Wednesday, June 26, 2013

a giveaway for baby's first year - closed

i've mentioned before how i really regret buying so many things for my first baby and how i definitely streamlined this time around. with that in mind, i have included some of my favorite things for baby in this "as they grow" inspired giveaway for baby's first year.













































the giveaway includes an ergobaby carrier (you choose color)/ an aden & anais muslin swaddle set (you choose pattern)/ an aden & anais dream blanket for baby/ a one month bundle of honest diapers & wipes/ a paige lauren classic layette converter (you choose color)/ 2 pack naturstutten pacifiers

to enter, please feel free to visit ergobaby, aden & anaisthe honest company, and paigelauren baby and leave me a comment with your email address below. what is your favorite memory of your first year with baby? what is the best advice you could give an expecting mother? if you are expecting, what are you looking forward to the most? i'd love it if you'd share!

the winner of this contest has been contacted via email. thank you so much for all of your beautiful entries!

317 comments:

  1. With both my son and daughter, I remember curling up during feedings while reading a good book. It was just the best.

    #1 piece of advice: adjust your expectations--try to go with the flow because your baby won't be this age forever!

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  2. I will have my first sometime in September. I am looking forward to reading the advice submitted by other mommas.

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  3. Favorote memory from the first year - how he would fall asleep in a "milk coma" after nursing and how I could hold him like that for hours. Advice - make a cd of songs to rock and sway too for those long evenings - one or two will connect you two together and you will NEVER hear those songs without those precious memories touching you.
    Addie N

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  4. On of my favorite memories is waking up for a feeding very early one morning. I was truly exhausted. However, as i sat by the window with my daughter, who had just fallen alseep, I saw the sun rise. The light hitting her sweet, peaceful face and the beauty of the morning made me feel so grateful for everything. It didn't matter at that moment how tired I was or anything else that was going on in life (as at that time there were a lot). It was a perfect moment that I'll just never forget.

    Best advice: listen to your instincts and when it doubt don't be afraid to ask other mom's who you love, trust and or respect, their thoughts or experiences. I found that advice from my closest friends and family have all been so much more helpful than anything I've read in books.

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  5. I used to love to trace my little one's face lightly with my finger, and she would get this sleepy, dreamy look on her face. (sometimes she still asks me to do that to her while she pretends to be a baby, and she's five!)
    My advice is just because mothering is "natural" doesn't mean it's easy. Yes we're biologically designed to birth, feed, and love our babies, but that doesn't mean it will all come naturally. (Especially when it comes to breastfeeding! no one tells you how tricky it is!) So just cut yourself some slack, relax, and be kind to yourself as you both figure it all out.

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  6. I am hoping to have my first sometime next year. Love the giveaway and the advise.

    mandaoverturf at yahoo dot com

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  7. my first is due in September!

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  8. I don't have any advice since I am expecting my first in a couple of weeks, but I am looking forward to reading the advice veteran mamas have to share.

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  9. what is your favorite memory of your first year with baby? All the nursing snuggles :) and her first laugh. She seemed scared by it and stopped very quickly "What was that mama!?"

    what is the best advice you could give an expecting mother? Be gentle with yourself. Motherhood is along road and doesn't have to come all at once.

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  10. My first is due early next year, which is a total gift since we suffered a miscarriage earlier this year. Thanks in advance to all the moms out there who can offer advice to us newbies.

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  11. I am due tomorrow with my first child...a little baby girl. I am over the moon excited to see her face for the first time.

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  12. My favorite memory of my first year with my daughter is singing her to sleep. I sing the same lullaby every night as I rock her, and she smiles away to dreamland. It's impossible to get a photo of, so I try to burn it into my memory every time. It's truly the sweetest part of motherhood so far.

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  13. I have no memories or advice, because my first child - a boy! - is due Aug 14. But advice for pregnant moms.. stay cool! I'm about to go camp out in front of my A/C now :)

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  14. favorite memory is my baby girl giggling for the first time. i couldn't get enough!

    my advice would be to try not to worry about stages like teething, sleeping through the night, etc. instead, take things as they come, one step at a time and things seem more manageable!

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  15. Favorite memories would be the first laughs and watching your babe watch and take in the world around them. Watching someone see something for the first time or learn something is such an amazing and humbling experience. Reminds you to appreciate the small things.

    Advice...trust your mama instinct. You know what is best for your baby. Take advice with a grain of salt ;)

    norellekeenan@yahoo.com

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  16. The most special moments I remember are when they fall asleep on you and 'trap' you under them. I just had my 2nd baby 14 weeks prematurely and he is in the specialist baby unit at the hospital. The thing I'm missing most is being able to hold him and share that special connection you have with your newborn baby. My advice to new mums would be to cherish every moment...

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  17. My favorite moment had to be his first smile. I was ine awe of how pure, innocent and genuine his smile was. As for advice: you don't have to take every piece of advice, what works for one mother may not work for another.
    Sara.an13@yahoo.com

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  18. We live in Brooklyn, New York, and our daughter Aria was only two weeks old when Hurricane Sandy blew through. My parents and sister, who were staying with us in our cozy (read: tiny) apartment at the time, left a few days early to avoid getting stuck, and my husband's family delayed their visit in light of the forecast. I will always remember how, in the days leading up the storm and for several days after it passed, it was just so very quiet. Our guests left, people stayed home, the subways didn't run, the streets were clear of cars, businesses weren't open, Halloween events were canceled. We had no visitors, no plans, just quiet. Only the sounds of a newborn suckling, the rhythmic click of the baby swing. What is so poignant about this memory, though, is how we relished in that stillness and silence. Even Aria seemed so calm. It wasn't until we had that space to bond as a family with our new baby that we realized how much all needed it. We are otherwise so New York in that go go go way. It is a bittersweet memory, of course. We were lucky that Hurricane Sandy caused only minimal damage to our apartment -- the flooding stopped across the street, and we never lost power. And so for us, it was our unplanned babymoon with Aria. Others were not so lucky, and are still recovering, and our hearts were and continue to be with them.

    So my advice to the expecting mothers out there is a lesson that I hope you will be spared a natural disaster to learn: take some quiet time and space to be with your new baby. Retreat, recover from your birth, and bond. Everyone and everything else can wait for a little while.

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  19. My favorite memory is experiencing all the "firsts." First smile, first laugh, rolling over, crawling, walking.
    Best advice- savor every moment, soak it all in, and take more pictures than necessary because it goes too fast!

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  20. What a great giveaway! I have no littles yet, but my husband and I are hoping to start our family within the next year, and having these essentials would make the journey that much sweeter. Thank you for the chance to enter!

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  21. My favorite memories are his first creeping smiles and giggles. I love the new sounds he makes with each passing day as he discovers his voice.

    My advice is to find consistency in the little things. We always sang a couple of songs to him before bed time and when we come back to them he smiles. It's like our own inside joke. These small shared memories bond us together as a family.

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  22. Best advice for first time moms: You WILL sleep again! Or you will at least adjust to sleeping less ;-)

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  23. my favorite memory was most definitely breastfeeding. i was so scared and pretty determined to NOT do it when i was pregnant but as soon as he was put into my arms, it just came naturally to me. i'm so glad it did because it was the best times of my life. getting to spend that time, one-on-one with him, holding him close and looking into his eyes and knowing, just knowing, that i could comfort him like no one else could, was the best feeling in the world.

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  24. Am I allowed to enter if I have yet to have my baby? He is due September 8th and I sure would love to have all these goodies to welcome him into the world. Advice for 1st time pregnant Mom's may have to suffice..... take exercise walks and drink lots of water (I need to listen to my own advice a little better!).

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  25. my favorite memories are those milk drunk dribbles, sleepy smiles and that sweet baby's breath.

    my advice to new moms always is: everyday gets better and easier, be kind to yourself and don't forget to give yourself some time off mothering is 24/7 and its okay to take a break from it.

    great giveaway!

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  26. One of my favorite memories of my first year with my daughter is seeing her face for the first time. I had to have a c-section so I had to wait a few minutes to see her. Even though I was pretty out of it, I still vividly remember her tiny, crying face. It's burned into my memory forever. The sweetest moment of my life. :)

    And I think the best advice I have to give to new mothers is just to enjoy it all. Every little moment. Even the ones where your babe will only sleep on your chest. The time flies, and a day will come when you miss those tough moments. Also - trust your gut! We mommas instinctively know so much more than we think!

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  27. Thank you for the giveaway! I am due in December, all of these things would help us a lot. I don't have any advice yet but I love reading what everyone else has to say.

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  28. My favorite memory, by far, is related to breastfeeding. When my daughter first really started to be aware of the world around her, she would notice me and look into my eyes while nursing, and then touch my face, exploring. She still does this to this day, even at almost 19 months old, but that first time is a memory I will not soon forget!

    My advice for 1st time moms is to seek out a support network. My mom, close friends, even my midwife, were women I was able to contact when the going got rough or my confidence was shaken. I'm a better mother for their advice and those relationships have also been strengthened. Win-win!

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  29. This is such a wonderful giveaway and I couldn't agree more about paring down with the second born. :) I gave birth this past October to my second and the experience this time around has been so different and filled with so many unique memories. One of my favorite memories thus far has been the first time she smiled/laughed at her big brother. That was such a tender moment and a glimpse at something I did not have growing up as an only child. I'm so grateful that through good and bad, they will have each other.

    The best advice: you can only do what's best for you. Other people (especially other mothers) might not agree with the way you parent, but that is OK.

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  30. as an expectant mama AND a mama of a ten month old (phew! what was i thinking?), i know we definitely over did it with baby one. i originally thought we wouldn't need anything for baby two but now i'm realizing that all my burp cloths are stained, bibs ruined, and duh, another high chair, crib, and double stroller. the list is growing!

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  31. My daughter Julia was born with congenital heart defects, and after a week in the NICU we discovered that she would require open heart surgery. The night before her surgery, my husband and I didn't sleep - we held her hands, stroked her head, and sang to her all night. Around 4am we were allowed to give her a bath, and it was the first time we'd been able to hold her in several days. Finally, through our touch, we were able to send all of our love, hope and positive energy to her tiny little body. It was such an intense moment - a mixture of fear, love, sadness, and beauty. At that point, of course there was the unspoken fear that we wouldn't have many more of those moments with her, and I have never been so in the moment. We did fall asleep for a bit, and when we woke up, we were strangely optimistic. We knew we needed to be strong for her. The nurses heard me say, "Julia, it's game day!" and they wrote that on the board in her room. It became our mantra for the day. It felt so unfair to have to ask a baby to be so strong for all of us, but thankfully, she came through. She has significant delays, and has struggled to do the things that come so naturally for most of us - to breathe, eat, crawl and talk. But she is just the happiest little girl who manages to smile through all of it. Every day, and every moment, I am inspired by her.

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  32. Trust God and don't feel like you're doing something wrong if your baby won't sleep! Every child is different -- it just takes time!

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  33. I'm 21 weeks along with our first (a girl!) and haven't even begun to collect the things she'll need. What a sweet way to get things started. Great giveaway, I love your blog!

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  34. advice would be to reach out for support and help when needed, and know that you are not alone

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  35. My best advice for expectant parents is - be flexible, and never say "never", you will eat those words :-)

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  36. i'm pregnant with my second and i can't wait to see both kids playing together

    karinaroselee at gmail dot com

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  37. Do what works best for you and your child. Not everyone may agree with your parenting style, and that's okay.

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  38. The first few days are always the best. Being in complete awe of the beautiful person you have created!

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  39. Do what is best for you & your baby not what other tell you should do!

    Nursing & cosleeping with my little man

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  40. My favorite memory is when my daughter first smiled at me. And my advice would be that parenthood does get better, because that first month is really tough especially for a first time parent!

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  41. My favorite memories are just watching your children grow and learn... The first year goes by so fast and babies learn so much!

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  42. My favorite parenting memory was of my first "petting" me as he nursed, like he was saying "thank you and I love you too!" It still makes me smile.

    My best advice for a first time mom: Don't get upset if you don't end up parenting the way you had planned. Each baby and every experience is different. If you do the best you can every day, no one could ask for more than that :)

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    1. My daughter has started petting me too. It's so sweet.

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  43. My advice would be is if someone offers help take it!

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  44. My favorite memory is nursing my brand new little one early on Christmas morning!

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  45. Best advice to give a soon-to-be mom would be: Take lots and lots of photos! Your little one will grow so quickly.

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  46. For me it was all the moments nursing. His sweet smell as I lay next to him and he would gradually fall asleep. I was and am still so in love with my first baby. He is now three. I am just in love with 2nd baby. She is the sweetest and funniest babe I have come across. Best advice. Slow down and appreciate every second with first babe because with 2nd you will not have that opportunity because you will be playing with your first when your baby is sleeping and content. Also, listen to yourself. No one else knows what us best for your family.

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  47. I'm due with my first any day now! My official due date is July 5th. This is our 4th pregnancy, so needless to say we're over-the-moon happy that our dream is about to come true <3

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  48. oh i love all of these pearls of wisdom. keep them coming!!

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  49. My husband and I are anxiously awaiting our first. Many of the things in this packet are on our wish list. We are so excited.

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  50. liked them all, fav experience was birthing. The ecstasy of those first days was amazing! Best advice, is do what feels right for you.

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  51. My favorite memories are just the sweet cuddle times and nursing in the quiet hours! My best advice...try not to stress!

    szogediek at yahoo dot com

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  52. They're only little for a short time. .. enjoy it!

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  53. All I can say is be patient!

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  54. Enjoy every minute. Even the difficult times. It goes by too quickly!

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  55. I have four kids ranging from 3 months to 17 years old! I have so many wonderful memories and making new ones daily! My favorites from the first year are just sitting there holding them while they are sleeping, or staring lovingly back at me! My advice to any new mom is to enjoy each sleep deprived moment, even when they are crying for no reason, because they grow up too quickly! Also, forget everyone else's unwanted advice and go with your instinct! sonyadmorris@gmail.com

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  56. Not going to have my little one until August, but so far my biggest advice is to make your own decisions as to what is best for you, your child and your family. So many people have opinions and think their way is the only way, and those opinions are always different from one person to another. It can get stressful and frustrating. Always listen to what they have to say, but choose what is best for you based on your circumstances.

    Good luck to all you momma's out there!

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  57. I love the way my 6-week-old holds my finger or my shirt while she's nursing. I know I'll treasure that down the road.

    As for advice, listen to your instincts! I wish I'd trusted myself more with my first born.

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  58. my favorite memory from our first year was putting my baby in bed for his 6-7am nurse & then leaving him in there with me for morning snuggles. now he's 2 & not nursing & never snuggles with me in bed! expecting #2 any day & hoping for the same snuggles. First time moms the old saying is true the days are long but the years are short. even the nights of colic & being up with a screaming baby for hours are sweet memories now. take it all in!

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  59. I loved when my daughter would fall asleep on my husbands chest when they were both sleeping. I can't wait until I have my next little one this October for the same thing.

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  60. Enjoy every little moment. Each phase is a precious one. Take each one in and know each day that passes gets easier, while at the same time goes faster. Cherish that babe!

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  61. I love all these products, I have them all on my TO BUY list, and just added PAIGELAUREN! What precious clothes! I will be reading all the advice, as we are expecting our first in Oct!!

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  62. I loved watching my daughter sleep on my husband's chest. Also, every little milestone had me in awe of life.

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  63. Commit to being flexible. Not all things work for all babies.

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  64. I visited all the websites and I am very excited about this giveaway. I don't have any advice yet but maybe in a year I will! But I am hoping to enjoy everything and not get bogged down in the details.

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  65. I don't have one specific favorite memory, but I struggled a great deal the first six weeks after my son was born, both with my own recovery, and with the breastfeeding "learning curve" -- it was hard for me to feel a connection with him. But slowly, once he started smiling and I felt more whole physically, every day got a little better until I had this responsive fun little guy. He's 21 months now and what a personality. He's running, dancing, chatting up a storm, talks to us in ASL, giggles when we tickle him, loves to go to the park and ride the carousel with us, eats well...he's just a joy (a ton of work, but a joy). So all of that rolled into one is what I think of when I look back on our first year together.

    As for as advice for new mothers, I have a number of tips if they plan to nurse -- 1) arrange to have a nursing consultant on tap so she can be called if need be while still in the hospital or as soon as you arrive him, 2) have snacks prepped for nursing sessions. My husband washed and cut up strawberries, blueberries, carrot sticks etc. for me and had them at the ready in tupperwares in the fridge so I could grab them, along with some huumus or almond butter and be able to eat with one hand while nursing. He also filled a big straw cup full of water every night so it was right there when I was ready to nurse. Made everything so much easier when you wake up and are stubbly and tired.

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  66. My favorite memory has to be the excitment and fear when you hold the baby close to you for the first time, at that moment nothing else matters except the bond between you and the baby that you created inside of you, a precious baby that came from almost nothing and is now breathing slowly and calmly against your chest. I will never forget looking into her eyes for the first time, I had never seen anyone more beautiful in my entire life. She is about to turn one and I am amazed everyday at how she grows and learns. My whole world changed the day I met her and I can't wait for the day she becomes a mother and can really grasp how much I love her!

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  67. LOVE our Ergo! Would love a second Ergo for our second baby (who's on the way) so that we can go hiking with both kiddos in their carriers. My best advice: the sooner you can stop comparing your child to other children, and the sooner you can let go of what other people think of your parenting choices, the better off you'll be.

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  68. My first favorite memory was when everyone left the hospital room after my baby girl was born and it was just me and her for the first time. It was so special and priceless. I will never forget the first moment I held her and kissed her little face!

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  69. best memory: smelling their foreheads and being so surprised that even when they grow they always have that same scent in that one spot...
    best advice: don't blink, it goes too fast! and don't ever complain...being a Mother is the best gift you will ever recieve

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  70. I'd echo the follow your gut advice and also say guard your post-partum time!! Let ppl know what might be helpful ahead of time...like meals or house help and don't be afraid to ask for what you need. That time is sacred and can really set family up for success! Spend that time as relaxed and nestled in as possible. The house can wait...target can wait. Soak it up!

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  71. My advice is to enjoy every second of watching them grow and learn-it goes by to fast!

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  72. I don't have one of my own but I can't wait. My sister's have a bunch and I've helped with all 8 of them. My advise (for what it's worth) is to keep it real. Try to cut out any chemicals and bad stuff (for lack of a better word). Stay as natural as possible and baby will appreciate it later. OH and hold on tight because these years FLY BY!

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  73. Relish every moment. Before you know it, baby will be a year old.

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  74. The best advice I could give would be to throw out all the stuff you learned from books out the window and trust yourself and your instincts, YOU DO KNOW WHAT YOU'RE DOING :)

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  75. Best memory is the first laugh or chortle....pure joy!!!!advice...record the cooing and sweet sounds, before you know it they are 6! Taking things a bit slower with the new additi, not stressing so much:)

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  76. People have been raising babies for thousands of years without all the crazy gizmos and gadgets. Your suggestions are a great reminder that we can all do it on way less!

    Also motherhood is tough enough so don't make it worse by being hard on yourself. Do what works for you not for anyone else :)

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  77. My favorite memory from the first year is holding my babies when they sleep. It is so precious and will not continue for very long. They grow up so fast and no longer can be held the same way in your arms.

    My advice would be to cherish every moment as they change so fast.

    These are great products that I would love to win! Thanks!

    mrs.sarahemason@gmail.com

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  78. We have a 3 year old son, Milo, and are expecting twin boys this fall. I have been especially nostalgic for the time that he and I have had the past few years and definitely more teary recalling so many dear moments! The two of us dancing to favorite tunes, throwing on a carrier and finding new places to explore, kissing little, hot cheeks and how he always smelled like mama milk and baby sweat and a hint of mustela :) I tell all my new mama friends to be gentle with yourself and to slow it down even when you feel like you have a million things to do. I try to remind myself that as well as I embark on raising two more little men! Milo never cared if my laundry was folded and put away daily, or the yard perfect or my hair, etc...and as you said, they require so few fancy baby things! I think simple is better when it comes to sweet, little babes. XO!

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  79. My favorite first memory would be nursing for the first time. It's such a wonderful and intimate experience to share with your baby. It taught me how to be patient while nurturing my baby at the same time. My best advice would be to sleep when baby sleeps. It's so important for mom to have rest and be in a good mood for baby to thrive.

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  80. My favorite memories of the first year are of the middle of the night feedings. Everyone talks of how bad they arebut to me it was a special time with just me and the baby bonding and snuggling. I could have just stared at her all night. The first smile is definitely a close second. My advice is to cherish every moment. It goes so quickly! Even in the sleepless nights and things seam rough you'll soon be looking back and saying, that wasn't so bad.

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  81. My favorite memory was when the daughter I placed for adoption 16 years ago met her 1/2 brother who I had 8 months ago. Words can not describe:) Piece of advise? As a first time mom i ready EVERYTHING i could get my hands on. Every blog, article, book and fb post. Turns out my son didn't read any of that and had his own ideas of what he wanted. Put down the books. Listen to your baby and your instincts. Your life will be much easier!

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  82. I just (2 weeks ago) had my 3rd daughter. My favorite memories with my older 2 all center around music. Mostly singing to them or playing music for them while rocking them to sleep or nursing. Looking to find a special song for this new little one.

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  83. Just relax is the best advice I can think of. My first kiddo I was so worried a lot of the time and he is fantastic. I am getting ready for #2, who should be here in about 2 months, and I am trying to remember what it's like to have a newborn and not a 3 year old.

    My favorite memories are all of breast feeding, it was so difficult for us but we pulled through and those moments were very transformative and touching.

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  84. My best memory is the first time my child smiled at me. It just melted my heart.
    My best piece of advice is to trust your instincts. You know your child better than anyone.

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  85. My favorite memory is snuggle time. The moment when she was truly content just looking at me and being held by me. My advice for first time moms is read or watch Happiest Baby on the Block. The 5 s's were life savers. :)

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  86. Christy St. ClairJune 26, 2013 at 11:10 AM

    My favorite memory during the first year is when they start laughing. No sound in the world is better than hearing a baby laugh.
    My advice for a new mother would be to not sweat the small stuff. Take it one day at a time and try to savor the moments. They don't last and they grow up so fast.

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  87. I'm having my first in January and am definitely not wanting all the "stuff" that comes with your first little one because you didn't know any better. I love these basics and they would definitely help!

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  88. My best memories of the first year were just snuggling up in bed with my little one in the weeks while I recovered from the c-section.

    My advice is not to listen to too much advice...every child is different and you just have to do what works best for each one.

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  89. The first time you hold your baby is just priceless...definitely the nest memory ever!

    One peice of advice...just relax, you are doing an amzing job and trust your instinct!

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  90. My favorite memory with my kids is having them sleep on me. I loved how well they would sleep during that time, looking so serene. It was intoxicating to me. My best recommendation for first time moms is, if it doesn't feel right, it isn't. Use your instincts and you will be fine.

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  91. My first is due in February, so my memories are yet to come! Love reading all this advice!

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  92. My best advice is learn how to use your stroller and car seat before you have your baby!!! My favorite memory is the first time my son smiled :)

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  93. Best memory is nursing. Best advice is to try to enjoy every moment even the hard time cause it all goes so fast.

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  94. my first is due at the end of the year. I've been a nanny a lot and I do know that no matter how much you spend on toys they will always prefer the simplest of items- pots, pans, boxes, etc.

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  95. Best memory so far is hearing my 4 month old laugh for the first time while my husband was giving him a bath. I tried so hard to keep my excitment from bursting out into an "Oh my baby!!!" and picking him up to squeeze him as I knew that would have stopped the giggling. Instead I gave him the biggest smile while tears of joy filled my eyes. I am such a proud momma!

    I would advise an expecting mom - Don't be too hard on yourself and don't compare yourself to other moms. Do what you feel is best for you and your baby.

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  96. I loved all the little firsts. First time baby grabs your finger, first time they giggle/coo at you, first time they crack that cheesy toothless smile. The first time they reach out to you... So many fantastic first moments.

    My advice...if it feels wrong, it IS wrong! No one book/website/friend/family member is going to have all the answers for you. Parenting is very much a trial and error, gut instinct adventure. What works for one baby, isn't necessarily going to be what works for the next. Try it and if it doesn't work, or really feels like it doesn't mesh with your parenting philosophies, try something different.

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  97. I'm expecting my first in August and have registered for and would LOVE all of these goodies!!! The best advice I've heard so far is "you aren't the first woman to go through birht and become a mom... lean on others, learn from mistakes, and you'll be fine!"

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  98. My best advice would be to enjoy every second, because it goes by way too fast. My favorite memory would be their first smiles and first laughs, I just love when their personalities started to show.

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  99. My best advice is that: you may be terrified you're going to do it wrong, the only thing you need to do is love your baby and listen to their cues.

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  100. Always trust your instincts. Qnd my favorite memory is getting my first giggle s.

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  101. Even when you are so tired and sleep deprived, try and remember that this too shall pass :). During those days, I hated other moms telling me that but now I see why they did. T

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  102. Oh, those first little belly laughs! I can hardly wait to hear them from Baby Number Two...

    My advice? Let things go. Don't worry about clutter or leaving one thing off the shopping list. All those little bothers and annoyances will be waiting for you later. For now, enjoy those first precious months as your family grows...

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  103. All the hugs! All her firsts. And I would tell any mother to read her baby and not a book!

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  104. I'm on number 3 with my oldest being 3, middle being 18 months and youngest being 4 months. The best memory is when they smile at you for the first time and not just the gas smile but because they are truly happy to see you. Best advice, do what works for you and that particular baby. You can get all the advice in the world from someone but it might not work for you.

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  105. My favorite part is meeting my baby for the first time and those first newborn weeks. My advice would be to follow your heart and not all the baby books. Mom knows best!

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  106. My favorite memory of my son's first year was watching him crack up at Daddy. I think it's harder for dads to bond with infants, especially if mom is EBF, since baby is completely dependent on her. So to see them find a way to connect was really heartwarming and exciting!

    The biggest thing I learned that first year that I'd love to pass on to new moms is that sleep begets sleep. It seems illogical, but making sure baby gets sufficient rest during daytime naps will help ensure that he will sleep well at night.

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  107. I'm expecting my 1st child in the Fall so I have no advice to provide but I am glad to get feedback from the experienced moms!

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  108. That it's okay if things don't go according to plan. What is important is how you react and how you interact with your baby. I love A&A swaddle blankets and use them for more than just swaddling. They cover the car seat from the sun or use as a light blanket or to play on.

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  109. #2 is on the way and I agree about a streamlined approach this time. I am trying to tell myself not to rush this pregnancy...and to enjoy this time as 3.

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  110. The little firsts are the best. The first smile, the first hug, the first time they reach for you...

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  111. Relax and enjoy the ride, all moms have guilt and you are doing a good job. And I loved when my little girl started "talking" after her night time bath--the little squeals and coos were amazing.

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  112. My favorite memory from my son's first year was how soothing cuddle time was. We learned so much just sitting together. I got to see his first smile, hear his first laughs and be there to comfort him.
    We're currently expecting number two and are so excited to welcome a new family member and watch our little guy become a big brother.

    My advice to all new mommies: don't let anyone bully you into going against your wishes. If you want to breastfeed, DO IT! If you want to co-sleep, DO IT! Babywear if you want to and don't let anyone's negativity make you feel like less of a person. Do what you feel is right for your wee one.

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  113. We are only four months into our first year, but my favorite part so far is how snuggley my LO is. Having him fall asleep on my chest and just feeling him relax. It is such a trusting and loving moment.
    As a first time mom with so little experience I can only echo what has already been said. Don't be too hard on yourself, listen to advice but don't allow that advice to hurt orsway you if I lt goes against what is right for you. It won't always be easy(breastfeeding was initially a huge struggle) but it will always be worth it.

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  114. My favorite thing during that first year was when they were small enough to sleep on my chest. That and seeing them give you that first real smile.
    My best advice is that the dishes or cleaning up can wait. They grow so fast, so worrying about all of the other stuff is not worth missing those moments with your baby.

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  115. With my first, I remember him laughing for the first time on Christmas. He was sleeping and just did a little laugh. It was so cute.

    I am expecting his little brother this fall. My advice to moms is to not compare your children to others, especially milestones. A lot of websites will ask when did your baby walk or sit up for the first time. And people like to say outrageous things, but try to enjoy each moment. You will miss the days when they couldn't walk, believe me!

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  116. my best advice is to wear your baby as much as possible, I've found its one of the best ways to soothe a fussy baby, as well as put them to sleep.

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  117. I'm 4 months in and enjoy the private moments we share during and right after nursing.

    Some people say breast feeding should be easy, but it was not for me. I wanted to do it, and I stuck with it and now it's a lot easier. It's hard the first few months! A mom told me that before I had baby and I'm glad for that, otherwise, i would have given up. You are not alone!

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  118. Best advice - take naps while you still can.
    Favorite Memory - nursing my little one and having her stare up at me in wonderment. No matter the time of day, feeling that connection takes all other worries away.

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  119. I love snuggling with my little one, they feel just right pressed up against my chest. I also love breastfeeding, it is such a good way to sit and relax and enjoy my baby.

    My advice for new moms, is follow your instincts, you know what is best for your baby. If you are in a rough patch with sleeping, feeding etc. remember that this too shall pass, so take it in stride and try to enjoy the easier moments.

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  120. Take a lot of pictures...and then take some more! They change so much during the first year and it's amazing to be able to look back on that special time.

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  121. I loved the sweet touch of my baby's hand on my skin when they were nursing or when I was holding them. Each child is such a blessing! My advice for a new mom is to take up offers for people to babysit, because as much as we love our children, our marriage is still #1 and it is so important to stay connected to your spouse.

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  122. My favorite memory is all the snuggles & giggles. Just the little things really.

    Advise: Babies don't keep! Don't try to be perfect (who is anyway?), easier to just go with the flow. Wear your baby. Hold them as much as you want (you cannot spoil a baby). Pick them up when they cry. Do what feels right for YOU. Take everyone's advise with a grain of salt. ;)

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  123. My favorite memories are watching the interactions of my daughter and my husband. Seeing what kind of father he was going to be was so precious. I would tell any new mother that the changes in their babies happen quickly so ocapture all you can.

    ninajanke at gmail dot com

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  124. My favorite memory was when my daughter looked up at me out of crib, smiled and said mama for the first time.

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  125. I haven't spent the first year with my little one yet...due in 4 weeks. So far, I most enjoy just relaxing, feeling them move and grow. I'm in amazement already!

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  126. I am 35 weeks today (and on bed rest for high BP) so I cannot wait to meet our baby Girl soon! I have enjoyed reading all the comments and advice from other moms. Cheers to the first year!!

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  127. My favorite memories for both daughters is hearing them both laugh for the first time. Advice for new mamas: enjoy it all, even the sleepless nights because they do grow up very quickly.

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  128. I loved when my son would smile at me when I'd go to him in the morning. It's the sweetest feeling in the world to experience that. My advice is to remember that everything is a stage. It's so incredibly hard in the beginning, especially when you're a first time parent. Everything passes and it gets better.

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  129. Best Advice I can give:
    Focus on the “now moments” you can’t do anything about what’s already happened or what’s going to happen. Laugh a lot and remember to trust your own intuition when it comes to your little one(s); let all that “good” but unsolicited advice go in one ear and right back out the other. Do what’s right for you!

    All time favorite moment: First trip to the beach at 5 months old where she was just awed by the sound of the ocean and loved sitting up and playing in the sand, so much baby laughter!

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  130. What a generous give away! I just blogged about baby registries and my desire to keep things simple. I even referenced your list! :) We can't wait for our little one to join us in August and I'm excited to back track through this series and follow along as he grows. As always, thank you for your wonderful perspective on parenting Elizabeth. xo

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  131. relaxing while holding my baby!

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  132. Best memory of my baby's first year is when I realized that he actually understood what I was saying. I asked him is he could give his toy froggy a kiss and he did! It was so cute!

    My advice would be don't sweat the small stuff!

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  133. my sweet baby boy jackson daniel will be 4 months old in 2 short weeks and it is nearly impossible to pinpoint a favorite memory; every second every memory is better than the last. the very first seconds of skin to skin snuggling and nursing my 7lb. baby boy...watching the way my husband seamlessly transformed into a father...celebrating all of the first and knowing there is a lifetime is firsts ahead off us...but i think what's my favorite is the way my son looks at me with the look of insane unconditional love. one look just knocks you to your knees and causes uncontrollable tears of joy. it's the best look in the world. a look i hope he gives me until my very last days. my advice to any new mom is enjoy every day every tiring overwhelming second because time is precious and fleeting.

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  134. I am currently waiting on my first little one. I think this giveaway is awesome. I love the saying So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!
    I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.
    I plan to enjoy every moment once my baby gets here.

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  135. The best advice I could give is sleep when baby sleeps!

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  136. My best memory from the first year with my three babies ... Is just how tiny, precious of a bundle they are at birth and how fast they grow through those first months! Then on their first birthday reflecting back at how much they change so fast in just one year!

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  137. My favorite memory of my son's first year would have to be the moment I first laid eyes on him when he was born...magical.

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  138. This is my first and I dont have many friends with kids so I am getting lots of advice online (good and bad) after 13 years with my husband it is a little scary to be starting this journey!

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  139. My favorite memory was when they baby smiled at me for the first time. Favorite advice is don't wake the sleeping baby.

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  140. One of my favorite memories during the first year was my daughter's first tentative steps! It was so amazing to see how she had grown and was now beginning to walk. She was so proud of herself!!

    #1 piece of advice: Go easy on yourself! Everyone wants to be the perfect mom, but there is no such thing! Just know you are doing the best you can!! Also, don't feel bad about leaving laundry and dishes for awhile. Your baby is only little once, so spend as much time as possible with them, it goes so fast!!

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  141. I love all the sweet snuggles

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  142. I am a first-time mom to an almost 3 month old, and my favorite memories so far are his first smiles. That's when you feel all the love you've been giving come right back to you.

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  143. My favorite memory of my Son an Daughter's first year is seeing them smile. Nothing sweeter then baby smiles.
    My advice for a new mother would be, take the time to snuggle with your baby, it develops trust. Don't miss these opportunities now, babies grow up fast!

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  144. My favorite memory was his first smile. So real and loving. A bit of advice is to enjoy every minute b/c it goes by so fast.

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  145. Just found out we are expecting so no advice yet! Although I do love reading everyone else's!

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  146. Sleep while your baby sleeps! Gosh, with my littlest one - I wish I had taken the opportunities to get some extra rest. Also, don't feel like you have to buy EVERYTHING people suggest. We bought so much, and used maybe 1/3 of it. The rest has just sat in the closet :(

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  147. My favorite memory of baby's first year was the moment after delivery. Beautiful!
    Advice for a new parent is that you can never take too many photos of your baby and family!
    Thanks!
    Ross Olson
    rcolson@charter.net

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  148. My very favorite memory from my son's first year was the moment they laid him on my chest as soon as he was born. He immediately knew I was his mommy and felt comfortable there.
    It was a precious time for me and my husband and our baby.
    My advice is just to live in the moment with your new little family, you have to be present and really treasure each new stage.
    Amie Olson
    alolson1@charter.net

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  149. I'm only two months into this motherhood thing, but so far, my favorite memory is his first smile! I will never forget that face. As for advice, I don't know much, but I do know believing in the 4th trimester has worked miracles for us!

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  150. We're expecting our first early next year, so no advice here, just a sponge. It's all so surreal and exciting. I can't wait to snuggle our little one.

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  151. Love is an excellent eraser...those words help me every day when I want so badly to get everything right. The book Listening to the Littlest had a poem about that in it.

    Babies reveal who we are and what we need to work on. I am so thankful for my two (3 and 3 months). Life changers!

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  152. My fav moments are the moments when I'm nursing my little girl. Life can be so chaotic. It's nice to stop and really be in the moment as I nurse her. The skin to skin contact is also my favorite. It makes me feel so close to her.

    P.S. I'm so excited for this giveway!

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  153. nursing. i have nursed each one of my babies for the first year and it really seperates that year from all the rest. they start out small and sleep asyou hold them and feed them. you look at them and they cant look back right away. so quickly, they grow ... they start holding your hand, stroking you as you sit there together. then they begin to get so busy ... crawling and moving but they always stop ... stop so you can hold them and nurse them. they look up at you and star at you like you are the only person in their world. this bond you develop this first year, i truly believe, stays with them the rest of their life.

    my best advice ... cherish every moment. they grow so quickly. new moms worry and its impossible not to, however, dont let those worries and expectations of the kind of mother you should be, cause you to miss the moments. slow down, feed you baby, rock them, let them sleep in your bed, hold them (even though you have been holding them all day). those are the moments you will never regret taking time for. we are here to be mothers, first and foremost, to raise these beautiful children ... dont let the world destract you from that.

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  154. just a few months into my first babe's first year... the smiles and the snuggles are the sweetest parts. best advice? the same that has been given to me over and over - enjoy it while it lasts, these moments are fleeting!

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  155. My favorite memory with my first (who is now 3) is when we finally got to bring him home from the hospital...he was a preemie, and after 2 months with him in the hospital while I went back to teaching, I was overjoyed to finally take him home!

    Our second, born this last year, ended up being full-term, and my most vivid memory with her was getting to hold her right after giving birth (something I didn't experience with my son until well after a week after he was born)...and then taking her home right away! Blessed!

    Advice = As many have said, trust your instincts - when family, friends, & doctors give advice, they are offering their help & suggestions, but you are mama & know your baby best...not everyone does everything the same, and that's okay. Do what is best for your baby & you...and remember, even that can even change from child to child :0)

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  156. I have 3 girls 3 1/2 and younger. The best advice I have is to listen to your baby. Even if he/she is crying and not able to speak yet your momma heart will hear what they are wanting. Hold them. They will grow up and ask for Daddy instead, it will hurt but remember those days that all they wanted was YOU even if it was tough back then!

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  157. One of my favorite memories of my oldest's first year was when he learned sign language around nine months and we could communicate better. Plus it was just too adorable watching him ask for milk with his little hands!

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  158. My advice is to follow your instincts. Everyone is going to have advice - but always go with you gut. My favorite memory of my babies first year is just watching him learn. It truly is amazing.

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  159. So far my most favorite memory of my baby boy was the first time he smiled at me and I will never forget it.

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  160. Raising a baby isn't a one size fits all sort of thing. Trust your instincts and do what is right for you and your baby.

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  161. First skin-to-skin experience is my favorite memory with both kids!

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  162. My favorite memory of baby's first year includes taking lots and lots of photos. I couldn't believe that in such small amounts of time, my baby had grown and changed so much. I am always going back to look at old pics and thinking how much my 6 month will grow like my 13 and 6 year old.

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  163. Don't be afraid or nervous! Most every new mom feels that way, and if there is a supportive family or friends around you then appreciate them for their help when it is offered.

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  164. the moment your baby is born, the moment he's out of his earthquakey belly home covered in guk and placed on your chest is it. it's such a flood of overwhelming emotion, you've known this person for almost an entire year already and then there you are face to face..it's the truest love story i've ever known and not one thing in the entire world can hold a flame to it. the moment motherhood becomes real.

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  165. My favorite memory with my son is and still is rocking him before naps and bedtime! I just cherish this time I get to snuggle him before he rests!

    My best advice for a new mama would be to just go with the flow. Babies don't come with manuals (unfortunately), you have to find a rhythm that works for both you and baby!

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  166. i don't know how to choose a favorite memory - maybe holding my daughter in the birthing pool, watching her pink up, her lips changing from blue to red, and not knowing yet if she was a girl or boy. it was an amazing moment in my life. my favorite bit of advice i give to new mamas is that you don't need to worry or feel overwhelmed about all the lists of things people say you need - all that baby truly needs is your love, your milk, and a few tiny diapers. the rest is just extra.
    however: i love the list of things you've gathered here and i would love to win them for my new little one coming at the end of august. such lovely luxuries! thanks for the chance.

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  167. dd due oct 9th! today marks first day of third trimester and our second wedding anniversary :) so far, we love feeling and seeing baby move inside of me. Also, loved our 3D ultrasound-very cool.

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  168. All of this stuff is on my wish list :) We are due with baby #1 in October. We have been pretty good about keeping to basics, but that is more because I'm terrified of clutter and baby stuff everywhere. It takes a lot of research and talking to moms and reading great blogs like yours to figure out what you really need.

    Our favorite memories thus far are the first time I felt baby move and the first time my hubby could feel it! Now we can see my tummy move--which is super crazy and exciting. We read Harry Potter to my belly every night. That is probably our favorite time together as family right now!

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  169. My favorite moments with my son are his smiles...he is such a happy baby...this helps on the stressful days:)

    My advice to new parents is to follow your instinct as Mommy and Daddy. Our children are only young for a short time as I'm learning and you must make the most out of every moment. People will always give advice but only you know what works best for you and your child/children.

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  170. I'm due in December, so I can give any advice because it's my first. I would be so grateful to win though!

    Ashley O.

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  171. My baby girl is only 5 months old and so far my favorite thing to do with her is kiss her toes to hear her laugh. So fun!
    My best piece of advice - don't try to be the perfect mom. It takes away from your time with the baby, worrying constantly.

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  172. Thanks for doing this giveaway! I'm hoping to be a mommy sometime next year so no advice here! I have seen these items as all are must haves on my friends baby lists! Would love to be prepared a head of time!
    Cristin P.

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  173. My favorite memory is those quiet times when I was nursing her in the dark when everyone else was asleep.

    My advice for new parents is to remember that you are the best mommy for your baby and to trust yourself.

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  174. My favorite memory would be the snuggles :) My boys still give them to me, if I ask, at the ages of almost 3 and 1 1/2. We're expecting again in Sept, and can't wait to have another little snuggle bug!

    Advice: Live one day at a time! When it's a rough day, just bundle the kids in the car, give them a snack, put the music on, and go for a drive. It'll keep you sane :)

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  175. My favorite moments with my daughter were the first few weeks. I loved to look at every inch of that sweet face and wrinkly hands and feet. I loved her furry little shoulders and even noticed over the first few weeks how much her eyelashes grew!

    I recommend that new mothers hold their babies and love on them as much as you can - the moments are fleeting!
    I'm due w/ #2 in December and would love to win!

    Thanks!
    Kelsey B.
    (My google Acct. Is acting up so I had to post anonymous. Sorry!)

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  176. I am due at the beginning of September. I look forward to my first year with baby. I have loved reading your As They Grow series. All of these items seem like they would be well used and well loved! Great giveaway. christadalien(at)hotmail

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  177. my favorite memories are definitely snuggling in bed while nursing. so cozy! I always tell people to not stress to much about any one stage as the change so much so quickly that first year.

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  178. My favorite memory of my baby's first year is the newborn/baby stretch. I just loved to watch her, not fully awake, stretch out. Still brings a huge smile to my face. There are so many changes that first year that I just tried to savor each stage. My best advice would be to trust in yourself as a parent. Do what feels right and look for what works best for your baby, your family, your life, and yourself.
    I am so excited to embark on the next stage in my life with my little family of three that soon will be four!!:)

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  179. My favorite memory so far (our daughter is four months old) has been when she looks up at me while nursing with loving eyes and a big smile! My recommendation is to let go of any expectations, especially your to-dos and enjoy every precious moment. Relax into motherhood and try not to be too ambitious when it comes to getting back into work or social events. Take it slow and love the time you have with your little one!

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  180. My favorite memory were those first steps. My best advice is to trust your gut feeling! I also remember the first time my son waved at me - the BEST.

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  181. My favorite memory with DD2 (2 months old) is when she first unlatched during breastfeeding to smile at me. With DD1, it is her 'singing' along with a song on TV, she was about 2 months old and she cooed along with the girls singing on the Grammys, it was so cute!

    My advice to new moms is that you are not alone. There is an entire world out there ready and willing to help! Whether it's advice, baby gear you need to borrow, or help cleaning the house/watching baby so you can get in a nap, ASK FOR HELP when you get overwhelmed!

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  182. My first baby is due at the end of August this year. WE are very excited to start this new chapter in our lives. Any tips and helpful products are always welcomed. I love my mommy groups I've joined for support on becoming a new mom :)

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  183. Relax, sit back and enjoy your little one :) Thanks for the chance to win!

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  184. I loved seeing my son smile at me for the first time. The advice I would give is to relax and go with your child's flow. All children are different and what works for some doesn't work for others. There is so much pressure as a parent. Don't freak out if your child is still waking up in the middle of the night at 10 months!

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  185. Just got to go with the flow!

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  186. There's nothing better than holding a brand new little baby. I didn't want to put my son down when he was first born- he was so tiny and lightweight. We're expecting our second in a month now and I'm very much looking forward to that sweet new baby smell and all of the newborn traits that come and go so quickly. It's so cliche but it really does go by fast. I plan to soak up the newness as much as I can.

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  187. I have 2 favourite memories and they are the first moment I saw my babies. Finallying seeing their faces and being able to put their name and face together. The other moment is when they have their first smile. such a moment of bliss.

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  188. What an amazing give away! I don't think I have ever participated in any before but then I have never been as excited about one before:)
    It is hard to narrow it down to one memory but if I had to I would say the first time I fed my baby girl with a fresh raspberry. It had been something I was looking for and dreaming about while pregnant! She loved it of course! I am not sure why this was so important to me, maybe because I am French and food is so important to me:)
    The best advice that was given to me was to always remember what the flight crew tells you on a plane and apply it to the first few weeks of baby's life: put the oxygen mask on you first! I can't say that I always take care of myself well enough to be the best Mom I can but I think about this tip often and it helps balance things a little! Thanks for reading!

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  189. Best memories with our first born were those late night quiet feedings. It was awkward at first, but once we got into a groove, nursing was THE BEST thing I could have done for him, and with him. Best advice I give first time mommas is to go with your gut. I drove myself nuts reading and over researching anything about baby and what his routine was supposed to be. Let yourselves fall into a natural routine and ask questions later. As long as they are healthy and thriving you really have nothing to worry about. Just enjoy them while they are so itty bitty fragile and immobile. We are expecting number two in 6 weeks or less and I couldn't be more excited about what I like to call the "squishy" faze. What a GREAT giveaway!

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  190. My absolute favorite memory is when my daughter first tried food. She LOVED every single bite, and while I was happy she was eating I was nervous she wouldn't want to nurse ever again. She still loves nursing even after she has an almost full belly. Those nursing snuggles are the absolute best. Enjoy every single moment with baby, as each and every single one of those moments go so quickly.

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  191. I just love the sweet baby smell, cuddling a new little one, and first smiles are priceless! I have found that the more babies I have the less baby gear I find necessary, a fact that is a big plus since surprise baby #7 is on the way after all our baby gear and clothing were parted out!

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  192. What an awesome giveaway. I use/used every one of these things with my daughter, Riley!

    Favorite memory: First time she said "mama" totally unexpectedly, and completely by accident. I kept after her for weeks hoping to hear it again :)

    Best advice: For now, just let go of your expectations. Of yourself as a mother, of your child, of what your house will look like, of what your spouse should be doing to help. The fastest track to being miserable is to find yourself not measuring up to your own (often impossibly high) expectations of what motherhood is like, especially during that 1st year!

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  193. I have the opposite problem with number two! I was in school with number one and everything was borrowed and passed on to others. We need to start from scratch with two and this would be a good a start.

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  194. I'm not a mom yet but I know that after the first year of my nephew, seeing him grow the best advice I can give is to just enjoy the time together and love your kid!

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  196. Time can't sweep away the feeling I got as I kissed that sweet little cheek when the doctor gave her to me for the first time.

    I think this might be my favorite giveaway ever! All of my favorite things!

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