Last week I shared my must haves for new mommas, you can read that list here! Initially, I was going to call this must have list for babies. But, if I’ve learned one thing after having three kids, it’s that all they really need is a clean diaper and full belly. So as long as you’re doing those things, however you’re doing them, you’re totally rocking the parenting gig! So, rather, this is more of a list of my favorite things for baby that we’ve found make our lives easier. Enjoy!
1) HALO SLEEP SAC | We’ve used these since Owen, and they’ve never let us down! There are so many brands of sleep sacs for babies, but this kind pins those little arms down into a straight jacket (bahaha) that keeps them from munching on their hands and waking themselves up. I also love it because when I’m nursing a baby all through the night, I don’t want to have to fight those hands being in the way (seriously, why do they think there is milk in their hands? Silly tiny humans.) They have fleece versions for winter, and lighter weight versions as well. When baby gets older, we use the ones without the “wings” to keep baby warm without loose blankets in the crib, and bonus, also keeps them from being able to crawl out of their crib!
2) OWLET SOCK | After spending 18 days in the NICU staring at monitor to make sure Annie’s oxygen levels stayed high enough, it was a little scary to be sent home without the reassurance of 24/7 monitoring. One of my sweet clients turned friend (cliend? frient?) got two of these as gifts, so she passed one on to me to use as long as we need. How sweet of her, right?! The sock monitors Annie’s heart rate and oxygen saturation and is comfy for her to wear. (In fact, I’m not sure why hospitals haven’t taken note instead of the annoyingly touchy and uncomfortable foot stickers they use in NICU.) It is an investment for sure, and I’m so grateful we didn’t have to pay for ours, but after going through what we did, I would gladly pay for one. This little sock has provided so much reassurance. I SO wish I had had one with Owen and Oliver. Worth every penny!
3) 4MOMS MAMAROO BABY SWING | We had one of these with Oliver that we bought second hand. We sold it to get the newer model and we LOVE it. This is Annie’s fave nap spot. It has multiple swing pattern options, and has built in white noise options. I also love that it’s more compact than a traditional, big, bulky swing.
4) LAVENDER ESSENTIAL OIL | You know those sleepy baby lotions and soaps you buy that smell like lavender that help baby get sleepy? Why not just use the real thing that doesn’t include a handful of chemicals? You can diffuse this, or use a roller ball. I put this on Annie’s foot (the one without the Owlet sock) and down her spine. Magical, you guys. Bonus? Lavender is also great for common baby skin issues.
5) NOSE FRIDA | We discovered this dandy little tool with Oliver. Let me just be upfront: the first time you use this, you will probably gag and feel like you’re going to get your child’s nasty snot/boogers in your mouth. I promise you, you will not! The blue end goes in baby’s nose, and you suck on the red end and there is a magical little filter separating the two. It’s a genius invention, SO much more sanitary than those NASTY blue bulbs that just harbor all those gross boogers and germs for as long as you own it, and is so much more effective at cleaning baby out. Pro tip: best used with a helper to hold their head still because while it’s amazing, babies are not usually a fan, haha!
6) COPPER PEARL GOODIES | If you’re searching for the perfect blankets, bibs or nursing/carseat covers, look no more. These. are. amazing. We love our lightweight muslin blankets for the car seat or summer outings, but they aren’t the best for swaddling for naps because they don’t have any stretch. These however, are the perfect amount of stretch, and they are butterrrrr soft. Their nursing covers are super roomy, and are thick enough that if you pin the fabric around yourself, they actually help support the baby in a good position if you don’t have a pillow to use. This company also makes the cutest bandana bibs, burp rags, and hats that don’t look atrociously huge on a newborn. LOVE all things Copper Pearl.
7) LITTLE POPPY CO. BOWS | Where my girl moms at?! I am so shamelessly obsessed with putting bows on Annie. It’s so much fun, and by golly, she just looks so dang cute with a bow on! I’m aware this is totally not a NEED (sorry, Dave Ramsey), but it’s something that just brings me so much joy! Little Poppy Co. has a subscription that you pay $12 per month for 3 bows. The bows are coordinated with the season, and really great quality. Yes, it’s $12, but I’ll gladly sacrifice a couple coffees so my baby girl can have bows. Priorities, people. And honestly, since I know we have three new bows coming every month, I really don’t shop for them anywhere else, which if I did, would be SO dangerous for me. The Little Poppy Co. ones are always cuter and cheaper anyway! Eventually, I will probably cancel our subscription because our collection is already getting massive, but my plan is to go through one year so we can hit all the seasons/holidays and then be set. We’ll see if that actually happens… 😉
8) AMBER TEETHING NECKLACE | I knew these existed with Owen, but was always so put off by the idea of my baby wearing a necklace so I never looked into them. With Oliver, I took way more control over the things I was using on him for teething pain (guys, STOP using Orajel, it’s TERRIBLE) and started researching these necklaces. Genuine Baltic Amber contains succinic acid which is a natural analgesic and has been used for centuries to provide localized pain relief (thanks to Elegant Mommy for that explanation). So that’s all great and all, but I know what you’re still thinking: a necklace?! on a baby?! Yup. The clasp on these are designed to break if pulled too tightly, and if it does break, the beads are tied off individually, so that tiny beads don’t go flying. And for real, Oliver literally never touched it, he didn’t even notice it was there. When we got one for him, I put it on and left it on for about a week, then tried taking it off to see if it made a difference. The next day, his daycare lady called me and I could hear him screaming in the background. She said he was refusing his bottle and was just not himself at all. When I got him home, he refused to nurse. I put his necklace back on, and a few hours later, he nursed and fell asleep like normal. SOLD. Important: make sure the necklace fits properly. It should fit around their neck with some slack, but it SHOULD NOT hang onto their chest or be long enough that baby can get it in their mouth. Also make sure you’re getting genuine amber. This is the brand we have. If the necklace thing still freaks you out, they can be worn as a wrist or ankle bracelet as well.
9) THIS DIAPER BAG | We’ve gone through 5 diaper bags, and this one by far is my fave. With Owen, I had one that went over one shoulder…lol…terrible. Backpack style is the way to go so you can still have both arms/hands free. I love the wide-top opening, it makes finding things so much easier. But the feature that totally sold me was that you can unzip the back and get to items on the bottom without having to pull everything out or dig to find things. YESSS. Bonus? A bunch of really cute colors!
10) BOPPY PILLOW | I totally thought these were one of those items that everyone just knows they need. Like, on the same level as diapers and wipes! But I’ve had numerous mommas in my studio that had never heard of them! Gasp! Boppy pillows are awesome, a total must have for nursing, and a good pillow for baby to lay in and practice sitting up. We’ve had the same pillow for all three babies, but I have gotten a new cover for each baby just for fun. So, there you have it! My list could include so much more, but we’d be here allll dayyy longgg. Ha! What other items are a must have for you?!