Tuesday, June 16, 2015

My Baby Essentials: {What Did and Did Not Work for My Two Babes}

When I was a new mama to Jillian, I did a post about newborn must-haves and newborn extras. I never did a new post once she was older. I am doing a post about baby items, and will do a toddler themed post later. I am in no way an expert, but I thought this list would be a good reference point. My biggest advice to all parents is to research. Look over safety ratings, take what other parents are saying online with a grain of salt, stick to what price point works for you, and let your baby let you know what works for them because every child is different.


Big Hit
Little Remedies Saline Drops (with nose sucker) - I can't tell you how many times I've bought/used this product. Both of my babies were born at the height of cold and flu season, and Jillian has seasonal allergies. This stuff is great! The nose sucker is ok. I think it worked best when the babies were itty bitty, and it was easier to use than those large suckers at the hospital.

Fisher-Price Infant-to-Toddler Rocking Chair - Both babies love these rocking chairs. They are comfortable, and my babies could climb in and out of them by their first birthday. If the babies were sick, I could use it for them to sleep in next to our bed. The vibration mode came in handy a few times, but it wasn't a feature we really needed. They were easy to move around the house, and the seat cover is machine washable! Even now, my babies love use these.

Graco Pack-n-Play - With out of town family, we usually take this with us on trips. It is very easy to put up and take down once you understand how to. It is comfortable, and my babies were able to sleep in the bassinet attachment without any issues. I also loved setting it up around the house if I needed to keep the kids from getting into something while I cleaned.

Heavy Blankets - Again, having babies in December meant cold temperatures. I usually had one for the car and one for the house. This was more for their comfort.

aden + anais Blankets - I love these blankets. I know there are several brands out there, but I'm pretty loyal to aden + anais. These blankets are perfect for swaddling as well as for a light blanket in the Oklahoma heat. My babies never got too hot in these!

Halo Swaddle Sacks - Another brand I am loyal to. I was actually resist to them at first because I was determined to swaddle my baby with just a blanket. After the 4th time of trying to re-swaddle after a diaper change through tired/blurry eyes at 3 am, I gave in. These are a life-saver! Not only can you swaddle the baby well enough for their comfort without them getting too hot, you can change the diaper at 3 am without unswaddling their arms! Both babies were comfy cozy in these sacks.

Giraffe Noise Toy - Phil registered for this as an inside joke we had, but it actually came in handy for both babies! It has a variety of white noises, and has a Velcro strap so you can attach it to whatever your baby is sleeping in. This helped get our newborns to sleep very easily!

Dr. Brown's Bottles - I tried breastfeeding, but had a low supply due to a breast reduction surgery in 2007. These bottles are great! You do have to carefully wash, and replace the extra parts ever few months, but it was worth it to me. Jillian had reflux as a newborn, and I wanted these to specific combat any gas issues that may hurt her too. We tried a few other brands with both her and David, and both seemed to prefer these bottles.

Cosco Highchair - This may not be a fancy highchair, but it is a good and sturdy one! Both babies have used it with no issue at all. Best of all, it wasn't super expensive!

Britax Infant Car Seat - The only issue I have with this car seat is that the fabric wasn't very breathable for my hot-natured babies. Besides that, it has a great safety rating, and was easy to install, use, and tote around.

Evenflo Triumph 65 Convertible Car Seat - I spent a lot of time researching car seats, and this is the one I decided I wanted. So far, this car seat has been great! We have not been in an accidents, but I have a great piece of mind that this is a very safe seat. The kids seem comfortable in them, and they have washable covers.

The First Years Comfort Deluxe Baby Tub with Newborn Sling - I have a pink and a blue one for my babies. I didn't need a fancy tub, but I did like the sling that came with it. Easy to clean, easy to use, and my babies both enjoyed bath time in these :)

Activity Mat - Both babies loved the ocean themed mat we got from baby einstein. Jillian and David played with it often until they grew out of it. We didn't always use the light up/musical parts, but they were nice to have when we did use them.

Nail Clippers/File Boards - I used nail files for the first 4 months of my babies' lives. After that, the Red Cross nail clippers worked really well! My babies don't like to sit still, but I can usually get done quickly.

Baby Hairbrush - Jillian had a bout with cradle cap for a few months. Using just a simple hairbrush to shampoo her hair helped keep it at bay!

Strollers - We have used three different kinds, (in order of purchase: here, here, and here), but all were great for different reasons! Both babies love going on walks, so a stroller was a must have for us.

Zip Up Sleepers - If you can get pjs that zip instead of snap, it would be much easier for you and possibly your baby! 9 out of 10 times, David especially appreciated a speedy diaper change. With that in mind, it was much easier to keep him calm when I just had to zip him up instead of snap 198732498723 snaps.

Board Books - Both of my babies love board books. Assume they will fall apart, or just buy some at garage sales. As long as you're reading to them, your babies won't care if they are brand new or not. Plus, if you baby is anything like mine, they'll put their own mark on all the books they can ;)

Snack Cups - These have been really great to pack a small snack for the days we are on the go! Both babies figured out how to dump the food out, so I won't say they will keep things from spilling if you have determined kids like mine. However, it is very convenient!

Mum-Mums - I don't know why, but both my babies loved these. I figured they don't taste like anything. This never seemed to bother Jillian or David. In fact, Jillian would try to take David's because she still liked them so much!

Puffs - These little pieces of air are pieces of heaven to babies. This has been one of the best to-go snacks for us!

Cheerios - I don't know what parents did before Cheerios. My babies could eat 3 times their weight in these if I'd let them! Just remember to get plain and not Honey Nut until your baby is 12 months old!




Hit or Miss

Pacifiers - Jillian didn't care what pacifier you gave her, she would take any. David didn't like pacifiers at first, but then got very particular about what brand he liked.

Bumbo Seat - Neither baby really enjoyed it, but Jillian would sometimes eat in it with the tray attachment. I think David's thighs were always just too chubby for him to be comfortable in it.

Fisher-Price Swing - This was very handy when the babies were newborns. A perfect place to lay them, and I could usually find the right speed to calm them down as they fell asleep. Jillian liked it up until she was too big for it. David was done right around 5 months.

Mobiles - This would be great for Jillian for diaper changes. Kept her happy and calm. David really didn't care what I did, he just didn't want to be changed.

Moby Wrap/boba - Jillian had the Moby, and David had the boba. Both loved it at the very beginning. Jillian grew out of liking the wrap faster than David did. Even now he doesn't mind the boba, but definitely would rather walk now that he can. I did like using both, even though I would recommend the Moby for newborns and the boba for older babies.

Sophie the Giraffe - Both babies went through maybe 3 months where they like Sophie. Never so attached that she needed to be with us everywhere. Too expensive to me for a toy they barely like.

Pureed Food - Jillian ate some type of pureed food up until her 2nd birthday. I made homemade puree for David, and he wanted table food after 2 months. Not that he didn't like the taste, he just wanted to be a big kid. I ended up donating the food to a friend.

Plates - These are great now that my babies are older. However, Jillian liked them from the get go, but not David. He would rather have food on the tray instead of being so formal ;)

Teething Rings - Jillian liked these much more than David ever did. David is not a fan of anything for teething aside from his own fingers or pacifier.

Teething Sticks - I got these for when my babies were cutting their molars. Jillian did not care for them at all, but David would only use these. Even when he did use them, it was never very often. I like having them on hand in case he wants it, and it even came in handy for a friend once.

Fisher Price Jumping Activity Center - Both babies like this at one point in time. However, they both felt like it was a place to be imprisoned after some time. David liked this the most out of the two babies.

Sassy Baby Jumper - Jillian liked this ok, but David never seemed really impressed with it. Plus, we have a limited number of doorways we could use this on.



Miss

Burt's Bees Body Wash - I used this in an attempt to keep eczema at bay. Since I have eczema, I assumed my babies would too. Their skin doesn't seem to be as sensitive as mine, so Aveeno baby wash worked fine. I never like the smell of Burt's body wash, and it was just too expensive to justify if my kiddos didn't need it.

Tommee Tippee Bottles/Sippies - I wanted to like them after all the great things I heard, but neither baby seemed to like them. Plus, the nipples for the bottle would invert in the middle of feedings which would make my hungry babies as mad as a hornet!

Suction Cup Bottomed Bowls - These are great... in theory. Even though I'd get the bowl on the tray/table ok, both kids found a way to dislodge it so they could dump the contents of the bowl out. I may just have strong-willed children, but this worked just like a normal bowl.

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