benefits of pacifiers

Why we LOVE pacifiers

I know some people go either way with pacifiers, but over here, we love them and can’t get enough! I posted on my Instagram a couple of weeks ago about when Greyson should be ready to give up his pacifier and many of you said your kids had their pacis up until 2! I don’t know if we will continue that long, but what I do know is Greyson’s pacifier has been a sense of comfort for him, but also provided him with a few health benefits that I didn’t even know until we started using one!

pacifier benefits pacifiers pros

This pacifier that we partnered with Ryan & Rose on is Greyson’s latest favorite! The pacifier and clip were just released on 8/13 in a new color, Heron, and we could not be more in love with it! I got a stage 2 Cutie Pat Round pacifier. We got stage 2 because Greyson has teeth now! (finally.) I love that this pacifier is 100% medical grade silicone and one piece, so there is no way for soap to get stuck inside the nipple or for parts to come off. What I also love about it is this pacifier is a paci/teether in one! The other side of the pacifier has a teether on it to soothe the FIVE teeth that Greyson just cut! He is also able to use the teether to easily put the pacifier back in his mouth. Of course, we detach the clip for naps, but the clip is great when we are out and about and don’t want him throwing his pacifier all over the grocery store. Check out their other awesome colors here!

Okay, back to why we love pacifiers!

The use of pacifiers has been shown to lower the risk of SIDS

As a new mom, I worry constantly. I worry when I’m with the baby, not with the baby, etc. It has become my new normal. One thing that I was terrified about in the beginning of Greyson’s life was SIDS. Of course I read every website (with authority) about precautions to take for SIDS and I found this: according to Family Doctor.org sleeping with a pacifier has been shown to lower the risk of SIDS because supposedly babies sleep lighter when they have a pacifier. So, if they do roll over on to their bellies, they will wake up.

pacifier benefits pacifiers pros

Pacifiers may soothe your fussy baby

Babies are born with a natural instinct to suck. Sucking is soothing for them. Giving Greyson his pacifier when he was fussy, helped him to calm down and soothe himself. We waited to give him the pacifier until he was a good breastfeeder, so that he wouldn’t take the pacifier over milk. For awhile in the beginning, he was unable to hold the pacifier in his mouth himself, so he needed help! He finally got the hang of it after awhile. Now, whenever he gets a little too fussy, he needs his paci for a few minutes and then he’s good! 🙂

When we were sleep training Greyson, I wrote a whole blog post on how we used the pacifier at night to our advantage. When Greyson finally did take his pacifier, he was having trouble at night when it fell out because he was unable to put it back in himself. Luckily, we were able to teach him how to put it back in his mouth himself! Check out that blog post here. I also chat about what pacifier we use at night for Greyson.

Don’t get me wrong, Greyson does not have his pacifier every waking moment. We save it for nap time and bedtime or if he gets too fussy. Hopefully, weaning from the pacifier will go smoothly when we finally decide to attempt it!

pacifier benefits pacifiers pros
exclusive pumping

My Journey With Exclusive Pumping

journey with exclusive pumping

Breastfeeding was always in my “plan” as a new mother. For some reason, I assumed everything would go just swimmingly, I would have no problems, and I’d nurse my son until he was ready to wean. I read all the books, read all the blogs, watched all the videos, etc. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case.

Greyson latched right after birth. He fed like a champ all day long and was even cluster feeding in the hospital. The nurses were amazed at how naturally breastfeeding came to us and I felt like I was on top of the world. We went home, feeling confident… until our first night alone.

Greyson was inconsolable. He wouldn’t latch and more or less cried himself to sleep after HOURS. Jeff and I were beside ourselves. We didn’t know what to do or what was wrong. Was he hungry? Tired? Wet? In pain? We didn’t know whether to drive back to the hospital or whether he had colic. As sleep deprived, new parents, we were at a loss.

I called the pediatrician first thing in the morning, as Greyson hadn’t had any wet diapers in 12 hours. The first thing he told me was to buy was Pedialyte to make sure he wouldn’t get dehydrated. The second thing he told me to buy was formula and supplement my breast feedings with a 1/4 to 1/2 ounce.

“Formula? Why? I’m breastfeeding,” I thought. I’ve always believed in fed is best, so although I was sad that he wasn’t getting breastmilk from me, the only thing I cared about was his health and well-being. So I drove to the store, picked up what the doctor ordered and came home to feed my baby. Let me tell you, that kid DRANK. That sweet innocent newborn was so hungry and that’s when I felt terrible.

I knew my milk had come in, but apparently, it wasn’t enough. This kid was eating triple time in order to make up for the weight he lost since birth, which apparently was a good amount because he hadn’t gained any back. The pediatrician was concerned with his weight gain and encouraged the supplemental feedings in order to ensure he would gain weight.

The more formula I supplemented with, the more he wanted. It took the edge off the empty breast feedings and satiated him. However, being a new mom with no prior breastfeeding experience, I didn’t realize that every formula feed hurt my supply. To this day, I still think, “I could have breastfed more often, I wish I knew about pumping after feeding to increase supply, I wish I knew about power pumping, I should have just had him on a strict 2 hour feeding schedule,” and it eats me up inside.

After a few weeks of supplementing, Greyson started to refuse both the breast and the bottle. He would scream bloody murder every time I tried to feed him. I knew he was hungry. Considering what he had been eating and what he was eating now was next to nothing. Greyson would pull away from the bottle with every other suck and writhe in pain. He would burp or spit up and begin to cry. He would arch his back while he was feeding and even after. Something was up. I began to Google his symptoms (what every new mother does, but also what every new mother shouldn’t do because Google can be evil) and it appeared he might have acid reflux.

I called the doctor and described Greyson’s symptoms. He thought he might have acid reflux as well, yet another hurdle in our breastfeeding journey. He told me to supplement any bottle feedings with a teaspoon of baby oatmeal in order to thicken his feeds. In doing so, the hopes was he would keep the milk down, so it would stop burning his esophagus when he would spit up.

It didn’t work. Greyson would scream every time I tried to feed him. The more I tried to breastfeed him, the more he resisted. I was heartbroken. I called the pediatrician again and we went in for another visit. After checking him over, he decided it was time to start a low dose of medication. We had to get it from a special compounding pharmacy because Greyson needed an alcohol free medication, so it wouldn’t burn his esophagus even more.

We tried the medicine and I kid you not within a matter of days, he was sleeping 4 hour chunks through the night and eating normally. YAY! I was so happy. However, now every time I tried to breastfeed, he was traumatized. He had begun to associate breastfeeding with being in pain and so he refused me more and more. The lactation consultants told me that if he was going to resist me when I offered the breast to just “pump” and don’t worry about it. And honestly, that was probably the worst advice I received because then he stopped latching all together…

This is why I started exclusively pumping. Exclusive pumping wasn’t the vision that I had for myself. Exclusive pumping wasn’t a choice. Exclusive pumping isn’t easy. I still beat myself up every day thinking, “If I had just done this or that,” I wouldn’t be in this position. My son has been on a combination of breastmilk and formula for the past 11 months. I pumped 6-10 times a day for this kid and if that isn’t love, I don’t know what is! Now, my supply has dwindled to the point where I am pumping a total of 2 ounces per day. My exclusive pumping journey is coming to an end for Greyson and even as I type this, I get teary eyed. I know a lot of people don’t make it this long due to a variety of reasons and I should give myself a pat on the back, but ultimately, I still feel like I failed.

I am very thankful for the formula. The formula helped my son to remain healthy and helped provide him with the nutrients he needed when I couldn’t. My son is now in the 98th percentile for both height and weight. He is in size 18 months to 2T clothing at 10.5 months old. I know that the breastmilk I was able to provide him with was a huge part in that, but the extra formula he received was what helped him to grow to his full potential.

I am hopeful for any future children I have that the knowledge and experience I have gained through this experience will help me achieve my goal of breastfeeding exclusively for the first year of life. I am confident in my ability to identify acid reflux signs early on, so that my future children can get the help they need. And finally, I am hopeful that one day I will be able to see how much I have accomplished in these past 10.5 months with exclusive pumping and how I have provided for my son the best I could have.

Because I was able to exclusively pump for so long, I have gained a lot of knowledge that I am hopeful can help others. Read about my exclusive pumping tips and tricks here.

Our Bedtime Routine

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Having a bedtime routine is important to ensuring your little one knows bedtime is approaching and that they can expect consistency. We implemented a bedtime routine very early on, so that Greyson would (fingers crossed) be a good sleeper. We have done the same bedtime routine since Greyson was about a month old. I know that sounds early, but it worked for us! He is very predictable with his bedtime and wake up times, unless he is sick or teething of course. Here is what we do:

Tubby: Around 6:00, 6:15 pm we start running the bath. We give Greyson a bath each night. Some people say that is unnecessary, but it is part of his bedtime routine. He is also a pretty messy eater, so there is always food in his hair, in between his fingers, etc. Bath time helps Greyson to relax and unwind as long as he isn’t overtired! This is my favorite body wash and this is my favorite hair wash! We’ve been using both of these products since Greyson was a newborn. I know we could probably just use the bodywash since it does say you can use it for hair, but I love the hair wash, too! We take him out and dry him off. I love PotteryBarn Kids Gingham Bath Wraps and Gingham Wash Cloths. The bath wraps are super cute, super soft, and you can even personalize them!

10 month baby routine

Diapers: After tubby time, we put two (yes, two) nighttime diapers on Greyson. He soaks through his diapers SO EASILY. Check out my other post on nighttime diapers here. We have since started using Target Overnight diapers and they are aaaaamazing. We put a Pampers Swaddlers diaper as the top layer. We also put a nice healthy layer of Honest Diaper Rash Cream all over his little bottom to help prevent diaper rash at night. I love this diaper rash cream because it has zinc oxide in it, so it stays on for awhile and heals any redness that I see at the next diaper change. Definitely a must!

Lotion: Once his diapers are on, we use Baby Eucerin Eczema lotion to put all over Greyson’s body. He has pretty bad eczema and this is the only product that has seemed to keep it at bay. He gets these awful patches on his legs, arms, and belly. I just started noticing a new patch on his forehead too. Poor guy! This lotion is nice and thick and rubs in very easily.

PJs: Once the lotion is on, we put a white, short sleeved onesie on underneath Greyson’s PJs. We always use a white short sleeve onesie as a base layer. These are my fave because they are made with organic cotton and are sooo soft! After the onesie, we put on his footies. Footies are the cutest PJs ever. We LOVE anything made by Burt’s Bees. These footies are super cute and even have little bee anti-slip grippers on the bottom of the foot. Size up because they run a little small.

Sleep Sack: Once the onesie and PJs are on, we put on G’s sleep sack. I have a couple on rotation in case I haven’t run the wash yet. I love this one (because of the llamas) and this one, for colder nights. I just ordered him some new sleep sacks that have legs because Greyson has started pulling himself up in the crib. He is currently 10 months old and wearing a size large. It is a bit big, but I know he will grow into it. Once he sees the sleep sack, he knows bedtime is coming! That’s why it’s part of our bedtime routine. 🙂

Halo Sleep Sacks
Halo Sleep Sacks

Books: Sometimes, Greyson is too tired and is ready for his nighttime bottle, but if he isn’t, I make sure to read him a few books. He loves any book with flaps or things that he can touch, like the touch and feel books. He gets so excited that he starts touching all of the pages hoping he will feel something. It’s pretty cute! We love this book and this book!

Bottle: Greyson has a pretty substantial bottle just before bed. I’m talking anywhere between 7-9 ounces! I always say he is fueling up for the night. This is why we need to double up on diapers! I try to make sure that he does NOT fall asleep on the bottle. Early on, we taught him to self-soothe, so that he would be able to get himself back to sleep if he woke up during the night. Making sure that he does not fall asleep on the bottle is an important part in this process. We love these bottles by Avent.

Paci, paci, paci: Greyson LOVES his pacis. We call them his little friends. He has three in his crib and they all have the little animals attached to the end, so he can easily find them during the night. I LOVE these pacifiers because not only are they machine washable, but unlike other pacifiers, you can detach the pacifier and sterilize it. G’s favorite is his giraffe paci. He loves to suck on the little tail on the end, ha!

nookums pacifiers

Burp and Bed: I still burp Greyson, even though he doesn’t really need to be burped anymore. He just drinks so much that I find he is more comfortable after I help him burp. Once he burps, I put a little Aquaphor on his face to help his skin stay moisturized and then I place him in his crib and give him a kiss. Our neighbor gave us these Aden + Anais burpy bibs when Greyson was born and they are THE BEST. They are super absorbent, super soft, and they have snaps on the end that turn it into a bib!

Aden and Anais Burpy Bib
Aden + Anais Burpy Bib
Aden + Anais Burpy Bibs

We upgraded to the Nanit baby camera a few months ago and it was the best decision we ever made! We get notifications when Greyson makes a sound or when motion is detected. It also tracks your child’s sleep patterns! Check out my full review here. Night, night little one!

Top 5 Items to Have in Your Diaper Bag

what to pack in a diaper bag

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Packing your diaper bag with the essentials is critical when you are out and about with a little one. There are times where I have forgotten the diaper bag and without fail, have needed something crucial in that bag. One time, my brother and I were at Costco when Greyson was about three months old. We were in line, waiting to check out, when we heard it… the lovely sound of a baby pooping. Of course, I forgot the diaper bag, so we had to check out, load the car, and drive twenty-five minutes home all with a poopy diaper. Not my finest mommy moment! After that day, I have never left home without the diaper bag and I make sure to have these five things in the diaper bag each time I leave home. This is my FAVORITE diaper bag ever. (Right now, three colors are on sale!) It is huge, has three compartments, can be monogrammed, and has handles or a strap, so you can wear it crossbody if you choose.

#1 – An extra change of clothes – size up

I like to leave an extra pair of clothes in the diaper bag in case we have a blowout and need a change of clothes. The reason I like to put the next size up in the diaper bag is because I might forget to change out the clothes for a while, so I want to make sure that if I need the clothes, then they will fit. I pack:

  • an extra pair of sweatpants (basic color)
  • an extra onesie (I always layer with a white onesie underneath)
  • an extra sweater (it could be a chilly day, you never know!)
  • an extra pair of white socks (they match everything!)

#2: A clean, dry bottle, with 2 scoops of formula and a water bottle

I’m still exclusively pumping for Greyson (yay 10 months!), but I don’t want to worry about taking breastmilk out and about if we will be out for awhile. Every ounce is precious to me, so I want to make sure that I don’t have to throw any out. I’ll pack a dry bottle, with two scoops of formula and use the bottled water to mix it in case he gets hungry when we are out. I don’t leave the bottle in there longer than a week because I don’t want the formula to go bad. A lot of formula companies make individual serving formula bottles, so that would work, too! These are the bottles we use (I love them) and the formula we have been using to supplement. I like it because it has lutein for the eyes and most importantly, no corn syrup solids, which were making G constipated. These are the same bottles we used when he was younger, but they are just a smaller size. I love that they have a nipple that mimics an actual nipple.

what to pack in a diaper bag

#3: Toys and Books

Greyson is at the age now where he gets bored easily. I make sure to take his favorite musical toy, his toucan with a little piano on its beak, and a few books that have the flaps. This is the toucan and some of our favorite books, here, here, and here!

#4: Disposable Tabletop Placemats

My husband and I were in New Jersey recently, eating at the hotel restaurant when we saw two families with young children. They had these awesome disposable placemats that stick to the table, so you can put food right on the table at the restaurant and little hands won’t get dirty from touching dirty restaurant tables! They are amazing! The mats have little plastic strips around the edges, which you pull off to expose the adhesive. Stick on the table and voila! A disposable placemat!

what to pack in a diaper bag

#5: DIAPERS, DIAPERS, DIAPERS (and wipes)

This one should go without saying, but if you have ANYTHING in your diaper bag, make sure you have diapers. Make sure you pack at least 5 diapers in your diaper bag because you WILL use one and will more than likely forget to replace it when you get home. If you have some extras in there, you will be safe! I also like to size up with diapers in case it’s a while before I replace them. These are my favorite diapers and wipes!

Those are my top 5 things to pack in your diaper bag, but here is what else is in ours! Enjoy!

what to pack in a diaper bag
what to pack in a diaper bag

What are your must haves in your diaper bag? I’d love to hear!

what to pack in a diaper bag

Greyson Turns 9 Months Old

9 months old

I can’t believe that Greyson is already 9 months old. Whoever said “the nights are long, but the years are short,” was so right. Greyson is growing up before our eyes and I wish I could freeze every milestone he hits and every moment we have together. I feel so lucky to be his mom and he certainly has opened up my eyes to what really matters in this crazy life. Greyson is hitting all of his 9 month milestones and is growing up before my eyes.

Greyson has now started crawling, makes kissing noises, and can sit up from lying on his belly. He is always on the move and gets frustrated when he can’t do more things. I see the twinkle in his eye when he does something he is proud of, like pulling himself up while holding on to my arm. He says “mama, baba, and dada” and I swear I’ve heard him say our dog’s name: Una.

With all of these changes, it makes me sad I can’t be with him every minute of every day. I know it is good for him to experience different people and become flexible, but my heart aches each and every time I have to leave for work. I’m thankful that the summer is upon us and that I will be able to be home with him for the summer. We have plans to go swimming, go to the zoo, and go to a new aquarium that is opening in a neighboring town. I can’t wait to soak up all those moments.

What are some other things we can do this summer? I am looking for some arts and crafts ideas or some sensory things. I want to get a water table for our deck because Greyson loves the water!

xo

First Finger Foods For Baby

Soft first finger foods for baby

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I’m in search of great first finger foods to give an almost nine month old. Greyson started purées when he was just under 6 months old. I was in no rush to start him on real food because he was drinking plenty of milk. The kid had been drinking anywhere from 32-36 oz of breastmilk/formula per day! I finally decided to start him on food because the pediatrician said we could start purées if we wanted to and I thought maybe it would help fill his tummy a bit more, so he wasn’t always so ravenous!

I have been making the majority of his food, like steaming sweet potatoes, pears, butternut squash, and the like, but buying certain fruits and meats are a little more time consuming and difficult to make! I bought chicken breast and tried to purée that and it didn’t turn out too well! Silly me should have done ground chicken instead of chicken breast, but at least I know for next time! I bought The Big Book of Organic Baby Food on Amazon, in hopes it would inspire me to try some different foods. I liked it in the beginning when Greyson was younger, but I am looking to branch out now. 

We have been doing purées for the past two and a half months, with some puffs, yogurt melts, and teething biscuits thrown in there, too. I recently cut up a banana into small pieces to give him, but he doesn’t seem interested in picking it up to feed himself. I think it might be too slippery for him to pick up? He’s fine if I feed it to him or if I mash it up. What are some other soft first finger foods we could try? Greyson is still working on his teeth, so I don’t want to give him foods that will be too challenging for him to eat! What are some great first finger foods to give a baby? I’m all ears!

My First Mother’s Day

Ever since I was a little girl, my dream in life was to get married and have a family. When I found out that I was pregnant with Greyson, I couldn’t believe it. I was in such denial, that I took a pregnancy test every day for a week. I was so excited and so over the moon, but yet at the same time terrified that something awful would happen. Thankfully, he had a happy, healthy nine months inside my belly. The only thing I could think throughout my entire pregnancy was that I would feel better once I could hold that little boy in my arms. And ever since I have, the love I have for that kid is unreal. I wanted my first Mother’s Day to be simple. All I wanted was to spend time with my family and not have to cook! 🤣

Mother’s Day Breakfast

Jeff made me an awesome breakfast of poached eggs with hollandaise sauce (I helped with the eggs, but somehow messed them up), buttered toast, diced potatoes, and bacon. I had two huge cups of coffee because I stayed up way too late the night before, but still could barely keep my eyes open!

We hung out, put Greyson down for a nap (he slept two and a half hours!) and then my mom and brother came over, so I could give her the candle that I mentioned in a previous post!

Jeff got me a bar bracelet for Mother’s Day that has Greyson’s name engraved into it. I’m obsessed. It’s a little large on my wrist, so I think I might need to get a smaller size because we’re afraid it may catch on things, but I love it!

Mother’s Day Lunch

Jeff made me a quesadilla for lunch, Greyson played a bit and then was so tired that he ended up taking his next nap a half hour early! After he went down, I was able to take my nap thank goodness! We all napped for about an hour and a half and then I woke up wanting ice cream. (So much for the clean eating this weekend.)

We went to our local creamery where we got our giant ice creams in the rain. Greyson had a couple bites and loved it, sooo he clearly takes after his mama’s sweet tooth.

Excuse my EXHAUSTED eyes in this pic. Oh. And yes, we’re all still in our PJs. We picked up burritos on the way home for dinner. Fed the boy, he’s the pups, gave him a bath, played a bit, did another couple loads of laundry, and here we are about to end the day. Could not be more thankful for my two guys (and my two puppies). They also make me a mama as they stare at me eating my burrito. Hope everyone was able to enjoy family time today!

xo

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

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Sunday marks my very first Mother’s Day! 🙂 I can’t believe it! The past eight months have flown by and I can’t believe that my little man will be one in just a few short months! My husband and I plan on celebrating by doing a little brunch with the three of us at home on Sunday. I wanted to keep it quiet and low-key, especially because brunch will be around nap time. 🙂

With this being my first Mother’s Day, it will also be my mom and mother in law’s first grand-mother’s day! I thought we could make this day a bit more special by doing something for them from Greyson instead of from us because without them Greyson wouldn’t even be here!

We plan on spending Saturday with Jeff’s grandma, so she can see her great grandson. She recently moved up to Connecticut and met him for the first time a few weeks ago. We really want Greyson to get to know her because we think it is SO COOL that he has a great grandma! We got her a little picture frame that says “Great Grandma” and we plan on putting a picture from the first time they met each other in the frame.

For my mom and mother in law, I got these really cool soy personalized candles from Amazon! I wanted something that they could look at each day and think of Greyson instead of jewelry which my mom and mother in law aren’t too fond of. My mom’s candle is cucumber melon scented and my mother in law’s is rosemary mint. They both smell SO GOOD! I love how I could personalize the label on the top and the side with a message for them and I even got to choose the font! They were very easy to order and they arrived on my door in less than a week! I know that Mother’s Day is Sunday, but if you upgrade shipping hopefully you can snag a candle or two. I think these would also be great for birthdays, graduations, etc because you can customize the label with whatever you want! Can’t wait to give them to my family this weekend!

If you want to order, my Amazon affiliate link is linked in my post! Happy first Mother’s Day to the other new moms out there and I hope you all get to spend this weekend snuggling with your babies and enjoying family time.

How To Help My Baby With Teething – Amber Teething Necklace

Greyson has been teething for what seems like the past 6 months! We have seriously thought his bottom two teeth have been coming in since before he was 3 months old. He has shown all the signs: irritable, drooling, refusing to eat, etc.

He has also been sick for legitimately the past month and when we finally thought he was feeling better, he started pulling on his ears. We took him to the doctor to see if he had an ear infection and the doctor said that his ears were clear and that the symptoms he was exhibiting were that of teething! Finally!

After spending a weekend with family away, Greyson was in rare form. He wouldn’t drink his bottle unless he was in his car seat driving around, nor would he fall asleep unless he was in his car seat.. you guessed it, driving around. We drove around with him for an hour and a half on Saturday night because the poor guy could not settle himself down and we weren’t about to let an infant cry in a hotel room! Our poor neighbors!

Because nothing was appearing to work other than Motrin and for fear of giving him too much too often, I caved and bought him an amber teething necklace. This is our last hope and are praying it offers him some type of relief!

What are some other things we could try? We have all the teethers you could think of, biscuits, teething egg, etc. Send help!!

He does look oh so cute in his necklace though, I must say. 🙂

Greyson’s First Word

I can’t believe it!! “Mama” was Greyson’s first word! My husband and I thought we heard it Wednesday night, but we decided it didn’t count because it could have gone either way.

When I got home from work yesterday, my mom said that Greyson was super close to saying it and that she thought he would say it that night.

I took the dogs on our daily walk and the entire time all I kept hearing was “mmmm,” so I figured we had to be close!

We came inside from the walk, I fed the pups their dinner, and Greyson was just hanging out rolling around on the floor. I got my phone ready because I had a feeling he would say it (or at the very least I’d get another adorable video of him) and wouldn’t you know it! HE SAID MAMA! I got a few different videos on him saying it and I’m so happy! The only unfortunate thing is my husband had a work dinner, so when he normally would have been home, he wasn’t 🙁 I sent him the video, so he could join in my excitement, but I do feel badly that he wasn’t there.

Everyone always told me that “dada” would be the most likely first word, so I was expecting that, but was pleasantly surprised when “mama” came out last night! The video is on our Instagram @homewithgrey if you want to check it out! What was your baby’s first word?! I’d love to know!