When Jack was a baby, we really could just afford the bare minimum.
I remember seeing different products and thinking, “If only!”
While you can certainly raise a baby with very few products beyond food, diapers, and clothing, I’m the type of person that appreciates products that make life a little easier.
With Oliver, we’ve been able to have a few more “splurges” along the way, and they are products that I’m grateful for one reaso or another.
Some of these things I didn’t even realize existed when Jack was a baby!
So, I thought I’d put together a big list of products I wish I had known about with my first baby – some of them are brilliant. I also surveyed some moms in my breastfeeding support group and have included some of their suggestions as well.
Are they all necessary? Of course not. But they certainly can make parenting a little easier 🙂
Thank you to BabbleBoxx for sponsoring this post. They sent me some of the products mentioned, but I assure you, all of them get my genuine support for being wonderful products for mom and baby
Things for Baby
Okay, I don’t know why I didn’t know about these when Jack was a baby. I think it may have saved our sanity.
Jack had horrible acid reflux that he didn’t grow out of until he was over a year old.
It made him miserable, which made our life rather tiring for quite some time. I heard long after his birth about the rock and play, and how it was a life changed for reflux babies.
Well, when we discovered that Oliver, too, had bad reflux, we got a rock and play. It truly made such a difference. We just had a basic one, and it worked great, but I’m LOVING the Fisher Price Premium Auto Rock ‘n Play™ Sleeper with SmartConnect™. Even though Oliver is too old to sleep in it, he thinks it’s so fun.
It rocks by itself, vibrates, has 12 different songs and soothing sounds, and even projections on the canopy. Best of all – you can control it from your smart phone! Oliver loved to have his rocked, but since it wasn’t auto rock, I would spend many hours rocking it back and forth as he slept.
I also love that it combines several different items – it’s a vibrator, kind of like a swing, a sleeper, and a white noise machine!
When I talk to other moms, the Fisher Price Rock and Play is, by far, the #1 babygear item I hear people recommend.
Mustela Baby Care Products
I spent so much time and money trying to decide which baby care products to use with Jack. He had pretty sensitive skin, and I feel like he always had a diaper rash.
I was introduced to Mustela when he was almost a year, and I wish I had used the products sooner. They go on smooth and creamy (I feel like so many products feel greasy afterward!), and they are specifically designed to minimize the risk of allergic reaction.
The Diaper Rash Cream 123 cream used a 3-in-1 formula (combined with Zinc Oxide). It has avocado perseose to prevent irritation, Oxeoline of Alcacaea to relieve pain, and Sunflower Oil Distillate to help prevent diaper rash in the first place.
Most of all, I LOVE Hydra Bebe Body Lotion. My boys both love it, too (especially for tummy and feet massage!). I’m not alone in this, as it’s Mustela’s best-selling product. It lasts a long time, and it’s formulated with a variety of plant-based ingredients to help protect, moisturize and strengthen baby’s skin. We live in super dry Colorado, so a high quality lotion is ESSENTIAL.
We have used a variety of different diaper pails with our children, only to be disappointed. So when we got the Munchkin Step Diaper Pail, I was cautiously optimistic.
I’m happy to say that this pail gets a resounding, “HOORAY!” from our family – this is truly the best diaper pail. It actually keeps the smell in, and the foot pedal is a life saver. I can’t be the only one who doesn’t love touching the pail to throw the diaper away.
Munckin also will plant a tree for every diaper pail they sell, which is super awesome.
This is one of my favorite products that we used with Oliver, and I wish we had with Jack. We’ve tried just about every sippy cup out there, and these are by far my favorite.
I had heard rave reviews about them while I was pregnant, and we bought a pair for when Oliver turned one. It took him a little bit to understand how they worked, but he’s loved them ever since.
This stainless steel version is even better – it’s double walled stainless steel that keeps their drink cold for 15 hours (perfect for long trips!). It won’t sweat or make little hands cold. I also really like the cup lid – even though it really doesn’t leak in my experience, it’s nice to have that added layer of protection.
Jack only ever took a bottle once or twice, but I never really knew which ones were best. So when Oliver was born, and he had to feed him breast milk by bottle for awhile, I went about it all wrong.
Because of that, we battled with a bit of bottle preference for awhile, and that was no fun. I wish I had known about the Munchkin Latch Bottle back then – I’ve heard rave reviews from other breastfeeding moms that it is perfect for switching back and forth.
It was developed to be most like the breast – and this is essential for helping prevent nipple confusion/bottle preference. It has a silicone accordion nipple that moves just like the breast. It also has an anti-colic valve that prevents air bubbles (which helps to reduce gas fussiness).
I never understand the value of a good bottle brush until we were having to clean bottles on a regular basis. It. is. essential.
This stainless steel bottle brush from Munchkin has the option for replaceable brush heads – because there’s no way you’ll survive a whole year with just one! It has a flexible brush neck that reaches every nook and crany, and as an added bonus, it has a suction cup base that keeps it away from other germs.
An added bonus is the soft rubber nipple brush (which is stored in the handle). Cleaning those nipples can be hard!
Sesame Street Naturals Bath Time Products
Bath time has always been a struggle in our family. The boys both started out loving their baths, but around seven months, it turned into torture time.
So, as you can imagine, we try to make bathtime go as fast and fun as possible.
First off, no one has time to flip the cap off of soap or lotion – so a pump is essential. Sesame Street Natural’s has Tip, Tummy, & Toe 2-in-1, which has a foaming pump attachment. It smells great and makes it very fast/easy to wash my kiddos from head to toe.
After bath time is usually still traumatizing, so I’m super impressed with the Spray Me Lotion – it’s spray on lotion, which is brilliant. I think everything involving kids should be spray on.
I think bubbles often make things easier (and are distracting), and I really love the Sesame Street Naturals B is for Bubble Bath! It smells great and makes
Best of all, all Sesame Street Natural products are paraben, phthalate and sulfate-free. Uniquely, they also have apples, blueberries, and carrots – which I think is super cool and contributes to nourishing and soothing baby. They also contain aloe, avocado, coconut oil, and shea butter, which all help. And, with all those ingredients, it adds a very pleasant fragrance. Even if bath time totally stresses me out, this helps 😉
When I gave birth to Oliver, the hospital I delivered at put him in little kimono-style onesies. I LOVED these. They helped immensely with skin to skin, diaper changes, and more. I love these more than any other kind of onesie out there.
A mom in my breastfeeding support group suggest the Carter brand, and they look even more amazing!
I’ve tried just about every infant sleep product out there, and the Woombie gets five stars from me. I especially love the Woombie Convertible, because it has the option to unzip holes for the arms. Oliver LOVED having his hands by his face from the time he was born, so a tradition swaddling job just didn’t work.
The Woombie keeps baby nice and snug and feeling like they are still in the womb. You don’t have to worry about
I have yet to get one of these, and I only recently heard about them…but I wish I had! We tend to co-sleep with our kiddos, and this would have been a lovely thing to have when they were younger. It makes co-sleeping safe and functional, and you can take it with you everywhere.
It’s definitely on my list for next time!
Forget the Nose Frida (and that silly blue bulb) – BabyBubz is where it’s AT. It’s only about $10, and it is the best way to get baby de-congested. I recommend these to everyone I know.
Full disclosure, I actually had these with Jack. However, many moms I asked said they wish they had gotten these instead of just regular, cotton receiving blankets.
These are HUGE, breathable, and soft. They are perfect for swaddling, using as a nursing cover, or for letting baby play on. I think you could easily make your own, but they are also readibly available at most stores.
This is something we recently got, and I am totally fan-girling it. It combines some of my favorite sleep products (white noise, ambient lighting, and an okay-to-wake clock), into one handy device. It’s priced very reasonably in comparison to other products in the same category.
This product is brand new, but it’s quickly becoming one of my favorite nursery items. Trust me, get this from the get go to help create sleep associations for your babe!
Infant fevers are never fun to deal with, especially through the night. Jack had a fever a few times, and after he had RSV, I was super paranoid anytime he got a little bit warm.
We got the smarttemp wearable thermometer with Oliver, and it has been wonderful. They can wear it at night, and it alerts your smartphone if their temperature spikes above a set number. It really helps give me peace of mind when my kiddos have a fever and are sleeping. I also like it better than other wearable thermometers because it’s reusable!
I have never used this product, but several mothers recommended it as a great product for babies who are not yet sitting up. It’s a great way to let baby hang out and play. It’s so cute, too!
I hear mixed reviews on this, but for us, it was a life saver with Oliver. I know many other moms who love it as well. I recommend the Wellements brand.
I think this is such a cool product that can help you to understand what your body is doing in the later stages of pregnancy. Basically, it’s an at-home contraction monitor. It’s very small and you can wear it on your belly. It displays, counts, and tracks contractions and helps you know the difference between different kinds of contractions.
They are available for rent, and I definitely want to use one for my next pregnancy. You can get $25 off your first month using the code Clarks25.
I’ve talked about the Owlet many times on here, so I’ll just direct you to our full review of the Owlet Baby Care Monitor. However, it is truly the best product we had with Oliver because of how it helped us. I’m very grateful that we had it during his first year, and I think it would have helped me sleep so much better had I had it with Jack.
Things for Mom
This is truly the diaper bag you didn’t realize you needed. It’s compact, can be fit into a bigger bag, and it’s so compact. With just one zip, it turns into a full on changing pad – and there is SO much storage! I highly recommend every mom getting one of these. We LOVE it! You can get 35% off by clicking here and using the code cc35.
While I was fortunate enough to not get many stretch marks with Jack, I did get a few – and I didn’t use any kind of stretch mark cream. While there’s nothing wrong with stretch marks, it’s one of those things where I feel if you can prevent it – why not?!
During my pregnancy with Oliver, I used the Mustela Stretch Marks Prevention Cream, and I highly recommend it. I actually had no stretch marks after that pregnancy, and I’m sure this cream helped!
It has a unique formulation that contains avocado peptides which helps to relieve senstations of tightness, reinforce skin elasticity and leaves skin feeling nice and comfortable. It also contains Galactoarabinan, which is a stretch mark care ingredient extracted from the Larch Tree. 96% of women who used it did not develop stretch marks during their pregnancy – so cool!
Remember – you can get 15% off sitewide using the code Babble17 through 2/11/27.
Vichy Aqualia Thermal Dynamic Hydration Rich Cream
As mothers, I think it’s easy to forget ourselves while we are caring for our new babies and children. I think most of us don’t even realize it!
So, I think it’s super important to make sure you pamper yourself every now and then – even if it’s just for a few minutes. I recently heard about Aqualia Thermal Dynamic Hydration Rich cream by Vichy, and it’s perfect for new moms.
It has a 48-hour lasting hydration formula which works quickly to make your skin feel smooth and luxurious – so if you skip a day, you know you’ll still feel refreshed. It helps to distribute and lock water in all facial zones, which helps preserve your natural beauty. It is 100% paraben free – and, as I mentioned earlier, this is perfect for those of us who live in dry climates and need a good winter moisturizer.
I’ve raved about these before, and I’ll continue to do so! I didn’t use these with Jack, and I wish I had. I had mastitis and plugged ducts with him several times, and it was miserable. I experienced the same with Oliver
Ergo Baby Carrier
I went through so many baby carriers with Jack. While I loved my Moby, it wasn’t ideal after about 15 pounds.
I finally splurged and got an Ergo Baby Carrier with Oliver, and it was the best decision. Most carriers really hurt my back, but this one hasn’t done that at all.
Nursing Friendly Tops
I don’t think I bought one nursing-friendly outfit when I was breastfeeding Jack…which is so silly! I spent lots of time timing his feeds to make sure I was home if I was wearing a dress I couldn’t easily nurse in, and I probably stretched out half my other outfits.
I “treated” myself this time around, and I’m glad I did. It’s worth it to buy tops that you can comfortably nurse in, and that are specifically designed for that purpose. I’ve found a lot of inexpensive outfits (you can check out my list of places to buy breastfeeding friendly clothing here).
These are brilliant. I remember leaking so much milk with both my boys for the first couple of months, and I always felt sad as I saw that precious liquid gold go to waste. One time, I caught some milk in a bottle cap while I was nursing on one side, and it was over an ounce!
These catch any extra milk that you catch! Each cup will catch about two ounces, so you do need to empty them frequently, but they are great for moms who just want to have a little extra in the fridge.
Hidrate Spark Water Bottle
This might seem a little bit silly to some, but I feel like this would have helped me keep my water intake up so much easier. I could barely remember if I ate – I had no idea if I actually drank enough, too!
This is a smart water bottle that tracks how much water you’ve drank and reminds you to drink throughout the day. It would certainly be a splurge to buy it, but it seems pretty awesome…and it’s SO important you drink enough water after you’ve had a baby!
There are a lot of breast pumps out there, but the Spectra Pumps are supposedly amazing! I have never used on, but the women in every breastfeeding group I’m in rave up and down about them. They are actually less expensive than most pumps as well, and you can often find a good deal on Amazon.
These are wonderful for those first few weeks of nursing. They are very soothing for sore nipples. A nurse at the hospital told me about them when Jack was born, but I felt like we were too poor to splurge on them.
I had horrendous acid reflux during my pregnancy with Jack. Sadly, it didn’t really go away after I gave birth to him (though it wasn’t as terribly unbearable). One of the first signs I had that I was pregnant with Oliver was that my reflux was insanely bad almost overnight.
I purchased a wedge early on in my last pregnancy, and I’m grateful I did. It really helped with my GERD, as well as indigestion in general. I still sleep with it!
Sleep as a pregnant women never really comes easy – and the bigger your belly gets, the more uncomfortable sleeping gets (especially if you are usually a back sleeper!). I ordered one of these part way through my last pregnancy, and I was kicking myself for not doing it sooner. It can make sleep SO much better.
Now, there is some debate on whether or not you should use these at home, but I’m grateful I had one with Oliver. I had trouble feeling him very much at all, and while non-stress tests showed that he was moving, I was very nervous.
Even though I contacted the doctor whenever I got too worried, it did help me feel a little more peace of mind when I could hear his heart beat. It also helped me realize when he flipped from being breech!