So, it’s true. You buy a lot of useless stuff for your first baby. At least I did. I thought I could get by with the cheap version of things-and with some you can-but in all honesty, you normally end up spending much more than you expected after buying the same category of product again and again, trying to find the magical one that will work for you. Baby gear is expensive and adorable and convenient and can end up in a rat race with the Joneses if you aren’t careful. When I found out I was pregnant with TA I sat down with a pen and paper and wrote out everything I used with Hattie. I highlighted what I felt was a “necessity” and sectioned that into things that I still had from her infancy and could re-use, and things that I needed to buy if *he* ended up being a boy to suit the gender, or things that I still hadn’t gotten right the first go round!
That list saved me a lot of heartache. I ended up buying good quality items that I felt I needed, and saved the less desirable crap for a later date-like never. I thought I would share the culmination of that list with you in the hopes that maybe-just maybe-you’ll be one of the “chosen ones”. You know, the one who actually listens when people tell you to buy the good stuff-you want it to last past your postpartum checkup…Oh, and if you don’t like it, you’ll never use it, and THAT would be a travesty.
1. A stroller that you will USE and that meets you where you are in life. I hear it all too often. “Where’s your stroller?” “Oh, I can’t stand it. I would rather carry the baby than deal with that thing”…….Um…..purpose defeated? You may need a single stroller, a jogging stroller, a double stroller, a tiny collapsable stroller-it depends on your stage of life! Please, please be conscientious of this and buy accordingly! I went through 3 strollers with Hattie. 3! I didn’t like any of them very much, and avoided them most of the time. After lots of review reading, I found the one that I wanted with baby #2, and it was the first thing on my “to buy” list when my pregnancy test winked up at me. Double strollers are big and bulky and awkward, they just are! This one puts a little style and a lot of finesse back into it. Plus, when it’s just Hattie and I, or just the babe and I, I can set it up as a single stroller. I can also buy a glider board to attach to the back for Hattie to stand and ride if/when God decides to send us baby #3. It’s versatile, interchangeable, smooth as butter, and a real beauty if you ask me. It’s big though, and I’m glad I have a full sized SUV to store it, so keep this in mind too! Go to the stores and try out their displays. Super Target has a great set up that allows you to see and touch the strollers as you push them around a bit. Your perfect stroller may be a 15 dollar umbrella stroller, or a garage sale steal, every one of us is different, just find what you love, and what fits your budget, but ultimately, buy a stroller that you will use. Strollers save
lives sanity. I’ll try to remember to let y’all know when it goes on sale!
- If you don’t know by now, I’m a hippie. I love my essential oils. When Todd Anthony was born the flu was in full force, and I was happy as a clam to just stay holed up in our little house. Being shut away indoors isn’t always the best for healthy bodies either, since germs house themselves in our warm ventilation system during the winter months, replicating and dispersing themselves throughout our central heating pathways. Using a diffuser in the nursery is a non-invasive, yet very effective way for me to beat those germs to the chase. I put a citrus or a conifer diffusing and it is an extremely gentle way to boost their little immune systems, while also cleansing the air and combating airborne bugs and germs! Not to mention, it helps fend off any odors that try to set in! As intimidating as oils may seem at first, a diffuser is a foolproof way to try them out. You literally fill it with water from the sink, drop a few drops of your oil of choice, and plug it in! So easy!
3. Aden + Anais swaddle blankets. AKA heaven. They’re large, and light, and allow just enough ventilation to keep the baby snug without causing a debilitating sweat. I use them to swaddle, as a nursing cover (I cross my heart, I haven’t even taken my “nursing apron” style cover out of my diaper bag even once with TA, I’ve only used this, to cover the carseat while strolling, as a changing bad, as a burp cloth-you name it. BE careful since Target and Amazon both have less pricey versions that aren’t as large as the most popular “boutique” style! You want the 47X47 sized ones! The muslin is a nice cotton gauzy material, while the bamboo ones are still light and airy, but with a bit more stretch. Both have positives for their own unique reasons, so I can’t really pick my “favorite child”. Once of each pack is my suggestion! Stay on the lookout on Amazon for packs that go on sale at various times for around $32/box of 4!
4. The Nose Frida. The snot sucker. But seriously, that’s what it does. I love products that have one job, and do it well. The bulb syringe was the bane of my existence, and then someone went and shared some photos online of the mold that can accumulate inside of them, and so I was donesies with that big awkward thing. I used them on the babes when I was in labor & delivery, and I hated them even then, I always needed them to suck just a little bit harder! This beauty does just that. It’s an awkward concept, but it works, and it’s a terrible feeling when your little one can’t clear their nose in the middle of the night. You’ll be happy you have this bad boy. You won’t get snot in your mouth, there’s a filter, and a long tube to make sure it doesn’t happen. I won’t even reveal to you how my husband cleaned Hattie’s nose in a moment of desperation before we owned one. Did I just give it away? Oops.
5. The Solly Wrap. Once upon a time I had my first baby. I bought a sling because it looked like a good idea (hands free parenting!). The sling didn’t fit, so I bought a wrap. The fabric was insanely ineffective, so I bought another wrap, and it must have been related to fabric number one, so I gave up on the wrap idea. Then I found the Solly, and I knew I needed it for my next babe. It was one of my very first pregnancy purchases. It has made me a better mom, does that sound too sappy? It’s let me swing Hattie at the park, pick out books with her at the library, help her finish an art project, cook dinner, hunt Easter eggs, tour a new city, grocery shop, and enjoy my little brother’s last season of basketball. It kept little Todd Anthony snug against me and content while I continued to participate in the life of everyone that I love. It gave me confidence to venture out again alone for activities, and it freed me up to still help Hattie do the things that 2 year olds need to do! I still use my Solly with TA, and I will until he reaches that one year milestone, but my Solly has really made all the difference in being a mom of 2. I highly recommend it.
6. Kickee Pants. So, maybe they’re more of a pleasure purchase than a necessity, but I love me some Kickee. Ben brought home 2 of these for Hattie’s first Christmas, and I’ve been in love since. They are 100% viscose from bamboo, which means they’re REALLY soft and stretchy. You know that feeling of elation you get when you get home after being dressed up in something uncomfortable and you throw on your PJ’s or sweats FINALLY. I like to imagine that’s how Todd Anthony feels when I put this on him after a long day out of the house. We wear them as pajamas and everyday outfits because you can do that when you’re under one. Hell, some people wear their pajamas as day clothes at 31, so I think we’re okay.
7. The Windi. Oy. I started with the Nose Frida so that I could warm you up for this lovely little prize. If you thought the snot sucker was weird you should probably just move on to number 8. So, I remember learning from those “wiser older moms” that a lot of times an unhappy baby is just one with trapped gas. Sometimes their new little sphincters (or butt) don’t work properly (come on, it’s brand new, give it some time!), so inserting even just the tip of a cleaned rectal thermometer would help to stimulate it enough to release some of that gas. I can attest-it often times will work miracles. This baby tool is made specifically for this scenario, and you should read the Amazon reviews, testimonials are my jam. This isn’t something you order when your baby has been up crying in pain for 3 hours though, it’s one of those things you just need to have on hand for when the time arrises, know what I mean, butter bean?
8. Tubby Todd. This product came about right around the time TA was born, and I thought the name was adorable. I was on the natural self care product high after reading a story about how a popular baby soap company (who shall remain nameless) was revamping their formula so that it wouldn’t contain formaldehyde. Gross. Why was that EVEN IN THERE to begin with? So I was on the lookout for a company that wasn’t throwing shade. Particularly a small one with real good quality control. I found it in Tubby Todd. Since then the testimonials I’ve seen on Insta attest to its quality and purity. It smells wonderful, and it only takes a tiny bit to get a good lather. I’m all aboard that natural product train still because of the fact that our skin is our LARGEST organ, meaning whatever we put on it, we take in. So if we’re taking in crap….Do your body good people. Or at least do your kiddos bodies good.
9. Baby Journal. This is a must. Your memories of your children are such treasures. In the world of social media and technology we often take it for granted, thinking we are catching everything on our instagram or iPhone photos, but you aren’t catching it all! Those little tidbits, her favorite TV show, his favorite breakfast, they’re all things to savor and remember in years to come. I order journals from Minted for my kiddos when they’re brand new and I just jot away! I love to do it weekly the first year and then then monthly after that. It doesn’t have to be fancy or long, even just a few lines per week! It can even be bulleted! Just write things down as they happen. It’s a good habit to get into, and something you will all love having down the road.
10. Can we talk about how tragic Hattie’s first baths were? We were NOT prepared to bath an infant. I had no bath seat (who needs that anyway?), and we were so unaware of how slippery babies are. We ended up with a foam mat my mom brought us, but I swore I was going to be prepared for baby #2. I did a bit of shopping around for a bath seat, because I wanted something I could easily put away after baths, plus the mesh ones just seemed like really good homes for molds in my mind…I didn’t like any of them. I came across this Angelcare seat, and even though I’d never seen anyone of my mom bloggers mention it, the functionality of it seemed pretty legit, so I took a chance on it, and man, do I love it! Like I REALLY love it! It’s perfect! The seat isn’t too hard or too soft, it doesn’t get moldy, it hangs up below the shower head on a hook (included) at night, and it still holds my chunky 7 month old! It supports him so well that I don’t fear putting big sister in to bath with him. They have a little fun in the tub splashing with one another, and I feel confident that his head will stay above water! It’s been great. I really have no complaints, only praises for this seat!
Well folks, there you have it! My very amateur advice on what
got me is getting me through baby #2 with much more ease than I imagined (some days!). What are some of your baby favorites as of late? Any that make parenting 2 especially easier?
Lemme know below.
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