Since starting as a blogger here at Baby’s First Year, I’ve mentioned a few items of specific baby gear that I especially favor, like the Woombie and the Fisher Price Rock and Play Sleeper. But I haven’t really written any kind of round-up of my very fave baby items, so I figured that this week would be a good time to do that since a lot of y’all probably have gift cards to use and gifts that you might want to exchange for other stuff.
After five babies, I’ve definitely developed some hands-on opinions of what baby supplies are worth paying for, so maybe my list of favorites will give you some useful intel when you hit the post-holiday sales. So without further ado and in no particular order, here are a few of my favorite baby things – the stuff I really love and find useful. I will update the list periodically, and I look forward to hearing what YOUR must-have baby things might be.
- We use a mix of cloth and disposables with Baby G (although I always shoot for using cloth as much as possible). I’ve always found disposables kind of plastic-ey smelling and icky, but after Baby G was born, our friend Elizabeth H. gave us a giant box of a type of disposable diapers I had never tried before. They’re called Huggies Naturals, and while I’m not sure how “natural” any throwaway diaper can be, these are certainly softer and more like cloth than any other brand I’ve ever tried. They fit the baby really well, and they are more absorbent than other disposables we’ve used. These diapers are definitely my favorites when I am not using cloth.
- Lots of cloth-diapering moms swear by wool diaper covers, but frankly, I’ve never had much luck with them – and over the years, I’ve tried lots of different popular brands. They are stiff, they leak, and they’re super bulky. They’re also more expensive than other covers. I gave up on them. But when C was a baby, I finally found a wool diaper cover that really lives up to the glowing reviews that other moms give it. It’s a line of wool covers from a work-at-home mom called Loveybums (yes, all cloth diapering brands seem to have ridiculous names.) These come in three different weights (I like the mid-weight and light weight covers the best), and gorgeous colors. They are incredibly stretchy, so they last longer than the size range listed on the packaging. You do have to lanolize them before first use and then every few weeks, but that’s really not a big deal at all. As for leaking, they don’t. They are as leakproof as any plastic cover, and they feel so much nicer on baby’s bottom.
- As for cloth diapers themselves, I’ve probably tried just about every kind on the market, and there are a couple that have become our staples. The first of these is called Snugglebottoms. These are just good, basic flannels that fluff right up when you wash them. They are a real bargain for the price, compared to other similar diapers. I also really like a line of cloth diapers called Under The Nile. These are organic, stretchy, fit great and are super-absorbent. For overnights, my favorites are the Happy Hempy diapers, stuffed with a couple of hemp stuffers, and covered with a good, old fashioned “rubber” pull on pant (although they aren’t really rubber any more).
- Moving on from diapers, another must-have item in my baby-gear repertoire are the cotton, zip-up stretchies sold by Children’s Place. Baby G lives in these things. They are cheap, cute, zip up easily and are very comfy for the baby. They can be worn day or night, and best of all, they have attached feet, so I don’t have to go chasing down her socks or booties.
- However, for those times when I dress her in something that doesn’t include feet, I have finally – after five children – found a brand of warm, cute baby booties that really don’t kick off of the baby’s feet – the holy grail of baby booties. These are from Robeez, and they really are baby-kick-proof. They are a little pricey, but you can often find them on Ebay, plus I am pretty sure that I spend less on a pair of these Robeez booties than I would on the lost socks and other brands of booties that would replace them if I didn’t have them.
- And then there’s the wonderful and much-loved Exersaucer. How did I ever get along without an Exersaucer with babies 1, 2 and 3? We did get one for C, which she totally wore out, and now Baby G has a new pink one that Santa brought. The Exersaucer is a truly ingenious device, allowing the baby to sit upright, get a good view of the world, play with toys, and yet still be contained. Baby G can’t sit up on her own yet, but she loves sitting up in her Exersaucer. When we start trying some solids (probably this week – stay tuned), I don’t plan to even bother with the high chair; we’ll just feed her in her Exersaucer.
So there you have it – a few of my top picks for baby gear. Like I said, I will be updating my list semi-regularly with new items I find super useful, but now I’d like to hear from you; what are your must-have baby items ? What are the things you would strongly recommend to other parents who are unsure what they really need or want? Tell me in the comments below.
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