Friday, July 22, 2011

My Top 10 Baby Essentials

As an experienced momma of soon to be 4 kiddos, I have trialed and tested many baby products.

I have many friends who are first time mommas and often ask me advice on things as shopping for baby gear is overwhelming!

I also want to state that while I have loved these items, they may not work for everyone so take it or leave it, but here are my baby essentials for any momma.

 1. Aden and Anais blankets

They are 100% cotton muslin and the more you wash them the softer they get.  They are lightweight and breathe well.  They are perfect for any season and I can't believe I hadn't discovered these sooner. 

All our boys have loved to be swaddled. 

Since we have always had LONG babies, I have struggled to find a blanket that is big enough to swaddle them as they grow, and one they won't overheat in. 

These blankets measure 47" x 47" so I can swaddle my giant 16 month old if I want to. 

Since they are so lightweight, they are prefect for laying over a sleeping baby in the car, outside in the summer, to breastfeed with, or just to snuggle with. 

They also don't take up a lot of room in a bag, which is an added bonus when you have to pack for one or more children. 

You can purchase them many places, Target, amazon, (my new favorite place to order diapers online), etc.

If you live in Grand Forks, Adley Anne's boutique downtown carries them. 

2. Hooter Hider
Yep, a Hooter Hider!

I only wish I had invented this one, would be able to stay home for sure!

It does exactly what it says.  It is a light-weight piece of fabric that goes around your neck and bows out, allowing you to breastfeed your little one without causing them to overheat, rip the blanket off and expose you to the world, and you can check on them the whole time!


The one pictured above is a more pricey option, but after purchasing a cheap one the first time that lasted only a month, I opted to pay a little more for one that I was very happy with.

You can fold it up an throw it in your bag and it will maintain it's shape each time.

It is also machine washable.

If you live in Grand Forks, Adley Anne's boutique downtown carries them too!

Or you can find them on

If you are looking for a unique gift for a friend, and she is breastfeeding this is a great one!

If you are a breastfeeding momma and don't have one, buy one today!

3. Lap Pads
(Couldn't find a picture that wasn't copyrighted to use, but google "Carter's Lap Pads" and you will see them. There are 3 in a pack)

These genius pads measure 12" x 13.5" and I am positive I couldn't have survived without them as a mommy of baby boys! (Not sure if they are as helpful with little girls, but I am sure they would still be great)

They are waterproof and very thin.

Our boys have all loved to be swaddled, so we would lay the blanket out, set the pad in the center, lay the baby on the pad and wrap them up.

Then, in the middle of the night, when our boys would inevitably pee or poop through their adorable pjs the lap pad would prevent the mess from getting to the blanket and bedding.

They are also great for changing diapers on carpet, as lifting those little legs to wipe and swap out the dirty diaper for a clean one often includes more fun coming out of that adorable little bottom!

It is also a known fact that little boys can pee right out their diaper, leave the diaper dry, and soak everything around them. (even if you point their little hose down)

They also last through approximately 3 1/2 little boys. I had to toss them out half way through Isaac and have been searching for new ones.

Babies R Us, Kohls and Sears carry them online. 

4. Moby Wrap

This was a gift from my sister Nikki after Isaac was born, and my back has never been happier.

With Jonah we had a cheap baby carrier that hurt my back and made carrying him not fun.

We invested in a Baby Bjorn with Elijah, and I do like it. It was more ergonomically friendly and did the trick. I used it with Isaac as well, but it's not as great as my Moby Wrap.

I also felt like I still had to use on of my hands to support my baby in the Bjorn when I bent over to get something or do some thing. 
As you can see in the picture above, Isaac is enjoying the wrap!  Your baby is nice and close to your body and you feel as though they are more secure, and you can really do things with both hands. 

It is one VERY long piece of fabric that you wrap around your body multiple times and tie.

I was a little skeptical about a piece of fabric that had no snaps, buckles, or other means to secure my baby, but after using it just once I was in love.

Here is their website if you are interested.

They even have instructional videos.

You can safely hold a child up to 35 lbs with it!

It can get a little hot in the summer, but good thing about ND is it's cold most of the year!

I was able to hold Isaac for a VERY long time without having the same back pain I did before.

5. Pacifier holder

This one doesn't have to be anything fancy.

They are becoming more popular these days, so you can pick one up pretty cheap at Target or spend a little more for a trendy one online or at a baby boutique.

It's nice to have a clip on one end and velcro on the other.

I am not a germaphobe, but I did feel better when we would be out in public and if my baby's pacifier fell out of his mouth it wouldn't make it to the ground.

6. Soft Sole Shoes

Our boys have all had big feet and baby #4's were little ski's on the 20 week ultrasound too!

This makes finding developmentally appropriate shoes tricky.

When the boys were ready to walk, their feet were big enough for a toddler shoe with a thick sole.

I discovered the soft sole shoe out of necessity, but have recently learned they are better for your babies growing feet!

Robeez,  Pediped or See Kai Run are all great brands!

You can find them online or if you live in Grand Forks, Adley Anne's boutique downtown carries them too!

Target sells Robeez or a cheaper brand that are great for pre-crawling or crawling babes.

The other 2 brands are a little pricer, but if you are thrifty you can always find a pair on sale!

7. Butt Paste & Vaseline

We have been lucky and our boys haven't had too many problems with diaper rashes, but I did find Boudreaux's Butt Paste to be the best for diaper rashes.

Plus it doesn't smell like desitin.

Or just vaseline. This is also a cheap and easy way to create a nice barrier on their skin for their cute little bun's to heal.

Also, if you have a boy and decide to have him circumcised, a tube of vaseline is the easiest for the first week or so when you are doing diaper changes.

Just load on the vaseline around the head of the penis like an ice cream cone.

The little foil packs of vaseline or tubs are a mess and annoying.

8. Skip Hop Diaper Bag

I received this diaper bag as a gift when Isaac was born...
and I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

They come in a bajillion colors and styles and are the perfect size.

Regardless of what diaper bag you purchase, I would recommend spending a little more money on a nicer one because the cheaper ones don't last long at all!

I have tested many diaper bags, and really like the one above. 

It has 2 pockets on the side for bottles that are insulated.

Magnetic closure of the flap and a zip pouch inside. There are many pockets inside to store items, and it cleans easily!

I know you can order them online from many places, and Target carries them online too!

9. A Good Stroller

I have tested and tested many different ones, and bottom line is spend a little more money to get one that is higher quality and you won't regret it!

I do not like to just stay at home with my kiddos, so a good stroller was always an essential item for me as I am outside, at the mall, going to the park, etc with my babies.

Check the weight limit, as it is nice to have one that will go up to 40-50 lbs so you don't need a new one when your baby becomes a toddler.

You want one that can recline, has a large enough basket to store items, and I enjoy a cup holder on my stroller to keep my drink in. 

If you have 2 small children close together the sit-n-stand is nice.

One that doesn't take up your entire trunk is also a bonus.

10. Winter Gear

Finding something to keep your little one warm in the frozen tundra, without making them look like a giant marshmallow is tricky. 

Not only are the big fat snow suits a pain, they are also not safe. 

Your baby will feel nice and snug in his or her carseat with the marshmallow snow suit, but as soon as you are in a crash, all that extra material will compress and your infant could fly right out. 

You really don't need anything when your infant is small (6mths or less) but after that it's nice to have something on them when you are traveling in and out of the cold.

When Jonah was ready for his second winter (9 months) I discovered this zip up fleece snowsuit made by Columbia sportswear.
(Isn't he so cute in it?)

There is an attached hood, and the hands and feet have flaps that you can cover or open. 

So, if they are old enough to walk, they can have shoes on too!

Here is a link to them on Columbia's website. 

They are machine washable, warm, but not real thick, and hold up well.

Ours have been used 3 times and are ready for a 4th child easily!

So these are only my recommendations, and I am sure other momma's would give you a different top ten list.  I hope this was helpful and let me know if you have any top 10 baby essentials that I haven't mentioned. I always love to discover new baby gadgets that make life easier!

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