My Favorite Baby Items
I am by no means the baby expert after only 7.5 months with our Finley June, but after a lot of trial and error with products, I wanted to put together a list of my favorites for any of my friends or followers who are expanding their family in the near future! Some of these favorites come from the perspective of parenting with a chronic illness and others are just things Travis and I like in general.
Please note, this post contains affiliate links. That means if you shop the links in this post, I may receive compensation for your purchases. I only share affiliate links for items I personally can vouch for and have used.
Bottles & Feeding
If bottle feeding is part of your routine at all, we tried a bunch and finally landed with Como Tomo. We liked that the bottles and nipples are both made from medical grade silicon so we wouldn’t have to worry about warm liquids in plastic. Bottle feeding wasn’t really part of our newborn plan (though we knew when I went back to work we would need to incorporate it), but if you read my 4th Trimester update then you know that pretty much nothing went to plan. She transitioned to them easily and they seemed to help decrease air-intake for her.
Another must have for us is a bottle warmer. We use this one from Philips Avent. I know, they’re supposedly frivolous, but trust me if you are formula feeding and your babe likes warm bottles you do not want to trudge into the kitchen in the middle of the night to warm up a bottle on the stove. Especially if you are dealing with the double whammy of parenthood sleep deprivation AND chronic illness fatigue. Take the shortcuts. It’s okay.
Binky, Nuk, Paci… whatever you call them. With Finley’s severe reflux, a binky became a very important part of our feeding schedule. Sucking helps encourage swallowing to keep that pesky stomach acid down where it belongs. We landed with BIBS. They have super cute colors and we like that they’re made from natural rubber.
Actual bibs. We go through approximately 10-12 a day to save outfits from food and reflux. Our favorites are the kind that button at the side to make it easier to change them. I like the Tiny Twinkle kaffle bibs for crawling around to catch dribble and Aden and Anais muslin bibs for bottle feeding because they’re longer and wider.
We started Finley on solids at 4 months and have found these favorites over the last 3 months or so! For feeding we like these soft tip silicon spoons, these baby food self feeders (they’re basically silicon popsicles and they’re amazing), and suction bowls from Munchkin. We have a standard “grow with baby” highchair from Abiie (same model, different color) and a travel one from Inglesina that you can get with or without the tray. I tried to be the really cool hip price-conscious mom and make ALL my own baby food, but I also work a full time job, do weekly infusions, and run a side business. So I do it occasionally and have a nice stash in the freezer, but mostly just to supplement what we get from the store. If you are into making baby food and aren’t doing baby led weaning, I do like these freezer trays.
Let’s talk sleep sacks. From day one, Finley was a swaddle hater. She always sleeps with her arms up. The hospital swaddle, muslin blankets, the Ollie, the Halo, and Swaddleme all struck out. She did okay in a Merlin’s Magic Sleepsuit for a bit, but she started rolling belly to back and back to belly very early so we had to transition out of it. There are two we absolutely love! First is the Love to Dream convertible sleep sack. The arms zip off so you can have one arm up and one arm out for safety. She now sleeps with Aden and Anais muslin sleep sacks. They have a version specifically for Amazon that’s comparable in quality, but I have noticed the fabric is thinner and has limited choices for patterns.
We are big believers in using a sound machine. It helps so much since our home is close to the road and we have a dog who thinks that all delivery men are here to hurt us. We have this one which can be operated by battery (yay portability) or plugged into the wall.
I thought I would wear Finley a lot more during maternity leave than I did (see 4th trimester post for more on that). We tried a few different types of wraps and carriers, but our favorite by far is the Ergo Omni 360. She didn’t love it when she had to be facing in. However, as soon as she had enough head control to face out, she started loving it. I like that either Travis or I can wear it and that it evenly distributes her weight. I have a sling I used when she was smaller, but it did aggravate my scoliosis a bit to have all her weight supported on one side.
Sleep positioners are controversial. We have a Snuggle Me Organic and were so grateful for it when she was in the worst of her reflux and needed something comforting for her to lay in. We don’t use it as much now that she’s on the go, but we do still on occasion. Just remember you are only supposed to use these for supervised time!
We have a pack and play that we can use as a small play yard, but Finley is a speedy girl who does not tired easily so we have this rather boring monstrosity play yard gate system thing set up in our living room instead. She bounces around from panel to panel like a pin ball and absolutely loves being able to crawl without me constantly picking her up and moving her away from things she shouldn’t be near.
Not that we go out all that much, but we love this portable activity station for Finley. We currently have it set up in our garage (where we have an at-home gym, which is way cooler than it sounds) and she loves playing in this while we exercise! It comes with a carrying case too to make it easy to tote around or toss in the trunk if you want to bring it with you.
It might seem a little silly to need a water thermometer, but I love this thing. Travis and I both are not the best at telling temperature by hand (I always think things feel too cold, he always thinks things feel too hot). This little doo-dad eases anxiety about the temperature of the bath water to make sure we aren’t accidentally putting her into scalding hot water.
A co-worker gifted me this bamboo towel and I loved it so much we bought two more to have in rotation. It is soft and HUGE which at first seemed over-the-top until Finley finally started gaining weight and growing. Then I realized her super cute newborn towels were not big enough anymore! Bonus points, bamboo is a super amazing fiber for products like towels because it is hypoallergenic (I have very sensitive skin so we try to be conscientious that she might have inherited that from me) and it’s a readily renewable resource. We also use bamboo washcloths and they are SO soft.
I fell down some major internet mom-review rabbit holes trying to decide what type of baby wash and lotion to use. Knowing that I am so sensitive to a lot of products, we wanted something gentle and also organic and sulfate free. They’re on the pricer side, but we have never had any skin issues with Finley (and she definitely has my skin) while using Puracy.
I am sure there are a million more recommendations I could make, and I do have some I listed in an earlier blog post on pregnancy & newborn stage must-haves that I found helpful, especially from the chronic illness/disability parenting perspective. These are mostly things that I didn’t cover in that post and that I’ve mentally noted, “hey I am glad we ended up with this” a few times. I didn’t list the pricier essentials like a crib/mattress, a rocker, or a carseat but if you are curious about what we ended up with, I would be happy to share!