As someone who is a tad obsessed with lists, I read tons and tons of them trying to prepare for DD1 and DD2 (five years apart so everything was different). Of course, as with anything parenting related, it is always hands on learning. I will do an everything you need list shortly but today we will stick to my favorites!
- Dr Brown’s or Tommee Tippee Bottles~ If you are not worried about nipple confusion OR have a colicky baby like our DD1, Dr Browns is my suggestion! Though they have many parts, now come as the Options style so you can remove them as baby grows, they are SO worth it! Out of all the bottles I have used with my own kids or others they are the best at reducing gas. However, if you are breastfeeding I suggest Tommee Tippee as they are more breast like and less likely to have nipple confusion. Tommee Tippee bottles are also super comfortable to hold while feeding.
- A Pack and Play with a bassinet~ We LOVE LOVE LOVE our pack and play. It has a removable bassinet which was great when DD2 was small!.She slept in our room in the napper and then the bassinet until she was about two months old which eliminated the need for actual bassinet in our room. Now we use the pack and play every single weekend to travel to family and friends for visits so we never have to worry about having a place for her to sleep. It doesn’t need to vibrate or make noise, or be the most pretty color. Just the most function for your money!. The one below is the same we have except the coloring is different.
- A good diaper bag with LOTS of pockets! The diaper bag I had with DD1 was ok but I never cared for the backpack style, I find it a pain to grab things quickly. With DD2 I bought a diaper bag before she came and I ended up HATING it. It only had two pockets and the handles constantly were sliding down my arms when I carried it. After three months of trying to make it work I did some research and found the Skip Hop Forma ( I have it in the purple color) and I LOVE it! I have pockets for my stuff, two side pockets for bottles, an insulated pouch, a wet/dry pouch, and plenty of room inside (as well as a changing pad). The best part is the handles are not round but flat so it sits on my shoulder and does not slip down my arm!
- Meijer, Falls Creek Brand Muslin blankets ~OMG these blankets are great! They are just as soft, if not softer, then the leading name brand (aden and anais) and about half the cost! I like the muslin blanket because it is soft, larger, and has many uses. You can tie and use as a nursing cover, cover the car seat with it, swaddle baby, or just use as a typical blanket. We have 6 of them and DD2 loves them, carries them everywhere with her and I don’t have to worry about her overheating with them or breaking the bank to buy them 🙂
- A Swing that can be a bouncer~ As I didn’t want 10 pieces of baby gear in our living room this was important for space reasons as well as the economical perk. I also found that having both lowered the chances of baby hating it. For example- DD1 did not like the bouncer seat, but DD2 did. No one wants to buy something or spend money just to find out baby doesn’t like it. The one below is pretty similar to ours, we also checked for one that had a plugged in options as with DD1, we went through quite a bit of batteries! This time we left it plugged in and never even used batteries.
- Noise Machine- This was a LIFE SAVER with DD2. We are not particularly far away from our neighbors as well as a having a five year old in the home, noise was a concern for us. I actually got our noise saver for free with points I had earned at an old job for recognition 🙂 Even now, at a year old, we turn it on every night. When she was little we used the Womb sound, now its on rainfall and I could not recommend it more! Most nights, even when big sister and dad are in a tickle fight, she sleeps right through it!
- A Bottle Warmer and a Large bottle rack- Unless you are a SAHM who is not planning to be away from baby, I recommend a bottle warmer. Even when I was pumping it was a HUGE help. Warming a bottle via warm water the old fashioned way took FOREVER. When you have a screaming baby at 2 am, no one wants to prolong that. Our bottle warmer was fast, held both wide and regular bottles, and even heated baby food. We just put it away after an entire year of use now that DD2 is on milk. The bottle rack- if you are exclusively pumping or baby is being fed 3+ bottles a day, get a bottle rack or even a dish rack! They are not so pretty but their functionality is SO worth it! When I EP-ed I had a washing pan ( I put dirty bottles or parts in here) and my bottle rack next to the sink. Then every night I would wash everything at once and put up to dry. We had Munchkin brand in both but other brands work just as well (although I found our rack larger than most and liked that the water didn’t sit like the Grass one DH wanted). Hope this has helped save you some time and money! Time is much better spent with baby and the money on diapers or date night for mom and dad! Also- don’t be afraid to venture outside of “name brand” territory. We love our Meijer blankets and when teething necklaces weren’t sold in stores I went to Etsy and found one cheaper and helped to support someone’s small business! Any questions? Leave them in comments!