Apparently having three kids makes you a baby guru.
Totally not true. You know how they always say every baby is different? It’s so true. That basically means with each subsequent child, you might as well toss the rulebook and start making a new one. Babies like to keep it interesting like that.
Even so, I’ve gotten many questions about the items we’re using with Patrick v. what we used with the girls, and what has been helpful for us as we’ve transitioned from one house to the next with a baby in tow so I decided to create a little (umm actually quite long) list of the items we’re using on a daily basis. I love these items, but keep in mind that everybody is different, and so when you’re registering for baby stuff, really think about which items fit your lifestyle and which ones don’t. Do you want to spend time wrapping a long piece of cloth around yourself to carry your baby, or do you want a snap-and-go type carrier? Do you care if you can jog with your stroller, or are you just going to be using it for strolls? It’s hard to create a “master list” because everyone has different priorities. Either way, I hope you find this list helpful!
1. BOB Duallie Jogging Stroller: We got this bad boy when I had Charlotte, and let me tell you something, this stroller is a boss. I love it. It’s definitely more expensive than the standard travel system, but if you plan to do a lot of walking, jogging or outdoor activities with your babe, this stroller is awesome and really holds up to abuse- erm… adventures. And, yes, it can fit through doorways. It also turns on a dime and has pretty amazing shock absorption. There’s a single seat version as well, so check it out.
2. Aden & Anais Swaddle Blankets: These blankets are really great. They’re light-weight, stretchy and huge. I actually use two of them when I swaddle Patrick to make extra sure he stays swaddled and he has been a great sleeper since he was born. They also double super-hero capes. Just saying.
3. MamaRoo: Alright, here’s the deal. The success of a baby swing is so based on what baby’s preferences are, but we tried a multitude of swings and bouncers with Patrick and this is the ONLY one that got him to sleep for more than 10 minute stretches. I got this guy on sale, because I bought a discontinued pattern so I didn’t have to pay full price for it, but knowing what I know now about it, it’s totally worth the splurge. If you can register for it, and get a couple of people to go in for it, it would be a pretty amazing gift for any first-time-mom. The new ones even have bluetooth capabilities making music playing a breeze. There’s also a less-expensive version (the Rockaroo) of it being sold by Target. It’s not completely the same, but I’ve heard good things about.
4. Covered Goods Nursing Cover: This cover is AMAZING. I used the standard apron-type nursing cover with Sophie and Charlotte and was not impressed, but I used it because I didn’t know there were covers like this (5 years ago, perhaps there wasn’t?). This cover is soft, stretchy, covers everything and is so easy to use. Plus it folds up nice and small so it fits great in the pockets of my diaper bag.
5. Breast Pump (In Style Medela): We got our new pump through insurance, so make sure you check to see if a pump is covered by your insurance before you register or buy one. With Sophie, however, insurance was not covered so we had to buy one. If you’re planning on breastfeeding baby, I strongly recommended getting a good breast pump. I’ve had two breast pumps now, and it’s been great to be able to pump and freeze milk so that we have a small stash just in case. We’ve used them so Tim can feed baby in the middle of the night so I can sleep, or if we decide to do a date night, baby can be left with babysitters, with Patrick I’ve even pumped just so the girls can feed him and bond with him that way.
6. Comotomo Baby Bottle: I’ve used quite a few different bottles, and this one is my favorite. We don’t use bottles all that often, but for us, it’s important to make sure Patrick will take one. With Charlotte we forgot to introduce a bottle early and she wouldn’t take one when she was older, so date nights without a baby didn’t really happen until she was over a year old. Lesson learned.
7. Diaper Bag (Skip Hop Duo): Diaper bags are definitely a personal choice. You should go to a store and look and try out a bunch of different styles, sizes, and types. For me, it was really important to have a messenger-type bag and one that wasn’t too big. Skip Hop makes durable, well thought-out bags that aren’t too bulky or so small that you have to stuff them to their breaking point just to feel prepared. I’m pretty obsessed with stripes right now too, so when I saw this guy I was like, “MINE!”. And I shall call it Lovely, and it shall be mine.
8. Sollybaby Wrap: This is a newly discovered item, like the nursing cover, and I love it. I love babywearing. It allows me to have two free hands, which is important for me having two other children, and it means that baby is normally close and snuggly to me. The Sollybaby Wrap is lightweight, beautiful, the fabric is so so soft, and has a wonderful little pocket at the end of one of the tales to put your phone, keys, etc. in. There’s definitely a learning curve with this kind of wrap, but Sollybaby has put together a great set of tutorial videos so it makes it a little less daunting to try. Also, I emailed a comment to them and they returned my email within 24 hours, so if you do have a question, they’re customer service is pretty prompt.
9. Milkies: Okay, I want to know why no one ever told me about this. Seriously, this is my third breast-fed baby and I had no.idea. It’s genius. So simple. So genius. Here’s the deal (people who don’t like reading about nipples, turn away), when you start breastfeeding, for many women, it takes your body awhile to sync itself with the demands of your baby. This could mean that you don’t make enough right away, or, like me, you have a surplus that tends to leak out one side when you’re feeding from the other. As “feminine” as a milk stain on your shirt is, I choose to not have one. Thanks. Enter the Milkie. It’s something you just slip into your nursing bra and it catches the leaking milk from the side you’re not using. Seriously, this is genius. Plus, it’s milk you can store for later that you didn’t have to spend the time pumping. See? I told you. Genius.
10. Motherlove Nipple Cream: Everyone always says, “Buy lanolin. You’ll need lanolin.” Well I’m hear to tell you, “Don’t buy lanolin.” What?! Yes. Don’t do it. I tried using lanolin with Sophie and it was a disaster, some women swear by it, it was no help to me unfortunately. Motherlove Nipple Cream is a great alternative to lanolin that, I’ve found, works a million times better for me. Put this guy in your hospital bag and start using it immediately after your first breastfeeding session with your baby, and keep using it until you’re nipples have gotten used to breastfeeding (sorry ladies, it does take a bit) and, combined with proper latch and general baby and breast cooperation, and you’ll hopefully never have to worry about cracked or bleeding nipples (sorry again, breastfeeding is beautiful… except when it’s not…).
11. Cloth Diapering System (BumGenius Diapers, Charlies Soap, Bumkins Diaper Sprayer): I love cloth diapering. I use disposables when baby is a newborn and doesn’t fit into the BumGenius one-size diapers, but as soon as baby’s bum fits, baby’s in cloth. Finding a system that works for you is important because cloth diapering is definitely a little more labor intensive than disposables, but it’s completely worth it once you’ve the groove of it. I wrote a post way-back-when about the system we used with Sophie, and we’ll be continuing that same process with our little man.
12. Boon Grass Drying Rack: If you’ve gotten baby stuff, you’re going to want a drying rack. Toys, pacifiers, bottles and many more items will need to be cleaned and dried and this guy is so cute and practical. I received it as a shower gift with Sophie and we’re still using it, three kids later. Plus, it looks all happy and summery sitting on a counter.
13. Bumbo Seat: Again, I’ve had this guy since Sophie and Patrick’s already using it, and he loves it.
14. Basket for cra- ahem baby stuff: Want to know a secret? Because we knew we were moving quickly after Patrick was born, we had to constantly be prepared for showings of our house, and wanted to have Patrick’s stuff be accessible through the move, we’ve been using a basket like this to hold all of Patrick’s blankets, clothes and shoes. Now that we’ve moved, we’re still using it because Patrick’s room is currently being used as the guest room, so we don’t have a place for any of his stuff. So stuff goes in box. Once he’s got a room of his own, we’ll use this box to store things like toys and books to keep them out of sight when the room is cleaned, and easily accessible for Patrick when he’s more mobile. Whether it’s a box with a lid, a wire or woven basket, buy them, register for them, register and buy them. Buy all the boxes and bins. Not really, but they’re awesome to reduce clutter and keep like-items together and organized.
Phew. So there you have. My must-have items as a mama of three. What are your must-have baby items? What did I miss that you can’t live without? Any items you got with your first, and then never used?
BTW I was not paid or perked by any of these companies, these are just items that we use in house on a daily basis that we love.