Our Favorite Baby Essentials

Our Favorite Baby Essentials

 

Being a first time mom has been such a learning curve for me. You too? Please tell me I’m not alone!

I remember the last few months leading up to “the big day” was so nerve wracking for me. How was I supposed to keep this child alive? Would I know what to do? What if I messed up? Or…what if I didn’t have the right tools for the job?

I received the most comforting advice at one of our baby showers – something I’m eternally grateful for, even today. This new mama herself said: “Don’t worry if it takes you 30 mins to figure out how to do something. Your baby doesn’t know that you don’t know.” I get teary eyed even now just thinking about this. That piece of advice saved me and helped me through some really hard times in the beginning.

I still don’t have everything figured out but I thought maybe I could share what’s worked for us these last 6 months because when you’re a new Mom everything is new – all.the.things and your baby! It was such an overwhelming experience to know that you needed “stuff” to care for this new little human but…what stuff? How was I supposed to know what worked and what didn’t? Truth is…you just don’t know. Motherhood is a wing-it-and-see kinda ride most times.

Now that I’ve had a chance to use all this new baby gear and have a few months of mommy-hood under my belt, I thought it would be fun to share what we’re totally loving and can’t live without in case anyone stumbles upon this blog and is feeling a little overwhelmed preparing for their little one. We moms have to stick together, don’t we?

 

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Feeding:

Dr. Brown Bottles

Dr. Brown bottles come with a million parts that all require washing but aside from that, they’re the absolute best. We did receive 2 other types of bottles in those new-mommy sample packages they send you in the mail but they were a total flop – the nipples would collapse and stop the flow of milk which made for one angry baby!

Boon Lawn Drying Rack

Remember all those bottle parts I mentioned? You’ll need this…or two (we have three). I love how you can throw it right in the dishwasher to quickly sanitize! I opted for an all white lawn because I’m totally OCD but they have a more realistic green one too if that’s your jam. You’ll probably need these and these to go with your lawn as well…plus they’re cute.

Bottle Wash

We love this brand of bottle wash soap. It’s a plant based, fragrance free soap that doesn’t leave a milky residue or odor behind! If you like smelly soaps, don’t worry, they have a yummy smelling Lavender fragrance too.

Dr. Brown Bottle Warmer

We love this no frills, easy-to-use bottle warmer. Even better – my Mom and Grandma can use it, no problem while watching our daughter during the week. No getting confused and frustrated with a high tech thingamajig while the baby screams in the background for more food NOW!

Soothing:

Avent Pacifiers

I never gave much thought about whether we’d give our daughter a pacifier until she had to stay in the hospital nursery for some jaundice therapy and they asked if they could offer her one. This is the one they used and hand out to all new parents – or at least those who are open to it. After reading about “nipple confusion”, we chose this pacifier because the nipple shape is near identical to the nipple shape on a bottle or our own bodies. We haven’t had any issues with Emie rejecting it or having latch issues because of it but I’ve heard it happens regardless…we’ve just been fortunate that we haven’t had to deal with that and this is the pacifier that works for us. What I love about it even more is that it’s a one piece constructed pacifier which makes easy to clean/sanitize and I don’t have to worry about whatever is festering between the cracks.

All Natural Wood Bead Pacifier Clip

Out of all the pacifier clips we received and/or purchased, we like this one best! Not only is it all natural, but she chews, chews, chews on this one more than any other clip so it must feel good on those gums! And yeah…it keeps the paci attached at all times too because that’s super important too!

Boba Wrap

This wrap you guys!!! It’s nothing genius – just a really, really, really, long piece of stretchy fabric that let’s you get stuff done with baby in tow. It was a total game changer when I started toting Emie around in it because it allowed me to get things done – dishes, laundry, dinner! As she’s gotten older, it’s still really helpful too! If you have a baby who loves to be out and about like we do, the wrap allows her to be up and observing the world go by without being confined to a car seat or stroller – Emie’s two least favorite things.

Gripe Water and Gas drops

These 2 items saved us so many times during those late night bouts with gassiness that hit hard right at 6 weeks when we had tried everything to calm our fussy baby and nothing seemed to help. It helped us, but helped her more.

Calming Vibrations Soother

We were gifted this cute little puppy that plays the most calming lullabies, humming, and gentle vibrations continuously over a 10 minute period. It worked so well, even I fell asleep listening to it.

Diapering:

Babies R Us Brand Diapers

When we were expecting the twins we started stocking up on diapers very early on in the pregnancy because we knew there was about to be a lot of dirty diapers in our future. Anytime we saw a sale on diapers or diapers that were on clearance, we snatched them up and packed them away – irregardless of brand. We didn’t get to use the diapers with the twins but once Emie came along we already had a huge stash of diapers just waiting to be used. Out of all the brands we stashed away, we’ve loved these the most. I won’t say they won’t leak, because at some point, they all will, but they’re by far the most absorbent and keep in what needs to stay in if you know what I mean.

Boudreaux Butt Paste Diaper Rash Ointment
We’ve been fortunate enough not to have dealt with diaper rash yet but perhaps it’s because we’ve been using this almost exclusively for the last 6 months. Or maybe we’ve just been lucky. Either way I’m grateful and I’m sure our daughter is too. It comes in extra strength too.

Portable Changing Pad

Makes diaper changing possible almost anywhere without having to tote around the entire diaper bag.

Windi

Seems like such a weird (and gross) thing to do but guys…it works! When your baby is suffering from gas you’ll do just about anything to alleviate the pain and this bad boy delivered in so many ways. Watch the video and stand clear. You’ve been warned!

Mom Gear:

Petunia Pickle Bottom Diaper Bag

What I like most about this bag is that it can pass for a purse, plus the waxed canvas makes it easy to wipe down and clean because let’s get real…life with a baby is messy. It’s also got a lot of great pockets on the inside and very roomy to carry around all those baby essentials.

Wet Bag

Shit happens and when it does, you’ll want one of these. I bought a set of wet bags – one large and one small – for the messiest of messes like ruined outfits from diaper explosions or volcanic spit-ups. You’ll want a place to throw the wet clothes to carry home to wash. Trust. They work great for wet bathing suits too. I keep both sizes in the diaper bag – one for the wet clothes and the other holds extra outfits, hats, bibs, and burp cloths all in one neat bag.

Diaper Bag Clip-On Dispenser

It’s like doggy bags but for diapers. The real bad (and stinky) diapers. The ones you’re too embarrassed to throw away in your friend’s trash can – these bags and this dispenser saves you from that embarrassment.

 

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Bathing:

Infant Bathtub

A bathtub without all the bells and whistles because, really, all that hoopla isn’t necessary. We liked this one for it’s simple, to the point, design. Its soft touch on the baby’s skin and allows the water to drain away so the baby isn’t bathing in dirty water and the no slip bottom was all we really needed. It fits perfectly in our farmhouse sink or perfect size to pop right into the bathtub too.

Hooded Towel

Because all babies are cuter in hooded towels. Even better? It has ears and is silky soft!

Safety Swabs

It hard enough to clean a squirming baby’s ears let alone having to worry about sticking the qtip in too far. These have come in handy for all those necessary tasks that our baby’s hate having done in the first place.

Sleeping:

White noise machine

We actually use our Google Home to play white noise for all naps and bed time but this one has a ton of positive reviews so it must be good. It helps to drown out noise in surrounding rooms which has helped us a ton in our quest for getting Emie to sleep soundly.

Footed Pajamas

Literally the softest footed pajamas I’ve come across that just get softer wash after wash. The smaller sizes come with the arm cuff so your little ones don’t scratch themselves. They’re made of organic cotton and the solid colors are gorge! Who can resist a baby in footed jammies?

Halo Sleep Sack

The wearable blanket for ultimate sleep safety! I love that it zips open from the bottom for middle of the night diaper changes.

Play:

Step N Play Piano

We don’t actually have this – but my Mom does and Emie goes bonkers over it! For a baby who loves to move around, this lets her slide side to side and spin around 360° all banging on the piano and making music! Probably a good thing it stays at Grandma’s house.

Musical Mover and Shaker

This was our daughter’s first real toy and she loves it! It plays a cute little melody while vibrating all over the floor and she loves chewing on the crinkly wings or crawling after it as it vibrates away.

Linking Rings

These silly things have literally saved my sanity. Our daughter has never been fond of car rides or the car seat but after using a bunch of these to hang toys and even a paci from the car seat handle, car rides are now a whole lot more pleasant because they keep the toys within reach and her entertained long enough for me to get where I need to go.

Sassy Play Gym

During the months when Emie was immobile, this play gym kept her entertained and happy! The bold and contrasting colors really kept her attention and the hanging toys really helped her work on her hand/eye coordination when reaching and grabbing. Now that she’s on the move we’ve packed the play gym away because she won’t lay down long enough to get any real use out of it but it was great while it lasted!

Foam Floor Tiles

These are a must for any home with hard wood, laminate, or tile flooring. It takes the worry away during playtime and gives those precious knees and cushiony surface to crawl around on. Comes in other great colors too here and here.

Infant Safety Helmet

Speaking of safety…I never thought I’d be one of these parents but here I am. Our daughter is sitting up but still a bit wobbly so after seeing her topple over from a sitting position and not being able to catch her fall we ordered this and now feel comfortable enough to leave her alone to play without having to worry she’s going to topple over and bonk her head. It’s adjustable and will grow with her through all her milestones until she’s a little more steady on her feet and her butt.

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These are all the things we’ve loved using over the last 6 months – please feel free to add your favorites to the comments below and I’ll continue to add if I come across any must haves! I’d love to hear what keeps you sane and your baby alive!