Calling all new mamas! Whether you are currently pregnant or just welcomed your little bundle of pure joy… first let me say, CONGRATS! And welcome to Motherhood, the adventure of a lifetime!
When I was a new mom, I was overwhelmed with all the different baby products out there (among other overwhelming things). When I started looking up what to put on my registry, I couldn’t believe the number of different options for each thing, like pacifiers, bottles, diapers, wipes, etc. I only wanted (and still want) the best, safest, top rated products for my sweet honey so I did SO MUCH research! Like probably too much (if there is such a thing), and ended up with this list of products. This list has withheld the test of time as my daughter is now 15 months old and I would not have changed a single product.
Hopefully this list helps reduce some new mama stress!
#1 – Fisher-Price Rock-n-play sleeper
My daughter, Emilia, slept in this Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play Sleeper for the first 4 months. This was my choice over a standard, flat laying bassinet because it is an upright sleeper, so you have some peace of mind in case of re-flux. You don’t have to worry about baby accidentally rolling over and getting stuck, and it even has a vibrating feature (you will need 1 D Alkaline Battery as it is not included). It is extremely portable, the cover is easy to take off to clean, and it folds up for easy storage. I would caution not to keep baby in it too long though (month wise), because their legs start to get curled up, which I imagine could potentially hinder growth after too long.
Tip: I only put my daughter in this when it was bedtime. That way, she started to learn that when she was in this, it means she was going to sleep for the night rather than napping or just sitting around wide awake. She started sleeping through the night at about 1 month old!
#2 – Dock-a-tot
This thing has been a life saver. My daughter had a very hard time transitioning from the upright Rock-N-Play sleeper to sleeping flat. Daddy and I realized that she was waking herself up from her startle reflex (where babies feel a falling sensation). As soon as we put her in the DockATot, she slept for 11-13 hours straight, consistently! The Dock-a-tot is a sleep lounger that is designed to make baby feel calmer with a cozy cocoon like shape. The fabric and cushion materials are specifically designed to be breathable and non-toxic (read more about it here). “They” don’t recommend babies sleeping in anything like this (unattended anyway; the smaller version of the Dock-a-tot is meant to be a co-sleeper), but it has worked for us. We put this in a pack-n-play in our room until she was about 10 months old (a little long to some *shrugs*). She won’t sleep any other way!
The Dock-a-tot also makes traveling easier as you don’t have to bring a huge pack-n-play for sleeping, just bring this bad boy and save some trunk space!
We also had problems with my daughter cramming her head up against the crib and waking up from it, or getting limbs stuck between the crib bars, this eliminates those issues and really contributes to the little one getting a safe and sound sleep.
Oh BTW – The Dockatot comes with a white cover, but I would recommend buying at least one more Cover for when you have to wash them.
#3 – Graco Click Connect Car-seat
This rear facing infant car-seat holds a child up to 35lbs. It is not a convertible car-seat, however, a deciding factor for me was considering the weight of the car-seat and the weight of my child (because I have to carry it!). My daughter still uses this car-seat at 15 months, and 24lbs. It is obviously heavier now, so I purchased a second front facing car-seat so Daddy and I don’t have to tote it around anymore and can leave it in Daddy’s car. I chose this car-seat because it is easy to carry (until baby gets to around 20lbs or more), does not weigh that much as compared to other infant car-seats, gets excellent reviews, and is among the safest car-seats. Another plus is that the way the head piece is, it keeps baby’s head aligned straight, so when she falls asleep, you know she is able to breathe properly and her neck isn’t all crunched up.
The cherry on top, is that this car-seat is in the “Graco Click Connect” system so it literally clicks right on top of the stroller.
#4 – Graco Modes Click Connect Stroller
This stroller grows with baby through the clicking the car-seat on top phase up until your child reaches 50 lbs! It has 4 different reclining options, and can be front or rear facing. It is easy to pop up and close, and has LOTS of storage room in the bottom basket.
#5 – MAMs Pacifiers
After much research, we chose this brand of pacifiers (binkies, as we call them) mainly because the sides of the binkies are open. This prevents drool from getting trapped under the binkie and causing skin irritation and rashes. These binkies are also BPA/ BPS free, and the orthodontic nipple promotes oral development. Another cool thing is that the case that they come in serve as a sterilizer! Just add some water to the case with the binkies in place, then pop it in the microwave for 2-3 mins and boom, sterilized!
#6 – Diaper Rash/ Dry Skin Cream
I have tried A & D, Aquaphor, Berts Bees Natural, and nothing works as well as the homemade, DIY stuff that I made. The recipe includes bees wax, coconut oil, and shea butter. Thats it! My daughter had a REALLY bad rash once and none of the other creams were clearing it up. I put the stuff I made on her, and the rash was almost completely gone the next day! Here is the recipe I used for the all natural diaper rash cream. This can be used for dry skin also, but I recommend keeping the bum one and face one in separate containers for obvious reasons 😉
Another unexpected thing I used that REALLY works better than any other formulated cream… cornstarch. YEP cornstarch! I don’t know about using it on boys, but for girls, it is a must. It very effectively dries out the rash and repels anything from sticking to the bum while its healing.
Tip: Make sure the diaper area is completely dry before applying any product! Otherwise the moisture gets trapped in, causing a delay in it clearing up.
Might I also point out that my daughter has very sensitive skin and these did not irritate her skin one bit.
#7 – Diaper Bag
I guess I am hard to please when it comes to diaper bags because I still, after 15 months, have not found one I love. I wanted to include this in here though to point you in the right direction. I would definitely recommend a backpack diaper bag instead of the “over-the-shoulder” ones. They are usually cuter, but when you have to carry baby and other stuff, it constantly falls off your shoulder. The backpack diaper bags are just so much more practical! I would LOVE to try the Ju-Ju-Be Be Right Back Backpack Diaper Bag, but haven’t mustered up the money to purchase one yet. Will definitely be putting this on the Baby shower registry for the next kiddo for sure!
#8 – Detergent
Most people assume that you have to buy the baby specific detergents. You don’t. The difference is that they don’t have the potentially skin irritating fragrances that the normal detergents have. I have used All Free & Clear, or Purex Free & Clear, and haven’t had any problems. I would guess that any brands “free and clear” would be just fine!
#9 – Baby Carriers
This was another thing that I searched far and wide for the perfect one. I have 2 different types of wraps. One is a baby wrap carrier and the other is like the buckle in type of carrier (Hip & front Baby carrier as Babies R’ Us would categorize it).
The baby wrap carrier that I found (and LOVE) is the Baby K’tan. I got a little stressed out when watching videos on how to wrap the baby using the typical long scarf looking wraps (a Boba wrap for example). They were WAY too complex for me to figure out, let alone be able to do it alone with no help. The Baby K’Tan is like an endless scarf, and you put it on in like 4 easy steps. It is SUPER easy to put on when you are by yourself, and it has the same, body hugging feeling as the typical scarf ones. Most importantly, it is easy to put baby in and out of and baby LOVES being in it.
The buckle in carrier was a must for me, because as my baby grew bigger, she liked the freedom to be able to move (and grab things, and people) more freely than the Baby K’Tan allowed. An important deciding factor for me was that baby’s legs were ergonomically supported (it is NOT good for baby’s legs to dangle straight down), both front sitting and mommy/ daddy facing. The Ergobaby 360 is PERFECT for this. You can use it while baby is between 4-45lbs (a newborn insert is available for additional charge), it properly supports baby’s hips, it distributes baby’s weight evenly to make it easier on mommy and daddy, and it has a little hood thing that zips away when not needed (perfect for sunny days, or for breastfeeding).
#10 – Sterilizing bags
When I was breastfeeding (admittedly, I only lasted 2 weeks), these bags were a HUGE time saver. After each time I used my pump parts, and bottles, I rinsed them with hot water, threw them in one of these sterilizer bags, added some water to the bag, microwave, and done! Even when I stopped breastfeeding, I still had binkies, bottles, teething toys, etc. that need to be cleaned. These make it soooo easy! I otherwise, would have had to load in the dishwasher and wait an hour or so, or even worse… hand wash UH NO. So these are definitely a must-have that people may forget to tell you about.
#11 – Huggies Diapers
We have tried them all. Let me save you, and baby, the pain of battling diaper rash, and explosive diapers and recommend the only diapers we can use. Huggies!
As a newborn, we used Huggies Little Snugglers, and now we use Huggies Snug & Dry or Huggies Little Movers for daytime, and Huggies OverNites for night time. The overnights are a necessity for us because we give a bottle before bedtime which means… FULL diapers in the morning. With regular diapers, you would be able to feel the wetness come through the diapers. The overnight diapers are specifically designed to have 8+ hours of.. potty in them and they stay dry on the outside, and keep baby sleeping peacefully at night.
#12 – Pampers Sensitive Wipes
As much as I LOVE all the Huggies diapers, the wipes, ehh, not so much. Of course we tried them because the diapers are awesome, but they just were not cutting it. They pulled apart easily which means…. poops and peeps on the hands.
Pampers Sensitive Wipes have been our go-to wipes. They do not irritate my sensitive sally’s skin, and they are strong enough to wipe away the tough stuff without ripping apart, yet soft enough for baby’s skin.
This concludes my holy grail items list, that I wish someone had recommended to me. I would buy all of these again in a heartbeat, and I hope this helps you to get rid of some stress that comes along with being a new mommy (or daddy)!
Thanks for reading loves!