As Tasha shared yesterday, we mommas are taking the next few weeks to share our favorite baby/kids items. Now, I know everyone has a different opinion of things that are necessary or helpful for their baby, so please remember as you are reading my list that it has been shaped by my own personal thoughts and experiences after one baby and another little one on the way soon. I know they may not work for every momma or child, but I remember as a new mom it was so helpful to hear from others who had walked before me! So, without further ado, here are my Mommy Must Haves for babies.
*Night gowns- These were wonderful for those late night diaper changes where the last thing you want to be doing is fiddling with snaps, zippers, etc. Carters and Gerber both sell some that are reasonably priced.
*Kimono onesies- This style onesie is great because you don’t have to pull it over baby’s head, which Nora was not a big fan of. I had a few of these and found them super helpful during messy diaper changes when Nora had a blow out, since I could pull it off without having to go over her head. This adorable one below is from Target.
*Crib- We originally had Nora in a co-sleeper for the first little while, but then moved her to her own crib. We went with the Sniglar crib from Ikea that converts into a toddler bed, mostly because it was the right price and it was more compact than other cribs (Nora’s room was pretty small). What a great investment! For $70 we have been greatly pleased with how well it has held up, especially through three different moves!
*Swaddle- Now I’ve heard that not every baby likes this, but Nora LOVED to be swaddled. We got some of the Aden and Anais swaddle blankets at a baby shower (which I loved but will show up elsewhere on the list) but Nora was able to break out of swaddles made with these fairly quickly as she grew in size and strength. That’s when I turned to the SwaddleMe. These things are amazing! I was able to use these with Nora until she was about 5 months old, and I could always count on it to soothe Nora when she was fussy and put her to sleep. I used the Kiddopatumus brand and the Summer Infant brand, and both were great.
*Sound Machine- We used our sound machine up until a few months ago, and I found it very helpful in getting Nora to sleep through the night. The machine we used had several different sound options which was nice, since a few of the sounds were kind of weird. We usually stuck with the soothing rain and thunder option 🙂
*Blankie/Lovie- This is something that she really didn’t notice for the first 6 months of her life, but I began putting in her crib from infancy so that she would get used to it and see it as a sleep que. She is now extremely attached to her blankie and loves to cuddle with it as she falls asleep. The blanket below (made by Prince Lionheart) is similar to one I received at a baby shower that was handmade. This is by far the best deal that I’ve found for a pre-made version. The reason I love this blanket is the size and feel. It is really easy for Nora to carry around and it is super soft to the touch.
*Pacifier- I know this can be controversial for some, but I loved the paci. I will let you know how much I love it when I get through taking it away from my daughter next month, but for now I’m sticking to my love 🙂
*Blanket- For summer time, you can’t beat the Aden and Anais blankets made of lightweight muslin. For winter, I had a fleece blanket that I received at a shower that worked well.
*Swing- Nora loved the swing, and I loved it because I had a place to put her down when my arms needed a break. She was never really into the bouncy seat, so this was a life saver for me. We had the Fisher Price Cradle and Swing pictured below.
*Play mat- This was nice for tummy time and as Nora was learning to roll over. I don’t know if I would say this is a necessary item and I would say a blanket and some toys would suffice, but it was nice to have the toys hanging overhead for her to look at and grab.
*Exersaucer/Johnny Jump up- We had these two items separately, but next time I think we will go with one like the one pictured below. I’m all about simplicity and I love when you can get multiple uses out of an item.
*Baby carrier- I would definitely say this is one item I would not go without. I would take a carrier over all these other products as I found it the most effective at soothing Nora and yet still letting me have my hands free. I loved the Moby Wrap for when Nora was a newborn. I was a little intimidated when I first saw this incredibly long piece of fabric that I was supposed to figure out how to tie around my body, but it is definitely one of those things that you get the hang of the more and more you do it! Once she was around 5 months old we moved to the Ergo, which I loved for the support that it gave me lugging around a chunka-monk of a baby! I know there are a lot of carriers out there, but these two definitely served us well and will get a lot of use again with baby number 2 on the way.
*Stroller- I have several strollers, but I loved my In-Step Safari Jogging Stroller. It is a great value for the money and is wonderful on city streets and bumpy sidewalks. The downside is that it doesn’t fold up very compactly. Now for baby number 2 we were given a double stroller by a friend (yay!), but if I had endless amounts of money I would probably go for a Phil and Teds stroller, which I’ve heard amazing things about!
*Nursing cover- I had a difficult time with nursing, but when I did nurse, I loved having a nursing cover. I tend to be a pretty modest, so I liked the extra coverage that the cover gave me. I found that I could nurse with more confidence because I wasn’t worrying about what was or wasn’t showing.
*MotherLove Nipple Cream- This stuff was awesome. It was definitely helpful those first few weeks when nursing can be rather painful.
*Tommy Tippee Bottles- These were newer bottles when Nora was first born but I got them because I liked that they were easy for Nora to grip. I see them a lot more now as they have grown in popularity. I also liked that they were easy to clean.
*Ella’s Kitchen Food Pouches- These were great for when I first started Nora on solid foods. She loved the taste and I loved the variety of nutrients and fruits and veggies she was getting and the fact that everything was organic.
*Teether- These were great to have as Nora began teething. I love the all wood maple teething rings that can be purchased from many different places. We got ours from a local shop but you can find them on Amazon or from some stores on Etsy.
Nora also loved the Razbaby teether. This one was great because it was a paci that she could put in her mouth and continuously chew on. We were also able to put this one in the freezer to cool it down for soothing her gums.
As for toys, I don’t include any on this list, because honestly, all baby really needs is you. I often found that Nora would be drawn to the very things that were not “toys” at all, but common household items. Whatever you have on hand I’m sure will be fine, as long as you are near to hold them, rock them, kiss them, and snuggle with them.