River in his Love to Dream swaddle at 4 weeks old
Navigating through all the baby essentials as a first time parent can be pretty daunting. There is just so much to choose from and you’re not sure if you’ll actually need all that stuff or if your baby will even like it. So I thought I would share with you the products that really helped us the first 6 months with River and made us look like we actually knew what we were doing (still clueless, btw).
Disclaimer: The following post contains affiliate links. Thank you to Innobaby for collaborating with us. As always, all thoughts and opinions expressed below are entirely my own and these are all products we personally use.
- Love to Dream Swaddle Up – When River was a newborn, he hated being swaddled but loved the Love To Dream Swaddle because his arms were free. When he grew out of it, we transitioned to the Halo Sleepsack (#19) which we still use today for naps and bedtime.
- Dr. Brown’s Bottles – River had terrible gas, acid reflux, and spit up and these bottles were the only ones that helped. We paired them with premie size nipples to also help with spit up. Note: The new bottles with the green stems leak badly so I recommend the original blue stemmed ones. (If your baby doesn’t have any digestive issues like River did, we also loved the Comotomo bottles. We reluctantly had to switch when his acid reflux got really bad.)
- Baby Nail Scissors – These feel more precise and less dangerous than nail clippers.
- Nose Tweezers – I’ll be honest, when my friend Diana recommended these I didn’t think I would ever use it. Well, I was wrong. I find myself reaching for these several times a day.
- Nuna Leaf Lounger – We use this everyday and probably will for a long time — it holds up to 130 lbs which means River will be using it for awhile. It sways manually but you can get the Nuna Wind which attaches to the base so it moves it automatically.
- Ubbi Diaper Caddy – I love that this caddy is durable and easily wipes down. The little drawer is actually quite spacious, too. Makes changing diapers in different rooms easy and convenient.
- Marpac Dohm White Noise Machine – We’ve been using this since the day we brought River home from the hospital and it was vital when we sleep trained him. I even have an app on my phone that makes the same noise for on-the-go naps. (P.S. Thanks to this machine, he slept through all the 4th of July fireworks! #relievedmama)
- FridaBaby Nasal Aspirator – So much easier and better than the bulb they give you at the hospital. And River doesn’t scream when I use it on him. (This kit would make a great gift for new parents.)
- Beaba Babycook – I recently started making baby purees at home and this little gadget makes it so easy. It’s a steamer and blender in one which means there’s so much less to clean and that’s always a huge plus in my book.
- Boppy Lounger – River LOVED this pillow. This was one item we got so much use out of. After he outgrew it, we passed it down to Miles since he used to sneak himself on it when River wasn’t using it. It’s all his now.
- Skip Hop Greenwich Diaper Backpack – Such a stylish bag that doesn’t scream I’m carrying baby stuff in here. There’s also a really pretty pink version. (Here are some more chic diaper bags.)
- Skip Hop Silver Lining Activity Gym – Let’s be honest, a lot of baby gear tends to be…unattractive. This activity gym doesn’t fall into that category. Even more important, it keeps River occupied for a long time.
- Little Unicorn Muslin Swaddles – They have the cutest designs and they’re a little bigger than other muslin swaddles. I always have one in my diaper bag to use as a stroller cover or a blanket.
- Aden & Anais Burpy Bibs – Love anything that’s 2-in-1. You can throw these over your shoulders to burp the baby and also snap it around the baby’s neck to use as a bib. It’s very absorbent, too.
- Innobaby Teethin’ Smart EZ Grip Teether – We’re in the throes of teething woes right now (River’s 2 bottom teeth are currently sprouting up) and this is his favorite teether. Its design makes it easy for him to grip and maneuver in his mouth.
- Kiidbe Bibs – These are our favorite bibs. They’re made of organic cotton and they’re super soft. Plus the designs are really cute.
- Innobaby Aquaheat Bottle Warmer – Favorite bottle warmer ever. So easy and convenient whether you’re warming up bottles at home or while you’re out. There’s nothing to plug or really clean. You just place the heat pack in the warming pod, add water to activate heat, and place bottle into the pod. It comes with a 10oz stainless steel bottle but you can use other bottles with it, too.
- Innobaby Aquaheat Warm Heat Packs – To use with the bottle warmer above.
- Halo Sleepsack – As I mentioned, this is what we currently use and River loves it. What’s great about this sleepsack is you can swaddle them arms in or arms out.
- Ergobaby Carrier – River and I love this carrier. It’s comfortable for both the wearer and the baby. The padded straps are definitely my favorite feature — my neck and shoulders don’t feel sore after carrying River in this. I was even able to breastfeed him in it while doing things around the house.
There you have it! If you’re a parent (or soon-to-be one) or you’re looking for gift ideas, I hope you found this list helpful. And please share any of your favorite baby essentials! I’d love to know what they are!