Before Kaylie I didn’t know much about what I’d really need. I knew we had to have the basics; stroller, car seat, diapers, bottles, etc. When I became pregnant I was overwhelmed with the options. Also, like for every first time mom I wanted the best for our little one. My favorite place became Babies R’ Us, and I’d spend my time walking around or browsing the internet for her. During my baby shower I received a lot of generous gifts & we also purchased some big items ourselves. After trial & error from a now 7 1/2 month old I can honestly say that I’ve figured out what has worked for us & what we could’ve done without. I’ve broken down some essentials as a guide for all mamas, mamas-to-be, and myself (when we decide on another one) so that I will have something to look back on. It’s also important to note that while these things may work for us & Kaylie it may be different for others. Here is a breakdown of what we have observed:
M U S T H A V E S
STROLLER: Baby Jogger City Versa : We are so incredibly happy with our stroller. When I researched for it I focused on it being lightweight & flexible. This was important since I’m pretty petite, so I wanted something I could carry in the case that I am travelling alone with baby. This stroller maneuvers smoothly, folds easily, and has a removable seat that could baby could either see us or the world. The removable aspect of it contributes to it being lightweight as we could use the “click connect” system from the car seat alone.
CAR SEAT: Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 in”Gotham” This is the car seat Kaylie is currently using and loving! It’s spacious, lightweight, and shallow which I feel is more breathable for baby. We switched her to this car seat after we realized that she didn’t have much elbow room, which was the main issue we had with the Maxi Cosi Mico AP in “Devoted Black”. It’s a gorgeous car seat which worked when she was a newborn since she was tiny and it runs VERY narrow. Both car seats requires adapters that could be installed into the City Versa. I used this Compatibility Chart HERE & the adapters could be purchased on Amazon.
SWING: Fisher-Price Cradle n’ Swing: When you’re a parent, you know that no matter how many times you hear “they’ll get used to the rocking” there will be times when you’ll need to put your baby down. When they’re fussy and won’t sleep, when they’ve been in your arms for hours and you haven’t eaten, when you just need them to be entertained for JUSSSST 10 minutes. Sometimes you just need that break. Kaylie was not dependent on it, but she used to LOVE hanging out in it. We used it up to when she was about 4 months, after that she grew out of it as she prefers human interaction over anything.
HIGH CHAIR: Fisher-Price Space Saver in “Berry” This is a portable high chair that could be attached to any seat. It has adjustable straps that securely holds baby in place for feedings. It also comes with three reclining positions but we usually sit Kaylie upright. It comes in handy when we need to do things around the kitchen & she can still hangout with us!
BOTTLES: Dr. Brown’s 4 oz Options: This is their new options bottle where you can use it with or without the vent pump. We always use it with the vent system though because she doesn’t take in any air & the nipples don’t flatten out on her. We’ve been getting a lot of use out of the 4oz bottles since she haven’t increased her milk intake, but if you know your baby is a feeder then I highly suggest getting the 8oz bottles from the start so you’d save money on purchasing a new set!
UPDATE: We have switched Kaylie’s bottles to Como Tomo. When Kaylie grew out of her 4oz bottles I wanted to research for better options.They are silicone bottles with a wide-neck design making it SUPER easy to clean. You don’t need a brush! The two biggest issues we had with the Dr. Brown bottles were leakage & the infinite number of pieces we had to wash. It’s so hassle free to wash it on the go in case we run out of clean bottles too! Como Tomos are actually a great alternative for breastfeeding moms with babies who are rejecting bottles. Fortunately for us, she didn’t reject the nipple size (Dr. Brown comes standard). However, Kaylie never had nipple confusion ever since she was born.
BREAST PUMP: Ameda Purely Yours: For all you breastfeeding moms out there I cannot stress how life changing it is to have an electric DUAL breast pump! I received this thru my work (check with your insurance because it might be covered) & it was delivered a couple days after we came home from the hospital. It’s compact & could be battery operated. My hospital actually gave me a manual pump as part of a care package that I used for the first days at home.
MATERNITY BRAS: iLoveSIA Nursing Bras These bras are extremely comfortable, affordable, and functional as you can un-clip one side for feedings. It’s also nice because you can use one hand to do so.
NIPPLE OINTMENT: Lanolin Breastfeeding Ointment When your baby is trying to figure out how to feed and you’re putting them to your breast (or pumping) every 2 hours, it HURTS okay?? I used to put this one after every feeding or pumping to sooth my nipples. I’ve heard horror stories of cracked, bleeding ones and I’m glad I didn’t get that, but it was still very sore and tender. Before I feed Kaylie though I would wipe it off with a warm washcloth (which also helps “warm” up the flow of milk to your breast).
NURSING PADS: Lansinoh Disposables I liked these because they weren’t thick and kept me dry for many hours. It also has two sticky stripes in the back that helps it to stay put in your bra.
MOISTURIZERS: Aveeno Baby Soothing Relief Moisture Cream Many doctors recommend that you wait until baby is at least 6 months before applying any lotions to their delicate skin. For Kaylie, she started getting dry patches (with a huge red one on her face that alarmed us) so her pediatrician recommended that we start moisturizing her a couple times a day. We used the fragrance-free Aveeno cream along with Aquaphor Healing Ointment and it has worked WONDERS on her skin.
BABY WIPES: I mentioned in a previous blog that I prefer to wash Kaylie’s bottom for every diaper change, but in case of emergencies I like to use these Water Wipes (99.9% Water, 0.1% grapefruit extract) or these from The Honest Company which comes in convenient travel packs.
SANITIZERS: Purell Sanitizer I have this attached to my diaper bag & The Honest Company Sanitizer Spray IN my bag. I know I know, crazy…BUT I don’t play when it comes to Kaylie’s health. I blame it on being a nurse & knowing that all kinds of crazy germs are everywhere!
WASHCLOTHS: Seaside Tots You don’t necessarily need a specific type or brand, but you will need washcloths, and LOTS of it. We now have a collection big enough where we can toss for laundry after one use. You’ll need it for everything; feedings, burping, bathing, etc.
MITTENS: Gerber Baby Bears At least for the first 3 months so they don’t scratch their pretty face! Also, to keep their fingers warm!
DIAPER BAG: Skip Hop Signature Diaper Bag This is VERY similar to the one we have except minor details like the handles. I do find that our diaper bag is very narrow and deep, which I’m not very happy about now that I know what I need to bring when we go out (i.e. the whole house ha ha). I feel like a large tote with a wider opening would make things a lot easier to pull out; especially with a moving baby!
DIAPERS: Pamper’s Stay Dry – Pamper’s Swaddlers – Huggie’s Snug n Dry This is definitely a no brainer. You will go thru these like crazy. When Kaylie was a newborn, she sharted a lot (sorry babygirl) since they’re trying to work out their bowels. So even if there was a smear of poo I still changed her. Pampers are generally softer, more flexible, and lighter. What I do notice is that it doesn’t hold up as good as Huggies. She wore Swaddlers for awhile and now we are using the other two interchangeably.
TRAVEL PACK (BODY WASH, LOTION): Johnson’s Take Along I like to have these in Kaylie’s diaper bag in case we are out and she does a poopy diaper. I like to wash her bottom with soap every time she poos so I know it’s really clean. Out of this pack I would only use the soaps & lotions (I don’t use powder or diaper rash cream on her – just Vaseline).
ONESIES: Carter’s Coverall – Carter’s Bodysuits Although Kaylie have a lot of nicer clothing, I almost always prefer her in onesies so that she’s comfortable. I don’t think I’ve ever made her wear a scratchy, stiff dress and have her sit in a car seat; with the only exception of her baptism day. Even then, I changed her out of it right away. I love their coveralls for the convenience of not having multiple clothing items to worry about (shirt, pants, socks) & their snap bodysuits for the cuteness & double layer for warmth on her torso.
SWADDLE BLANKETS: Aden + Anais Silky Soft Swaddles We LOVE these blankets! It is made from bamboo muslin material which is different from the cotton muslin found in most stores. This material is super soft & silky and contours well to her body. It’s even big enough to be used as a car seat cover & eventually, a scarf for mommie! It’s a little bit on the pricey side but this is one of my best, most used investment.
TOYS: Nuby Teethe-eez Soft Silicone & Fisher Price Octonauts Squirters Kaylie absolutely loves these two!! The Nuby teether is definitely the best I’ve tried; it’s small, easy for baby to grip onto, and it’s all silicone. For the squirter Kaylie absolutely loves the Peso one, it’s definitely her favorite toy!
N I C E TO H A V E
BOUNCER: Ingenuity Automatic: Sahara Burst: This was way too big for our little one for many months before we were able to use it. By then, she pretty much didn’t care for what it did. It basically bounces every time she kicked & we would place her in there as she watches Octonauts. A lot of babies love it but if you don’t have it already, I’d say you could do without. Invest in a swing instead!
BASSINET: Delta Rocking Bassinet – Playtime Jungle This is the one we had set up prior to Kaylie’s arrival with the intention of her co-sleeping next to our bed. Some babies love it, but personally we didn’t get much use out of this.
PORTABLE BASSINET: Graco Play n Play This is very similar to what we have. Again, we also had the intention of upgrading her sleep space with this; she loved playing during the day but wouldn’t sleep in it at night. We just have it next to our bed in case that we need to do chores upstairs we can just put her in knowing she won’t fall off the bed. After she can crawl/stand up we can remove the “bassinet” part and it becomes a play pen. I think that that it’ll become more useful for us later on!
In a nutshell, these are all the basic essentials we use for Kaylie on a daily basis. It’s definitely not a complete list as we all know babies need a lot of TLC and lots of things! If there are things that you definitely can’t go without please feel free to share. I would love to know!