A little while back, a friend of mine did a huge comprehensive post of everything you could possibly need for a baby and what worked for her and her family. I was going to do something similar, but when I came down to it, there is so much that is nice to have, but not so many items I simply could not have survived the first few months without.
When I was putting together a shower gift for a dear friend and having a hard time because I couldn't settle on what to get her, my husband walked around BRU with me and rolled his eyes and then said "Why are we not getting her _____... and _____? We love these for Joe" and together, we compiled a basket of things we loved and she registered for (mostly things that fell into both categories). Kind of a new baby survival basket... It contained a lot of these things...
So, without further delay, here is my list of the bare bones basics I simply could not have made it without, and a few other favorites just for fun.
1. Playtex VentAire Slow Flow Bottles - Yoga baby was almost an exclusively pumped for baby. It took him 3 days to figure out how to latch with help, and another few weeks to do it without me forcing his mouth to do what he needed to. The lactation consultant hooked me up with a hospital grade rental pump, but worked with us for over two hours one day to try and get him to eat. He was obviously so hungry. He wasn't all that upset about it, but he was trying to eat constantly and it just wasn't working. We ended up getting him to latch that day and teaching him to latch on his own over the next few weeks, but we still bought and used bottles for those harder days. The LC suggested them because of the shape of the nipple and the flow, which is closest to that of an actual boob - in other words, it makes baby work to get the milk out.
2. Avent Pacifiers - Not the "Soothee" kind. Those are still touch and go for us. This was the first kind of pacifier we ever tried to give him, so it's the kind he likes - the kind he can keep in his mouth without assistance, and the kind he spits out least often. We started using pacifiers when he was 3 weeks old - we'd figured out how to latch him and I'd become a human pacifier. I was losing my mind. He didn't need to eat that much, so we got the OK from the LC to give him a pacifier (or gollylicker as my husband calls them - has anyone else never heard that word before???) and we never looked back. Now he only uses them at nap time or if he wakes up in the middle of the night because he doesn't do night feedings anymore - unless he wakes up before 4am and the paci won't cut it.
3. Aden & Anais Muslin Swaddle Blankets - We used these blankets for everything. As a car seat cover when he was taking a nap, to lay out on the floor for tummy time, to wipe up spit up, and most importantly, as an actual swaddle. We were a little freaked out by swaddling initially. Baby can't move his arms and the dang swaddle (which is sometimes a blanket and sometimes not) is so close to baby's face! Luckily, our little munchkin preferred to sleep with his arms up by his head. So, we opted to swaddle him in actual swaddle blankets under his little armpits. He never had a very strong startle reflex, so we never had any issues with him waking himself by startling.
4. Babyganics Hand, Face & Baby Wipes - These wipes are the sh*t. I use them for everything. They don't smell weird, like some wipes do. They aren't crazy expensive. They've got good grippyness for getting grossness out of crevices, and best of all, I can use the same kind of wipes to clean up my little guy's face as I use for the rest of him. Talk about time and money saving genius! One product = does all the things! We tried Huggies, Kirkland, and Honest too, but these were just the best. The others didn't compare.
5. Basic Target Nursing Tanks - I still live in these. They are my favorite tanks on the planet and even as I write this I am considering going to Target.com and buying more. I flipping love them. I haven't done a lot of posts about my wardrobe, but I am a big time layerer. My favorite top combo is a cami and a flowy T or light sweater - comfy and pretty chic if I may say so myself. What actually drove me to these was my absolute hatred for nursing bras. I have some and I wear them, but I really really hate them. I bought so many in hopes that I would find one or two I could stand, but I still hate them. So, I wear my tanks as often as possible, and am really looking forward to wearing normal bras on the reg again.
6. Boon Lawn Drying Rack - Someone should tell you to get a bottle drying rack. No one told me this and I spent the first few weeks leaving my bottles and pump parts to dry out on a paper towel. I ended up cranky with lots of condensation getting stuck on the insides of bottles, so I got some Boon grass and then everything was better. Oh! And I got the big white one because I'm lazy (more room to store bottles I haven't put away yet) and I wanted it to match my blue and white kitchen.
7. Magnificent Baby Magnetic Closure Jammies - It's 3am. Your brain is only half functioning. You somehow managed to change your baby's diaper, but now you're supposed to snap his jammies back up? Seriously? How? With magnets, that's how. Changed my life. These are a little pricey for baby jammies, in all honesty, but the magnets are so worth it. Total nighttime gamechanger.
8. GroVia Hybrid (AI2) Cloth Diaper Shells with Stay-Dry Inserts - I've got a whole other post in my head about diapers, so I'm gonna keep this simple. These are easy to fit, easy to change, and easy to wash. They're not too bulky unless you use a ton of boosters or some of the bulkier inserts. Hands down my favorite diapers. These are also the only ones my husband took the time to figure out how to put on.
9. BumGenius 4.0 Pocket Diaper - These were amazing when I was first transitioning from disposables to cloth. They're a great newcomer diaper for folks who don't want to venture down the rabbit hole of cloth diapering. These were the first dipes we ever made it overnight in without a leak. We had the easiest time figuring out the fit with these over all the other types of cloth I tried.
10. Solly Baby Wrap - I LOVE THIS WRAP! I have two of them. They're so lightweight, have the perfect amount of stretch, and I'm still using it over 6 months later. I plan to continue to use it until my little dude declares he will be wrapped no more - or he exceeds the weight restrictions. :P
11. Gerber Birdseye Flatfold Diapers - aka cheap burp cloths. You can totes use these as the inserts for hybrid diapers too, but I used them as burp clothes. When my guy was spitting up a lot we'd have a few of these in every room in the house as any given time.
12. Huggies Little Snugglers - We cloth diaper 98% of the time now, but when I felt like he was too small for cloth, hubs went out and bought us a box of these. Totally random - hubs is a bargain shopper - but they worked perfectly! We had so many fewer leaks than with Pampers, and they were more true to size than Honest. I did love Honest, by the way, I just didn't love them enough to keep buying them after we went through our initial sampler.
That's pretty much it. My favorite life-changing baby products. What do you think? Helpful?