It was my friend Stacy’s baby shower on Saturday night and it made me reminiscence about when I was expecting my little baby boy. (He is such a big boy now and it makes me sad! I keep hinting to the husband that we NEED another little tiny baby in our house since we have such a BIG boy now. I can stand to wait a bit though…he’s only one.) Anyways, I remember scouring all over the internet trying to find out all of the “must have” baby products. Experienced moms were freely giving me their advice on what products they thought I was going to need most. Seriously- the baby industry is crazy! And every product you read about claims that you can’t be without it.
After a year of being a mom, I have definitely determined that not every product out there for babies is essential. The hardest part about deciding what you will need is that every baby comes out different. Some babies LOVE certain carriers or swings and other babies just don’t. Honestly, quite a few of the best baby products are discovered through trial and prayer. You try it with your baby and pray it will help him stop crying and drift off to sleep!
With all that said… Here is my list of the top 12 baby products I personally couldn’t live without when baby was 0-6 months old.
Gerber Flat-fold Diapers
I did not use these gems as diapers… I’m a pocket diaper kind of girl. However, at $12.99 a 10 pack, they make the best and cheapest burp cloths. My little boy was a big spitter and the thick middle part never leaked through onto my shoulder. I had stocked at least 30 of these suckers. I used a new one at each feeding session and always had one nearby at any given time. If you have a big spitter, those cute decorative burp cloths usually just won’t cut it.
Waterproof Changing Mats
We had six of these mats stocked and they were a regular part of our nighttime changing routine. Oh, yes, newborns eat, poop, sleep. Then repeat. In the night we were so out of it and after retrieving baby from his cradle and half awake feeding him, the last thing I wanted to do was walk over to his room and change him on his changing table. This mat on our bed was our nighttime changing table. If baby pooped or peed on it mid-change (and yes that happened often enough to be an issue) then I didn’t have to sleep on that poop or pee all night long.
Also, like I said, baby man was a big spitter. Frequently I would lay him down after feeding, burping, changing, and he would spit all over his cradle sheets! I strongly dislike changing sheets in the middle of the night. In came the waterproof changing mats. We laid one of these mats in his cradle on top of the sheet. If he spit, we would simply remove the mat and he was laying on a fresh sheet, keeping baby clean and dry.
I was gifted a Boppy nursing pillow. I loved it for nursing and for propping baby in. My sister used the twin Brest Friend pillow and I definitely recommend that for moms with multiples. I am even considering purchasing a Brest Friend pillow for next time around because I know that it helps to get baby into a better nursing position than the Boppy. I am still a Boppy fan though for its multiple uses. For nursing moms, a nursing pillow is a must.
Halo Sleep Sack Swaddler
Before having our little boy, we had read that swaddled babies typically sleep longer stretches. I was all for my baby sleeping longer stretches! After trying out loads of different Velcro swaddles, we quickly settled on the favorite. The Halo is great because you zip baby into the sleep sack, then you fold the “wings” over his arms and Velcro nice and snug. My little Houdini could bust out of every other swaddle we tried and this one was our winner. And as a result, we had a little one who slept 8 hours straight by two months and 12 hours by four months. He loved to be swaddled so much that we finally had to wean him of his swaddle at six months. We still use the sleep sacks without the swaddle part over his PJ’s for extra warmth on cold nights. The Halo sleep sacks come in micro fleece for cold nights and thin cotton for warmer weather.
Cradle and Crib
How adorable is that cradle!? I’m a sucker for anything chevron. So that is not my cradle, but mine is super cute too. Mine is vintage… Meaning I slept in it when I was a baby too! I believe the cradle originally was my aunts for my oldest girl cousin and was passed down along the line of babies. It eventually ended up with my cousin Lindsay and she painted it a gorgeous mint green and sewed an adorable Peter Rabbit bumper to go with it for use for her three little ones. I don’t have any pictures of it because the cradle currently resides at my cousin Shelby’s house in Carlsbad where she used it for the first few months for her little one. That cradle has made its rounds in our family! And for good reason!
Okay, so know not everyone will agree with me on this one. I know lots of moms who prefer to sleep with their baby the first few months (or longer.) My husband and I made a decision before having our little boy that we were not going to do this. We had lots of our own reasons and it has worked out great for both us and baby. However, for the first few months I couldn’t handle being more than an arms reach from our baby at night. In came the cradle. It was positioned right next to my side of the bed. If baby woke up to feed, I reached over and picked him up to feed him. If he was fussy in the night, I reached over and gently rocked the cradle until he fell asleep. I LOVED this cradle.
We transitioned him into his crib during the day for naps at about a month and for nights at about two months. And out went the cradle. With baby sleeping through the night, having him in his own room in his crib made sleeping through the night much easier for me. I wasn’t waking up for every little sleepy baby whimper.
Motorola Video Monitor
So at $239.99 the Motorola video monitor may not be the cheapest baby product investment, but the peace of mind that it has given me is worth every penny. It is so nice to see baby, not just listen for sounds. I highly recommend this monitor to every parent, especially if your room isn’t near baby’s room.
Ergo Baby Carrier
There are a lot of baby carriers out there. I am an Ergo carrier mama. I have tried a few others and this one wins for ease of use and comfort. We used it from the start with the infant insert. I don’t go to the grocery store without it and my husband loves to hike with baby boy on his back in it. We have the performance model because we wanted a lighter weight version for hiking and my husband really liked the cool green color. But isn’t this Petunia Picklebottom fabric gorgeous? Am I allowed to have two Ergo carriers? I wish.
BOB Stroller Travel System
There are so many great strollers to choose from, but I had always dreamed of having a BOB. They are super popular in my town (maybe it’s because they were invented here!) I have the plum BOB Revolution SE with the Chicco travel system. I loved being able to clip baby’s carseat right into the stroller the first few months. We moved him into the stroller seat at about 4 months with an infant head rest insert. I love the ease of maneuvering this stroller up hills, on rough terrain, or just through the shops downtown.
A swing was a must if I was ever going to cook my family dinner ever again.
Tummy Time/ Play Mat
A play mat was a must if baby got bored in the swing while I was trying to make dinner for my family!
Bouncer Seat or Baby Papasan
A bouncer was a must if I was ever going to take a shower again.
Baby Bath Tub
Warning: Babies are slippery when wet. Baby baths are a must in my book.This tub was cheap (under 20 bucks) and fit easily into our kitchen sink at first and later sat in the bath tub until we transitioned to the big tub.
There is my list. Maybe I missed a few things, but those were most definitely my essential baby products for the first six months. What items could you not live without?