feeding time favorites

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Once you have a tube-fed baby, feeding time is something you no longer take for granted! Brynlee passed a swallow study with nectar-consistency foods back in November so we are finally able to experiment and try a variety of different foods with her. While feeding her one afternoon, I began mentally making a list of some of the items that I have really enjoyed using with her so I decided to share those with y’all!

feeding favorites graphic

 

1. Boon Flair Pedestal Highchair

This high chair had everything I was looking for and it has been well worth the money.  Our entire house is tile so I wanted a high chair that would roll from room-to-room while Brynlee was tube feeding.  I could move her IV pole and the high chair at the same time without interrupting her feeds.  This also helped keep her contained during her tube feeds after she learned to crawl.  Now that she is eating orally, I still enjoy how easy it is to slide around the house.  The Boon Flair is also super easy to clean because there are no nooks and crannies for food to get stuck in.  I spray it, wipe it down, throw the tray in the dishwasher, and it’s good to go.

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2.  Joovy Boob Baby Bottles

The Joovy Boob bottles completely changed our world!  After Brynlee’s palate repair, we began introducing bottles and cups in hopes of replacing her tube feeds with oral feeds.  She would take small amounts but would get bored and/ or tired easily and still took most feeds through her tube.  The first time I offered her a Joovy boob bottle with my milk, she knocked the bottom out of it.  We had finally found *the* bottle for Brynlee!  Within a couple weeks of introducing the Joovy Boob bottle, Brynlee went from 100% tube feeds to 100% oral feeds with the bottle.  We love the boob!

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3.  aden + anais Snap Bibs

I have become a huge aden + anais fan with Brynlee!  We have swaddle blankets, dream blankets, towels, wash cloths, and bibs.  As with all of their products, the bibs are super soft.  They are easy to take on and off with the snaps and are a great size for protecting clothes and wiping faces and hands.  We love the bigger Burpy Bibs too!

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4.  Skip Hop Plates & Bowl Set

Skip Hop makes some of my favorite toddler products like their zoo backpacks and their super cute character bowl and plate sets.  I love the raised edges to help the food stay on the plate and that they are dishwasher safe.  Honestly, they are just so fun to look at as well- anything to celebrate and make feeding time more enjoyable!

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5. Boon Modware Toddler Utensils

I started off with 1 set of Modware and have now added 3 more because we seriously love the spoons and forks.  They are so handy and keep messes at bay.  Both utensils are perfectly shapes to keep the food on the utensil until it hits baby’s mouth- it’s almost like magic!  They are the only utensils I use with Brynlee and I always pack them when we are going out so I don’t have to worry about messes using any other type of spoons/ forks.

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Do you have any feeding time favorites?

Newborn Products – Our Favorites at One Month

newborn products month one favorites

Brynlee has been here for one month thought it feels more like a year with all we’ve gone through.  Though she’s only been home for a little over a week, we already have some definite favorites.  It’s neat to think back to my favorite products and see how those have changed with each child.  Brynlee is absolutely our most high maintenance baby (thanks Pierre Robin) and my newborn picks reflect that.  Her needs are not the same as your typical baby.  There are several items on this list that I never used with Bryson or Bella, but that are must-haves for Brynlee.  That said, these are our favorite newborn products for month one- things we use daily and love.

newborn products month one favorites

1. Humidifier

Before Brynlee was discharged from the NICU, it was recommended that we should have a humidifier in her room.  We used a humidifier with Bryson occasionally, but with Brynlee, it is a necessity.  Since she breathes with a trach, it’s important to keep the air moist for her.  We love the Crane because it’s quiet and works to prevent bacteria and viruses.  We run it 24 hours per day and refill it once per day.  It’s easy to use, it’s efficient, and offers a sleek look.

Our Pick: Crane Germ Defense Ultrasonic Cool and Warm Mist Humidifier  //  $80

2. Sleepers

I am all about comfort and ease when it comes to dressing baby.  Sleepers are the way to go!  We use Carter’s button-up microfleece sleepers because they work well with the feeding tube and make diaper changes easier.  Soft, snuggly, and warm for baby.

Our Pick:  Carter’s Microfleece Sleepers  //  $8 & up

3. Swaddle Blankets

Before Brynlee was born, I decided we’d give swaddling a shot this time.  Little did I know that she’d spend her first 20 days in the NICU so swaddling is just a way of life for her.   Justin and I took a few pointers from the nurses and we keep her swaddled at home.  I love the softness and large size of aden + anais swaddle blankets.  The muslin fabric is just the right weight- it’s light yet keeps baby warm.

Our Pick: aden + anais swaddle blankets  // $49.95 for 4

4. Diapers

When it comes to a newborn, there is no question about my favorite diapers.  I love everything about Pampers Swaddlers from the softness to the color changing wetness indicator.  I recommend using Amazon Mom and the Subscribe & Save option to get the most bang for your buck when it comes to any diaper purchases.

Our Pick: Pampers Swaddlers  // prices vary

5. Pacifier

Another new thing with baby #3.  Neither Bryson or Bella took a pacifier, but again, Brynlee needs to use a pacifier so she doesn’t forget how to suck.  We didn’t have to search far because she is obsessed with the Soothie pacifiers that are offered in hospitals.  They sent us home with a bag full and I’ve ordered a Pacifier Plushie in hopes of helping her keep the pacifier in her mouth.

Our Pick:  Soothie Pacifier //  $3.99 for 2

6. Mobile

Brynlee loves the mobile hanging over her crib.  Even when she isn’t in her crib, we position her Rock ‘n Play so she can watch the mobile as she drifts off to sleep.  It lights up, plays music (3 different categories & 9 tunes), and turns like any typical mobile, but it also grows with baby.  Eventually, it turns into a projector and then a lamp.

Our Pick:  Tiny Love Starry Night Mobile, Projector, Night Light // $60

7. Monitor

We bought a simple monitor when Bryson was a baby, but never really used it.  Wow, monitors have come a long, long way in 5 years!  With the trach, Brynlee cannot make sounds so a high-end, top of the line monitor was an absolute must-have for her room.  We are so impressed with the Motorola MBP36.  I love that you can control everything with the parent monitor- you can pan around the room, zoom, tilt, talk to baby, or turn on a lullaby.  The volume control is wonderful because Brynlee’s breathing is so loud, we keep it turned down, but the monitor has lights at the top that shows the noise level.  Another thing we just realized last night is that we can set the monitor to alarm us and wake us up every few hours.  It is seriously mind-blowing and offers us a little more peace at night.

Our Pick:  Motorola MBP36 Remote Wireless Video Baby Monitor with 3.5-Inch Color LCD Screen, Infrared Night Vision, Remote Camera Pan, Tilt and Zoom  //  $240

8. Bottle Warmer

Another totally new to us product!  Brynlee is exclusively breastfed, but through her g-tube.  They warmed her milk in the NICU so we have continued that at home.  After reading reviews, I chose the Dr. Brown’s Warmer because it fits bottles of all shapes/ sizes and warms quickly using steam.  It has a reservoir so you don’t have to add water every time you need a bottle.  We warm milk 6 times per day and only fill the reservoir about twice a week.  The LCD screen is easy to read and it memorizes your warming cycles so no need to worry about resetting it each feed.

Our Pick:  Dr. Brown’s Deluxe Bottle Warmer  //  $35
On the Go?  Check out the Tommee Tippee Travel Bottle & Food Warmer //  $20

9. Portable Sleeping & Play Time

Brynlee is not a fan of the swing or the bouncer, but she adores the Fisher Price Rock ‘n Play Sleeper.  It keeps her snug and secure as well as elevated.  It’s also easy to remove the cover and wash.  She spends most of time in the Rock ‘n Play and I’m not sure what we’d do without it.  She sleeps through the night and most of the day in it and we do most of her feeds in it because the elevation is perfect.

Our Pick: Fisher Price Deluxe Newborn Vibrating Rock ‘n Play Sleeper // $55

10. SleepSack

We aren’t using our SleepSacks daily just yet because Brynlee enjoys being swaddled, but we are using the SleepSack Swaddle.  It makes swaddling a breeze and eliminates the need for extra blankets.   They are available in cotton, microfleece, or plush velboa.

Our Pick:  Halo SleepSack Swaddle  // $17 & up

 

What are some of your favorite newborn products for the first month?

Some of the items featured in this post were sent to us for review and/ or as gifts for Brynlee.  That said, this post was not required and I just wanted to share some of our favorite newborn products.  This post contains affiliate links. 

Graco Head Wise 70 Car Seat Review + #Giveaway {Holiday Gift Guide}

Graco Head Wise 70 Car Seat Holiday Gift Guide Giveaway

We received the Graco Head Wise 70 car seat for our review as part of the 2013 It’s Gravy, Baby! Holiday Gift Guide.  All thoughts and opinions remain my own, as always.  While I am a certified child passenger safety technician, this post should not and will not replace your manual.  Always read your car seat manual thoroughly to ensure proper installation and use.

Graco Head Wise 70 Car Seat

I’ve wanted to get my hands on the Graco Head Wise 70 convertible car seat for a while now.  Bella was close to outgrowing her current car seat rearfacing and I’m not ready to turn her forward facing just yet.  She’ll be 3 in January, but the benefits of rearfacing outweigh any desire I have to flip her around.  The Graco Head Wise 70 (similar seats are the Graco Size4Me 70 and Graco My Size 70) offers the best height limit for rearfacing and will keep most children rearfacing until the 40lb weight limit.

Graco Head Wise Rearfacing 2 year ol

The Graco Head Wise 70 will fit an average newborn all the way up to an average 6 or 7 year old.  That’s a claim that many car seat manufacturers make, but few actually make good on.  Graco more than made good on that with the Head Wise 70 and they did so at an affordable price point.  Depending upon current sales, you may find this seat for as little as $150!

Graco Headwise 70 Car Seat Review

Graco Head Wise 70 Favorite Features

Simply Safe Adjust™ Harness System – Like the name suggests, the no-rethread harness is safe and simple and automatically adjusts.

8-position adjustable headrest – You can adjust the headrest height with one hand and you don’t have the uninstall the seat to do so.  This is wonderful for quickly growing children!

3 position recline – You can’t miss the bright red, easy-to-use recline on the front of the Graco Head Wise 70 and it ensures that your child will be comfortable.

Integrated cup holder

Easy-to-read level indicator

5 point, front-adjust harness

Removable head & body support to keep babies comfy

Graco Head Wise 70 Convertible Car Seat Rearfacing

 Graco Head Wise 70 Height/ Weight Limits

What really sets the Graco Head Wise 70 apart for the competition is the fantastic limits for both rear and forward facing.  It’s extremely rare to find a convertible car seat that can fit the range of children the Head Wise can.  As I mentioned before, you’ll find tons of seats that claim they can do that, but most don’t do it well.  The reinforced headrest of the Head Wise 70 allows for a very high rearfacing height limit.  As long as the child’s head is 1 inch below the red 8 positions adjust button (even with the headrest fully extended!), they are less than 40 lbs, and the harness straps are at or below their shoulders- they fit rearfacing.

Graco head wise 70 rearfacing limit

Bella is 34 months old with a lot of room left to grow rearfacing in the Graco Head Wise 70 Car Seat.

Below, you can see Bryson (who wasn’t very happy about being my model) in the Graco Head Wise 70 forward facing.  He will be 5 years old next month, weighs just over 50 lbs and still has several inches to go before outgrowing the Graco Head Wise 70 car seat.  It has an impressive 52 inch height limit for forward facing.  The child’s shoulders should be below the top harness position and ears below the top of head support.  It also has a 70 lb weight limit for forward facing, but most children will outgrow the seat by height long before they reach 70 lbs.

 Graco Head Wise 70 Forward Facing

Graco Head Wise Ease of Use

In the past, there were a few issues with the crotch buckle being difficult to buckle and unbuckle, but Graco listened to their customers and updated the design earlier in 2013.  If you happen to have one of those hard-to-buckle seats, you can get in touch with the fabulous customer service at Graco and they will help you out.

I found the seat very easy to install and I love that it offers two sets of LATCH- one for rearfacing and one for forward facing.  The recline and headrest adjust are both easy to use.  I would consider this seat grandparent friendly which I know can be important for some families.

Graco Head Wise 70 Car Seat Review

Purchase Details

The Graco Head Wise 70 Car Seat is only available at Target.  It retails for $199.99, but it does sometimes go on sale.  There are three patterns available- Lowell (featured here), Cora, and Marok.

Graco Head Wise 70 Car Seat Holiday Gift Guide Giveaway

 

Head Wise 70 Car Seat Giveaway

One winner will receive a Graco Head Wise 70 Car Seat! The giveaway is only open to US Residents who are 18 years of age or older and will end at 11:59PM on Saturday, November 30, 2013. This is a Rafflecopter giveaway so if you are reading via e-mail or feed, please click over to the post to enter. Thank you!

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