My friend Jenny (blogger at Floyd Family Adventures and mama to two adorable kiddos) and I have collaborated on this post to share our favorite baby products (and a bit of encouraging advice for our mom-to-be friends)! When I began the process of registering for our baby, I was SO overwhelmed! I had no idea where to start. What did I need? What did I want? I was bombarded with options upon options.
With the help of a couple of my BFFs who were already mamas, I came up with a registry list using Target and Amazon. These were an easy choice for me because practically everyone shops at Target (if you’re me, like twice a week) and practically everyone uses Amazon and many use Amazon Prime. I loved the Amazon option for out-of-town friends and family particularly. And because they carry absolutely everything.
At the outset, I linked my existing Target and Amazon registries to Baby List, a website that allows you to add any item from any store to an online list. I ended up letting it fall by the wayside after a few months because I found the concept hard to explain to people, particularly those who would be attending my church shower. I ended up just sharing my Target and Amazon registries directly. In the future I want to take better advantage of Baby List! It’s SUCH a neat concept. You can even add gifts of housecleaning, babysitting, etc. to the registry!
Every mom + baby needs and wants different items. There is absolutely no way to know for sure what you’ll need, like, want, use, or not use. It’s kind of a trial and error process. My friend who has three (almost four) littles says that even the difference between babies is astounding and each one used and favored different products. But you have to start somewhere! I would encourage you to think past the first few months of your child’s life. This is hard to do when you’re pregnant and everything in your mind revolves around pregnancy, child birth, and the weeks that closely follow. But time moves quickly and the baby will need a variety of things during that first year (utensils, high chair, toys, books, exersaucer, walker, play yard, convertible car seat, etc.)
I’m a bit of a minimalist (though I can’t fully claim that term in every sense of the word) so I was very particular and purposeful about what I registered for. I wanted (mostly) gender-neutral, sleek, space-saving, multifunctional products. I don’t think a home has to turn into complete baby land upon the arrival of a child! Yes, a child will bring more stuff into your home than you could ever imagine, but if you stay organized and purposeful the stuff doesn’t have to take over (commence eye-rolling from moms of multiple children, I know, I know). I’m just a neat freak. It runs in my blood!
|| jenny’s favorites ||
This is my only stroller and I use it several times a week. It’s easy to transport and maneuver. This is a newer version of mine. It has an adjustable handlebar which is especially nice if you and your spouse are different heights!
for errands or fussiness
It took me a few tries to figure out how tight it should be, but the material is so soft and breathable, which I love for the warm climate we live in. It is very comfortable and those extra snuggles are healing when baby is fussy. Twice a year they do a sale and I believe I got mine for about 20% off.
This may vary based on your baby’s personality, but both of mine adore being swaddled tight for sleep. And both of mine are overall great sleepers!
If you nurse, this is a great product for the occasional bottle. It is very similar to the breast. It’s pricey, but we only have one and it cleans up very easily.
If you are looking to be on the minimalist side with baby toys (which is a great idea!) this is a wonderful, multi-use product. First of all, it makes for a lovely nursing pillow. You can also have baby laying propped up in it, use it for encouraging tummy time, and even as support as baby is learning to sit. It is relatively small and therefore easy to store. It’s even nice to use as a prop if you want to get some baby pictures.
|| kellie’s favorites ||
This is one of those items you may not initially think of but somewhere around six months old your baby will start eating solid food and need a place to sit. I actually started using this seat when mine was four months old to help her as she was learning to sit up. It doubles as a place to eat and a place to play. I love that it’s small, neutral (doesn’t scream “baby”), portable, space-saving, easy-to-clean, and affordable. As much as I would love a beautiful, wooden high chair (specifically like the one I used as a child) our home just doesn’t have the room. This one easily attaches to one of our dining room chairs. It’s easy to remove and take along to grandma’s house too!
I can’t talk enough about how much I love this bib. I own ONE bib (for meals) and this is it. It easily adjusts around the neck to fit various sizes, it catches most of the food that drops (but it doesn’t catch the food that is thrown, hehe), and it easily washes up with our dishes! No laundering a bazillion bibs! And it’s small enough to throw in the diaper bag when we’re going out.
I know you all probably know about the Ergobaby carrier line. Everyone seems to have one these days. We absolutely love ours. It’s easy to put on and take off and easily adjusts to fit both my husband and me. I also have a Boba Wrap that I used a lot in the early days when baby needed to be worn for sleeping and cuddling. It is a bit cumbersome with the amount of fabric involved, but I quickly learned how to put it on and I really like it. I actually used it a couple weeks ago with my 10-month old because I needed her to nap while I was out. It was still very comfortable with an 18lb. baby!
I don’t know what I would do without our sound machine. This one is not specifically a baby one but it has six very soothing nature sounds. Most moms that have one say they hold up long-term. We use ours for every nap and every nighttime sleep. It does wonders to block out background noise and help baby drift off to sleep! You can also purchase this exact one at Bed, Bath, and Beyond and use a $5 off $20 coupon and pay only $15! That’s what I did.
for sleeping + play
This piece of baby equipment is a bit spendy but it is SUCH a lifesaver in the early months. I was drawn to it because of its sleek design and small footprint. We live in a relativity small home (1,234 sq. ft.) so I knew I couldn’t have a large swing (and I didn’t want one). This one sits low to the ground, is beautiful to look at, and keeps baby content and happy. Kya basically lived in this swing for the first several months of her life! She used it for naps and awake time and loved it. You can also purchase the infant insert to make it more comfy when baby is tiny!
|| encouragement for mamas-to-be ||
I have only been a mom for a little over two years, so I am certainly no expert, and in fact many days after everyone is tucked into bed, I look back on my day and my mind is blank on what I know about motherhood- haha! This is true! I remember my first being about nine months and someone asking me what I’ve learned as a mom. I remember stuttering through something but thinking to myself “wow, what have I learned? I don’t feel like I have any quantitative answers to the typical problems of mothering babies!” But then I thought about the dearest mama friends of mine who I often turned to (and still do) on the hardest of days. Here are some of the most encouraging words I can always find to be true that I would love to pass on to other mamas.
Trust your mama instinct. It is a gift from God and you can trust it. I often get stressed out sorting through all the conflicting information I read on various topics- whether it’s developmental milestones, feeding babies, how to “sleep train”, or any other topic (this is where the age of information is a little bit of a curse), I remember to calm down, spend some time in prayer, and trust my gut instinct on how to handle the situation. It is so comforting and also reminds me to see what my husband thinks- he is MUCH more level headed than I am on these topics and it is ultimately he and I that are raising these babies.
In applying this lovely idea my dear friends taught me, I started to recognize a pattern I could trust. If I can answer the questions “does my baby feel safe? Does my baby feel loved?” With a “yes” then I am doing it right! There are SOOO many opinions from SOOO many “experts” on how to get your babies to nurse, to sleep, to play independently, to keep them healthy, etc. It is overwhelming, it all conflicts, and it never always works the same. After I had my second I realized every need a baby has can be summed up by their need for love and security. Because that is all babies need! To feel secure and loved! If you think your baby needs to nurse again even though they ate 30 minutes ago, you are mama so you are very likely right. If you think your baby is teething but needs to catch some z’s and the only way it will happen is if you wear them, then do it! I promise you won’t be wearing your eight year old someday for them to sleep ;). Your baby will feel safe and loved when you are trusting your instincts. And that is all they need to thrive.
As I went through pregnancy and anticipated being a mama, I was far more nervous about motherhood than the actual labor and delivery part. Strange, I know. During pregnancy, I worried so much about how baby would learn to sleep, how I would survive on so little sleep, how she would nurse, how will I manage the home and a baby. What would I do if I didn’t know what to do?! My mind was running crazy with thoughts about the future.
I was actually really calm when I went to the hospital to have Kya. Yes, it hurt and yes, I wanted to quit, but it was over fairly quickly and I was finally holding the little baby I had dreamed about for years. But then came real life with a baby. And it was easier than I expected. I’ll explain what I mean. I don’t mean that having a baby or being a mama is easy. But I do mean that God gives unbelievable wisdom and grace in the process. I learned to take one day at a time, maintain a walk with Christ, and fight through the struggles and uncertainties in raising my baby with His grace and strength. The hows and whats are important to answer and they can be answered in a thousand right and different ways. Don’t stress about the details. You really will learn how everything needs to work for you and your baby. Much of mothering a baby is trial and error and the minute you “figure it out” the baby or circumstances change and you’re stuck and confused again! I am learning to roll with the punches and not expect consistency or perfection.
The most important aspect of mothering is relying on HIM and HIS wisdom. He gives it liberally when we ask in faith. He cares about even the smallest of needs in our mothering. He is there to meet us with grace. All the anxieties I have felt and will feel have been met and will be met in Him.