As Fern’s first birthday looms ahead in the next week and as my first year of motherhood is coming to a close, I’ve found myself pausing often to reflect back on this past year. Sometimes I find myself looking back at the logistics (i.e. “How the heck did I make it through?!”), sometimes I think about the fond memories, and other times I’ve simply been thinking about what I learned that I would pass on to other mamas during their first year of parenthood.
So, I’ll be sharing a few posts in the coming weeks sharing all the little secret tips, tricks and products that helped me make it through Fern’s first year (relatively) unscathed.
Today I’m going to share my favorite baby products; the ones that made my life better and my journey of motherhood just a little bit easier to navigate.
Summer Infant SwaddleMe 1 of 20Everyone loves the Aiden & Anais swaddle blankets, but I'm not one of them. I mean...they're pretty and I really wanted to like them, but the truth is: I suck at swaddling and my baby was the Harry Houdini of swaddles. I even tried a swaddle keeper thing over the swaddle, but her feet would still come undone. I suck. But these are awesome and I'll definitely be getting more for the next time around. They're great for super quick, idiot-proof, swaddling and they come in super soft organic cotton, which is an added bonus.
Purchase for $15.99 from Babies R Us
Graco Pack ‘N Play 2 of 20So, remember how we were using a floor bed for Fern? Well, that sort of went the way of the dodo. She had a series of illnesses that made her sleep really fitfully, so she kept getting up 18,000 times every night and throwing a fit in front of her door. So, we brought in the Pack 'N Play to use until she got better, but now she loves the thing. She likes to have the boundary of pressing herself up against the side of it. It's kinda weird, but it works for her. We haven't totally abandoned the concept of the floor bed, but I'm giving it a break for now, because she seems happy and more restful with this. Also, this thing is awesome for travel. We just bought the basic one and I'm totally using it instead of a co-sleeper with the next baby.
Purchase for $67.98 from Babies R Us
Munchkin Nursery Projector and Sound Machine 3 of 20Babies love white noise and this thing is awesome. A lot of noise machines don't play continuously and Fern happens to be a lighter sleeper so she'd wake up every time the noise maker timer shut it off, so I needed to find one that would play all night. This one does that and it also projects little soothing light displays on the ceiling, which she seems to be into. I agonized over choosing one of these, but I've been really happy with this one. Not as cute as some, but who cares are cute when you're sleeping? Not I.
Purchase for $29.99 from Babies R Us
Fisher Price Cradle ‘n Swing 4 of 20This thing is the baby whisperer and you need it. This is the only way I ever managed to get a free second to myself. We had the lamb version of this swing, but the shape of the seat is the same, which I highly recommend. We had a second swing that was more upright and we weren't fans. Make sure to get one that plugs in though (most of the newer versions of this swing do, but make sure to check). Ours was a hand-me-down and only took batteries, so we went through D batteries like they were going out of style.
Purchase for $129.99 from Diapers.com
Baby Trend Umbrella Stroller 5 of 20We have a bigger, nicer stroller, but this one is great for leaving in the car for quick trips in and out of stores. I wanted an umbrella stroller that was simple and lightweight, but it needed to have a canopy (because it's ALWAYS raining in Oregon), a basket underneath (because I'm a chronic overpacker) and a tray for putting snacks in. Also, it had to not cost a million dollars and not be obnoxious and pink. I searched and searched and then saw a dad using this stroller one day and asked him about it. It's perfect.
Purchase for $54.99 from Babies R Us
Maxi Cosi Mico Infant Car Seat 6 of 20If I were going to buy a car seat this time around, I might buy one that converted from infant to toddler so I could get more bang for my buck, BUT having an infant carrier car seat is really convenient and this one is awesome. Super light weight, which is nice when you're carrying a sleeping baby around in their car seat everywhere. My parents had a much bulkier infant car seat and it sucked to carry - so heavy! I also like that this is simple and black.
Purchase for $189.99 from Diapers.com
IKEA Washcloths 7 of 20These 10 pack washcloths from IKEA are totally invaluable, because babies are always making messes. They not super soft or organic, but they're cheap and quantity beats quality in my book when you're cleaning up baby barf...just sayin'.
Purchase for $3.99 for 10 from IKEA
Coconut Oil 8 of 20Coconut oil is an awesome thing to keep on hand for all kinds of things. I give Fern little bits of it to eat as an immunity booster, put it on mild diaper rash, use it as a moisturizer for her post-bath, etc., etc... It's awesome.
Purchase for $8.02 from Amazon
Aveeno Baby Wash and Shampoo 9 of 20I don't use soap for every bath time, but when I do I love this stuff. Good for sensitive skin and has a lovely light scent - nothing too frilly or powdery, just simple baby smell goodness. I will always love this stuff, because it will forever remind me of little baby baths.
Purchase for $7.99 from Target
Nosefrida 10 of 20I know I've recommended the Nosefrida like 18,376 times, but I seriously can not overestimate its awesomeness. Get one. You won't regret it. Sucks out snot nastiness in one fell swoop. Genius in a snot-filled tube!
Purchase for $15.99 from Diapers.com
Pampers Newborn Swaddler Diapers 11 of 20These are the diapers I used when Fern was a newborn. They're a little more expensive, but worth it. They even have a little yellow line that turns to green when the diaper is wet for all the diaper changing noobs like myself.
Purchase for $32.29 for 88 from Diapers.com
Huggies Overnites Diapers 12 of 20I love these so much, that I've briefly considered sending the Huggies corporation a love letter about them, but then I thought I might seem crazy, so I haven't actually done it yet. These are awesome. My baby has a bladder the size of Texas and pees like a prized race horse - a LOT. Around the time she was 5 months old she was waking up completely soaked every. single. night. We tried different diaper brands and going up a size, but it didn't help. It was miserable. But, then I discovered these gems and they hold in her fire hose pee all through the night, which = more sleep for all.
Purchase for $21.99 from Diapers.com
Diapers.com Brand Diapers 13 of 20Diapers are freaking expensive and as such, I've tried to be cheap about it. I decided once Fern was out of the fancier newborn sized diapers we would be making the switch to something cheap. I tried Costco brand diapers: FAIL. Kroger brand diapers: FAIL. Huggies diapers that are a lot cheaper at Costco: FAIL. Then I got smart and read forums and reviews and apparently a lot of people liked the Diapers.com brand diapers. Sounded suspect to me, but they were an awesome deal - a boat load of diapers for less than I was paying at Costco. They're soft, absorbent, have a good fit and they don't have branded characters on them, which I like. There's animals, but I can deal with that. Also the come right to my door. Super fast. LOVE these.
Purchase for $41.59 from Diapers.com
Huggies Natural Care Baby Wipes 14 of 20Fern never had super sensitive skin when it came to other things, but with wipes she was definitely more sensitive. We tried a few brands before finding these and they work great. Plus, they're super cheap at Costco. Don't order them online, because I've tried - no one can beat Costco's price on these.
Purchase for $19.99 from Costco
Desitin Maximum Strength Diaper Cream 15 of 20Diaper rash is no joke, so I don't mess around with the organic stuff and go straight for the big guns. Before I had Fern, I worked as a preschool teacher and I asked the teachers in the infant room what the best diaper cream was and they all raved about this stuff. They had used every diaper cream, organic or not, under the sun and they swore that this worked the best, so I was sold.
Purchase for $5.29 from Diapers.com
Lasinoh Lanolin Nipple Cream 16 of 20If you're breastfeeding, you're going to have sore nipples in the beginning and this stuff will be your very best friend. Seriously. After a while though you're nipples will be immune to all pain, so you have that to look forward to.
Purchase for $7.99 from Diapers.com
Lasinoh Disposable Nursing Pads 17 of 20Breastfeeding comes with leaking...it's just gonna happen. I liked these disposable nursing pads. They're really soft which is nice for those early days when you're nipples feel super painful and like they might just fall off. There are washable versions, but I never leaked a whole lot, so these were perfect.
Purchase for $8.99 from Diapers.com
Boiron Camilia Teething Treatments 18 of 20We tried Hyland's teething gel, but didn't see much of a difference, but this stuff worked its teething magic like a charm.
Purchase for $9.19 from Vitacost
Evenflo Glass Bottles 19 of 20Did you know that there are like 18,000 baby bottles on the market? Well, there are. I wanted something not plastic and that didn't have a million pieces and these fit the bill. They're cheap and durable and wonderful and we never had any problems with gassy fussiness.
Purchase for $6.99 from Babies R Us
Tommee Tippee Explora Cups 20 of 20Truly the only sippy cups that do not leak. Trust me. Don't waste your time with other brands. They're going to leak all over you. I have a cupboard full of tried and failed sippy cups just to prove it.
Purchase for $20.29 for a 2 pack from Amazon
Lauren Hartmann is the founder of The Little Things We Do, a blog about life and adventures in Portland Oregon. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram or catch up on all of her posts here on Babble.
More from Lauren:
- 10 Items of Clothing You Should Buy Your Baby Boy From the Girl’s Department
- 10 Items of Clothing You Should Buy Your Baby Girl From the Boy’s Department
- 2012: Our Year In Instagrams
- 10 Adorable Dresses For Baby’s First Birthday
- 10 Must-Have Items To Get Your Baby Through Cold Season
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