Welp, as I mentioned last month, we are having another baby! I’m so excited for the newborn stage again, which I think means that my pregnancy hormones have wiped my brain of all memory of the early struggles of having a newborn. It just seems thrilling to experience those early days all over again with a teeny tiny precious baby. Am I crazy? Yes. But regardless, in preparation I started to think about the stuff we have, the stuff we need, and decided to put together a list with all the baby gear we have used and loved. Hopefully it will help out some new parents or those looking for the most helpful items.
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Baby Gear Newborn to 3 Months
This cozy newborn lounger turned out to be the *single most valuable thing* we used for James. It’s a nest-like pillow where your baby can lounge and play. We tried other loungers, too, like the Dock-A-Tot, and none compared. For whatever reason, it was the only thing James would sleep in for the first several months (note that it is not recommended for sleep, but it was what worked for us. And yes, I watched him like a hawk for the first 3 months of his life, which is probably why I got no sleep). I have recommended and gifted it to everyone we know.
Happiest Baby Sleapea Swaddles
James would only sleep when swaddled, which is pretty typical for a newborn, but finding (or creating) a good tight swaddle can be challenging. We tried a bunch of brands like the Halo Sleep Sack and Summer Infant SwaddleMe, but ultimately nothing seemed to fit as snug and safely as the ones made by Happiest Baby (the company that makes the Snoo Bassinet). They have inner arm wraps to keep the baby’s arms securely at their sides and mesh fabric areas for better breathability. Since we have the Snoo, we used their swaddles with clips on the sides to clip into the bassinet (helping your baby to stay on their back), but Happiest Baby makes clip-less ones too: the Sleapea Swaddles. I can’t recommend them enough.
Baby Brezza Formula Pro
We began exclusively formula feeding James when I wasn’t able to breastfeed. For parents who use formula, this product is a lifesaver. The process of making each bottle is pretty time consuming, measuring the water, formula, mixing, and then making a warm water bath to bring it to the right temperature. The Formula Pro does all the work for you in about 30 seconds. It’s basically a Keurig machine for formula. You just have to keep it clean.
Newborns are so tiny. He could sort of sit on his own while we washed him in this tub. He loved tubs from the very first one and still does today.
Skip Hop backpack diaper bag
Backpacks allow you to have both hands free, which is clutch as a new parent on the go. This soft black backpack is comfortable, cleanable, and holds a ton.
MAM pacifiers were the *only* brand of binkies James would use (and believe you me, we tried several).
Dr. Brown’s glass bottles with slow flow nipples (4 ounce)
We tried so, so, SO many different bottles with varying degrees of luck before settling on these. They come in plastic, too, but I love the glass bottles so you don’t have to worry about hot water degrading the plastic when washing over time.
Bottles have lots of little parts to them (like vents), making them tricky to clean with a traditional sponge. This bottle brush came in handy all day every day.
Carter’s zip-up onesies
Since babies can’t really use blankets, these footed one-pieces were nice and cozy for sleep—and most of the day, let’s be real. And because you change your baby’s diaper so frequently, it’s nice to have an easy zipper rather than a dozen snaps to line up, especially in the middle of the night.
Flannel burp cloths
James spit up pretty much constantly until he was 10 months old, so you can understand that Daniel and I were never without a burp cloth over our shoulders. I received a lot of soft burp cloths as gifts, some cotton, some muslin, some a mix of fabrics, but none were as absorbent as the flannel ones my sister in law gave me. I don’t have a brand to recommend, but flannel is the way to go.
White noise machine
Daniel and I are in our thirties and we both sleep with white noise, so naturally we got a machine for our baby, too. This particular one offers multiple sounds and noise levels and so far, James hasn’t woken from any noise we make while he’s in his room (he even stayed asleep through our hours-long/fairly loud Christmas party).
Baby Jogger Stroller
My sister-in-law has a Baby Jogger and highly recommended it to us. I’m so glad she did. This stroller is sturdy and yet lightweight, folds up easily, and glides around like a dream.
Snoo Smart Sleeper Bassinet
Daniel heard Ashton Kutcher raving about this smart bassinet on a podcast and I read The Happiest Baby on the Block, the baby sleep bible written by Dr. Harvey Karp (known for creating the 5 S’s). The Snoo is really expensive but we thought it would be worth it. It’s a smart bassinet that rocks the baby and plays white noise. When the baby cries it responds by increasing the motion and noise, often soothing the baby back to sleep. I have heard great things about it and we weren’t unhappy with it overall, but it turned out that it just wasn’t for James. He had a few phases where he slept well in it but overall, he never really got comfortable with it. This is one of those products that some people LOVE and swear by, and others don’t find worth it. I’m still hopeful that our next baby boy will take to it.
Baby Gear 3-6 Months
Sensory activity play mat
James LOVED this activity mat and I’m happy to say that it provided hours of play for him. And as garish as baby stuff tends to be, this Jonathan Adler design is fairly stylish.
Dr. Brown’s glass bottles (8 ounce)
Once James became mobile, our whole world changed. Gates are absolutely crucial and this one was safe, secure, and fairly easy to set up.
Baby Booster Seat
This safe, secure baby seat was what we used when James began sitting up on his own and it became especially useful when he started eating solids. It has a removable, wipeable tray that allows for easy cleaning, too.