This list started as a request from a friend who is expecting soon, and I have been asked so many times for recommendations that I think it warranted a blog post.
Being a mom is simply the best, but there are so many things as a first-time mom that you have to learn fast. I am thankful for the advice I got from fellow moms and have learned a few things on my own too that I want to share.
I have compiled a list of my favorite items that I am so thankful we had. This is very long-winded and probably TMI at times, but I did not want to leave out anything. These are just my opinions and suggestions, but obviously, you know what is best for you and your baby. I am dropping a lot of Amazon links because that is where we registered, but other baby stores and Target might carry some of these.
Carrying that Little One
We are so grateful to be gifted this set from my parents. The Nuna Mixx and Pipa Travel System feels like a luxury for our girl. It is so lightweight, snug and soft, and easy to put onto the stroller component. However, I know we are very lucky to have this, and there are a lot of great strollers and car seats much more affordable than this one.
This thing is a lifesaver when you have a winter baby or want to protect your little one from germs especially during the current pandemic. It works great as a nursing cover (although if you are like me, you get over covering your boobs really fast, haha!)
I love a good soft sling. I used to carry her in it when we went places especially, but also when I was working from home. We got the Solly and we love it for its softness and ease of use. But I also found this one on Amazon that looks great.
You might also consider getting a more sturdy carrier if you plan on going on hikes or want something better for your back. My friend let us borrow an Ergobaby Carrier and we have really enjoyed it.
Let’s Talk About Sleep
Ah, the topic everyone rants about and warns you about. We are very lucky to have a great sleeper in Windsor, but I do believe having the right tools always helps. Here are a few.
I literally cannot imagine our life without the Snuggle Me. It is a lounger that hugs her like a cloud and she loves it. Helps her fall asleep so fast, and when she was tiny, she would lay in it a lot which helped when I needed to do things around the house. Even though the company says only for supervised sleep, she now naps in it, and I have never felt that it was unsafe in any way. I know a lot of moms who feel the same way, but don’t take safety advice from me, and do what you feel is best. I am sad for the day (which is soon) we will take it out of the crib. You can get these off Facebook marketplace. We did that, and you can always buy a new cover. I recommend having two covers so you can use it when one has to be washed. I would say this is my number one favorite item.
Do yourself a huge favor and get 2-4 of these swaddles. Don’t even mess with doing it the old way with a blanket. These stay on and hug tight. She loved these and I kept them on her the majority of the time when she was 0-2 months. My favorite part about this specific pair is that they have a zipper open on the bottom for easy diaper changes. I would make sure the one you get one with that feature if you don’t get these colors. GAME CHANGER!
White Noise Machine
Get yourself a good white noise machine. We love the Hatch Baby Rest Sound Machine, because you can change the settings from your phone and it has a light. It also gets really loud, which is great for our small noisy house.
One thing I am glad that I ended up getting from my fantastic shower hosts is the Owlet. It really did provide peace of mind in the first 3 months. It’s so crazy how much you worry about your little one while they are sleeping. The Owlet measures their heart rate and oxygen levels, and I have read many life-saving stories about it. If the price is too steep for you, post on Instagram/Facebook and see if anyone has one you can borrow or buy it from Facebook marketplace.
One word of advice that someone told me that I didn’t have to follow because I was gifted a monitor, is to buy a cheaper security camera like this one off amazon with phone app access instead of expensive baby monitors.
Fed is Best
Moms, there is a lot of conversation going on about feeding your baby. But guess what? That is a choice and situation between you and your baby.
My goal was to breastfeed for at least the first year or more. Much like my birth plan, it did not go to plan. I breastfed exclusively for the first month, but when Windsor was not gaining enough weight, I had to supplement. My heart was broken, but I know I was doing what was best for my baby.
Then, I went to triple feeding (breastfeeding, pumping, and formula supplement) before ultimately drying up and having to exclusively formula fed. A hard decision, but one that has worked for us.
If you do plan on breastfeeding, I can tell you this–it is not an easy thing and it takes a lot of support and hard work. My one regret is not getting in touch with a specialist sooner. The one time I did, I got discouraged and uncomfortable because of the way that specialist acted towards me. Don’t give up and get the help you need.
All this to say, I have been through it all, so I have some product recommendations that have worked for us.
If you do breastfeed, the My Brest Friend Deluxe Nursing Pillow is a must. It is WAY better than a regular boppy because it straps to you so you can get it higher. It makes your arms free to focus on the boob placement and even has a pocket for a bottle or drink for mama. On that note, make a snack basket to carry around with you and put some organic nipple cream and nursing pads in there. Also, always have little ice packs ready to go for sore nipples. You will thank me later for these tips.
The Wearable Pump
If you pump and want to get stuff done, I am so glad I invested in the Elvie wearable pumps. They are pricey, but I think it was worth every penny. If my breasts would produce, I would be using it still. I would get one for each breast if you buy. It will save you so much time and you can move around while doing it. I hated being tied down to the pump, but some people don’t mind.
The NUK Simply Natural Baby Bottles are great. This bottle simulates the breast nipple and is easier to go back and forth if you are pumping or supplementing. They have a 9 oz. bottle option as well when it is time to size up.
A definite must — this bottle warmer. So easy and saves so much time. This is great for heating up water for formula or saved breastmilk. I like to have the next bottle filled with water and ready to go for the next feeding.
Bottle Sterilizer and Warmer
Alright, call me nuts, but I LOVE a dryer/sterilizer for bottles, pacis, teethers, etc. Makes me feel like they are so clean, and it dries bottles in 5 minutes so you don’t have to wait. This one is not the one I have. The one I have is no longer on Amazon. But this one looks similar.
Diapers, Baths, and Play, Oh My!
Do yourself another huge favor and basically exclusively put your baby in these knotted gowns for the first two months. They are soft and so easy to change diapers. The amount of diaper changing, in the beginning, is crazy! We love the knot ones, but the ones with elastic openings are good too. I honestly wish I had bought more of these and less other types of clothes for that age. I have been asked a lot where I get Windsor’s clothes, so I plan on doing a blog on my favorite clothing companies (most are small or local).
Bibs, Pacis, and Fun Toys
This is another pricey item that I was graciously gifted by my SIL and her mom. The mamaRoo is a gentle swing that simulates the womb movement and has a built-in white noise machine. You can find these on Facebook marketplace as well. This was wonderful for the first 3 months. It put her to sleep and freed up my arms for a little bit when I needed to do housework. I am sure there are lots of swings out there that would do the same thing.
Light for Your Bedside Table
This tap light is awesome. Especially for those night-time feeds or just checking on the baby. It won’t wake up your partner (not saying you shouldn’t take turns getting up if you can). It is so cheap and worth every penny.
Portable Changing Mat
This portable changing mat was great for the living room diaper changes and is easy to clean.
Windsor loves this teething tube right now for teething. In the beginning, they will gag a little and it will scare you, but they learn so fast. It is literally the only teething toy that she really goes for over and over again.
We used this diaper caddy in our living room and carried to the bedroom at night for easy access to all the things (diapers, lotion, butt cream, wipes, nasal thing, thermometer, etc.)
Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment is a must for me. I swear this stuff heals all. We use it as diaper cream, rash cream, dry skin relief, and anything else that might come up. I even use it on me sometimes! It is preservative and fragrance-free, specifically to suit the sensitive skin of babies.
One thing I cannot leave off this list is my Hello Bello diaper subscription. I decided to do this before COVID-19 really hit, and man, I am glad I did. No more running to the store for diapers and wipes. The monthly subscription gives you everything you need. You pick your diaper size and quantities and they send it in the cutest box that turns into activities for kids. I also love their other products like sunscreen and bug spray that you can add on for cheap and sometimes are included as freebies. Be sure to check their site and social accounts frequently for a first-time user promo code. I got my first box for so cheap. It is owned by Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard and everything is plant-based, sustainably harvested, and organic without dyes and fragrances. If your child needs a bigger size, you can exchange packs. The customer service has been wonderful. I truly cannot say enough good things.
That completes my list for my favorite baby items. I hope this helps you. Let me know if you get something from this list and love it. And as a reminder: TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF MAMA! You are doing an amazing job.
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