I wish I could tell you that all of my pouring over blogs, Pinterest-ing, list making, review reading, and research led to a sufficient collection of infant must-haves, but nooooope. It took some good old-fashioned livin’ and learnin’ (and a few bucks down the drain) to discover what really works for us. And unfortunately our list won’t be your list, and your list won’t be your sister’s/neighbor’s/friend’s, or even YOUR list for another baby. (Don’t you just love how every baby is exactly the same and has the same needs and preferences? I mean, I’ve heard. 😉 ) But hopefully, someone out there looking for some tips and suggestions might be able to use one or two of my recommendations.
There’s a good chance some of you read Ashley’s post of her favorite baby things earlier this week, but if you haven’t yet be sure to check it out. Do me a favor, though, and stay here and read mine first! Hers is fun, quirky, witty, and waaaaay more clever than what you’re about to get yourself into with mine. 😉
- bumGenius Freetime One-Size All-in-One. We’ve chosen to cloth diaper our little one and there was a bit of a trial and error period at the beginning. After many, many leaky diapers we finally decided on quality over quantity and went searching for a better product to replace our cheaper mistakes. Though it’s not the only brand we use, our favorite by far is the bumGenius Freetime with snaps. They’re an all-in-one (AIO) so there’s no insert stuffing required. However, unlike most AIOs, they’re not thick and bulky so they have a quicker drying time. Speaking of drying, our stash has never seen the inside of a dryer. We hang them up to dry and they continue to remain nice and soft unlike other brands we’ve tried that get all stiff. I mean, hello, this is going on a little baby bottom. Stiff and rough simply won’t do. We’ve had zero issue with them staining (so far) like the other brands we’ve used, even after the dreaded change in poo after beginning solids. We personally prefer the snap closure because at the tender age of six months EJ learned how to undo the hook and loop…through her clothes! And the best part? (OK, not reeeally the best part, but the cutest part… 🙂 ) They come in the funnest colors and prints!
- Kissaluvs Diaper Lotion Potion. While we’re on the topic of fluffy bums let’s talk wipes. We figured, hey, we’re using cloth diapers, why not use cloth wipes as well. My friend, Sasha, a fellow cloth diapering momma (and TRM guest blogger!) recommended this wipe solution to me a while back and I’ve been a fan ever since we started using it. It’s cloth diaper friendly, smells great, is gentle on those oh-so-delicate areas, and most importantly is all-natural. We have been diluting it with witch hazel, but distilled water is also fine (and to be honest a smart choice, frugally speaking). Note: I just noticed that the concentrate has been discontinued by the manufacturer, but can still be purchased on Amazon. It looks like the 4 oz. spray bottle is still in production as of this post’s date.
- Infantino Squeeze Station and pouches. I’ve mentioned this one in a Random Ruffles post before, but I love it so much here it is again! I’m a big fan of homemade baby food, and I’m a huge fan of handy gadgets that make feeding my little girl healthy things easier and more convenient. We were so excited to witness the discovery and amazement leading up to EJ starting solid foods, and girlfriend delivered! So I researched and read about all kinds of first foods, preparation, storage, etc. I came across this handy dandy contraption and we’ve had such a great time with it so far. You know those little food pouches that can cost upwards of $1.80? I can make my own with this! Call me crazy, but I get a lot of enjoyment from washing, chopping, steaming, pureeing, and stuffing the pouches with fresh fruits and veggies. It’s seriously fun to mix up different combinations and find which ones EJ likes best (pears and peas, please!). I know she doesn’t need to eat pureed foods forever, but I know it will be nice to have a stash in the freezer once we get to Cusco and be able to carry one with us when we’re out and about until we get used to restaurants and their Mommy approved EJ food. Plus, they can be filled with healthy smoothies when she’s ready for that one day.
- Baltic amber necklace. OK, before you all go thinking I’ve gone off the deep end and drank the Kool-Aid, let me explain. Here’s a little timeline for you: EJ was super duper irritable one weekend back in June. We finally went to Itsy Bitsy Bums in Kansas City (seriously, CHECK THEM OUT!) the next Thursday and got a necklace for our little cranky pants. Her level of discomfort greatly decreased and four days later she had her first tooth peaking out. Coincidence? Maybe. I told Kevin, hey, I don’t know if it will work, but if it does great, if it doesn’t, she’s got a cute necklace and we’ve wasted more money on sillier things before. A lot of mommas only take their little ones’ necklaces off for bath time, and let them sleep in them, but we prefer not to let her be unsupervised while wearing it and remove it at night. The awesome girls over at IBB helped us find one that fit great (the necklace shouldn’t be able to be pull over the chin and into the mouth) and the three of us have been happy with it ever since.
- Nosefrida . When this product was first described to me I thought, G-R-O-S-S. Yeah, right I’m going to suck the snot out of my baby’s head. Well, if it came down to it, of course, I would do what I had to, right? But let’s just say I was more than happy for Daddy to tackle this one. However, when Hubs was on a mission trip to Honduras and EJ was waking up with quite the junky nose, I had to put on my Mommy pants and get to sucking that snot! Totally not as disgusting as I initially assumed! Actually, it was pretty cool. I hit her little nose holes with a few drops of saline to break the gunk up and went to town. And you know what? It was quite fulfilling when that stuff started filling the tube. Don’t worry, Mommas, there’s a little filter between the two pieces so you’re sure not to inhale any of your sweet little babe’s nose gook. 🙂
- Sakura Bloom ring sling. I’m a big fan of baby wearing, but unfortunately little miss EJ was not initially. She’s pretty content with it now and it’s a good thing because let me tell you, nothing warms my heart more than when her sweet smelling, fuzzy little head gets heavy on my chest and she drifts off to dreamland. #sleepydust Also, I completely eat up the sweet looks I get from people we encounter. 🙂 I was pretty intimidated by the ring sling at first, but I got the hang of it pretty quickly. Now I can get it on and off in less time than a soft structured carrier like an Ergo or Tula.
Check out Ashley’s list for some more must-haves for baby, including a few great newborn items!