Months before Brielle’s birth, we had frequented many baby shops. From the start, I was cautious not to go overboard and to buy only the essentials, with the exception of too-cute-to-pass-up socks, mittens, onesies, dresses, headbands, and actually anything borderline cute. Which was most everything. Obviously, I bended. Most times I couldn’t resist and always justified every non-essential purchase with the thought that this was our first. But among the things we have for Brielle, I’ve rounded up sixteen of ones I use on an everyday or almost everyday basis and have proven to work well for us. Here’s a list of the items new parents may find useful.
1. Medela Freestyle Pump
This double-pump has truly been my best friend, only second to the baby. While it’s considerably pricey compared to other pumps, it’s totally worth it since I’ve gotten so much use out of it day in day out.
2. PumpEase Pumping Bra
To go with the pump, I use this wrap-around bra so I can pump hands-free, easily move about and get things done around the house.
3. Nursing Cover
I nurse whenever, wherever, and I’m not apologetic. The nursing cover is always something I carry with me when I’m out with baby (which is always).
4. BABYBJÖRN Carrier One
We first tried this on when Brielle was still quite little and she didn’t seem comfortable in it. But as she got older, being carried in it has been such a treat for her since she got to be close to one of us, and still be able to peruse her surroundings.
5. Baby Jogger City Mini Stroller
If you’re buying a stroller for its looks, this one is not for you. But if you’re looking for one that’s smooth, practical, lightweight, easily maneuvered, convenient (snaps and folds with one hand), then you’d love the City Mini. What I love most about it is that I can carry baby in one hand and push the stroller with the other with total ease. The seat reclines almost flat so baby can sleep comfortably as if she were on a bed, and the canopy closes almost the whole way.
6. Pigeon Breast Pads
I haven’t taken a break from wearing breast pads since baby’s birth and for good reason. Every. Nursing. Mom. Needs. These. For. Real.
7. MyBabyPouch Baby Carrier
I honestly got this because they had such adorable patterns (and they were so inexpensive too). I was looking for a simpler baby carrier that would also fit in Brielle’s diaper bag. When I first got it I had no idea it would be life-changing. Brielle isn’t much of a sleeper, but when I carry her around in this pouch, she would fall asleep much more quickly and that was A-AWESOME. What’s more, it’s so easy and quick to put on.
8. Nursing Pillow
In the first few months, I spent most days at home and was nursing Brielle every 2-3 hours. And as I continue to nurse her today, this pillow has served me well since I can just lay her on the pillow to nurse while I work on the computer or watch TV and feel secure.
9. Totesavvy Diaper Bag Compartmentalizer
The Totesavvy claims to transform any bag into a diaper bag, and it does! With its multiple inserts and slots, this caddy helps me categorize items into order so I can easily grab what I need when I need them (especially helpful during moments of emergency!). See how I organize Brielle’s diaper bag.
10. Chicco Bottle Warmer
We have just this one bottle warmer and it works just fine. Similar to most bottle warmers, a ring goes off when the bottle is ready and it has several settings depending on how warm you want to heat the milk.
11. Philips Avent Bottle Sterilizer
I use this religiously every single day to sterilize pump parts, bottles, and other items like pacifiers. Bonuses: it’s got a sleek and minimalist design, doesn’t take up much space on the kitchen counter, and isn’t an eyesore.
12. Joie Car Seat
We sat Brielle on her car seat the day we brought her back from the hospital. It’s one of those things we really wanted to commit ourselves to doing every time we take her in the car. Doesn’t happen every single time but we try our best.
13. Infant Tub
We got a generic baby tub with no built-in back rest. At first I wish I had gotten one with a built-in back rest for baby to lie on when she was a newborn up until about 4-5 months. But now that she can sit up on her own, I’m glad we got one without the back rest. Our tub works fine and is spacious enough to fill with her gang of little rubber duckies.
14. MamyPoko Diaper
Among the several other diaper brands we’ve sampled, we definitely like MamyPoko best. It isn’t the most expensive brand out there, but it lives up to its claims. There are times we would forget to change Brielle for many hours (oops), or days she would wet the diaper more than usual, and we would find the diaper drenched and oh so heavy. But time and again there’s no spill, transfer, or excess moisture. Her bum is left dry. We are sticking with this one.
We stopped swaddling Brielle at 3 months, but when we did up until then, it really helped her sleep better, especially during her day naps. The only tip I have for swaddle-buying: the bigger, the better.
16. Baby Oil
I’ve always loved the smell of babies (I guess I’m like most normal people) and baby oil, in particular minyak telon. There’s just something about its scent that takes me back, and leaves a calming and endearing feeling in me. I even use it on myself sometimes. I massage a generous amount on Brielle after her bath, all over her chest, belly, legs, and feet. And then she is perfect for cuddling with!