My Baby Essentials
Since we're in the process of getting ready for baby #4 to join our family, I thought I would share some of the baby equipment we've found to be indispensable over the last four and a half years. When I was preparing for Sky, I scoured the baby registries. I had no idea what I would need and it surprised me just how much STUFF there is for babies. A lot of it is useful but not really essential for taking care of a baby. Don't get me wrong, I love our whale baby tub but you can bathe a baby in a sink just as easily.
When we found out that we'd been chosen to parent Water, D and I had just a few days' notice before he was born. Since we lived in a tiny house and didn't expect to be welcoming another child so quickly, we had gotten rid of almost all of our baby things. When I arrived in Seattle, the first thing I did was race to Target and buy most of the things I list below.
While I don't use advertising on my site and I don't usually recommend specific products, I will this time. All of them have proven quality and have lasted through some very intense use and washing. I've included links to these products from amazon.com but I don't receive any reimbursement from them or any other company.
1: Moses Basket Co-sleeping doesn't work for our family (believe me, we wish it did!) but we like to have our babies near by. Using a Moses basket makes this possible in our small house, where we don't have enough space for a full crib in our room. They're light-weight and portable and easy to clean, and can be reused as a regular basket once your baby grows out of it.
2: Modela Bottles We wanted the best for Sky before she came home so I did my research and I was going to buy Dr Brown's bottles until I spoke to my sister-in-law. She told me that they'd tried them but the small tubes were hard to get clean and in the middle of the night, they just have too many parts. She recommended Modela bottles and that's what we've been using ever since. They are durable, easy to clean, and easy to put together. All the parts are interchangeable between bottle sizes (5 to 8 oz) as well.
3: Gerber Flannel Burp Cloths We've tried other brands, and we've tried the terry cloth and knit versions of Gerber's burp cloths but nothing has worked as well as these do. And believe me, they got a big work out this time around, since Water was a "happy spitter" for the first six months of his life. Two of the things I love about these burp cloths is that they're large enough to protect or clean a bigger area and that they're just the right thickness: they absorb moisture without becoming saturated but aren't so thick that they're bulky.
4: Munchkin Dishwasher Basket While this isn't exactly something you need if you're bringing home a baby, having it has made our lives much easier. Running bottles through the dishwasher both cleans and sanitizes them, and saves you the time you would have spent hand washing them. We've never had any issues with clogged nipples or crusty milk in collar caps after using this. The basket can hold 10 nipples at a time, which is great if you're feeding a baby who eats often.
5: Diaper Genie Diaper Pail and Liners We didn't have one of these when we brought Sky home and boy, did our bathroom stink! I bought one for Fire on a friend's recommendation and we've been more than happy with it. I'm usually not a fan of a product that requires you to also buy something disposable to make it work, like you need to buy the liners for this diaper pail, but they really do hold the smell in, so this is my one exception. The liners have only leaked once in three and half years of use, there's never a smell outside the diaper pail (no matter how full it is), and it's easy to change the liner cartridge. I also really like how unobtrusive it is- I don't really want something that screams "I'm a diaper pail!" in our nursery, and the narrow design means it can easily be tucked behind something else.
6: Changing Pad and Washable Cover I know most people will buy a whole changing table for their babies but if you want to get down to basics, you only need this changing pad. We use a low dresser as a changing table now but when Sky came home, we didn't even have that. We had this changing pad, two covers (one for wash, one for use), and a Rubbermaid tub with diapering supplies, all of which was stored under her crib when we weren't using it. Slide the pad and supplies out, change the baby, slide it all back; easy peasy. As I said, we've upgraded to a low dresser since then but we're using the same pad and covers. It's stood up to years of use and is still going strong. It has two sets of safety straps, one to lock it to your changing table and one to hold the baby once they get big enough to roll away. The pad wipes down for easy cleaning and the covers don't have any stains, even after so much use.
7: Munchkin Travel Diaper Changing Kit Can I tell you a secret? Promise you won't tell anyone? There are no diaper changing tables on Kwaj. None. I've been changing my babies on the ground for four and a half years. Well, not exactly on the ground but that's only because I've had one of these rolled up in my diaper bag for that entire time. All you have to do is open it up to have a safe and clean surface to change your baby on. The pockets can hold up to five diapers and a full package of wipes and it will still stay closed. The plastic pad wipes down easily and it can be washed in the washing machine after a big mess.
So that's it. Seven little things to get ready for a baby. There are so many things that you can buy for a baby (I've written other posts with our recommendations on carriers and strollers) but we've used these seven things for each of kids and love them.
What are your baby essentials? Do you have that one thing that you buy for every new mom's baby shower? Is there just one thing in your nursery or diaper bag that you can't live without?
See where I'm linking up here