Now that my due date for baby girl#2 is approaching (June 1!), I have started to go through Nesrine’s baby clothes and bring all the baby gear out of storage. This, of course, comes with a big dose of nostalgia! Anyhow, with all the products out there to pick from, I have found that the best way to find the most useful and functional ones is usually from other moms. So today I present to you a list of baby gear that I couldn’t live without. I won’t go into the cons of each product, just know that no product is completely perfect but these are some of the ones I found to be pretty close to it! Click on the photos in each gallery for more details and my explanation! Leave me comments if you’d like to hear more about a product.
1. Uppababy Vista. Why I love it: This lovely stroller can easily switch between bassinet, car seat, or “rumble seat” since they all have the same click-in adapter. All of the riding options can face either direction and the rumble seat reclines fully in both positions. The huge storage basket underneath is incredibly useful. Can accommodate a second rumble seat in many different configurations for a growing family. Also the extendable shade keeps little eyes protected. Great wheels for a smooth ride. Bonus: it is quite stylish!
2. Uppababy G-Luxe. Why I love it: High quality travel stroller that is perfect for younger infants (the seat reclines back) as well as toddlers and children. Comfy seat cushion, durable wheels, extendable shade, easy to fold and has a nice carry strap for quick portability.
3. Uppababy Mesa. Why I Love It: Comfortable and breathable fabric, removable infant insert. It’s easy to install with LATCH. It feels sturdy and durable, and while it runs on the heavy side of infant car seats, I like that it is very secure. Also it is approved to be installed with a seatbelt (without the base) so you can travel with it easily.
4. Ergo Baby 360 Carrier. Why I Love It: Most importantly, this carrier has been deemed “hip healthy” by the National Hip Dysplasia Institute. This carrier comes with an infant insert, which is cozy and protective for a tiny newborn. It also has an extendable hood that is highly useful for a sleeping baby or nursing privacy (or if it is sunny/windy). I also liked that you can easily adjust it each time you put it on, so that no matter what you are wearing (or who is using it), straps are always comfortable. Also has good shoulder pads and a big panel–very supportive. Has several positions for carrying, and can hold a toddler up to 33lbs. This carrier has made travel so much easier, and I really don’t know what I would do without it. (Check out Tula if this doesn’t look right for you!)
5. 7AM Enfant Car Seat Wrap. Why I Love It: Best safe car seat wrap I have ever found! This was designed in collaboration with The Car Seat Lady (aka my hero regarding car seat safety) and safely keeps your little one warm. It has a hole cut out in the back, so once you buckle in your precious cargo (in light, snug layers) you can fit it around them and then bundle them in if you’re going out in the cold or open it up if you are in a warm car. I really can’t recommend this enough. Also works on strollers, we used it to keep N warm in the Uppababy G-Luxe when traveling.
6. Clek Foonf. Why I Love It: My favorite reason is that this carseat can accommodate a rear-facing child up to 50lbs! It also is extremely safe and sturdy, with a steel and magnesium sub-structure and advanced safety features (read in more detail about those on their website). The buckle is easy to use and adjust as your child grows, and the straps lay in a natural way on the shoulder for comfort and safety. This car seat is extremely heavy, so I suggest doing what I did and buying an inexpensive and lightweight travel seat as well.
Uppababy Mesa Carseat
Ergo Baby Four Position 360 (w/infant insert)
7 A.M. Enfant Nido Car Seat Baby Wrap
Clek Foonf Convertible Car Seat. Graco Comfortsport for travel.
1. Beaba Babycook Pro 2X. Why I Love It: You can steam, dump, and purée all in one machine. It is easy to use and easy to clean. With the two sided one you can cook two batches of food at once. I used to make big batches and freeze them in 2oz portions in the Beaba trays, it is so convenient for making your own baby food. I still use it to steam veggies for my toddler!
2. Bucket Bib. Why I Love It: It is one piece of silicone, what more can I say! The bucket catches everything and it lays naturally on her chest so it is flush with her neck (aka no food sneaks in under it and onto her shirt). I have been using this one bib since N started eating purées and it doesn’t smell or even look like it gets used 3x a day!
3. Stokke Steps High Chair. Why I Love It: One great feature is you can attach their bouncy seat to the chair part, so you can eat with your baby (before your baby is sitting and eating). I found it especially nice to have her up with us while we ate our meals and not have to hold her and eat at the same time. When the time comes, the high chair is minimalistic and stylish, but also highly functional. It doesn’t take up a lot of space, and blends into regular kitchen furniture. There is a tray, but it can be used without it if you prefer to have your tot sit right up at the table. They have fabric you can get to cover the seat and backrest (in 2 pieces), but I found the bottom portion got too messy, so I just use it with the back fabric portion now. It also can be used for an older kid (3+) as a regular chair at the table.
4. EZPZ Mat. Why I Love it: Again, one solid piece of silicone means ease for cleaning as well as hygienic since there is nowhere for mold or bacteria to grow. It sticks well to the highchair tray, and is a fun way to present food to a little one exploring new tastes and textures (it looks like a happy face!).
Beaba Babycook Pro 2X
Stokke Steps High Chair
1. Motorola monitor. Why I Love It: There are fancier and more advanced models out there, no doubt, but this is a very reliable monitor that really does exactly the job it is meant to do: allow you to see and hear your child while they sleep. You can move the camera up/down/left/right, and you can have 2 cameras for each monitor. It has other features (you can talk to your child, for instance, which totally freaked N out!), but if you want a reliable camera with a good picture and clear sound, this is your best bet!
2. Dohm Sound Machine. Why I Love It: It is a white noise machine that is not a recording of a fan or some fake-sounding nature track on repeat! It is literally a fan, but without the wind. It is the most wonderful device ever created and as soon as I switch it on, N knows it is time for sleep (well that and our sleep routine). Little noises don’t wake her up, and we don’t have to tip-toe around when she sleeping. This is also an essential for travel (we even bought it with a plug and voltage to be compatible out of the country!).
3. Hanna Andersson wearable blanket. Why I Love It: Their winter version, lined with Sherpa, is my choice especially in the colder months. It is so warm and cozy, but breathable (I despise fleece, it makes N sweaty). It has a nice weight, too, as littler babies like that safe feeling after they transition from the swaddle. I also have Halo sacks in cotton and Aden+Anais sacks in a very light muslin, to accommodate for all temperatures.
4. Nuna Sena Travel Cot. Why I Love It: It has a higher level bassinet for a small baby, and an attachable changing table. It is a great little station for a family room or basement (or another floor from the main changing table and supplies). The mattress is padded nicely and comfortable for travel. You can also get the waterproof sheet, which is a very soft cotton. The bassinet packs into the travel bag (but not the changing attachment) as well. It is a great quality sleeper and we take it on every trip!
Dohm Sound Machine
Hanna Andersson wearable blanket
Nuna Sena Travel Cot
1. 4Moms Infant Tub. Why I Love It: The flow of water is ingenious, and while it was too big to fit into our bathroom sinks, we just sat it on the countertop over the sink and filled it up that way! It also reads the temperature of the water, which is a nice feature for little babies who have sensitive skin. If the water gets too hot or cold, have no fear…it fills up a small basin before it reaches baby’s water so you can adjust. It is padded so no slipping worries and supports under baby’s bum for further peace of mind.
2. Puj Wrap Towel. Why I Love It: Makes it so easy to get your little one out of the tub, instead of you frantically trying to grab a towel and wrap a squirmy, cold baby. No cold baby, and no water all over you is a plus!
3. Duck Travel Tub. Why I Love It: Great for traveling as it deflates for packing! You need a small hand pump to inflate it (unless you have great lung capacity) but it doesn’t take up much space in a suitcase. I still bring it for my toddler because hotel bathrooms are usually just showers or huge jacuzzi tubs (and also I don’t know what chemicals they clean with!), plus she loves the duck.
4moms Infant Tub
Travel Duck tub and Hand Air Pump
This list is by no means exhaustive! Keep an eye out for future posts. I am always finding new gear to try (and hopefully make my life easier). Leave me your comments!
*Just a Quick Note: I linked to various product sites for your convenience. I am not being sponsored or paid to promote any brand; all opinions and comments are my own and based on my first-hand experiences.