Hi Friends! I get asked all the time what my “must have” baby products are so today I am going to share a few! You can Pinterest and google your heart out to find a list of all the things you will need, but I’m going to pinpoint the top 5 things that have been lifesavers this time around! ALSO keep reading because at the end I am going to share with you the best resource of all, Moms On Call, and how I have used it for BOTH of my girls!
1 - Hatch Baby Grow Smart Changing Pad & Scale - This is a GAME CHANGER for breastfeeding mamas! If you give formula or pump and give bottles then you know how much your baby is eating. If you are exclusively breastfeeding then you really have no idea! Yes you know your child is doing well if they are growing and have plenty of wet/dirty diapers, but sometimes the worry of “is my baby eating enough?” can drive you crazy! I really wish I would have had this with Anniston because she was at the bottom of the growth chart and I was always nervous that I wasn’t producing enough or she just wasn’t eating enough. Elliott is a little babe too so being able to weigh her before and after feedings when I am feeling anxious gives me peace of mind because I see she is eating plenty! (insert all the praise hands!) Both of my girls have been “efficient” eaters, but it has been so nice being able to see that Elliott is still getting enough even though she eats SO quickly! I highly recommend this item if you are planning on breastfeeding! AND BONUS - it’s so easy to wipe clean if (and by “if” I mean “WHEN”) there are accidents during diaper changes! No need to add to your laundry pile! :) Check out the Hatch Baby Changing Pad HERE!
2 - Graco Sous Chef 5-in-1 Seating System - So this is the only item on this list that I already had and now BOTH of my girls have loved! This may be big and it may not be the prettiest, but it has saved our lives TWICE now so it is a favorite over here! I love this seat for many reasons. For starters it can be an infant seat or you can remove it and add the high chair seat. Anything that does more than one thing is a win in my book. Also, this infant seat is the ONLY seat both of my girls enjoyed being in. Swings, Mamaroo, Bouncer, whatever it was, they could care less about it. They only wanted this seat. It’s also the seat we would jump to in those newborn days where they are refusing to sleep flat in their bed. If all else failed, they both would always sleep perfectly happy in this. It has wheels so you can move it around the house easily and it also vibrates to soothe in those fussy moments. You can pull the seat out and sit it wherever, but I REALLY liked it being at high chair height this time around so Anniston could SEE her sister, but couldn’t exactly get to her. :) And then when your child starts eating you can put the infant seat away and put on the high chair seat! I love this bad boy! Find the Graco Sous Chef 5-in-1 Seating System HERE.
3 - Fridababy Nail Clippers - You guys, praise the Lord above for these nail clippers! I’m being slightly dramatic, but am also completely serious! With Anniston we just used your basic baby nail clippers that came in a baby grooming kit. They work fine, but these Fridababy clippers are a GAME CHANGER. If you’ve never cut an infant’s nails then you wouldn’t understand. But picture an itty bitty baby with the tiniest little fingers and then try and picture how small their nails must be! As small as they are they are CLAWS! And grow so quickly! Unless you’re going to keep mittens on your kid 24/7 you’re going to be cutting their nails quite frequently. I love these because they have a little window for you to see where the nail is and to make sure you’re getting nail and not skin (ouch!). They also are angled in some special way that just makes it so easy. I’m not a nail clipper scientist so I’m not going to begin to explain how it works, just take my word on it and get these. Problem solved! Find the Fridababy Nail Clippers HERE!
4 - Burp Cloths for Sleeping - So this is more of a hack than a specific product, but it will save you time so it is definitely worth mentioning! In that first month of life your baby is figuring out how much he/she needs to eat so they will be spitting up more frequently. With Anniston I was changing her sheets constantly because she would have a pile of spit up (or drool!) next to her when she woke up. I got a little smarter this time around and put a burp cloth under Elliott’s head while she slept. It was so nice just throwing a burp cloth in the hamper and not having to change her sheets between every single nap! I actually used a cloth diaper (as pictured here) because it came in a huge pack, but it can also be used as a burp cloth! Check them out HERE!
*I only recommend doing this through the first month because anything in the crib can become dangerous as your child becomes more mobile.
5 -The Ollie Swaddle - Oh man I wish I had this swaddle the first time around! The swaddle days may be short lived, but this swaddle is definitely worth it when you’re in them! My babies can break out of the easy velcro swaddles you can find at Target, but this one kept Elliott snug the whole night through! With Anniston I followed the Moms on Call swaddle method (see here!) and in my opinion it is the best way to swaddle because it keeps them tight all night long, BUT you have to be good at it for it to work. I got pretty good at it so I used it with Anniston and I used it with Elliott. BUT if you’re not good at it then they will break out and no one will get any sleep! I love my husband dearly, but he could NOT do the Moms on Call swaddle method to save his life! Ha! This meant that if we wanted Anniston to take good naps and have a good night sleep then I had to do all of the swaddling the first three months. When I heard about The Ollie Swaddle then I knew I wanted to try it with Elliott so Miles would feel more confident putting her down and I wouldn’t have to be home for every nap time! The material is super stretchy, but breathable and keeps your babe locked in tight! It was so easy for both Miles and I to do and Elliott loved it! I highly recommend it! Find The Ollie Swaddle HERE.
These products have helped so much! I’ll list a few of our other favorite items below if you need any suggestions!
Baby Jogger City Select Stroller HERE - We got this with Anniston and used it as a single stroller, but now use it as a double! We knew we wanted more kids so we wanted a stroller that could be a double from the beginning! We love it! *Side note- I’m not sure why it’s called a jogger because it is not meant for running haha. But it does great on everyday walks!
Thule Double Jogger HERE - This one IS for running! We had the single for Anniston and got the double so both girls could go on runs with us! We keep the City Select stroller (above) in our car for outings, but we keep the Thule in the garage for runs! It is so easy to push and also does great on the trail by our neighborhood!
Graco Pack ‘n Play HERE - Our master is on the main level and our girls’ rooms are upstairs so we keep them in our room the first couple of months. This pack ‘n play came in clutch with Elliott because it had an infant changing pad and storage with it! With Anniston our room was taken over by baby products so it was nice having it all in one place this time! ALSO - see the newer version HERE (it has a toddler bed!). My mom brain is geeking out over it and it’s definitely on my wishlist! Ha!
Fridababy NoseFrida Snotsucker HERE - I saw my sister use this and said I never would because it was disgusting. Well here I am eating my words because it’s the best at getting all the snot out haha. And NO it does not go up the parent’s mouth. ;)
Marpac Hushh Portable Sound Machine HERE - Both of my girls sleep with white noise sound machines in their rooms so they do better sleeping with noise when they are in their carseats and on the go! I love this one because you can charge it instead of replacing batteries nonstop. It does a great job tuning out other noises and keeping your little babe happy!
MOMS ON CALL
THE most asked question I get - How are your girls such great sleepers?
I’ll keep it brief because you really just need to read the book if you are wanting to try it, but I truly love it and recommend it with my whole heart! Moms on Call is a book that is basically like a manual for new parents. We used the schedule in it from three weeks on with both girls and it has been so helpful! A lot of people say they don’t want to try it because they don’t want the schedule to run their lives, but it actually does the opposite in my opinion! It frees you up because you know when your child will be hungry or tired and you’re not playing the guessing game on what your child needs! Every mom and baby is different so do what is best for you, but it has definitely worked for us! I’ll share a few of my favorite things about it below!
This book is SUCH an easy read! Not wordy at all and straight to the point! Super important when your new baby is here and nobody has time to read a full on baby novel!
I love their slogan “SLEEP. FEED. LAUGH. LOVE.” It follows the idea that your baby eats right after waking up and you do NOT feed your baby to sleep. This way your baby is fed and happy for play time!
With the above point being said, you do not feed or rock your baby to sleep with this method. You help them get drowsy, but it’s important that you put your baby to sleep awake. This helps your baby learn how to self soothe and go to sleep on their own! No spending hours in the rocking chair and then sneaking out of the room!
Since we have followed this from the beginning, my two year old Anniston LOVES her bed and all we have to do is place her in it! She puts herself to sleep and also plays in bed when she wakes up instead of crying out! Elliott has HAPPILY put herself to sleep since she was three weeks old because she doesn’t know any differently! Makes nap and bedtime so easy!
The swaddle method is GENIUS. Like I said above, you have to be good at it, but it really works! The book also helps you with dropping the swaddle around three months! Both of my girls did great in this transition and I think it’s because they already knew how to soothe themselves to sleep!
The book tells you when to change schedules as your baby grows AND how to use the schedule with a newborn and a toddler in the house! Score!
The book uses a schedule that encourages your baby to be sleeping twelve hours at night by 12 weeks old and BOTH of my girls did it beforehand so I would say the method definitely works!
The founders are believers that truly want parents to feel confident in their role and babies to be as content as possible. I follow them on instagram and love the truth they are constantly sharing with parents!
I get asked all the time if we follow everything in the book and as much as we follow the schedule (I think that’s the most important part to help your little one become a good sleeper!), we do break a few rules! I will say we have had some naturally easy little babes so maybe if our child had a hard time sleeping we would be more strict, but ours have done great with some rule breaking. ;)
All that to say, do what is best for YOU and don’t rule it out just because you don’t think you can follow everything. We kept our girls in our rooms until they were sleeping through the night and Moms On Call recommends them being in their room. IT’S OKAY. We don’t start solids until 6 months and Moms On Call recommends starting at 4 months. IT’S OKAY. I think Moms On Call is an amazing resource and encourage every new mom to at least read it, but you can still mold it around what you want! A happy and healthy mommy and baby is what is most important! Again, if I had a difficult baby I may find the need to be more strict with it, but I have found I can be flexible on occasion and still get the same results! Don’t feel like you can’t follow the schedule just because you don’t agree with everything!
*Sidenote - I bought Moms On Call on iBooks so I could reference it easily on my phone no matter where I am! It helps so much and I often reread it while nursing if I need a refresher!
I hope this post helps any new or soon to be parents! If you ever have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask! We are definitely learning from trial and error over here, but I am passionate about helping new moms feeling confident in their role! You’ve got this!