Having a baby was a planned-out process for Chad and I. We have been running three companies together since 2006 – the whole adventure starting just three months after we began dating. We eventually wanted to start a family but also wanted to make sure we accomplished some of the things we wanted to do before dedicating ourselves to being parents; we saw parenting as the most important job we’d have. When I became pregnant with Riley, we strategized with our team to decide how we would be able to balance having a baby and keeping our businesses up and running. Fortunately, we’ve been able to do that (after all, we did have 9 months to plan). I also started to investigate ‘must-have’ products and asked various moms about their go-to items for baby. You probably know me well enough to know I don’t want to clutter up my house with unnecessary stuff, so this was a very important part of my preparations for a newborn.
While I was pregnant, Chad and I talked about what sort of changes we would experience with a new addition to our family; how would our weekends change, what travelling would look like, would we ever sleep again, would each of us be able to retain our personal lives? We decided that we wanted to raise our daughter to be portable, independent and comfortable in the company of friends and family. That way, if we wanted to go away overnight to a spa (this is something we love to do), or wanted to have a date night (we had our first one about 10 days after she was born!), travel as a family or simply hand her off to a family member at a party so we could have free hands and time to mingle, we would be able to.
Since welcoming Riley, my sister-in-laws have been wonderful guides for me. Chad has two older brothers and between them, we have 5 nieces and nephews ranging in ages 24-14. My sister-in-laws, Sandra and Lisa, held similar beliefs about how they wanted to raise their kids and are super-organized, smart and efficient women. Throughout my pregnancy they’d tell me ‘you definitely need this, but you don’t need that’, shared funny stories about mishaps with their kids when they were babies and gave me little tips. Lisa even accompanied me on my first outing to the mall after I had Riley because I needed to get her passport photos ASAP – she helped me use my stroller (I didn’t know how), my car seat, and of course, coached me while I changed a screaming baby in a public bathroom for the first time.
One product they always talked about was the famous Noah Dome, a Reynolds family artifact that happens to be the Fisher-Price® On The Go Baby Dome. When Noah, my nephew, was born in 2001, the Fisher-Price On The Go Baby Dome was gifted to Lisa. They used it for family trips, Noah would nap in it when at his grandparents’ or aunt and uncles’ homes, and of course, when they went out during the summer months (and subsequently used it for Wilson, Noah’s younger brother). It became a part of the Reynolds family so much so that it got its name – the Noah Dome – because of how much it was integrated into their lives.Lisa swore by the Noah Dome. I heard about the it well before I was pregnant – this thing was famous among the Reynolds family. So, it came as no surprise to me that at my surprise baby shower that Sandra an Lisa threw for me, a Noah Dome was in the gift pile.
Our Fisher-Price® On The Go Baby Dome is going to be our spring/summer MVP. Because we will be doing a fair bit of travelling, picnics, and poolsides this summer, we need something that is versatile and easy to tote. It’s lightweight, easy to carry, easy to clean and even has a sun shield offering 20 UV protection.
I had also seen many moms on Instagram (yes, I rely on Instagrammers too!) using the Jonathan Adler Fisher-Price® Rock ‘n Play Soothing Seat with their babies. I ordered one as well and had it waiting for Riley when she was born. She loves the soothing chair – it rocks, vibrates, plays sound and helps keep her safe and secure while I take care of other things. I am amazed at the time it buys me and how efficient I have become in cramming in a lot of tasks into few-minute bursts between check-ups on Riley. It’s her favourite place to cuddle-up (aside from on me, of course!).
So far, it’s been a crazy ride – the longest 9 weeks of my life that have seemed to whiz by at the very same time. I am glad I researched and kept products I bought to a minimum; it’s easy to get confused about what to get, spend money on products you don’t really need and bombarded with gifts that you feel obligated to keep. I like that I stuck with the tried and true products that have worked for moms that I trust. These are just a couple of my favourite items for baby. If you want to hear about other baby favourites, let me know and I’ll put another post together. Also, if you have any must-haves, I’d love to hear them!
Full Disclosure: This post has been sponsored Fisher-Price. All of the opinions in this blog post are my own. I only work with brands and products that I love, so I was super excited to team up with them for this!
There is no doubt that everyone has bad days. The days when those little things pile up – caught in traffic, late for work, forgot your wallet, dropped your latte – they seem small, but they can build into a terrible mood where you feel like you just might burst.