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Hello my creative mamas! So February to me is the month of love. And what comes from love... babies!! And especially with that Valentine's Day in and, well, basically just overall quarantine, I think we are going to see a lot of babies this year lol.
I am no expert, but having two babies of my own, I tried quite a few different products and learned few new things. So I just had to share my favorite items that saved my sanity! And also give you some other recommendations on brands for items you need and recommendations for items that I think just help make life a little easier.
So let's get started!! These are in no particular order and I value each of them the same.
1. Mommys Bliss Original Gripe Water
Oh man, this stuff! So quick story short, our first baby girl, Carter, had a lot of gas issues. One night she was just crying for like a good hour straight and we could not do anything to help her. With a last ditch effort, I told me husband to run to the store and pick this up because I had heard about it. And I kid you not, within a couple of minutes of giving it to her, she calmed down, stopped crying, and went to sleep.
Now our second baby girl, Parker, is a pain in the but to give any sort of liquid medicine to. But even just getting a little bit, not even a full dose, will help her calm down. And this also helps her poop! Not saying to use it for that, but I think it helps just calm down her stomach enough that she relaxes to be able to poop. This also comes in a night time version that just has a little somethin' somethin' to help them fall asleep (IT HELPS!).
2. Infants Tylenol
So I don't know why this isn't in more top baby product lists. Maybe because it is such a "oh ya you need that" item, but as new moms, ya you don't necessarily know that or just how much you NEED it. Honestly this and the Gripe Water is something that I carry around with me in my diaper bag all the time. And I have multiples! One for the diaper bag, one in the oldest's bedroom and one in the youngest's. Why? Trust me you do not want to wake one baby up in the middle of the night searching for this when the other one is already awake and crying. GET MULTIPLE! This is honestly a no brainer with teething and administer some about 30 mins before they get their shots and it will start helping quicker. (Heads up: It is natural for them to get a little fever after shots.)
Life Hack!! Nope that is not cute or pretty or what you would necessarily consider a baby item at all. But this is a life saver when traveling or I have even used it at home. So situation, you need to warm up that bottle you have of breast milk. BOOM! Fill this bad boy up with hot water before you leave and you have a portable bottle warmer. Situation #2, you are doing formula. BOOM! Fill this guy up with warm water (no hotter than 100 degrees Fahrenheit), fill up your bottle with the water to ounces you need, add your formula, and BAM! you have your on the go formula bottle in like 4 seconds. We pretty much started Parker on formula around a month old due to breast feeding issues and not proper weight gain. So I actually fill up my thermos every morning with warm water, have my formula pre-measured out, and I have a quick bottle ready to go! Perfect for juggling two littles and not much time on your hands. And we have pretty much the one you see pictured; not pretty but man keeps water at the perfect temperature for like all day if you aren't opening it a ton.
4. Braun Digital Ear Thermometer
I love this thermometer! It is so easy to just stick in babies ear and get a reading. And it is pretty accurate. I have taken a temperature with this and then taken one rectally, and they were like within a degree of each other. And it is quick! Which I think is necessary with a baby and toddler. It also comes with multiple covers for the ear part which is really nice.
5. Baby Nasal Aspirator NoseFrida the Snotsucker
So first time moms you are probably reading this and going "OMG I am not sucking snot out of my babies nose". LOL. Trust me you will be wishing you had this. So first of all the little bulb suckers the hospital gives you, I have never been able to use them. And honestly this is an item I wished I packed with us going to the hospital. When Parker was born, she just automatically had a stuffy nose. The nurses weren't super worried about it and they tried to help get some out, but it just wasn't a big deal to them. Well when you can tell the reason your baby isn't sleeping is because they are all stuffy, it is a big deal. Literally the first thing I do when we get home, I got this bad boy out, sprayed just a tad bit of saline spray in her nose, and BAM! sucked that crap out of her nose. And great thing is that you control the suction. So I barely sucked and it cleared her nose. This also has little filters that come with it that are placed in the section between the tube and the actual plastic part you place in the nose, that way you don't suck and snot up that tube and in your mouth! This is something I use nightly on my youngest because she is just like a little snot ball lol.
6. Munchkin Bottle Warmer
When we first purchased this item, it was like one of our "boujee" items that we had extra gift card money so we thought this would be nice. Oh man were we ever glad we bought it! So our first Carter again had breast feeding issues even after get her lip and tongue tie fixed. So I pumped and we did bottles. And man, I honestly don't even know how you would heat up a bottle otherwise! This will heat up a 6-ounce bottle in like 3 minutes (depending on the state of warmth initially). It helped so much, that we also got one at my parents house so we could quickly heat up bottles there as well. Now we use it whenever we run out of warm water in our thermos and need a bottle now!
7. Windi by Frida Baby
LOL ok so when I first got these I though "in NO WAY am I sticking this in my babies butt to help with gas". Oh how wrong I was lol. Put a little petroleum jelly on the end, stick this in their little butt, and you can literally hear the gas come out! With Carter, again major gas issues, and this time I could feel how hard her stomach was from the gas. So we got one of these ready and it was crazy!! You hear like a high pitch squeak come out! And again this was a life saver with Carter. With Parker, we haven't really used them as much, but still they are nice to have on hand.
8. Hatch Baby Rest Sound Machine
I love this! So this night light is so freaking cool. First of all it is programable. Set up the color and sound you want, set up presets and you are ready to go! Just touch the top to turn it on and hold it to turn it off. Also, there is an app to connect and have even more control over it, which is honestly super helpful. I haven't used this function yet, but you can also set timers on it, so when it is time to get up it plays a different sound and you can change the light. After doing research, I found that like warm light colors (red, orange, and yellow) help calm and induce sleep. We have one in both of the girls rooms and we turn it on nightly and it really helps. It helps to drown out some of the noise outside and it gives nice white noise. Also, this is pretty portable. You just need to bring it and the cord and you are good to go!
9. Owlet Smart Sock
So yes this is a big ticket item. But this has given me such a peace of mind, that it is priceless in my eyes. One of the major anxiety issues I had was SIDS. I was terrified of it! So when I heard about this, man I had to have it. This just goes on their little foot and measures their heart rate and oxygen. You can monitor it through your phone by connecting to the base that is in their room close to the sock (the base is also what charges the sock). For us, we did not use it with either baby for like the first two months because they were in our room and first month you wake them up every 2 hours anyway. But once they moved to their own crib, on it went. Now I would say once they start rolling around a lot and have great control of their head, you don't need to worry about this. And as they move around it can move on their foot, the base and your phone with alarm LOUDLY because it can't get a good reading. So once you are comfortable with them sleeping by themselves just put it to the side. It is nice to have when they are sick too, just to help monitor.
10. Burp Cloths/Gerber Flatfold Cloth Diapers
You will need burp cloths! So Carter, we used the cute little burp cloths you can get not a problem. Parker though... different story. This girl spits up! So much so we actually have her on a special formula. So the cute little burp cloths, ya absolute mess first spit up. You could maybe clean up two. So I had actually heard of someone just using cloth diapers as burp cloths. Found some and man these are awesome! They cover pretty much all down my back and they are not like cute and dainty so you don't feel bad for messing them up. But we have even used receiving blankets and those work great as well. Basically just make sure you get burp cloths and I highly recommend not the small cute ones.
So these items are pretty much must have items, but these are just my brand recommendations that I have used and loved.
1. Chico Bravo Trio System
So do your research on a car seat! What works for us may not work for you. What I will say about the Chico Bravo Trio System is that it is perfect for multiple cars and traveling. The base of the car seat you see pictured, you can actually buy more bases and put them in other cars instead of having to move it every single time. And they aren't that expensive. The car seat easily pops in and out of the base and it is an audible click so you know it is secure. Also the car seat will pop into place on the stroller and the stroller is convertible. So say you have no need of the seat portion for awhile (newborn), just simply remove it and you have basically just the outer frame that you can pop the car seat portion into quickly and easily. Need both options, just leave (or re-attach) the seat, lay it down, and you can still pop the car seat in. The stroller also folds down really nicely and it isn't crazy heavy. We had a Mazda 3 (small trunk) and this fit without issue. It took up the whole trunk basically, but it did fit.
2. VTech Video Baby Monitor
Monitor is another must have item, but again do your research for what you need. We have 2, one for the oldest and one for the youngest. What is nice about this one is that it doesn't require WiFi. I am just a little paranoid about someone hacking into the camera and watching our baby sleep (or waking them up) so getting a camera that didn't need WiFi was a big plus for me. Also, this has a temperature monitor, has infrared for night time, and has an intercom that you can speak over. And this one isn't super expensive. I will say the new black version (like the one pictured) doesn't have the greatest range, but it reconnects quickly and really doesn't cause any issues. The previous version of this model was all white and for some reason has better range, but I cant find that version anywhere anymore (our oldest's monitor is the all white version).
3. Burts Bees Baby
If you are wanting to go all natural, I would highly recommend Burt's Bees Baby. The wash and lotion smell amazing! And the diaper rash cream is awesome. I will say though that Carter did seem to develop a rash due to the sunflower seed oil that is in the lotion (was also using sunflower seed oil on her hair so that is how we narrowed down the ingredient). But the wash does not have sunflower seed oil in it and man I can't say just how much this smells good!
4. Aveeno Lotion
So when Carter developed a reaction to Burt's Bees we switched to Aveeno. And it worked great. This is perfect for sensitive skin. Both Carter and Parker have sensitive faces (get it from their father) so the fact that this has no fragrance to it and it extra nourishing is perfect. Parker also had really bad baby acne and this didn't cause any extra issues.
So these are items that I think are helpful, but in no way necessary and really a brand doesn't matter.
1. Car Bottle Warmer
If you travel a lot, I highly recommend getting some type of travel bottle warmer for breastmilk bottle babies. We got this one pictured back in 2018, but I think a lot of new brands/styles have come out since then, so look around. But this really does help especially with needing to warm up breast milk. This one does take a long time to warm it up, like 20 mins, so just make sure to plan ahead.
2. Step Trash Can
DO NOT GET A DIAPER GENIE OR ANY OTHER SPECIALITY DIAPER TRASH CAN! Lol sorry just had to get that out there. Honestly they are a waste of money. We had a diaper genie you are changing that bag like twice a week if not more. The refills are expensive and there is basically only like 5 bags per refill (even with off-brand). I fully recommend just getting a step trash can like I pictured. We have this exact one from Target and it works perfectly. Just get like an air freshner inside and get a bulk box of trash bags and you are good to go. Honestly I spent like $20 on trash bag refills for this and it lasted me a little over 6 months, where you are buying refills for the diaper genie around every month for like $20.
3. Formula Dispenser
We do not have this exact formula dispenser, but we do have a Munchkin one (same brand) and we love it. We have another one by Dr. Brown's, but the Munchkin one just seems to dispense better. Not a necessity, but it really helps especially when traveling or like I said before just pre-measuring out for the day.
4. Car Mirror
This just helps to see into the car seat to make sure everything is ok. Basically you hook it up onto the headrest of the seat the car seat is hooked up to, then you can look from the rearview mirror into this one to check on baby (or toddler). We don't have this exact brand, but this one is a good price and is safety glass. You can pretty easily find these at a TJ Maxx or Ross so also make sure to check there.
5. Candy Thermometer
WHAT!? A candy thermometer!? Lol yep. Remember how I said for the thermos warm up water to 100. Well this just helps you do that more easily. Just stick this onto the side of your pot, let it get to 100 (no more) then pour the water into the thermos. And it doesn't have to be a candy thermometer, it could be a meat thermometer too. But it does help so you can get an accurate reading and not burn the crap out of your arm continually testing. I don't this exact brand, but this is a good price and it is really similar to the one that I do have.
Well thank you for checking out my list!! I really hope this helps to narrow down those must have items. There is honestly so much baby stuff out there anymore that it is hard to distinguish what is good and even useful.
Experienced mamas, let me know in the comments below what you must have items are! Did I miss one that you think is a must have? Do you disagree with any of mine? Let's start a discussion!!