Before I had Gracie I read more books, blog posts and doctor’s office magazines than I can count, trying to soak up all the wisdom I could regarding babies, how to keep the happy and what they need.
The short story is: they are confusing, happiness is subjective and they need everything.
That said, everything isn’t created equal.
I now have my list of (non-sponsored, all on my own dime, no affiliate links) items that I didn’t find out about until after I’d had a baby so I had no idea they should go on my registry/shopping list/ and into my home.
Bumkins SuperBibs (for solids)-
I still love our Aden and Anais bibs of various sizes for bottle feeding and drool. However, I quickly learned that once we started solids a more waterproof and easily wipeable bib was in order. The few I had picked up while pregnant were too stiff and stuck out at awkward angles. Through some research (asking Mom friends and trolling the review section Amazon) I found Bumkins bibs. These are fantastic for solids. They fold up in a tiny square (so they are easy to pack in a diaper bag) they rinse off wonderfully, the pouch at the bottom actually catches stray Cheerios and they are machine washable (just air dry them, they are dry in about an hour). They come with sleeves as well so I imagine we have more orders in future.
I’ve seen a lot of sponsored blog posts for different “teething jewelry” items for Moms and I always kind of dismissed them (you know, sponsored posts…..) but then a friend of mine loaned me a strand of Chewbeads and it changed everything. Suddenly Gracie had something she loved to chew on other than my hair and earrings. I keep my strand in my purse at all times and they keep her occupied when we are standing in line, waiting for a table at a restaurant or running errands. It looks like your typical chunky necklace but the beads are made of chewy silicone and babies love to gnaw on them. They rinse off easily. Alternatively, I’ve heard you can get lots of teething jewelry on Etsy from independent sellers.
I know kids and parents have lots of preferences when it comes to sippy and straw cups, and what one person likes another person claims is bad for oral/motor development. It can be a little overwhelming when your pediatrician tells you to start trying straw cups because, first, how on earth will a baby ever figure this out, and second, aren’t sippy cups like diapers and bottles and pacifiers: every kid has their own preference? Well in our house we overwhelmingly love the Zoli straw cup. The straw is actually made out of really soft bendable silicone and it is weighted on the bottom so it “falls” to the lowest point where the liquid is. Gracie mastered the art of this cup in less than five minutes. The straw can be a little difficult to clean but so far so good (and you can buy packages of replacement straws). So far we’ve had no leaks and it travels well!
Admittedly I didn’t discover these until I saw the family we nanny-share with using them and I was intrigued. The idea is shockingly simple, but now that we have our own I love them. I got mine on Zulily for a great deal, but they are worth the full price! These system of mesh bags is the best way I’ve found to keep our diaper bag organized. They were clearly invented by people used to carrying diaper bags. The best part about the system is I can quickly and easily transfer all of Gracie’s “stuff” from her diaper bag (that goes to and from the nanny share) to my purse/diaper bag (that I carry on the weekends, at night, etc). It means that the nanny has her spare set of clothes when she needs them and I don’t find myself without diapers when I’m out and about. You can remove bags (and obviously put them back on) the main ring, so Gracie doesn’t take the “me and mine” bag with her to the nanny (it has stuff for me in it, like lip balm and my wallet). Even with all of the bags filled, it slides nicely into her diaper bag and my purse. The smallest pouch has her sunscreen and diaper cream, the next one has her diapers, wipe case, and dog-waste bags (we use them to quarantine horrible diapers or wet clothes), the next one up carries her change of clothes, socks, and sun hat and the largest pouch has snacks, spoons, bibs, and anything else she needs for eating on the go. This system is a lot more organized and less wasteful than the “ziptop bag” system I was using before.