Quite a title right?! I swear when I was looking at baby stuff everything was tan with animated animals on it and I thought (still think) it was all so ugly. I put so much effort into decorating my home and though I wanted my baby to have everything he needed I didn’t want to ruin how it all looked put together. What would Nate Berkus think?
I also didn’t want to have a ridiculous amount of baby crap. I think people tend to over buy in attempt to feel well prepared for a baby (spoiler alert: you can’t ever be fully prepared!) and end up with tons of useless crap they never use. Lets not forget all of the “must haves” people tell you to get that end up in the garage, for example our Pack and Play (but we’ll get to that later). So I am sharing with you what I bought to keep it simple when preparing for Odin’s arrival while staying stylish, what I wish I bought at the beginning, and what I wouldn’t buy again.
Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play Sleeper: This handy lil thing is probably the most useful item we had. It folds closed so you can take it with you anywhere and is super light weight. Its a mix between a bassinet and a swing so baby can sleep in it but you can also soothe them by rocking it. I still use this when I shower so I can keep Odin comfy and near me, but it was most useful in the beginning when we wanted to do things like eat a meal without one of us having him in our arms or tidy the house 😉 I also bring this to my mom’s house when she babysits so she can use it. Its that easy to move around!
Happy Wrap Organic Baby Carrier: There are SO MANY baby wraps out in the world. I searched high and low, and all of them had great reviews so I just picked one 🙂 I bought the Happy Baby Wrap. Yes its almost $50 but this is my favorite baby item! Especially if you’re a psycho helicopter mom like me and don’t want to ever put your baby down. Odin lived in this thing for the first month and a half of his life and loved it. It reminds baby of being in the womb and they get to be nice and close to their mama. Most importantly it allows you to have 2 hands! Its rare in those first weeks so this is a great tool. Daddy can use it too for some baby snuggles!
My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow: I mentioned this in my Breastfeeding tips post but its great so I’m mentioning it again. I lived with this thing around my waist! It has a buckle which you don’t realize is important until you need it with a squirming baby. It also has a pocket which I used to keep breast pads, lip balm, nipple balm, and my phone among other things. It has a good height to it so its easy to get baby latched on and is square as compared to the Boppy pillow which is rounded. They also have great patterns.
WubbaNub Pacifier: There is still debate about whether or not you should give new babies pacifiers and if they cause “nipple confusion”. I can only speak from experience here but our midwife told us we could give Odin a pacifier using our judgement so we did. The reason why is because I could tell he wanted to suckle but didn’t want milk, and it upset him when he did get milk so we tried out the pacifier and it worked. Now that he’s a little older he loves the stuffed animal part! He munches on the little hooves, ears, tail, whatever he can get a hold of, and plays with the legs as he falls asleep. Does it get any cuter? My sources say no.
Ju-Ju-Be Be Right Back Backpack Diaper Bag: This thing is my pride and joy (after Odin of course). I just got it last week and I’m OBSESSED. I had the Skip Hop duo signature diaper bag at first but I really like to have a place for everything and the Skip Hop didn’t have enough pockets for my liking. Since we use cloth diapers, it felt like we were stuffing the bag. With the JuJuBe there is a ton of space and pockets, its like luggage! I also got it because we are planning a trip soon and I need to have something I can fit snacks, toys, clothes, diapers, etc in. Also, this thing is super chic and doesn’t even look like a diaper bag! If you’re considering getting one, just do it because it is so worth the big price tag. I prefer the backpack because carrying a baby, diaper bag, and my purse became really annoying.
Keekaroo Peanut Changer: If you search the price of a changing pad plus 2 covers its about the price of this thing. The difference is that you never have to wash covers for this! If Odin pees on it or dips his foot in his own poop and smears it everywhere 😦 I just have to wipe it off! When you have a baby the last thing you want is MORE laundry.
aden + anais Classic Muslin Swaddling Blankets: These aren’t just swaddles, they’re EVERYTHING. That was dramatic but its true. We use these as burp clothes, blankets, surface for tummy time, and we used them as swaddles in the beginning. I have these everywhere because they’re that great. If I forget my nursing cover I tie one of these around my neck and use it as a cover. They are a must have! And they come in tons of beautiful prints. I have 8 of these and never run out. I wouldn’t even bother with regular burp cloths.
Fisher Price Jonathan Adler Collection Sensory Gym: I mainly got this thing because of the look, but there are a lot of great benefits to it. Contrasting colors stimulate the baby’s vision and send strong signals to the brain helping it develop, and this thing is mostly black and white with bright yellow, orange, red and purple toys. There are also lights at the top which change as the music plays. Pastels do absolutely nothing for baby’s development so I love this little play gym! The toys also make different noises and have different textures so all around this thing is a win for baby development! You can read more about baby visual stimulation here.
Tula Carrier: I had a cheaper baby carrier before Odin was born and used it for the first couple of months. I thought Tulas were excessive and unnecessary but I’m here to tell you I was wrong. Having a cheap baby carrier can cause pain in your shoulders and lower back as the baby gets heavier, so when Odie got some Christmas cash AND Tula was having a sale we decided we had to try it out. The Tula has big padded straps and is easily adjusted. I bring mine everywhere and its especially handy for grocery shopping when Odin starts fussing in his car seat. The pouch that holds the baby is soft canvas and unlike the cheap one we had there are no straps that can dig into his little face. It also comes with a hood which is especially handy for rain, cold days or too much sun. You can also get a newborn insert if you’re smarter than me and just buy this instead of the cheap one. That way you can use it from birth! 🙂 I think these things are worth the money because they’re super sturdy, comfortable, stylish, AND you can hold a toddler in it! It can hold the weight of my scrawny 7 year old nephew. I’ll be dropping Odin off at college in this thing.
Graco Doorway Bumper Jumper: Odin LOVES his bouncer! We started using this around 2-3 months when he started showing that he wanted to bounce. He plays in it while I cook and attempt to be a productive human being 🙂
phil&teds Poppy Highchair: We haven’t started on solids yet so he just plays in this for now, but this high chair has zero fabric on it, which means I can just wipe it down when he makes a mess of it! The less laundry I need to do the better, and it has a really stylish design. It also converts to a little chair for when he’s older.
Honest Co. Products: I love Honest Co! Like literally every other mom in the world. I use their bum cream and used their diapers and wipes when Odin was a newborn. When we travel I’ll be using them again because I’m not a fan of the idea of traveling on a plane with a huge wet bag full of dirty cloth diapers. Definitely recommend.
4moms rockaRoo Baby Swing: I don’t have this high on my list because we didn’t use it as much as I thought we would but we still use it and I think a swing is a good item to have for a baby. I prefer the 4 moms products because the colors are neutral and high contrast, and their style is super modern. This swing is pretty basic, it goes forward and back and has a colorful non- moving mobile with contrasting colors (good for development). I picked it over the mamaRoo because honestly the mamaRoo seems super extra to me. If you want to splurge go for it but you don’t know if your baby will even like it until they try it.
Some kind of co- sleeper: This can be a bassinet of some sort, we used The First Years Close And Secure Sleeper for the first 1-2 nights Odin was home and if my pediatrician asks I’m still using it 😉 But we bed share now so its not an absolute must. I was never comfortable with the idea of bed sharing because the research that may or may not be funded by the crib companies says you shouldn’t, but I will do a whole post on the research that influenced me to do it. Co- sleeping in general is great for both baby and mama, promotes breastfeeding, makes it easier to get the baby at night, and helps regulate the baby’s heart rate and breathing. The AAP recommends that the baby sleep in the same room as its mother for the first 6 months, and the WHO recommends it for the first year. If you choose to bed share, make sure to look up the safety guidelines so you can make sure you’re doing it correctly.
Travel system: This is a car sear and stroller in one package. This is kind of a given, but some people buy the seat and stroller separately.
What I would buy next time: I would buy the Tula instead of the cheap carrier we got, and the Ju- Ju- Be bag instead of the skip hop. I’m also curious about the HALO Bassinest Swivel Sleeper and the DockATot but I haven’t decided if I’ll invest in those for the next one.
What I didn’t use: Everyone tells you that you must get a Pack and Play. Honestly, we could have done without it. If you have a 1 story house I don’t think its really necessary at all. I hated the way it looked in my living room because it was such an eye sore. Because our house is 2 stories, we did use it for diaper changes in the first 1-2 months so that we wouldn’t have to go up and down the stairs, especially since I’d just given birth. If our house had been one story I could’ve just used the changing pad in his room. But to each their own! I also thought I needed a lot of bottles, but I never really pump (or leave my child) so he’s only used a bottle 3-4 times in the past 5 months.
We haven’t used his crib much either but I would still buy it. I think its good to have, some babies don’t mind sleeping in it either. Odin slept in his for some time around 2 months before we brought him to bed with us but needed a swaddle and grew out of that phase pretty quickly.
Another piece of advice: DO NOT buy nursing bras before you have the baby! My size went from a 34D to a 36DD and none of those $50 bras I bought while pregnant fit me. The only ones I would say you should buy are these nursing sleep bras or any soft bra . Also get a few nursing tanks (this one is my absolute favorite!)
Its so hard to narrow down the items you want to get in preparation for your baby especially with all the “must have” lists circulating on Pinterest. The most important thing is that you select items that fit your lifestyle and pick things for you, and not because everyone tells you that you need them! Hope this helps 🙂
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