A.K.A Here are a few of our favorite items we loved with baby #1!
We have baby #2 incoming at the start of 2024 and I’ve been reflecting on what little I feel like we actually NEED for baby #2…I feel like we mainly need toys for our busy toddler! This probably isn’t what everyone wants to hear because it is so much fun to shop for babies and put together your registry, but I have to say, if you’re a first-time mom reading this, these are my recommendations for what to invest in the first time around.
We have loved using this product for the past two and a half years. My husband and I started using this in our room as a sound machine before our baby was even due!
What I love: #1) It can be controlled from an app on your phone, #2) It has all the sound selections you could possibly need, and #3) it has a great portable battery life, for the first year and a half.
On that note, we have a few things that we’re dealing with for its age. #1) It does now need to be plugged in all the time; without the cord, it doesn’t work. #2) The cord stopped working after about a year and a half (it wouldn’t turn on even when plugged in). I thought I’d have to get rid of the whole thing but don’t! You can just purchase a new cord here. I recommend buying directly from the Hatch website for a cord accurate for your model.
It will be running rain sounds for as long as our little bug enjoys sleeping to the white noise! We have brought it traveling with us as an essential. We have found that we all sleep better with the background noise in hotel rooms and staying with family.
I mean, this high chair is only $49.99! I’m all about efficiency, in so many ways. This has cost- and space-saving efficiency while being easy to clean with cute seat cover patterns. This highchair has lived in the kitchen with me on every cooking and meal-prepping adventure with no headache. It feels like part of the family! I machine wash and dry the seat cover and straps every week and the tray can be put in the dishwasher (a win in everyone’s book).
If you’re not familiar with our story, we have moved four times in five years, so we have always needed space efficiency while we’re on our road to saving for a property. Our first move was from California to Colorado for my husband’s bachelor’s degree. The second move was from Colorado to Texas at 7 months pregnant with baby #1 for a job. The third move was local, and our 4th move was Texas to Tennessee at 5 months pregnant with our now 2nd baby for a master’s degree. Let’s just say it’s never boring around here, and we need travel-friendly and space-friendly quality goods. This one is still in our kitchen being used today for our two-year-old!
3. Dream on Me Nest Portable Playard (& Crib!)
At the time of posting, this playard has 4.5 stars and 1,900 reviews on Amazon for $54.94. Deal! I was recommended this playard by a mom-friend as a great portable playard, transition crib, and crib for traveling.
Our daughter is two and has slept in this in many a hotel on our moving adventures and family vacations. She’s only just now outgrowing it with her tall length, and now we’ll be using it for baby #2! We bought this mattress for it separately and it was the perfect transition crib from her bassinet when she started rolling over around 3 months. It folds up easily, stores in its own carrying bag, and fits in overhead storage on a flight.
This was by far the best purchase for our little nursery. I didn’t know I’d love the “glider” aspect of it so much. I’m sitting in it right now actually, writing this post 7 months pregnant with our second baby. It’s a living legend. A few bolts need a quick tightening after two years now, but it still glides like the first day we got it.
For the entire first year, while I was fully breastfeeding, I sat in this chair every day, for nearly every nursing session, except when we were out of the house. And I’m still sitting on it. It is worth every penny for comfort and is one of the more affordable glider rocking chair + ottoman sets, at $149.99 at Walmart. You must buy the gliding ottoman to go with it!
These are pricey and as some might say, “a glorified dog bed”…but surprisingly incredibly useful. I wouldn’t disagree to either!
This Deluxe+ Dock is for newborns and infants 0-8 months and I felt so safe letting my baby rest in it until she started getting a little more mobile around 3 months and wanted to roll over. The bottom portion buckles together to create a completely cozy nest or unbuckles for longer babies as they get older. The handles on the sides and the top made it super easy and safe to grab & move around the house.
Most mothers might agree to say that those first few months feel like having lived several lifetimes, and being able to rest my baby down in a cozy safe space was a relief for my neck and shoulders.
We got ours from a friend, extremely gratefully! After our first baby, we passed it on to my sister-in-law for her baby, and now we’re probably going to end up sending it back and forth again as we have our baby arrive soon. It is THAT useful. If you can get your hands on one used, you can wash the cover in your washing machine, or put a new one on your registry. It is worth it to be able to set your baby down somewhere safe for the few small lifetimes you’ll live in that fourth trimester of mostly carrying and wearing your baby.
We have loved this carrier! We will 100% be reusing our Lillebaby structured carrier for baby #2. We didn’t end up buying the newborn/infant seat pillow, which is sold separately, so we did wait to use this until she was big enough to carry in other positions at about 2-3 months old. We are buying the infant pillow for baby #2 so we can have our hands free and our back supported. The waist belt is so supportive, especially since my back muscles felt weak for the first 3-4 months postpartum.
Our little bug was content seeing the world from the comfort of our chest for most of her first year! At our first chilly Texas farmer’s market, my husband popped her in the front and she stayed warm and cozy. Like most of her first 4 months, she’d often fall asleep in it, which allowed us some free hands to cook. When I traveled to Utah by myself to visit family with baby girl at 8 months old, we flew from Houston to Vegas and this carrier saved me. I was able to have my suitcase checked and just wear our diaper bag and the Lillebaby carrier, hands-free!
The best part was that I never had to fully take off the carrier – when we got to our plane seat, I’d unclip the buckle at the shoulderblades, remove the arm loops, and take her out to stretch her legs on the plane, feed, and play. I left the waistbelt on the whole time. When it was time to disembark the plane, I’d stick her back on my front and clip in at the shoulders. It gave me so much confidence to travel.
Around the last time we used it, she was 10 months old and we flew to California as a family. Again, hands-free is a beautiful thing when you’re traveling, especially if you have to change planes, pee, eat a breakfast sandwich, and put your hair in a ponytail.
We may have only used ours for the first 10 months, but a family friend used hers til her son was almost three! Our girl started walking at 11 months and ever since, she has been a mover and a shaker and hasn’t wanted much to do with being carried on my hip, front, or back. This girl wants to use her little legs and do it herself! Nevertheless, the Lillebaby Complete 6-in-1 All Seasons Carrier is comfortable, husband-approved, and awesome for house-wearing and traveling.
I did a lot of research before selecting each of these items for our registry. I recommend doing a little research with the site you register with so that you won’t be disappointed to find out that they have a limited 30- or 60-day return and exchange window. This happened to us, which was not very much time to try something out or have our baby old enough to use some of the other items that we had been gifted for ages 6 months+.
I hope this handful of suggestions helps you narrow down your options in the massive baby gear market! Good luck shopping, and happy nesting.
Xx, Soon to be mama of 2!