Our Must-Have Baby Things (+ what we didn’t use…)

This post is so ironic. Namely because it was supposed to be up, oh, a good 9 hours ago? HA. Newborn life, I’ll tell ya. It’s been comical because one of the most requested thing on Instagram as of late was for sharing my daily schedule – and I feel like it constantly needs an addendum or a disclaimer that the second the baby gets involved, things are allllll off course. When you’re a work-at-home mom, your boss is no longer yourself, or whoever else was in charge…it’s now the 9-pounder who can cry and poop at the same time.

One of THE most requested things by far in my Reader Survey was for insight into our favorite baby products so far – what we liked versus what we didn’t – as well as our registry. Since much of this came *from* our registry, it felt good to combine the two and call it a party! So, here are some of our must-have baby things that we loveloveloved, as well as a thing or two that ended up not being worth it for us.

P.S. If you need to be caught up to speed, here is Part 1 + Part 2 of our emotional, absurd, traumatic, funny, crazy birth story.

 

Our Favorite Baby Products So Far (+ what we didn't like...)

  • Tiny Tots classical mobile I loveloveLOVE Olivia’s mobile! I was hoping to find one that didn’t just play little baby jingles – this one plays classical music, and it’s awesome. Liv LOVES it. I’m a big fan of the black and white swirls (as is she), and the little woodland creatures are adorable. I looked at probably 72 mobiles on Amazon before finding this one – HIGHLY recommend!
  • Jollypop pacifiers – A paci she takes to repeatedly! And it’s the brand that both hospital NICUs used, too.
  • Fisher Price Auto Rock n’ Play sleeper We didn’t originally buy one of these, but should have sooner! Olivia would NOT sleep in her crib or bassinet when she first came home. Namely, we think, from the degree of her reflux. Any time she’d be flat like the pediatric sleep standard stresses, it would sound like she was actually DROWNING all through the night. Awful gurgling + grunting, and we’d just lie awake listening to it and checking on her and NO ONE was getting any sleep – ha! One of our couple friends with a two-year-old said they swore by a Rock n’ Play sleeper for the first four-ish months of their daughter’s life, essentially until she outgrew the thing. I found ONE on clearance at Target, picked it up, and we never looked back! It lightly rocks, plays music, and is juuuuuust enough of an angle to help significantly lessen reflux for sleep without posing a safety threat.
  • Baby washcloths – We’re using little washclothes constantly for bathtime! I use one to wash Liv, but then I also put one on her belly when she’s actually in the tub to prevent her from getting cold – she loveloveloves it.
  • Boppy – Looks like a glorified neck pillow, I know. Since I didn’t actually get to breastfeed outside of the hospital, I didn’t get to use my Boppy for nursing. BUT, I like how the Boppy’s usability kinda grows with the baby; we prop her on her belly on the edge for inclined tummy time, where she can look at toys or flashcards or books below, and she’ll be able to sit propped against it in the future!
  • Dockatot – So many folks are VERY opinionated on the Dockatot – some swear by it, some say it’s an overpriced dog bed. Ha! We’ve liked ours, though, and get good use of it for just mixing up Olivia’s scenery and literally docking her if/when we’re moving around the house and need her in eyesight.
  • Lalabu Shirts – This should be #1 on the must-have baby things list, and J should be hired as a salesperson for them – HA. He is OBSESSED. I had tried a few baby wraps, but never stuck with any really because they can be friggin’ complicated. Still experimenting with some, so stay tuned for any follow up thoughts there. But this shirt is a winner winner chicken dinner. It’s a shirt with what essentially mimicks a kangaroo pouch on the front! J loveloveloooooooves this, because he can just pop Olivia in the pouch (here’s the shirt he has!) and run around the house (or play a video game – ha!) with her inside. And she typically falls asleep with how cozy + comfy it is! I KNOW the pricetag seems crazy for a baby-wearing shirt (does it?), but J said to tell you all that it’s worth every penny, and that it’s like the perfect gift to a soon-to-be dad (and I’d say for a busy new mom, too). We’re gifting one to all of our friends who are expecting!
  • Evenflo stroller/car seat – This is our favorite stroller/car seat system so far. We got it from our Target baby registry! SO easily navigable. Definitely recommend.
  • Diaper Genie – TBH, wasn’t originally sold on one – I didn’t understand why a basic trash can wouldn’t work. And then I smelled baby poop and saw the light. 😉 Some friends told us they’re on the must-have baby things list, and we ended up getting one from other friends as a gift. LO AND BEHOLD, it’s absurdly useful. This thing literally sucks dirty diapers down into its depths, and can supposedly hold 200 in one bag. I say “supposedly” since I kinda doubt that literally 200 would fit inside it – it’s compact! But that’s the word on the street, folks. Biggest thing here is a.) zero mess, and b.) zero smell.
  • Bath tub – We looooooovelovelove our baby tub! We registered for this one because it works for babies, but transitions to toddler age (you just flip which direction they’re sitting in it!). We put it in our regular bath tub, and I just stand/sit on the floor of our tub to clean her in the baby tub while J holds her up/watches for slipping with her tube. Olivia is bathtime’s BIGGEST FAN, so I’m sure that helps. 😉
  • Playmat – Our playmat is adorable! It’s soft, has awesome black + whites and big faces, and has little flaps and things coming out (like animals’ ears) that making crunching sounds when grabbed. Great for tummy time!
  • Infant Optics baby monitor – Friends recommended this system to us, too, and we’re so glad we went for it. (It’s a splurgier one at Target, but WORTH IT). For her second nap of the day, Liv is usually in her crib upstairs in our room. So if I’m working in my office or at the kitchen table, I just keep the video monitor right next to me. It’s easy to shift the camera up or down, so you can still see the baby if he/she moves around in there; there’s also a talk button, to be able to say something through the speaker system to the baby (or, in our case oftentimes, to the adult going to fix something or check up on her – whether that’s J, or my mom or assistant depending on who is hanging out at our house – ha!).
  • Graco Pack n’ Play – The caveat to this one is that we haven’t used the actual pack n’ play part yet – ha! But the top two pieces have been lifesavers. It comes with a diaper-changing station on top, as well as a removeable little bassinet. I move the bassinet to my office next to me, and she sleeps in it daily at one point or another; I also hang little toys from the top, so she can be at a sliiiiiiight angle and look at + talk to them! And seeing as she has full babble conversations with her favorite toys, it’s a win. 😉 It also lightly vibrates if you turn it on, which helps soothe her to sleep sometimes. The changing table has been great; we set up the Pack n’ Play in our living room, in the hopes of having one little station downstairs for quick changes or needs without needing to run upstairs constantly. Liv actually hangs OUT on the changing table often, because she likes looking upside down at the gallery wall above her and talking to the pictures. Haha! She’ll go into full aerobics mode on that one table in particular – she stares upside down, talks, and kicks her little legs like she’s running the Boston Marathon, no joke. And then falls asleep shortly thereafter. Perfect pre-nap workout. 😉
  • Plush blankets – No specific brand preferences here – just anything soft + plushy is a favorite of Liv’s. We wrap her up in her little plush blankets or tuck them around her torso (arms out) for naptime, and she loveloveloves. Also picked up a plush bathrobe for her from Burlington and HOLY MOLY, the cuteness. She fell asleep in it after bathtime, then cried *hysterically* when I took her out of it to switch into jammies. Big fans over here. Also, she’s V INTO anything Barefoot Dreams. Teaching her young. 😉
  • Baby Einstein baby book – For $5.29, this is SO great for getting your baby into books, with how beautifully visual it is with the blacks and whites!
  • Weighted Nested Bean Zen Sack – We ordered this from Amazon when Olivia was in a phase of not being OK with being put down for a nap! She’d fall asleep without problem + without fail in anyone’s arms, but the second you try resting her down – hysteria. We figured she liked the warmth + support from being held upright against someone, so we got this in the hopes of mimicking that at least a little bit, in having a bit of light weight on her chest. That way, it’s not as stark a contrast in going from tight + warm against a human, to open in a crib. It’s a verrrrry light beanbag sorta sack on the chest of this sleeping bag, which provides just enough pressure to be calming to babies.
  • Halo Sleepsack swaddle – She slept in a Halo sleepsack CONSTANTLY in both NICUs, so we got one for home figuring she’d be used to it + want it. And sure enough! Really helps with babies’ startle reflex, so that flailing arms don’t wake themselves up!

 

What we DIDN’T use…

  • Halo bassinet – SO DISAPPOINTED HERE, namely because I dropped, like, 250 bucks on it. Ha! But I can’t fully judge it as being “good” or “bad” – it moreso just didn’t work for us with Liv (yet), given our specific circumstances. She was never breastfeeding during the night (thereby making the swivel-over-bed functionality a moot point), nor was she able to sleep totally flat during the night (hello, severe reflux). So it really wasn’t worthwhile for us with Liv, especially for the price.
  • Receiving blankets – Granted, you need one or two I’d say. But we had so many – and at least with Olivia, girlfriend kicks herself out of blankets all the time! If she was swaddled, she needed a legit, zip-up SWADDLE where she’d be essentially mummified for naptime. Otherwise, she’d wake herself up from flailing and end up with a blanket too close to her face – no bueno.
  • Sleep gowns – Olivia HATED the one time we tried putting her in one of these bad boys. Of course, with her NG tube, putting something like this over her head/face is an actual nightmare. But in general, even if she didn’t have the tube, I don’t think she would like this much fabric coming down over her head! For any other mamas, did your baby like these?

There wasn’t too much that we haven’t used at all or genuienly disliked as of yet (yay!) – but then again, I had made our registry based off of advice from other blogger mamas, so maybe that was really what helped the most. 😉

For any other moms in the house, what were your must-have baby things?

If you loveloveloved anything that isn’t already on my list, pleasepleaseplease let us know in a comment below!

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