Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Favorite Baby Products

Now that my son Ryland is almost 9 months old and I am finally feeling like I’ve got things figured out (HA!), I thought it may be helpful to share some of our favorite baby products with all of you. As it is with most first time moms, I had absolutely no idea what we were going to need. I know everybody’s needs are different, but I tried narrowing it down to just the items we love and wouldn’t want to live without. Honestly, most of these aren’t true necessities, but they sure make life a heck of a lot easier!
1.Trend Lab Burp Clothes: We got three sets of these burp clothes as gifts and used them so much that I ended up using a gift card to buy another set. They are great quality, small enough to toss in your diaper bag, and it doesn’t hurt that they come in such cute prints.
2.Mamas & Papas Booster Seat: We opted for this booster seat over a high chair, and so far, we have loved it! Particularly, that it is a space saver and it will grow with him as he gets bigger.
3.Boon Lawn Drying Rack: Cute and functional…need I say more!? And we also love the twig accessory that coordinates with it.
4.Munchkin Latch Baby Bottles: I’m no expert in baby bottles considering Ryland has had less than ten his whole life. These are the only ones we have tried, but for breastfed babies, I highly recommend them!
5.HealthPro Baby Scale: If you are a breastfeeding mama, you NEED this. This scale allowed me to keep up with how much Ryland was eating (3-4 ounces in 8 minutes by the way…every two hours!). You just weigh them before and after they eat and then you know exactly how much they are taking in. This gave me the peace of mind I desperately needed during that crazy time…perfect for first time moms!
6.DRIA Nursing Cover: I am obsessed with this! It feels so luxurious, but at the same time lightweight and breathable. It also doubles as a carseat cover. Just calling it like I see it…but this is pretty expensive for what is basically a yard of fabric with a hole cut out, but if I were divide the cost by the number of times it has been used, it is worth it for sure. In my opinion, it is much better than those apron-style covers and provides complete coverage!
7.Medela Harmony Manual Pump: I know I’m in the minority on this one, but I preferred using a manual pump over an electric pump. Granted, I only pumped once a day, but it was just easier to me. It is also small enough to thrown in my diaper bag and super easy to use.
8.Baby Led Weaning Book: I started out with the intention of making baby food purees, but after a bad experience with bananas, I started researching baby led weaning and never looked back. I can not say enough good things about BLW, and everyone is always amazed at what and how much Ryland eats. I love how easy it is to implement and the fact he can eat on his own, allowing me to enjoy my meal as well.
9.Skip Hop Roll Around Toy: Ryland loved this toy and it was something that he could play with at a very early age.
10.Kick and Play Piano Gym:  This kept him entertained, and allowed me to get things done. He enjoyed kicking the piano keys and reaching for the hanging toys.
11Baby Einstein Activity Jumper: One of the best purchases we’ve made! We found one on craigslist and he plays in it every morning after breakfast.
12.Combi Activity Walker: This was a craigslist find as well! We got it a couple of weeks ago, and it quickly became a favorite. He is able to “walk” around the whole kitchen while I am busy cooking
13.American Baby Company Fitted Sheet: I just registered for these because they had the best reviews on Amazon and were reasonably priced. They are soft, inexpensive, and we have had zero complaints. One tip is to use the following layers on the mattress: waterproof mattress pad, crib sheet, waterproof mattress pad, crib sheet. That way, if your baby’s diaper leaks in the middle of the night, you can just take off the top sheet and mattress pad and you are left with a clean set underneath!
14.Sound Machine: This sounds like a fan and has been perfect for blocking out noise. I especially love the small size and how easily it can be hidden in the nursery. Great for traveling as well.
15. & 16.Young Living Diffuser & Lavender Essential Oil: I was not sold on essential oils until I tried diffusing lavender when Ryland first stated sleeping on his own. Call me crazy but, I really could tell a difference in how peacefully he slept.
17.NuRoo Swaddler: This is a MUST HAVE! I bought the Miracle Blanket because of the good reviews and hated it. I liked the Aden and Anais swaddle blankets, but that was too much work in the middle of the night. I saw the NuRoo and decided to try it out. It was so easy to use, and Ryland instantly started sleeping longer at night. My only complaint is that the velcro starts to wear but keep in mind, we only had one of these and I was washing and drying it every other day. Next time, I will purchase two or three!
18.Rock and Play Sleeper: I always said that our kid would not sleep in the bed with us, but when you are sleep deprived and the only way you can get your baby to sleep in on your chest, you do it. And so, that’s how he slept…for two months! After reading a lot about this sleeper, I finally gave in and bought it. It’s small, easy to move and it actually gave me some hands free moments. I also used this when I went back to work because it is easy to travel with, and he could sleep in my office while I was counseling or doing paperwork.
19.Munchkin Changing Pad Liners: If you have a cloth changing pad cover, you need these!
20.Black + Decker Pivot Vacuum: Kids are messy and this thing is so powerful and easily cleans up any mess our little one makes.
21.Munchkin Diaper Pail: I almost didn’t register for one of these because I figured I could just use a trash can, but my sister-in-law swore by hers and that was all the convincing I needed.
22.ERGObaby Original: I use our carrier at least once a week. Especially now that he is getting heavier! He seems to be more content when I wear him, and it has been super helpful if it’s near his nap time and I have to be out of the house. Early one, I used the K’tan and the Solly Wrap and loved both of those as well. The K’tan is great if you aren’t comfortable with wrapping yet, and the Solly is just amazing in general!
23.OXO Tot Wipes Dispenser: Anything that makes diaper changing a little easier is a win in my book. We decided not to use a warmer because we didn’t want him to get used to it at home, and freak out in public when we had to use cold wipes.
24.3 Sprouts Storage Bin: This thing is so sturdy and holds a ton! I love all of the different options as well. We have the fox and the owl.
25. 4Moms Breeze: We found one of these on craigslist for $100 and it has been amazing. Setting up and taking down with one hand was the biggest selling feature for us. Easy “Breeze”y. He actually slept in the bassinet portion until he was 6 months, and then transitioned to the crib like a champ.
26.4Moms Infant Tub: 4Moms thinks of EVERYTHING. We have used this from day one and are still currently using it, even though he’s probably way to big. Love, love, love! And reasonably priced for one of their products.
27, 28, 29.Honest Company Soap, Wipes, and Laundry Detergent: I was definitely paranoid that Ryland would have sensitive skin so we started out using Honest products. I loved them so much, that we stuck with them. I know there is a lot of negative stuff out there lately about the Honest Company, but we have had a good experience with their products.
30.MAM Pacifiers: Ryland didn’t take a pacifier until we started sleep training at 6 months. We only use one at nap time or when he’s teething and these are our go-to.
31.Honest Company Diapers: These are the best diapers and they are so stinking cute. TMI, but every poopy diaper was a blowout with Ryland, until we started using these. As soon as I opened one up, I could instantly feel how they were thicker than the Pampers we had been using. I set up a 6 week auto-delivery and have never had to go out and buy diapers as they are delivered to our front door. I feel okay splurging a little on these because we aren’t buying formula. Again, anything that makes life easier (and less messy) is a win in my book.
32.Exergen Temporal Thermometer: No complaints with this thermometer! Especially helpful when he is teething.
33.Gerber Soothe Colic Drops: Okay, I could go on and on and on about these because they were the one thing that changed our fussy butt baby into a happy baby. After every feeding, Ryland would throw the biggest fit. I tried omitting all the normal triggers from my diet and didn’t notice a difference, so we tried these. After 2-3 days, he was a different baby! And his late night crying fits stopped as well. If we accidentally missed a day, we knew immediately because he was so upset the next day. Totally worth every penny… and FYI, Amazon was much cheaper than anywhere else we found them. We stopped using them when he was 5 months and he has been fine ever since.
34.Ello Water Bottle: This one is for you, mama. A water bottle that you can use one-handed is a MUST! This one was/is my favorite.
Whew! Such a long and loaded post, but if any of this info is beneficial, then I’ve done my job. The newborn stage was so difficult for me and some of these products were total lifesavers! It was a trial and error process to figure out what we needed but next time around, we’ll be much more prepared.
One thing that made the registering process easier was setting up our baby registry on Amazon.  It’s universal and you can add products from any website. I would say most of our gifts came from that, especially from out of town guests that couldn’t make it to our showers. And you get a 10% discount on your registry items or a 15% discount if you are an Amazon Mom subscriber. You also get a free welcome box valued at $35.  To me, the discount alone is worth setting up a registry! Create an Amazon Baby Registry HERE
I love hearing from experienced mamas about their favorite things…so what are/were some of your MUST HAVES?

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