Lately I've received a handful of emails regarding the baby gear we've used with Max and what I'd recommend to new and expecting parents. With just five months under my belt, I'd hardly call myself an expert on the matter; however, I do know I wasted a lot of money on stuff we barely used—most of which was purchased to "prepare" for his big arrival. Ha Ha! Go figure. While 90 percent of the essentials mentioned in today's post were purchased AFTER Max was born, I feel confident suggesting them to anyone with a bun in the oven. Each baby is different, but you can't go wrong with the following basics:
- Newborn Sleeper Gowns // I had NO idea how much I'd love these until Max arrived. We had a couple of gowns on constant rotation in the early weeks. It was pretty much the only thing he wore when he was at the house. They made diaper changes so much easier especially late at night when nobody's got time or the patience for snaps and buttons.
- The Miracle Blanket // Flyboy is a swaddling master, but our little Houdini always managed to break out and that's when he'd wake up. Nooooooo! Once we started using The Miracle Blanket (around two months), we noticed that Max would sleep for 6+ hour stretches at night. It was especially handy in the middle of the night when we were too tired to achieve the perfect swaddle. In the event you or someone you know is dealing with a colicky baby, I would recommend this in a heartbeat. It was one of the few ways in which we could soothe Max when he was incredibly fussy.
- White Noise Machine // We started out with an app on our phones, but ended up purchasing this sound machine when we realized how much Max enjoyed the white noise. Sure it might sound like we live in a wind tunnel at night, but that's a small price to pay for some sound snoozing. I also think it's one of the main reasons Max can sleep through anything.
- 4moms Mamaroo Swing // Hands down, my all-time favorite baby essential! I attribute any productivity that's gone on in the past few months to this miracle device. We ended up purchasing ours about a month after Max was born, and our life improved the moment it arrived at our doorstep. Sweet freedom!
- Puj Foldable Bath Tub // Hi, my name is Ashley, and I can't stand clutter. I'm rather picky about how items are stored. Oh, and I get all sorts of anxiety whenever items waste perfectly useful space. Woot! Type-A(shley) in the house! All confessions aside, this foldable tub is a dream come true. It was especially handy in the early days when Max was tiny; it offered some security and structure whenever we'd bathe him in the kitchen sink. I typically store our Puj on a hook that's hidden behind my bathroom door. I adore the simple design and that it's user-friendly. No space issues or clutter around here, my friends! I'm also really excited to use it on our upcoming trips because it's so compact.
- Cloth Diapers // As I purchased items to prepare for Max's arrival, my mom suggested I buy a pack or two of white cloth diapers. It didn't take long for me to realize why they would become so handy for spit-up, blowouts, and burp cloths. The plain white color makes it easy for me to throw into the wash with our bath towels and bleached if necessary.
- Aden + Anais Swaddling Blankets // We received these as a gift and ended up buying another set after we realized how invaluable they were around our house. They're perfect for swaddling and tummy time, but also double as a great nursing cover and burp cloth. We have one staged in every room and bag.
- Bibs // Run, don't walk, to the nearest Ikea and stock up on these cheap bibs. For less than four dollars, you get a pack of three. These striped necessities are not only soft, but they wash up like a dream.
- Ergobaby Carrier // We purchased a few different carriers (Baby Björn, Solly Baby, etc.), and this is my favorite. In the beginning, I was a little hesitant to invest in an Ergo carrier, especially when it already felt like we were dropping money left and right on baby crap. Oops, I meant gear! If I would have just ordered this one from the start, I would have saved us some time and money. I think what I like most about the Ergobaby 360 is that it offers back support, which the others seemed to lack. It's no secret that Max is growing like a weed, and since Flyboy is tall and I'm short, we needed a comfortable carrier that would suit both of our body types. This is a keeper that's worth the investment.
- Toys // Max wasn't too terribly interested in toys for the first few months; however, he started to enjoy this Haba Magica Clutching Toy and this Oball Infant Rattle around the three-month mark. I also keep this Plan Toys Bird Rattle in my purse for whenever we're at the store and he needs something to chew on or play with.
- Organic Cotton Blanket // Can you ever have enough blankets? I didn't think so. I ordered this one from The Honest Company, and I absolutely adore it! Perhaps the textured polka dots might give it away? This sweet throw is perfect for cuddling and napping. It's been especially handy this winter whenever Max and I are out and about running errands. It's the perfect weight to keep him warm and drape over his car seat.
- Nuna Pipa Car Seat // Deciding on a car seat and stroller seemed like the most overwhelming task when we were preparing for Max. I'm SO glad we got the Pipa Car Seat and Pepp Stroller. This top-rated Nuna car seat is superior quality, lightweight, and easy to install. I especially love the canopy. When the stroller adapters are attached to the Pepp Stroller, the Pipa Car Seat can be used. Flyboy and I have been impressed with the stroller's smooth ride and compactness when folded. It's also lightweight, easy to set up, and close down.
- Boudreaux's Butt Paste // Around the three-week mark, Max got a diaper rash, and this paste took care of it within a day.
- The Honest Company Diaper Bundle // Frequent diaper changes are bearable when you're working with eco-friendly diapers adorned with adorable prints. Who's with me?! I also love the convenience of having the diapers and wipes mailed to our doorstep each month. It's one less thing to have to remember or juggle when we go grocery shopping.
- The Happiest Baby on the Block DVD // Dr. Harvey Karp's how-to video is a must for any new parent. I can assure you, it's SO worth the painful 80s hair styles! After watching the DVD one night, I could instantly see a new confidence in the way that Flyboy approached Max. We both learned new ways to soothe him effectively.
If you find yourself overwhelmed in the baby aisle or defeated by confusing customer reviews, just know that so many of us have been there and we survived. Remember that you don't have to have it all figured out. You already have just what your baby needs. With time and a subscription to Amazon Prime you'll figure out the rest! I promise.