Many of these items are fairly expensive -- and definitely not the "cheap" version ... but given this was my second go-round at the baby thing, I knew what I needed and what I did not need -- and therefore, saved money by not buying the non-essentials, but splurged on other things!
1. Aden + Anais swaddle blankets. These are HUGE, especially in comparison to the other swaddling blankets you'll find in a store. (My other favorites are the double-sided flannel ones made by my grandma!)
2. Aden + Anais "nibble" bibs. All of the Aden + Anais products are a muslin fabric, which doesn't seem so soft at first -- but after washing - are SO soft and absorbent. The more you wash these products, the softer they get!
3. Aden + Anais "dribble" burpy bibs. If I had to pick one ULTIMATE favorite A + A product, these would be it. They look like burp cloths, but are contoured to fit perfectly over your shoulder AND they have snaps, so they can be snapped right around baby's neck and used as a bib as well as a burp cloth! Brilliant! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE these!!!
4. Little Giraffes blankets. Lucy and Max both have the "luxe" SUPER-soft blankies ... but I found this one - the Dolce Knit Blanket - this time around for Max, and I love it even more than the luxe blankets! It's not only soft, but stretchy, so it works perfectly for wrapping up your little bundle!
Fisher-Price Rock 'n Play. These are a new product since Lucy was a baby ... and I'm not sure how I lived without it last time! This is what Max slept in for the first three months - for naps and at night. It folds SO easily, so it was super-simple to transport from one room to another. Baby sleeping on an incline seemed to help him sleep better and longer and kept me from worrying so much about him choking!
2. BOB Revolution Stroller. A great stroller is a MUST. And if you are looking for JUST ONE stroller that will "do it all", I think the BOB Revolution is your best bet. Yes, it's a little on the big side for strolling through the mall - but it's totally workable. My runner friends all love it for running with their babes (I wouldn't know about that one!) ... and it is great on and off-road! There are also adapters for just about every brand of infant car seat, so you can snap your infant carrier right in when baby is still tiny!
**If you can afford an "off-road" stroller AND a "mall-type stroller" ... then I HIGHLY recommend the newest member of the Uppababy family -- the Cruz.
I seriously LOVE this stroller.
It's lightweight, extremely well-maneuvered, lays all the way flat to accommodate the smallest of babies, HUGE cargo basket (the biggest I've seen), and very easy to fold. I also have an adapter that allows me to snap Max's infant seat right in so I don't have to wake him up to put him in the stroller!
Yes, it's spendy.
But in my opinion, totally worth it ... and if you're like me and take excellent care of your baby gear, you will be able to turn around and sell it in a few years for 3/4 of what you paid, anyway!
(**The Cruz also has a scooter board that can be attached to the back for older siblings to ride along! FUN!)
3. Fisher-Price Swing. Both of my babies have LOVED their swings. This one is great because it can sway from side-to-side OR front-to-back. (Oddly, Lucy loved side-to-side and Max loves front-to-back!) It is Max's favorite sleeping spot (and was Lucy's, as well) - and though I try to only let him nap in it once a day, it is so nice to know he will have at least one nice, long nap a day - thanks to his swing!
4. Beco Butterfly. I know baby wearing is VERY popular these days ... and I can tell you, now that I have two kids, I am finding it much more necessary and helpful! I can put Lucy in the stroller (or the grocery cart) and wear Max ... or just use it for that fussy hour (right about the time I'm trying to make dinner every night). The Beco is very similar to the very popular Ergo - but I prefer the Beco because baby is easily moved from front to back (when they get old enough to be on the back, of course!). The Beco also comes in many more cute fabric options than the Ergo -- although I just have the chocolate one, pictured above.
Angel Dear Blankies. (Or lovies, as we call them.) These can be purchased separately - or in this awesome three-pack. Max lights up the second he sees his lovie ... and he sleeps with his face buried in it (and it's thin enough I don't need to worry about that!). He LOVES it! (FABULOUS gift, if you ask me!)
2. Romeo the Toad (by Lilliputiens). Kinda a silly "must have" maybe, but I L-O-V-E this toy! First of all, it is adorable. Second, it is very well-made and with high-quality materials. And finally ... Max totally digs it! The mirror was the first thing he loved ... now he loves all of the little creatures that hide inside Romeo's mouth. Again - it's not a cheap product. But it's several toys, wrapped into one - and personally, I'd rather have one QUALITY toy laying around my house than five or six cheap toys that aren't going to last long!
3. MAM glow-in-the-dark pacifiers. These things ROCK my SOCKS. The fact that I can walk into Max's dark room in the middle of the night when he's crying for his binkie .... and actually FIND it WITHOUT TURNING ON THE LIGHTS is GENIUS! (Okay, that's a lot of capitals, but seriously folks. So. Darn. Smart!)
4. Twilight Turtle (or Ladybug) by Cloud B - or the Dream Lites work, too! These things have been a total lifesaver for us. We started using Lucy's Ladybug when she was just days old. During night feedings, rather than turning on a light or lamp (and waking her up more than necessary), I would just turn on the stars! It gives just enough light to be able to see what you're doing - yet it's not too bright! And babies love to stare at those stars from the get-go! (At least mine did!) Lucy (4+ years later) still INSISTS on going to sleep under the stars. :-)
1. Baby Gap jammies. Why Gap? Well .... let me tell you.
And show you:
On Gap's baby clothes . . . the very middle snap on the top and the bottom is GOLD. (The rest are silver.) And let's be honest, moms . . . how many times have you snapped those suckers up and ended up with an extra snap in the wrong spot!? Ugh! So frustrating!
With Gap's baby clothes, this problem is solved! Love it!
2. No Rinse Wash. Okay, call me lazy . . . but I just don't wanna give my baby a bath EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT. And quite frankly, they say it's not great for their skin, anyway.
Especially in the first week or two - before the umbilical stump has fallen off and you can't submerge them in water, anyway - this No Rinse Wash is AWESOME.
It's just a bubbly foam that you rub on the skin, then wipe away with a dry towel! Easy-peasy. : )~
3. Robeez kick-proof socks. I know I'm brand-name dropping again, but ya gotta go with what works, people.
And Robeez socks STAY ON BABY FEET!!! It's a big deal. Trust me. I had at least a half-dozen other brands . . . they all fell off. Maybe it's me. But all I know is me, myself, and I like Robeez socks for baby feet!
4. Grass Drying Rack (and accessories) by Boon. These came about right after I had Lucy, so I missed out last time. (Not this time around!) I love it! It's kinda funky to see a patch of grass sitting on your counter, but it's just cute and unique, and I love how it holds bottles, bottle parts, pump parts, and anything else you need for baby. (*Note: It comes in two sizes. I got the smaller size and wish I'd gotten the larger size!)
And my final favorite baby item?
A GREAT diaper bag that you LOVE . . .
Organic Sashay Satchel in Daisy Dewdrops by Petunia Pickle Bottom.
Nope. Not cheap.
But you know what? I carry this thing around on my arm every. single. day.
It is not only functional -- with PLENTY of room for baby needs, snacks for Lucy, AND my wallet/keys/etc. -- but it's also fashionable and doesn't scream "DIAPER BAG!!!" It's just a cute bag.
I seriously love this thing. (AND I actually scored it on sale, so I paid around $90 ... worth every penny and more.)
That was exhausting.
I know my list is a little different from the "norm" -- but I hope maybe you'll find one or two (or more!) things you like, too!
(*And if I know you - and you're expecting a baby - you can be expecting some of these things for your showers! ... you can still pretend to be surprised : )~
Which of YOUR favorite baby items did I leave off my list? :-)