May 19, 2020
I remember being pregnant with my first daughter and being completely overwhelmed with the amount of baby stuff that is out there. So, what’s a first time mama to do? I registered for everything! I had no idea. Wipe warmer? Yes, please! Now three kids later, I have found my favorite products and would love to share my insights with you.
So what do you really need?
Swaddles are AMAZING! I absolutely love that you can wrap your sweet little munchkin up without having to remember all the folds and crisscrossing of trying to turn a regular blanket into a swaddle. I could never get it down. I remember watching the nurse wrap up my first daughter and thinking she must be a pro at origami. I tried swaddling a few times after leaving the hospital, but my sleep-deprived brain just couldn’t do it. Then someone gave us the Swaddles and our lives changed. Our fussy little peanut loved it! It was like magic! The velcro made it so easy to wrap her up. She loved being swaddled tightly and this was the solution.
For an older baby, sleep sacks are awesome. It keeps them warm (they are wearing a blanket!) without having to use a blanket. It is a really wonderful and safe option to keep your little one cozy at night. All my kiddos loved their sleep sacks. My youngest slept in hers until she was almost three!
For nursing mamas, this is a MUST! I have literally tried them all. I had a really hard time breastfeeding my oldest daughter and even had some pain with the other two. Sensitive boobs, I guess! I was so grateful when I found this one by Medela. It was the only one that really helped and provided protection. The consistency was smooth and went on easily. I found that other creams were either too thick or really runny which made them difficult to put on. This one was definitely my favorite.
I found these disposable nipple pads to work the best. At first, I tried the reusable ones mostly to be environmentally friendly and so I wouldn’t have to keep buying more. But they just didn’t work. For starters, I would leak right through them. Nothing is more embarrassing than being at preschool drop off only to see a giant wet spot appearing–Ugh! The other problem was they would sometimes stick if I forgot to put on nipple cream on and peeling them off an already sensitive nipple was so painful. Lastly, they would move and that would also lead to leaks. Here’s what I love about the disposable ones. They have a plastic backing, so it is much harder to leak through them. And they have a little sticker on the back that you can adhere to your nursing bra so they don’t move. Genius! And because they aren’t cloth, they won’t stick to your nipple. They were much gentler and overall a lot more comfortable. They are also one of my favorite gifts to give new mamas!
I love storage! I found having a diaper bag with enough pockets made outings so much easier. I would keep at least one outfit (sometimes two, depending on how long we were going to be out!), plus a swaddle, extra pacifiers, burp cloths, a nursing cover, diapers and diaper rash cream, chapstick and a snack for me! I also liked having a changing pad attached because I didn’t have to worry about forgetting it!
Nursing & Carseat Cover
I loved this cover because it was great for not only nursing, but it also doubled as a cover for the infant car seat. It was very convenient to only have to remember one thing! Plus, I found blankets would oftentimes fall off when I would try to protect them from the sun or when they were sleeping. And nursing with a blanket I found to be too cumbersome. I definitely felt more comfortable nursing around other people when I had a cover. This one is lightweight, which was nice in the summer and because it goes all the way around the body, the baby isn’t able to pull it back and play peek-a-boo while they are eating, once they get a bit older!
This one is a lifesaver. From calming down your little one to helping them sleep, pacifiers are wonderful. And when they get old enough, you can always take it away. The “Paci Fairy” came to our house and took our pacifiers to give to other babies and left a doll in return. If your little pumpkin will take a pacifier (my middle daughter absolutely refused and instead chose her thumb!) then I highly recommend this one by Nuk. One thing I loved about it is that it has a hook on the back which allows you to attach a pacifier clip. Which leads me to my next favorite thing…
This one is such a time saver. I can’t tell you how many times I have been driving only to have a screaming baby who can’t find her pacifier. Or handed the baby to someone else and the baby has spit out her pacifier and then no one can find it. And that leads to screaming and more screaming. But a pacifier clip is a game-changer. It is attached to them. No more searching the floor or car seat. And when they get older, they can pop it back in their own mouths. I also love that by wearing it, it’s far less likely to hit the ground or something yucky.
Talk about making life easier, baby gowns do just that. Especially with a sweet little newborn who is in no mood to wait to get dressed. There are always SO MANY SNAPS! And when your peanut is not having it then it seems like those snaps multiply. The answer for us was a baby gown. Once you get it over their tiny heads you are home free. Diaper changes are so much easier and faster, which is good news for everyone, especially in the middle of the night!
I can’t say enough about having a good sound machine. Once you have a baby you start to notice all the noises that go on when your little peanut is trying to sleep. It’s incredible. When Hailey was born we lived in an apartment and I’m pretty sure the gardener knew when I was putting her down for a nap, because he would always crank up his leaf blower. It never failed. Yes, it’s good for your little one to get used to hearing noises, but there’s nothing like the ring of a doorbell to startle them from sleep and ruin the afternoon for everyone. I love this sound machine because of all the various sound options it as and that it can be turned up pretty loud. This is especially helpful when my other girls are home and playing loudly! The other good thing about a sleep machine is it’s a great cue for your little one that it is time to rest. They start to associate the sound of the machine with going to bed. With all three of my girls, the sound machine really helped them understand the transition from awake-time to sleep time.
Diaper Rash Cream
Once your little sweet pea is old enough for diaper cream (newborn skin is too sensitive) this one is my go-to. The consistency isn’t too thick and it really does heal a diaper rash quickly. I like that this diaper rash cream made by Arbonne doesn’t have any added chemicals in it either. Fun fact, you can also use it to heal bug bites!
Baby Wash & Lotion
I really love this baby wash and lotion because it doesn’t have any fragrance or added dyes. It is incredibly gentle on their skin and the lotion absorbs easily and isn’t greasy. I actually like these two products so much, that I still use them even on my big kids. This is a great set that includes body lotion, baby wash, the diaper rash cream, and sunscreen that is gentle for baby skin once they are old enough (check with your pediatrician as to what age is considered safe). I also like the set because you get 10% off if you buy all four products. Check out all of the Arbonne baby products here.
I love, love, love diapers with a line! Why? Because the line starts out yellow and then changes to blue when your little munchkin needs to be changed. This is super helpful when you have a newborn and your tired brain just can’t handle making one more decision: to check or not to check. The line makes it very obvious! A few times I’ve accidentally bought the kind without the lines and then kicked myself because it’s so much trickier to tell if they need to be changed, especially when they are really tiny. The line makes it so much easier!
Wear that baby and you get your hands back! I loved to wear my babies. It’s a win-win for everyone. Your little one wants to be near you and you want your hands free. I would go on walks, trips to the grocery store, mall, and the park. The only thing I don’t recommend is cooking while wearing your baby, this is incredibly dangerous.
This is where you should spend your money. I wish we would have invested more in a better stroller with my first daughter. We started with a Graco and I just wasn’t happy with it. The basket below was way too small and the wheels were plastic. This led to uneven rides and it was almost impossible to get over curbs. With every bump, I would worry that she would wake up. I would get so frustrated when eventually an uneven sidewalk would scare her awake. Then we upgraded when my second came along. The Baby Jogger City Select was and still is a workhorse. The basket below is a great size and allows me to even shop with it. The wheels are much bigger and made out of rubber. I can go over curbs more easily and the ride is a lot smoother, which is a necessity when you have a sleeping baby.
I also LOVE all the options this stroller has to offer. It has a bassinet for baby and then converts for older kiddos. It also has a separate attachment (sold separately) that allows you to attach your baby car seat. I found this to be very helpful! I didn’t have to take a sleeping baby out of her car seat to put her in the stroller. With one click, she was in and we were on our way. If you have multiple kids, you can buy another seat and attach a second seat. I never bought it, but I have friends who have also purchased the skateboard attachment and have loved that too. Another great feature is that the stroller is narrow enough to go through most doorways and is very easy to maneuver. This stroller is definitely one of my favorite baby items. It is definitely worth the hefty price tag.
What are your favorite products? I would love to hear which products have made your mom-life easier!