Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Baby Essentials

{one day old}

A friend who is expecting her first this year asked me to send her a list of my favorite baby items, things we couldn't do without and what things we would pass on.  I thought I would just send her a few recommendations, but once I got going the list kept growing!  I guess when it comes to your baby you want the best, and when you find something that really works for your family you want to share it!  So here's our list of our favorite baby essentials and a few "what we would do over" tips...

CLOTHING:
  • 6-8 gowns = I didn't have enough gowns after we brought S home from the hospital, so I sent my mom out to pick up a few more.  We preferred gowns over onesies because you are changing diapers so much those first few weeks.  The KicKee Pants gowns are irresistible because of their soft, super cute patterns, but she did outgrow those first.  Our favorite gown, Creations by JJ, that she wore in the picture above when she was only one day old somehow still fit when she was 4-5 months old.  We got a ton of use out of it!  I would recommend purchasing mostly gowns with the built-in hand coverings.  They are so much easier to use versus the hand mittens that are sold separately (my only exception would be the Creations by JJ gown sold locally at Gild the Lily).
  • newborn socks = I don't know why but every pair of socks will come off of your newborn except for Jefferies baby booties.  They are the best!  We bought ours locally at Cotton Tails.  They come 3 pairs in a package size 0-6 and 6-12 months.  
  • 4-6 swaddling blankets = Nobody makes swaddles like Aden + Anais!  Our favorite was their organic swaddles made of organic cotton muslin.  They have the cutest prints to choose from also!  *We are still using our swaddle blankets in the car as a sun shade over her car seat on sunny days. 
  • 2 receiving blankets = I fell in love with the receiving blankets by Pixie Lily.  These super soft blankets are made of Pima cotton and are perfect for tucking your little one in the car or snuggling during a catnap.  
  • 1 nursery blanket = Can you tell I love blankets?  I wanted a cream blanket/ small throw to keep in her nursery and found the perfect one by Little Giraffe.  Their Dolce Ruffle Blanket feels like silk and stayed close to the rocker for nap times and feedings.  It was big enough to throw over mama too, which was nice for those middle of the night wakings.  
  •  7-10 small bibs = I didn't realize that I needed smaller bibs just for the drooling stage which occurs around 4 months.  Most of the bibs I registered for were larger in size, so I had to purchase these on my own.  The Kissy Kissy bibs were ideal because they were soft and thin enough to wear over her outfit, and saved me from having to change her clothes multiple times a day!  There were days we would go through 2-3 of these smaller bibs!
  • 8-12 medium/large bibs = When you start solids, you can get away with a medium size bib because your little one is still pretty small.  But after a few months, you will be wanting the biggest bib possible for mealtimes!  We like Angel Dear bibs that snap on the side and come in such cute designs!
  • 12+ burp cloths = I'm not sure if you can every have enough burp cloths!  Our favorites were some thin handmade cloths that were given to us.  Other than that we enjoyed our Aden + Anais' burpy bib that doubles as a bib and large burp cloth.  
BATH & BODY:
  • 6-8 large washcloths = Aden + Anais' 100% cotton muslin washcloths are our favorite because they are so soft with lots of fun prints.  
  • 6-8 small washcloths = A friend made us some small washcloths that we use every day!  They are perfect for wiping baby's hands and face morning and night.  
  • 1-2 hooded towels = I actually prefer the hooded towel from Angel Dear over Aden + Anais.  It is softer!
  • shampoo/ cream = I found a natural shampoo and wash by Peter Rabbit Organics at Whole Foods, but am having a hard time finding it since.  I fell in love with their thick cream from the same line, and need to order more because I just ran out of our second jar!  With a super long name such as, Peter Rabbit Organic Baby Spring Garden Intense Therapy Cream for Baby, and all natural ingredients like carrot and pumpkin, this baby line is absolutely scrumptious!
  • newborn diapers = We chose to use cloth diapers, but for the first few months disposable are the way to go!  I really like the chlorine free diapers by The Honest Company and their adorable prints are super fun!  
  • overnight diapers = We've tried it all when it comes to overnight diaper options!  Nothing has worked as well as Pampers 12 hour diapers.  Once baby is sleeping through the night, you won't want to risk waking her for a diaper change.  I haven't been able to find a natural brand of disposable diapers that offers a 12 hour diaper.  So, we have stayed with what works (no leaks)!
  • 24 cloth wipes = Even if you don't use cloth diapers, I would highly recommend using cloth wipes.  They are so nice and good for your baby's bum.  We never had diaper rashes and you will save money vs. using disposable wipes.  We like GroVia Cloth Wipes.  
  • diaper cream = We use creams that are safe to use with cloth diapers.  I love CJ's BUTTer Tub made with shea butter.  Mango, Sugar and Mint is one of our favorite scents!  And this Magic Stick Diaper Balm by GroVia is perfect for the diaper bag - makes changing diapers easier on the go!
  • ear thermometer = Go ahead and register for a nice ear thermometer vs. the more inexpensive under the armpit thermometers.  Babies do not hold still for 3 minutes.  We bought the Braun Ear Thermometer from Target.  
SLEEPING:
  • crib = In hindsight, I probably wouldn't have bought such an expensive crib.  Our daughter went through a major sleep regression with frequent night wakings after she had out grown the Pack 'n Play.  We found this crib from IKEA that was a life saver for several months.  It is lightweight enough to move around and one side can come off to be used as a sidecar option.  
  • lovey/ soother = Look for a lovey that has places that your baby can hold on to.  I found an elephant soother by Jellycat and my daughter loved to hold his trunk and tail.  
  • pacifiers = The WubbaNub is a must!  My daughter loved her little lamb WubbaNub!  It was so precious to watch her hold his ears as she fell asleep.  
  • monitor = We opted for just a movement and sound monitor, but I wish we would have registered for a video monitor.  There are times that it would have been nice to observe her sleeping habits to see why she was waking up!
  • sound machine = This was one of those items that we used a lot more than I expected!  We even took it with us on trips.  
  • 1-2 sheet savers = These are a must during the first few months!  Your little one will drool or spit up daily, and you won't want to wash their crib sheet every day!  Lay your baby's head on the sheet saver and you will save yourself a load of laundry.  *On the same aisle at Babies "R" Us, you will see multi-purpose pads which are great to use over your changing pad!  I would register for at least 4-6 of the multi-purpose pads.  Mine look pretty dingy after 17 months of use.  
GEAR:
  • car seat = We have been really happy with our Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat.  The only thing I wish it had was a longer sun shade.  Every time we go for a ride on a sunny day, I have to drape one of her swaddle blankets over the top to keep the sun (that comes through the back window) out of her eyes.  
  • seat protector = I wouldn't have thought of this one, but I'm glad my husband added it to our registry.  We got the Britax seat protector for both our vehicles, and the sun shade and organizer have been helpful as well.  
  • umbrella stroller = Your baby's stroller is a very personal item that you will purchase based on your lifestyle, how many kids you have, etc.  What I didn't realize is how soon we would want/need an umbrella stroller.  I figured sometime in the second year I would make the switch, but ended up purchasing the UPPAbaby G-LUXE when our daughter was only 9 months.  We still use our heavy duty stroller for long walks around our neighborhood, and mostly use our umbrella stroller for shopping trips and quick errands.  It's a must when traveling as it frees up a lot more space in the car!
  • baby swing = We opted to use an older swing that was given to us instead of purchasing a new swing with all the bells and whistles.  We will not make that mistake again!  Our daughter hated the old swing and now that I look at all the options on the updated swings, I wonder if she would have liked a new one!  I guess we'll never know, but I think we will go ahead and plan to splurge on the newest, greatest swing for next time.
  • high chair = We have loved our Sprout High Chair by OXO.  I have been very pleased with the quality and functionality of this high chair.  And the design blends with the style of our home which was important since it will most likely reside in our kitchen for years to come.  
  • diaper bag = Just like the stroller, there are a million options for a diaper bag.  I made my choice based on style on not function, and ended up buying a second bag because of it.  I thought I could get away with a more stylish tote bag, but there's a reason that diaper bags have tons of little pockets and organized sections!  I finally broke down and bought this baby bag by Vera Bradley on sale for only $20.  It's not the most stylish bag, but it is lightweight and I can find what I'm looking for on the first try.  
This list is by no means exhaustive, but should be enough to help any new mamas out there get a good head start!  And for you seasoned mamas, I'd love to hear what baby item you couldn't live without!  

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