Today I’m sharing my 3rd baby must-haves for the first 3 months!
It took having a 3rd baby in 4 years to finally convince me that less can in fact actually be more when it comes to baby gear. Actually scratch that, when it comes to ALL stuff. I’ve had a mostly delightful maternity leave, but boy oh boy am I
tired of EXHAUSTED from moving, cleaning, organizing, laundering, and putting away stuff. If and hopefully when I have the energy and motivation, I will be de-cluttering and purging our entire house from top to bottom (unfortunately I am not sure when that will actually happen since I have 3 small children, work full-time, and have developed a strong aversion to doing anything and everything other than managing our stuff).
Anyhow, the good news is that I gave away most of our baby stuff before Baby P arrived, so I got to start fresh and only buy the things I actually needed or wanted. I also had the advantage of having had 2 babies relatively recently, so I didn’t have that moment of sheer panic standing in the aisle at Buy Buy Baby wondering if you need a baby bathtub that tells you the water temperature or not (in our case, the answer is decidedly no – first of all, it always feels like a miracle when the baby actually gets bathed; second of all, the back of my hand and my baby’s scream are fairly good indicators of whether the water temperature is appropriate or not). There are a few things I’ve been loving this go around though – some of them I’ve used for all of my babies, and others of them are new to me:
Baby Bjorn bouncer – Y’all this bouncer seems so outrageously expensive, but we have literally used it almost every single day FOR THE PAST FOUR YEARS. Yes, my toddler still sits on this chair. In fact he gets more than a little peeved when the baby is using it. I am sure other bouncers can get the job done, but I can only speak to the efficacy of this one. And it’s a beloved work horse in our house (and if you do a quick google search, you’ll find hundreds of other moms share my love for this contraption). I did pay extra for the toy bar and am glad I did.
Solly Baby swaddles – After feeling like the entire Internet was having a love affair with the Solly Baby wrap, I ordered one for this go around. I mostly like it and don’t regret buying it (especially because I can’t seem to figure out how to stuff my very large baby in my old standby, the Baby K’Tan), but I haven’t yet developed the muscle memory I need to use the wrap on a daily basis. What I am absolutely loving, however, are the Solly Baby swaddles I impulsively added to my cart at checkout. I think stretchy swaddles are kind of a new thing and I’m a huge, huge fan. I’ve read good things about these ones that are available on Amazon if you’re like me and way too skilled at Amazon Priming. We also still use and love our aden + anais swaddle blankets, especially outside, but I always grab the stretchy ones first for indoor sleep/ snuggles (if they’re clean – big if these days).
Covered Goods Multi Use, 4-in-1 cover – You know those moms who likely have teacher friends and look very put together with their adorable covers neatly velcroed from the car seat handle? Those moms are not me. With my first 2 babies I was a drape whatever swaddle blanket I had stuffed into my bag over the car seat type of mom. What I am now with Baby #3, however, is one of those moms with this sleek, stylish, fuss-free car seat cover that doubles as an excellent nursing cover (and infinity scarf and shopping cart cover). These multi use covers seem to be THE popular baby thing now, and for good reason. I use this cover multiple times every single day and never leave home without it. I am actually buying another one (maybe from another brand because I cannot resist this fox print), so I can keep it in my car for the inevitable times I need to commute and pump. I highly recommend this relatively inexpensive product for any new moms!
Fisher-Price Auto Rock ‘n’ Play sleeper – With my first 2 babies I borrowed and loved using the basic rock ‘n’ play sleeper. I loved it for all the reasons every mom who is not overly about flat head syndrome loves it (hint – babies actually sleep in it). This go around we had to buy our own and I got suckered into buying the new, automatic rocking version. I convinced myself this was a good idea because we had given away our swing and maybe this would do double duty (all the time thinking I’d probably Prime a swing in a moment of
weakness late night breastfeeding). Well, folks, after a rocky start (I initially didn’t like how the auto version was not as portable), I am a big fan. And shockingly we have not yet bought a swing! I do not move this one around the house like I did before. Baby P only naps in this rocker when he’s downstairs, and he always sleeps his bassinet at night or when he’s napping upstairs.
Boppy nursing pillow and/or My Brest Friend nursing pillow – I’ve had both of these pillows with all 3 of my babies and used both of them daily for the first few months. Right now I leave the Boppy upstairs because I’m often nursing in a bed or on a glider (generally I find the Boppy is better when you’re sitting on a soft or cushy surface and not trying to multi-task). I leave the My Brest Friend downstairs where I am often nursing while eating a meal, sitting on the couch reading picture books to my older boys, or trying to get some work done on my laptop (generally I find that My Brest Friend is better for multi-tasking).
Good strollers with car seat attachments – We are not stroller minimalists. We have lots and lots of strollers, and honestly we use most of them regularly. This go around we’ve been using our single and double Bob strollers (an expensive must have for us as we frequently walk on trails), our City Select double stroller (a popular and good choice if you have more than 1 little kid or baby), and a used UppaBaby Vista that had been gathering dust in our garage for the past 2 years (a helpful family member accidentally broke the 2nd seat during our last move and we kind of forgot about it until we thankfully remembered it had a piggy back board attached, which has been hugely helpful with 3 boys 4 and under). Strollers are expensive and take up a lot of real estate in your home, but honestly we use ours all the time. It just makes life easier sometimes to have a big contraption that can simultaneously hold your kids and your junk.
Fisher Price rainforest gym – Babies love this play mat. I think they love it more than others (we borrowed the older version of this one with Big P, which I actually slightly preferred to this newer one, and also had a different one, so I have some basis for saying this). There is something about the glaringly bright colors and obnoxious music that provides great joy to little babies.
Baby Tula Free-to-Grow Carrier – Tula is one of the baby carrier brands that seems to have exploded in popularity in the past few years. I almost bought a toddler sized one for Little P because he still likes to be carried in the Ergo from time to time, but then I saw this new free-to-grow one being advertised. This carrier is supposed to work from 7 pounds all the way up to 45 pounds without an infant insert. When I first tried to use it, I was not a fan. There were little children screaming, and I couldn’t focus my mental energies enough to figure out how to appropriately size it for my newborn. I tried again recently and am LOVING it. It’s so much easier for me to take this one on and off than a wrap (even though I do like and use my Solly wrap frequently and Baby P probably fusses less, at least initially, in the wrap). I can already tell this is going to come in super handy for preschool drop offs and pickups and other short errands where I really do not feel like dragging a car seat around.
Hanna Andersson sleepers – We’ve used these sleepers with all of our babies and still use Hanna Andersson pajamas with our big boys. I LOVE them. They’re adorable, incredibly well made, last forever, and can make your sibling matching dreams come true. They’re also expensive, but I always wait and buy them on sale and definitely feel like they’ve earned their keep.
Coffee – I don’t think this one really needs an explanation except this is my shameless plug for recommendations for coffee subscriptions. I need coffee delivered to my door because I keep running out.
And y’all that’s my list, really. There were several things that almost made the list (see below), but the above few are the products I’ve used and loved the most and consider my absolute must-haves for the first 3 months.
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The Medela Pump In Style Advanced Breast Pump – I used this same pump with my other babies and got a new one this go around, after my old pump stopped working quite as well (and after a quite unfortunate incident where my frayed power cord almost set my work conference room on fire, ooops!). Anyhow, I got this pump through insurance while still at the hospital and am really glad I did. I actually bought a fancy new and much more expensive pump with some leftover FSA dollars at the beginning of the year, but so far I’ve kept using the Medela (the new fancy one has been shockingly hard to set up although I bet I’ll like using it once I figure out how to use the darn thing).
Playtex Baby Nurser Bottles – I’ve tried a couple different types of bottles over the course of 3 babies and these simple Playtex ones always seem to work the best with brand new infants who prefer nursing. They’re not the most environmentally conscious choice, but my baby likes them and so do I (plus easy clean up!)
WubbaNub pacifiers – My babies are not huge paci lovers and users. In fact, Little P never ever took a pacifier, much to my chagrin as he was not the world’s best sleeper (we learned 9 months in we’d been poisoning him with dairy laden breastmilk and formula when the poor kid was highly allergic to milk). Both Big P and Little P used/use pacifiers occasionally though and we always had the most success with WubbaNub ones. They are more likely to stay in, easier to find in the bottomless pit known as the diaper bag (or under the bed), and occasionally serve as a conversation piece when you’re out and about with baby.
Amazon Subscribe and Save – We cloth diaper some in our house (I say some because honestly we haven’t done it all summer but we used to use them a lot and hope to do so again), but I always use disposable diapers for my newborns. I usually buy diapers and wipes at Costco but I am in the initial stages of a hard breakup with the warehouse giant. Costco is just too much for me right now. Even if the big box of baby wipes and the giant tray of organic strawberries cost way less than the grocery store, I end up buying all this other stuff that completely negates the cost savings. Also the last time I went to Costco the entire trip literally took 3 days (by the time I dropped off my big kids with Gramma and Grampa, made it to Costco, nursed the baby in the parking lot, shopped, soothed the baby in the paper products aisle, checked out, loaded everything in my car, unloaded everything into the house, went to pick up the big boys, did it all over again when I realized I forgot a key item, and finally 3 days later put the last non-perishable item away). Enter Amazon Subscribe and Save … I have now set up automatic shipments of diapers and wipes, plus laundry detergent, dishwasher soap, spray and wash (we go through SO much spray and wash with 3 little boys), paper towels, toilet paper, and a variety of other random household items.