious seeing how everyone overestimated me AND Ruben, but Jan and Kamalu killed it! They were within like an inch or two of BOTH of our measurements and I was so surprised! It was just hilarious seeing how big everyone thought I was though! I couldn’t stop laughing! I mean, I’m big and getting bigger every day, but dang! hahaha Then we did a game where the husband’s had to multi-task. The wives went in another room and the husband’s had to hold the “baby” (aka a shark/dolphin plush) and hang up clothes on a clothesline and then we called them and they had to get their phones out of their pockets, answer (couldn’t be on speaker) and still hang up clothes and see who could do it the fastest. That was hilarious watching people struggle and I loved that one. After that, we did the best game of the night! It was called “Just Roll with It” or something (from the movie Just Go With It with Adam Sandler) and a few couples went up and had to roll an orange from their bellies up their bodies and into their mouths without using hands and while both of them touched it the whole time. I haven’t laughed so hard! It was hilarious to watch and even Whit (who was one of the couples playing) couldn’t even focus enough to stop laughing at how ridiculous it all was! It looked sooo inappropriate and hilarious and I wish I could post those videos, but I’ll keep those to the group. It was seriously the funniest thing ever! And then the last game of the night was where someone had to put a balloon under their shirt and then tie their shoes and we saw who could do it the fastest. They all made it look so easy! I am seriously loosing the ability to even put on socks or take them off at the end of the day, so I was shook with how easy (especially the boys) made it look and how quickly they did it!
As we cleaned up, we decided to not let the helium balloons go to waste and suck the helium and it was hilarious watching and listening to everyone do it! We couldn’t stop laughing because Ruben’s voice (when he finally got enough helium) was SO HIGH and it took us all by surprise! I don’t know why helium is so friggin’ hilarious, but it is and I love it so much! Oh, and we got the cutest gifts from our friends! We got loads of books for bubba’s, Ivette got us “clean” baby products (if you’re an expecting mom, follow @just.ingredients and be shook by the crazy chemicals and substances they put in most baby products… hate to be that person, but i’m slowly switching us to organic over this caca), and we got toys for baby too!
We honestly did not expect anything. We just expected a fun night of baby related games with our friends who are closest to us. But seeing how much everyone cared (from showing up, to decorating and hosting, to playing games, to giving us presents) was so huge. I get a little emotional thinking about it because we seriously have the BEST support system out here. We felt so loved and I know that our little Bubba Boy is so insanely loved as well. We were all spoiled and I feel so incredibly lucky and blessed to have our friends that we do. You know how they say “it takes a village” to raise children? Well, we’re lucky enough to have the best village around. I’m 100% sure that we hit the jackpot with friends who love and support us through everything and I can’t wait for Bubba to feel the love for himself when he makes his big debut!
I wish I could explain how many hours I have spent researching baby stuff. It’s like a weekly Sunday thing - I go to church, I eat lunch, and then I lay in bed and watch Youtube videos or read blog posts about MUST HAVE baby items, comparing diaper bags, showing features of different strollers. I loveeee watching those videos. I think they’re so fun and I may or may not do my own at some point in time! But anyways, with my baby shower coming up, I’ve been trying to figure out what I’m going to be registering for and what’s most important vs. not really necessary. I had already done crap tons of research, but I felt like I had so many items on my registry and I didn’t know if I was overdoing it or on the right track. And I especially didn’t know if the big-ticket items I had on my registry were worth it. So I took to my friends and family on Facebook and Instagram to give me their must have items and get opinions on some of the $$$ items. And I just want to share my knowledge so you can know as well if you’re trying to register and have no clue what you’re doing like me!
First thing’s first, a lot of people have asked where I registered at and I did it through Babylist. They’re a newer resource for registering, but I LOVE how you can add items from any store to your registry! That was super important to me because I knew there were items that I wanted (like my stroller I had been researching for YEARS and my diaper bag) that weren’t sold on Amazon or Target. So I have loved this because you can add an extension to Google Chrome and while you’re browsing the interwebs, just click on the extension when you find an item you want and it will add it straight to your registry! So easy and so nice to be able to get items from all over.
Okay, now let’s get into the content of some baby essentials.
MUST REGISTER FOR ITEMS
Nose Frida (HIGHLY recommended - literally almost by everyone)
Zip Up Onesies
Swaddles (Velcro for night time)
Dock a Tots
Stroller that can be used in the future for more than one child (recommended for those who are wanting multiple kids… May as well invest now rather than buying a single stroller now and having to invest in a larger one later too)
For me, personally, I’m getting the UPPA Baby Vista. I have literally been researching and looking at strollers for years and I know this is the one I want. It has the ability to add a second chair for when we have more babies, works with the car seat I am getting (without the need to buy extensions or other things to be able to attach them), and it folds which is HUGE for us. We live in an apartment and probably will live in one until Ruben graduates law school, so having a stroller that can fold up and be put in a closet when we’re not using it (or to put in the trunk of the car) instead of having it take up a lot of space was so big for me!
Ergo Baby carrier
Wild Bird Sling
Lou Lou Co or Copper Pearl Swaddles + Beanies
HEAPS of burp cloths
Clothes past 6 months
Rock N Play
Car seat base for each car
Swaddler (Ergo Baby)
Mini Bissell Carpet Shampooer
Hyrdo Flask (HUGE)
ROCKING CHAIR VS. GLIDER
It was mostly 50/50 almost all day, but in the end, the glider won out!
Someone said to get a recliner that swivels and rocks. You’ll spend a lot of late nights in here, so get something that you can get real comfortable in so you’re not hating your life in the middle of the night because you can’t get comfy but you gotta stay up with baby
This was almost 50/50 the entire time too, but in the end only a few more said it was worth it
A lot of people messaged and said it is not worth the money and/or it didn’t really “calm” them from being worried. It made them more worried and they were constantly checking the app to see how the baby was doing
Some others said that it gave them a lot of peace of mind during naps/bedtime
I had a friend (who is a NICU nurse) and another friend (who is a nurse in the infant unit) message and say that they do not recommend the Owlet for a few reasons. They both work in hospitals and they both said that there are times when the monitors will go off for no reason at all (malfunction, baby moves and it shakes the monitor off for a sec, etc.) and that the alarms wear down with time (making them go off when they shouldn’t or they won’t go off when they should). They also said sooner or later you’ll stop using the sock or stop responding to it because of the amount of false alarms it gives off (one said it gave her 3 false alarms on the first night and she never used it again). Also if your baby is desaturating, you will be able to tell because their color will change, they will be working hard to breath, etc. and you’ll be able to tell just by checking in on them. So they don’t recommend buying it.
Another friend said that it saved her babies life because it went off and she woke up and checked on her baby (who was sleeping the bassinet right next to her) and her baby was choking on her own saliva. I talked to my nurse friend about that and she said that maybe 1% of all the times the monitors go off (in the hospital) it is actually something, so if you want that peace of mind to catch that 1%, go ahead and buy it. There’s no right or wrong answer to this. It just depends on you.
I personally decided to not go with this one for now. I’m going to borrow it from the nurse friend who stopped using hers after a day to see if I like it and it brings the peace of mind to catch that 1% chance or if it isn’t worth it to me before I invest in this.
BABY SWINGS VS. BOUNCERS VS. MOMMA ROO
This was all over the charts and the main consensus was that it depends on your baby
Some swear by bouncers and others swear by Momma Roo’s
A lot said that their babies outgrew/didn’t love forever the MommaRoo, but LOVED their bouncers for a long time (aka babies stopped liking/responding well to MommaRoo around 2-3 months, but loved their swings/bouncers up to 11 months at least)
A suggestion I had here was to buy one secondhand so you don’t spend all the $$ and see how your baby likes it. That way it’s less of an investment financially and you can find what your baby likes best
Try a swing that rocks back and forth and side to side
The biggest consensus here was just to ensure it’s a firm mattress to avoid suffocation
Babies will essentially sleep anywhere, so don’t go spending all the monies on a nice mattress. Just make sure it is firm
HOW MANY BURP CLOTHS SHOULD YOU HAVE ON HAND?
A few people said to get like 6 - 8 at first and see how much your baby actually spits up before you go and buy a ton
A lot of people also said that the amount you buy depends on how often you do laundry. I’m not a fan of doing a million small loads, just a few large loads. So I’ll prolly invest in a lot of burp cloths
Also you’ll need these a lot more when they’re younger and less when they’re older
HOW MANY SWADDLES?
This one also kind of was a “depends on your baby” answer
Some said 2-3, others said 10
A lot of people use their swaddles as a burp cloth too, so it was recommended to have a few
A lot also said it depends on if your baby likes to be swaddled or not
Many also suggested the SwaddleMe suits for night time
Also get an easy swaddle for night time because when you’re dead at 3 AM, you want an easy swaddle to re-do after diaper changes than a crazy one
BEST NURSING BRAS
the most highly suggested was Target (comfy and doesn’t break the bank)
Also recommended was Thirdlove, a sports bra from Victoria’s secret that doubled as a nursing bra, and Amazon
Don’t get anything fancy, a bralette was all one mom needed
I was also told that @brafittingsbycourt has a highlight on her IG about nursing bras
DOCK A TOT VS SNUGGLE ME ORGANIC OR JUST NOT WORTH IT AT ALL?
First things, I was reminded that these can be unsafe for babies to sleep in because there is the chance of suffocation because of the rims of the pillow, but I’ve also heard that these are a must have for setting baby down to get ready, eat, and chill for a sec
This answer ranged a lot from “not worth it” to “wish I had gotten one”
It seemed like this ranged a lot depending on babies. Some people said it was the best and their baby lovedddd their dock a tot and others said it’s not worth the $$$
A cheaper alternative that was suggested is the Boppy Lounger for $30
I will be doing this one because $$$
OTHER TIPS/PRODUCTS GIVEN
A detachable shower head to spray poop of baby, clothes, and yourself
Cloth diapers = best burp cloths ever
Backpack style Diaper Bags so you can carry baby and the bag comfortably
Puppy Pee Pads for blowouts (essentially a giant, disposable changing pad)
Gripe Water to hell with gas before bed
Earth Mama Diaper Balm and Nipple Cream
Use Facebook marketplace to buy the big ticket items and save monies
Ask for help for supplements and diet suggestions to help increase milk supply
Get a wrap AND a carrier
The type of pacifier you get will depend on your baby and which “nipple” they like best on the pacifier
Same goes for bottles. Buy one bottle instead of a set to see which one they like and take before buying a whole set of bottles
Get a car seat cover that can double as a breastfeeding cover
Haakaa to catch milk leaking out of breast you’re not breastfeeding out of
These are all the suggestions that I got! I might do a video on what I got at my baby shower, what I bought on my own, etc. And another after baby comes to let you know what I personally used for baby. I think the biggest thing to note here and in the future though is that a lot of this depends on you and your baby and what you prefer. There is no real “right” or “wrong” answer to any of these questions. Mamahood is so personal and your baby has their own way of doing things and their own personality, so just follow their queues and you’ll figure it out along the way. We got this!