I am incredibly lucky to have a great group of girlfriends from my pre-baby life (most from my pre-husband life!) who all decided to have babies around the same time.  As each one got ready to give birth, the ones who already had babies started a running list of the products and suggestions they found to work for them and their babies.  Of course, every mom and baby is different and the best advice I ever received is not to listen to any advice!  But here is the list of some of our favorites!

Breast/Bottle Feeding:

  • My Breast Friend nursing pillow
  • Medela Pump in Style breast pump
  • Lansinoh Lanolin breast cream
  • BPA  free bottles – be prepared to try different bottles until you find one your baby likes.  My son liked the Born Free, my daughter liked the Platex drop in liner bottles
  • Medela breast pads

Transportation:

  • Baby Carrier —  Bjorn, Ergo Carrier or sling — Different products work better for different moms and baby.  See if you can “test drive” one from a friend before you purchase.
  • Strollers —  Like carriers, different people like different styles.  Don’t think you can get away with just one.  Most families will end up with some type of frame for the infant seat, a main stroller (the Bob is popular with my girlfriends) and an umbrella stroller for quick trips to the store and traveling.
  • Infant car seat
  • JJ Cole Bundle Me
  • JJ Cole infant support pillow for car seat — Makes the car seat more snug, especially if your baby is a peanut!
  • Check out http://www.etsy.com for very cool car seat covers.  Fun if you want to change the gender theme of your car seat for baby number 2, or if you just want something a little more special than what comes on the seat.  Plus, the covers are easy to wash. (I got mine here; http://www.etsy.com/shop/SassyStork)

Sleeping:

  • Aden & Anais blankets-  I love, love, love these blankets.  I love the size and I love the light-weight texture.  They are perfect for swaddling, covering the baby in the carseat, as a floor blanket, as a nursing cover, as a burp cloth…everything! http://www.adenandanais.com/
  • Miracle Blanket — A long distance friend recommended this to me and it has become my go-to baby shower gift. Makes swaddling a snap – and for bleary-eyed moms, anything that’s a snap, you want.
  • Sleep Sack– For when they outgrow swaddling .  With my second child, I also got a sleep sac that has velcro swaddling “wings” that you could wrap around the baby when they need to be swaddled, but then unvelcro to leave just a sleep sack when they grow out of the swaddle.
  • Waterproof pads for the crib — We did 3 layers of waterproof pads and crib sheets, so that in the middle of the night you just have to rip off the top wet layer and go back to bed!

 

Bathing:

  • Infant bath tub — Don’t get a collapsible one, they leak,  I got one from IKEA for $8 that rocked.
  • Paraben-free soap — Check out http://www.safemama.org or http://www.organicbeautynow.com for good choices.
  • LOTS of cheapy small wash clothes –I stash them everywhere, next to every chair in the house and in my purse, pocket, car.  They’re great for just wiping up drool, spit up or whatever.

Toys:

  • Sophie the Giraffe- You might choke at the price, but French babies for the past 50 years can’t be wrong
  • Mirror toy- Babies love to look at themselves and a mirror toy can engage them enough get through a tummy time session
  • Mobile- My daughter LOVES her mobile so I recently bought the Tiny Love Take Along Mobile.  It clips to her car seat or the side of the pack-n-play
  • Lovey- we love the Angle Dear lovies in our house!

 

Diapering:

  • Aquaphor — Put it on any mark on the baby’s body, baby acne scratches, mild diaper rash, etc.
  • Desitin Creamy- When the diaper rash is bad.

 

Gear:

  • Vibrating bouncy chair — They only fit in it for a few months, but it is a godsend while it works – you can put it in the bathroom and take a shower!
  • Stability Ball— That’s right!  My stability ball was the ONLY place that would make my colicky baby stop crying.  We would just sit on it and bounce for hours!
  • Swing — Many a baby in our group slept many a night in the swing.

Clothing

  • My biggest piece of clothing advice is to think ahead for that first year.  Babies grow fast and outgrow their clothes faster.  Stores stop selling that season’s clothes well before the season is over.  You’ll need fleece pjs in February, but the stores will be filled with spring outfits.  By the next size (or two) up in November while you can.  

Books

  • American Academy of Pediatrics Baby & Child Your Questions Answered
  • Organic Everything Cookbook for Baby and Toddlers
  • Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth
  • The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp (GET THE VIDEO – its 30 minutes long, but totally worth seeing!)
  • The Secrets of the Baby Whisperer by Tracy Hogg

First Aid

*Another great bit of advice I got was to set up a drawer in the changing table with all the first aid supplies, as opposed to the bathroom.  This way, you know where everything is, everything is right within reach and you’ll have the baby on the changing table to administer medications, take temperatures etc.

 

  • Baby Tylenol — Have it on hand, cuz you’ll need it at midnight!
  • Gripe Water — We didn’t use this, but others swear by it for fussiness/gas.
  • Adult cuticle scissors — I found these are the easiest way to trim tiny nails – better than the baby clippers they sell.  Do it while baby is nursing or sleeping.
  • Bulb syringe – Steal one from the hospital — it’s better than any one you buy (and while I’m on stealing from the hospital, take some swaddle blankets too!)
  • Digital baby thermometer

 

Other

  • Trumpet socks — They stay on little feet
  • Newborn soothies (pacifiers)
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