It’s only taken me the approximate gestation time of a human baby to produce part two of this mini series, but who’s counting?! Ha! Because I know you all have been waiting with bated breath, here’s the second half of my final baby gear round-up: what we loved, what stood the test of time (and three kids), and what we loved so much we repurchased.
If you’re approaching this phase of life, I hope you’ll find our experience an encouraging reminder that babies don’t need much gear to be happy and healthy. Yes, there are some things that are incredibly helpful, but perhaps fewer than you might think. With that being said, here are a few that made the cut for us – some I’d consider true necessities, and others, fun extras.
Quick note for those who might be new: we have three kids, and the span from the oldest to youngest is 5.5 years. Here’s part one, covering gear for sleeping, on the go, and eating!
Health and Hygiene
Diapers + wipes | We used Up & Up brand for the entirety of June’s diaper career and they were fantastic. Then Target apparently changed something about the construction between our first and second babies, and we had terrible issues with leaks for Shep. We switched to Kirkland, the Costco brand, until he was six months, when we switched back to Up & Up for convenience and price. We did the same for Annie. Throughout, we used Water Wipes, which are the absolute best – they’re literally just water and some fruit extracts and they never pill or tear. We get ours at Target or Amazon.
Nose Frida | Our children all hated the infamous snot sucker, and yours probably will, too, but sometimes it’s just the only thing that’s going to get the gunk out of their tiny noses.
Hooded bath towel | Each of our kids got an animal-themed hooded towel as a gift, and though they’re not strictly necessary, they’re awfully cute. The hood and smaller size does make them easier to wrap up and hold while slippery.
Body wash | The scent of this shampoo/body wash will always bring me back to the first few months with each of our babies, which is sweet. We also use this one, and both are truly tear-free – I can rub bubbles all over their faces with no consequence :)
Changing pad | We had a standard changing pad with a cloth cover for our first two babies and switched to this one for Annie. I liked it, but in hindsight I am truly appalled I ever considered buying the Keekaroo version, which is pretty much exactly the same but twice as expensive. This is an excellent item to buy secondhand if possible.
The Puj tub | Again with the absurdly expensive baby items – but this foldable bathtub really is a lifesaver for the first few months of baths. Babies are almost incomprehensibly small, slippery, and floppy at the beginning, and it made us feel so much better to have them somewhere safe, comfortable, non-slippery, and within easy reach (instead of bending over a tub) in those early days. This is another excellent item to borrow or buy secondhand.
I’d skip: a diaper pail, a wipes warmer, a diaper cream spatula, and baby washcloths (regular ones are fine).
Stuffed animals | Jelly Cats are the softest and sweetest stuffies, hands-down. I love their little expressions and how they’re the perfect size to fit in little hands. They’re sold in many boutiques, so this is an item I love to buy at my favorite independent stores.
O-ball | These lightweight balls are my final toy recommendation. Since they’re so easy to grasp, it’s possible for even little babies to grab them and produce noise, which they find delightful.
Underwear and nursing/pumping bra | A generous friend gifted me these before Annie was born and what a delight – a major step up from what I used with my first two. I particularly recommend the undies if you have a c-section!
Nursing pads | An absolute must-have if you’re breastfeeding. I used the same set with all three – you throw them in the wash and use them over and over and over.
Nap dress | I kid you not, this dress was worn 2-3 times a week in the last months of pregnancy and the first months of Annie’s life. The perfect late-pregnancy, post-partum, easy-breezy summer outfit and for me, worth the expense.
Maternity pajamas | Even though I snagged these in a Black Friday sale, it initially felt overly-indulgent to buy something so expensive that I would wear for such a brief season. I quickly realized, however, it was SUCH a joy to slip into something comfy and well-fitting after days of highly questionable outfits that were just barely holding it together. And you can wear them even when you’re not pregnant, so really, just go ahead and do it :)
I’d love to hear any of your favorites in these categories, or a popular item you did without! :)