{lake living loves} the 10 most essential baby items for new parents.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Hi friends, welcome to Saturday and another edition of {lake living loves}.  I am SO enjoying putting these together for you - I hope you find them useful.  If you missed one, you can always check out past posts by clicking here.

This post has been on my calendar for a LONG time now, but I kept erasing it and moving it out because I wanted to be super thoughtful about what I think the most essential baby items are.  This post has nothing to do with cutesy baby things, and everything to do with what you absolutely NEED if you have a baby.  Now, I will put out a disclaimer that these are the exact things that we use and love, but everyone's budget is different, so just take this as a starting point.  I'll give you thorough reasoning behind why we love each item and you can use that info to make informed decisions when shopping for yourself or a mama-to-be in your life.

So let's get to it.

1. We bought the Boon Flair high chair when S2 was about 6 months old.  I didn't register for one when I was pregnant because I was so picky and none of the ones at Babies R Us (RIP) or Target fit the bill.  My criteria when high chair shopping were as follows (in order of most importance to least importance): (a) it had to be completely wipeable - no fabric (b) it had to have a small footprint to fit in our dining room at the time (c) it had to be simple but cute.  I actually stumbled across this one on Instagram, and while it was really more than we wanted to spend, it has proven to be so worth it.  Let me just list out the myriad of reasons why this is the best high chair on the market (in my opinion!):

-- Completely wipeable. The only "fabric" on the whole thing are the woven harness straps, but even those are so easy to remove and soak in the sink when they get nasty. But from day-to-day, they wipe fairly clean with a cloth.

-- The tray can be removed single-handedly.  There's a latch underneath that you use your right hand and slide and pull to remove the tray.  With one hand.  No tricky latches on each side like most high chairs.  And us mamas need as many hands as we can get!

-- Comes with a tray liner that can be popped off and washed with the dishes. This is the piece that gets dirty at each meal time. The rest of the tray and arms just take a quick wipe down and are good to go for next time. (Also, the orange seat pad and matching tray can be changed for a different color.)

-- No wide legs to trip over.  This is so annoying to me - how WIDE the legs stick out on a lot of high chairs.  Not only does it take up so much room, but you inevitably stub your toe on one of the legs and your baby learns some choice words.

-- This thing is on WHEELS.  We roll it up to the table at dinner time, and roll it back into the corner when we're finished.  This also makes it so easy for us both to help with feeding.  I turn her toward me to give her a few bites, and then S1 turns her toward him to give her a few bites, so we can actually both eat dinner as well.  Oh and the wheels also lock for safety if your little one is WILD. ha.

In conclusion, you can't go wrong here.

Okay, I had a lot to say about high chairs, I apologize. I'll try to keep the rest of these much shorter!

2. The Owlet Smart Sock baby monitor provides such peace of mind at night.  It's a device that you put on the baby's foot (comes with 3 sock sizes) that monitors their heart rate and oxygen level.  If anything is out of range, the base sounds an alarm, and it also sends an alert to your phone.  I love that it is worn on the foot and attaches securely with velcro. We haven't had any heart-stopping red alert notifications because it can tell the difference between being unable to register a reading (due to the sock positioning, etc.) vs. your baby actually not breathing.  With S2, we had a Snuza, which was great, but we had several false alarms with it, just due to the nature of the product (clips onto the diaper to monitor movement of the belly to determine breathing).  Nothing will make you jump out of bed and have a minor heart attack quite like the Snuza going off.  Warning: the Owlet is pricey, but if you have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), you may be able to use those funds for the Owlet (check with your provider).  The Snuza is 1/3 the price, so it could be a good option if your budget doesn't allow the Owlet - or if you have twins!

3. I puffy heart our Rock 'n Play.  Baby R sleeps in this at night, right next to our bed.  This new version features Smart Connect, which means you can control the settings right from an app on your phone.  She has slept great in this thing from day 1.  Now, I will say, if you have an Owlet, it will not register vital signs when the Rock 'n Play is rocking on high speed.  But it will at the low speed.  Always check the Owlet app before going to bed to make sure it's reading signs and doesn't say your baby is "wiggling."  We've actually had two RNPs because the first one had a software malfunction and wouldn't stop rocking unless it was unplugged - but Fisher-Price customer service was GREAT and sent us a replacement via 2-day shipping.

4. Cloth diapers as burp cloths = winning.  They are absorbent, simple, wash and dry like a dream, all the good things!  Save your money and don't buy the "cutesy" burp cloths - function over form here people!  But you can also jazz them up with some decorative stitching - so easy as a beginner sewing project.

5. Avent Soothie pacifiers are the only ones we've used with our girls.  We tried to give S2 a different kind that we'd gotten at our shower but she would have NONE of it.  Soothie all the way!

6. I actually have a prettier diaper backpack that I use, but I can't recommend it as much as this Diaper Dude that I got S1 for Christmas before S2 was born.  TONS of pockets and lots of different zippered areas make this diaper bag backpack super functional.  It's the one we like to take if we're going to be out all day shopping, at the Zoo, at Disney, you name it.  Also, it's super affordable!  Win win win here people.

7. These Tommee Tippee bibs have an absorbent collar that is a game changer when it comes to spit up.  The collar fits nice and snug against baby chins, which means no errant spit up can get behind it and onto their clothes.  Tell me you know what I'm talking about here.  All bibs are NOT created equal.

8. I bought the LILLEbaby Ring Sling after realizing that structured carriers are hard to operate by yourself.  The structured carrier I have is great when we're out for the day and S1 is there to help me, but if I'm around the house by myself, I can't reach between my shoulder blades to buckle the straps (seriously, who designed this thing? or maybe I have short arms?), so the ring sling saves the day!  It's also super comfortable for baby wearing.  I actually snagged this color on the LILLEbaby site for $60 when it was on sale, so maybe stalk their site or Amazon to see if they have another sale on these.

9. Everyone needs a diaper clutch.  We were at small local amusement park a couple weeks ago, and were waiting our turn to use the changing table in the women's restroom.  The lady in front of us laid her baby right on the nasty changing table and had her wipes in a ziploc bag.  I felt so bad for her.  I didn't get the impression that she couldn't afford a small luxury such as this, more like she didn't know such a thing existed.  People, get yourself and all your friends a diaper clutch.  It's a changing pad, diaper holder, wipes holder in ONE, and you just pull it out of your diaper bag and take it into the restroom when it's time for a change.  Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

10. The Dohm white noise machine deserves all the praise hands. It's simply white noise, no ocean sounds or crickets chirping, which makes putting a baby to sleep at night so easy.  She loves it, we love it, it's really the best.

Okay, y'all, that's it - the 10 most essential baby items for parents-to-be.  Did I miss anything?  Tell me what your #1 is!

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