Baby list, do doo, do doo, do do

Camille here, Anna’s Assistant. I have compiled a few of my favorite baby toys and new Mama and Dad gifts! Hope you find something perfect for your little one! This list may contain affiliate links.

New bath toys are the best!

And a Caddy for the said bath toys and cozy towels!

We have the cutest videos of our Daughter trying out her walker for the first time. This will always be a great go to baby gift!

More of a Mom to be gift but these Heart and Oxygen Monitors are genius.

Never met a baby that doesn’t love Sophie the Giraffe.

Let them hit the things you want them to! Classic Pound and Tap toy.

What kid doesn’t want their own personal roller coaster. They look pretty fun!

Rattles are never ever going to go out of style!

I may have just added this one to relive my own childhood playing the Chatter Phone.

This Cookie Monster was dubbed the FAVORITE from my son’s first birthday! It eats cookies, talks, and it just dang cute.

Anything with the word busy, I’m sold. Busy Gears.

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom will there be enough room? A told B and B told C…Ok you get it, this one is so good I know the whole thing by heart or this modern First Year book!

Jelly Cat stuffed animals are the softest things ever. Just trust me, these are the only stuffed animals you want hanging around.

Holiday Gift List 2016, babies and toddlers

Your baby might not remember if you got them anything for Christmas this year, but what a great excuse to get them something that you really wanted, anyway.

This week I will be posting a list every day of rad items from small shops and businesses. Sure, there are the big gift items everyone is standing in line at Target to get, but you have good taste and like to be a little more unique. That's one of the reasons I like you so much.

These plates from DylBug are so adorable. My two youngest sons use these plates and the clothes food cutter for pancakes, sandwiches, and to make even a plate of after-school veggies fun. Check out the adorable dress-up ideas on their Instagram page for inspiration. DylBug plates are genius for helping picky eaters to try new things.

My kids love to build forts--there's something magical about having a secret space. Dolly Estelle makes beautiful teepees that take the homemade fort to the next level. These are the kind of teepees that are so handsome, you wouldn't mind keeping them up in your family room all year long. I want to go take a secret nap inside one of Dolly Estelle's teepees right now.

As your little one grows, it is fun to see the progress they have made. I have countless photos of my children when they were babies and my husband and I play a guessing game of "how old were they in this photo?" BatzKids has taken the guessing game away with the most adorable milestone blanket. No worry about having your baby sit up, hold a toy, or making sure you can see the number on their shirt. Where were BatzKids blankets when my babies were little?

Your baby's wardrobe is usually more stylish than your own, but that's ok. We all know that your toddler dresses cool because their parents are super cool. Mochi Kids offers the most adorable shirts and sweatshirts that simply state the coolness factor of the entire family. A bowl or ramen, a simple hamburger, a solar system--all of them are seriously adorable. I am dying over Mochi Kids' holiday shirts as well.

I have a thing about quality jewelry--I want to have something for a long time. I want my jewelry to be passed down to my kids, and their kids and so on. I feel the same way about little girls' jewelry. My daughter still has necklaces and bracelets from Angela Henrie Studio that she wore when she was a baby. It still holds up and still looks amazing. Your little baby girl can wear Angela Henrie jewelry without turning green. Everyone else may turn green, because it's so stinking cute, but the wire-wrapped, sterling silver, real pearls and Swarovski crystals will not easily break or rub off on your baby's sweet skin.


When I saw the little hats at oeufnyc, I giggled. I couldn't choose one to share, because they were all so adorable. The banana, the bunny, the unicorn... they all cried out "buy me! I am so amazing and cute!" Which one would you choose?

Babies and toddlers LOVE getting into makeup. I could have an Instagram account solely dedicated to that, considering all of the submissions I get of babies covered in their "art" by makeup. Little Cosmetics is incredible pretend makeup because it looks just like the fancy makeup Mom has. The packaging and colors all resemble "the good stuff" so kids will feel like they have pretty makeup, too.

The trickiest part about diaper bags is finding one that everyone in the family will wear. I always wanted my husband to hold the bag full of bottles, blankets, clothes, wipes, diapers, snacks, half of my house... because that thing got HEAVY! He was always a trooper, but the floral over-the-top bags didn't usually go with his outfit. Thank goodness for Leader Bag Co and their stylish backpacks. They're so rad, I want one even though I don't pack diapers around anymore.

One of our favorite books to read is the Edgar series by Jennifer Adams. She wrote all of the beautiful classic tales everyone knows and loves of BabyLit. These Edgar books, though, have a special place in our hearts. Edgar is a little boy raven who gets in little boy situations, but with an Edgar Allan Poe twist. I love good stories and quality books, because I know I will have to read them over and over and over again.

That's it for the Baby/Toddler list. Anything you'd suggest? Tomorrow we will post our favorites for the kids--it's a good one!



New Mom Monday, 18, ENYA!

I have never given much thought to the fact that all my elementary school teachers loved Enya. They listened to Enya all the time! They were so lucky they got to pick whatever music they wanted, and they played some of those sweet Irish jams while the class sat quietly reading, sat quietly working on art projects, and sat quietly writing in journals.

When I had a child, I realized that my teachers probably thought Enya was okay, but what they really loved was quiet. The music is haunting and hypnotic, and the lyrics are both memorable and impossible to understand. It might all be in Gaelic? I don’t know; I just know it works. And this is exactly what I told Ryan the other day when Winifred would not take a nap for the sixth day in a row, so we decided to just go to the mall.

It was a very bad idea. Even though she loves the mall—the clothes, the echo-y white noise, the sales associates who squeeze her puffy ankles—she was irritable the whole time and started her terrible twos early. We were there long enough for me to find a nursing bra with actual cups in it (look out world!), and then we hoped the baby would fall asleep in the car on the way home.

“Play her some Enya or something!” I gently and lovingly urged my husband, holding a screaming, writhing baby down in her seat with one hand and buckling her straps with the other.

After about twenty minutes, we were nearing our freeway exit without a nap in sight. Was she tired, or was I the one who missed my naps that day? I was feeling a little exhausted and foggy.

“So she’s not asleep yet?” Ryan asked, and it was the kind of question where the answer is really obvious, which is my favorite kind of question. “I listened to Enya… for nothing?”

I told him telepathically that he listened to Enya to do something nice for his daughter that would go completely unnoticed by her.

That’s not a problem, is it?

Libbie Henrie is a new mother and really smart gal. You should believe everything she writes, especially the super sarcastic parts. She lives in Arizona with her husband and newborn baby. You can read more of her musings on her blog and follow her baby wearing adventures on Instagram @sweetcheeksbabywearing

New Mom Monday, 17, Get Stuff DONE!

It's hard to get stuff done when you're a parent. You heard it here first, people, parents with babies can't get anything done!

Every time I really need to work on a project, the baby senses my urgency to get her to play quietly on her own or to sleep and takes that opportunity to get clingy and monkey-shriek at me. “Winifred! I'm trying to dooooo something!” I exclaim, not entirely unlike Margaret Thatcher (Meryl Streep version).

So what kinds of things am I trying to do all day? Here are some things that I think will take a long time, so I dread doing them, but once I get off my cute buns with their waterbed-like softness, they take me three minutes, max, to do:

  • Dusting my living room

  • Loading the dishwasher

  • Writing proposals for consulting jobs that I won't get

  • Hanging up a flannel plaid shirt that I last wore in January (no YOU don't have the body type to wear one of those)

  • Removing a bare toilet paper tube from its holder and replacing it with a fresh roll

  • Wiping toothpaste off my husband’s mirror, not questioning how it got so high up there

And here, my captivated audience, are some things I think will “just take a minute” to finish while the baby naps in the morning, then it's 10pm and I still haven't showered:

  • Organizing my nail polishes by mood

  • Waking up really early and, unable to fall back asleep, deciding to learn how to can food

  • Planting a vegetable garden

  • Reorganizing my nail polishes by special event

Wait, I see it now.

Libbie Henrie is a new mother and really smart gal. You should believe everything she writes, especially the super sarcastic parts. She lives in Arizona with her husband and newborn baby. You can read more of her musings on her blog and follow her baby wearing adventures on Instagram @sweetcheeksbabywearing

New Mom Monday 16, First Mother's Day in the bag

I know a lot of people don’t like Mother’s Day, but I love it.

I think it’s nice to have a day to remember all the special women who have touched our lives, including teachers, friends, neighbors, sisters, aunts, and Leslie Knope. You may be thinking, But Libbie, I remember these women every day, and I call my own mother regularly, and I think that is wonderful but most of us are dum dums who forget how much our moms and other fabulous females have done for us, and we need greeting card companies to pressure us into finally getting around to doing something to thank them.

On my first Mother’s Day, I woke up very early to feed the baby, who had slept in my bed the night before. This was lucky, because then I remembered that I still needed to text my own mother to check under her bed, where I had placed a dozen of hand-selected surprise donuts for her to eat in bed.

After the baby ate, rolled over to lay against my husband with her feet tucked into one of his armpits, then fell asleep, I spent an hour meditating and doing yoga. Haha no, I ate leftover french toast I made the day before

Since it was still pretty early in the morning, I thought it was the perfect time to try something out I saw on a chimpanzee documentary, where the chimps stuff themselves then take a long nap. It is nature’s way!

When I woke up a couple of hours later, Winifred was on all fours, letting out a long, steady stream of farts right into my face. “Hey!” I said, and she let out the rest of her gas in a startled gust as she rolled over and laughed at her new trick. I am her mother so I found this both gross and adorable, but hopefully we are not starting some weird tradition here.

Libbie Henrie is a new mother and really smart gal. You should believe everything she writes, especially the super sarcastic parts. She lives in Arizona with her husband and newborn baby. You can read more of her musings on her blog and follow her baby wearing adventures on Instagram @sweetcheeksbabywearing

New Mom Monday, Thirteen

If you have any kids, or know anyone with kids, or know of anyone with kids, then I think you saw this coming after my last post: I didn't really “sleep” last week. Ha!

But while my failures may be many, there is one thing I am doing right. You see, I care about my child’s future. If my daughter is going to have a good life as a wealthy socialite, she has to get good grades so she can get into a good school, start a nonprofit or cure cancer or whatever these teens are doing these days, so she can get a rich husband and take care of me. She will take me to a spa day and say my pores are looking a little lower-middle class. She loves me, it's great.

That's why I only purchase toys that stimulate her highly malleable brain.

It is of the utmost importance that I seize every opportunity to educate, to enlighten, to inspire.

Play time is a time to nurture her growing mind.

Only the best for my Winifred.

Libbie Henrie is a new mother and really smart gal. You should believe everything she writes, especially the super sarcastic parts. She lives in Arizona with her husband and newborn baby. You can read more of her musings on her blog and follow her baby wearing adventures on Instagram @sweetcheeksbabywearing

New Mom Monday, Two

This week we finally took our Christmas tree down, an end-of-January tradition in our lazy, always-in-denial-that-the-holidays-are-over home.

It makes me sad every year, mostly because the end of the holidays means the end of winter, the start of spring, and eventually the hot, hot heat of an Arizona summer, but this year it also felt like the end of a very unexpectedly hard chapter in our family’s life.

I took down our animal ornaments and remembered when I took each one out of its box, which feels like it was both forever ago and just the other day, showing them to Winifred while trying to distract her from the annoyance of having two tiny teeth that would not just pop through already.

“This is a zebra! He is like a horse but with fun stripes! We are having fun!”

I talked to her like she understood everything I said, the way you have to when you are all alone with an infant all day and need to distract yourself from the loneliness and panic of having no idea what you are doing.

“Look at this beautiful giraffe. Mama doesn’t know what noise she makes, but she likes to eat and eat and eat, just like us!”

That tree has been up for more than half her life, and she probably doesn’t remember a time when it wasn’t there in the corner of our living room. She learned to play by herself underneath its branches while I sat on the couch and cried about almost everything, and together we stayed up late learning to breastfeed in its dim light.

I packed the last of the ornaments away while she sat in her swing, throwing her teething ring onto the floor and chewing on her fat fingers--no matter what toys I lovingly shove in her face, her hands seem to be the only things worth her time. It was only last Christmas I found out I was finally pregnant, and now she is getting so tall that her feet are almost spilling out of her swing like a bored, powerful king.

Babies are a lot of work (you heard it here first, people!), but the hard parts are what make us love them, and what make the good parts so much freaking fun.

Libbie Henrie is a new mother and really smart gal. You should believe everything she writes, especially the super sarcastic parts. She lives in Arizona with her husband and newborn baby. You can read more of her musings on her blog and follow her baby wearing adventures on Instagram @sweetcheeksbabywearing

Meeting a new sister

When I had my second child, I was worried that the first would feel left out. Isn't that funny how we worry about potential reactions? So I bought my firstborn a gift to open for herself at the hospital when she met her new baby brother. I did the same thing for the two older kids when they came to visit my third baby, their new brother. By the time I had my fourth baby, I knew that the other kids would be getting enough treats from their grandparents at home while I labored at the hospital.

The reactions on these videos to the new siblings are priceless. Did your record your children meeting for the first time? I would love to see them.

And now I'm a puddle.


10 Tips for Surviving Your Newborn

If you are like me, you started researching (on Pinterest) everything you could about pregnancy and babies the minute you thought you might want to start trying to convince your husband it was time to maybe think about the possibility of potentially getting pregnant. And you have read all the lists of things you need for those first few weeks of adjusting to life with a newborn, including those wonderful blessed frozen postpartum pads -- those are top notch and they are the very reason I’m glad the internet was invented before I had a baby.

Now that I myself am a highly-experienced mother, I thought I’d write up some of my own tips and tricks to keep you sane during a very emotional, sometimes really awful and achingly wonderful time in a new mother’s life.

Here they are. Feel free to Pin.

  1. Keep all your baby packing stuff and don't open anything quite yet. I bought too many things I thought I would need but really didn’t: a swaddler for a baby who will not stand for having her arms anywhere not above her head like a drunken sailor, pacifiers for a baby who finds the hard labor of sucking on something without the reward of food superfluous and wrong, and a set of bottles that I’m still praying someone else will be able to use to feed her one day. We’ve been able to return a lot of things we haven’t been able to use and get back some of them dollas.

  2. If you have your baby in the hospital, take home whatever you can. Staying in the hospital is rough, but if you have awesome night nurses like I did, they will send you home with pads the size of your newborn and special underwear that is so easy to put on and take off in the middle of the night when you are peeing with a semi-sleeping baby in one arm. You will need these things.

  3. Know where your nipples are. If you are breastfeeding, your nipples are precisely where multiple nurses and lactation consultants will shove your frail infant’s head as the two of you learn how to nurse, sometimes in the middle of the night when it is dark! And when you are both on your own at 3 am, this is where your sweet baby will bob around in frustration and then poop all over you. Be careful not to assume your nipples are somewhere else, which could be embarrassing after 20 minutes of trying to nurse in the wrong place --  they can be up high, to the side, down low, or too slow. Even if you are not breastfeeding, I think it is still valuable to know where your nipples are, so you can be more conscious of the sweet freedom you have (well, your boobs have at least) because of the miracle of formula.

  4. Carry around a big ol' cup of water everywhere you go. Which let’s be real, is really like one or two rooms in your house, am I right? Taking care of a baby is thirsty business, and by the time you can get a drink, you will be too tired or forget, so just have your water with you at all times.

  5. Wear a pair of those ugly fuzzy socks at night. A nice thick pair of socks will allow you to sleep anywhere without having to find a blanket, which lets you sleep an additional two minutes every time you pass out on the couch.

  6. Sleep when the baby sleeps; cry when the baby cries. Let it all out. Way back when I first became a mom (three weeks ago), I let myself cry in the shower and that was it. It felt wrong crying in front of the baby or while I was holding her. One night after her bath, she was not happy about being cold and was doing this terrifying shrieking shiver-cry, and after I put her diaper and lotion on as fast as I could, I wrapped her in my t-shirt and just lost it for like 45 minutes, because I’m a terrible mother who lets her baby get cold. SHE LOVED IT. I have never seen her so happy and at peace as when I was bawling and telling her how sorry I was. Then she fell into a deep slumber and dreamed she was an ancient Sumerian princess who sentenced her useless servant to death for not running her bath properly. I don’t know what this means but she really is a sweet girl.

  7. Speaking of sleep, don't Google anything unless you have had at least two hours of it. If you are really concerned about something, wait until you are rested enough to differentiate between good and bad advice on the internet and not get more anxious than you were before. Better yet, call your pediatrician’s office and avoid the internet crazies altogether.

  8. Again with the sleep--let your "partner" sleep through the night. Listen, your “significant” other is probably going to sleep through the night anyway. You might as well get to be the martyr the next day who stayed up with the baby so he or she could get some “much needed” rest. Also, I prefer to have someone well-rested and not cranky to help me the next day than someone to sit there and watch my slow descent into another meltdown when the baby won’t go to sleep.

  9. Laugh at your baby. Babies are little weirdos. Being able to make fun of their little comb-overs and how drunk they look after they eat are the only rewards you’re going to get for a while.

  10. Be proud of yourself. You’re doing your best. After being pregnant for TEN months, pushing another body out of your body, then not being able to walk very comfortably for a couple of weeks while you are still healing, just attempting to keep an infant alive is more work than many people are willing to do. Instead of putting yourself down when something/everything isn’t working, learn what you can and move on.

I’m still having some trouble with breastfeeding, but when I’m an expert at that in a few weeks I’ll be sure to share what I’ve learned.


Libbie Henrie is a new mother and really smart gal. You should believe everything she writes, especially the super sarcastic parts. She lives in Arizona with her husband and newborn baby.