I smacked myself in the head the day after I wrote my top 15 post, cause I forgot my most important baby item: the baby scale.

We never registered for a baby scale. We actually never even had the intention of purchasing one. But we went to a children’s consignment sale earlier this year & Steven found this baby scale for only $5! We didn’t know if it was accurate or even if it worked, but we bought it cause it was so cheap. Thankfully it worked perfectly & has turned out to be one of my most cherished baby items from day one to this very day!

Reasons why I love the baby scale:

1. All breastfeeding moms probably worry at some point or another if their baby is getting enough milk. I did A LOT during those first two weeks. He was so sleepy at the breast, I couldn’t tell if he was eating or just sucking. Three months & eight pounds later, I still worry. Many women will anxiously await their next doctor’s appointment to see if their baby is gaining enough weight. Or if they’re desperate, they will take their babies in to the pediatrician or a lactation consultant just to get weighed. With a baby scale, it’s so nice to just be able to weigh him before & after feedings whenever I want (you can really know how many ounces they take in by weighing before & after feedings without changing the diaper). I know it is a little obsessive, but I still do it everyday.

2. For a couple weeks, Ollie had really weird stool — lots of changing colors, consistency, & definitely diarrhea. I was so so worried that he was going to get dehydrated & start losing weight. But I weighed him at the beginning of every day to see if he was losing weight, and though he didn’t gain as quickly during those couple weeks, he didn’t lose weight. That gave me some peace of mind & thankfully his weird stooling stage has passed.

3. I know about how many ounces of pumped milk to give him when I give him a bottle. Breastmilk changes in fat content throughout the day (lots more thirst-quenching foremilk in the morning, gradually shifting to high-calorie fattier hindmilk in the afternoon & evening). They say that babies will vary in how many ounces they drink from feeding to feeding, and even from day to day (which is true), but I didn’t realize how much it varies. Right now, Ollie drinks about 9 ounces for his first feeding of the day (baby eats like a monster in the morning), and it gradually tapers off throughout the day so that he is only drinking about 3-4 ounces for his bedtime feed. When Steven gives him a bottle, I can tell him about how much to offer him based on what is normal for him at that time. It’s reassuring to know that we’re offering him enough.

4. When Ollie started nursing faster (around 6-7 weeks), I worried that he wasn’t eating well. He all of a sudden dropped from taking ~45 minutes to just ~30 minutes. I was concerned. But the baby scale reassured me that he was still getting the same amount of ounces in much less time. It kept me from worrying needlessly for days.

I love my baby scale! This one on Amazon seems like a great deal — for less than $50, it’s way more worth it than any other baby product (in my opinion). :)

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I know there are 101 new moms out there right now — and everyone will vouch for their own favorite baby products — but I wanted to list my top 15 in the past three months. These are my absolute favorites that I could not live without:

1. Burp Cloths.

I actually didn’t register for many burp cloths, nor did I buy any before we had Ollie. But they are hands down the item we use the most — we burn through our stack of 20 in less than a week. Not only does Ollie spit up after almost every feeding, he has begun drooling like crazy. We bought these ones shortly after he was born.

2. QuickZip Crib Sheets.

I wrote about these in my nursery post, but they are my favorite favorite sheets. It is super easy to change out the sheets by just unzipping the top part & replacing it with an extra top sheet. I have one complete sheet set & two extra top sheets. It is perfect for the frequent spit-up stains & the infrequent poopy accident.

3. Brest Friend.

My Brest Friend really is my best friend. In the early weeks it almost felt like an extension of myself since I was wearing it so much. I still much prefer nursing with it than without it — it is super comfy & I love the adjustable strap. I also love that I have to keep adjusting the strap to make it tighter — a valid sign that my waist is shrinking back to normal size, hooray!

4. Aden + Anais Sleeping Bags.

I have two of the classic sleeping bags + one cozy sleeping bag. I actually didn’t have any regular (non-swaddle) sleep sacks when we had him. I thought we would be swaddling him & sleeping him on his back for a long time, but we gave up the swaddle & started sleeping him on his tummy at 3 weeks. I was just too lazy to keep swaddling & hated having to go in & re-swaddle him every time he kicked out of his blanket. I love the a+a sleep sacks cause they’re so breathable & lightweight for summer. They also have awesome customer service — one of mine ripped in the wash & they were quick to replace it.

5. Video Monitor.

I always say that the video monitor is both a blessing & a curse, but more a blessing than a curse. Oliver doesn’t cry too much (PTL), but he does often nap very fitfully or even get up in the middle of his naps & stare around the crib (he is actually doing this as I type…). If I didn’t have a video monitor, I would think he was sleeping the whole time, but with the video monitor I know that he isn’t napping well & can trouble shoot how to fix his schedule so he can nap better. Then again, maybe it would be better if I just didn’t know? I would be less stressed, that’s for sure.

6. Activity Gym.

I originally didn’t really want an activity gym, because most of them are so ugly & tacky-looking. Skip Hop makes some cuter ones though, so I just added it to our registry, and I’m so thankful that Cindy bought it for us! I place Ollie on this mat during every wake time we have at home & he loves playing with the carrot rattle & the crinkly duck wing. He also loves the different sounds from all the hanging objects & staring at the light reflections from the cow mirror. He’s also gotten so much better at tummy time while playing on this mat. It’s a winner.

7. Cetaphil.

In the early weeks Ollie had really bad cradle cap & baby acne. It was really sad. :( Our pediatrician recommended dandruff shampoo for the cradle cap & Cetaphil for his face. His cradle cap is way under control now, but he still gets some bumps on his cheeks now & then. Every time he does, we just rub a little Cetaphil on his cheeks & they go away pretty quickly.

8. Carter’s Onesies.

When I was pregnant I was super excited about buying cutesy baby clothes. I found a lot at second-hand shops & some name brand stuff for really good deals. But so far I’ve found that the clothes I love most on him are just plain onesies from Carter’s. Carter’s onesies seem the most comfortable to me & they fit his nice “apple” shaped body very well (as opposed to the Petit Bateau onesies that would fit a “banana” baby better). I only bought a couple for him with a gift card I had, but we received a lot of Carter’s onesies as gifts & I’m thankful. I also like that they have a good number of plain ones (solids, stripes, simple patterns) — not a fan of the cheesy graphic tees (no offense).

9. American Apparel Pants.

Paired with his Carter’s onesies, I love these American Apparel baby leggings. I think most baby pants look so funny — they’re wide legged, which make babies look even shorter & stockier than they already are. But these baby leggings are nice & slim-fitting, which is just the way Daddy & Mommy like it. ;) AA has excellent baby clothes — I have some cutie cardigans & striped onesies already for when he’s a little bigger. I hear they might go out of business soon… I need to stock up!

10. Breast Pump.

This pump has been a lifesaver (thanks cousins!). I felt guilty getting such a nice pump when I wasn’t even sure how much I’d be using it, but I’m so glad I did. I pumped a lot during the first couple weeks because I was paranoid about my supply. I was convinced I had low milk supply until we met with a lactation consultant & she told me otherwise. Now that Ollie sleeps 12 hours at night, I always pump before I go to bed to make sure that I keep up my supply. I still don’t know when I can stop pumping… I hear some women pump until they wean! Either way, I’m thankful I can pump double-time on this pump & get it done in 10min (which still seems like forever when I am so sleepy at 10pm).

11. Nursing/Stroller Cover.

I searched a long time for a nursing cover that I liked. I didn’t like most of them because they were so colorful & graphic & seemed to draw so much attention. I liked this one because it really looks like something I would wear — stripey & grey haha. I actually don’t use it as a nursing cover much (I don’t really nurse outdoors very often), but I love using it as a stroller cover. The hole is perfect for peeking in on the baby to check if he’s sleeping & the jersey material is nice & opaque to block out the sunlight. I’ve gotten a lot of compliments on this one.

12. Sophie the Giraffe.

I feel a little silly posting this one, because everyone I know has it, but it’s a recent favorite in our home! Oliver has just started responding well to toys & he smiles really big whenever he hears Sophie squeak. He’s also starting to grab objects a little better & Sophie’s legs are the perfect size for his tiny hands. He loves it when Sophie “kisses” him all over his body & especially his face!

13. Target Sleepers.

I just realized why I like these sleepers — they’re also made by Carter’s haha. Anyway, this was another item I didn’t really think to buy before we had Ollie. It didn’t occur to me that we’d need pajamas for him every night, and extras for when he has poopy accidents. I love the way these sleepers fit & that the zipper goes all the way down to his foot to make it easier to put on. (This is actually my most coveted PJ, but it’s too pricey for me!)

14. Diaper Bag.

I also searched a long time for a diaper bag I liked, but couldn’t find a style I liked that was in my price range. I wanted to make sure it was a bag that Steven could carry if he was ever taking care of the baby on his own. I had bookmarked this rucksack on Etsy a long time ago & kept coming back to it. It was still a little out of my price range, but I was totally won over by all the rave reviews. So I messaged the seller & asked if she’d be willing to do a partial trade & she agreed! She was super sweet & easy to work with. I’ve loved everything about this rucksack & am so glad I decided to go with an unconventional bag. :)

15. White Noise Machine.

We used this white noise machine when we took care of Isaac earlier this year. I knew we needed to get the same thing if we wanted our baby to sleep as well as Isaac sleeps! Already in three months, I feel like Ollie has associated the white noise sound with sleep & it is so helpful to take it with me when I want to nap him at a friend’s house. Sometimes I worry that he will become completely dependent on white noise in order to sleep & wonder when I would wean him off of it, but for now, it works well & we love it.

That’s my 15. I’d love to hear other “must-haves” from other mamas!

This weekend we made a quick trip down to San Diego to celebrate with our friends at their wedding & also just to visit Lighthouse. It had been awhile since we had been down. It was a super sweet time — I always come away from our visits feeling so thankful for the community we have at Lighthouse. It’s really something special that I don’t think people even realize until they’re not there anymore. At any rate, I was super nervous about spending the night elsewhere — and about having to share a room with Oliver again — but he did well for the most part. He did miss a lot of naps though & was the fussiest I had ever seen him since he was born. It was really sad to see him so cranky & tired, but Steven says we can’t just not live life because we have a baby. He is right, as usual. This weekend we saw the Ollie that could have been… if we had never put him on a schedule. Not to say that schedules are the only way or the right way, but we really saw the benefit of giving him a routine & providing opportunities for him to get adequate sleep everyday. He is a much happier baby when he is well rested. That gave me renewed confidence in sticking to scheduling & also a more grateful heart for his generally happy disposition, even when he has some short naps here or there.

We stayed with Jin & Grace, our go-to family when we spend the night in SD. If you don’t know, Jin & Grace pretty much mentored us throughout our dating relationship, gave a toast on our wedding day, and now Grace is walking me through this new stage of motherhood. I call her every time I freak out, and she helps me work through all the little decisions I have to make, while encouraging me & telling me I’m doing a great job haha. She’s the best. We got a chance to catch up with them after the babes went down, and it was neat hearing all their insights now that they have two little boys. They encouraged us just to enjoy baby Oliver & not to stress so much. I hear it all the time, and I know it’s true, but it is so hard to let go of all my worries. They also brought up a funny little observation they had noticed with many of the kids at church: they found that most firstborns weren’t as affectionate as the second- or third-borns, and they believed it had something to do with the first-time mom anxiety. It’s no secret that babies can sense stress or anxiety from their mothers, but it was interesting to think that a mother’s emotional state could affect their personalities so much. Thought provoking.

Yesterday was recovery day for our family. We put Ollie back on his schedule & were thankful that he bounced right back. It was nice that Steven had the day off & we got to spend a lot of time playing together at home. I have been kind of lazy about taking pictures, but snapped a ton of photos yesterday since Steven was home. Last night I uploaded them all to my computer & we put up a slideshow of his first almost-3 months on our TV. It is amazing how much he has changed. I was laughing & tearing up, seeing his newborn pictures juxtaposed with his almost-3 month pictures. I hadn’t even realized how much he had changed. I could really see that he is looking more & more like Steven, just as people have been saying.

I was tearing up looking at pictures of me holding him when he was just a week old. I remember putting makeup on & changing out of my nursing gown so that I would look somewhat decent for the pictures. At the time, holding him felt foreign to me. I was insecure & confused, in the thick of dealing with my postpartum blues. I was afraid he could sense my feelings & that he would cry in my arms. The only job I felt comfortable with was nursing, and even that was a challenge. So much has changed in less than three months. It really leaves me speechless at God’s handiwork in transforming him to be this happy, smiley, cooing, active baby boy & in enabling me to care for him as his mother. And to think that in another three months, he will be so different! Crazy, I tell ya.

Lastly, I had been becoming increasingly concerned about Ollie’s private parts. Every time I change his diaper I notice that his wee wee is very sunken in. I make sure to pull back the skin every time so that it doesn’t adhere again, but I was starting to worry that maybe they messed up when they circumcised him? I didn’t want him to become the boy that’s made fun of because he has a weird “thing”. So I did what I always do when I am unsure of something: google. Turns out it is called an “inverted penis” or “disappearing penis” and actually quite common in baby boys who are on the chubbier side. Their fat pads just kind of envelop their private parts & cause them to sink in… alarming to look at, but it supposedly goes away as they get older & thin out a bit. Steven & I had a blast reading people’s comments on the forums — we were laughing up a storm. Anyways, glad it’s no big deal. Really dodged a bullet with that one!