This blog post has been my most-requested for awhile now and I'm just now getting around to writing it...I'm always late these days! I like to preface things like this by saying that I am FAR from an expert when it comes to baby items (or anything for that matter), but these are all items that have worked well for our family. And hopefully they'll work for yours, too!
Some of them are for baby, some are for mama, but they're all must-haves for us!
1. Fisher-Price Sweet Snugapuppy Dreams Swing- I had major "mom brain" this time around and didn't even think about a swing until we were in the hospital and Boone was 2 days old. I did an Instagram poll asking people for swing recommendations (we borrowed one from family when Bear was a baby) and this Fisher-Price swing won by a landslide. We ordered it off Amazon while we were still in the hospital and when we got home the next day, there it was on the front porch (record speed- they must've known we really needed that bad boy). Boone loves his swing and actually prefers the frontward swinging over side-to-side (this swing is great because you can do either way). He naps well in it, hangs out in it while I'm getting ready in the morning, and loves to look at the mobile on it. Overall a great purchase that we've been really happy with. Thank you, Instagram friends!
2. Lavie Lactation Massager- Having breastfed two babies now, I feel like I've been through it all when it comes to nursing! While I'm far from an expert, we haven't had to supplement with formula and have fought through mastitis three different times. One thing I swear by but never hear anyone talk about is this lactation massager- I found it one night while surfing Amazon and after reading countless 5 star reviews, had to try it for myself. Since using it, I haven't had mastitis at all (which I'm very prone to getting since both my boys are tongue-tied)- any time I feel a blockage coming on I use this to massage knots out and not only does it feel amazing but also provides so much relief. I also think it helps pump faster because it gets breastmilk flowing, so I'l use it for a few minutes before I pump in the mornings. A lot of women use it while pumping too which I've heard helps speed up the process and make it more bearable, as well. It is also said to really help with low milk supply- just an all-around must-have if you plan on breastfeeding!
3. Medela Pump in Style Advanced Breast Pump- I borrowed a Medela breast pump from my sister-in-law when Bear was nursing and loved it, so I wanted a similar one this time around. I did some research and the Pump in Style Advanced had great reviews, and I'm very pleased so far. I've honestly only pumped a handful of times since having Boone, but this pump is super easy to use and should be efficient for traveling, as well. I just love the whole Medela system- I use the bottles and storage bags, too.
4. Gilligan & O'Malley Nursing Tank- I've been through a lot of nursing tanks, let me tell you, and these are by far my favorite (and affordable compared to others!). I lived in these the first few months with both boys, and I like that they're longer so you can wear them with leggings and a cardigan in the cooler months. They run true to size and wash really well- I still wear the same ones I had 5 years ago when I was breastfeeding Bear.
5. Tubby Tudd Natural Hair & Body Wash- We've been using this for both boys since Boone was born and love it- it's so gentle on their skin and the Lavender & Rosemary scent smells amazing. I use it in my baths sometimes too after the boys are asleep- don't tell them my secret!
6. Tula Swaddle Blankets- I'm a big fan on the Aiden & Anais brand for swaddle blankets but as soon as I laid eyes on the ones by Tula, I fell in love. They have the most beautiful designs and the quality is even better than Aiden & Anais, in my opinion. They're a bit of a splurge as far as blankets go but they come in the sweetest sets of three and will last forever- one pack and you're set!
7. Marley Lilly Diaper Bag- I have 4 or 5 diaper bags so it's hard for me to pick a favorite and honestly I can't, but this one is probably my most-carried so far. I love that it's monogrammed (I got my initials so I can carry it after baby but you could also get baby's), has great compartments for organizing, and is just really cute and functional. It does get a little dirty but I swear by this stuff for everything from pet stains in the carpet to cleaning a diaper bag- you have to get some and you'll see what I mean! It's magic.
8. Halo Sleep Sack- I can't believe we didn't use these when Bear was a baby because Boone has slept in one every single night since we got home from the hospital. My sister-in-law and several friends swear by Halo Sleep Sacks so I had to try one out and ended up ordering four more off of Amazon the next day. They keep Boone nice and cozy while he sleeps and are much safer than a blanket since we keep our house pretty cool. I also love that you can get the swaddle ones for newborn which I think helped him sleep longer stretches.
9. Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat- We had a Chicco car seat/stroller system for Bear and loved it, so we knew we wanted to go with Chicco this go around, as well. We do already have another car seat for Boone when he's older, but we have been so pleased with the Chicco car seats that I I recommend them for anyone who's expecting. They're the #1 rated infant car seat for a reason, and the KeyFit 30 is so easy to use with the stroller that we have, as well.
10. Tula Ergonomic Carrier- I heard a lot of mixed reviews about baby carriers and since I never carried Bear, I was pretty clueless and ended up with three different ones. The Tula is my favorite, not only for the cute design but because it is easiest to use. I found the Ergo a little difficult to get on and off without help, and Boone didn't fit well into the others when he was smaller.
11. Charlie Crane Paris LEVO Rocker- This item is a bit of a splurge, but I can't say enough good things about it. Of all the gadgets and gizmos and swings and bouncers we have laying around our house at the moment, Boone loves this one most of all. He kind of sits up in it which he really likes and is good for babies with reflux. I wish we'd had it when Bear was a baby. The quality is amazing and while it is pricey, it's an item that you can pass down for generations. Unlike most other baby furniture, it's not an eyesore either and we get compliments on it all the time.
12. Matimati Burp cloths- While Boone doesn't spit up very much, Bear had reflux and spit up constantly so we went through burp cloths like water. We stocked up before Boone was born and our very favorites are these (currently on sale)- they're super durable, thick yet soft, and come in great neutral patterns/prints.
I know I was crazy long-winded on a lot of that but I wanted to make sure and fully explain why we love each of those products so much! None of them are sponsored- these really are our tried and true must-haves and I hope some of you that are expecting (CONGRATULATIONS, btw!) will find this helpful. Please leave any questions you have in the comments or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org & I'm more than happy to answer.
Hope you've all had the best weekend and Happy Father's Day to all the amazing dads out there!