What a fab post!
Congrats on your little one, BTW! I gave birth to my only child, Madison, in September of 2008. She is 15 months old and SO MUCH FUN! I’ve learned a lot along the way and here’s my list:
Pampers, Pampers, Pampers: I had a brief stint with cloth diapers (Thirsties, FTW!) but they were too time consuming (DH works nights so I’m alone with her much of the time). We brought Madi home in Swaddlers and thankfully, received enough boxes of them at our shower to last us clear through until she outgrew them at Size 3. We switched to Cruisers (’twas a sad sad day for me, I <3 Swaddlers THAT much) and quickly switched over to Baby Dry diapers as the Cruisers were not worth the extra money. She is still wearing Baby Drys (Size 3) at 15 months and we have YET to have a leak. Swaddlers only leaked in the beginning when her breastfed poos were still loose and seedy. They are a total workhorse of a diaper and their soft and cute to boot. Also, Pampers wipes are fantastic! I use Pampers Sensitive Skin wipes and not only are they super easy to work, they clean DD’s bottom with only a few swipes, and they’re super soft, too. I refuse to use anything else on her bum, they’re that fabulous.
Boudreax’s Butt Paste: We have been blessed with a baby who has tolerant skin. To date, Madi has only had 3 or 4 diaper rashes. However, as a staple to every mom’s diaper bag, diaper rash cream is a must! Our choice of cream is Boudreax’s Butt Paste, hands down. It’s magic in a bottle and we’ve always experienced results within 12 hours. (Yes, it does stink.) As an added bonus, I work at the hospital and have seen some patients use it for their bed sores. DH’s grandmother just passed away at 95 and was bedridden for the last 6 months of her life. She developed a small bed sore and Boudreax’s helped immensely.
Method Baby Squeaky Green Shampoo/Body Wash: After MONTHS of using J&J, I scooped up some all-natural, paraben free Method Baby after a ton of mamas suggested it on my dating community. It was instant love. It’s great on skin, a little squirt goes a long way, and it rinses well. One bottle lasts a long time and DD smells like yummy marshmellows. Mmm!
Lansinoh Double Electric Breast Pump: For breastfeeding moms who need to pump, I really enjoyed my time with this electric pump. It’s available at most Walmart’s and Target’s. It’s half the price of Medela’s, coming in at roughly $145, and it’s an awesome little system! This pump works with closed-system tubing so milk doesn’t ever run through the pump itself, contaminating the inside parts. The parts are comfortable, suction is great, and my output was impressive. Everything bundles up and is small enough to put in any small diaper bag. I found a great little insulated bag at KMart and used that as my pump bag for work. It’s now available with BPA-free parts, too! Customer service is also great. One day, my pump started to lose its suction so I called them up and they overnighted a brand new pump to me, no questions asked. FYI, this pump is the same thing as the Ameda Purely Yours, only it’s licensed and manufactured by Lansinoh.
Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump: I was able to switch to a manual pump when DD was around a year old. The Medela Harmony pump is awesome! The pump itself swivels so that you can comfortably find a pumping position for each hand and the actual breastshields are very soft and mold to the shape of your breast. Output is great and I’ve had no problems maintaining my supply. My only complaint is the parts can get a bit tedious to clean but nonetheless, this isn’t a deal killer for me. This pump is nice!
Lansinoh Breast Products: For breastfeeding moms, Lansinoh makes a great pad for leaking and their lanolin cream is AWESOME. I’m a first time mom and the first few weeks of breastfeeding were quite painful. I experienced dry, chapped, bleeding nipples and TONS of leaking. Both of these products felt like life savers and to this day, I gift them to expectant mothers if they show an interest in breastfeeding.
Boppy or Generic Version Pillow: FABULOUS for feeding purposes! I nursed my daughter and it saved my back. It’s wonderful for bottle-feeding, too.
Any Baby Swing: We bought the Fisher-Price Nature’s Touch Swing from a family friend. It was a total life saver when DD was in her don’t-put-me-down-EVER phase. DH and I would rock her to sleep and use nap time as an opportunity to shower or finish up some house chores and this swing enabled us to do so. It swings forward and backward or side to side (it swivels) and the cute bird and butterfly mobile really captured her attention. We replaced the batteries once every other month or so, so it was pretty efficient, too. They can be expensive when bought brand new but this is a hot Craigslist item!
Playtex Drop-Ins Bottle System: Old faithful! I experimented with tons of bottles and Madison rejected every single one we tried except the Drop-Ins with the latex orthodontic nipple. She was exclusively breastfed and became very particular with what nipple she latched on to. When it was time for me to return to work, finding a bottle for her was awful. This turned out to be a blessing because clean up is easy with the drop-in liners and I’ve yet to replace a broken bottle…they are sturdy little things!
Generic Wipe Warmer from BRU: We purchased a wipe warmer on a whim after receiving a gift card from a family member. It turned out to be a hit because DD HATED cold wipes on her hiney. We only experienced dried out wipes when we filled it to the top (the wipes sat in it longer). It’s a convenient little thing but it’s definitely not a “must have”. Tossing the wipe around in your hand for a minute, or blowing your breath on it (as if you were cleaning a pair of reading glasses) does the trick just as well. It’s amazing how quickly the wipes lose their warmth from the time you undo LO’s diaper to the time you actual need to wipe them. Remember, diaper changes with a young one can be an Olympic event.
Vicks Underarm Thermometer: No explanation needed! When Madi would run a temp and was feeling under the weather, this little blue guy was awesome. Trust me, when your baby isn’t feeling well, a rectal temp is the last thing they want to tolerate. I ran out at midnight to purchase this thermometer and wouldn’t dream of using anything else. It might not be as accurate as a rectal temp but it’s ideal for determining whether it’s time to phone the doctor.
Etsy for CUTE Personalized Outfits: For inexpensive personalized shirts and onesies, hit up Etsy. You’ll fall in love. Seriously!
And…as a quick tip, some things to always keep in the house: Infant’s Tylenol and Motrin, a bottle of Pedialyte, and some Mylicon Gas Drops. These are staples for our medicine cabinet. I learned this the hard way when I found myself making middle-of-the-night trips to CVS with a sick baby at home. Trust me, it makes for a stressful trip because A) you want to make baby feel better OMGINSTANTLY and B) you probably find yourself speeding to and from the store and a ticket would be a nightmare in that situation.
Robeez: I’m POSITIVE I’m the odd one out, but these shoes didn’t work for us. I was petrified that something would poke through the bottom and they never fit DD very well. They have a wide fit to them and always flopped off her feet even in their smallest size. We put her in baby Crocs instead and they are awesome. They’re soft and squishy and she loves them.
Standard Size Diaper Bags: I found them to be bulky and I lost EVERYTHING in them. We bought inexpensive medium sized backpacks and use them instead.
I’m running out of things for my list. LOL! I really researched most items before purchasing so thankfully, most things ended up on my LOVE list.