Baby Item Essentials
Let’s talk baby gear…Walking into a West Coast Kids or Babies R’us these days can be pretty overwhelming. There are SO many ‘things’ out there for babies it is really difficult to determine what you will actually need and use. When I was pregnant with our first son I got pretty overwhelmed (the raging pregnancy hormones didn’t help matters!!) by all of the options that were out there. Don’t get me wrong we were, and still are very fortunate to have so many options and to be in a position to afford to buy new things for our babies, but it was a bit of a shock to me that we had SO much choice. I stood in the store wondering, how the heck do you choose????
I decided to reach out to friends who had recently had babies. I asked them for their ‘top ten’ most loved baby items. Once I had their lists I started to research each item one by one (oh, how much time you have when you don’t have kids!) I then narrowed things down and created my own list and those were the items I registered for.
I now have a two year old and a three month old and I have compiled my own ‘baby essentials’ that I have used and love. Hopefully this will help the new mamas out there as they begin to tackle those baby stores…
1. Dockatot or some version of the very popular baby dock. Now, I know it might seem stupid looking at it, but trust me it is the best thing EVER!!! We used ours every single day with our first son and are reusing it with little man number two. It is great for baby to lounge in or have tummy time in and it can be placed anywhere (on the floor outside of your shower so that when you hear those phantom cries 30 seconds in to what was supposed to be a relaxing shower you can poke your head out and see that all is well) in the house. We also used ours instead of a play pen when we travelled, it acted as a portable bed. The main thing we used ours for though was to cosleep. Our first was a terrible sleeper and so we put the dock in our bed and he slept right between us, it was the only way anyone got any sleep. I know that cosleeping is controversial and I am not saying it’s for everyone or that you have to or should use this item to cosleep, you have to do what you feel is right and what works for your family. Now, the Dockatot brand is definitely pricey but there are cheaper versions out there for sure. We happen to know one Nonna who makes them for half the price (yes, I am putting in a little plug here! Sorry!) if you are interested you know where to find us!
** I know there is some controversy surrounding these as of late, so as mentioned above, do what you feel is best for you and your family. Healthy Canadians Article
2. Beco Gemini Baby Carrier. Lots of colour options, super comfortable, we took ours on hikes, snow shoeing etc. plus it was breathable in the summer when it was hot out. I have three different carriers on this list, I like to be on the move with my hands free, and each served a different purpose or worked during a specific stage of babies life. We used the Beco Gemini from around two months up until ten months, we could have used it longer if our little man wasn’t so heavy!
3. A swing or chair of some sort. We have the 4moms Mamaroo but not all babies like them. This swing/chair was designed by moms who were looking for a product that wasn’t out there so they created it themselves. If you have a friend who has one put your baby in theirs a couple of times before getting one as they aren’t cheap.
4. Modern Burlap creates black and white, modern, simple, unisex swaddles, blankets and sheets and they are amazing, beautiful and breathable! They are big enough to actually get a tight swaddle done which isn’t the case with all swaddling blankets. We used ours to swaddle Jack, as a light blanket in the stroller, as a nursing cover, as a blanket on the carpet or grass, as a spit up wipe, as a photo back drop… we used them A LOT. I like them cause they aren’t covered in animals, or trucks, or pink bows…
5. Medela Breast Pump … so if you haven’t heard yet, breast feeding isn’t easy. If you are lucky enough to have a baby who latches right away and you experience minimal pain and you have good supply you are rare and lucky. Even though I was one of the lucky ones I have many friends who have had a difficult time breast feeding. That being said, whether you are lucky or not, having a good pump is a must in my books. Eventually you are going to want some freedom, a date night with the hubby or a girls night out and so being able to leave breast milk behind makes life easier and having a good pump makes leaving that milk behind a reality. Plus, if you’re anything like me and feel like a dairy cow the whole time you are breast feeding, then you might as well get the best contraption available to suck the milk out, right?? Medela is at the top when it comes to pumps and they have many options to choose from.
Once baby gets too heavy for the Beco or you need a more comfortable option for longer outings this backpack is AMAZING! It really does have Kid Comfort in mind and has lots of space to pack lunch, diapers, toys and whatever else you want Dad to carry during your adventure!
A must have, especially during cold Canadian winters, the Bugaboo Universal Footmuff is the best. It keeps baby nice and warm which gives Mommy and Daddy peace of mind! We also used ours on our toboggan, and in the Deuter pack during snow shoe outings. It also works on most strollers so if you don’t have a Bugaboo don’t worry. Oh, and the colour selection is unreal, every colour under the sun!
The Bugaboo Donkey… well this is where I have to admit I messed up. When we went stroller shopping I was ready. I had done my research and knew that I wanted to get the Bugaboo Buffalo. The stroller was and is the best of the best, we used it every single day and had zero complaints. However, I should have listened to my husband when he suggested we purchase the Bugaboo Donkey because we always knew we would have more than one child, I of course said no when I should have just listened. Once baby number two was born we needed a double stroller. Our oldest wasn’t big enough to walk very far and adding a standing board just wasn’t enough. We ended up purchasing the Donkey and it is so perfect for two kids. It also easily folds down into a single stroller if I only have one kid with me (and this would be why hubby was right…never tell him this though!) Just this once my husband is right when he says, “told you so!”
Pricey but worth it. Looks nice, not like a spaceship like some high chairs and turns into a booster seat so it grows with the munchkin. We love our high chair, it slides right up to the table and looks just like another chair until you pull it out. Once your babe is too big for the high chair it can be used as a regular chair up at the table. The height can continue to be adjusted as little one grows. Basically the chair grows with your child, how perfect is that?!
9. Jolly Jumper
Hours of entertainment = time to get stuff done = everyone is happy. We all jumped around in Jolly Jumpers when we were kids and this tried and true item is still a must have today!
10. Frida Baby
Nose sucker, snot sucker, booger sucker… sounds so gross, right? It might seem weird now but trust me you will use this especially when baby is so stuffed up and you just want them to feel better right, NOW!
11. Baby sleepers with a zipper instead of snaps. They are hard to find but when you see one get it! My favourite brand right now is from Australia, Bonds. They are super soft, they have a double zipper that makes 3:00am changes that much easier and they come in so many super cute patterns!
This monitor has a video screen, can connect to your cell phone, has a remote control camera, connects to wifi…basically you name it and this monitor does it. Lauren and her husband especially loved it because he was able to say hi and check in with their baby girl while he worked away from home, how cool is that?!
For those babies that will take a soother this one is pretty fantastic. The small and cute stuffy attached to the soother provides weight which helps keep the soother in. The stuffy also makes it easier for baby to find if they lose their soother during the night. The stuffy provides extra comfort and some amusement as well. The best part about this soother? When you are ready to wean your baby off of their soother you can clip it off of the stuffy and your little one can still have the comfort and familiarity that the stuffy provided making the dreaded transition that much smoother, fingers crossed!
14. Beluga Baby Wrap
First off these wraps are made in Canada, which I love, love, love! They are made of super soft yet durable fabric and are stylish to boot! (who says, ‘to boot’ anymore? Me apparently?) They are suitable for babies up to 25lbs and make baby wearing look and feel amazing. When baby is close to Mamas heart, everyone is happy.
Well, if you read all of that, thank you!! I hope that you find one or two items on this list that you love as much as we do.