Top 3 Baby Must Haves That Make Mom Life way Easier

We all know by now how difficult it is with a baby at home during that first year. So I wanted to share these three bigger baby items that have been TOTAL game changers for me in my first year as a mom. I’m talking some SERIOUS convenience, versatility & functionality here. Buying one of these saves you buying at least 2 other items separately. I highly recommend registering for 3 items like these. And if you end up not getting them as gifts, then I’d also consider using that registry discount to invest in them yourself, because I promise they are worth every single penny. Here’s more info on how they’ve helped us:

Born Free Nisa Playard

This playard by Born Free is SO CLUTCH you guys. Once baby started moving around it was game over for me, until we got this playard to contain her. I love how it looks so simple & sleek, while still being VERY versatile. We use it multiple times every single day. We obviously use it indoors, but it also comes with a removable mesh top so we can take it outside in the yard & to the beach! And it all folds up into a carrying case, so we bring it with us when we travel, and it’s incredibly lightweight (like, you’ll be shocked how light it is). Oh and baby also sleeps in it if we need her to, so it saves us also bringing a packnplay. I honestly can’t recommend this playard enough, it’s been a total game changer for us.

 

If you’re anything like me & researching the crap out of baby carriers to find the best one (& tried a ton too & returned them!) then I promise you’ll love this one by Moby. It has a really cool hip seat that supports baby, so the carrier does NOT hurt your back, even after hours of carrying. You can use the hip seat on its own, or it’s part of the carrier, so you can wear baby so many different ways. You can use it from 12lbs all the way up to toddler. And another great part is that it works great for both mom & dad, so we don’t have to have separate carriers.

 

I highly recommend getting a travel system for your carseat & stroller so it grows with you from newborn to toddler. Lots of brands do them. We use the Booklet 50 by Peg Perego & love it. It costs a pretty penny, but all strollers are an investment anyways, & this one is more than worth the extra few bucks for it’s quality & versatility. We started with the same system by Chicco Bravo, which is a couple hundred dollars cheaper, but the quality just doesn’t compare. The stroller is narrow, smooth riding, & has all the features you need (except a cup holder). The carseat is really cute & comfortable for baby. Oh, and did I mention it’s all ROSE GOLD!

 

This post is sponsored by Born Free. As always, all opinions are my own!

 
Pinterest Graphic (1).png
 

Favorite Baby Products Of 2018

Mom & Pregnant Friends,

If you’re looking for some practical items to add to your registry, or just some fun new things to buy for your baby, here is some inspiration for you! These are some of my favorites from the year! From bows to toys to diapers to just random things, here are my favorites from all of 2018!

I did a post last month on my favorite products for brand new mamas, which were more practical must-haves specifically for your first few weeks at home with baby. View that post here.

I hope you find some inspiration here for you & your sweet babe! And please share with me what your favorite baby products were last year!

xo teresa SM.png

Baby Keepsake Journal

Journals are something I spent a lot of time researching because I felt like there aren’t a lot of good ones out there that met what I wanted.  Most of the journals I saw were either way too cheesy, or way too long & redundant. I wanted one that was pretty, simple, & easy to keep up with. This one checked all those boxes, & my husband & I love filling it out every month. It also has a section to fill out while you’re pregnant.

Lily Jade Diaper Bag

I used a few different brands & styles throughout the year; this one by Lily Jade was by far my favorite because of convenience & practicality. My favorite feature is you can carry it 3 ways: a shoulder bag, a longer over-the-shoulder bag, & a backpack. Since a diaper bag is something you’re going to be using constantly everyday, I recommend registering for a high-quality one like this for your baby shower, or investing in one yourself if you can afford to do so. The features & convenience that come with the higher quality make mom SO much crazy easier.

Boon Drying Rack

Super convenient drying rack & looks really cute too on your countertop. I may or may not also use it for wine glasses. 

babybling.jpg

Door Latch Cover

Guys, this thing is CLUTCH. You put it over your door knobs & it covers the latch so it doesn’t make noise & wake the baby. We lost it for a bit while we moved houses & my husband & I were legit panicked like WHERE. IS. IT. My mother-in-law made it for us. She sewed it by hand! If you want one, email me & I’ll set it up with her :-)

Cuddle + Kind Dolls

These dolls are so gorgeous & well made. Plus they look beyond adorable in the nursery. They are handcrafted in Peru & the company donates 10 meals to children with every single purchase. I’m making an effort this year to support more brands that give back like this one! Little details like that are so meaningful to me when I’m buying things nowadays.

Papiarts Bows

It wouldn’t be a baby favorites list without mentioning some bows (we all know I’m a little obsessed) For some reason, most bows with a thinner band were too tight on Ev’s head (she got daddy’s big ole head). Even when she was a newborn. These bows by Papiart are the only ones we could find that didn’t leave an indent in her head. Plus they’re super cute & SO affordable ($7 for 3 bows! crazy!) I love them on Evs & can’t recommend them enough!! 

Pampers Swaddlers

Not glamorous, but finding the right diapers are oh-so necessary. We tried SO many brands, but always went back to Pampers Swaddlers. They were the ONLY brand that didn’t cause us problems with leaks or blowouts. I’ve price checked everywhere & they are actually the cheapest per diaper on Amazon, I have them set up on a subscription & get them delivered once a month.

Dock-A-Tot

I also mentioned it in my Must-Haves for New Mamas post, but I had to mention it again because it’s genuinely been a total staple for us. We used our DockATot from when Evs was 0 months all the way until 7 months & had dozens of different uses for it. I go into more details on what those uses are in my other post.

Moby Baby Carrier & Wraps

Another repeat from my New-Mamas post, but I absolutely adored my Moby wraps all year long. Plus their baby carrier with the hip seat is the most comfortable one we’ve tried by far & can be worn so many different ways. Hubby loves it too!

Sophie the Giraffe

I don’t know what it is about this darn giraffe, but babies are OBSESSED with it. It’s been Evelyn’s favorite toy since she was 2 months old. She also chews the crap out of it when she’s teething, it feels good on their gums.

Must Haves for New Mamas

So I’m going to skip the super obvious must-haves like diapers, wipes, car seat, pacifiers, etc. (If you want to hear my faves of those, I can definitely do a post on that too, just let me know!) This list includes various other products that were lifesavers for us during Evelyn’s first couple months at home. 

Before I go into the products, I’d like to add a quick disclaimer.  Every baby & family are very different, so while these products worked for us, they may not work for you, and that’s okay. There are a thousand lists like this out there, & some products on those other lists didn’t work for us, and that’s okay too. My intentions with this list are NOT to say “OMG YOU NEED THIS”… but rather to share what helped us in the hopes that it may help you, too. 

Since there’s no way for you to know what type of baby you’re gonna have beforehand (wouldn’t that be nice though), I would recommend making sure the store you purchase (or register for) your baby items has a good return policy of at least 90 days (Target & Amazon were our two main go-to’s). I can’t even begin to tell you how many items we returned/exchanged in those first few months; things we bought that we thought we needed but ended up not working for us. Also, make sure to keep the packaging of everything you open, just in case you do decide later to return it. I kept a crate in our nursery closet where we threw empty packaging so it was easy to find later.

I hope this list helps & I’d love to hear from you if any of these were helpful to you too. I wish you all the happiness in the world with your new sweet baby <3

 
Copy of Copy of Untitled (2).png
 

Must-Haves for New Mamas

Dockatot

There’s a reason why the Dockatot is so hyped up in the mommy blogger world. I’ve used it since day one (& still use it daily at month 7!) Specifically during her newborn weeks, we had it in the bassinet while she slept at night (make sure to okay this with your pediatrician first.) We also added the toy arch & toys & brought it out in the living room with us during the day for her to hang in. We also brought it with us when we went to other homes so she could lay in something familiar. And we gave it to our parents when they would watch her. And when we transitioned her to the crib later on, we put it in the crib the first few times and it made the switch super easy. We seriously had SO many uses for it.

Zip-up Onesies 

Of course we had lots of other cute outfits & button-down onesies too, but zip-up onesies are what we used on a daily & nightly basis because they are the most convenient. They made diaper changes so much easier, especially late night changes when you’re a total zombie. Also, try & get ones with feet & hands flaps to keep their little fingers & toes warm at night. And one that zip up from the bottom for even easier diaper-changing.

Our favorite were the Bonds Wondersuit (they are on the more expensive side; they were given to us as gifts but I will definitely be buying more for our next baby because they are more than worth the money.) Other brands we loved were Carters & Boodywear Baby.

White Noise Machine 

We use the Hatch Baby Rest Night Light (another product we still use today & honestly will use for years.) In those early months, we kept it on my bedside table next to the bassinet, & Evelyn slept with white noise on at night. Then we moved it into the nursery with her later on. We all know babies are sticklers to routine, & this was something I’m so glad we implemented from day 1. 

Aside from white noise, the night light is totally clutch too for those late night feedings. You can hook it up to your phone & adjust the brightness & change the colors. And it also plays lullabies & various nature sounds. We use it all & I can’t recommend it enough.

Baby carrier 

I wore Ev’s to the store, on walks outside, & around the house when she was being needy & I wanted my hands free. My favorite are Moby Wraps - I love the original wraps & also the slings. Plus the colors/patterns are SO cute. I still wear Evelyn all the time, but I miss those early days when she was so tiny up against my chest!

For the dads: Ryan preferred a baby carrier over a wrap/sling.

Halo Sleepsack Swaddle

Her little hands would ALWAYS find their way out of swaddles, no matter how tight we wrapped her. These velcro swaddles by Halo were the ONLY ones that she couldn’t break free from. Plus if you can’t quite get down the art of the manual swaddle, then these are super easy to use instead.

We didn’t discover these until Evs was about 2 months old, but I’m including them on this list because I am 10000% using them for our next baby starting from day 1!

Postpartum Girdle 

I started wearing this around 2 weeks postpartum & saw a HUGE difference in my stomach flattening almost immediately. I wore it as often I could remember for several months & even slept in it most nights. It was a big (& sometimes painful) commitment, but so worth it.

I tried a few of the more expensive brands, but I actually ended up loving this $12 girdle the best by far! (Just a heads up, I’m normally a size small & I exchanged it for a medium because the small was SO TINY)

Rock-n-play/Swing

Every baby will have their preference here. Evelyn napped in these during the day. We used the Fisher Price Rock-n-Play the most in the first few weeks. Then she got more difficult & picky, so we rotated through the Rock-n-play, the 4moms MamaRoo & the Fisher Price Cradle-n-Swing.

Any one of those would be perfectly fine, you don’t need all three. But we loved having three because they each served a slightly different purpose for us & we kept them in different rooms. We also bought two of them used on Facebook Marketplace to save $$.

Milk Catchers

For my breastfeeding mamas out there, a product like this is an absolute must-have to save that precious breastmilk that leaks out. While you’re nursing baby, put one of these in your bra on the other breast to catch all the milk that leaks out, then pour it into a designated bottle in the fridge. At the end of the day, I was able to put several ounces from this into a freezer baggie & pop it in the freezer!

Changing Pad Liners

Blowouts are inevitable mid-diaper change. And somehow babies will pee all over the changing table during the mere seconds you leave them diaper-less. These pad liners come in super handy - put them on top of your changing pad, then I just throw them straight in the wash whenever baby has an accident. So much better than staining the cute changing pad covers! 

Nursing Tanks

Another good one for my breastfeeding mamas are these nursing tanks. I LIVED in these for, like, the first 5 months with baby — both at home & out in public. Honestly, I hardly wore anything else!

They are inexpensive & high quality & make breastfeeding super convenient. They also stretch at the belly so are super comfortable with your post-baby bod. I paired them with cute cardigans out in public & you couldn’t even tell they were nursing tops (who says nursing mamas still can’t have cute style?!)

Nursing Pillow 

Last but not least, you’ve gotta get a nursing pillow. There are a few different types… we got the Boppy Pillow & loved it. My husband & I both used it - me for nursing & him for bottle feeding. It makes it so much more comfortable. You can also use it to lay baby in as shown in the photo. This is another multi-functional product that we still use everyday with Evs at 7 months old.