10 Baby Items We Can’t Live Without

I remember when I was working on our baby registry. My husband looked over it and scoffed. “It’s a baby! It’s so tiny. How in the world could he need so much stuff?”

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{all of our goodies from one of our baby showers…so blessed!}

It’s true that as Americans we can totally go overboard on “stuff.” We think we need so much…but do we really? Living in SoCal means that we have a much smaller home so we just don’t have room for anything we don’t actually need so with baby boy on the way, we tried to only ask for things that we really, really needed. Of course, there’s no way to really know what your little bundle with like (being worn), dislike (the swing) or how many burp clothes you will really need (more than we could have ever imagined) until they are in your arms.

Truthfully, while things like clothes, diapers and wipes are universally needed, the rest of this stuff is a bit of a game of preferences and personality. That said, there have been a few baby items that have been worth their weight in gold.

We’re four months into this adventure called parenting and here are 10 items that we can’t live without:

1/ Solly Baby Wrap – I love this thing and Ethan loves to be worn. I think babywearing is one of the best things ever. Your baby loves it because they get to snuggle into your chest, and you love it because you can sniff your baby’s sweet head while having both hands free to get stuff done. The Solly Baby Wrap wins over the other guys because of it’s lightweight fabric that won’t leave you sweating while you wear your little hot pocket. Plus, the have the cutest prints and colors to choose from. I’m in love with my grey and white striped wrap, but if I had some money to burn I’d totally pick up this perfect Rifle Paper patterned wrap as my second one. And don’t be intimidated by this wrap — it’s way easier to put it on than it looks. Just watch their videos and follow along with a stuffed animal the first time and you’ll do great!

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2/ Dockatot – When my friends first started having babies, they would talk about this Dockatot thing like it was magical. It’s basically a co-sleeper baby pillow with a bumper around it, not too unlike a dog bed. The sides give the baby that cozy, in the womb feeling while preventing mom and dad from rolling over on them and baby from rolling out. We don’t actually have Ethan in the bed with us, but we do use this in his bassinet as it fits it perfectly. These things are honestly crazy expensive and overpriced in my opinion, but I found ours on Craigslist for $50. It must work since Ethan has been sleeping for 5+ hour stretches since he was 4 weeks old and through the night since he was 3 months old. And let’s be honest – sleep is golden.

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3/ Hands free silicone nursing pump – GUYS! Have you tried one of these? It’s this simple silicone suction-y thing that you attach to your breast while you are nursing on the other side and it collects all this milk without you having to do hardly anything! This is truly one of the best things I discovered as a breastfeeding aid. Ethan would often only nurse on one side, especially in the middle of the night, leaving me with a leaky and painful boob. But then I got this magical thing; I would suction it on while he nursed and when he was done, I’d have about 3 oz of milk collected. This is how I built up my milk stash without having to add extra pumping sessions. Pure magic. This pump would be awesome for traveling because its so small and portable and I have heard women say that it is the only pump they use. I personally don’t do as well with it if Ethan isn’t latched on since he triggers my let-down. screen-shot-2017-01-26-at-12-20-41-pm

And in case you are wondering, my second favorite pump is this one by Avent. I honestly prefer both of these to my fancy electric Modela.

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4/ Play Mat – My sanity. Ethan has loved his time on his play mat since about 6 weeks which means that I can eat breakfast, blow dry my hair, check emails, whatever I need — for about 20-30 minutes without him needing my utmost attention. This thing is used ALL. THE. TIME. Baby’s happy. Momma’s happy. This isn’t the mat that we have but it sure is cute. This play mat is from Skip Hop.

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5/ Coconut Oil – In case you’ve been living under a rock and missed it, coconut oil is the bomb-diggity. Lather your baby up with this stuff and not only will their skin stay moisturized but it will also take care of diaper rash, acne, cradle cap and will soothe achy gums when teething. This is the brand we use and love because it doesn’t taste like coconuts (which is important because we also use it for cooking).

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6/ Swaddle Wraps – Our little guys loves being swaddled. When he was tiny and new we could swaddle like a pro in a blanket, but it wasn’t long before his arms would break free and unravel his cozy blanket. These swaddle wraps are just the answer! We used the Swaddle Me wraps for the first few months until he grew out of them. Now it’s colder so we’ve transitioned to a fleece swaddle by Halo so that we can let him sleep with his arms out during the day and tucked in at night.

screen-shot-2017-01-27-at-2-34-13-pm7/ Burp Clothes – Get more than you think you’ll need. We probably go through about 4-5 burp clothes a day since baby boy is a spit up machine. I have a few “fancy” burp clothes — the kind that have cute patterns on them and are made of organic cotton. I call them my “going out burp cloths.” The rest of the time we just use good old fashioned cloth diapers.

screen-shot-2017-02-07-at-3-51-47-pm8/Noise machine – Babies LOVE white noise. Apparently the womb was a very noisy place to sleep, so if you want your baby to sleep well outside of the womb, a noise machine is a must. It’s also great for mom and dad when baby is sleeping in your room and grunting all night long (Ethan used to sound like he was lifting weights from 4-6am every morning). We love this noise machine for the variety of sound options, it’s portability and the fact that it can run on a battery for travel.

screen-shot-2017-02-07-at-11-44-13-am9/ Nursing Night Light – GUYS! This little light was a life saver when I was nursing in the middle of the night! It’s a tiny little light that clips onto your shirt or bra strap and gives off just enough light so that you can see what you’re doing without waking dad up. It’s not perfect…my light has gotten to where I have to push it like 5 times to get it to turn on…but when you have a baby that likes to spit up ALL OVER YOU in the darkness, you’ll be glad to have this.

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10/ Glow-in-the-dark Pacifier – If your baby takes a pacifier at night and then drops it in the middle of the night, you know what it’s like to be feeling around the crib looking for the hidden pacifier! Our little guy doesn’t actually need a paci until about 4 or 5 am and usually wakes up once because he dropped it and needs it. Now. Ethan loves the MAM pacifiers best so I was thrilled to discover that they make glow-in-the-dark pacifiers! They hold a light glow all night long which is miraculous and they give you two in a package which is awesome for when your dog eats the first one (bad dog).

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** Bonus: Are you guys ready for this one? You’re gonna want to make fun of me but I’m only sharing what really works. Recently I discovered that Ethan will go to sleep in minutes if I play one specific lullaby album — get ready — my husband rolled his eyes but it’s seriously magical — it’s Nick Lachey’s “A Father’s Lullaby.” Honestly, the songs are so sweet and beautiful and not cheesy at all. And the first song, “All Through The Night” must pump melatonin into the room or something because about two minutes into it Ethan’s eyes start to get heavy. You can thank me later.

What are some of your must have’s for baby? Is there anything you can’t live without that I left off of the list?

All of these opinions are mine and mine alone. The makers of these products have not given me any of these items for free in return for my review of them…although I’d happily receive and review any items they want to send me!

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