I hope you got a lot of goody out of me sharing my Baby Must-Have: Feeding list. I teetered on sharing just my top 10 baby essentials today but I couldn't limit myself to only 10! Or 20. Or 30...crikey. Here are 42 things that I highly recommend (+some in the comments below). I should have made a third category for sleep to keep this post from being info heavy but I know I would have appreciated less post jumping when I was pregnant and doing my own registry research. Without further ado:
Since babies are mostly immobile in the beginning, let's start talking about chairs. I LOVE everything about the BABYBJORN Bouncer. We only recently put it in storage. It is soft, light and has a natural bounce. I liked to keep ours on our island in the kitchen while I cooked and on the counter in the laundry room while I folded clothes. Eleanor loved to watch me hustle from her perch in it or she would snooze like a champ. Also, Eleanor's allergies were really bad in the early months. Her ped suggested she sleep upright to help with drainage. Any given night was a round-robin of musical beds from cradle to bouncer to my chest. THIS chair helped with her breathing and kept her asleep longer. We bought another bouncer for the bathroom when she got a little more active. The toy arm kept her busy and the vibrations kept her snoozing while I showered in peace. The chairs were great but she would never last all night in one. When Eleanor was tiny and her allergies were really bothering her, she seemed to only sleep best elevated on my chest. Sometimes we would create a fortress of pillows around me and hope for a little shut-eye or we would take a giant pillow and create an elevated bed for her between us. She would do great there but as she grew, we knew we needed a better solution. I was really excited to see a friend on FB share a picture of her twin boys in a Pello. It looked like the perfect lounger and exactly what we needed for Eleanor to be in the most comfortable elevated position. We would travel with her Pello and often used it as a napper until she started rolling over more. She just uses it to lounge now with her feet propped up while she's drinking her milk. Silly girl. We have the Jill color style. I like that the loungers have 2 different fabric textures. The softy minky on one side and a cooler cotton on the other.
Another chair option I love (and wish I knew about sooner) but came across too late is the Day Dreamer. If I ever have another baby that inherits her daddy's allergies, I'm for sure getting this nugget. This would have taken up a lot less space nestled between Lee and I than the Pello, been a lot more comfortable than a bouncer during the night and I like that it has a soft security strap to keep your baby from rolling out, etc. The only downfall is that they will grow out of the Day Dreamer seat sooner whereas the Pello can transition and last a lot longer. Nonetheless, it's nice to have options and a change of scenery so you don't have to lug one chair all over the place.
THIS bath flower is really perfect for bath-time anywhere. It fit nicely in our apartment's kitchen sink and we use it in the utility sink of our laundry room now. Yes, Eleanor still takes sink baths. Our utility sink is incredibly deep. It's the perfect tiny tub! I'm going to cry when she outgrows it. I might have to just get a bigger sink! The bath flower works great to provide a soft, slip-proof surface for tiny buns to sit on in the big tub too! In the apartment, we used a squeegee hook like THIS ONE to hang in the shower or popped it in the dryer. We have a rod over our utility sink in the laundry room now so we let it drip-dry on a hanger. The flower has a soft hook that makes hanging convenient. I like that it won't take up much space when we're ready to stuff it in a storage bin like a lot of other baby tubs would.
Def get some hooded towels. They're not a necessity but they did make it to my highly recommended list simply because they wrap around your tiny babe in the cutest way. We have 5 in rotation and I love them. I think THE ONE DISPLAYED above is adorbs. It comes in pink and gray. But who am I kidding? I like THIS ONE, THIS ONE, annnnd THIS ONE also. Another bath accessory favorite in our casa is this super cute LADYBUG CADDY. It keeps our bath toys tidy and the suction is great. This particular caddy has other animal options too! It scoops up toys and drains well. We haven't had any signs of mildew yet. (knock on wood)
Get.A.Swing. For the love, get a swing. The right swing will magically rock your sweet baby to sleep and give you time to wash your yoga pants. We actually had the 4Moms Rockaroo first. I loved the modern design and the fact that it took up a little less space but Eleanor did not. At all. She cried and cried when we would strap her in it for take off. Womp womp womp. We packaged it back up and exchanged it for THIS traditional design. THIS swing's sound can be adjusted louder, it moves faster, has lights, and the material is softer. When selecting a swing, be sure and get one that has an external power supply/AC adapter/a plug-in to power to your wall. Don't get one that only runs on batteries or you will be buying batteries on every grocery run. I received that advice and I'm passing it to you! You're welcome.
There are a ton of sticker by month options out there for your baby but I really think Lucy Darling has the cutest. I had 2 options in mind pending gender and immediately bought THIS style soon after delivery. They now offer the cutest closet dividers and first year memory book!
I'm a big fan of Boon products. I like their simple and modern designs alot. We have THIS highchair and we really love that we can easily roll it around the kitchen or lock into a stationary position. The height can be adjusted to your counter needs also. I like that the top tray (the color) pops off for easy cleaning or you can leave if off to clean later and you already have a ready-to-go clean surface. You can change out the colors too! We bought THESE pink accessories when we found out we would be feeding a baby girl. Sometimes I think the tray could be a little bit bigger but that would just mean you have more surface to clean and I like that it teaches Ellie to keep her food in a confined space so there's that.
We were gifted so many cute socks with ruffles, fun colors and bow attachments but THESE simple fuzzies were our go-to in the sock department. We found that a lot of infant socks wouldn't stay on or the elastic would be too tight around the ankle. THESE socks are a perfect fit, soft and a good bang for your buck. Get a couple packages in various sizes fo sho.
Consumer safety reports give THIS car seat the best reviews and it's ranked #1 for installation annnd a 2015 Mom Favorite Award. We chose the navy Equinox style because it was easy on the eye and gender neutral. BUT OMG AGH! Now they have THIS COOL RAINFALL PATTERN and this GRAY POLKADOT ONE they call LILLA that I love so much more for gender neutral options but I would have picked either for a boy or girl if I had known what we would be having prior because I personally prefer a neutral design. We picked up an extra seat base so we would have one in each vehicle since our work commutes make our pick-up/drop-off schedule unpredictable at times.
I debated a lot of strollers and travel systems and I'm really happy with OUR DECISION after pondering a ton of reviews. My cousin raved about the BABY JOGGER CITY SELECT and I have a couple of friends that love it too. I like that it can be a double stroller (when or if you need it to be) and the functionality is everything. I personally love how easy the seat reclines, how you can change the baby facing options of the seat and that the handle bar can be adjusted to be made longer for taller people!
Size was important in making a final selection also. I drive a BMW 328i so I worried about finding something that I liked but could also fit in a more compact trunk. No, we didn't get a car seat adapter for the stroller. We selected THIS bassinet kit instead. We have the quartz color in the STROLLER and also the BASSINET KIT. We use the parent console and have the child's tray but we haven't attached it yet. Worth mentioning: The stroller and bassinet share a canopy so you'll want to get the same color in each.
I don't see the point in spending 40 beans or more on a thermometer when one like this 4-in-1 thermometer can do the trick for much less. We got 2. 1 stays in EB's cubby at daycare.
I'm really happy with our ErgoBaby organic baby carrier too. I found that the organic version is noticeably softer than other options. A baby carrier is nice when you're going to be out but don't want to mess with a stroller. When Eleanor was an infant, I would carry her in the ErgoBaby close to my chest and she would sleep the entire time I would vacuum, go for a walk or get groceries. We have the organic infant insert too but we only used it a couple times. She grew really fast and the added cushion was too much. We found that we could stick an Aden + Anais swaddle blanket in the carrier with her and it was just right. THOSE blankets are really great for many things. Creating a clean surface on the floor, burp cloth, swaddle, cover while nursing, shield when it's raining...list goes on and on. Since we're talking about being out and about, I'm going to go ahead and mention the Itzy Ritzy Shopping Cart/High Chair Cover. We have it in Avocado Damask. I really love the color. I painted our breakfast nook in our first home a similar color. I am not kidding you. Technically, it was Jalapeno Pepper by Benjamin Moore. You love me for my randomness, right?
Anyway. What I'm trying to say is THIS cart/high chair cover color is the cat's meow and I really like keeping it in my car so I always have it with me when I need it for Eleanor.
What do I think the best swaddle option is???? While the popular Aden + Anais swaddle wraps are cute (we have a pink elephant print that is my favorite) and do the job...after a few weeks our strong little worm learned to wiggle right out of the tightest swaddle! When we were swaddling (we stopped at almost 3 months), I preferred a dummy proof swaddle and that is...drum-roll please…THIS one. The Miracle Blanket was hands down, by far it for us. Also, I didn't register for them but a bestie that is a mommy of two gifted us a couple of these Aden + Anais easy swaddles that snap and they are a VERY close second. Love the snaps! Newborns sleep so much at first but those middle of the night feedings are no joke. The last thing you want is for your baby to break out of their swaddle and wake up when you JUST got them back to sleep. I had heard great things about Halo SleepSacks and SwaddleMe wraps so I registered for them but I didn't dig them. I really tried to love them but Velcro in the dark when you're trying to get a good swaddle isn't fun. And Velcro is loud! Annnd you have to be careful when you wash/dry them so the Velcro doesn't get stuck to something. Halo SleepSacks are better in a larger size to use with your baby's arms outside the sack when you're not swaddling anymore and you're baby isn't rolling over yet. The sack becomes more like a safe blanket. A baby snuggie! The SwaddleMe wraps worked for us only in the beginning weeks because Eleanor would break out of them ALL the time as she grew and I wasn't a fan of the Velcro after I discovered other options.
Just about everything I read suggested we register for a cool mist humidifier so we did. We got THIS one in white (of course). At one of Eleanor's checkups, we were discussing ways to improve Eleanor's breathing/sleeping at night and her ped quickly frowned on the mentioning of a humidifier and said it is a mistake purchase by many parents. He suggested we try an air purifier instead. So we did. We bought THIS one and it's great. Lee often steals it from her nursery to put in his office when she's not sleeping. When she does sleep, her room is a total sleep cave. The sound of the air purifier and THIS sound machine stream through her baby monitor and have since made me rely heavily on their noise to help ME sleep peacefully too. THIS is the baby monitor we use. I was very skeptic of all monitors after reading horror stories about people spying on you through your channels so I did my research. THIS privacy plus series was highly recommended and I liked that our monitor has the 2-way talk feature on it also. It's on super sale now because it has been replaced with a newer version but go ahead and get it if you don't mind an older model since you can get it a better price! My cousin sent me THIS baby book in the mail while I was pregnant. That's how I discovered THIS sound machine. We never travel without it either! We used the cute and very popular Sleep Sheep for a bit (we would Velcro it to the side of the cradle and play the mother's heartbeat sound) but after EB was a couple of months old it seemed to lose its magic so I went ahead and ordered the sound machine the book recommended and the white noise is amaze balls. Eleanor knows when we turn on her sound machine and push Violet's paw 3 times for 15 minutes of bedtime lullabies that it's time to sleep. #routineiseverything
We have really enjoyed THIS walker. It's a good item to add to your registry. People like to gift them and they're great to have when your baby reaches that development stage. I really like that the car's top can be removed for cleaning purposes or to provide a large tray surface for snacks, crafts and whatnot. Eleanor really likes to drive hers all over the house.
We donated all of our Johnson & Johnson products and bought THIS Aquarphor Gentle Baby Shampoo and Cleanser. It got rid of the dry, scabby skin on the scalp that newborns get. Eleanor's ped confirmed it wasn't cradle cap so we could treat it properly. When scrubbing her scalp, we much preferred the hair brush that the hospital gives you over the one you buy in the store. It's softer and just seemed to work better. Since Eleanor's hair has thickened a tad, we have switched to a comb (if you care). We really like THIS brand of shampoo and conditioner too. We travel with THIS set since it's a smaller size. We like to keep the Noodle & Boo cleansing wipes in the diaper bag. Big fan of THESE unscented boogie wipes too. Both wipes are very soft! Aquarphor Healing Ointment is great for a diaper rash, baby eczema and anything really. Our family should buy stock in this stuff. It's great. Other great items to have nearby: Gripe Water (for hiccups), Infant Tylenol for fevers and Little Remedies Little Noses Saline Mist. The saline mist is great to use before THIS snot sucker. Before you snarl your nose at the NoseFrida like I did (it looks gross, I know), give it a try. I didn't register for it but the same bestie that gave us the Aden + Anais easy swaddles with snaps gifted us one of those suckers too. You'll most likely be given a traditional bulb syringe aspirator in the hospital after you deliver so don't bother buying one of those. The hospital grade is much better than the bulbs you find in stores but the NoseFrida is the best if your little one gets congested at night like ours did. I forgot it when we were traveling once and bought another! It was a must at the time. When we travel or go to a friend's house and know we'll be there past bed-time, we take Ellie's travel crib/playard with us. I LOVE that it's compact so it's very easy to pack and carry. It's also very quick to put together. 11 seconds, people! When it's not in use, we stick it in Lee's closet on a shelf so it's out of the way. The square storage case it comes in makes it easy to do so. The only catch is that you have to buy the organic fitted sheet separately. We did, but for the price of the playard I thought that was really dumb.
The Avent binkies (aka pacifiers) is what we use. Eleanor used their 0-3 month binkies and then switched to their 3+ month binkies. She loved THESE WubbaNubs too. We had a couple gifted to us and I bought THIS Nookums purple hippo because it's cute. The Nookum purple hippo is cute and easy to clean because unlike the WabbaNubbas; the Nookums allow you to detach your binkie from the animal. HOWEVER, not worrying about the binkie falling off and getting separated is also something I like about the WubbaNub! Therefore, I like them both for different reasons. We switched to THESE when she started teething for orthodontic purposes. We have them in various colors and I had some monogrammed via THIS Etsy store. Speaking of teething, EB isn't a fan of cold chew toys but she likes this vibrating grape teether. We like to keep her binkies in the freezer. Ellie likes Sophie the Giraffe and has Squeeze the Elephant that Infantino makes. Those 2 brands have so many cute options that are new! I'm not sure where this gift teether is from but she really loves it too:
We used Pampers Swaddlers when we needed the NB size but switched to Honest and Pampers Baby Dry when Eleanor graduated to size 1. Don't go overboard hoarding NB diapers because you might not be in them long! I really loved the yellow line on the Swaddlers design that changes to blue when wet. Anyway...Don't you just think Honest Diapers have the cutest designs? We like to use Honest at home during the day and send Pampers Baby Dry to daycare. We use Pampers Baby Dry + Extra Protection at night. THESE changing pad protective liners are a must! They will keep you from having to wash your changing pad so often. We used THIS sheet saver too but for spit-up so we tied it width-wise instead of lengthwise. We had 2 on hand so we always had one clean. We have 2 of THESE waterproof mattress covers also. I love that all of the protective covers we selected are very soft. Another handy item to have near the changing pad is a diaper pail. I ultimately selected the Diaper Genie Elite for my registry because I like that it's a bit taller than the competitor I was thinking about using and I also liked having a foot pedal for easy, hands free diaper disposal. Annnd when you really have a mess, be sure you have some OxiClean Spray in your cabinet. It works miracles.
Wow! You made it to the end! I'm going to end this post abruptly because I've already said too much! Let me know if you have any questions or want a more detailed description or review of a particular item. I'm happy to answer any questions. "It takes a village!" xx