Well…! Hello from the other side of newborn-hood and COVID (kinda)! 12 months with Esme FLEW by and the learning curve was real. Outside of my mom group (shout out to Juana, Krystal, and Grace) I had to do a lot of research and reading to figure out what was going to work for us. Naturally, there were things I would change and things I would do all over again. I wanted to share some products that we loved, Instagram pages that I referenced, and other tools that helped me feel successful.
Looking back on when you first had kids, can you believe all the things that went to waste?! All the things that lasted? All the old school things that are still golden till this day? Here’s my brain dump of things that I truly just loved by category!
*The links posted do NOT provide us commission. C U Next TuesdayS. Maybe one day…*
Doona: This stroller/car seat combo is a GAME CHANGER for so many reasons. Esme was on the shorter side most of her first year of life, so this products’ height limit stretched for us. HIGHLY RECOMMEND. Didn’t get to use it for traveling like we thought we would, but even with the pandemic, it still came through.
Baby carrier: easily fits both Eli and I over multiple layers. Grows with baby as a 4-in-1 carrier
Cybex stroller: Love how you can turn baby to face you when in public (safety first!)
Dagne Dover Diaper Bag: this will last YEARS. From diaper bag to overnight bag or carry on. Great quality and lots of compartments.
Lovevery Subscription– pricey but worth it. SERIOUSLY. You can register for it. If you’re into the Montessori concept, this is your deal
Indestructible Books: these sustain tears, water, food, and travel.
Play Mat: of any kind. We got ours from Burlington on sale HA! It’s a place your kid knows is theirs and is easy to clean and sanitize. Of course, they have some that are way more modern and cuter, but Esme doesn’t know, and I don’t care lol
ECR4Kids: This was fun for her to learn gross motor skills with. Can be pulled apart into separate pieces and is easy to clean up. A little pricey but we use it every day so it’s worth it for us.
Sprouts Montessori Shelf: By now you can tell I’m Montessori obsessed. This shelf is appealing to our aesthetic and simplicity.
More BOOKS!!: I cannot emphasize READING enough. I was a little taken aback by how many books we received when Esme was born. Everyone told me “read to her, read out loud, read to your baby..” And we have done that. We read before every nap and before bedtime, and even during play time. She absolutely loves it. Language development and comprehension start here! I want to start the habit and enjoyment of reading books as early as I can.
Peanut Changing Table: first off aesthetics, and secondly easy to clean. We’ve had this for almost a year and it still looks new.
Burp cloths That Are Actually Cloth Diapers: THE best. So absorbent, and gentle on baby’s skin. We got these from some of Elijah’s coworkers and I was like “this is random” but they were amazing. Easy to monogram too.
Baby Bathtub: got this one from the hospital and she STILL uses this. It’s the safest I’ve found to help prevent drowning.
Sound Machine: can travel and we use it at home. I can’t lie- we drown her room out HEAVY with white noise. We have since she was an infant, and she sleeps like a rock. This is loud and good for on-the-go.
Boppy Lounger: Homegirl still uses this to chill on and watch tv. She also had a crazy watery explosion on it one time and it cleaned up really great LOL
HALO Swaddle: we used these and the sleep sacks (BACK IS BEST!) and this was our JAM. We transitioned with it into a standard sleep sack. Esme liked being swaddled so this was a great tool for us. They also have different thicknesses you can choose from so it was nice to cater to the weather as it changed. Highly recommend these.
Nested Bean Sleepsack: Used these as well. The weighted part in the middle was soothing for her for the first 3-4 months.
Baby Swing: We definitely received the 4Moms Rockaroo as a gift and while Esme used it, it was nothing compared to this classic swing. Not trendy, BUT LET ME TELL YOU. Don’t sleep on the classics. I recommend this! It’s a money saver for a product they will use for literally less than 6 months.
MAM Pacifiers: Do your research on what you want and what you like. We have the Avent Soothies, but she liked these the best. They allowed her to turn her head from side to side without the paci getting caught or stuck on the sheets or our shoulders.
I owe so much to these pages *literally insert real tears*. I learned to much from these bloggers, moms, and professionals.
-Safe in the Seat******** holy information 9-1-1. Learned the most here
– Just Ingredients** Game changer as an adult and for your child.
– Legendary Milk
-Taking Cara Babies***** Her program is legit. She high key got called about some political BS and didn’t deny it…. But she knows what she’s talking about. So be petty and don’t follow her but go to her page and look at all her content.
-Pump Momma Pump
Baby Moov: Got this as a gift and we loved loved loved it!!
Dr Browns Anticolic Bottles: it’s just what we chose and liked. She was still a little colicky in the beginning but I’m all about max effort when are desperate.
Spectra Breast Pump: (gathering myself to not write a novel) Ok so for this… Most all women qualify for a FREE breast pump through your insurance. This is the S2. The S1 can be cordless. BE SMART AND GET A SMALL COMPACT BREASTPUMP. Do your research- YouTube, blogs, Instagram. You will find what’s best for your lifestyle and what’s easiest to operate. I was recommended this by a friend, and I definitely loved it and don’t regret getting it; what I did find was how convenient it would’ve been to have something smaller to drag to and from work, how easy it would be to pump at night with a smaller one, and how nice it would’ve been to just tuck it in my pocket once Esme started to get mobile.
Lawn for Bottles: Duh. Easy to clean, designated for all your parts to be away from other gross surfaces, and trendy.
Cetaphil: Gentle on baby’s skin!
Pipette: (everything from there honestly). They have clean (free from lots of toxins and parabens) products. I can say this has really made a difference in Esme’s eczema-prone skin. They also have products for Momma that I use. There almost always having some sort of a sale which is perfect because we all love free and discounted shit.
Noodle and Boo Lotion: BASICALLY SMELLS LIKE JESUS. Buy it for your baby or buy it as a gift for someone else. It shits on Johnson and Johnson.
Boudreaux’s Butt Paste: Good for diaper rash. I like this better than Desitin. It has 40% zinc in it, as does Desitin Max Strength, but I just prefer this.
Aquaphor: Pipette has a cleaner version of this, but this is classic. I used it on her skin a lot when she was a newborn with lotion as well. Helps her with eczema flareups and extra moisturizer in the winter.
Wonder Weeks: Downloaded this app. I give it a 6/10. Sometimes would help you understand why your baby was fussy or “off”. They change soooo fast the first year. This app describes these changes called “leaps” and what to expect as they approach. I used the calendar in the app to see when her good and bad weeks could possibly be, and it was helpful. Not always on time (maybe a week or two early or late). It’s not free so merp. But also throw in teething, gas, new foods, etc. and who knows who accurate this thing TRULY is. But I’m a new mom so I wanted to try it all.
What to Expect: lived in this app from week 4 of pregnancy and still look at it almost daily. This app is basically like the best-selling book, but it has so much more in it. Links to products, articles to read, and new research. I also receive emails from a group I joined through this app for “April 2020” babies. Mom’s post questions, struggles, and victories about their babes and it’s really nice to see that other families are going through the same exact thing basically at the same time!
***ON BECOMING BABY WISE*** ESME IS THE BABY SHE IS BECAUSE OF THIS BOOK. I put a HUGE amount of my success with her sleep/eat/wake cycle on this book. I bought the e-copy on my Kindle so I could read it while rocking her or in bed or anywhere honestly. I read this MF like 8x and referenced it almost daily through the first year! Another time and place for more on this, but I knew that a schedule would be important to me for sanity, baby’s growth, and for Elijah to keep up with when I returned to nights at work. Buy it!