MY product FINDS
I am just a little bit of a seasoned shopper (insert embarrassed emoji here), especially when it comes to products that make my life as a parent easier! If you are looking for a sound machine that actually helps your baby sleep or the best way to keep the diaper smell out of your house, please scroll through my recommendations!
Sleep, eat, and entertain
The following products are ones I researched, bought and utilized and felt like they were amazing purchases because they either helped with sleep, entertainment/distraction, or eating! Hopefully I will get to blogging about each product so you know why I love each of these but for now, here is just a list of my favorites! I try my hardest to find products that combine style with functionality and these definitely follow this rule :)
Oh the joys of a newborn! Okay, I am going to be honest with you...it is hard. I really struggled with sleep and researched EVERYTHING and with all my hard work and some of these products, Oliver started sleeping through the night at 12 weeks. Trust me, this was not natural for him. I really worked hard on training. First, the Ollie swaddle is INCREDIBLE! I wanted to buy 2 in case he had a blowout in one but it dries so quickly I didn't need to! Taylor and I both could not figure out how to swaddle using a blanket and especially at 2am. The Ollie swaddle is SO quick and easy to put on...we had our parents run home to bring it back to the hospital when Oliver was born because the first night he was screaming crying all night and it actually worked to help him sleep. Totally worth every penny. In the newborn days, Oliver slept in our room in the Rock N Play, wrapped in the Ollie swaddle. The rocking feature on the Rock N Play was amazing and rocked him to sleep on multiple occasions. The Rock N Play also helped with reflux because he was sleeping at an incline and it was approved by my Pediatrician for sleep! The Nursing pillow below was one that was recommended by my lactation consultant because the Boppy wouldn't fit around my Postpartum waist haha. It was also SO much more sturdy so when Oliver woke up in the night to feed, I would strap it around my waist, lay him on it and just lean back...no need to even hold him! Helpful when you are sleepy at night. Every sleep consultant I talked to said a loud sound machine was key and the Dohm wouldn't cut it. This sound machine is incredible. So many sounds and varying degrees of loudness to choose from. He slept so well after getting this and blackout blinds (listed way below). After a couple weeks of breastfeeding, we tried pacifiers and he took to the pacifiers below. They stayed in his mouth way longer than the wubbanub paci's AND they are glow in the dark so when he woke up in the middle of the night, I didn't have to turn the light on to find the pacifier and put it back in.
During the day, Oliver slept on the lounger or the Rockaroo that was in our living room while I rested and watched Netflix. He seemed to just fall right asleep in those (especially the lounger) which I laid right next to me and if he fell asleep on me, I would gently lay him on the lounger so I could move around, get some coffee, go to the bathroom, etc. The Rockaroo was best for when he was awake during the day and I needed to work or do things around the house. He was content to just rock in it. When we moved Oliver to the crib (around 8 weeks), we put the DockATot in the crib and it made him feel so much safer and comfortable in our transition. Eventually when he started busting out of the swaddle, we had to get rid of the swaddle (and tried millions of different sleepsuits and found the Zippadee worked) and removed the DockATot from the crib then. Sometimes we would use the DockATot for him to sleep with us in bed when we wanted to sleep in haha.
For cleaning and bathtime, I found that this infant tub was awesome! It also weighed him which was helpful in the early days when he was severely underweight and I was so worried about it. It was easy to clean and easy to drain and he used it until he started sitting up. It supported his head SO well as a newborn. The A+D ointment seemed to help diaper rashes the best. If your baby gets baby acne (Oliver had it bad). The Mustela Cleansing Water helped SO much, it was the only thing that helped. I put some straight on a cotton ball and wiped it on his face. I still do it now to clean his face after eating if I don't want to give him a bath. The organic lotion helped his face as well and made him feel a little better. Have you ever tried juggling and towel and a baby? This baby towel below is a game changer. It clips around your neck so you are hands free to pick up your baby and bring him to your chest that already has the towel on it!
These are my favorite everyday items that got me through some tough times and made life SO much easier. Especially for a stay at home and work from home mom! I put the Skip Hop Activity Center in the living room and the Fisher Price jumper in the bathroom so he is entertained while I take a shower or bath or get ready in the morning. We still use both of these to this day and he loves them. The UPPAbaby Vista stroller is incredible and I am SO glad I got it. It collapses so easily and you can add on another seat to the front so you can push two kids at once without having to take up the space of a double stroller! It is so easily to click in the MESA carseat in and out of the stroller which worked so well when he napped on the go in the carseat. The MESA carseat is incredible and comfortable and Oliver napped in this a lot. It easily clicks in and out of the base that is installed into the car and it also is capable of being strapped in with a seatbelt if you don't have a base which makes it easy to put in someone else's car.
The Baby Bjorn carrier is my favorite. I tried all the slings and wraps and I just didn't feel like he was secure. In the carrier, he is so secure and I am able to bend over and do dishes or walk for long periods of time. It is easy to take on and off and allows him to face in or out and can be in front or on your back! Amazing.
When we transitioned from the infant tub, I bought this inflatable tub and put it inside the bathtub. It was the perfect transition and he LOVED it. So safe and fun for him to sit up and splash around.
NURSERY AND SLEEP:
Sleep, oh sleep. I researched and researched ways to get Oliver to sleep and eventually hired 2 different sleep consultants and most all of them said that giving them the best opportunity to sleep is the key. They recommended a good (and loud) sound machine which I listed above and a blackout room. The sleep consultant recommended these EZ shades and they worked SO well, especially on our 1950's windows!
Once we moved Oliver to the crib and he busted out of the swaddle, we were at a loss. We tried Merlin's magic sleepsuit and Oliver did NOT like it. So we gave the Zipadee Zip a try and were SO happy with it. Oliver sleeps in Owlivia pajamas that are organic cotton and his Zipadee. We also got this crib bumper that is breathable but also gives a cushion for his head so it didn't hit the side of the crib! We also found that Burts Bees had THE best sheets...so soft and Oliver loved them better than his Restoration Hardware sheets haha.
A baby monitor is KEY when sleep training and helps a new mom sleep at night when baby moves to the crib. We have loved the Infant Optics one. It travels easy, has night vision, and can move in multiple directions. It has multiple menu options and doesn't connect to Wifi or anything so no one can hack your camera.
For Oliver's diaper changing area, I have found the wipe dispenser has been a lifesaver especially because it gives quick and easy access to wipes with a weighted top and shows you when you are running low on wipes. It has an easy open and close mechanism. And of course, the diaper genie...man am I glad I have it! I don't think I have to tell you why :). In the early days when blowouts were a daily occurrence, these changing pad liners were a lifesaver. I would just place them on top of the changing pad cover so that if there was a blowout, I would just lay him straight on top of it and clean everything and drop his dirty clothes and the liner in the wash after rinsing. That way I didn't have to buy backup changing pad covers and have to wash those and change those.
Do yourself a favor and safe the money you spend on cute burp cloths because a) no one is going to see them except you and b) they will be ruined in about 2.5 seconds. These burp cloths are soft, easy to wipe up and absorb spit up and you can buy a million so you don't have to keep washing them all the time. As your belly goes down and your baby gets bigger, I would recommend the Boppy pillow...it is perfect for giving your arms a rest when you breastfeed or give a bottle. Speaking of bottles, the Dr. Browns Options are the best. Make sure you get the ones with the green inside vent, not the blue inside vents because the blue ones get mold easily. These bottles are great especially for newborns and as they grow because they have a vented system that is great for reflux and they have different nipple sizes for when the baby grows for varying degrees of flow. Oliver transferred from the nipple to the bottle so easily with these! Oliver also had bad reflux (I think every baby does in the early days). We put Mylicon drops in his nighttime bottle when he started sleeping through the night and it helped him rest easy because his tummy wasn't bothering him. This was the only kind my pediatrician said were okay.
Once we switch to formula (at around 6 months), I wanted something organic and as close to breastmilk as I can get as my decision to stop breastfeeding was due to my supply, not my choice! I researched a lot of brands and found this Earths Best was very good. Oliver loves it and took to it very quickly. We went through a lot of bottles quickly and so I had to wash bottles every day and I am very aware of chemicals and ingesting them so I researched safe products for babies and found that this Puracy brand is recommended and safe for dish soap and even household cleaner! I also found the drying rack and the "tree" to hang bottle nipples a life saver as well as the bottle brush...much needed!
This 4Moms high chair is awesome...it is very sleek looking and magnetic and easy to pull the tray on and off. It also has a easy "tray cover" that you can easily take off and wash. It is very easy to clean which is my favorite :). These bibs are also a must-have. Don't even go for the fabric ones...they stain and you just have to do more laundry. I only have two of each of these bibs and have never needed more because I just rinse them off after each feeding. So easy and they dry quickly. If you are doing Baby Led Feeding, I would definitely get the sleeved bib. Also for Baby Led Feeding, these spoons help for learning how to self feed. These sippy cups are a game changer. Every mom that sees Oliver drinking out of these asks me what they are. They do not leak even if you hold it upside down and Oliver figured out how to suck on the edge very quickly!
If traveling or going to a restaurant and have a baby that eats the same food as you, this clip on chair and placemat are life changing. Every placemat we got, Oliver just pulled it up and threw it on the floor. This placemat clips under the high chair so he physically cannot move it. And these disposable bibs are great for the restaurant because you can just throw them away when we are done with dinner! No washing bibs in the bathroom of the restaurant.
First, my most favorite pack n' play along with a blackout cover that goes over the pack n' play so you can watch tv or turn on lights while your baby sleeps if you are sleeping in the same room (amazing)! I also found this blackout carseat cover which we used ALL the time from when Oliver was born until he stopped napping in the carseat. We would put the SnoozeShade over the carseat and clip on the Marpac portable sound machine and he would be OUT so we could go out and have him along with us while we went out to lunch with friends or shopping, etc. It helps you get out and about instead of stuck at home with a sleeping baby!
Also, if flying, I would HIGHLY recommend this carseat travel bag. It is great quality and inexpensive! It is padded and has backpack straps which helps when moving through the airport! I haven't figured out what to do about a travel stroller yet but when I do, I will let you know! The travel pack n' play below does not need a cover or bag...it has a great travel bag that it comes in so you can just check it by itself!
If you are headed to the beach, I would highly recommend the beach blanket...WAY worth it if you have a baby who hates sand or if you just need a little sand free space. It's actually a pretty big blanket. And of course, the baby float is incredible. It is so nice for the pool. Oliver loves the water in this thing!
Your body just went through hell and now you are up at all hours without any sleep. What do you need? Coffee. We got this Cuisinart a couple weeks into newborn life because I needed a quick way to make a cup of coffee but also Taylor wanted the option of making fresh coffee. So in the mornings when Oliver needed to be fed and I couldn't really put him down, I used the Keurig part and put it in the stainless steel tumbler. So instead of having to microwave my coffee over and over...it stayed hot and I could still drink it while Oliver was napping on me. Another incredible thing that is like a part of my body is the big travel cup...this one keeps my water cold ALL DAY. I only put ice in it once a day and it is cold for 24 hours. I am not kidding. When breastfeeding, I need water all day every day so I filled this 30oz glass with ice water and kept it by my side table and bedside table to stay hydrated.
Those first weeks after having a baby are rough. Your body is hurting everywhere and you are bleeding. These postpartum undies are so comfy and great for after you use up your hospital briefs! Also, this "mom-washer" is self explanatory but it is WAY better than the hospital bottle they give you. It is worth it, trust me. Speaking of hurting, my uterus and belly felt so...jiggly after giving birth and this recovery belt helped so much. It took pressure off my back and helped me walk like a normal person again haha.
If you are breastfeeding, I would highly recommend the MotherLove nipple cream. You can put it on anytime and do not have to wash it off...it is safe for babies to ingest! And if you are engorged, definitely get these hot and cold packs. I would heat one up before nursing and they would initiate letdown and then keep one in the freezer for after nursing! If you decide to use a nipple shield (I did), I found the Medela brand to be the best (I tried some other ones that would slip around and not stay in place).
Going back to work or pumping? You definitely need the hands free bra for pumping...why sit for 15 minutes holding your pump when you can let the bra do the work for you and you can use your hands to eat or drink or work on your phone!
Comfort + Style
These are products I have tried and love in our home!