A few weeks ago, I wrote about baby not wanting to sleep in their bed (which is totally normal and fine). This week, I’m talking about all the products I used religiously and I found very helpful. I stand by the fact that all people and families are different, and so are all babies. You might find something to be just as useful on this list, or you may not. There’s tons of options out there, and it’s finding what works best for your family.
So let’s get into it–baby shopping time! One of the best times of pregnancy and baby-hood. An all-time favorite activity for my Grandma and I. I love it. I still love it–I get sad walking by the baby department now that my son is “grown”. Sigh.
Note: I’m not adding sleep products to this list, since there is a variety of options out there. We used a bassinet, a crib, and practiced safe co-sleeping regularly, so I didn’t feel that including those would be helpful. If you’re interested in safe co-sleeping, I’ll be writing a post about it soon!
This post contains affiliate links, which means if you buy something using these pictures’ links, I may earn a little commission on qualifying products. You can read more about my affiliate disclaimer here.
Swaddle blankets are where it’s at for fussy sleepers. My son hated sleep, until I learned how to swaddle. It took a couple of tries, but we figured it out. And as soon as I figured it out, he changed how he liked to be swaddled (with one arm out next to his ear). Anyway, we had two types of swaddling blankets. One was the traditional soft, square blanket, like these. I loved the versatility of the square blankets.
Here’s a short video on different ways to swaddle:
If you want something a little easier (which is super helpful for those middle of the night changes), I recommend these swaddlers, which are basically a swaddle-shaped blanket with velcro to keep it in place. Loved these.
Note that these come in different sizes, so make sure you’re buying the right ones!
Note: Please keep in mind, once baby is starting to roll over, usually between 4-6 months, it’s time to stop swaddling to keep sleeping safe!
I can’t begin to tell you how many times I lost the binky in the middle of the night. Once I got a pacifier clip, omgosh, it changed night time and nap time. There are different types, but I preferred these. Clip that binky to your swaddle and find it in no time in the dark!
The “Right” Pacifiers
My son was SO PICKY about his binky. It had to have the right length, the right nipple shape, the right size. Finally he settled on some Philips pacifiers, as they weren’t too bulbous or narrow. Plus, they have the “handle” on the back so he could pick it up and it was easy to attach to clip. You might find your baby likes different shapes; it just takes a little experimenting.
But, seriously, having the pacifier on the clip and a pacifier that was easy for him to find and deal with meant he learned how to soothe himself if he woke up during sleep. It was a lifesaver.
Note: In order to establish breastfeeding in the early weeks, it is recommended to refrain using a pacifier until your baby is latching well and your supply is steady.
If you’re planning on using bottles, you’ll have to clean them, and–let me tell you–they are not easy to wash by hand, unless you have one of these babies. It made getting to the bottom of the bottle effortless, and even has a tip to use on the bottle nipple and those especially hard to reach places.
Dishwasher Bottle Basket
If you are lucky enough to have a dishwasher, you will love one of these. It keeps all your bottle accessories all together and makes sure everything is washed and sanitized. When the dishes are done, simply take it out, shake it off, and reassemble your bottles easily.
Bonus, if you don’t feel like reassembling bottles, you don’t have to. Just put it up in your cabinet and grab things as needed. Extra bonus: This basket also works great for small tupperware lids and cake decorating tools/tips for when your little one grows out of using bottles.
When you really need to get things done (or just need to take a breather), a bouncer is great for keeping baby entertained. They come in a variety of styles, colors, and price range, making sure there’s one to meet your needs and budget. We had one similar to this one.
Please remember, babies are safest sleeping on their backs in a safe place. While it’s very easy to let baby sleep in a bouncer or swing, I am not promoting it and instead encourage you put baby down on a soft, flat surface for safe and comfortable sleeping. You can read more about safe sleep practices here.
Bumbo Seat and Tray
Once baby is doing well holding his head up, a bumbo seat is awesome for interactive play and practicing grips. You can use it with or without the tray, making it versatile and safe for baby to sit in indoors or out. Just keep it on a flat surface (preferably the floor!) and let baby explore the world around him with a brand new view. If you’re using the tray, give him a few baby safe snacks and practice that pincer grab.
You don’t have to bathe your baby every night, but when you do, don’t you want to use something that’s super easy and doesn’t require you to use a full bath tub? We used this tub for quite some time, even after my son was a year old. It was just the right size for him, and we didn’t have to fill up the whole tub and waste water. Bonus: it has a drain on the bottom, making it super easy to empty and be done with.
My son lived in his baby carrier from about a month old on. We had two different kinds: a mei tie sash carrier and a Lillebaby buckle/strap carrier. I loved both. The mei tie fit better in the diaper bag, since it didn’t have a lot of padding or buckles to deal with. The Lillebaby had lots of comfy padding, easier for me to put on by myself, and was more comfortable for long distances (plus, it has a little zipper pocket on the front). I don’t think I can choose my favorite between the two.
Babywearing is super beneficial for baby development. I’ll be writing a post about that in the near future, so be on the lookout!
And that’s it! Those are the main products I used on a daily basis, and made my life a little easier. Like I mentioned before, some of these might work for you, they may not. But there’s so many things on the market for different lifestyles and budgets, everyone will be in luck.