There are so many baby products out there and as a new mom, it can be totally overwhelming. You want to swaddle your baby? There’s the classic swaddle, the muslin swaddle, the bamboo swaddle, the velcro swaddle, the sleep sack, the Woombie, the Miracle Blanket, the Zippy, and more that I probably haven’t even heard of. It’s amazing how we all grew up fine without the options, right? But of course I went through many of those trying to find the best one for Will. So although every baby is different, I thought I’d share the products that worked best for us out of the many, many that we tried. Here are my baby essentials for the first 6 months:
1. When he was a newborn, Will was a little Houdini and managed to wriggle his arms out of almost every swaddle. We liked the Miracle Blanket best because it has extra flaps of fabric to hold the baby’s arms in and the shape wraps around nice and snuggly.
2. The Aden & Anais classic swaddle blankets are great. We’ve used them for everything BUT swaddling. Will wriggled right out of the swaddles with these blankets but we use them for playtime on the floor, at friends’ houses, at classes, and even as a burp cloth in a pinch. They come in the cutest prints and are nice and soft.
3. As Will got a little older, we switched over to the Halo velcro swaddle. It’s super easy to use and great because you can swaddle easily with arms in, arms bent with just the hands out, one arm out, or arms out completely.
4. Once we transitioned Will out of the swaddle all together, I wanted to keep him nice and cozy in bed without the risks of using an actual blanket. The Aden & Anais muslin sleep sacks are light weight so they go well over footed PJs for an extra bit of comfort.
5. We didn’t introduce a pacifier for a few weeks and I regret that decision. I know a lot of people are worried about nipple confusion and breastfeeding but Will didn’t have a problem with that and the moment we gave him a pacifier, he was instantly soothed. We like the Soothies brand which is what is often given at hospitals. At around 3 months, Will opted for his fingers and thumbs over pacifiers but now that he’s teething and needing a little extra comfort, we introduced a Wubbanub at nap time. It’s the Soothies brand pacifier with a little animal at the end which is nice because he can find it easily in the crib and put it back in his mouth on his own.
6. Bibs! Will drools A LOT now that he’s teething. It’s constant. These Aden & Anais bibs are lightweight and I love that they snap on the side instead of the back. It makes putting them on so much easier. We also use them for feeding purees which gets very messy and then just throw them in the wash. Easy.
7. Will had reflux and then we found out it was accompanied by some allergy issues so when he was a newborn, he spit up A TON. It seemed like I would feed him and he would immediately just spit it all up. That was probably the hardest part of the newborn stage for me because it just seemed constant and endless. So we opted out of the small, cutely patterned burp clothes and went straight for function over fashion. We probably have about 20 of these cloth diapers and they’re constantly being used, even now for drool or quick clean-ups.
8. The Nordstrom brand footed PJs are great because they’re soft, lightweight, easy to put on, and aren’t too heavy under a swaddle. We also like Carter’s PJs, Burt’s Bees, and Kickee Pants.
9. I have found that I love dressing Will in comfortable, soft clothes. I’m not into things like jeans that are stiff with a lot of snaps and zippers. Especially at the beginning, when I had this brand new tiny baby, all I wanted to put him in were soft, comfy clothes. The Burt’s Bees Baby onesies and footed pants are certainly a favorite.
10. I checked out a lot of strollers before settling on the Uppababy Cruz. I preferred it over the Vista because it’s lighter weight and didn’t come with a bassinet. The bassinet would only be used for a short period of time and with an infant insert for the regular seat, I just felt that the bassinet wasn’t necessary. I’m so happy with my decision. I constantly throw it in and out of the car and it’s also been nice to put the carseat on the base with an adapter for quick errands.
11. I originally got the Mamaroo because of its sleek design and small footprint. We quickly came to realize that it didn’t do anything for Will so we traded it in for this big eyesore of a swing that I swore I wouldn’t have. But let me tell you, you do what you have to do to calm your newborn and this swing was wonderful.
12. Going on walks is one of the best activities to do with a newborn. But you need something to cover the stroller or carseat when it’s bright out or you don’t want strange hands going in for a baby fix. Regular swaddle blankets are ok but the Eclipse by Cotton Rainbow completely solved the issue of flying blankets in the wind or lightweight ones just not staying put. They’re weighted in the corners and have a peekaboo window so you can check on the baby. We still use ours all the time and I’d highly recommend it for new parents.
13. For some reason, bouncy seats didn’t work well for Will. The angle wasn’t good for his stomach and he’d spit up the moment I put him in one. The Daydreamer was better for him and we used this head support during the newborn stage.
14. We tried the Cloud B Sleep Sheep, the Homedics Spa sound machine, and the Cloud B Giraffe for white noise. For some reason, the Giraffe was Will’s favorite by far and we still use it for naps and at bedtime.
15. There are a lot of wrap-style baby carriers now but the K’Tan seems to be the least complicated. I didn’t want to have to spend time figuring out how to put on a carrier every time I wanted to use it and the K’Tan was simple and comfortable.
16. The Winkle was Will’s favorite first toy. It’s colorful, easy to grasp, and easy to put in the mouth. What more could you want from a first toy? I would highly recommend it.
17. The Oball comes in a close second for Will’s favorite first toy. It’s also easy to grasp and move around and they come in a variety of colors. Another great first toy.
18. Sophie the Giraffe has lived up to the hype. Will puts everything in his mouth and now that he’s really teething and has a couple teeth, Sophie is by far his favorite teether. He loves gnawing on her feet and ears.
19. An activity gym is a must for babies. The toys hanging above them offer great stimulation and babies can work on their grabbing, batting, kicking, and grasping skills. We have this Skip Hop one and now that Will is older, we took off the toys above he uses it for tummy time.
That’s a wrap on our baby essentials for the first 6 months! If you have older babies and children, I’d love to hear your favorites for the next stages in the comments.