Essentials for Infants/Toddlers Part 1


Motherhood, Oh Motherhood. It can be frustrating and challenging, but it can also be rewarding and the best thing in the entire world. There are days when I feel like I have it all together and then days when I wonder, “is it bedtime yet?” The days where it is bad, I am so grateful for places like Walmart where I can get everything I need and delivered quickly. They even offer a free one day delivery, which every parent needs!  It is truly a one stop shop. So whether you need items for breastfeeding or you run out of diapers and can’t get to the store, Walmart has you covered. And I am SO grateful their website is easy to navigate so I can get in, get what I need, and then go handle Eleanor.

Every single item on this list I have and currently use and swear by. I took my time to curate the items that I tell my closest friends they need in their arsenal. Motherhood is tough enough, don’t go another day without these essentials.

  1. The Jovvy – This little buggy was something I used EVERYDAY before Eleanor was walking. It gave me piece of mind when I needed some time to get things done. She was fully contained so I knew she couldn’t get into anything and best part, she loved it!
  2. CeraVe Lotion – My pediatrician actually recommended this for Eleanor’s face. I use it every night on her face and her sensitive skin has never had a negative reaction.
  3. The Bumbo – I used this so much before Eleanor could sit up on her own and even after. I placed her in it on the counter while I cooked dinner. She loved watching, snacking and getting to be up high (of course I always strapped her in).
  4. Plum Organics – I loved this brand when E first started eating. She loved every flavor and that she could hold them on her own. To this day, if she sees one she tries to start eating it immediately.
  5. The Bento Box – This makes meal planning SO easy! It is sectioned off with labels like, “dairy, protein, grains, fruits.” I am obsessed and have even considered buying myself one!
  6. Glass Food Storage – I cook a lot of Eleanor’s food in bulk and then store it for the next day or two. These glass containers are so easy and makes organization in the refrigerator so easy.
  7. Munchkin Soft-Tip Spoons – These are the perfect size and so easy for infant/toddlers to hold.
  8. The Brezza – If you are doing formula this is the one item YOU MUST OWN! It measures and heats up the perfect bottle using your formula just by a press of a button. I bought my sister one for her third kid and she said she now tells all of her friends they have to own it! It makes making bottles 1 million times easier!
  9. Avanchy Bamboo Bowl – This bowl suctions on the bottom so it stays in place on the table (i.e. no throwing it on the floor).
  10. The Ergo Baby Holder – I only used this around the house when Eleanor was having a bad day. And it helped a lot! I could have my hands free and she would stop crying. It is also phenomenal during travel!
  11. Aquaphore Baby – My most used item! It works like a charm on keeping diaper rash at bay. Tip from my night nurse- put an exorbitant amount on the child at night so if they happen to go to the bathroom and you can’t change the diaper for a while, the waste runs right off of them and never hits their skin. It is something I still do to this day.
  12. Little Swimmers – No way around it, you have to have swim diapers and sometimes they are gross (#2). But these are really easy and have always worked for us. Tip – Our swim teacher said if they don’t go to the bathroom in them you can throw them in the dryer and reuse them. I have done this once and it worked phenomenally.
  13. Tommee Tippie Bibs (with the snaps) – I HATED bibs before my friend told me about this one. Eleanor would always rip hers off and it was a battle every meal. This one has snaps in the back so she can’t take it off. She has even gotten used to wearing it and no longer fights with it.
  14. Rock-A-Stack Rings – These are awesome for development. This is one of the first toys I ever bought Eleanor and she still pulls it out of the toy box. It has been so fun watching her as a baby barely be able to pull the rings off to now being able to take the off and stack them back on.
  15. Noodle and Boo Shampoo – Plain and simple, I love the way this stuff smells. I also believe it cleans really well. I have purchased a few different brands and nothing comes close to the way this one lathers and washes away dirt.
  16. Noodle and Boo Lotion – Again, I love the way this smells. It is that typical, sweet, clean baby smell. It also seems to really moisturize her body and last through the night.
  17. Munchkin Click Lock Sippie-Cup – I have gone through so many sippie-cups that leak. It is astounding how so many companies can continue to make such trash. I have found that these work well. They are a new addition to my collection so time will tell, but so far so good.
  18. Silicone Chew Ring – Oh my gosh, teething! No one can warn you with how bad it can be. Eleanor had four teeth break through at the exact same time. She cried for three straight weeks. These were nice because I could give them to her in the carseat and they would not only feel good on her gums but also kept her preoccupied.
  19. Pampers Wipes – I am a pampers girl. Their products just work. I would say they are the Bounty of baby wipes. One wipe has been enough to clean some of the largest dirty diapers.
  20. Pampers Swaddlers – Every baby is different but these fit Eleanor perfectly and I can count on one hand how many times they have failed me. Which at 14 months, is saying a lot (knocking on wood as I speak).
  21. IcyBite Key Teether – These are amazing because you can put them in the freezer and they feel so good on your baby’s gums. Added bonus, holding something cold makes them very curious and buys you a few extra minutes to get things done.
  22. Melissa & Doug Nesting Stacking Blocks – Hands down one of Eleanor’s favorite toys. I bought these at the same time as the rings and she still uses them. Her favorite is for me to stack them all on top of each other and let her knock it over. According to our PlayWisley instructor, this is excellent for development.
  23. Melissa & Doug Wood Music Makers – We have these in our play room and Eleanor loves to walk around the house holding them. They are definitely a toy she continues to reach for.
  24. Fischer Price Stroll Along Walker – After the Joovy, this is her favorite walker ever. I believe it helped her understand the concept of walking before she could actually walk. She now puts her doll in it and proudly walks her around the house. It is absolutely adorable!
  25. Skip  Hop Activity Gym – Activity gyms are ugly but necessary. I got this one for Eleanor as I didn’t think it was as bad as the other ones. You will use them EVERYDAY before your baby can sit up. They are so mesmorized by all the things dangling from above. This comes with a few items but my night nurse told me to, “junk it up.” So I bought tons of rings and toys to string from the arc as well.
  26. Fisher Price Record Player – This is a new purchase but it comes with different records you can switch out and all of them play famous lullabies. I think it is adorable and would make for a really fun gift.
  27. Melissa & Doug Caterpillar Xylophone – This is something I like to just have in our toy chest. She uses it from time to time but I read they are a great way to introduce sounds and music to them.
  28. Water Wipes – In the words of my friend Lauren, “Are you even a mom if you don’t have water wipes in every bag?” I agree. I use these ALL THE TIME! From wiping her and me after meals, cleaning her stroller, and at restaurants. I get nervous when I run low on them.
  29. VTech Classic Nursery Rhymes Book – We read real books to her every night but during the day I love these interactive books. She enjoys turning the pages and listening to the music. I recently even bought some in french to introduce it into her world.



thank you to Walmart for partnering on this post

The Best Liberty Sleeping Bag

When Eleanor began rolling around I knew it was time to stop swaddling. However, I wasn’t sure what to put her in that would comfort her the way the swaddle did. She loved her swaddle and would easily fall asleep once she was wrapped in it. I feared taking it away meant that her amazing sleep routine she started would be gone forever. While in Geneva I was given the Bonpoint JouJou bag as a gift. I decided that this sleeping bag would be my answer to the swaddle. From the first night until now she has slept amazingly in them. She uses them every nap and for nighttime sleep. I often get asked in my Instagram what Eleanor is wearing so I decided to do a post on it. I have three different bags at three different price points to help fit your needs.
side note: These also make great gifts! If it weren’t for receiving one I wouldn’t have known how amazing they are! Each of these is now my most used baby item!

Bonpoint JouJou Liberty Sleep Bag

The Bonpoint JouJou Liberty sleep bag is absolutely gorgeous. From the packaging, to the buttons, to the material, it is an absolute keepsake. As you can see on Eleanor, Bonpoint also makes a matching onesie so your little one can sleep in complete style. The saying is true, you get what you pay for and this sleep bag is no different. The JouJou is the highest price point of all the bags I am talking about today but I will say, in person, this bag is a truly beautiful. As a woman I really appreciate the attention to details, like the beautiful buttons and side zipper, but as a mom I love how insulated it is without being too heavy. click here to shop the JouJou

Bonpoint JouJou Liberty Sleep BagBonpoint JouJou Liberty Sleep Bag


Jacadi Sleeping Bag

If you want quality without the Bonpoint pricetag, this Jacadi sleeping bag is perfect for you. I actually found the Jacadi bag while looking for a back-up to the Bonpoint bag. I didn’t want to spend $160 every time I needed a sleeping bag but I still wanted the quality the Bonpoint bag offered. The Jacadi bag has the exact same feel as the Boinpoint and similar insulation but is $60 cheaper. To be honest, the only real difference I can see between the two is the Bonpoint material is nicer and the Jacadi has snaps instead of buttons. Seriously, that is it!  This is the sleeping bag I will continue to buy when she outgrows each one as I am super impressed with the quality for price and comfort it offers Eleanor. And before you balk at spending $100 on a sleeping bag for your baby, remember a baby spends more than 75% of their early life sleeping, so why not make it as enjoyable as possible for them? click here to shop the Jacadi

Jacadi Sleeping Bag Jacadi Sleeping Bag


Kyte Baby Sleeping Bag

The Kyte Baby sleeping bag is by far the most reasonably priced. While I do like how soft it is (it is like butter), it does not hold as high esteem for me as the Jacadi. For one, it is very long. I feel like her little legs get lost in the sack. And as of today, she has started rolling onto her stomach so I am nervous the extra fabric is going to get twisted as she moves around. It is also much thinner than the Jacadi and Bonpoint. Not that a sleeping bag needs to be thick for it to be good, but the Kyte is noticeably less fluffy and insulated than the Jacadi and Bonpoint. All of that to say we do use this sleeping bag but not near as often as the two above. However, if your baby seems to be hot natured or doesn’t like thicker items on them, this could be the perfect solution. click here to shop the Kyte baby

Kyte Baby Sleeping Bag Kyte Baby Sleeping Bag Kyte Baby Sleeping Bag


* If you are a mom and want to try the Jacadi sleeping bag, you are in luck! Today, on my Instagram, I am giving away THIS Jacadi striped sleeping bag. All you have to do is make sure to be following me, like the photo, and tag 5 other moms who you think would also like the sleeping bag! I will pick a winner (at random) this Friday! U.S. entries only.

Tips for Traveling Internationally With a Baby

tips for traveling with a baby

I can’t believe I did it! I was nervous to travel with an infant overseas but everyone said, “Do it now before she is mobile.” I am so happy I listened! The trip was not bad AT ALL and I am so grateful for the memories we made.  To make the flight as easy as possible I started preparing for this trip weeks in advance. If you want to travel abroad with your little one I would definitely suggest speaking with your pediatrician first. It was important for both of us that Eleanor had her 8 week shots, although I know some people travel before this, for peace of mind this was a non-negotiable.

Our trip included a two hour layover in London before getting on another plane to Geneva. I was most worried about the layover but it was no sweat. You will read in one of my tips below that I think overpacking is essential (especially if this is your first trip with Little One). Poor Eleanor went through two outfit changes from spit-up before we even made it to London. I am so happy I had plenty of back-up outfits. I would have felt so badly if she was flying in clothing that made her uncomfortable. As a mom, knowing your L.O. is completely taken care of is key. So I say, be organized, plan ahead, over-pack, take deep breathes, and most importantly follow your gut! Bon Voyage!

Sucking on Something – This is KEY! She didn’t get fussy during the flight which I believe was because on take-off and landing I had something in her mouth for her to suck on and equalize her ears. She either had a bottle or passifier without question on ascending and descending
* Be Organized – I used these travel bags to organize all of her essentials. So all of her gripe water, gas drops, tylenol and other medicines went in one. Her changing needs (diaper, aquaphor, wipes) went in another. And her passport, my passport, boarding cards, and other travel needs went in another. And so on… It made it so easy to quickly grab what I needed without having to dig through a bag looking for what I needed.
* More is More – Everyone says to pack light. Bullshit! Bring everything you need and then a backup. Who wants their poor baby to fly with spit-up on their pajama. Or to run out of clean bottles. Especially if this is your first trip, overpack. Not only will you use most of it, you will also have peace of mind that you have everything you need
* Bassinet – Upon booking your ticket make sure the airline knows you will be traveling with an infant. It does not matter if you are in Business class or Economy. The airline will sit your seat on the bulkhead aisle which has a wall where a table pulls out and they strap a bassinet to it. I brought a blanket to lay in the bassinet and then a swaddle to cover her so she wasn’t touching anything I hadn’t washed. Yes, I know this is totally a first time mom move!
* First to Board – If you like to board last, DON’T! You have so many items to get ready for such a long flight. Get on board and start organizing. It will make your life SO MUCH easier once in flight
* Always have back-up clothing for YOU and BABY – While I was spared baby poop, I wasn’t spared baby spit-up. On the way there she went through two outfits! Luckily I had four ready to go
* Bring Ziplock bags incase of an explosion. This is great if you are on the plane and something gets on you or the baby and you need to store your clothing
* Have bottles prepared but wait to actually make them – Eleanor is on formula so we had the powder ready to go in the bottles before boarding. When the plane started to taxi to the runway I poured the water in and fed her upon take-off. I would wait to make the bottle as long as possible. On the way home we were about to take off and the plane ended up having to return to the gate which took over an hour. In this case I threw the bottle away and made a new one.
* Stroller (Doona) Nightmare – Not one international flight would gate-check our Doona. It was the one nightmare of the entire experience. We would drop it off at the gate and then when we de-boarded they kept sending it to baggage claim, even though we were traveling onto another destination. My advice, check the Doona at check-in and use a YoYo stroller or the Pockit (folds into a tiny square that can store in the overhead bin) if you have a long layover. If you don’t then I would recommend wearing your baby in the Ergo 360.
Stroller Cover – I highly recommend getting a cover for your stroller. I used this one for the Doona and am so grateful we had it. No matter if you check your stroller or gate-check it the stroller gets dirty and full of germs. I didn’t want to have to worry about what Eleanor was sitting in while we were at our destination. The cover put my mind at ease and kept the Doona safe.
* Changing Table on Flight – This might sound dumb, but I had no clue where to change her when we were on the plane. Fret not, the changing table is above the toilet. You simply fold it down. I recommend bringing a changing pad and sanitizing wipes to clean it when you are done. I didn’t want to put it back in the diaper bag with all of those germs. YUCK!
Schedule – I am such a stickler for schedules. I think it helps her and me, however, throw it to the clouds when flying internationally. Just breathe and know that you will get her/him back on schedule when you can, but you are simply just surviving this process. I would say it took Eleanor a good 4-5 days before she was able to somewhat beat jet-lag. Again, blissfuly remember the memories you just made!

tips for traveling with a baby

This is Eleanor’s first time in a pool! So happy we got to share this moment at my in-law’s in Switzerland.

so then they say

This is Eleanor and me at a lunch at my in-laws.

tips for traveling with a baby

Eleanor and the Jet d’Eau. She won’t remember this, but B and I will!

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