Sunday, January 24, 2010

Baby List...

I've wanted to compose a list for some time now on what I think a baby really needs. I remember feeling so lost looking at those "suggestion" sheets they give you when you register...of course keep in mind that they are trying to SELL you something, so way too often they add a bunch of useless items that you don't really need and they just end up cluttering your baby's room.

So, here I am 3 babies later and while I didn't have any clue with Colby, started figuring it out with Micah, I feel like with Isaac I was pretty darn confident on what I wanted and what I wanted to avoid as far as baby products go. Babies' needs are simple. Really. I think too often we over think and make it more complicated than it really is.

Since I have wasted a lot of time on money figuring out which products are the best and I have realized that $ doesn't ALWAYS equal quality (hello $30 receiving blanket that I hate and is now a big fuzz ball from washing three times), I wanted to share what I learned with you.

I would also love to hear from you and what your must haves are for your babies! :)
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1. Avalon Organics Tear Free Shampoo & Wash-because babies have such delicate skin I try to use as little products on my babies and well, truthfully even on myself! I have been a long time fan of Avalon's adult line and baby line (available at Whole Foods). While your baby will not have that classic "johnson and johnson" smell, they will still smell good and this head to toe wash is sulfate and paraben free, has 100% vegetarian ingredients, and has no added colorings or fragrances. I even use this one on me :)

2. Gerber Cloth Diapers-These make the perfect burp cloth and you can never have too many. While we own lots of "cute" burp cloths as well, I like that you can throw these ones in the wash with some bleach and after baby outgrows them you can use them for dusting around the house. You can find them at Target, Walmart, and Babies R Us, but Amazon sells a 12 pack for $16.99 and offers free shipping. Can't beat that!

3. Pleasantly Plump Knits baby booties-I found these through Ann and I immediately ordered Isaac a pair. Once they arrived I was smitten and ordered 2 more pairs and I even sent a pair to another mom I know who just had a little boy this winter. They are hands down the BEST baby booties out there. Socks are nearly impossible to keep on a baby, so I love how these stay put. Trust me. Not many things are as cute as baby tootsies, so if I am going to cover those precious piggies up, the bootie better be cute and function well. You will not be disappointed. The seller is super sweet and even at $25 they are worth every penny.

4. Little Bamboo Muslin Wrap 3 pack-I have yet to find a swaddling blanket that I like more than these. They get softer with each wash (though follow the directions and wash separately the first time. I made the mistake of washing them with other items and because they lint up in the first wash it was a disaster! I should've stuck with the directions.) They are generously sized at 47x47. Try to find any blanket that size around's impossible! The ones you can find at Target or Walmart seriously shrink up to nothing. These are made out of 100% bamboo, they are more breathable than cotton, are naturally antibacterial, and adapt to baby's body temperature. Need I say more? on sale for $24.39 for three at Amazon.

5.Graco Baby Swing-Personally I say (unless you can afford both), skip the bouncer and invest in a nice baby swing. Ours has been a life saver. It is the perfect place to set baby to take a shower or to give your arms a break. Baby items improve every year and swings are no exception. This swing holds a baby up to 30 pounds, so unlike a bouncer, it will not be quickly outgrown. The music isn't annoying and the nature sounds are actually soothing. I love the ocean noises and the mama's heartbeat sound. Just be careful what style you buy. We bought a "lovin' hug"from Wal*mart and even with brand new batteries it would not swing. We returned it for the "silhouette" swing from Target and we love it. $129.99

6.Gerber Baby Onesies-Frilly and fussy outfits are not really my taste, but I can see their appeal for when baby is older. For a newborn I like to stick to the tried and true basics because newborns really don't have too much patience for getting dressed so the simpler the better and because really, they are probably just going to pee or poo on those first outfits anyways. Isaac lived in these for the first month or two of his life!

7.Dwell Studio Diaper Bay-I tell Billy every day how my dwell diaper bag is the best diaper bag ever. It really is. I love it to pieces. They are made out of coated canvas so they wipe clean...I never worry about mine getting dirty. It has built in stroller attaching straps (that some other companies sell for extra) and it clips on to virtually any stroller. There are pockets for everything. It has a zip top but the sides stay open for easy access to the bottle pouches (okay, I don't use this feature, but I can still appreciate their thought). They are great quality and I love the modern prints. They are bright and colorful without being annoying. In fact...I'm smiling at my diaper bag right now as I'm writing this. haha! (but really, I am, I love it that much). It's big without being bulky and it hold everything you could think of. I got mine for a STEAL at $85 from dwell, but I would google them now to find the best deal online because I purchased mine awhile ago.

8. Hanna Anderson pilot's cap-babies do not regulate their body temperatures as consistently as adults and these hats are perfect for protecting their little heads. They are made of organic cotton and they come in a light weight cotton as well as a heavier weight for those winter months. They come in several colors and at $8 they are easy on your budget.

9. Huggies Little Swaddlers-One time I decided to try the store's generic brand over our faithful huggies. I might as well had just thrown $7 in the trash and let Isaac go naked because they were horrible. They held in nothing and I ended up doing lots of extra laundry that week. These have a little cut out in the front so they don't irritate baby's umbilical chord stump and I like that they are fragrance free. If you walk down the diaper aisle at Target you can just smell the Pampers. They reek like they pour 100 pounds of diaper powder into each box! Maybe that's your thing, but personally I am really sensitive to lots of smells and I think if babies could talk they would ask for no fragrance too :)

10. Vulli Mushroom Teether-Okay, so I know most baby lists will include the Sophie teether by Vulli, and while we do own Sophies, and yes, I know she is a classic, but I really think Isaac loves these mushrooms way more. They are smaller than the Sophie, which makes them easier for chubby baby hands to hold, he loves to chew on the little nubs on top of their head, and he LOVES to make it squeak. They are made out of all natural rubber in France and are painted with food grade paint. Completely safe for your little one's mouth and the only teether Isaac is willing to hold for more than 10 seconds. We bought ours from Amazon.

11.Lansinoh Breast Pads- While compiling my list I asked my husband, "What's something we kept going to when the boys were little? Something we would use over and over and could not have lived without." He sat there quietly. I looked up to accuse him of not helping when I realized he was looking at my breasts! (through my shirt people, I was not topless! lol!). And while (to everyone's relief) I will not be including my breasts on baby's essentials list, I will include these nursing pads. It's no secret that I have breastfed all 3 of my boys exclusively and these nursing pads are great. I tried to be eco friendly and use the cloth ones, but I mean honestly..after you wash and shrink them they will be like the size of your nipple. Lansinoh pads are thin enough to be discreet but they are super absorbent. And they are something I use EVERY day. In fact, I couldn't live without them. :)

12.Baby Book-I don't have this particular baby book (available at Anthropologie), but no matter which one you choose, I say it is essential. SO many times I flip through the boys book and I recall memories that would be lost if I hadn't had the baby book to jot them down. People like to tell themselves, "Oh, I'll remember that" but the truth of it is you won't. You especially won't right after you have your baby and get "mommy brain". SO buy a baby book and right those memories down. Because your baby will want to know when he/she is older. Colby is always asking me about when he was little and he loves to pull down his baby book and look through it. Believe it or not, but there are actually some cute baby books at our local museum. Yes, we have a museum. It's by Target :)

So, I know I didn't list EVERYTHING...obviously your baby will need a car seat, a stroller, eventually a crib (though Isaac is almost 6 months and still doesn't use his, I know he will soon and will use it for probably the next 2-3 years), but I hope to have covered most of the basics. Oh. And I really encourage using fragrance free laundry soap for washing baby's items. I mentioned the sensitive skin and I'm glad I have switched to dye and fragrance free products. I used baby Dreft with Colby and Micah and it has such a strong perfume smell. Now we use All Free and Clear and we are much happier (okay, I'm much happier...)These items will really get you through those first months, I promise you really don't need too much more!

Thank you for reading and please feel free to share your baby must haves!


Mann Family said...

Awesome Job! I am telling you...You should write a blog specifically for mothers about products for their children. I also love Huggies. I will never use any other brand. I did try their Organic( or whatever they are called)line and loved them as well. I agree with Gerber can always embellish them yourself. I did. Simple and unique. The one "can't live without" for us was...The Baby Einstein Dvds. Amelia would sit through one. for twenty minutes she was enthralled. And I didn't feel guilty for letting her watch "TV"...They were a life saver.

Tiffany said...

I have heard that about the Einstein dvds! Maybe I should break down and give them a try? Just as long as they aren't teletubbies!

Jacklyn and the Johnson Boys said...

Hands are the worlds BEST mama!! Huggies are by far the BEST...I too have tried the Generic brands...BIG MISTAKE!!

Anonymous said...

Such a fabulous list! I'm going to refer some of my new mommy friends to check out your blog. The one thing I couldn't have lived without was a pacifier. Seriously. I've seen all kinds of interesting pacifiers but we just stuck with the basic NUKs which worked out perfectly cause they have the same shape as the Personalized Pacifiers (which I became addicted to when Cooper was about 3 months).

Tiffany said...

Good call Sara! None of my boys took to pacifiers really, so I overlooked that one. I know SO many moms/babies that couldn't live without them! I'm glad you added that!

Stephanie said...

Great list Tiffany! MAM pacifiers were a life safer for us! He loved them! We were big boucy people over the swing though. Max just perfered it. My hubby wanted to get rid of the swing then but I told him you NEVER know what the next child will prefer. But you are so right. SO many items out there for babies and I think I own them all. But I refuse to get rid of them till I know we are done with a family. OH the BUMBO is a great one too! You can live without it but once you have it can you imagine life without it?