#MomLife is hard enough when it's your first time. There is a plethora of unsolicited advice, products to choose from, and resources for the latest and greatest. If you are like me, you like to do your own research when it comes to your baby. The main questions I consider before purchasing a product is:
Does the quality of the product justify the price?
Will the quality of this product carry over to our next child?
How long will my baby actually use this?
Would I recommend this product to a friend?
Let's start with strollers + car seats. Boy was this the hardest thing for me to decide on. I went back and forth between brands, colors, features, you name it. I seriously think that I contemplated which travel system to get for the entire 9 months of my pregnancy. We ultimately decided on the Uppa Baby Vista travel system + matching car seat. We went back and forth between UB and Nuna for a few reasons:
We loved how lightweight the Nuna car seat was, but didn't love the lack of room the Nuna stroller had if we wanted to have two children close in age on the stroller.
We didn't love the price of the Uppa Baby stroller and car seat, it's pricey.
We didn't know if we would use the bassinet portion for the Uppa Baby.
We did like how Uppa Baby has more configuration options for multiple children + adapters for multiple seats.
We liked how concise the Uppa Baby carseat base was.
We have loved our UB travel system and probably would have used the bassinet even more if there wasn't a global pandemic shortly after Luke's birth.
*I do want to say that for our next child, we want to purchase a Nuna car seat (UppaBaby makes adapters for the stroller). Luke was (and still is) a very large baby and the UB car seat is already heavy enough on it's own.
Loungers + Swings
The first few weeks of Luke's life involved a lot of napping + lounging around. In order to get things done around the house after all of the extra hands had gone home or went back to work, I relied on loungers and swings.
We didn't use Luke's swing for a few weeks because I was scared he wasn't going to be able to move his neck and breathe (1st time mom probs). When we did decide to start using the swing, Luke absolutely loved it. The great thing about this one is that the chair detaches from the swing + has rockers on it. It's definitely a two-in-one product. I can take off the chair and bring it into another room. It also has white noise, plays music, and vibrates!
We considered the Mamaroo but this seemed like a better investment for how much longer we could use this.
Our Boppy Lounger is still so loved. It was great for him to sit around in while we ate
dinner without laying completely flat (I was worried about flat spots lol). There are so many fun prints to choose from. They didn't have this fun brush stroke print when I was pregnant! We have also stuffed blankets or pillows under the head portion so Luke sit slightly upright while playing with his toys. We have also taken his lounger with us while traveling! We still use this today (at 7mo) for Luke to sit in while he eats his bottle (he feeds himself now)
The Snuggle Me was one of those products I wasn't sure I needed. It was nice to have if he napped beside me while I watched TV, needed to get a few things done etc. It gives your baby a sense of comfort / the feeling of being held without a swaddle.
We decided to go with the snuggle me over the Dock-A-Tot because the covers are easier to change on the Snuggle Me AND they aren't as pricey as the Dock-A-Tot.
New Mom Essentials
I could. not. live. without the Owlet Sock + Camera duo. The sock is such a piece of mind
as a new parent. It monitors your baby's heart rate and oxygen levels. It is very pricey but I have seen camera systems alone that cost just as much. We also returned quite a bit of clothing and other duplicate items to Target in exchange for the camera and sock. It's nice that everything is on one app and you can track their sleep patterns as well. We love that you can turn on the noise to run in the background of your phone while you use other apps. The app is constantly being updated, I hope they make an app compatible with an iPad soon.
I myself have to have the sound of a fan blowing in order to go to sleep so having a
sound machine for Luke was a no brainer. We absolutely love our Hatch Sound machine. When Luke moved into his crib, I missed his sound machine, I'm thinking about ordering one for myself. You can customize different sounds and colors via the Hatch app. You can even set schedules when they are older to let them know when it's quiet time, bed time, and time to get up!
Some sort of bassinet in your room will be essential for those first months. The Halo Bassinet
was a great product, but in my opinion, it isn't anything super special. Sure it has features like vibration and music. It also swivels so it can be close to your bed, however, our bedroom is smaller and the bassinet being by the bed didnt make sense with the lack of room I had to get out of bed myself. We ended up putting it in the corner of our room and at that point, we would have been better off spending less money on a regular bassinet; or using this Pack 'n Play that has been essential when we travel with Luke.
I have shared before about my decision to not breastfeed Luke over on Instagram stories, I still need to do a separate post on that. Technology makes life so much easier and if I had to pick one product I could not live without, it would be the Baby Brezza. It warms
that water and dispenses the formula at the same time. If you are formula feeding your baby, this is hands down the best option over a traditional bottle warmer. We love this so much we take it with us on trips, it's that good.
*Make sure you read the directions so you have your formula setting set accordingly with the type of formula you use.
When our pediatrician gave us the okay to start purees with Luke, he was only 4 months old. She commended his development and said we could start early.
I knew that because I wasn't breastfeeding him, I did want to make all of his food myself (or at least try to). This little contraption may not be 100% necessary if you already have a food processor but it is convenient. What I love about it is the 2-in-1 steam + blend feature. You can set the time you would like to steam the food and after it is done steaming, it automatically blends everything together. It definitely eliminates the need to get out a pot to steam veggies and then use a food processor.
Toys + Activity Sets
This play gym has been such a huge help with Luke's development. It comes with a book
broken down by months to walk you through what activities you can do with your baby with certain parts of the play gym. As a new mom, the booklet is such a great reference for me. It goes in depth of what to look for each week and month your baby grows. The play gym is so well made and has detachable toys as well. It even turns into a tent when baby is old enough!
We just started their toy subscription services as well!
To help him sit up with some assistance, we ordered this chair with toys attached to get
him used to sitting up. He loves this chair and definitely loves the challenge of trying to get the toys in his mouth. We took this down to the coast with us to give him some sort of activity that also kept him contained. It also folds up so it was super easy to pack in the car.
Luke loves the most simple toys, which has been easy on our wallet so far. The Baby Paper
is one of Luke's favorite toys. He loves the noise it makes and could play with it for hours. We also found another version that can clip on to his carseat as well linked here.
This was definitely a travel essential for us as well. Not only does he love it, but it's compact which makes it easy to pack up!
Clothing is a personal choice when it comes to your baby but if there is one item I could suggest it would be the Magnetic Me pajamas! We were gifted a pair from our baby shower and I immediately ordered more! Luke started wearing this brand around 3 months.
Before that, we were using knotted gowns for easy diaper changes. Out of all of the pajama brands that have soft, stretchy fabrics, Magnetic Me takes the cake with durability. I have washed them multiple times and they still look just as good as the day we bought them. The magnetic closures make diaper changes so easy! No more messing with a million snaps or bulky zippers, magnets are the way to go!
This isn't everything single product we have used for Luke but are definitely the items we use most often. Below are more things we have loved using these first 6 months:
Stay tuned for more updates on baby items / new finds for my little guy!