I’ve officially been a parent for 12 weeks and therefore am expert on all things baby related.
But in all honesty, there are so many things that I’ve learned since having Holden and I continue to learn more and more each day.
There are also items that I’ve come to rely on when it relates to parenting our dear boy. Many of our friends and family have asked Chris and I to compile a list of our must-have baby items and you’ll find all of our favorites listed below. These are items that we literally use daily and feel comfortable recommending to those that are expecting their own little bundles.
Timeflys Video Baby Monitor
I love this baby monitor. I knew that I wanted to have a video monitor and the Timeflys monitor not only has a high quality video (especially in the dark) with a great resolution, but also tells me the temperature in Holden’s room. It has both a motion and noise sensor and will turn on if it detects either. It also works as a walkie talkie and allows me to talk to Holden through the handheld monitor. I’m also a big fan of it NOT connecting to our Wi-Fi. I don’t need any creepers hacking our monitor to spy on or talk to our baby.
Fisher-Price Deluxe Rainforest Gym
It took a little while for Holden to actually enjoy being in his rainforest gym but now he absolutely loves it. Mom and dad love it too because it allows us to actually get things done while he plays.
Ares has also taken to the jungle although we’re pretty sure it’s just because he likes hanging out with his dad.
We stumbled upon the Keekaroo on a trip to Vancouver, Canada. I was 6 months pregnant and planned on buying a regular ol’ changing pad but the unique shape of the Keekaroo caught our eye. Upon further inspection, we decided to buy one for our nursery. We love how soft it is but the real reason why we recommend the Keekaroo is for how insanely easy it is to clean.
If Holden happens to make a mess while on the pad, all we have to do is wipe it down with a Clorox wipe and BOOM, clean. There’s no changing pads to wash and our little babe seems to really love the soft and squishy feel of the Keekaroo. This is hands down Chris’ favorite baby item. It’s a little pricey (ours was $100) but in our opinion, totally worth it.
Baby Bopp Portable Changing Station
I spent many hours trying to find the perfect diaper bag. I wanted something functional but cute and preferred that my diaper bag resemble more of a purse. All of the diaper bags that I was interested in were ridiculously expensive and in the end, I decided to use this spacious purse and fill it with a portable changing station.
I like that I can simply grab the clutch out of my purse and take it with me to change Holden. Ours holds a handful of diapers, a package of wipes, baby Vaseline, hand sanitizer, and a spare onesie. If Chris is changing Holden, all he needs to do is grab the diaper clutch and he’s good to go.
If you’re having a baby soon and are planning on breast feeding, get at least one tube of Lanisoh Lanolin. Use it after every.single.feeding for the first two weeks. Trust me. You’ll thank me later.
Love to Dream Swaddle
We tried half a dozen different swaddles with Holden. While he sleeps better with his arms slightly restricted, the boy loves having his feet unbound. The Love to Dream swaddles are perfect in that they still allow him to self-soothe (sucking his hands or rubbing his hands along his cheek) but restrict him enough so that he doesn’t startle himself awake.
The swaddles are easy to put on and the dual zippers allow for easy diaper changing. The Love to Dream swaddles also come in different fabrics depending on the weather. Not only do the swaddles work wonders when it comes to sleeping, but the kiddos look super adorable in them as well.
After doing a ton of research, Chris and I decided not to introduce a pacifier or bottle until breastfeeding was well established. For us, we felt comfortable at around the three week mark and thankfully Holden had no issues with nipple confusion.
That being said, this guy LOVES his pacifiers. We are now the proud owners of three WubbaNubs (a duck, a frog, and an octopus) that we have on-hand at all times. Chris has a cousin who’s going to be an orthodontist (and let’s be honest, with our genes the kid’s mouth is screwed anyway) so we have no qualms with his WubbaNub obsession.
Why are these better than just a regular pacifier? Well, the WubbaNubs are much cuter and come in a variety of forms. Most WubbaNubs are made with limbs that stabilize the pacifier thus preventing it from falling out of the babe’s mouth. We’ll set the frog on top of Holden’s chest and he’ll grab the nipple whenever he sees fit. It’s great.
Fisher-Price Rock N Play Automatic Sleeper
My friend Kristen first introduced me to the Rock N Play. After being home a week with Holden I reached out to see if we could borrow the Rock N Play that she used with her son. I thought that Holden was suffering from reflux and that sleeping with his head slightly elevated would help.
I’m not sure if the Rock N Play actually aided his reflux (or if he really suffered from it in the first place) but he loved sleeping in it so much that we decided to purchase our own. We sprung for an automatic one that rocks and plays music. We can also control it from our smart phones.
He’s still sleeping in his Rock N Play (he slept 8 straight hours last night!) and will hopefully transition to his crib in a few weeks. Fingers crossed.
Fisher-Price My Little Snuggabunny Bouncer
This is another product that Holden initially hated and now adores. He refused to sit in this bouncer early on. In fact, I had Chris put in it storage for the first two months of his Holden’s life.
For a while, the only way that we could calm Holden was to swaddle him and bounce him on an exercise ball. While it did the trick, it left mom and dad feeling very sore. The kiddo is pretty heavy and bouncing him for hours a day really did a number on our back and legs.
Insert the bouncer. Now we can just set him in it and bounce him to sleep. He’ll take a few cat naps in it throughout the day (under supervision, of course) and seems to really enjoy it.
Owlet Baby Monitor
This was our
big huge splurge. I’ve talked a little about my bouts of extreme anxiety and spoiler alert: it doesn’t get better with the arrival of a child that you absolutely adore. I’m pretty sure I heard about the Owlet baby monitors before I was even pregnant and knew that it would be a product that I would end up buying.
I love that it syncs with our phones and that it monitors his heart rate and oxygen levels. If it works as it should, it will alert us if anything fluctuates beyond normal. I’m hoping to never have to hear the dreaded red alert but am enjoying the extra peace of mind (and sleep) that it allows me. Worth every penny.