Happy Friday! Thank you all for the positive feedback on our carriage house, I can’t wait to share the furnished version with you. This post is going in a little bit of a different direction. When I was pregnant I regularly scoured the web for “must-have baby items,” “can’t live without infant products,” and anything else you can thing of in that realm of a search. I found many lists, but the ones that were most helpful were from other Mom bloggers.
Throughout the first year of motherhood I always made notes and took stock of what was working for me, what I wish I had done differently, or which didn’t quite work for us. Now that I’m through that period and I have a handful of friends and colleagues who are pregnant with their first child I thought I would share my must-have items for the early months.
Glider – Those first few months you’re nursing, or bottle feeding, your baby every two to three hours (sometimes even more if they’re cluster feeding!) and it’s important to make sure you’re comfortable during these times. The glider was this spot for me, it provided a soft movement to rock Jackson to sleep and gave me a place to relax as much as I could. If you have the time I would say try out a few chairs in person to see which one is most comfortable to you and fits the look you’re going for in the nursery.
Swing – We were fortunate to have friends hand down both a Fisher Price Swing and a mamaRoo swing to us. The mamaRoo was probably the item I was most excited about before having Jackson. Compared to most baby items it actually looked good in our living room and has a ton of features to sooth babies. But Jackson didn’t get the message and as much as I tried he just never acclimated to it. So we brought the big traditional swing in and never looked back. Jackson loved it, he would immediately fall into a deep slumber in the swing and any time he was fussy it calmed him down within seconds.
Keekaroo Peanut Changer – This is by far my favorite baby item. I know changing tables are not the most fun thing, but this one is like a piece of art in the nursery rather than an eye sore (OK, I may be exaggerating a little here but you get what I mean!). There’s no laundry to do after unexpected blow outs or accidents, it’s easy to wipe down and it’s comfortable for babies of all sizes. I will say that since I purchased this the price has increased due to such a high sell out rate – but I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Muslin Swaddle Blankets – These are the best for those first few months and can be used for almost everything – from swaddle blankets and carseat covers to burp clothes or a sun cover. I probably went through two to three a day during those early days.
Sleep Gowns – A girlfriend of mine recommended these to me and they made such a difference. When you’re half asleep changing a diaper these take away the hassle of having to deal with snaps or zippers.
Sponge Bath – Until the umbilical cord falls off babies cannot have a proper bath. This oversized sponge gives you a place to lay your baby while giving them a sponge bath – which means water won’t get everywhere and they’ll stay warm…win, win in my book.
Nursing & Car Seat Cover – I initially purchased a car seat cover that clips onto the handle – similar to this one – but I quickly learned that any time wind blew or I walked too fast it would blow up and usually wake Jackson. This is the solve – it’s snug fitting, can be used when clipped into a stroller, provides a peek-through window and it doubles as a nursing scarf.
Tummy Time Play Mat – Daily tummy time starts from the beginning and this BlaBla Traveling Play Pad was my favorite for that time, it’s washable and easy to travel with, both of which were key factors for me. As they get a little older you’ll probably want more of an activity mat.
Rock ‘N Play – This was one of those things I had no idea I needed until a friend passed theirs along, and it changed everything! Aside from the swing this was the only other place Jackson would nap comfortably and for long stretches of time. It rocks, vibrates and soothes. This is now one of my go-to baby shower gifts.
Swaddle Sleepsacks – The swaddle blankets are great for everything…except swaddling! The swaddle sleepsacks are the way to go, I would say try a few brands to see which work best for you. The Aiden and Anais and Halo were our favorites, but every baby is different. These just make your life so much easier, and they have zippers so you can change diapers without unswaddling.
White Noise Machine – I’ve read pros and cons about using a white noise machine, for us this is a must-have. Our nursery is right off of the living room area though, so this helps muffle any noise we’re making.
Snap and Go Stroller – We’re one of those families that have four strollers, I am not kidding, I know it’s ridiculous but they all have their own purpose. We traveled a lot when Jackson was under six months old and this one was the best for travel and airports and at the pricepoint I was comfortable gate checking it without fear of scratches or dents. It’s super lightweight, the carseat snaps in and out easily and the basket is substantial. But I will say if you are only planning to buy one stroller this is not the one to go with, as soon as your baby grows out of their infant carseat they grow out of this.
Not necessarily a “must-have” but more of a nice-to-have:
Travel Bottle Warmers – You probably already have either a Swell bottle or a Yeti Rambler – if you have both this is the best hack for warming bottles. Before heading out fill your Swell bottle with boiling water. It will stay hot enough to heat a bottle for hours! And really you could use any type of cup to warm the bottle in, but if you have a Yeti it will speed up the process. I used this trick for the entire first year, with both breast milk and formula.
I hope you enjoyed this and it helps some of you out! I’m interested to hear if you think I missed anything or what your must-have items are.