With so many of my friends starting their families, as well as myself, the baby products are flying off the shelves. Between all of us, we’ve probably purchased an entire baby store. Well, maybe it’s not that bad, but you get the point. There are way too many baby products to choose from, and baby registries can be overwhelming for first-time moms. After ten months of motherhood, these are some of my favorite over-rated and under-rated baby products.
Note: I’m an Amazon Prime member, so I do a ton of online shopping. Most of my links direct you to Amazon, but you can purchase most of these items from most baby stores.
Baby gowns – When you have a newborn, you’re changing lots and lots of diapers. That’s when baby gowns come in handy. You can just push the gown up, change the baby’s diaper, and pull the gown back down. This is especially nice because newborns are just soft, little, delicate blobs, and putting pants on and off is it’s own sort of challenge.
Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth, M.D. – I’d like to preface this by saying that I believe all parenting books should be taken with a grain of salt. You are the mama, and it’s your baby; you know best. That being said, I really do appreciate this books. Weissbluth doesn’t just believe in a well rested baby, but in a well rested family. I don’t know about you, but when I’m exhausted, I have a hard time being a loving and patient mama. This book discusses sleep development and sleep hygiene, which is really helpful when you can’t figure out why your baby isn’t sleeping. This books provides graphs and parameters so that you can get an understanding of where your baby is at in his sleep development and what is in the range of “normal.” It’s also divided up into various sections, so you don’t have to read it all at once. Get this book, and start reading it.
Baby wrap – I’m a fan of the Moby myself, but whatever brand you choose, you just need to have a baby wrap (though I don’t suggest the K’tan). The newer Moby wraps are super soft, durable, and machine washable. I do suggest practicing how to put this on before Baby arrives. If you wait to try it until Baby is upset and screaming, you’re probably going to get frustrated with it. Honestly, I don’t know how I would have survived the first few months without my Moby. It solved a multitude or problems. Crying baby? Moby wrap. Sleepless baby? Moby wrap. Cleaning your house? Moby wrap. Hands free nursing? Moby wrap. Some people use their baby wrap for a long time, but I stopped using mine about the time Desirae was sitting with support (about four or five months). That’s when I switched to my Ergo.
Ergo 360 baby carrier – Oh, my dear sweet Ergo. How I love you. My Ergo 360 is amazing. It’s comfortable to wear because I can adjust it to fit my body. The straps around my hips, across my back, and around my shoulders are all adjustable. The weight of the baby is on my hips, so my back never hurts while wearing it. My daughter absolutely loves that she can face out and see the world. When it’s nap time, or it’s raining, I just face her towards me and put the cover over her head. The carrier is also machine washable. The only downside to this particular carrier is that there isn’t a pocket. (I seriously don’t understand why they felt it was a good idea to leave that out of the design.)
Baby Jogger City Select stroller – This is the stroller of strollers. It’s a modular stroller that can accommodate 16 different configurations. The City Select works with most car seats (you need to purchase an adapter for this), can be used as a double stroller, and allows you to add a glider board to make it a triple stroller. It’s super easy to maneuver. We’re talking some one-handed, turn on a dime, magic. The tires are Forever Air tires, so they last forever and work on all sorts of terrain. The basket is massive. The seats and basket are machine washable. It opens and folds easily. To top it all off, Baby Jogger offers a lifetime warranty on the stroller frame. Think of this as a financial investment, because you’re going to use it for multiple children.
JJ Cole car seat cover – Maybe if you live in Florida this isn’t a necessity, but in Michigan, you are always looking for effective ways to keep your baby warm. With this car seat cover, I don’t need blankets, or hats, or mittens, or any other such nonsense just to take my baby to and from the car. It just slips on over the car seat, and it’s machine washable.
Forehead thermometer – When your baby wakes up crying at 3AM with a fever, you are going to wish you had one of these. Thermometers that go in the ear or under the armpit are cheaper, but much harder to use. Plus, when your baby is squirming and screaming, you want a thermometer that’s going to give an instant and accurate temperature reading.
NoseFrida nasal aspirator – This nasal aspirator works like a charm; it’s very effective. My favorite part is that I can clean it and KNOW it’s clean. Those aspirator bulbs gross me out because I can’t really clean the inside, and that’s just… disgusting.
Wubanub pacifier – These plush pacifiers come in all sorts of cute characters. Because they are attached to a stuffed animal, they are a little harder to loose. Don’t worry, they’re machine washable. The best part about these is you can prop them up on Baby for easy access. When Baby is still too little to find and hold the pacifier himself, this thing really comes in handy.
Aden & Anais swaddle blankets – These blankets are wonderful. They are large, lightweight, breathable fabric that become softer with each wash. I use them to swaddle, as nursing covers, burp rags, and to place over the stroller or car seat.
Sassy board books – As a kid, I always looked forward to story time just before bed. As a mother, I wanted to establish this same routine. That’s when Sassy board books come in handy. They are short, educational, and visually interesting for developing eyes, which makes them the perfect books for babies. My daughter LOVES them, and I’ve been reading them to her since she was about six months old. Some of my favorites are Who Says, Baby Loves Colors, and Baby Sees: A First Book of Faces.
Nuk breast milk storage container – I’m sort of an organization freak. (Don’t get me started about how much I love my labeler.) We also live in a rental, so our freezer is pretty small. This storage container keeps my milk from sprawling all over the freezer and ensures I use the oldest milk first. (Apparently this item was discontinued, but you can still purchase it on Amazon.)
IKEA bibs – These bibs are serious life savers. They easily wipe clean and are also machine washable. The best part is they have sleeves; they’re basically glorified painter smocks. I love them, especially when we are having spaghetti for dinner.
Gerber Apple Prune Juice – Because constipation happens.
Graco blossom 4 in 1 highchair – I LOVE this highchair. It’s very easy to keep clean, has a good sized tray, and multiple height adjustments. My favorite part of this highchair is that it grows with your child. It can be used as a highchair, infant feeding chair, booster, and youth chair. Kids usually reach an age when they want to be able to sit at the table with the family, and this chair allows you to do that. Depending on the ages of your children, you can even use it as two separate chairs at once.
Activity mat – I almost didn’t put this on the list, but I decided it deserves some warrant because I know a lot of people who didn’t purchase one. This is great to have while Baby isn’t mobile. It provides an entertainment space for Baby to have tummy time, learn to roll over, and to play with hanging toys. Desirae absolutely loved her activity mat, until she figured out how to crawl.