My Favorite Things- The Baby Edition
This month, Collins turns two. TWO! She’s halfway to four. It just blows my mind. If I had a Collins monthly budget of a million dollars, I would have no problem spending it because I love all the baby things! The clothes, and shoes, and headbands. The toys, and gadgets, and decorations. It’s just so fun. I remember researching the heck out of my computer before she was born, trying to find what was essential and what was more for kicks, what brand was the tip top best, and what was the safest.
For instance, to pick out my own mattress, I remember going to the store and sitting on it, deeming it comfortable, and loading it in the truck. (Well, I didn’t do the actual loading, but you know. I could have.) For baby Collins’ mattress, I looked into every organic mattress the Internet could show me. It shouldn’t be filled with polyurethane because that’s highly flammable and goodness knows we’ll send her to bed with matches every night. And the lining shouldn’t be vinyl because, hello, toxins. Mattress shopping had gone from a quick errand to the most important decision of my life.
I just tried finding out what mattress we went with, but the tag doesn’t say the brand, and I can’t for the life of me remember (some life or death decision, right?). I’m pretty sure we went with a simple mattress with a hypoallergenic mattress cover via my bff, Amazon.
I had to sit back and realize that just because the product is produced doesn’t mean it’s a must– even for the first time mom who wants everything to be PERFECT.
Granted, every baby is different, which means what is essential for me may not be what is essential for you. We were so pumped to get our mamaRoo swing because I could foresee many moments of Collins dreaming about sugarplum fairies while I read Tina Fey’s Bossypants. But you know what? The girl hated that thing as much as she hated being swaddled. So of course, we bought a second swing thinking this one was just not her style. We tried so hard, you guys. So as of this moment, we have two swings that have each been used twice in our closet hoping baby #2 will maybe like it a smidgen more.
Here is my list of Baby Essentials.
By far, the best purchase I made before baby was born. Collins lived in this for at least the first eight weeks of her life. When it was too early to be on a nap schedule, and there really wasn’t anywhere to put her considering she and the swing were not on good terms, the wrap pretty much saved our lives. I loved the material of this wrap because I could wear it in the summer without burning up. Plus, it was sweet being so close. I’m pretty sure it’s why we’re bff’s now.
When you are feeding your baby for ten hours a day, it is so nice having somewhere to rest your arms. Boppy to the rescue! Huge bonus: The Boppy may even let you take a little nap during feedings because it keeps baby secure and in place.
You know how people wonder what life was like before the iPhone? This is my thought regarding the video baby monitor. It is so nice being able to see (and hear) Collins in her room. It’s a pricey purchase, but it’s something we use every single day, it’s reliable, and it’s easy to take with us when we travel.
A friend told me these little gowns are amazing for newborns because they make diaper changes in the middle of the night a breeze, and she is right! These are soft, comfy for little newborn bodies, and they look like tiny kimonos! We still order BabySoy outfits, but it all started with the bundler.
Chicco Echo stroller
I did so much stroller research. It was a little extreme. We got the Baby Jogger stroller, which we love for walks/jogs, but it is a little wide to use in a lot of indoor places. The Chicco Echo has been great, and I can open/close it with one hand when needed. It’s basically a fancy, more sturdy umbrella stroller, which keeps it lightweight, too.
Oh these. These are bedtime magic. Collins was never a swaddler, so we started using these almost right away. If you want your little to have the blanket feel without any loose blankets in the crib, these are for you! Bonus: They’re cute as can be.
This was one of those purchases I didn’t know if we would actually need or if I just picked it because the fake grass was cute. But you guys, so many bottles. So many pieces. and cups. and baby things. This rack is full every day, and it’s nice keeping her things separate from the pots and pans.
When it takes 19 minutes for your tap water to get hot, this is when your bottle warmer becomes your most valuable asset. Especially in the middle of the night. Also, again…so many bottles. A bottle brush makes cleaning easy and thorough– because nobody wants milk lingering behind.
The beginning months of car riding made me not want to go places. The mirror helps because you two can see each other. Plus, when she cried, I could glance back there to see if there was a real problem or if she was just ready to get out and live her life.
These songs and VHS tapes were a hit when I was growing up, but who knew it would be so successful with my own kiddo. We had just experienced a rough car ride home where I tried every genre of music I owned and nothing would soothe her. So I bought a WeeSing album on iTunes. The girl loved it! Still does today. The movies are awesome, too. They’re each right around an hour long– perfect for little road trips these days.
Best toy! Even if it takes up half your living room. When your little has legs that want to boogie but she doesn’t exactly have the coordination for a full on jig, this “jumperoo” is the best! When we started putting Collins in this, we had to stack scrapbooks or a pillow under her feet so she could touch the “ground.”
I know. Yuck. But when your baby is all sickly and snotty and couldn’t blow her nose if you paid her a million dollars, this can be your go-to. We like it a lot more than the nasal aspirators they hand out at the hospital. We don’t use it all the time, but it’s helpful before it’s time to eat or go to sleep.
Get nail clippers with a light! So serious. Baby nail clipping should be an Olympic sport. Also, teething tablets were a hit with us. They’re homeopathic, and they seemed to really soothe her.
We always have this running in Collins’ room when she has congestion. Since tinies can’t handle much medicine to help with colds, I’m all for using anything natural that can help.
Some people think it’s dumb to drop $20 for what could be considered a cute dog toy, but this is the one teether that worked in the early days. I would have paid more if necessary because teething is no joke.
Just like strollers, so much research. Totally worth it. The KeyFit was awesome in the beginning. We liked it because we could transport her in and out of the car so easily. This was especially nice if she fell asleep in the car seat. The stroller frame transforms the car seat into an instant stroller, which was convenient. The Britax is such an awesome second car seat. Yes, it could have been used from birth, but again, we liked the convenience of a car seat being an instant carrier and stroller. The Britax is expensive, but I’m so impressed with its safety features. Both car seats have been major wins.
And now for Mama.
Yep, I know. Not really what you want to purchase for yourself after all the cute buys for baby. You’re going to have to get over some things. This stuff is what dreams are made of as far as breastfeeding relief goes. And then once that is all over, if you have extra, you can use it as cuticle cream! Bam.
Don’t be shy– just go ahead and hop on the Tucks Train. The first six weeks after having a human come out of your body will not be your favorite . But you know what? These things are like miniature ice packs that make you feel all better for a bit. Stock up.
My sister gave this to me right after Collins was born. And first of all, awesome idea. People love giving baby gifts because baby stuff is as cute as it gets. But you know who needs some love? Mama. She needs some big love right now. This bath soak was hilarious and practical all in one.
Bossypants by Tina Fey
This was the first book I read after Collins was born, and it was the best comedic relief I could have asked for. It’s the kind of read you can make work when your little first starts taking naps in her crib, even if they’re never longer than 30 minutes.
If you breastfeed, expect to be hungry. All the time. I kept a stash of Larabars in my nightstand because I may have been exhausted after a 2AM feeding, but I wasn’t about to go to sleep hungry.
Okay, so the stuff for mom isn’t the most glamorous, but you know what? Life right after having a baby is not the most glamorous. It’s just not. If you have a couch and a Netflix account, cute pj pants, some fuzzy socks, and a plethora of snacks, you’re pretty much set for a while. I also strongly recommend Friends Bloopers and RachTalk videos on YouTube. When you’re in the thick of it for the first time, you wonder if it will ever end. Seriously, you just want to make sure this isn’t your forever normal. It’s not. Even the toughest babies grow and change and become independent. You don’t have to love not getting sleep or not getting to do some of the things you love. But this time doesn’t last, and it’s a precious time. Soak in the sweetness.
*I linked most of these products to Amazon because you can sometimes get a lower price, and if you’re like me, you have the hardest time ordering from other online stores because you’re spoiled by free shipping. Thank you, Amazon Prime!
PS No matter what you register for, people will buy you stuffed animals, blankets, and outfits. Don’t register for more of these. We could have made a tent out of receiving blankets.