One of my older sisters is having her baby – her first child – this month and I figured what better way to let her know what worked for me as a mother of three than to write a post.
I’ve been a mom for nearly 10 years. Over those years, there’s been trial and error with what was and wasn’t necessary for my babies. I think the market for baby items is saturated with a ton of things that aren’t necessary; we’re ingrained to believe that a baby needs many exuberant things during its first year of life. With that said, I’m not saying you should or shouldn’t spend money on what’s on my lists; these are just things that did and didn’t work for our household.
One quick note: the items on my lists are things I’ve purchased and tried; they don’t include things I haven’t purchased but think are/aren’t necessary (e.g. I don’t think diaper pails are necessary, but I can’t give you much thought about it since I never bought one even though I’ve managed to raise three kids without the need for it). I’ll give an explanation for each, but do your research, read reviews, and decide for yourself if it’ll work for you and your little one(s).
What’s on my NO list:
- Bumbo floor seat. I first got a Bumbo for my now six-year-old and his thighs were just too chubby as a baby to even fit into it. We never used the tray much (it was an added cost) because it was just too hard to get it on and off and then it would fall off once we did get it on. And personally, I don’t think it’s necessary to prop a baby up before they can start sitting on their own. Buy a high chair instead once the baby is old enough to sit in one.
- Moby wrap. A Moby wrap seemed like a great alternative to a traditional baby carrier because I wouldn’t have to deal with clipping things in. However, because I’m petite, the moby wrap meant I had more excess fabric than necessary around my waist; this left me looking bulky and feeling uncomfortable. Also, we have humid weather here in the midwest during summers so baby and I were covered in sweat.
- Angelcare Baby Bath Support. This bath support has a ton of good reviews on it and rightfully so; it dries quickly and mold never grew on ours. However, my husband and I hated that we had to fill our bathtub with water because it seemed like we were wasting more water than needed for a tiny human being. Also, our baby slid down a lot on this thing and bending over the tub to wash him wasn’t fun. We’d much prefer something like the Blooming Bath so that we can wash our baby in the sink.
- Baby swing. I think some babies can get a whole lot of use with a swing to sway them to sleep. To save space, teaching our little one to sleep in her/his crib was the better option. Also, it was more convenient to let the baby hang out in a lounger or blanket on the floor if I had to step away to use the restroom (I was always nervous to leave the kiddo alone in the swing when I stepped away). Also, babies grow out of swings so fast that the cost wasn’t worth it.
- Baby blankets. After a baby shower, moms usually get more blankets than they need. Yes, blankets can be oh so soft and the thought of a baby cuddling with their blanky is cute. However, we found that sleep sacks ensured that our baby wasn’t rolling over, gave him security by mimicking the feeling of being in the womb, and it was just safer.
- Bottle warmer. I wasted so many minutes of my life for the bottle to warm while my baby cried my ears out. Giving baby a room temperature or even a cold bottle is not going to do any harm. Remember, they cannot negotiate at this age.
- Boon Lawn drying rack. This drying rack is quite popular and I cave in and bought one. What I didn’t like about it was that, unless you buy the twig – an additional piece – for the mat, it was only good for drying the bottles. And even with the twig, I had to meticulously place the collars on the little arms of the twig. Drying it all on a dish drying mat saved counter space and was just fine.
- Playmat. When I asked my husband what he thought was one thing that was a waste of money, he responded, “playmats.” I don’t know if it was just our kids, but they didn’t like hanging out on a playmat. They’d roll over (before they knew how to walk) or they’d crawl away. For example, this playmat we had wasn’t big enough. A blanket on the floor did the work.
What’s on my YES list:
- Waterproof diaper changing pad. I didn’t realize how essential a changing pad is until I purchased one for my third child. We regret those days of changing a baby on our bed and having to wash our bed linens often because of poop stains. We placed our diaper changing pad on top of a dresser we had. No need to get a changing table.
- Cloth diapers. We purchased these cloth diapers from Target and got so much use out of them – not as diapers but as wipes for baby spit-ups and to wipe their little nose. They are really absorbent for purposes other than being reusable diapers.
- Nuby Naturally Derived Soothing Tablets. The Nuby soothing tablets were lifesavers. Our third one was a fussy baby and these worked like magic to soothe him to sleep. They’re also helpful when your little one starts teething. It’s a natural product and I wish more parents knew about them.
- Comotomo baby bottles. These Comotomo baby bottles are my absolute favorite. I’ve tried other bottles such as this one by Tommee Tippee and this one by Dr. Brown’s. However, the daycare lady and my mother-in-law would get absolutely frustrated with so many pieces to put together (and you had to put it together the right way or the milk would leak) and, frankly, so were my husband and I. I transitioned to the Comotomo baby bottles after weaning my third child off breastfeeding and wish I had found them sooner. The smaller size comes in handy.
- Humidifier. A humidifier is something that I think moms don’t consider when expecting a new baby on the way. A humidifier was essential in making sure the air was moist for our baby to alleviate eczema and breathing issues when the air was really dry. We bought a humidifier for each child we had.
- Boppy newborn lounger. We used this lounger countless times for our third baby. It came handy for travel and was easy to wash in the washing machine. Our baby would lay in the lounger during his naps and it’s the perfect lounger to lay in when we read to him. It’s dipped in the center so it makes it extra cozy for baby. I much prefer it over the original Boppy.
Hopefully, you found something that will assist you on your journey into/through motherhood. There are so many baby products so you’ll ultimately figure out what works best for you and your baby. Don’t fret if you have to return something or ask someone else for their opinion on whether a product is worth the time and cost. I hope this helps!