I have assembled a list of my favorite baby related items. The ones that at one point or another (or maybe a million times) have made me thank the unknown-to-me-brilliant-beyond-belief individuals behind these awesome products. These items were purchased by me or gifted to us, and my opinions are just that-opinions. Oh, and how in the world is Emma already 6 months?!
WaterWipes are super moist baby wipes. Emma had horrible diaper rash early on, and we’ve battled minor diaper rash when we’ve introduced different products. Other brands seemed so dry in comparison. WaterWipes are easily double the price, but for us, it’s worth it. I did find a deal on them recently and bought a ton (approximately a year’s worth-eek!).
Dr. Brown’s Mixing Pitcher
We didn’t know there was a pitcher specific for formula until my sister- and brother-in-law gifted us one. It’s a small pitcher that holds 30ish ounces (It technically holds 32 ounces, but I don’t like to get it that full.) of formula and has a mixer inside that you pump with a handle on top. I love that it makes clumps none existent and the mixing sound it makes is oddly satisfying. It does force you to have to warm the bottles. Now that Emma’s sleeping through the night and we aren’t as sleep deprived, I’d like to get away from making a huge batch and make formula on demand at room temperature. At this point, it may be a lost cause, but it’s something to consider. And, I’d still have to contend with clumps of formula.
Baby Plastic Links
No specific brand here. We got ours as hand me downs. I’ll be honest. I didn’t really get these before parenthood. I figured they were just another baby toy. In fact, they are great toys for the pool or beach since they can be cleaned super easily. However, they’re awesome to have on the stroller or high chairs with a toy attached. No more, “Uh oh, this toy is dirty now.” You’ll be surprised how many toys attach either because they specifically include a link, a link loop, or there’s just a convenient place to attach a loop. Maybe this is one everyone knew about, but the usefulness alluded me prior to Emma.
Spoises Diaper Boosters
Around 3 months, Emma started peeing through her diapers and waking up in the middle of the night. I googled suggestions. The most obvious one was buy nighttime diapers, but they didn’t make them in size 2 in Huggies (cheapest brand her tush can handle). We have some size 3 overnight diapers to try, but until we get there, Spoises has saved us. They are essentially a pad that you put inside the diaper. The company claims it holds a cup of urine. While I haven’t tested their claim, I can believe it. Those diapers are heavy in the morning and sometimes the blue diaper indicator hasn’t even turned blue yet.
Emma had some stiff muscles in the beginning and over the head long sleeved items did not jive well for any of us. Emma lived in generic zippered nightgowns post-NICU until around 3 months old. Snaps killed us in the night, but during the day they were manageable. Emma never minded the cold from being opened up for a diaper change like I’ve heard other moms mention to me. An inverted zipper (zips from the bottom up) would be nice, but I only ever found one product like this. Emma also never scratched at her face. Otherwise, I would have really wanted pajamas with fold over sleeves. Although we had a few, they seem hard to find, too. Your generic zippered sleepers are easy to find.
Dresses with Diaper Cover
This is just one of those picky things, but I don’t like seeing a diaper on Emma. I could care less on other babies, and Emma is often just in a diaper at home. But when we go out, I like the diaper to stay hidden. In the winter, we did mostly onesies and pants. When you carry the little ones, their dresses tend to hike up. You’re constantly pulling them down. Two piece clothing has the same problem. However, dresses with diaper covers sewed into the dress helps cover the diaper obviously but also keeps the dress down.
Bibs with Snaps
Bibs. Oh, bibs! I didn’t know I would be so particular. We really didn’t use them in the beginning. The hospital nurses used burp clothes as bibs, so we followed suit until we ended up having an abundance of bibs. And then I found I was a bib snob. Velcro gets stuck to other clothes in the wash and dryer. It sometimes practically ruins other things. Snaps are the best. Bibs also need to be somewhat thick or be lined with plastic and large enough for a messy eater and/or spit up. I wouldn’t say I’ve found a particular brand that I love, but Carter’s Child of Mine are the best ones we have so far. I’m sure the bib saga will continue as we start solids.
This one is less of a recommendation and more of a promise. If you decide you don’t need one of these, I promise you will final cave after dropping a pacifier a thousand times. That will take about a week. You will also accumulate an ungodly amount pacifiers whether you want to or not. Register with Amazon, Target, etc.? Pacifiers in every single one. Emma went through periods of time where she liked them and didn’t. Chris was very much against pacifiers before Emma, but we wouldn’t go without one now. If it’s the only thing that will calm her down, why not? She likes one after she eats and as she goes to sleep. Once you decide a pacifier leash is a necessity, get at least two and make sure they have a metal clip. The plastic ones just don’t cut it.
Walmart’s Free 2 Day Shipping
Every time I try to hate Walmart they surprise me. So for now, Walmart and I are unofficial besties. First, Amazon always manage to send our packages through USPS the final leg of its journey. Unfortunately, our normal mail carrier won’t delivery the packages down our long driveway, so we get a pink slip to pickup at the post office. It’s an added hassle, especially with Emma now. Chris works 12 hour shifts, so it’s frustrating to make a special trip for something that’s suppose to be a perk of Amazon Prime. Walmart’s 2 day shipping is awesome. It’s delivered to my front door every. single. time. Do you have to have a minimum amount? Sure, but that’s pretty easy to meet. We buy Emma’s Sposies this way. >Insert sounds of angels< I also get random stuff that I just think about randomly when we need it. Or deals! All those WaterWipes were shipped to my house, people!
Shopping with a baby takes surprisingly a lot of strategy. First, you make sure you have all the baby necessities: diapers, wipes, food, extra pair of clothes, entertainment, etc. Timing your shopping around eating is good. Can your baby sit up? How much are buying? A few items can fit in a stroller. Big haul? Large items? Emma can sit up, but she’s not quiet tall enough to comfortably sit in a traditional shopping cart. Our local stores don’t seem to have the infant seats, so I always forget about those when I go to a different store. Chris works 12 hour shifts, and by the time he gets off, we all just want him home. If he goes grocery shopping, it’s 8:30 or 9PM before we eat dinner. Walmart Grocery changed our lives. I order groceries using their app, but below is a picture of what the website looks like. I’ve been more daring the last couple times, getting meat and produce. I’ll never let them pick my bananas though. I also click no substitutes for most everything and haven’t really had an issue on mainstream, must-have items. I don’t know that it’s cheaper, but it saves time and frustration. Emma typically sleeps through the whole process. They’re adding one to our town, so Chris should be able to pick up things quickly on his way home instead of a special trip for any of us. Typically, I have to drive to the next town over, park in the designated pickup spots, call the number on the sign, and they come right out. They are always pleasant, and show me all my produce. I guess I can say, “no, that looks awful,” but I never have.
This one is twofer and a super awesome way to end this list. I feel like all moms hear about the NoseFrida. It’s as awesome as they say. The bulbs just don’t do it and are impossible to clean. The NICU used the bulbs, but they threw them away every couple of days. Emma had RSV when she just under a month old, so we used this thing a lot the first couple weeks we were home. I’ll be honest. She doesn’t love it, but it gets a lot out when’s she is stuffy. I suggest having a paper towel to blow the contents out when going between nostrils. I didn’t find that we needed to replace the filter often, so don’t buy/register for an extra pack until you really need it. Saline is a must to loosen up everything before using the NoseFrida
Now that we are part of the every day boogie train, it can be hard to clean out Emma’s nose. The oogieBear is about the size of a Q-tip. It helps scoop out the crusties or that boogie you can see, but can’t get with a tissue or wipe. It can only be inserted a small amount, so theoretically there’s no danger of hurting your baby. It feels safe to me.
So, that’s 11 wonderful things that make my mama life so much easier. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about mothering, you’ll wish you had three arms, but manage to complete most tasks with just one.
What are your mama (or dada) must haves?
** All pictures are taken directly from Amazon, unless otherwise noted.**