Becoming a mom is overwhelming. You have this tiny little precious human that is yours to keep and take care of, and most of us have no idea where to even begin. Add to that all the products that are marketed (and targeted) at new moms and it can get even more confusing to figure out what you really need.
In those first few months, I can't even count the amount of middle-of-the-night Amazon orders I made, desperate to solve whatever issue it was we were having in that moment. Some worked, some didn't.
Here are all of things I wish I had bought before baby came so I could be prepared for *everything*.
Why we love it: Initially we registered for a different playmat and when we got it it wasn't the best. It was bright colored, had lights and sounds and a lot of battery operated toys, which went against the Montessori approach we wanted to take in raising our babies. Shortly after I discovered Lovevery and I became an instant fan. This play gym engages baby through all the growth stages during their first year, ideal for tummy time practice, bringing feet to mouth and sitting up.
More to know: Once they grow out of it you can turn it into a tent for more fun play!
Why we love it: I didn't know about babywearing until our son started getting a bit of a flat head on one of his sides and our pediatrician recommend us that we wear him more instead of pushing him around in a stroller. I was paralyzed because I am so, so, so, so clumsy, the idea of having a tiny baby strapped to my body seemed like a bad one. But the Tula is so easy to use, I was confident from day one. Wearing him became one of my favorite things. Even now with him being a almost 30 pound toddler, wearing him is one of my favorite methods of transportation for him.
More to know: The Explore model is the most adaptable, allowing you to carry a 7 pound to a 45 pound child. They also come in the cutest prints ever.
Why we love it: I thought traveling with a baby was going to be impossible, but after our son turned three months old I was itching to change sceneries and so off we went for our first adventure. We had a handed down pack'n'play that did the trick but was so big and heavy. As soon as we got home I ordered this one for future adventures. Two and a half years later our son still sleeps in it when we travel, to his request.
More to know: The design allows you to set it up with one movement, which is pretty key if you are holding a sleepy baby or are in a rush to put everyone down for nap time.
Why we love it: I got the Snoo when our son was 6 weeks old and I was desperate for some sleep. He was terrible at sleeping at night and I was at a breaking point after yet another sleepless night. My friend recommended the Snoo and, after reading all the reviews, I decided it I needed one. It took our son a week to get used to the new bassinet, but at 7 weeks old, his overnight sleep stretches started getting longer and longer and I started feeling like myself again.
The concept of the Snoo was created by Dr. Harvey Karp and it relies on some of the 5S of the theory he created to help soothe babies—sound, swaddle and a gentle swinging. The smart bassinet rocks your baby through the night while playing white noise, babies are swaddled and strapped in to ensure the safest sleep possible. If your baby fusses the bassinet reacts and swings a little faster and plays louder white noise. If your baby really needs you -because they are hungry or have a poopy diaper, the bassinet will stop and alert you.
More to know: The Snoo has a 30-day return policy, so if you or baby hates it, send it back and get a refund. They also offer the option of renting it since it's only good for the first six months of life, giving you the flexibility to then purchase a longer term crib.
Why we love it: After it was clear that my breastfeeding journey was not going to be what I expected it to be, and we started formula feeding our son at 6 months, we were drowning in bottle parts to clean, bottle parts to use, bottles everywhere. What was more annoying is that I never really figured how to really mix the formula properly. Sometimes it had too much foam, making our son angry. Other times there were clunks of unmixed powder at the bottom, making me worry that he was not getting enough nutrition. The Baby Breeza gets rid of all those issue by perfectly mixing the formula in seconds, making it ready for baby. You can even choose the ounce setting and specify the type of formula you are using so it's properly mixed.
More to know: It's compatible with all baby bottles and formula brands.
Why we love it: Honestly, I didn't know how fast we were going to need a high chair in our lives. So when our son was ready to start experimenting with solids, we had nowhere to comfortably sit him on. We got the Lalo high chair because it grows with your baby, eventually you can turn it into a little toddler chair for them to play, which is an advantage point compared to other high chairs which kids max out of their weight limits by their first year.
More to know: It's so easy to clean! And the tray is removable so you can pull the chair up to a table or kitchen counter for family dinners.
Why we love it: I made the mistake of initially purchasing only an audio monitor. It worked for the first few months, but once our kid could roll and move around the crib, we needed to know if his cries meant he was stuck or just having a bad dream. After a ton of research, we went with the Nanit Plus because it's Wifi based so you can keep tabs on your little one even when you are not home, which was key for us since we are both working parents. Nanit also gives you a report on how many hours your child is sleeping, which if you are obsessed with data like I am, it's amazing to have.
More to know: You can mount the camera from your wall and take it with you on trips so you also have an on-the-go monitor.
Why we love it: I mentioned we travel a lot, and also that we used the Snoo. Those two things are not compatible because the Snoo is not the easiest thing to bring with you on a trip. So for when we did go away from home, I discovered the Merlin Magic Sleepsuit that helped him keep sleeping through the night without issues. Bonus: It makes babies look like they are little marshmallows and it's adorable.
More to know: It's for babies from 3-6 months as long as they aren't rolling yet. There are also different type of fabrics to choose from, depending on the season to make sure your little one doesn't overheat.
Why we love it: For when you do need a stroller—like for a long trip or a visit to the zoo—the Pockit+ was a game changer for us. We travel a lot, and our regular stroller was just too bulky and heavy to drag around. A fellow traveler parent recommended this one to use and we really put it to the test taking it on several plane rides. In all of them, the stroller fit either in the overhead compartment or under the seat, impressing even the most experienced flight attendants.
More to know: The stroller comes with carseat adaptors if your little one still doesn't have great head control to ride in a regular stroller.
Why we love it: We have two dogs that are super curious and for the first couple of weeks it meant that I was holding our baby in my arms all the time to prevent them from sniffing him too much (such a first-time mom thing, now they lick his face all day and he loves it.) It was exhausting and it meant I needed someone around if I wanted to go to the bathroom or grab a glass of water. Our friends gifted us the Fisher-Price baby dome and it changed it all. We used it a ton in our living room for our son to hang and play with age-appropriate toys, away from the dogs. We took it to the park where he snoozed shaded away from the sun thanks to the SPF canopy. We even took it to the pool, where we all chilled and enjoyed the day.
More to know: The whole thing folds in half making it easy to store in small places or even under the couch!
Why we love it: The first time we gave our baby a bath we went for the sink approach. We all hated it. I cried, baby cried, husband did his best at trying to console both of us. We then tried the baby tub with a mesh insert, we still hated it. We decided to move to showers with dad to avoid more family trauma. Eventually I went through the baby shower gifts we received and found this inflatable duck tub and it was like magic—we suddenly all loved bath time again. It's easy to inflate, fits inside regular tubs and leaves enough room for baby to sit or slightly lean back without the enormity of a regular tub.
More to know: The tub comes with a sticker that changes color if water is too hot, giving moms even more peace of mind during baths.
12. Zutano booties
Why we love it: Any experienced mom will tell you these booties are the best thing ever invented. They keep feet safe, come in all the colors you can imagine, and have rubber soles for those starting to learn how to walk. But best of all? They won't ever fall off your child's feet. Honestly, I wish they made them in adult sizes because they look so comfortable and are sooooo soft.
More to know: They are perfect for activities that require grippy socks.
Why we love it: Becoming a mom made me hyper-aware of how much waste children make. Also, how a lot of the baby products are made of plastic. When I realized that my future involved a lot of bottles, I opted to go with glass ones because it seemed like a better option for the environment. Plus, I'm lazy and these can be placed in the dishwasher with the rest of your dishes without worrying about the material getting cloudy or smelly (like it happens with plastic bottles.)
More to know: I was afraid of breaking them at first, but after dropping them multiple times (once on a concrete sidewalk) and the bottles coming out unscratched, I realized they were even better quality than I initially thought.
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