I don't know about you, but when I was having my first baby I was SO curious to talk to veteran mamas. What did they use, and more so, what did they KEEP using with each child? What held up, what was worth it, what was totally unnecessary? So today I thought it would be so fun to share all of the things I love as a veteran mama (still so weird that this is our THIRD!), and hopefully you'll find something useful here too.
I already have my next post ready to go later this week, with 10 NEW to me things I'm excited to try this time around so check back in soon for that, but in the meantime, here are my top must-haves for baby, tried and true:
1. Solly Baby Wrap
This is a MUST for me. I absolutely love the Solly Baby Wrap for a few reasons- it's incredibly soft, stretchy, but still supportive. I use this for the first 6 months or so, and for those months, so worth it. Baby is snuggled in close all day long, and you are able to do whatever you need to do- take care of your other kiddos, even just take a walk. This thing was a lifesaver for me, and with a c-section both times, the soft fabric did not irritate the incision area.
2. Ergobaby Carrier (this one is my all-time favorite- check it out!)
Before I worked with Ergobaby on the PR side, I collaborated with them here on my blog with both Henry and Charlie! I've always been a huge fan of the brand, and even more so now that I work with them on a different level. It's a wonderful company who believes in parents, and their products are hands down the BEST. I have the opportunity to try out different carriers regularly, but I can totally speak to how long the carriers last from not only my own experience but also via the Moms we work with on social media. Some of these mamas have used the same carrier for over 7 or 8 years! Amazing. Ergobaby now has a carrier you can use without an infant insert (the Adapt), but I used the Original with an insert with the boys from day one.
3. Sakura Bloom Sling
This is my third must-have baby carrier. All of these are totally different and I wear them in different circumstances and for various reasons. For me, slings are the easiest to throw on when you're running in somewhere quickly. They're simple to use and so beautiful. I've been a Sakura Bloom fan ever since I collaborated with them on their very first Sling Diaries and had the chance to try them out. To me, nothing is better than a well-worn, broken in sling and these are simply the best!
4. BOB Stroller
Hands down the best stroller ever. Our same BOB Revolution has lasted us two kids, countless cross-country trips traveling via both airplane and car, 10K races, daily walks and runs, hikes...you name it. And it's still in fantastic condition. I recommend this to ANY parent who is looking to be active with their little one from birth all the way up through the toddler years.
5. Pampers Sensitive Swaddlers diapers
These are the diapers we used from day one with Henry, because they're the ones the hospital gave us! We didn't know any better but as time went out I learned through trial and error that they really did work the best for us. I've tried ALL brands of diapers, and for newborns up until size 1, these are the best. After these, we switch over to Costco's brand, and I have zero complaints.
6. Ergobaby Swaddler
I look back at our swaddler journey and it really does make me laugh. With Henry, we used the blankets the hospital gave us and I can't tell you how many times Hank and I became frustrated in the middle of the night trying to make sure the tucked in side stayed tucked in, or even remembered how to do the dang swaddle. When Ergo came out with a velcro swaddler it was life changing for us! It simplified EVERYTHING, and best of all, we could rest assured it was an ergonomic design that would be safe for baby's hips. A must-have, and super affordable too.
7. Freshly Picked Moccasins
These are a no-brainer for us. We've used them since the beginning, and Susan's journey has been the coolest thing to watch. We are loyal FP mocc lovers, and for good reason- these are some of the only shoes that actually stay on little ones' feet, and they also allow them to develop healthy walking habits since they're not impeded by a thick sole! Not to mention how cute they are. Baby Olive already has her own little collection, and I can't wait to try out the pinks and golds in her closet.
8. Fisher Price Lamb Chair
Both of the boys loved this chair from day one. It was one of the handiest tools in my mama arsenal, because it allowed me to feel good about setting them down in a safe place. The chair vibrates, which the boys loved, and since it's so light I could move it all around the house. I would place the boys in it when I showered- right outside the shower door- when I had to work, or when I just needed a break from holding a baby. There are many different versions of this chair on the market, but this one in particular was great through both boys' time as a baby...and it's still going strong for baby #3! Note: I couldn't find the lamb chair for sale anywhere, but the Rock 'n Play I linked above is supposed to be just as amazing.
9. Kimono Style Tops/Comfy Pants
This may sound like an odd one, because it seems so specific for baby clothing. For me though, I found that the constant diaper changes made having the baby in anything like a onesie extremely annoying. No one wants to take the legs and bottom in and out all day long (or all night long for that matter!). So I really love the two piece outfits, and the kimono style tops don't go over baby's head which further simplifies changing as well. I also found this style of tops to be easier on the umbilical stump, and just overall made those first few weeks a lot smoother. Some of these shirts do come with mittens attached, but I avoid those, because in my opinion babies need to figure out how their hands work, and keeping their hands in mittens all day goes against that. I linked a cheap Gerber pack above, but I absolutely love this set also, and it's actually what Olive will be going home in.
10. A comfy backpack-style baby bag
I've tried all sorts of baby/diaper bags, from satchels to totes to backpacks, and I've learned over the years that backpacks are the way to go. My two picks I'll be using for this baby are here and here. The second is a new-to-me brand and I am absolutely obsessed. We brought it to Disneyland and both Hank and I were blown away with how functional and comfortable it was. It even fits my huge 40 oz. Hydroflask in the outside pocket. The plus of having a backpack is that it leaves your hands totally free, which is needed, and also makes babywearing easier.
11. Some sort of co-sleeper
There are a ton of options for this, and we are actually going with a new one (more in my next post), but for both boys we used our beloved co-sleeper similar to this one. This was absolutely amazing on so many levels. I was a little too nervous to truly co-sleep without some sort of co-sleeper, but I also didn't want to have the baby outside of the bed. This was a great compromise as it allows you to have baby safely in the bed with you, and you can also easily travel with it. Co-sleeping IS safe, but for me, I just couldn't rest for fear I would roll over on the baby.
12. Boon Flair Highchair
We used this chair for both boys and I can't say a bad thing about it! Easy to use, easy to clean...all around EASY! It's held up wonderfully for all of the use it has gotten and I'm happy to say that it's ready to go for its third round, which is pretty amazing.
13. Costco wipes
These are the best wipes, hands down! We use them for everything, still! Check them out.
14. 4moms Breeze Playard
And finally, one of my favorite baby items we own. A couple things about this- one, it's very heavy. I would say that's the only drawback, so we never did air travel with it, but we did bring it with us whenever we would drive. It's the easiest playard I've ever used in my life. There are so weird sides to click together (or apart), it's a very simple one-handed push down, and equally as simple to close. It's pretty, it's easy to move around, and we used it for everything from a safe place to set baby when we had to get something done, to a spot to hang out outside while we all got some sun. A great product!
That's it for now, but check back soon for the new items we can't wait to try this time around! And if you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments and I'll get right back to you.