When I was pregnant with Jackson, I remember reading sooo many reviews about baby gear! There were just so many options, and as a first time mom, I didn’t want to spend any time or money on things that weren’t good quality, or things we wouldn’t end up using. Predictably, some things we got were great and some weren’t. But now I love to share my best recommendations for other mamas looking to add to their shopping list or registry. Over the next several weeks I’ll be sharing my favorite finds (so far!) from newborn-1 year.
- Halo Bassinest. This was a gift from my in-laws for our baby shower, and it was amazing! The bassinet sets up so that you can slip part of the flat base under your bed and get it as close as possible to you while you’re sleeping. The height is fully adjustable and the bassinet swivels up, down, in and out so that you can move it out of the way when you get in and out of the bed. I never worried about the safety for my newborn, because the mattress was very firm and the sides of the bassinet are mesh. The only critical thing I would say is that we got the version with some of the bells and whistles (lights, sounds, vibrations) and literally never used them. There is a less expensive version that skips these features and if I could do it all over again, I would probably add that one to my registry instead.
- Summer Infant Comfy Bath Sponge. This little sponge is amazing. When you are dealing with a tiny, delicate, squishy little infant, you are constantly worried about their comfort and safety. This propped Jackson up in the bath safely and gave him a comfortable surface to rest on. It was so inexpensive, but lasted months before it started getting dingy. I just had to make sure I rinsed it and wrung it out very well after each use, or it would start to mildew (as anything left wet does).
- Primo Eurobath. One of the main things I read in my obsessive prenatal research is that a baby bath is unnecessary. Still, I registered for this one and was NOT disappointed. Fair warning: this baby bath is enormous. It barely fits in a bathtub. However, we used this thing for an entire year! I know you can technically just lay a baby in a tub in a tiny bit of water, or use the sink, or whatever. But Jackson had terrible reflux so the upright angle of the infant side of the tub was super helpful. I also felt like he was very comfortable, and that it propped him in a way that allow him to be mostly submerged in water at all times (which = not cold!) When he got too big, we switched him to the other side which allowed him to sit straight up while being supported and making it almost impossible to slip. There are lots of fancy baby baths out there, and as a nanny I have used many! But this simple $25 tub does the trick (and does it well!) and I loved using it for Jacks.
- Babo Botanicals Shampoo and Wash. Man, I love this stuff! The crunchy side of me is very careful regarding what products I use for Jackson, especially if it’s anything he will be ingesting or rubbing into his skin. This body wash smells heavenly, gets him squeaky clean and has a rating of “1” (the best rating possible) from the EWG!
- Aden and Anais muslin blankets. Yes, this is on everyone’s list so it feels a little redundant! But it’s true that these blankets are good for almost everything! I used them as a blanket, a nursing cover, burp cloth, car seat cover, to prop Jackson in the stroller, to cover windows to block out light, to lay on the floor for tummy time, and I’m sure many more things that I can’t remember! All the muslin blankets that I had were Aden and Anais brand, but since then I have started following Spearmint Baby on Facebook and I cannot get enough of their cute patterns! Definitely will be getting some of those next time.
- Footie sleepers. Jackson was a summer baby. But even so, he spent most of his first months in an air conditioned house. I rarely used any other item of clothing that we had for him besides footies! They are comfy, and easy, and seemed to keep him at the right temperature in a cool house! I got some Burt’s Bees footies from TJ Maxx and they were so soft and bonus- organic!
- SwaddleMe organic swaddlers. I’m a bad swaddler. I really am. It never looked quite right when I just used a blanket, and he always broke out of it! These were so comfy and snug for Jackson, and made swaddling super easy! They are also organic and have some adorable prints- we always put Jackson in the apple print one!
- Avent video monitor. Our first video monitor was this one, which broke within 4 months. The company sent us a replacement and that one also broke within 4 months. So now we have this one, and have really enjoyed it so far. Especially when we were sleep coaching Jackson, a video monitor helped a ton! Sometimes babies wake between sleep cycles and fuss for a minute but are well on their way to soothing themselves back to sleep. Having a video monitor helps you discern whether or not they are in need of help and comfort or whether you should give them space for a couple minutes to fall back asleep without interruption. We also bought this handy little corner shelf (which uses Command strips to stick to the wall). It holds the monitor up high for a full view of the crib and a good angle.
- Cloth diapers. A nod to my semi-crunchy side again… I was very intimidated by cloth diapering but knew I wanted to try! It has been much easier than I ever could have expected! We still use one disposable at night and disposables on trips, but other than that, cloth has been amazing. We save lots of money, the diapers are extremely comfy for Jackson, it is environmentally-friendly and we never run out! If you are considering cloth, I highly recommend taking the plunge! 🙂 I’ve tried several kinds but our favorites have been BumGenius 4.0s (they have since come out with a new version, the BumGenius 5.0. I stuff them with Green Mountain Diaper prefolds for extra absorbency.
So there you have it- my favorite baby essentials for the first three months. Next week I will be talking about my favorites from 3-6 months! Hint: the door jumper is the only way I ever got to take a shower!