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There’s good news and bad news.
Good: It’s 2020. We have access to all kinds of baby stuff that our great great grandmothers didn’t have. Making our lives THAT much easier.
Bad: The amount of sh*t out there is extremely overwhelming!
It’s so easy to get wrapped up in a world of confusion when you enter parenthood. You feel like you need everything and even when you think you have it all, you see someone post something cool like a sock that monitors a baby’s well being and you realize maybe you DON’T have it all.
Seriously though, lets talk about our great great grandmothers again. I really wonder like how did they manage without the stuff we have nowadays?! I mean I’m pretty sure my ancestors in Russia relied on vodka not a rocking bassinet to put the baby to sleep lol kidding….or not 🤷🏼♀️ Diapers?! Ya right! Try pieces of cloth and then hand washing them in a cold river. Formula?! Um it’s either your mommas milk or Mashka the goat in the backyard. Point is, we are very spoiled. We have everything we need to comfortably raise a child. But how much of it do we actually really need?
I’ve put together this article to help you get through your babies first year with the absolute must have items. It may seem long, but I promise these next 10-15 minutes will save you LOT’S of time and LOT’S of money. I’ve even made it extra easy by linking all the products directly to amazon! If amazon isn’t your best friend already it will be when you become a parent.
*** Everything in the tan font takes you directly to the item. Just give it a click!
• The Snoo – I can’t even explain how thankful I am for the Snoo! There is nothing more a mother needs or wants than SLEEEPPPP during the newborn stage. Nobody told me about this brilliant invention when I had Luna so unfortunately we didn’t use it with her. She was a good sleeper but nothing compared to Tristan!!! It rocks your baby to sleep, mimics the same sound that they heard in your womb, and if they start fussing the rocking motion will intensify just a little to get them back to sleep! If I was forced to pick ONE baby product it would be the Snoo all day every day!
1) Put it on your registry and hope some rich family member gets it for you
2) RENT IT! Yes you can rent it for $112 a month. This is what we did because you will only use the Snoo for about 4-5 months before your baby outgrows it. You can only rent directly on the site. Amazon doesn’t offer rentals.
PS. It comes with 3 different size swaddles that are specifically used only with the Snoo because it hooks on the sides keeping your baby in place. So don’t bother buying too many sleep swaddles for the first 4 months as you’ll be using this one often.
• The Owlet – The second must have product right after the Snoo. It’s been my saving grace with Tristan and STILL IS. What is it? A little sock that goes on your baby’s right foot to monitor their heart rate, oxygen level and sleep. It’s super easy to use. Trust me if I can figure it out so can you. It’s scary because as a parent your biggest fear is an unexplainable death occurring out of nowhere. SIDS is what they call it. When Luna was little we didn’t have this Owlet so we were like hawks hovering over making sure she was breathing all hours of the night/day. Having this smart sock with Tristan has made all the difference in the world. If anything goes wrong we immediately get notified through the app connected to our phone.
Click here for direct link to the one I suggest. This one includes a camera which is nice because it saves you money from buying a separate one! I would have definitely got this one, but it wasn’t available at the time of purchase.
Our Story with the Owlet: When Tristan was about a month old he somehow pulled his swaddle over his face preventing him from breathing normally. Thankfully his smart sock was on and my phone went off like a siren 🚨 That thing saved my babies life and it can save yours too.
• Baby Monitor – If you don’t end up buying the Owlet that comes with the baby monitor then I suggest this one. There’s a lot of monitors out on the market. I was very picky about finding a really good one! After trying a few this has been the best one for quality and sound.
• Pack and Play – A crib on the go. It’s been very useful for us because we take little vacations often. It’s easy to fold, throw in the car and pop back up in the hotel or wherever you are staying. It can be used for sleeping AND a safe place for them to play. We’ve taken it to the park, to the beach…and right now it’s currently standing in our living room because Tristan is at that stage where he’s crawling and getting into EVERYTHING. Sometime’s we just need a little break so we’ll throw him in there with a bunch of toys to keep him confined until we catch our breaths again lol
• Love to Dream Swaddle Up – I promise this will be KEY for sleep training your baby. Speaking of…the number one question I keep getting asked is:
“How we sleep trained Tristan and Luna.”
Most of you know my kids have been sleeping through the night by 4 months. It hasn’t been the easiest journey for us, but we made it out alive! I can’t wait to share what we did so I can help another desperate momma out. BUT I need to dedicate an entire blog post to this topic…So hang tight you’re that much closer to 8 hours of straight sleep!
• Doona – This is a two in 1 stroller/car seat. It may not be the most physically appealing but as soon as you become a parent you realize comfort beats aesthetics any day. It’s funny because I’m suggesting something I haven’t personally used but just like with the Snoo nobody mentioned it to me! So when I had Tristan it didn’t make sense to buy this stroller because I needed one that accommodated two kids. So if you are a first time parents OR if your oldest doesn’t require a stroller anymore I really suggest this one.
*** Choose a stroller depending on where you live because Martha on IG is recommending a jogging stroller while you’ve never ran a mile in your life. So again, picking a stroller should be personal to you. For example: if you live in the city you need a stroller that’s easy to maneuver and get in n out of tight spaces. Or if you live in the suburbs you’ll need something that’s easy to fold and fits in your car. Don’t be surprised if you end up with a couple strollers. You’ll realize some work better than others for certain things.
I currently have the Uppababy Vista Double Stroller.
• Day Dreamer – I have to say this has been the most used item for us. Think about it…your baby is tiny! Where else are you going to put the little bean while doing things around the house!? I saved our daydreamer after Luna and so glad I did because they discontinued them for a while. They just started selling them again on bisonoffice.com and I’m pretty sure you can find sites or people that sell them. It’s a lounger for your baby that goes anywhere you go in the house. I would put Luna and Tristan in this thing whenever I’d take a shower, in the living room, in the backyard, cooking in the kitchen (my counter is pretty big so I actually put the daydreamer right on top so they can see me) Don’t put it on countertops if your baby is able to sit up! I’m not about to take the blame for moms who don’t use common sense. I used this from about 2 months up until 6 months.
• Snuggle Me Organic – Similar to Doc A Tot but a little cheaper..serves the same purpose. A comfortable lounger for the baby that goes where you go! The only problem I ran into was always propping it up with pillows because Tristan had really bad spit up’s that he’d actually choke on so that’s why I preferred him being lifted upwards.
Luna had the “Rock & Play” and SHE LOVED THAT THING. So of course I saved in case we had another child. I go to pull it out of storage and realize the cord was missing. Thinking no big deal I’ll just order another one….only to find out there was a recall on them 😢😢 So I was on a hunt for something similar. THE KEY: get something with a very soothing rocking motion and where you can easily pick up to put it anywhere.
Are much better than these:
• Mamaroo – I don’t have enough info about this because I personally never used it and never had a reason to because the one above worked amazing for us. I look at it this way….If you don’t need to spend a fortune on something that works just as good for more than half the price why do it? If you’ve exhausted all options and are desperate for a rocker that works for your bub than give the Mamaroo a shot as I’ve heard many wonderful things about it.
• Burp Cloths and Bibs
• Ointment for sore nipples. Click here for the brand I used and loved.
• Breast pads to keep you and your clothes dry.
• Breast Pump (make sure you get bottles that are compatible with your pump.)
Extras but not necessary – nursing or feeding pillow, breast milk bags, rocking chair, specific clothes for breastfeeding.
• I love the Dr. Browns bottles!!!
• Drying rack – When we take the bottles out of the dishwasher we always place them on this rack. Keeps everything organized and quick to access.
• Dishwasher basket – just makes it so much easier for the tiny little pieces that can get lost in the washer.
Extras but not necessary – bottle sterilizer, bottle warmer, special bottle soap.
• I recommend a high chair that’s LIGHT and EASY TO CLEAN!!! You’ll most likely be dragging it around the entire kitchen area and cleaning it non stop. The one we have is “Oxo Tot Sprout.” Believe it or not we bought it for Luna and still using it with her and Tristan right now. And it look’s brand new!
• Bowls, silverware, and sippy cups.
• BIBS! Preferably waterproof ones. You’ll be running through these like crazy!
Extras but not necessary: Place mats, baby food maker (unless you really plan on making your own baby food.)
Less is MORE! You know how you get overwhelmed when you walk into a Forever 21 and the entire store looks like a tornado ran through it?! Well don’t create that same overwhelming effect for your little one by surrounding them with thousands of useless toys! Here are the stuff I noticed we got the most use out of:
• Play Gym – this is a must. You can lay them down on this mat as early as one month! Music, lights, bright colors, moving objects, they love it! And then the best of all is seeing how quickly they catch on! One day they’re laying there helplessly, next thing you know they are pulling on the toys in every direction!
• Jumper – We have the “Baby Einstein Neptune Ocean Jumper.” (Currently not available on amazon 😌) Once your baby is able to sit, move and kick having one of these will buy you enough time to cook dinner.
• Baby Walker – Your baby will be ready to use one of these as early as 6 months! I prefer the one’s where they independently stand on there own versus the ones where they are supported. Just gives them more freedom/mobility.
• Soft teething toys – Everything will be going in your babies mouth. So make sure you have plenty of toys that actually feel good to bite on. Here are a few teething toys that I can assure your baby will love:
Fruit Shaped Silicone Teethers: Trust me when I say your baby will always be hanging on to one of these! Just be sure to store them in the freezer because obviously everything feels better on the gums when it’s cold.
So Pure Teether Giraffe + Toy: I don’t know why, but babies are obsessed with this Sophie Giraffe! It’s the top 10th most popular item on Amazon.
Nuby Ice Gel Teether Keys: Again, keep in freezer!
Munchkin Fresh Food Feeder – This isn’t really considered a teething toy, but I put crushed ice inside this net and I swear Tristan chews on it for like 20-30 minutes!
• BOOKS – It’s never too early to start educating them! Find books with hard cover pages and big bright pictures! Sit them down with you & read! Well, It’s actually more like pointing and figuring out what noise a camel makes lol. Even if you have their attention for 5 minutes that’s still good! We loved the “Sophie la girafe peek a boo” book! I’m telling you anything that has to do with this Sophie Giraffe put’s some spell on these babies.
• Bathtub – It’s nice to have a little sturdy tub that you can place your baby in but to be completely honest I didn’t find this to be a necessity. I almost always got in the tub with my babies. It was one of my favorite bonding moments. It gave me a good 15-20 minutes to relax because they were so content being in my arms in the warm water. Some babies are actually afraid of the bathtubs so you’ll end up having to get in a tub/shower with them anyway! Once they are old enough to sit (which is around 7-8 months) you can put them straight in the tub! Make sure you have one of those mats to avoid slipping! Fill the tub up to whatever level you are comfortable with and obviously NEVER leave their side. However, if you plan to get a tub I suggest this one.
Extras but not necessary: wash cloths (I always use my hands.) Bathtub thermometer (I think you can figure out if the water feels too hot or too cold.) Bath toys. I guarantee what you already have will most likely end up in the tub. Currently Luna’s barbies are in there and Tristan’s teething toys.
I’d take this very seriously as most of your time is being spent changing diapers
Our main changing tables are on top of their dressers in their rooms.
But we also keep a little caddy with diapers, cream, and disposable under pads in our living room to save the trip of going upstairs.
• Diaper Pail – Don’t try to get away with an old trashcan!!! You need something that’s airtight so it keeps the smell sealed in. I highly recommend this one. Been using it with both kids and the air in the room stays fresh…until its time to take the bag out 🤢
MOM HACK – If you find yourself in a situation where you need to throw your babies poopy diaper in a common area (kitchen, bathrooms etc) wrap it in foil first to seal in the smell!
• Wipes and Diaper Cream – If you don’t take anything out of this post PLEASE AT LEAST TAKE THIS. I swear by the “aqua pamper wipes” and the “triple paste” cream! It’s inevitable for babies to get diaper rashes especially if you don’t use good quality products. Your baby’s sensitive areas deserve the best care. Luna only had one major diaper rash and poor Tristan currently has his first one. And you know why? Because we are limited on supplies due to coronavirus so unfortunately we can’t get our hands on the aqua wipes…I just bought some store brand wipes and that’s exactly when his rash started developing =(
• Diapers – trust me when I say I’ve tested them ALL. Pampers have been amazing with Luna. I tried Pampers with Tristan and it was a complete disaster! Something about those diapers and boys doesn’t mesh.
Pampers for girls. Huggies for boys.
Night time diapers are a must! As your child needs extra protection for longer hours. “The honest company” are the best ones.
How to prevent diaper rashes: Change diapers often!
TIP: If your baby boy is circumcised you’ll need gauze and Vaseline for the first few weeks! Apply a generous amount of Vaseline on the gauze and put it directly over his penis. This protects it from getting caught in diaper.
Extras but not necessary: Changing pads, baby wipes warmer, pee pee tepee, air freshness for the trash, baby power.
BABY HELMET! If you follow me on Instagram you see Tristan in this thing often. I absolutely swear by it and wish I would have thought of it when Luna was little. As soon as he was able to sit I realized we needed something to protect his falls. He would constantly lose his balance landing on the back of his head. Then when he started to stand it got worse. I could never get to him fast enough to catch his falls. Click Here to see the one we use. It’s so lightweight your baby won’t even realize it’s there.
For the love of God don’t spend money on clothes. Your child outgrows them in days. Literally days! Buy a few cute outfits for their monthly photos and special occasions, but on a day to day basis have a pile of carter onesies and pants. In my opinion pants are so much more useful than skirts/dresses and shorts because from 0-6 months you want them to stay comfortable and warm. Then 6-12 months you want to protect their knees from rug burns when they start to crawl. BAM! Don’t give yourself a headache when it comes to wardrobe. I suggest splurging on outfit’s when they look like tiny humans not aliens.
I hope I covered everything!!! Now go return half the sh*t you bought! =)
Are you pregnant or know someone who is?! This giveaway is specially designed for a mommy to be! Since I believe in all the products listed above I wanted to put together a little bundle of some of my favorite items that will make your journey a little more easier!
• The Owlet
• Two “love to dream swaddles”
• Dr. Brown Bottles
• Favorite teething toys
• $50 Gift card to Buy Buy Baby
How to enter?
• Repost the image below on your IG story tagging me!
• Leave a comment below!
• Remember, members of my site have an extra 5 bonus entries!!!