It is no secret that babies come with quite a bit of gear. If you take a peek at pictures of our home from two years ago, it looks vastly different than it does today. Medicine cabinets are full of handy gadgets, our garage is dotted with strollers, and our kitchen cabinets have been filled with colorful plastic pieces. Brody is now a year and a half old and over the past few months, I've been taking notes on the gear that we have truly used and loved. The list looks quite a bit different than the list I made of baby gear before I actually had a baby.
If you are expecting or have just become a new momma, I hope these tips give you clarity on what you may or may not need in the months to come. You have an exciting adventure ahead!
1. Infant Car Seat | Maxi-Cosi Mico Max-30 Choosing a carseat is one of the biggest decisions in the world of baby gear. Should you have one in each vehicle? Which seat is the safest? Which seat is easiest to install? The questions go on and on. We knew we wanted the Maxi Cosi Pria Convertible Car Seat (#37 on this list) from the beginning and went back and fourth on whether we should purchase an infant car seat as well. Ultimately, we did and it was a great decision. Babies like to sleep during car rides. When you are out and about running errands, it is so much easier to grab the infant car seat and set it in the back of the Target cart rather than waking up your little one. And let's face it, most of your outings in the first few months will probably involve Target. We used this carseat until 6 months when we transitioned to the convertible car seat. We loved this infant seat. It washed up well after several poop explosions and I always felt safe buckling Brody in.
2. Walker Wagon | Radio Flyer Classic Walker Wagon If you've been following along for a while, you probably know my feelings on toys. I'm picky. I like things that last. And I'm a firm believer in limiting the number of toys that are out at one time (hence our weekly or bi-weekly toy rotation process). This walker wagon is one of the only toys that I keep out 24/7. We gifted it to Brody for Christmas (he was 9 months at the time). At the beginning, he used it to help steady his balance as he stood. As time progressed, he used it as a walker as he learned how to walk. And now he uses it to load and unload his toys and push all over the house. We've used it both inside and outside and I have a feeling it will be in our possession for years to come.
3. Lovey | Little Giraffe Blanky After chatting with a sleep expert, we introduced a security blanket (also known as a lovey) to Brody's sleep routine. It was a game changer. We reserve his lovey for bedtime or nap time to create the correlation with the lovey meaning it is time to rest. Brody cuddles with it all night long. We rotate through 3-4 different ones, mostly because I am terrified that he will become too attached to one and we will lose it, but it always ensures we always have a clean one on hand when there are multiples. I spill the beans on all of my favorite lovey's and the ones we use on the post below.
Related: The Best of Lovey Blankets
4. Diaper Rash Cream | Boudreaux's Butt Paste We've experimented with different brands of diaper rash cream over the past year and Boudreaux's is our favorite. It seems to do the job quickly and is the perfect consistency.
5. Nipple Shield | Medela Nipple Shield Breastfeeding was initially a lot tougher than I was expecting. We took classes, watched videos and assumed it would just come naturally. In reality it took a few months to find our grove. I must admit, that once we found that groove, it was the more rewarding experience. Brody had a terrible latch for weeks. The Medela Nipple Shield was the only thing that helped train his lips to latch properly and it helped me tremendously from having sore nipples. I used it religiously for the first two months and eventually we were able to transition away from using it. I know many lactation consultants have mixed views on nipple shields, but I can tell you that it made all of the difference for Brody and I. If you are struggling with breastfeeding, this can be a great tool.
6. Lunch Box | SoYoung Linen Lunch Box Storage and organization are two words so synonymous with every aspect of motherhood. This little lunch box has been our snack pack, mini diaper bag, toy storage, bottle carrier etc. I first learned about the brand at the ABC Expo last year. The waxed linen exterior is easy to wipe off and the inside has an insulated interior that is attached with velcro to easily clean and remove. Bonus points for the adorable prints on the bags.
7. Organic Cotton Pajamas | Organic Cotton Zippered Pajamas Finding the perfect pajamas for Brody involved a lot of trial and error.The organic cotton is so soft and only seems to become softer with washes, which we all know happens frequently. They have new styles every season, but take my word and avoid any that involve snaps or buttons. You'll thank-me later.
8. Nursing Pads | Lansinoh Disposable Nursing Pads For a little visual of my chest during my first few months of breastfeeding, check out the Fountain of Neptune Statue in Bologna, Italy. That, dear momma, was my reality. I experimented with different brands of nursing pads. Some were itchy and some were not very absorbent. The brand that worked best for me were the Lansinoh Disposable Nursing Pads. A little trick I learned, don't remove the self adhesive tape from the backs. Just slip the pads in your bra with the tape unexposed. This will make the pads far easier to switch out and prevent the sticky glue from building up on your bra cups.
9. Breast Pump | Lansinoh Double Electric Breast Pump Confession: I never pumped until Brody was 10+ months old. Breast pumps intimidated me. Looking back on it, I wish I would have started pumping sooner and created little stash to keep in the freezer. When I did start pumping, I used the Lansinoh pump. It was simple to use, easy to clean and small in size.
10. Push Toy | Jelly Bean Racer Another one of our favorite toys has been the Jelly Bean Racer. This little plastic scooter has brought countless laughs. It's also my go-to gift for 1st birthday parties.
11. Teether | Sofie la Girafe My husband and I joked for months about how Sofie was our 2nd child. She went with us everywhere, even making an appearance in nearly every picture we took in Ireland. This rubber teether is a bit pricey, but it is worth every penny. Brody gnawed on it for months. Ps: You can check out my whole guide for teethers below.
Related: The Best of Teethers
12. Saline Drops | Little Remedies Saline Drops Did you know that most babies have an average of 7 colds in their first year of life? Yes, 7! Alleviating a stuffy nose from your little one is tough. A few drops of this saline solution and the NoseFrida (#39 on this list) work like magic. We went through 2 bottles of this during Brody's first year.
13. Crib | Babyletto Hudson It should come as no surprise that a crib is a must-have item for babies. I still love the Babyletto crib that we use. It also comes in quite a few different color options. My only wish is that we would have transitioned Brody to the crib sooner--I think we all would have gotten a little extra sleep!
14. Stroller | Stokke Xplory Our one big splurge item was our everyday stroller. The Stokke Xplory has a hefty price tag, but we have truly loved it. The height and maneuverability of this stroller can't be beat!
15. Bath Towels | Petit Pehr Hooded Towel Finding a great baby bath towel has been a tough endeavor. From towels that were too thin, to towels that did not absorb, we finally landed on the Petite Pehr bath towels. They are the perfect thickness, super absorbent and ultra cute. Out of all of the towels we have tried, these have been our favorite by far.
16. Baby Monitor | Nest Cam The one item on our baby prep list that I nominated my husband to research was the baby monitor we would use. There were so many options out there and narrowing down all of the features and functionality of the different monitors was not something that excited me. After reading reviews, we ended up purchasing a Nest Security Camera and using it as our baby monitor. It rocks! There is not a monitor that we have to keep charged or plugged in, it is all viewed from our phone. The camera itself is small and unobtrusive in Brody's room. The night vision on it is impeccable. And the whole thing is run from an app that is connect to our cell phones and Ipad. If Brody is with the nanny and I am out and about, I can pull up the app and see if he is napping. This camera is also the reason we now have a new nanny :) I think my husband and I would both agree that this was a great purchase.
17. Sippy Cups | ZoLi Bot XL Oh, sippy cups! How I love and hate thee. Finding the perfect sippy cup is seriously as crazy of a process as trying to find the perfect wedding dress. The most common problem we have had have been leaking, which is rough when it is in your diaper bag and everything in there gets soaked. Out of the dozen plus cups we have tried, the ZoLi Bot has been one of the very few that has not leaked. It is the very first cup we used with Brody and at almost 18 months, it is still our favorite. Close seconds are the Lollaland cup (have had a little bit of leaking, but it is so cute) and the RePlay Sports Cup (no leaking, very sturdy, but we prefer straw cups).
18. Wrap | Solly Baby Whenever I am asked to pick the one baby product that I loved the most, it is hands-down the Solly Baby Wrap. Brody lived in this thing for the first 6 months. It was the only way I was ever able to accomplish any cleaning, blog post writing, or Target trips. I still miss those Solly Wrap cuddles.
19. Plates | Re-Play Plates Things I've learned as a mom: Babies like to throw plates. For this reason alone, we love the re-play plates. They are ultra sturdy (rumor has it, you can run over them with you car and they won't break), they wash up well in the dishwasher, and the separate compartments are the perfect size for toddler meals. We also recently started using the Happy Mat and it is quickly creeping up to the top of my list.
20. Humidifier | Crane Cool Mist Humidifier A humidifier is one of the items I never thought I would need with a little one. Newborns often breathe with a rattle sound coming from their chest when they are sleeping. Colds happen. Stuffy noses are commonplace. This humidifier helped clear up Brody's sinuses and breathing when needed. It's not something we use every night, but it has been nice to have on hand.
21. Baby Movement Monitor | Snuza Hero Confession: I had major anxiety as a new mom. My postpartum experience was rough. I fought sleep. I was fearful of not being on constant watch. SIDS terrified me. The one tool that helped my sanity was the Snuza Hero.. I clipped this little sensor onto Brody's diaper every single night for the first 6 months. If the sensor didn't notice movement from Brody breathing it would set off a vibration to startle the baby to breath and also an alarm to alert the parent. It went off a few times for us over the first 6 months. Whether this was because it lost skin contact and was a false alarm or Brody truly stopped breathing, I'll never know, but I am forever grateful for the peace of mind this little device brought me each and every night. If we have another little one down the road, we may look into using the Owlet as an alternative. It's a similar concept with a bit more functionality and really impressed me when I saw it revealed at the ABC EXPO last Fall.
22. Car Mirror | Brica Auto Mirror We went back and fourth on whether of not to use a backseat mirror for the car. We were gifted one at our baby shower, then we decided to return it after the car seat inspector advised it wasn't safe to have any attachments on the seat. A few weeks later, we went back and re-bought the mirror. It has come in handy on car rides. We can keep an eye on Brody at stoplights and he can see us in the mirror as well.
23. Nail Filer | ZoLi Buzz B. Another confession: The first time I tried to trim Brody's nails, I cut his finger. Talk about a serious dose of #momguilt. We had not even left the hospital and I had already made a rookie mistake. For the months that followed, those nail clippers were collecting dust in a drawer. I used this nail filer religiously to keep his nails buffed and trimmed. He loved the buzzing sound of it and I loved that it kept me from having to use nail clippers until I was more comfortable.
24. Structured Carrier | LilleBaby Airflow I am not sure what took us so long to invest in a structured baby carrier, but the LilleBaby structured carrier has skyrocketed to one of my top 5 favorite pieces of baby gear. It has six different possibilities for carrying positions, a mesh exterior to keep mom and baby cool, and is built to work for an infant or toddler with no additional inserts needed.
25. Nail Clippers | Safety 1st Clippers Nearly a year into motherhood, I finally worked up the guts to try trimming Brody's nails with clippers again. This time around, these clippers worked like a charm. Babies nails grow quickly, so we use these clippers on a weekly basis now. I love that they are the perfect size for tiny fingernails!
26. Diaper Trash Can | Diaper Genie This will probably be surprising to most, but we only take out the dirty diapers once a week in our house. I know it sounds disgusting, but the Diaper Genie Trash Can truly keeps the stench sealed in the can. I have a sensitive nose and when the lid is closed, you cannot tell what is lurking inside. The only downside of this trash can is the cost of the replacement bags, but in my opinion, it is worth the convenience of not having to constantly take out the trash.
27. Travel Crib | BabyBjorn Travel Crib If you have been following along on Momma Society for a while now, you have probably heard me talk about my love for the BabyBjorn Travel Crib many times. This crib has travelled with us to London, Ireland, Italy, North Carolina, Grandma's house and numerous little weekend trips. It is very lightweight, comfortable for Brody to sleep in, and comes with an unobtrusive carrying case. Now that Brody is well into toddlerhood, I am a little sad that he is outgrowing the crib--it has made travel so much simpler for us.
28. Nose Wipes | Boogie Wipes Wiping a baby's nose can be an unpleasant or unfamiliar sensation for little ones. After having to hold Brody's arms down just to wipe his nose, we decided to try out Boogie Wipes. These saline wipes are soft and effective. Whenever he has a runny nose, we stock up on a package and use them instead of tissues. I love that they are damp because they help wipe up the dried boogies that linger on toddler noses.
29. Moccasins | Freshly Picked Moccasins From birth to Brody starting to walk, he has worn moccasins. Why moccasins? Because they are about the only shoe that would ever stay on his feet. The elastic band around the foot truly helps keep these little shoes in place. I love the look of moccasins on baby feet and ended buying a rainbow of colors to fit with every outfit. Freshly Picked Moccasins are awesome because they make a tiny newborn size and are made out of high quality leather. They have a cult following. I also have loved the Itzy Ritzy Moccasins . They're more affordable and have a bit more support in the footbed.
30. Jogging Stroller | J is For Jeep Adventure Jogger A jogging stroller was another item that was not on our baby registry and we did not see as a necessity until we had one. We use this stroller 4-5 times a week. If you plan on working out with your little one in tow or you go trail hiking often, a jogging stroller would probably be a great investment. We have had and tested many great strollers over the past 18 months, but when it comes to jogging or hiking, none of them can compete with maneuverability of a jogging stroller. They can be heavy and bulky, but they make working out with a baby or toddler much easier.
31. Diapers | Parasol Co. , oh diapers! This is an obvious item on my list of things I would not have survived without. We decided to go the disposable diaper route and have experimented with different brands. Our favorite newborn brand was Pampers. Our overall favorite brand is a toss up between Parasol Co. and Target's Up & Up diapers. Both brands have had little to no leaking and held up phenomenally overnight. Parasol Co. has the cutest designs (and awesome wipes), but Target is convenient to buy since I'm in the store what feels like 20 times a week. PS: You can take $20 off your first box of Parasol Co. Diapers with code: MOMMA2016 . You can check-out my thoughts of different diaper brands on the post below.
Related: The Battle of The Diapers
32. Bathtub | Primo Eurobath We were gifted two baby bath tubs at our baby shower and we experimented with both to see what jived best with our bath routine. The Primo Eurobath became a clear winner. It is a bit large and bulky, but it is so simple and practical. One end is used for infants and the other end is molded to be used for older babies and toddlers. We use this tub every single night. There are a hundreds of different baby bathtubs on the market, but we found that one of the simplest ones worked the best.
33. Toothbrush | MAM Learn To Brush Set Around 10 months or so, we started introducing Brody to the habit of brushing his teeth. When we brushed ours, we would let him hold a MAM Learn To Brush toothbrush and mimic what we were doing. These brushes are shaped perfectly for little one's mouths.
34. Cradle | BabyBjorn Cradle For the first six months of Brody's life, he slept in our room in this cradle. SIDS was always on my mind as a new mom, so the mesh surrounding of this cradle gave me a peace of mind. I am a bit of a minimalist and truly treasure the simple design and aesthetic of this cradle.
*35. Diaper Bag *| Newlie Louise Backpack Diaper Bag Finding the perfect diaper bag can be tough. There are so many options and styles out there, but your first task is determining what functions you want the bag to have. As a new mom, I used a simple white backpack as my diaper bag. It was convenient, went with any outfit, and was on the smaller end, forcing me to keep it clean and organized (which I wanted). That beloved diaper bag eventually broke and I ended up trying out the Newlie Backpack Diaper Bag. I've been using this bag for over a year now and it has held up exceptionally well. Things I love about it: the insulated interior zipper pocket to keep sippy cups from leaking over everything, the clip for my keys so they are not lost in the sea of baby gear, the wipeable exterior, and the ability to wear as a back pack or carry as a purse. It is versatile to say the least. Hopefully we will soon be nearing the stage of carrying diaper bags and when that day comes, I will be sad to retire my Newlie.
*36. Silicone Bib *| Make My Day Bib An awesome bib makes laundry easier. My favorite bibs have been the silicone bibs with builtin crumb catchers. They are easy to wipe clean, they catch most of the spills and dribbles from new eaters, and they are nearly impossible for little ones to pull off mid-meal. My favorite brand has been the Make My Day bibs. They are cute (obviously), but the shape, fit, and quality of the silicone is superior to the handful of other silicone bibs we have tried. This bib has been around the world with us.
37. Convertible Carseat | Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 Picking the right car seat can be an overwhelming experience. Most car seats meet the same safety requirements, but some of them have extra padding and safety features built-in. Around 6 months, we transitioned from an infant carseat to a convertible carseat. This seat can be used from newborn all of the way to 70 lbs! Brody has found it to be very comfortable. As a toddler now, the built in cup holder has come in handy on a daily basis. I also love that the buckles would be nearly impossible for Brody to undo on his own. With other car seats, many of my friends have had trouble when their little ones figure out how to unbuckle their seats.
38. Portable Placemat | Mastrad Lil Placemat Whenever we eat out, there are three things we bring with us: a sippy cup, a bib, and our Mastrad Lil Placemat. Little ones love to spread food all over the table and this placemat helps to control the mess. It also helps keep me calm if Brody decides to eat off of the table. It has a built in crumb catcher and rolls up tightly so it can easily be packed away. It's also sticky and stays stuck to the table very well.
39. Boogie Sucker | NoseFrida If you are a first time parent, the thought of sucking boogers out of your little one's nose might just be enough to make your stomach churn. Babies catch colds easily and there is no easier way to give your little one some relief than the NoseFrida. It is rewarding to see all of the goop in their nose sitting in the tube of the NoseFrida afterwards. The first few times we used this, I designated it as a job reserved for my husband. As time went on (and the gross out factor quickly dissipated) NoseFrida and I became the best of friends. This is the one item that I buy my momma-to-be friends even when they casually leave it off of their registry. They'll thank me later.
40. High Chair | OXO Sprout The very first piece of baby gear we purchased was a high chair. I loved the look of the OXO Sprout and the versatility of it. After using it for over a year now, I can confidently say that I still love it. It's easy to wipe clean, sturdy, and comfortable for Brody. We have now removed the harness and tray, transforming it from a high chair to a toddler chair.
41. Diaper Changing Mat | Keekaroo Peanut For changing pads, we have used a Soft Gear Changer. It has been an awesome changing pad. It is soft for Brody to lay on, non-absorbent, and so easy to clean. You'll never have to wash it in a washing machine. It can just be wiped down with soap and water or a baby wipe. It looks like the manufacturer no longer makes the Soft Gear Changer, but the Keekaroo Peanut is very similar and comes in a plethora of fun colors.
42. Silicone Spoons | Oogaa Baby Weaning Spoons We have experimented with alot of spoons since introducing solids. The one spoon that we always end up grabbing for first is the Oogaa Baby Weaning Spoons. They are made of a soft silicone and the perfect shape for a baby's mouth. I also love that they are a bit longer than other spoons on the market, making them easy to use in deep baby food jars.
Related: The Best Baby Spoons
43. Rubber Ball | Exercise Ball During my final days of pregnancy and into my first months of motherhood, our exercise ball was my saving grace. One of my biggest struggles postpartum was figuring out how to calm my crying baby. After a few long nights, I tried sitting on the exercise ball and bouncing while holding Brody. He immediately settled down. For months that followed, the exercise ball became our go-to when we had a fussy baby on our hands. Many of my friends have since sworn by the magic of the exercise ball as well.
44. Magnetic Blocks | Tegu Wooden Blocks As I am sitting here typing, Brody is playing next to me with his Tegu blocks. Since he has been about 10 months old, these have been one of our go-to toys. We keep the travel size packed in my diaper bag for travel, car rides and church and the full sized set is one of his favorite items to grab at home.
*45. Air Conditioning Extender *| Noogle One of our best post baby purchases has been Noogle's for our cars. Living in Arizona, the only way to escape our homes in Summer is with careful planning and lots of air conditioning. The Noogle attaches to the air conditioning vents of cars and pushes the air or heat towards your little one. If you live somewhere hot in the Summer and you do not have upper air vents in your vehicle, this is a great solution.