My Baby Essential Items

When I was pregnant and creating my registry, I was so overwhelmed with all of the baby products that were out there! I would constantly look at reviews to see the positive and negative comments. It wasn't until I had a baby and I was able to use the items I choose, to see which ones worked or didn't work for me.

Below is a picture collage of some of my favorite things that I have used thus far for my baby Mateo. 
(I could have added more, but these were the items that I felt like I used everyday)

1. White noise machine
Everyday when I put Mateo to sleep (during nap time and at night) I would turn on this white noise machine. This helped Mateo get used to listing to noises, which would in turn help him sleep faster.

2. Halo SleepSack Swaddle
I wish I had found this swaddle sooner! 
I used this swaddle when Mateo was outgrowing a different set of swaddlers that I had. 
These are a great way for transitioning to a sleep sack when babies no longer need to be swaddled.
I highly recommend this sleeping swaddle!

3. Halo Sleep Sack 
I love these sacks! Because of SIDS babies should not be covered with a blanket, 
so this sleep sack acts as a blanket. For the winter I bought a fleece sack and 
for the spring/summer I bought a regular sack. These are great and I highly recommend them!

4. Aden muslin blankets
These blankets are my favorite and they are the absolute best! 
They are so soft and light and perfect for every occasion. 
I always keep one of these blankets in my diaper bag. 

5. Moby Wrap
When Mateo was a newborn and very little I liked to use this wrap to keep him close to me as I needed to do things around the house. I would also wrap him up and take him and the dog out for walks. I sort of wished I bought the Solly Wrap instead of the Moby because the Solly Wrap is a lighter material and not as heavy since I had Mateo during the summer time. He sweats so much and I heard that the Solly is more of a breathable fabric, but I still do love my Moby.

6. Ergo360 Baby Carrier
I love this carrier! I wanted to get a good quality carrier and I am very satisfied with this one!
The important thing I have learned about carriers is that they should have a "frog legged position" for babies because of their hip development. The main reason I bought this carrier was because it had the forward facing out option, so that Mateo can see Daddy play soccer. 

7. Petunia Pickle Bottom Boxy Backpack Diaper Bag
This is a great diaper bag! I was so lucky and grateful that a Mom at my school bought this as a gift for me. My favorite thing about this diaper bag is that the front is a diaper changing station! I pull the two zippers down and inside is a pocket for diapers, another pocket for wipes, and a small pocket for diaper rash cream. Then inside of the bag are 4 more pockets for things and plenty of room. The only thing this bag doesn't have are insulated pockets for bottles, but that is not a deal breaker for me. One other thing that I do like about it is I can carry it as a bag or a backpack. I have been wearing it more as a backpack as Mateo is getting bigger and its much easier this way.

8. My Breast Friend nursing pillow
I thought that the Boppy pillow was the only pillow I needed for Mateo to use and for nursing. 
When I started to nurse with the Bobby it just wasn't working. One of the best things I did was attend a free breast feeding support group class that my hospital I delivered at offered, because I struggled with latching. They taught me better techniques to nurse and they also suggested a nursing pillow. This was the pillow that they had me practice on and I ended up buying it. The thing that I like about this pillow is that there is a buckle to keep the pillow in place (which was a problem I had with the Boppy), so if I were to stand up it stayed on me. I also liked that there was a hanging pocket where I could put a cloth, pacifier, etc. Also my husband liked to tease me and say that it was my "floaty" ;)

9. Boon Grass Countertop Drying Rack
I use this drying rack everyday! It is so easy to put all of my many Dr. Brown bottle pieces as well as all of the pumping bottles and accessories to quickly dry. I also bought the white tree as an accessory to create more space. If I could register again, I would have wanted the bigger drying rack versus the smaller one to hold more things. 

So there is my list of some baby products that I use most often. There are more that I can tell you about, but then I would have such a long blog post! If you have any questions on the other products that I use feel free to comment below! I hope that I was able to help! 

Take care! :)

Update and Class Dojo

Hello everyone,

It has been a LONG while!

Since my last post I gave birth to the most wonderful and handsome baby boy and started working at a new school, but still teaching Kindergarten. I have felt a bit overwhelmed as I am first time Mom working at a new school, but some how I am surviving! I think that the best job I have is being a Mommy! :)

This school year has been such a whirlwind as I am adjusting (still) from coming from a very small Catholic school with one teacher per grade, to a huge Catholic school with two teachers per grade. However my favorite thing at this school is that I love is having a partner teacher to collaborate with.

In the beginning of the school year all of the teachers attended a training called Love and Logic. I absolutely loved this training! Love and Logic is based on a positive discipline approach where teachers speak to children calmly, give them choices, and students assume responsibility and ownership for their actions. However of course now and then teachers will have their frustrating moments and not use Love and Logic in the moment, but I am glad to have this as a strategy to use in the classroom and help me to better speak with students when they make poor choices. {I will also for sure be using these techniques as my baby boy gets older!}

As a result of this training I really began to re-think the clip chart...I was so stressed because school was right around the corner and I did not know what I was going to do! As I began to think I remembered using a behavior management system of Class Dojo when I used to work with 5th intervention students. However the first thing that came to mind was how in the world can I use this in a Kindergarten classroom?!

I randomly assigned my students a monster.

I then added positive and negative options for points that students can earn/loose throughout the day. I tried to base these options on my classroom rules.

The main thing that had me switch from the clip chart to this was the "walk of shame." I did not want my students to think negatively of themselves as they walked to move their clips down as everyone in the classroom watched. So the key thing that I do is I never let the students see how many points they have. At the end of the day is when I tell the students how many points they have one-on-one. I tell my students that the points they earn is between me and them, so other students don't need to know their business.

I have students earn certain prizes as they reach a certain amount of points. And each month I reset the points. I created an anchor chart under my classroom rules that are displayed in my classroom.

This behavior system has worked really well in my classroom! I love how I can give student points on my computer, iPad or iPhone. Another great feature is I can connect with parents and they can instantly see how their child is doing throughout the day on their devices. I can also instant message them, send them pictures, etc. There is also a "Class Story" feature where I can post pictures or videos about what we are doing in the classroom. Also recently they came out with a video series that motivates students and they look forward to seeing it each week. All in all Class Dojo is a wonderful behavior management tool that can be used in any classroom.