My favorite things… just a few of the products and resources that helped (and are still helping!) me to stay sane and parent well!
1. “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child” by Marc Weissbluth, M.D.
This book was so helpful! It is full of interesting facts, personal stories, simple, practical advice, and wonderful sleep guides for each age. This dramatically changed the way we viewed the girls’ sleeping habits, nap times and bedtimes, and helped us set the stage for great sleeping habits (that are benefitting us to this day!) A definite must-read for any sleep-deprived parent!
2. “Naturally Healthy First Foods for Baby” by Jaqueline Rubin
This book is very pro-organic and all about making healthy and delicious foods at home. It has chapters on what kitchen items you’ll need, food prep, nutrition, food allergies, and suggestions for when to introduce certain foods. We made many of the recipes in it; most of them were big hits. (the beet puree-not so much)
3. “Better Baby Food” Second Edition by Daina Kalnins & Joanne Saab
My all-around favorite, go-to baby/toddler food book! I have to say that this book was/is my favorite. The layout of the book is wonderful! All of the recipes in the back are divided into categories; snacks, breakfast, lunch, dinner, and desserts, and then are further divided by ages. Really helpful! Also, we made several of these dishes for the whole family and loved them (Spinach Cheese Bake-YUM!!) This is a great book that grows with your children!
4. Ecos Plus Laundry Detergent (I love the lavender scent!)
We do TONS of laundry at our house! There are always massive piles of it no matter how diligent I am. We switched to this detergent when the girls were babies, and haven’t looked back! It gets our clothes so clean, is natural and gentle on our skin, leaves the clothes smelling clean, but not perfumed, lasts forever, and is really budget-friendly at only around $12 a bottle! (and it does over 200 loads!!) Good stuff!
5. bareMinerals by BARE ESCENTUALS
Ok, so this one is totally unrelated to kids or sleeping or laundry, but I have to include it, because it is one of my very favorite things!! I started using bareMinerals maybe six months after the girls were born. Pregnancy did not change my skin for the better, and lack of sleep made it even worse. Whenever I did venture out of the house (on very rare occasions) I needed to be able to put my makeup on quickly and easily. I also love that there are no chemicals, parabens, preservatives, etc… It stays put, gives me a soft, smooth finish, comes in the most beautiful colors, and somehow manages to make me feel pretty, even after a day of cleaning dishes and wiping noses and bottoms. (smile)
6. Puj PhillUp Cups
These practically make me giddy, I love them so much! I don’t know about you, but my children love to grab a clean cup, get ONE sip of water, then either leave said cup lying around, or toss it in the sink to be washed. At the end of the day, I have cups everywhere, plus a sink-full of them! These PhillUp cups have been a lifesaver! They allow the girls to grab their cup, get a sip of water, then hang the cup back up to be used again later! Genius!! They hang on these great little nubs that adhere to the fridge (and don’t harm the finish), are the perfect height for the girls to reach, and come in four bright, happy colors, so everyone can keep track of his/her own drink! They are also BPA-free, and dishwasher safe! Momma is happy!
7. Bumbo Multi Seat
I literally don’t know what we would have done without the amazing Bumbo! We had two, and they went with us EVERYWHERE! They functioned as floor seats, high chairs, booster seats – they are easy-to-clean, and super-portable! They are incredible! They are also much smaller than most high chairs, so they’re great spacesavers, plus (bonus!) they come in lots of fun colors!
This book was a very challenging read for me. It challenged us to be much more purposeful about the discipline that we give, and also encouraged addressing heart issues; not just the behavior. A heart change will result in behavior change. (I did not totally agree with every single thing in the book, but overall, a very helpful and real look at scriptural discipline and correction in action.)
9. “Grace-Based Parenting” by Dr. Tim Kimmel
By now you can tell that I am a big fan of books, and this book is one I tell everyone about! Dr. Kimmel has an incredible heart and passion for families, and shares insight on parenting based on grace and truth, rather than fear or performance-based parenting. This book is all about the heart, and about setting our children up for successful childhood, adolescence, then adulthood. It is a must-read for every parent!
*Disclosure: This page does contain affiliate links to some of my favorite products/resources. I have not been paid for my positive review of these products, but will receive a small commission when a purchase is made through these links. Your trust is important to me, and I will never promote anything that I do not personally use or enjoy!