Oh the Must-Have Baby List...I have been meaning to do one of these for a while now, but ironically my time is eaten up by the baby. Ha!
I wanted to put the proverbial pen on paper--or fingers on lit-up keypad--for all of my must-have baby things. A lot of mommies do this and everyone has their "favorites" they try and push on everyone else, so naturally I have to do the same thing. However, mine is a bit more geared towards "Mommies On the Go!" And not in a "We are going to the park, and then the mall and then home to eat organic peas and carrots all whilst wearing J Brand skinnies and a smile." My "Mommy On the Go" is a frumpy, frazzled world traveler who dreams of a Diet Diet Pepper--and not by choice.
So here they are--at least what I can remember off the top of my head. I have been ruminating about this for a while and I figured I would go through Emme's room with a fine-tooth comb, or in her case...an unused baby hair brush so I could really be informative. But like much of my life, the only time I have to go through Emme's room would be during her nap or bedtime...with her sleeping in her room. Mommy fail.
NOTE: For inspiration I am listening to my Baby Mix on my computer that was a game during my baby shower. Thanks Aunt Katie!
Just heard: "Always Be My Baby"--Mariah Carey and "Baby"--The Biebs.
Okay enough procrastinating.
1.) Chicco Keyfit 30 Infant Car Seat
I got mine in "Romantic" so it would be gender neutral and not clash hideously with my BOB stroller....you know the $400 stroller that I never actually used with my car seat. Le sigh.
The girl at the baby store said this one was the safest and Baby Bargains had this one and the Graco as a toss-up. It's a bit on the heavy side but that's because it has more of that safety foam in it, so if it protects Emme's head a bit during my inevitable Boda collision then so be it's worth it.
2.) Graco Pack N Play in Zurich
Again, gender neutral and it didn't make me want to vomit from all the baby pink...
**"Baby Blue"--George Straight :)
Anyway, this Pack N Play was used for the first 8 months of Emme's life while we waited on her crib and it got quite a workout. It has a vibrating bassinet feature that we used like a dime store coin-operated horsie. It was awesome. This fancy thing has a changing table as well which came in very handy for the first few months here when we didn't have anything else to change her on.
I almost got the Chicco Pack N Play because they lady in the baby store said it was easier to use all the features but I decided against it in the end because another review on Amazon said it was really heavy and not great for traveling. Not great for "mommy on the go" but I am sure it would be awesome if you lead a normal life. :)
3.) Graco Travel Lite Crib
This was what we used as a "bassinet" and we really liked it. It was small enough to wheel through American doorways which was essential because we would move the baby around to different rooms when she was a newborn and this way we didn't have to fold it up all the time.
4.) Baby Trend Snap N Go Stroller
This was the only stroller we used for 8 months. It was awesome. All you do is take the baby out of the car in her car seat and put her in the stroller frame. I think Chicco now has their own one to match the Keyfit but this one is universal I think.
**"Baby Love"--The Supremes.
**"Baby Hit Me One More Time"--It's Britney Bitch.
5.) Baby Bargains
I probably should have listed this first but my brain is nothing if not scattered and the only way I think of things is through stream of concious so get over it. Anyway, read this before you buy or shop for ANYTHING if you are a first-time mom. I literally had to leave Babies R Us the first time I tried to shop there before I read this. My mom and I just walked around in a daze..."what's the difference between a Travel System and a regular stroller?"
**"Baby I Love Your Way"--U Be 40? I don't feel like googling...is that the right band?
This book explains everything so that is very nice for us newbies who never held a newborn until the doctor handed us ours....yikes.
6.) Medela Swing Breast Pump
I have both the "Swing" and the "Pump In Style" Backpack. I actually like the Swing better because it is more suited for traveling and isn't made to double-pump. I think I double-pumped once in my life...it was terrible. Jon asked me to answer the phone while I was doing it....really? Double-pumping is great for working moms, but I found it to be cumbersome and annoying. Plus the Swing fit in my carry on for "the flight that must not be named."
7.) Dr. Brown Bottles
I WISH someone has told me earlier that these fit on Medela breast pumps because that would have saved me time and energy. The Medela bottles that came free with the plethora of pumps that I ended up owning were fine in the beginning but they don't hold enough later on and they get a bit warped with time.
**"Bye Bye My Baby Bye Bye"-JoDee Messina
8.) BOB Revolution Stroller
Mine is of course in UT Burnt Orange...I wish I got to use it more. I am going against my "mommy on the go" persona here because I don't get to use it as much I would like here. Oh the land of potholes, equatorial sun and no parks. But if I were a normal mommy I would use this every damn day so it must be included. It's awesome. It can handle Uganda--that's all you need to know.
**"Don't Worry Baby"--The Beach Boys
9.) Motorola Digital Video Baby Monitor
I also have the Phillips Avent DECT monitor which was great in the states. Then I moved here and had to do sleep training and whatnot and I realized I needed to SEE that my screaming baby was not, in fact, being eaten alive by a stray monkey. This thing is awesome--great picture and it tilts and pivots so you can see in their crib whenever they move around. Now if I could only dump that pesky mosquito net...
The only complaint is that we want another charging cord b/c the battery can die pretty easily and we haven't figured out to get another one.
**"I'm Your Baby Tonight"--Someone from the 90's...
10.) Carter's Bassinet and Crib Flannel Pads
Not fancy but they are great in keeping spit up from soaking all the way through to the unwashable Pack N Play mattress.
11.) Diaper Genie Elite
It beats walking around with a dirty diaper in your hand trying to get out to the garage to throw away a stinker. That being said--Emme is still in a relatively non-stinky diaper phase so we'll see when she's a bit older.
**"Ice Ice Baby"--Vanilla Ice
12.) Fisher-Price Mocha Butterfly Cradle N Swing
I obviously failed on the "gender neutral" palette on this one. But this was sooooo great when Emme was a newborn. This was the only way I could eat dinner or have her take a nap not in my arms on the Boppy. Worth the money. And it can be battery-operated so it doesn't have to be plugged into a transformer if you are overseas like moi.
13.) Boppy Pillow
I know some people think of these as superfluous and I know that "My Breast Friend" is the new "IT" pillow but I have honestly slept on my Boppy when we were on safari so I really like mine. And you can get one in a myriad of designs and colors.
**"Mama Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys"--Willy
14.) Best Chair, Tryp
It doesn't photograph well, but this was our biggest baby purchase that we made ourselves since our crib was a gift. Best. Money. Ever. Spent...Ever. I honestly can't wait for Emme to outgrow it so I can put it in my living room and watch "The Wire" from it's cushy embrace. OMAR BE COMIN' YALL!!
**"Run, Baby, Run"--Sheryl Crow...how very Katie of you....
15.) Baby's Dream Crib, Enclave
Mine's in white. It's pretty. Baby Bargains 2012 voted it one of the best lines of furniture ironically behind Romina of Romania. HA!! I actually tried to buy Romina when I was in Romania...it was more expensive there. Commies.
Anyway, it's a great crib and we got a floor model so great deal there! However, doing it all over again I might have gone for an IKEA one since it would have been lighter in our shipment and I could have donated it to a very deserving African. I don't think I can let go of mine now however, it's too pretty and we waited WAY too long to get it here. The matching dresser is waiting for us in America...one day...one day.
Mine is the "Modern Floral" and it looks fabulous. This was also rated an "A" for it's quality, Emme loves it, and you can "design your own crib." What's not to like?
**"Sweet Baby Jane"--James Taylor
17.) Pacifier Wipes
If your baby takes a pacifier then these are NECESSARY. You can wipe it off if they drop it on the nasty floor and you can clean toys and things too. Great baby bag addition!
18.) Philps Avent Pacifiers
People either go for these or the "Soothie." I didn't know the difference when I first gave her one so she go addicted to these first so these were her drug-of-choice. She did however like the Wubbanub for a while too. http://www.amazon.com/WubbaNub-22352-Giraffe/dp/B003CK3LDI/ref=sr_1_1?s=baby-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1335465247&sr=1-1
Side Note--I got Emme to give up her pacifier except for in her crib or in a "screaming baby in the car" emergency. So now when I pick her up out of the crib I ask her where her paci goes and she drops it back in the crib. #smartestcutestbabyalive
19.) Baby Bjorn
I also have the ErgoBaby and the ErgoBaby insert. Another casualty of our long journey...by the time I got the insert she had outgrown it. And the ErgoBaby has AWESOME reviews but I could never figure out how to do it alone so that kind of defeated the purpose. I do know for a fact that it can "grow with your baby up to 42 lbs...." so you know, I might use it any day now.... :) Maybe I'll carry Emme to 2nd Grade hoisted on my back.
20.) Fisher-Price Rainforest Activity Gym
This is the end-all-be-all of infant "toys." You can actually "put" your baby somewhere and know where they'll be. Plus Emme lluuurrrvvveeeddd hers. In fact I only just put it away like a month ago. Even though she could sit up and couldn't fit under any more she still played with all the toys. I was just sick of seeing it out taking up precious floor space.
21.) Cloud-B Constellation Night Light Turtle
I don't know if this is necessarily the most functional night light in the world, but she loves looking at the projection on the walls and the ceiling. She really appreciates it now..not as a night light but as a toy. She has no need of a night light since it is always still light out at 7pm here. But she now knows how to turn it on and off and she loves playing with it... and it's cool for parents too because we can pretend we are on a date at the planetarium like Ross and Rachel. Did I just date myself or what? Jeeezzz.
22.) Cloud-B Gentle Giraffe
Emme has slept with the heartbeat sound since she was a wee baby. She knows that it's night-night time when it comes on. Plus it's a giraffe and we live in Africa. So there's that.
23.) Britax Marathon Convertible Car Seat
I can't say too much on this yet since Emme is still (barely) in her Chicco Keyfit but this has the best reviews and it's in a cowhide print...how very Pintrest-chic of me. NOTE: I tried to figure out the major differences between this one, the Advocate and the Boulevard. I honestly still don't know what they are. In fact I might own the Boulevard and I don't even know it.
24.) Fisher-Price Bouncer
I actually owned the Snugabunny one and the Rainforest one. I preferred the Snugabunny only because it was a bit more of a "cradle" for her when she was little. By the time the Rainforest one arrived here she was already over it. Good thing our neighbor uses it!! Just make sure you get one that vibrates!
This is the "next step" in where to put baby when you need to you know, brush your teeth. They will sit it in and play! Yay!
I wish we had this one too: http://www.amazon.com/Fisher-Price-K6070-Rainforest-Jumperoo/dp/B000I2UJ0Q/ref=zg_bs_baby-products_12
But it wouldn't fit in our shipment and I thought she would outgrow it by the time we might get it.
26.) Bumbo Chair
This one is a toss-up. Emme never really liked hers and I never got the tray to work. But she took the cutest pictures of her life in it when she couldn't sit up on her own in her Halloween costume so it was worth it for us. I still keep it in our bedroom as another "place to put her" when I want her to sit still so I can wash my face and put my contacts in.
27.) Modular Storage Cubes
I chose these because they were relatively light-weight and frankly they were cute and really the first I saw. In hind sight I wish I had gotten all chocolate brown so I could have put them in the living room a bit more inconspicuously, but oh well. They are great for anything. Toys, socks, clothes...whatever. Necessary for when you don't know what kind of storage you are getting at your next post.
28.) Aden + Anais Swaddling Blankets
These are all you need. They are light-weight, can double as a pack and play sheet, breathable and just plain the best. Especially for Africa. Thanks for all the chenille blankies everyone, but I don't really need to suffocate my poor baby.
29.) V-Tech Sit to Stand Walker
This thing is annoying as hell, but babies love it. You can remove the tablet portion for when they are simply sitting up and then when they start cruising...off they go! Emme loooovveesss it.
30.) Ball Popper
There are a lot of different types of these out there--this is the one we got because I had a coupon at Babies R Us so that worked for me! Emme has figured out how to turn it on and loves to play with the balls.
31.) Activity Table
Another toy that she can cruise around. Again--super annoying, but it works.
When Emme was a newborn I basically left her in PJs all day. I really liked the long gowns (easy to change a diaper) or a long-sleeved onesie with a Halo Sleeping Sack for bedtime. http://www.amazon.com/SleepSack-Cotton-Swaddle-Cream-Small/dp/B003E6OBMA/ref=sr_1_2?s=baby-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1335522032&sr=1-2
Now she sleeps in a footed-pajama (better to keep the malaria at bay) and is in onesies and leggings during the day or rompers/creepers. When they are at crawling age I have learned the hard way that cute little dresses aren't exactly practical because the baby gets all tangled up in them. So, if you have little girl, I would buy all the REALLY cute dresses for 3-6 month or 12+ months and keep the 6-9 or 6-12 months mostly for play clothes.
I have also found that Old Navy and Baby Gap have great PJs. They are stretchy and seem to last longer than Carter's. For something fancy Janie and Jack is super cute but super pricey so I would shop the sales.
33.) Chicco Liteway Stroller
I bought this one because it was light-weight and lays all the way flat for naps. It also collapses super easily...something I really need for future unmentionable plane rides...sigh.
34.) Baby Toys
I have neither the time nor the energy to really go into every toy Emme owns or the ones she prefers, but I can mention a few. She really liked Lamaze-brand toys. They have bright colors, make squeaky noises and are all coordinating.
Also, her absolute FAVORITE rattle was this one:
I guess it was easy to grasp and it makes a great car seat toy or something to keep in your diaper bag.
She also likes things that she can pick up and throw easily. Blocks, balls and things with handles are a good bet.
Susan Boynton is a perennial fav, http://www.amazon.com/Boyntons-Greatest-Hits-Volume-Boynton/dp/0689823223/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1335522727&sr=1-1-catcorr
I only give Emme board books at this point because she tries the rip the pages out of other ones. She also really likes books that make sound.
She likes to hit the buttons over and over and over and over again. :)
I sort of think Good Night Moon is creepy.....
36.) IKEA Changing Table
I had this one in Texas and I wish I had brought it with me to Uganda. It is foldable and has tons of storage. Also, I liked that it could be put vertical so I could change Emme from right at her feet instead of sideways....that took me some time to get used to.
I think that about sums it up. Don't forget about a changing table pad and covers, also these guys came in VERY handy on the IKEA changing table
I can't believe how absorbent they are...very necessary when they pee all over you during a midnight diaper change. :)
Well, I hope this helps someone in need....I hope it was worth throwing off my Amazon search history. Now they are going to think I am preggo again. Yikes.