If I could go back in time seven years to when I was pregnant with Charlie and didn’t know anything about having a baby or what I would need, I would have a lot of advice and tips for my inexperienced self. Three kids later, I have a list of favorite things that I would recommend to any parent to buy before baby or put on their registry. As a mom who has now done the baby stage three times to three very different babies, I feel like I have a pretty good idea of what works and what doesn’t and I hope that knowledge and experience can help you when you are preparing and shopping for your own baby. I’m doing a takeover of BabyList’s Instagram feed sharing a few of those and some tips for other parents, but I wanted to share more here with more detailed explanations of why I love them so much. And the best part is, I’ve teamed up with BabyList and the brands to give one lucky reader all of the recommended products. So be sure to make it all the way to the bottom of this post to enter! (GIVEAWAY CLOSED)
In case you haven’t yet heard of BabyList let me just say that it is a brilliant site that I really wish had existed back when I was expecting my first baby. With the BabyList baby registry you can register for anything from any store rather than having to choose one store for your registry and be limited to the products they carry. Want to register for a stroller but also handmade and unique items from small businesses and makers? You can do that with BabyList. You can choose the cute onesies, personalized toys, books, and heirlooms that you really want while also registering for all of your baby gear and essentials. BabyList can also help you to merge multiple registries from different stores into one place, making it really convenient for friends and family. Plus you can add meaningful gifts that money can’t buy, like home cooked meals, help with pets or older children, or offers of babysitting when you’re ready. It helps your village to know what your needs are and allows them to lend a hand. So incredibly helpful for new parents! So I guess my first recommendation for you is to check out BabyList for your baby registry. Next, some of my favorite and highly recommended products.
Stroller from UPPAbaby
We’ve been an UPPAbaby family from the start. I have no doubt that we chose the best stroller on the market for quality, customer service, durability, safety, and longevity. I have tried, tested, and used every stroller they make at some point during my almost 7 years as a mom and blogger (as well as strollers from many other brands). But the stroller that has been the most lifesaving for me with two-three kids is the G-Link for easy on-the-go travel and the Vista with rumbleseat and piggyback board add-ons for more urban walks and adventures.. It is a double version of their fab G-Luxe umbrella stroller. Each seat can recline individually, has its own sunshade, and comes with an insert so you can use it from day one with a newborn (unlike other umbrella strollers). It is light and incredibly easy to fold and unfold. This is my go-to stroller for errand running, school pick-up and drop-off with all three kids in tow, museum and amusement park adventures and more. I keep it in our minivan and we use it daily. And if I’m baby wearing the little one, my oldest (who is a very tall six year old) can ride in it for a bit if he needs a walking rest. I also love the Cruz for on-the-go adventures and a stroller to keep in the car because it is also really light and if you have an older child you can get a piggyback board (sold separately) for them to ride on (if you’re looking for a lighter and more affordable option than the Vista — but if you want to use it for urban/city living for a long time, the Vista is well worth the investment.)
The Owlet Baby Monitor
Boy would I have had a lot less sleepless nights with my first baby if I had an Owlet back then. I have to say that this is a must for anxious new parents but is a huge help to parents of additional babies as well. The Owlet baby monitor is a smart sock you slip onto your baby (it comes in three sizes), that uses a technology called pulse oximetry that doctors have used for decades. It is connected via bluetooth to a dock station that is designed to notify you if the oxygen or heart rate levels are outside of the preset zone with both light and sound alarms. So parents can rest easy in those precious few hours that their baby allows them to 🙂
Designed to offer a safe, snug, and soothing environment for baby to sleep in and totally breathable — the DockATot is a great option to put inside baby’s crib or to use if you co-sleep. And it helps baby transition to new sleeping environments, like co-sleeping to crib or crib to bed and works as a travel bed, too. I’ve used this with Quincy from an early age and he seemed to love the cozy feeling and fell asleep easily.
Sleepers, Hooded Towels and Covers from Bebe Au Lait
These days there are lots of good quality muslin swaddle blankets and sleep bags on the market. But what I love about the ones from Bebe Au Lait is that they are incredibly well-made. I’ve never had them rip, show wear, or pull at the seams. I also love that the sleep bags have a zipper that starts at the bottom, which means you don’t have to figure out how to attach the teeth of the zipper at the top while a squirmy baby makes the task impossible. It’s brilliant and I don’t know why every bag isn’t made that way. The brand also makes great hooded bath towels, car seat covers, shopping cart covers, and nursing covers, among other things.
4Moms mamaRoo and Breeze
I’m a huge fan of every single product I’ve ever tried by 4Moms! We loved and used their Breeze (which is an amazing playard), their rockaRoo (swing) and bounceRoo (vibrating bouncer), and their highchair (included below!). But the mamaRoo has been a baby pleaser for more than one baby in my house. I used it with both Calvin and Quincy and it worked for both even though they were very different babies because of the different motions, speeds, and position settings. With Quincy I had to have him sitting very upright due to his reflux. Calvin loved more swinging style movements. It can also play sounds and music and syncs to an app to your smart phone!
4Moms High Chair
After two babies I still had not found a highchair I loved. Until I met the one from 4Moms. This highchair is super easy to put together, even easier to clean (the most important feature of any highchair in my opinion), is lightweight, and doesn’t take up a ton of space. But the really cool feature of the chair is that it has a magnetic tray, which is how the tray locks into place, making it dummy-proof and allowing you to attach and remove it with just one hand. And it is compatible with special magnetic dishes (the chair comes with one bowl and you can buy more from their site) that are designed to stay put on the tray.
Feeding, Safety, and Bath Essentials from Munchkin
Munchkin is one of those brands who makes a little bit of everything for baby, and all of the products are amazing and have parents in mind. Their snack catchers click and lock, which is so much better than the lids babies can just pull off. Their cups are my favorite — my baby is learning with the training straw sippy, my oldest loves his Miracle Cup, and my toddler finally transitioned off a bedtime bottle thanks to their sport cup. My favorite feeding tools are their White Hot plates, bowls, and spoons, which turn white if the temperature of the food is too hot. We use their safety products like bath spout covers and mats, the white hot ducky, mirrors and sun shades in our minivan, to name a few. And they have the simplest but possibly most brilliant product: the pouch feeding spoons, which twist right onto baby food pouches, making feedings on the go a cinch.
Wildbird Ring Sling
I have done a lot of baby wearing as a mom, but I had never tried a ring sling until baby #3, and boy do I love it! What a lifesaver it has been for me with two other active kids. Quincy loves that it feels like a cuddle (and so do I) and he has taken many a nap in mine and nursed for at least one meal a day most days. I don’t know how I would have survived year one with three kids without it. And they are so pretty I’ve accumulated quite a stash of them — you might say I’m addicted 🙂
Fawn Design Diaper Bag
Similar to the style and function of my sling, the Fawn Design Diaper Bag is both beautiful and super practical and functional for busy moms. Everyone has their own taste and style, but personally I don’t find the brightly patterned diaper bags to be as cute and versatile as my beautiful Fawn Design bag. It goes with everything, doesn’t even look like a diaper bag, and is really pretty. Plus it is roomy — I can pack snacks, water, diapers, and a change of clothes for both of my diaper wearing littles, plus still have room for a water for myself and my oldest son, plus a sling, toys, wallet, sunglasses, etc. There are lots of interior and exterior pockets, plus the ability to be worn as both a shoulder bag and a backpack. And when you are baby wearing and holding little hands the backpack option is KEY.
I love these lactation bars from Oat Mama (the chocolate & peanut butter is my fave but all the flavors I’ve tried are delicious). They are really the only thing I did differently this time when it comes to boosting my milk supply (in fact, I actually only ate these and didn’t need the teas or fennel oil roller that I used with my other babies) and Quincy is the only baby that I have easily nursed until one year — and still going strong! Also, some of them are dairy-free, which was so helpful since I had to give up dairy because of a milk protein sensitivity, colic, and reflux that Quincy had. Oat Mama bars are perfect to put on your registry and are a wonderful baby shower gift idea.
You might hear me mention this product and think “just another swaddle, right?” Well, you would be so wrong. Calvin busted out of swaddle blankets with lightning speed and the SwaddleMe and similar swaddles lasted about 30 minutes on him max. He was very strong and wiggly and every time he would bust out he would also wake up. There is nothing more frustrating than when your baby would have been sleeping but woke up because a product failed to do its job! So I tried out the Ollie World Swaddle and have never looked back. I used it with Quincy also and it worked just as well with him. I think it’s sprinkled with magic sleep dust. It has super strong velcro, is incredibly simple to put on, is the only unbustable swaddle I’ve ever found, and is made from moisture wicking fabric so it keeps baby cool and dry. You can literally spray water on it and watch it wick away. And it also comes with its own laundry bag so the velcro doesn’t stick to the rest of your laundry. Get it. Trust me. Thank me later.
Ergobaby Adapt Carrier
I’ve been vocal about my love of baby wearing and Ergobaby carriers here on my blog and also on my instagram feed. Baby wearing has been such a wonderful experience for me as a mother and I’ve used an original Ergobaby carrier since I had my first child. The only downside used to be that you couldn’t use the carrier with newborns without an insert. Well, Ergobaby fixed all of that with their Adapt 3 position carrier. You can use it starting at birth and without an insert and until your child is 45 pounds (which is way longer than any of my kids every wanted to be worn). While I use wraps, slings, and carriers, my Ergo is my go-to for hikes, active baby wearing, and long distance wearing because it is easier on my back and I feel like baby is more secure when we are being active.
Ergobaby Nursing Pillow
A great supportive nursing pillow is so important for every nursing mama to have. It will save your back, boobs, and baby’s latch. I used the Ergobaby nursing pillow with Quincy and loved it. And having used two other brands with my two other babies I can say that if I had this one from the start, it would have been the only one I would have ever tried. One tip: for newborns and really teeny babies, turn the pillow upside down and use the flat firmer side for the first few weeks until baby gets bigger 😉
Bath & Body Products from Tubby Todd
When I had my first baby I didn’t really have as many bath and body options as there are now. I used whatever I was gifted and then bought whatever I liked best. I definitely didn’t understand the importance of using natural products. Enter Calvin, who had a lot of skin issues. I had to be really careful about what I used on him and paid attention to product ingredients. I started going the natural route and I haven’t looked back. That’s why I love Tubby Todd products. I posted the above photo after being home with Quincy for a few days from the hospital. He had spent a week in the NICU and after a couple of days of tubes taped on his face, it was broken out and horribly red. I started putting Tubby Todd’s All Over Ointment on it and by the next day his skin was perfect. I’ve been using it on him ever since and I kid you not, he has never had one blemish of baby acne. He has the prettiest skin. We also love their bubble bath and lotion.
Apparel & Accessories from June and January
June and January is a wardrobe staple for my boys. Calvin has worn the brand since he was born and now Quincy has worn those hand-me-downs, plus new stuff too. That tells you how well made their apparel is to survive two very active boys and a lot of wear. And the styles and designs couldn’t be cuter. I was obsessed with their side snap newborn pieces when Quincy was born, and they have since come out with nursery items and baby booties that almost make me want to have one more baby. The colors and prints are so good and they have every style covered — from blankets to bonnets, headbands to booties, and everything a little one can wear in between. I usually tell people not to register for baby clothes, but this is my one exception. Their basics would definitely be on my registry-must list. And the best part is their sizes now go up to 5T, so your kids can keep wearing J&J for years to come.
One of you will win:
- UPPAbaby G-Link Double Stroller (don’t have two kids or not planning to? UPPAbaby will give you a Cruz instead)
- 4Moms High Chair AND 4Moms mamaRoo
- Ergobaby Adapt Carrier AND Ergobaby Natural Curve Nursing Pillow
- Owlet Baby Monitor
- One Deluxe DockATot (up to $160 value)
- Diaper Bag from Fawn Design
- Very Important Baby Gift Basket of essentials for baby’s first year from Munchkin (*included products listed below)
- One Wildbird sling of choice
- Two sky swaddles from The Ollie World
- Baby bundle from Bebe Au Lait (sleeper, nursing cover, shopping cart cover, and hooded towel)
- $100 credit to June & January
- $100 credit to Oat Mama
- $100 credit to Tubby Todd
That’s a prize valued at over $2500! So amazing right? So enter below, share with your friends, and best of luck! (GIVEAWAY CLOSED)
And new or expecting mamas: what are your biggest questions? Veteran mamas: What are your biggest tips or lifesavers? Let’s share the knowledge 🙂
Contents of VIB Munchkin basket include: LATCH™ 4oz Bottle and LATCH™ Pacifier 0+ month (2 Pack), Multi Forks and Spoons (6 Pack), Soft Tip Infant Spoons (6 Pack), Click Lock™ Food Pouch Spoons (2 Pack), Mighty Grip® Flip Straw Cup, Designer Diaper Changer, Click Lock™ Fresh Food Freezer Pops, Lil’ Apple Plates, To-Go Bib, Disposable Bibs (24 Pack), Deluxe Snack Catcher, Formula Dispenser, Fresh Food Feeder, Click Lock™ Bite Proof Trainer Cup, Mozart Magic® Cube, Deluxe Stay-in-Place™ Baby Mirror, The Medicator®, Safety Plug Covers (36 Pack), White Hot Rollershade, Stroller Hook, Port Hamper, White Hot Ducky, Barn Squirts Bath Toy (8 Pack), Soap Dispensing Bottle Brush, Sprout® Drying Rack, Teether Babies® Teething Toy, and Twisty® Figure 8 Teething Toy.
This post is in collaboration with BabyList and the listed prize partners. Although it is not sponsored, some product may have been sent to me in order to test and/or photograph for this or other posts. This is an honest post of things I have used and loved with my babies and is based on my experience and opinion alone.