We Made It!

So, my baby Aiden isn't much of a baby any more! He turned ONE earlier this month. Where has the time gone? I can still remember the car ride home from the hospital and the first night home with him in our house as a family. Now I know why everyone tells me to cherish these days - they go by so fast.

It's been long enough now that we have found things we love and things we hate. I thought I would put together a list of the things we definitely couldn't go without.

1. Fisher-Price Deluxe Monkey Bouncer
This was a gift from our baby shower. It has been quite a lifesaver. Any time I needed to get something done and needed to put him down, Aiden would go in this bouncer. It plays music and has a vibrating feature that you can turn on that helps calm your baby. If you are interested, you can find it at Sears.

2. Graco Pack 'n Play Playard - Barlow
This was also a gift from our baby shower. This is where Aiden slept when we brought him home from the hospital. In the beginning when he was a super newb, I would try to get him to nap in it at least once a day, but he slept with me at night. As Aiden got older, he started sleeping in his crib for naps and by the time he was eight months old, he was sleeping in his crib at night, too. I lowered the mat back down the very bottom and this was a great place for him to play so I could keep an eye on him while I did a quick load of laundry, made us something for lunch, or any of those other awesome mommy duties that needed to get done and I couldn't keep my eye on him 24/7.

I love this pack 'n play for multiple reasons. It has a bassinet feature - basically the bottom of the playard raises up so that you don't have to reach so far down. This is perfect for newborns! Those little poop machines are very immobile the first month or two and there's no chance of them rolling or climbing out, so why break your back reaching all the way down? This is the perfect solution! It comes with a mobile attachment that Aiden loves to look at and talk to. I think my most favorite part of this pack 'n play is the attachment at one end that I use to hold diapers, lotions, ointments, etc. I started using this instead of constantly going back and forth to his bedroom to use the changing table. It stays in our bedroom unless we go on a trip, then it comes with us. Here is the link for this one at Target.

3. Infantino Twist and Fold Gym with Tummy Time - Baby Animal
Again, another gift from our baby shower that I just completely love. I love that this mat folds up easily and we can take it anywhere we go. It comes with a tummy time pillow which has come in handy more than once. At first he had major trouble trying to lift his head, so the pillow gave him support while helping him at the same time. This particular activity mat doesn't play music, but it does have four toys that dangle down that they can play with. The first few times we put Aiden on the mat, he couldn't quite grasp the concept of reaching for the toys, but he did kick at them from time to time. It also has a mirror and he loved looking at himself! This one you can get at Target.

 4. Evenflo Exersaucer Jump and Learn Jumper - Jungle Quest
What is there not to love about this thing? I seriously have nothing bad to say about this! We bought this one from Amazon when they had it on sale, but it looks like it's still about the same price as we paid months ago. I'm a huge fan of the Evenflo brand. This jumper held up really well and it is super easy to clean! The seat cover comes off so that you can toss it in the wash when it gets yucky (and trust me it will!) The soft bounce base lets your baby jump and land on a soft surface. It has three different height levels that lets you adjust it as your baby grows. It has toys all around the jumper and some that even light up and make noises and Aiden loved that! The seat turns so that the baby can play from all angles and the toys are easily removable so that you can just pop them off and give them a quick scrub (trust me, do this often because the your little drool factory can produce some serious ick!) Aiden was in his jumper when he learned how to hold his head up well and I really believe that this helped his balance and coordination. This is definitely a great investment!

Aside from the ever-so-important burp rags, onesies, diaper bag, car seats, blankets, and lots of love, these four things helped get us through each day a little easier! I'd love to know where your first year must-haves were and why you loved them!

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