Well, I've now officially joined the Mom Club and frequently use #momlife in my daily conversations and social media posts. Motherhood is no joke. It can be SO challenging, but it's also awesome, so that's nice.
Before our little #maggiequinnjoyce was born, I was Queen of the Baby Registry World. My baby registry was a well oiled machine, people. I was constantly price checking, comparing, switching, updating, adding, deleting - it was awesome, and I loved every minute. You guys, I am a researcher when it comes to products and services. I want, nope, NEED to know that I'm getting the best deal - the best product or service for the best price. So, that doesn't mean the cheapest, or most expensive, it's a balance - it's finding the best quality that's at a justifiable price that does the best job. You can imagine how much time I spent on our wedding...
SO all that to say, I have an informed opinion about most things I own. Now that I've entered a new domain - Baby Products - I wanted to share my findings with you all! I've broken down products by use, according to age. Since Maggie is almost 3 months, I'll limit things to what we've actually used up to this point.
Here we go!
Muslin Swaddles - Muslin swaddle blankets come in handy for a variety of reasons with a newborn. I personally love the quality and adorable prints that Little Unicorn's swaddles offer. Other noteable brands I've liked are Aden+Anais and these from Target.
Little Giraffe Lovey - So this was a gift that I received at a shower and originally didn't know that it would be SO USEFUL, especially during the first few weeks baby was home. The size is so perfect for a newborn! Regular sized blankets seem huge compared to their little 8-ish pound bodies. This blanky was great to wrap around her for naps and to keep her cozy during trips in her car seat. Moving forward as she grows, I'm hoping she will like this and adopt it as her "lovey". We have a similar one that has a stuffed animal on it - maybe she'll end up choosing that one as her lovey! P.S. I love all things Jellycat brand!
Milk Snob Cover - Guys, this thing is great. It's soft, thin and so stretchy. I had to use this last week while flying with my little girl and had to nurse her during the flight (I am NOT someone who feels comfy nursing in front of people. Just my preference.) and this was awesome to have. It's also what I put over her car seat if it's raining out so she doesn't get wet but also isn't hot. It's also designed to fit over carts for when they're older. It comes in a million cute prints too!
Green Sprouts Burp Cloths - These are amazing! I have about 12 of them and I'm never without one with baby. They are crazy absorbent and are the perfect size. They get softer with each wash (but not in a deteriorating way), which is good because they get washed 1-2 times per week! Maggie isn't a huge spit up baby, but when she does, these come to the rescue every time. I tried these at first, and they're soft and I love that they're gray and simple, but they are NOT absorbent like they say, which is the whole point of burp cloths... probably the only Burt's Bees product I don't like - usually they're amazing.
Boppy Nursing Pillow - This is something I debated over bringing with me to the hospital when Maggie was born. I hemmed and hawed, and I'm glad I decided to bring it. It is a lifesaver for breastfeeding! It makes baby much more supported and stable and is more comfortable for me. I use it every time I nurse, unless I'm not at home, of course. I got this cover for it from PB Kids and it's perfect - soft, simple, no obnoxious baby pattern, yay!
Nuna Pipa + Tavo Travel System - This travel system is by far the most expensive baby item we purchased, but let me tell you, it was so worth it! We absolutely love this car seat and stroller. We debated between this system and the Maxi Cosi Adorra stroller and Mico Max 30 car seat, which we actually purchased first and returned. Here's why - the stroller is just a shell for the infant seat and the stroller seat isn't used until they're bigger. At first I thought this was an awesome feature, however, it didn't provide ANY shade or covering for baby while they were in the stroller like the Nuna stroller does. This was miserable for walks and when baby was sleeping - totally exposed unless you jerry rigged a blanket or used a car seat cover, which was just annoying. I also didn't like the poor quality of the infant seat awning - it never stayed in place and was super cheap feeling compared to the nice (expensive!) seat material. The stroller wheels were also kinda crappy and kept getting stuck, so i knew this would only get worse with time. The Nuna Tavo has shocks, so the ride is so much smoother. The quality of the materials and craftsmanship is amazing and it's super easy to fold up and take in and out of the car. The other favorite feature for me is the Dream Drape - game. changer. Couldn't be happier with Nuna products - they are so quality and to me, so worth the cost. Also, the Pipa car seat is 5 lbs lighter than most other car seats on the market - THIS IS SO WORTH IT.
Spots and Dots book - My husband and I refer to this as the "magic book" because it literally mesmerizes our daughter when looking at it. So, when we're nearing meltdown in the car or she is bored and restless, out comes the magic book to buy us some time. She stares and coos at it and it's just about the cutest thing ever.
Solly Wrap - We have this in the gray and white stripe and it's SO SOFT. I had the Boba wrap at first (similar to the Moby) and ended up returning it after I discovered the Solly. Here's the deal, newborns are HOT and in turn, while holding them, you end up warmer than you usually would be. This is compounded when you have your baby literally wrapped to your body in July and August, especially! The Boba and the Moby have thicker, bulkier material than the Solly. The material of the Solly is the thinnest, softest, stretchiest and most breathable on the market. Plus, it comes in way cuter patterns and colors than the other brands. I should have used this more in Maggie's first month home, but we had so many people visiting and wanting to hold her, that it just wasn't used as much. But, it can be used up to 25 lbs! So, there's time. It's nice to travel with this, because it folds up nice and tiny to put in the diaper bag, unlike a structured carrier.
BabyBjorn One Air Carrier - This structured carrier is made of the softest mesh material EVER. I originally had the Ergobaby 360 in the "mesh" and HATED it. Like, truly felt angered while trying to put it on and figure out how to get comfortable in it, which never happened. The BabyBjorn doesn't need a separate infant insert like the Ergo does, and looks a lot nicer, in my opinion. The One Air is made of 100% mesh material, keeping you and baby cool while wearing it and it fits sooooo comfortably on your body, especially around the shoulders. The clips to lock baby in are also WAY easier with the BabyBjorn versus the Ergo, which uses weird (and ugly IMO) buttons and the material is a thick canvas (yes, even the "mesh" one, which has like a little tiny panel of mesh fabric). Getting baby in and out of the One Air is SO easy and I absolutely love the dark gray color we got ours in. Can't say enough about how much I love this carrier, guys!
SkipHop Car Mirror - This is so helpful in the backseat while driving with baby. Since they are rear-facing, it's nice to be able to glance and see their face in the mirror and know if they're awake, sleeping, etc. I like this one because it's a good size (not too big, not too small), is nice and clear (some look kinda distorted), attaches nicely to the headrest and is black :)
JuJuBe Be Right Back Diaper Bag - This is definitely an item you want to touch, feel and see in person before making a final decision. I saw this one at BuyBuyBaby and really liked it (and my husband did too!). It has a lot of pockets, zippers and compartments to keep things organized, and the backpack style is a must-have feature for me. Carrying the infant seat and a million other things is much easier with the diaper bag out of the way on your back instead of sliding off your shoulder, like other bags inevitably will. The material of this is stain and water resistant and the bag is fully machine washable. The side pockets have Thinsulate to keep bottles and beverages hot or cold, and there is a built-in back pocket for the changing pad it comes with. Again, I also loved that it came in black with gold hardware! Another bag option I debated over was this one - I love the brown leather color, but ultimately felt like it just didn't have the organization I was looking for in a diaper bag.
Puj Bath - This choice was purely based on space, to be honest. We live in a modest sized home that doesn't have much closet space, so having a giant infant tub didn't seem practical for us. In came the Puj! This beauty hangs FLAT on a little hook behind our bathroom door and is the softest rubbery material that squishes right in our bathroom sink. My only qualm is that it's really designed to be used up to 6 months, so if you aren't ready to have baby in the big tub at that point, you need another baby tub... annoying. We'll cross that bridge when it comes I guess and see where things are at. To be continued...
Sleepers - Our daughter lives in footy sleepers like this one (this floral print has been my all-time fave) from Carter's most of her life. I put her in onesies/leggings/rompers for daycare and she'll wear cute outfits to church or other outings, but most of the time, she's in a sleeper. This is what she sleeps in every night and they're so easy for diaper changes. Carter's has great ones, as well as Burt's Bees Baby, KicKee Pants if you wanna spend more (they're SO SOFT) and I really like Old Navy/Baby Gap ones as well.
Philips Avent Soothie Pacifier - This little thing is a lifesaver for us. We tried 3 different types of pacifiers with our daughter and she clearly liked these best! She loves her paci (I also say binky, bink and nuk... still haven't landed on what I call these things yet!) as she is falling asleep and as a newborn she loved to suck, so this magestic piece of rubber saved my body from being chewed on 24/7. I use these clips to keep track of her paci sometimes too (I imagine these will be even more helpful once she's on the move) and are super convenient when we are out and about and don't want to worry about losing the paci or it falling on the ground. I have this color and this color.
Zutano Booties - These are AWESOME because they actually stay on your baby's feet when shoes and socks really don't at this tiny stage. These have two sizes for the little snaps, so whether your baby has chunkier ankles or more skinny ankles, they will fit comfortably. They come in 3m (what we currently have) and I plan to buy them in 6m once these get too small. I like them because they are soft and unstructured like socks, but look more "presentable" like shoes. They come in lots of colors, but I love this neutral gray.
Eddie Bauer Glider - This glider is a staple in our nursery. I wanted the upholstered rocker/glider that swiveled as well, but didn't want to spend a bajillion dollars. This Eddie Bauer one is from Target and is exactly what I was looking for - it's simple and classic in design, is the perfect shade of gray that I wanted, wasn't huge (our nursery is only 11'x10') and was COMFY. This glider checked all of those boxes - it is the perfect size, so comfy and looks great in the nursery, along with this fabulous gold pouf as an ottoman, though this glider does have a matching ottoman we opted not to purchase.
Fisher Price Auto Rock N Play - Our daughter loves to take naps in this little contraption. I would say that every parent I know SWEARS by this thing. A lot of people's kids slept in this every night their first few months of life, especially those with any reflux issues (it's at an incline). We however, have her sleep in a bassinet (see below) and she only uses this for daytime naps or a safe place for me to put her if I'm home alone and need to use the bathroom or swap out the laundry, etc. We also have a 4moms mamaRoo that she likes as well, but won't nap in (more for play/awake time). The Rock N Play is nice because it's pretty portable - it folds up with the touch of a button. We have the "auto" version, which can plug in and rock on a timer or continuously and can also play music/sounds, if desired. Our daughter naps great in this thing!
Halo Bassinest Swivel Sleeper - This is what our daughter sleeps in next to our bed every night. She slept in this her first night home from the hospital and does really well in it. I've read that it's an easier transition for infants from a bassinet to a crib because both are flat (rather than an incline like the Rock N Play). I love this Halo bassinet because 1. it actually fits in our room, 2. the sides are mesh - our daughter rolls on her side and I don't have to worry about her suffocating when she rolls to the sides of this bassinet, 3. it swivels all around at different angles and the side slides down with light pressure, so it's easy to manuever while you're still in bed (super nice for when you're first home and recovering, especially if you had a c-section).
Halo Wearable Blanket - Our daughter wasn't the typical newborn who needed to be tightly swaddled at night. She honestly didn't care one way or the other! I tried the classic Halo swaddle and found it to be really annoying, as it would bunch up by her neck when she was little and then she easily busted her arms free of it part way through the night. Fail. I tried this Love to Dream one because she liked to have her arms up by her head. We used this for a few weeks and she liked it, until ditching the swaddle altogether and just using a wearable blanket to keep her warm and cozy, but not restrict her arms. She sleeps through the night now in one, so I'd say we found our winner! If your baby likes to be swaddled but you find the Halo swaddles unbearable like I did, I've heard the Woombie is amazing!
Cloud B Sleep Sheep - We use this every night next to the bassinet (and will eventually use by the crib in her nursery) not just as a "soother" but more for noise. We have the Marpac Dohm in her nursery by the door, so once she sleeps in there, we'll have that on all night. But the Sleep Sheep has a timer, so it's nice as they are falling asleep to have that consistent noise close to their head that signals sleepy time! Plus, I think this little sheep is adorable and we can travel with it easily! I will say though, she does NOT rely on this to sleep and will just as easily fall asleep without it. I think it will make crib training easier though next month as we start that transition.
Mother's Bliss Gripe Water - Our daughter had really bad gas her first two months of life. This stuff helped SO much! She loved the taste of it too and would immediately stop crying as soon as the dropper hit her lips, no joke! This stuff helps with hiccups too, which was a daily occurance during those first two months as well. Even if it's totally placebo effect and this does nothing, it makes you feel better as a parent that you're trying something!
FridaBaby Nose Frida - This is also magic. You suck on one end and put the other at the base of baby's nostrils and out comes their snot. Ok, this sounds totally gross, but once you have a baby you realize that this is SO EXCITING because hello, baby's can't blow their nose, people. This thing is dynamite. (And no, you don't ingest any snot, there is a filter.)
Ubbi Diaper Pail - So a lot of people told me that a diaper pail wasn't necessary and that they are a waste of money. I couldn't disagree more! This is 100% necessary! Our daughter's room is on the main floor of our home, so 10/10 diaper changes at home happen in the nursery on her changing table. So, every dirty diaper goes in the diaper pail, which needs to be brought out to the dumpster once a week (the night before trash day!). I love this Ubbi one because it's made out of steel, which means it doesn't absorb odor but keeps odor from escaping! It also doesn't need its own special bag like the Diaper Genie or other similar products do. We use normal kitchen trash bags for this thing so it's no added cost. It comes in nice neutral colors too - ours is white.
Boudreaux's Butt Paste - There are a ton of different brands of diaper creams out there aside from this one - Desitin, Aquaphor, Honest Company, Burt's Bees, etc. I chose Butt Paste (aside from the funny name) because it's what my mom and sisters swore by and now I see why! Our daughter had a little bit of diaper rash her first day home and we used this stuff for every diaper change those first few days and literally, her diaper rash was gone after the first use and she's never gotten it again... it's magic paste and I'm now a believer. We have a bottle in her nursery and one in the diaper bag, just in case.
Ubbi Wipes Dispenser - This may seem like more of a "luxury" item than a necessity, but hear me out. When you buy a big box of wipes, they come in a bunch of little pouches with sticky tabs to open/close the package. I don't know about you, but opening and closing those little sticky tabs like 10 times a day is super annoying, especially because it stops being sticky and then the wipes dry up. No thank you! In comes this little $19.99 gem of a product! This wipes dispenser has a weighted panel that sits on top of the wipes pack and allows wipes to come out one at a time, as well as a window to monitor quantity of wipes (if you don't put the package in there like I do). It also has a rubber seal to keep wipes fresh and moist as well as non-skid protective rubber feet to hold the dispenser in place. Do yourself a favor and just order one - you won't regret it, I promise!
Munchkin Disposable Changing Pads - This is another item that may seem unnecessary, but it's one of my most used products! We have a nice fluffy changing pad cover to keep baby comfortable while changing diapers and clothes. Instead of washing that every time a diaper change gets messy, which is often, put one of these on top of the pad cover and simply wash this instead of the whole cover. They come in a 3-pack and can be used and washed a million times apparently because we've washed ours about that many times already and they are still in perfect condition. Highly recommend!
Pony Tails book - I keep this book next to the changing pad and my daughter coos and talks to it the whole time she lays there. She absolutely LOVES it. Little does she realize that it's a crinkle book and has furry tails on it that's she can play with as she develops in the next few months. This is a Jellycat book (I told you, I LOVE Jellycat stuff - their stuffed animals are the BEST.) and there are a few versions of "tails" books - Jungly Tails, Fluffy Tails, Puppy Tails, Fishy Tails, etc. SO DANG CUTE!
So there you have it - my must-haves for 0-3 month olds. Of course there are other things you need, like diapers, wipes, clothes, etc. but these are the products that we use and love most! You'll notice that in most of the items I purchased, I tried to be gender neutral (in case we have a boy next!) and not in a gawdy baby pattern. There is some UGLY baby gear out there, but there are aesthetically pleasing options that don't break the bank if you do a little research. The places I frequent most for baby stuff are: Amazon, Target, Nordstrom and BuyBuyBaby (they have some of the gear that you can see in person rather than only online). Another fun website for more boutique style stuff is Spearmint LOVE!
Hopefully this is helpful for any new parent or grandparent/aunt/uncle looking to buy an awesome baby shower gift!
What are your must-have baby items? COMMENT below!