These are a few of my favorite things {Part 1: 0-6 months}

I have decided to catalog my favorite baby/kiddo stuff.

I am going to do my best to recall the things from Hudson’s first year that I would say were “totally worth it”, “would definitely use again”, “must haves” and maybe a few, “are really really nice to have if you can”.

I figure I better do this now before I completely forget!

Hopefully this will not only help me as future babies (hi Owen!) come along, but I am hoping this will also be beneficial for you new Mommas out there who stumble upon this blog…as some tried & true items that worked for us.

Caveat #1: your list of “must haves” may look completely different than mine  – and that’s ok! Whatever works for you and your little ones! I am not saying my way is the only way. Its just what worked for us.

Caveat #2: If you are a boy you probably don’t want to read this post. I’m going to talk about breastfeeding quite a bit. FYI.

So, with that said, here we go::

First off: this isn’t a product…it is a blog: http://kellymom.com/. This was SO SO SO helpful for all of my breastfeeding questions! It is super easy to navigate and very evidence based.

1. Lansinoh “Soothies” Gel Pads.

If you plan to breast feed, these are AMAZING for the first 2-3 weeks of sore nipples.  You can buy them at Target or any drugstore.

2. Lansinoh Lanolin Cream.

Again, if you are breast feeding, I like this better than the Medela Lanolin, it isn’t as sticky, it smells better, and it just plain worked better for me.

3. Johnson & Johnson Disposable Breast Pads. 

You can buy these at Target…for some reason they aren’t carried everywhere. These worked the best out of all the kinds I tried & they are really comfortable. They NEVER once leaked. (And they are cheaper than a lot of other brands).

I’ll definitely use these in the beginning with Owen. This next time around I am going to buy & try some reusable, washable nursing pads once we get into the swing of things, so I’ll let you know how that goes. 

4. Medela Pump In Style. Medela is what we use at the hospital where I work, so it is what I know, I’m sure there are other good brands out there, but I really like this pump & I know it is going to last.

Now…a nice pump is one of those things that is really nice to have, but not necessary if you are a stay at home mom. You could definitely get by with a less expensive pump if you are just occasionally pumping for date nights, etc. Or borrow a nice one from a friend.

However, if you are working and HAVE to pump…I say spring for a good one if you can…because pumping isn’t much fun and you want to get the job done as quickly and efficiently as possible!

If you use a 20% off coupon at BuyBuyBaby or BabysRUs and watch the sales you can get a pretty good deal.

5. Pampers Swaddlers Diapers (for newborn & size 1).

I think these are the best diapers for newborns…once Hudson was in size 2 we switched to Luvs (which I LOVE), but in the beginning these are my most favorite. Stick around and I’ll tell you how to get a rockin’ deal on diapers and wipes!!

6. Triple Paste. When it comes to diaper rash, this stuff is gold. Seriously. It works SO well. It is pricier than a lot of other creams, but if you look around you CAN find a coupon and it is seriously worth it in my book!!

7. Travel Wipes Case. I have a plain jane plastic one, not a trendy Paul Frank one. It holds enough wipes for a day out and doesn’t take up a ton of space. This is much nicer than toting a big honkin’ pack of wipes around (unless you are changing multiple children’s diaper very frequently and will be gone for a long long time) because lets face it – if you are a first time mom – your diaper bag probably already weighs 900 lbs and is full of things you “cannot live without” 😉

8. The First Years Breast Flow bottles.

These worked great with Hudson. He transitioned from breast to bottle and back to breast very easily. I think it really helped that I introduced a bottle really early…like within the first 3 weeks…his latch was spectacular & he was nursing great so I wasn’t worried about any kind of confusion. The latch onto this bottle is really similar to a breastfeeding latch. I’m a fan. The nipples are a little bit of a pain to clean, but I think that is the case with ANY bottle.

I also used these Medela bottles (I receive a few when I bought my pump) and I like them as well…but we use the Breast Flow primarily.

FYI – Back in the day, after breastfeeding was really established, Jordan would give Hudson one bottle/day and I would pump that feeding. Hudson would also get a bottle when we went on a date. When I miscarried/got pregnant again with Owen my milk supply dried up…I think there was just too much going on with my hormones…so Hud has been exclusively bottle fed since then. I had planned to continue to breastfeed but unfortunately it just didn’t work out. So, if you were wondering what bottle feeding while breastfeeding looked like for us…there ya go.

9. Chicco Key Fit 30. I love this carseat. It is incredibly safe, very very easy to use, and fairly light comparatively…though they are all HEAVY with a kiddo inside! We are just now moving Hudson out of it & into a bigger convertible seat because he is about to be too long. We got two bases – one for Jordan’s car and one for mine – so we could pop the carseat into either car without having to un-attach and re-attach the base = super duper easy.

10. A playmat. I love this one by Infantino.

It has a button on the top that you twist and it folds up which saves lots of space when storing it. The colors are bright and fun and gender neutral. Hudson played on this every day until he was crawling and tired of it…he loved it!

11. Bumbo. I am a fan of the Bumbo chair. It was really nice when he was working on head control. It worked really well for us because Hud was a smaller baby…I know it isn’t as awesome for bigger babies because the leg spaces can be too tight on chubby legs. I wouldn’t call this a necessity…but I liked having it.

12. Large Swaddle Blankets.

I had some from Target’s DwellStudio brand. It is SO hard to find blankets that are big enough to swaddle well! Most receiving blankets are WAY too small. The point of swaddling is to keep baby contained & tight…and if the blanket is too small it isn’t going to happen. I am going to purchase some of these Aden+Anias Muslin blankets for Owen, because I hear they are awesome (and they are BIG)

FYI – I practically swaddled babies for a living working in the NICU (not really, but it IS something I have done hundreds of times) it can be tricky to do well if you’ve never done it before,  in which case you can try one of these Miracle Blankets, they take a lot of the confusion/work out of it. 

I swaddled Hudson until he was 5 months, he was ready to transition out of the swaddle about the time he was starting solids, and rolling over and pushing up. Then he was in a sleep sack like this for…I forget how long…until it started getting hot I think.

13. A few good toys. Despite popular opinion, you don’t need much to entertain your baby! You mostly just need yourself! But here are a few other things that we really enjoyed {I am going to put all these under the same number}

A. A bag of links. There are different colors & textures. If you hook them together and shake them they make noise. They don’t take up a lot of space. Practically they are useful for attaching other toys to carseats, playmats, etc.

B. A rattle. We had this one & Hud really liked it. It was easy for his little hand to hold & not too heavy.

C. Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes. Hudson LOVED (still does love) this toy. He would watch the lights play in rhythm to the music over and over and over and the music selection is great.

D. White on Black & Black on White books. Any B&W shapes/pattern books are good. I especially love these books by Tanya Hoban – they are GREAT and perfect for baby’s development. They unfold accordion style so they are easy to set up in the crib or on the floor next to baby to look at. I found a bunch at our local library. Hudson would look at these for LONG periods of time.

E. Jittery Jungle Pals. These are great for attaching to the carseat so baby has something entertaining to look at. They are also fun to play with because there are different textures to feel & the make fun sounds. One foot will have a bell, one a rattle, one ear will crinkle, one will be silky…etc.

14. Some good music. These are two of my most favorite  albums for little ones (and big ones). They are mostly all scripture and absolutely minister to my heart when I hear them over the monitor or as well play or Hudson would nurse. Plus, I love having scripture playing over him, I know as he grows it will be an easy way for him to learn the Word.

A. Hidden in My Heart. These are beautiful lullabies. I can’t tell you how much they calmed my heart & led me into worship. Here is the link for the site you can listen the album, download the MP3 version, or order the actual CD.

B. Seeds. Here is the link for the Seeds website. How I love these! There are six volumes. We listen to them all the time. It has really helped ME hide the Word in my heart as I remember them throughout the day!

15. A white noise machine. This works wonders to help with sleeping! We have this little Honeywell Mini Tower Heater. The first setting is just a fan/white noise. The 2nd and 3rd are space heater settings…we use this in the winter in each of our bedrooms, we keep our heat pretty low at night. They are really safe (our firefighter friend recommended them) and they have adjustable thermostats so they don’t just run all the time. We use Hudson’s year round as a white noise machine.

I am sure something like this little guy would work really well too though:

So there you go! 15+ of my favorite things for the first 6 months! I’ll try to update this if I think of more or change my mind about things when Owen is born.

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