When Jessica and I first launched Well Rounded over 4 years ago, we were still knee deep in baby gear trying to figure out this whole mom-thing with love, style and as little breakdowns (from mom and baby) as possible. Oh, right, and did I mention we were trying to get our business off the ground? Through the years, we've seen many product evolutions and launches, including some that have made us tilt our heads with confusion. And while some of the gear may have changed, what has not changed is our appreciation for smart product design. Yes, of course, we love an adorable baby romper as much as the next gal, but it's really the products that make our lives as moms easier that make us swoon.
And now that I'm pregnant with my second baby 5 ½ years after my first was born (starting over much?), it's all about the essentials: safe ingredients and materials; products that will give the illusion of extra hands; and for a New York City dweller like me, baby gear with small footprints and durability for inclement weather. Interestingly enough, some of the products are tried and true classics that I registered for during my first pregnancy. I hope this helps some of you new mamas out there, and for you seasoned mamas, what am I missing?
1. Baby Bjorn Bouncer Bliss. Remember what I said about a tried and true classic? The Baby Bjorn bouncer is one that still makes the top of my list. Its ergonomic design works with baby's own movement to make it rock gently, and it's compact enough to take from room to room when you need to shower, cook or need hands to fix booboos on your big kid. Bonus points for the luxe covers on the bouncer bliss being aesthetically grown-up friendly, washable and made with safe materials. $239, buy here.
2. Bloom Alma Papa. There's something super sweet about the idea of siblings sharing a room. But before we get to the sweet part, there's the whole “how are we going to fit 2 kids in one room?" part. Which is why the Bloom Alma Papa is just about the most sensible crib a modern urban parent could invest in. Even with one kid. It's Euro size. No, not full American size and not a mini crib but this magical size not offered by other American companies that will last for up to 4 years. And all Bloom cribs are made with sustainable wood and low VOC finishes. $700, buy here.
3. Cybex Cloud Q. Cybex products always have a way of turning heads, but while the cool factor may be what gets your attention, it's the pure dedication to safety and functionality that will keep it. Like with the Cloud Q infant rear facing car seat. They've combined telescopic linear side-impact protection with an 11-position height adjustable headrest and have topped it off with a travel system that allows for a full recline outside of the car. $349.95, buy here.
4. Little Unicorn Swaddles. One thing that has certainly changed since I had my last son is the amount of swaddles that have come out on the market! And while I'm excited to try one of the innovative swaddles out there that will basically swaddle baby for you, soft and simple 100 percent cotton swaddles will always have a place in my heart for their endless uses. You'll definitely be seeing these gorgeous ones by Little Unicorn in my instagram feed! $38, buy here.
5. Leader Bag CO. I used to be a diaper bag hater. Refused to register for one, buy one and dedicated myself to making a basic backpack work. And while it's totally doable there's simply no need to since the whole diaper bag industry has gotten a facelift. And the folks over at Leader Bag Co. are leading (no pun intended) the pack. Their bags are durable, waterproof and dare we say chic! Gosh, we could be such moms sometimes. $249, buy here.
6. Ergo Adapt. Talk about a company where we've seen major evolutions! As a leader in babywearing, Ergo is always pushing the limits. Dedicated to the renowned comfort and ergonomic design for both mom and baby that I fell in love with on their original carrier, Ergo has made changes not only when it comes to fun fashions, but also on its functionality. The addition of the Ergo Adapt to their product line was one that as a former Ergo wearer made me flip. The Ergo Adapt allows you to wear your baby from 7 lbs up without an insert! And with all of the other great offerings like neck support for baby and padded shoulder pads for mom. $145, buy here.
7. Bugaboo Cameleon. If there is one thing that scarred me as a mom the first time around, it was getting stuck in uneven sidewalk cracks and snowy corners during the winter season! After much research and recommendations, the Bugaboo all-terrain stroller seems to be the best to handle any condition. Which is no surprise since this Dutch company prides themselves on being a mobility company first and foremost. With a simple addition of a comfort wheeled board the Cameleon is bound to become our home away from home. $1,149, buy here.
8. The First Forty Days. In a world where modern moms are getting out and about quicker and quicker with a newborn in a tow, I'm lucky enough to have an old fashioned mom who believes in the importance of staying close to home for the first 40 days. I'm looking forward to hunkering down with this book in between nursing, nap sessions and easing into the juggle of life with two. $13.57, buy here.
9. Honest Diapers. If we had to register for one thing it would probably be diapers, diapers and more diapers. Oh, and wipes. I love that honest uses safe ingredients, and you simply cannot beat the prints. $79.95/month, buy here.
10. Willow breast pump. I was lucky enough to be home to breastfeed my first son for the first year. And while I did pump especially in those first few months, it kind of… sucked. This time around, I do anticipate having to pump more, but the idea of having to find places to pump when we have a roving office on some days just seems stressful. The Willow on the hand does not. It looks simple, discreet (as a pump can be), and low maintenance. This is a huge an innovation for breastfeeding moms, and I'm happy it's scheduled to come out right in time for my little ones arrival. Learn more here.
11. Bamboobies Disposable Breast Pads. One thing I did not anticipate the first time around was the amount of leakage that breastfeeding caused in those first few months. And while I was thankful to have a healthy supply after a rocky start, what I quickly realized that breast pads were not an option but a necessity. I love that these by Bamboobies are eco-friendly and made with a unique bamboo viscose top layer that is soft on the skin and naturally antibacterial and antimicrobial. $7.49, buy here.
12. Rose and Rex. As you can imagine we have our fair share of toys with a 5 ½ year old, but what's one more when it's this cute. A perfect addition to let baby know big brother welcomes him into their now room for two. $45, buy here.
13. Earth Mama Angel Baby Birth & Baby Kit. I love Earth Mama's dedication to creating products made with safe, natural and organic ingredients. This birth & baby kit is a great starter kit for baby's bath time routine and a great way to keep healing as a new mama. $62.26, buy here.
14. Polaroid Snap Touch Camera. Pictures will be taken! Thousands of them. But the truth is I'm terrible, I repeat terrible, at getting them printed!! I can't wait to start snapping away with this awesome addition to the polaroid family: The Polaroid Snap Touch, which I know big brother will have fun using as well. $99.95, buy here.
15. Seamless. I can't tell you how many times within those first few weeks of having a baby I'd look up and realize “Oh, crap, we didn't eat dinner!" The blur of the newborn phase! We'll gladly welcome and appreciate meals of any form, even gift Learn more here.
16. SNOO Smart Sleeper As most of my friends could tell you we didn't have the best luck in the sleep department with our first son. So now that 5 1 /2 years later we're all finally sleeping through the night we're admittedly a bit nervous about what baby #2's sleep habits will look like. Which is why the SNOO Smart Sleeper is rounding out my list. Built by Dr. Harvey Karp, renowned pediatrician and creator of the 5 S's, the SNOO is said to help infants develop healthier sleep habits and helps parents learn to read their baby's cues. A must for our fam. $1,160, Buy here.
Photography by Stylish & Hip Kids Photography or Well Rounded NY.