One of the coolest things is how different my DMs on Instagram became when I first had Leni: they went from questions about bucks and bowhunting to predominantly questions about my favorite strollers, bottles, and baby gear galore. It is SO amazing to be considered by other mamas when they’re searching for new products, and since I get lots of messages asking similar questions about baby and toddler stuff I decided to make another FAQ dedicated to just that!
- Sleep Training Method– Babywise was a LIFESAVER! Tim and I both read it before I had Leni and she is literally the best sleeper I’ve ever heard of. I need to re-read it before having Baby Boy and it’s also available in audiobook so I’m in luck because that’s the only thing I have time for these days.
- Favorite travel stroller– This is a tough one… Overall, my favorite was the Doona Carseat and Stroller until Leni was about 1.5years old. I traveled with baby Leni a ton, and this thing was a total lifesaver because it works as a stroller and then the wheels pop-up and it turns into a carseat so you don’t need to travel with both! Once Leni got too big for this, I’ve loved the super-portable Baby Zen Yoyo+ travel stroller. It’s the sturdiest travel stroller I’ve used and it fits in the overhead bin on airplanes and this is the stroller I throw in the trunk of my car in case we ever need it.
- Favorite car seat– When Leni was a baby, I loved the Doona Carseat but once she got too big, I got the Clek Foonf and I really love it! Clek is hardcore about safety standards and that’s one thing parents shouldn’t take lightly! It’s pricey but definitely a worthwhile investment.
- Nursing vs. formula– I nursed Leni for six months and then had to travel for my book tour and hunting season and couldn’t keep it up so I switched to formula. Nursing was VERY hard for me/her and it’s what gives me the most anxiety heading towards Baby #2, so hopefully this time will be easier. I’m a big believer in WHATEVER WORKS FOR YOU, MAMA, but if you decide to use formula at any point, you neeeeeed to get the Baby Brezza Formula Pro. It’s basically a Keurig for formula and changed my world!
- Onesie brands– I love SO many! Some of my favorite brands that I plan to use again are Milkbarn, Magnetic Me, Kickee Pants and Zippy Jams. You might notice a trend of magnets and zippers…I am all-for anything that makes for easy diaper changes and is super soft.
- Moccasin brand-I am obsessed with baby moccasins, because fat baby feet inside of adorable shoes makes me want to melt. I love Freshly Picked and Piper Finn!
- Bows for Leni– I bought Baby Bling Bows when Leni didn’t have a lot of hair because they make super soft, comfortable headbands with the cutest bows attached. Once she got some flow, I love WeeOnes Bows and have them in nearly every color. I also recently found this Amazon Bow knock-off that’s slightly lower quality but also way cheaper and a great dupe for the real thing!!
- Toddler clothing brands-There are literally dozens of toddler clothing brands I love, but I am a huge fan of Janie and Jack, Zara Kids, Pappe, June and January for their sweet and comfortable basics, and my go-to is Target’s Cat & Jack for affordable clothing that I wish came in my size.
- Nursery furniture-We are getting all of our sweet boy’s furniture from Milk Street: the Relic Collection is seriously swoon-worthy and is a perfect fit for our Modern Farmhouse style.
- Parenting style– Tim and I both want Leni (and future baby boy) to grow up with manners, to be respectful and to have confidence, so we try to parent in a way that develops those traits. Leni is a BIG personality and pushes the limits non-stop (deep breaths, mama) so we have to be very consistent with our disciplining and making sure she knows we’re the boss(es) so she doesn’t walk all over us, because she sure tries! We are both super hands-on and I tell her at least 100 times a day that I love her and always remind her that she’s smart, creative, funny and kind! Half the time we have no idea what we’re doing as parents, but she’s turning out great so we must be doing something right!
- More kids?– I always say I’d have like 34 more after this pregnancy if I knew they’d all turn out like Leni, and it also depends on the day that you ask…Tim says no, but the baby section of every store I’ve ever been in says YESSSSSS. But we’re probably done after two…. boooo.
- Favorite boy clothing brands– Cabela’s and Bass Pro carry some super cute boy clothes that we’ve already been stockpiling.
- Best bottles-I am super partial to Munchkin Latch Bottles and graduated Leni to the Munchkin Latch Sippy Cups for toddlers when she got older. Every single baby is different so I have a huge stash of Leni’s old bottles ready but I’m sure Baby Boy will make up his mind that he wants something completely different!
- Paci or no paci – I am TEAM PACI (or soother… as a lot of people call them) all the way! Leni was OBSESSED with the Wubbanub Soothers that had the stuffed animals attached and once I broke her from sucking on the soother, I just cut the tip of them off and she still carries around the stuffed animals!
- Best pump– With my busy schedule, I pumped a fair bit and having an efficient one makes a huge difference. I used the Medela Freestyle with Leni but since then, there are even more convenient designs that I will use this time around. I just got the Willow Pump that’s wireless and portable and I am PUMPED (ha!) to try it.
- Best apps for kids-Homer is one of my favorite educational apps because it is so easy to tailor to your child’s age and interests, which makes the teensy investment into the app that much more worth it.
- Best Wagon – Oh. My. Gosh. I am in love with the Veer Cruiser and can’t say enough good things about it! It has cool patterns and colors (the camo is my favorite!) and has two seats or can connect to carseats or different accessories to suit your needs. People ask me about it every time I use it – highly, highly recommend.
- Hospital Bag Packing List: I’m doing an ENTIRE blog on this, so stay tuned!
I looooove getting your questions/messages, so keep them coming (both here and on my social media pages!) and stay tuned for LOTS of fun stuff and content over the next few months.
(Photo credit to the amazing Jennifer Wilson Photography!)