When it came to registering for baby, I had an inkling of just what I wanted. I chalk it up to 8 years of nannying and being surrounded by baby gear. I had experience behind me; I’d pushed 8 different types of strollers, carried multiple different diaper bags, and learned first hand what I liked and what I could do without. This I’ve come to learn was precious knowledge that has helped us stay away from unnecessary items.
But at the same time, while waiting, I did what most would tell those waiting not to do; I made spreadsheets. I was comparing strollers, I watched multiple friends have their children and listened, and I often, in hopeful anticipation, wandered the aisles at Babies R Us just for fun. For me it wasn’t bad for my heart because there wasn’t a baby attached to the gear gazing! I also LOVED hearing from others on what they liked and didn’t like. But I’m here to say that at the end of the day, it’s an extremely personal decision on how to spend your money preparing for baby and how your own life, taste, and preferences come into play. Some people like this certain thing and others swear by another. Really THINK about your life and how you think the days will go. You can always buy something later.
So here I am sharing my top baby items that we have for Elizabeth. We couldn’t have made it through the first month without these!
1. Uppababy Vista
This was a HUGE splurge and we were blessed to be gifted with it. As a nanny I pushed every type of stroller you can imagine and I knew what I wanted. I wanted a seat that could face me, shocks, all terrain tires, easy push, and one stroller that could do almost everything. This has it all. I didn’t want a running stroller because pushing one while running is HARD work and I’d rather run without her. But I wanted something that functioned essentially like a running stroller. Another look-alike I considered was the Britax B-Ready which has some really cool features especially if you are having twins or a second. We were about to pick this up half off when we found out it would be gifted but would have paid full price knowing down the line we could sell it and recoup at least half of the cost. The bassinet feature has been hands down one of my favorite features; it’s a great place for her to sleep, lay while on walks because the carseat is uncomfortable and makes for a great bed when we are out visiting with friends. There isn’t anything I don’t love about it and so far Elizabeth loves it too!
2. Hidden in My Heart Cd’s
We love these. I can’t say enough about them. I listened to them before she was born and we listen to them daily now that she’s here. It’s the word of God put to music and what’s not to love about that. We have both volumes and listen to volume 2 almost exclusively.
Nannying and watching other peoples kids allowed me to use many a bottle. The main 2 I’ve used in the past were Avent and Dr. Brown’s. Avent leaked and Dr. Brown’s has a bazillion parts to clean. So when looking for something that would work for us we chose Tommee Tippee Sensitive Tummies. Alex and I knew going into to parenthood that we were going to do everything we could to get her to take a bottle so we could get some couple time without E. Week 3 we introduced it and it’s been going great. I love how compact they are and there are very few parts to clean and of course Elizabeth will drink from them. Win-win.
4. Swaddleme Swaddles
Elizabeth doesn’t love to be swaddled and yet when she was brand new she needed to be. She flails:) So we used these and loved them. She would scream when we tried the woombie but these didn’t bother her. We use them occasionally now but we’ve transitioned our refluxy baby to tummy sleeping (don’t judge) and swaddles would not be safe for that!
5. Jesus Storybook Bible
Oh my, this is one of my favorites! Do they make Bible’s like this for grown ups? Seriously at this point I get way more out of our daily Bible reading than Elizabeth does. Love the story format. I read this to her in the womb and now we read it together. I can only imagine that this will become a treasured time for all of us as she grows up!
I use my Boppy every day and I know there are people so love it and those that hate it for it’s main purpose, breastfeeding. But to be honest, while I like it for that purpose, I LOVED it in the hospital and the days following as a seat cushion. Sitting after giving birth is painful and this definitely helped alleviate some of the ouch!
7. Little Lamb Bouncy Seat
Alex and I went back and forth between a swing and a bouncy seat. We didn’t want tons of kid stuff all around the house so we opted for the bouncy seat. In the end we decided what she didn’t know wouldn’t hurt her. Might come back to bite us after she visits the church nursery, but until then bouncy seat it is. So far she loves it and we love that it’s portable for use around the house.
Motorola Video Monitor
Hands down this might be one of my absolute favorites. I never thought a video monitor was truly necessary…in fact if family wouldn’t have gone together to get this for us we may have resisted a video monitor. Good thing we didn’t. Elizabeth is a NOISY sleeper. In fact she moved right into her own bed on our second day home. That wasn’t the plan but she is SO loud! The video monitor is great in the middle of the night…otherwise I am sure I would’ve been up ALL NIGHT LONG! I can see that her little eyes are closed and she’s doing just fine. Also gives us peace of mind now that she’s a tummy sleeper!
9. Bamboobies & Motherlove
Breastfeeding can be great but it can also be painful. So far we haven’t had too much pain to speak of but Motherlove is fantastic for alleviating some of the soreness. Love that it doesn’t need to be wiped off and it’s not goopy or sticky. And Bamboobies…oh my…LOVE! I use disposable nursing pads as well but these are fantastic and help keep costs down. They are soft and don’t soak through like my other cotton pads, and don’t get me started on the overnights. These wool pads work wonders…especially when little ones start sleeping longer stretches!
With all the apps available and what not, this was one I wasn’t sure would be worth the $15. But what can I say, it proved me wrong. This is fantastic. I really only use it for breastfeeding and keeping track of when she last ate and which side. But I’m sure as she wakes up more I may start using it for naps as well. It’s small, portable, and helps keep us functioning especially when sleep is a luxury!
11. Baby Wise
This deserves a post of it’s own and I plan on writing it soon. So much controversy behind this book and to be honest I’m scratching my head as to why. As a former English major, I read things critically…analyzing a text as I go along. I found certain parts to be very helpful; the section on keeping your marriage strong, breastfeeding, and getting into a routine. Most kids thrive with routine and even though we’re choosing to be very flexible here, a routine is something I enjoy as well. So all in all, I liked this and found it very helpful…again, post to follow.
White Noise Machine
Elizabeth thrives on white noise. In fact, I quickly downloaded an app to my phone for car rides and when we are out. Seriously puts her out cold:) This machine is inexpensive and runs on batteries or a power adapter. It’s fantastic. Personally we like the waterfall noise as it’s most like white noise but there are a few to choose from and I love that you can put a timer on it so it doesn’t have to play all night.
13. Avent Pacifiers
Pacifiers get a bad rap. I’m not certain I fully follow the reasoning but in the middle of the night while at the hospital in an attempt to get some sleep I called the nurse. I asked for a pacifier and as a breastfeeding mom I could tell the nurse was tentative to hand it over. But I insisted. And Elizabeth was happy to suck. One thing I knew going in…I would not be a human pacifier. So if she needs to suck, pacifier it is. They gave us a MAM in the hospital and I switched to these once we got home. They have a COVER! No more icky pacifier or needing a separate holder. These come all ready to go. LOVE IT!
14. Medela Pump in Style
What can I say, pumping was non-negotiable (see item #3). In order for bottles to happen, pumping needs to happen. I’ll admit, I was a little unsure at first. Pumping seemed daunting but once I did I realized it’s really no big deal. I like the flexibility and we got our pump for free through our insurance…make sure to check! If that wouldn’t have been the case, I’m not sure this would have been the brand we would have went with but so many people love it too, so it must be good!
Aden and Anais Blankets
Last but not least these would be tied for favorite item with our stroller and monitor. We’ve never used these for swaddling but they are the only 4 blankets we use at our house. They are soft, light, big and perfect for just about everything. Plus they are super cute and come in all sorts of patterns. We have For the Birds. And as an added bonus, A&A makes lovie blankets as well…which of course, Elizabeth loves!
So there you have it, our top 15 favorite baby items. We just ordered our Ergo so I’m sure that will become number 16! Again, these are things we have found so worth the money and work for us, but it’s all preference and every kid is different.
I’d love to hear, what are some of your favorites?