As I get closer and closer to the 30 week mark in this pregnancy, I can feel the nesting itch coming on. The only problem is that I don’t actually have a house to nest in quite yet and all of our baby stuff is packed away, lord knows where. Not being able to start going through things and cleaning and organizing (my favorite things to do) has me a bit on edge. So, I sat down to make a list of the things that I know I already have, somewhere, and really loved when Eliza was just a babe. The first time around I thought I needed mountains of gadgets to get me through and honestly, in the beginning I really could have had some onesies, diapers, a blanket and a boob and been perfectly fine. But, there were definitely things that I grew to rely on and that made the job of mom to a newborn that much easier and, well, prettier. There are also some things that I have seen floating around babyland over the last couple of years that I am excited to try out with this next babe, so I made a note of those too. Hopefully if you are a first-time mom or just trying to remember what the heck it was like to be one, like me, this will help you.
- By far the best infant and baby clothes I found were L’oved Baby. The material is organic, breathable, soft and durable. The colors are really beautiful and the clothes come in many different options. For the smallest babes, there are footed and gloved jumpers and then as baby grows there are ones that have the feet out and no gloves. They have onesies that have snaps on the shoulders and also the wrap kind so that you don’t have to put anything over baby’s head if you don’t want to. I loved the look of these so much that I found myself putting these on Eliza for both bedtime and for getting out of the house. For us they ran pretty true to size but a little long. We are very short people, however, so take that with a grain of salt.
- I used our Aden and Anais swaddles and burp clothes constantly. The fabric is light and cleans up really well. They are large enough to throw out on the ground and let babe explore a bit. I also liked the weight of them for carrying in the diaper bag.
- I had one Little Unicorn quilt for Eliza and it was amazing. I will be getting a few more of these this time around. They are the softest thing ever and I love how they are a bit thicker while still being breathable. These are definitely a favorite.
Diapers and Wipes
- Pampers Swaddlers were the very best diapers that we tried. And we tried Huggies, Honest Company, and Target brand in addition to the Pampers. I have heard that the brand of diapers really depends on the baby and what works for one will not necessarily work for another so I will probably just buy a pack of newborn Pampers and then see how they work out for this one. I would love if the Target brand ended up working because they are such a better price.
- My favorite wipes were by far Costco’s Kirkland Signature wipes. They are so smooth for wiping and never irritated Eliza’s very sensitive skin. They are also awesomely priced in comparison to some others. I have thought about trying Water Wipes this time around but I don’t know if I can give up the convenience and price of the Costco ones.
- As far as a diaper cream we have gone back and forth between Butt Paste and Desitin. Desitin smells better to me but I think the thickness of the butt paste really does wonders for pesky diaper rash.
- We loved the EuroBath for both infancy and as she grew and was able to sit up on her own. There are two positions you can place baby in, one for lying down and one for sitting up. This made it last a lot longer than some other baths and was the best alternative to my beloved sink bath.
- I loved these bamboo washcloths for bath time. I like thin washcloths that wash well and these fit the bill. They are also incredibly soft.
- The first bath soap we bought for Eliza was Noodle and Boo. I loved the smell and the silkiness of the soap and lotion but it upset Eliza’s skin. After doing some research, we switched to Tubby Todd. This is now a staple for us. Every product that they have is amazing. I now purchase their kits for baby showers all of the time because I truly swear by it. Their all over ointment has done wonders for Eliza’s eczema and I use it on my dry skin as well.
Swings and Seats
- We played musical seats with Eliza for months, trying to find something she would nap in. That never actually happened and after months of her only sleeping on me, she finally slept flat on our bed for naps. But, I still had a couple of favorite seats that she would at least sit in while I tried to get some things done. We loved the mamaRoo because it is just plain cool. The motion of it was very calming for her even if she didn’t actually fall asleep. I didn’t like the mobile that was attached to it, however, but I have discovered that on Etsy you can get handmade ones that fit the seat. I just might have to do that.
- The seat that I ended up using the most was the Fisher Price Rock ‘n Play. So many moms swear by these seats and it did not disappoint. I used it mostly just as a place to set her down for a bit while I tried to do something other than hold her. I also drug it around the house from room to room (scratching our floors) in order to make it more mobile. It would be pretty sweet if it had wheels, but it doesn’t. With the new floors I will not be dragging it but I am sure I will be using it with the new babe.
Breast and Bottle
- Medela Pump in Style was the breast pump that I had and used religiously. Because of Eliza’s tongue-tie, breast-feeding was extremely difficult. After 6 weeks or so I switched to pumping and bottle feeding. This pump was my companion for the next 6 months. Pumping is not for the faint of heart but this pump did the trick.
- Dr. Brown’s Breastmilk Storage Bags are by far the best bags if you are going to be pumping at all and storing milk. They are sturdy, stand up well, and don’t leak out of the zip. You would think any bag might do but when you are pumping for 30 minutes, dump your milk into a bag, proudly put it in the fridge and then have it fall over and spill, I guarantee tears will also start spilling.
- When we did switch to bottle feeding, we tried out a few different bottles. The ones we liked the best were Comotomo. They heat up quickly because of the silicone, they are easy for babe and mom to hold, they are easy to clean compared to some others with more parts, and it was a smooth switch from breast because of the nipple. I will definitely use these this time around when we go to bottle feeding.
- The Bobby Nursing Pillow was pretty awesome while I was breastfeeding although a regular pillow probably would have worked. The fact that you can take off the cover and wash it gave it a leg up on our bed pillows, especially since leaking milk and spit-up were inevitable.
- Sleep was hard to come by in the beginning and I am no expert on getting the best sleep. However, there were a few things that seemed to help our little one get through until sleep because more steady. We were gifted a beautiful Restoration Hardware Bassinet that I love. I used it around the house in the first weeks and I love that it is on wheels. I also love the shelf underneath the bassinet because I used it for baby supplies that I wanted to bring from room to room. Also the bassinet actually comes off the stand so if you want to simply set it on the floor you can do that as well. We will be using it again this time around, hopefully for more sleep!
- After trying to get Eliza to sleep swaddled and unswaddled, sleep sack, no sleep sack, I finally came across the Ollie Swaddle. It did the trick. She would constantly wake herself up because of her flailing arms and this swaddle was the right amount of stretch and breathability for it to work for us.
- We loved our Motorola Monitor until the end broke off. That thing lasted through many nights and many trips. The picture quality was great and I loved that it had the temperature of the room on the screen. The Summer brand one that we have now is not nearly as clear. This time around, I will either get another Motorola one or I am thinking about just using the Nest Cams so that I can see the picture on my phone and have an easy visual of both girls’ rooms.
- White noise has become the background of my life. We never invested in an actual noise machine, we just use an old iPad with an app on it and a Bluetooth speaker. It has worked great for us and is easily portable. I have the noise app on pretty much every device we have just in case I need it at any given time. The app is called White Noise Baby.
- Inevitably the baby gets sick. It is so, so sad to see the first stuffy nose and I remember thinking that we might not survive. But survive we did and other than infant tylenol and a humidifier the Nose Frida was the absolute best. It seems disgusting to be sucking snot out of your baby but when you read about the mold that collects in those bulb suckers, the Nose Frida seems just peachy. And it works so much better. It made me feel like at least there was something I could do to help her!
Eating Real Food
- The Ikea Antilop High Chair is so cheap ($20.00) and extremely usable. Not only did we use it at home, we brought it everywhere with us; tailgating at football games, over to friends houses, anywhere we thought she would want to eat and needed containing. I will be getting another one for this babe and I just discovered that a shop called YeahBabyGoods on Etsy has tray covers and cushion covers for the chair. They are so cute and would totally make the high chair even more appealing.
- I decided that I wanted to make my own baby food. The whole baby lead weaning thing was not for me and my anxiety but I did want to be able to give her food that was as pure as I could get it, plus it is so much cheaper. I made many different purees and would either freeze them in ice cube trays or use the Infantino Squeeze Station in order to put them into handy-dandy little squeeze pouches. This system was perfect for traveling. I would grab one or two out of the fridge if we were going to be gone for a while and I would fill up the tray with filled packets for weekend trips to the cabin. I would definitely recommend this system to anyone interested in making their own baby food. It is genius.
Leaving the House
- When I finally did decide to brave leaving the house, my Solly Wrap was my lifesaver. I loved having Eliza close and not having to deal with a new baby getting passed around. Also, she loved it and would sleep in it for hours. I was so handy at the grocery store when I didn’t want a carrier to take up the majority of the cart, at home when I wanted to do laundry and she wouldn’t let me put her down, and we used it religiously at football games where I would just carry her instead of having to cart a stroller along. Baby wearing is where its at and the Solly is pretty, breathable, and durable.
- The first time around we got the Orbit Baby Travel System that included a car seat and base, and the stroller base and stroller seat. I liked parts of the system including the way that the seats hooked in and had planned on just getting the conversion kit to make it a double stroller. However, the company apparently failed some tests when it came to the foam in their car seats and the chemicals used, sold to Korea and is no longer available here at all. So, I started searching for better products, this time keeping in mind that I wanted only companies that had been around for a long time. Eventually I settled on the Mountain Buggy Duet for a double stroller. I LOVE this stroller! I got the Duet as a single a few months ago. It comes with the stroller frame, 1 stroller seat and then a basket that hooks right beside the stroller seat. It has been so awesome to use at the market or shopping or even just for walks. The tires are air-filled and can get through anything and the extra storage space is so handy. In order to make it a double, I then got the family pack which comes with an additional stroller seat and a bassinet for the new babe. I am so excited to use it once she makes her arrival!
- Because of the Orbit Baby fail, I am also in need of a new infant carrier and car seat. I have decided to get the nuna PIPA, after reading a bunch of reviews. It also has the ability to clip onto our new stroller which is a must.
New Baby Stuff
- Haakaa Breast Pump – Apparently you just attach this cup to the breast that your babe isn’t feeding on and it catches all of the let down and leaking that would have gone to waste. I have read of moms getting 2-3 oz of breast milk just from using this little contraption while feeding. Seeing as breast milk is like gold, if it works it just might be a new favorite.
- Owlet – When Eliza was born, I had major anxiety, which resulted in even less sleep than I would have gotten. My sister-in-law got an owlet for her little one and swears by it. If there is anything that can give me peace of mind and let me sleep, even just a few more minutes, I am all about it.
- Doc-a-Tot – This may sound absolutely crazy but we don’t actually own a crib, and I don’t think I really plan on getting one. Eliza was such a cling-on and I was so anxious that she slept in our room for, well actually she has never slept anywhere else. She started out in her bassinet and then we got a co-sleeper kind of like the doc-a-tot (which wasn’t great) and then when she got bigger she just started sleeping with us. For the past 6 months or so she has had her own Leesa mattress that she sleeps on, on the floor so there is no risk of her falling out of bed. The mattresses are the best and I think I will do the same with the next babe, although, move her to her own bed much sooner hopefully. Apparently there is a name for the mattress on the floor thing, Montessori bed or bedroom. I had no idea it was a thing when I decided to do that but I guess it is done in a lot of other countries and makes the whole crib thing kind of unnecessary. Anyway, with this next babe, I will definitely be trying the doc-a-tot for the first 6 months of her sleeping in our room, whether that turns out to be in her bassinet or in our bed remains to be seen.
- Solly Swaddles – Our favorite wrap company now makes swaddles out of the same awesome material. I may just have to try a couple.
- Fawn Design Diaper Bag – I had a Petunia Pickle Bottom diaper bag with Eliza and there were some things that I like about it. I liked the changing mat that it had stored and the matching wipe container but as far as the bag, not so much. It was bulky, hard to find stuff in, and couldn’t be washed which sort of defeated the purpose of having a quilted diaper bag. This time around, I am going to try the Fawn Design bag. They are backpacks, which I think will be so handy with two babes to wrangle, they are much more open and because they are leather they can be wiped off.
Well there you have it! My list of the things I actually used the first time around and a few things I am thinking about adding. Really, so much baby stuff is not necessary and definitely aimed at convenience. Coming from someone who really doesn’t like clutter or useless stuff, the baby stuff I buy better be making my life much more convenient in order for it to stick around. These things made the cut. Hopefully they can help to make life as a mom of two more convenient as well! Here’s hoping! MEM