Back when I was a new mommy, I had other first time mama friends who were pregnant asking me what items I would recommend for them to add to their registry. I happily blogged about it, but now, with two kids and almost 5 years of motherhood under my belt, I feel better equipped to answer that question.
Years ago, I would break it up into what I used most during Jo’s first few months. I’m going to do a series of posts revisiting what I said then and revising it with what I would change or keep the same. I’ll link to the new items, and no, I don’t get any kick backs from this. I just can finally quit worrying that some old post is misguiding pregnant moms I’m friends with who’ve seen what I said back in the day.
Without further ado, here are my thoughts on what I recommended for baby’s first and second months:
Back then, I said Pampers Swaddlers.
Verdict: Yes, I still recommend these. They worked well for both of our girls, and we stuck with Pampers during the day and Huggies for nighttime diapers once the girls got big enough to need a heavy duty diaper for all-night sleep.
They are more expensive than cheaper brands, but Piper had an allergic reaction to Target brand diapers, and I use Amazon Prime (free shipping), Amazon Subscribe and Save (5% off), and Amazon Mom (another 15% off) to get free shipping and 20% off my diapers and wipes every time.
2. Diaper Pail
Back then, I recommended the Safety First Easy Saver Diaper Pail.
I liked it because it could use regular trash bags. At first, I thought it did a good job as a diaper pail because it was easy and because newborn diapers aren’t so stinky. But then your baby isn’t a newborn anymore, and this pail didn’t smell so great.
Verdict: I no longer recommend that but instead recommend the Munchkin Arm & Hammer diaper pail.
(buy it here)
I’ve tried the ever popular diaper genie too, and it literally broke in under 6 months for me, and I hated the bags. The Munchkin pail was my 3rd pail and became my favorite with bags that were easier to use. I bought it with Josey and still use it with 2 and half year old Piper.
Here are the bags:
(buy them here)
3. Diaper Bag
Back then, I recommended the Timi & Leslie Hannah bag.
Verdict: I still recommend Timi & Leslie bags. Actually, this is currently the bag I am using, and people still think it’s a fancy pants bag because it has held up well and is huge and pretty. When I go to a smaller bag for diaper-free outings, I throw the smaller bag into whatever purse I’m switching to and am basically good to go.
I love that the compartments are able to keep a ton of stuff organized and the outside is basically waterproof and wipes clean easily. This bag has held up amazingly well and was worth the money. It was also less expensive than a designer bag like Coach or Louis Vuitton or Michael Kors in a comparable size.
The Hannah bag is discontinued, but their site has lots of beautiful options to pick from. Personally, I am loving the:
Dawn bag in caramel.
The Marcelle bag in copper/saddle.
And (my fave) the Rachel bag in caramel.
Aren’t they pretty? And all $170 or less.
What about wipe warmers?
I never have used a diaper warmer. My sister did and loved it, and I didn’t and didn’t feel it affected my diapering experience other than to feel like I had one less item to keep clean. So that is going to be a personal preference item.
Nursing/Pumps (male readers, seriously, just skip reading 1 and 2.)
- Nursing Bras.
Back then, I said:
Verdict: I don’t have anything against that bra, per se, but I have better suggestions long term. This one is good especially for your first week or two with your first baby since you don’t know how busty you’ll be when nursing and may want to wait to buy more expensive bras. But it has no padding and is ugly.
So long term, I recommend around the house and out on walks or at the park with baby to use a sports clip down bra with built in padding, like this one.
For regular outings, I suggest you get your regular bra in a larger size to accommodate your newly functional ta-tas. You already know you like that bra, and you can just push it down under your boob while you nurse.
For sleep, nursing nightgowns or nursing tanks paired with pj bottoms make life easier for middle of the night feedings and can still make you feel prettier than a junky old t-shirt (which, I admit, I still like to sleep in). Nursing tanks are also great under another top or cardigan for easy feeding while keeping your post baby torso covered up.
2. Nursing Pads.
Back then, I said:
Verdict: I still prefer cloth pads to the plastic backed ones. You can get more air to your girls, and that means less chance of mastitis.
3. Nursing Pillows
Back then I said I like both the My Breast Friend Pillow and the Boppy Pillow.
Verdict: I think they are both good options if you want some support while nursing. I probably used the pillows more with Jo than with Piper.
I think the Boppy is probably more versitile for use as a baby prop when baby is learning to sit up, or a prop under the armpits when baby is doing tummy time, especially for a baby with reflux.
The My Breast Friend is best for someone who nurses in places where the pillow is likely to get away from you if it isn’t wrapped around your back.
4. Breast Pump
Back then, I said I was using the Ameda Purely Yours Pump.
Verdict: I now recommend the Medela Pump In Style.
(Find it here.)
As you can see, it comes in a bag, so that makes it easy to take with you if you need to, as many working or traveling moms do. It also comes with a cooler especially for transporting that liquid gold.
I pumped far more with Piper as I overproduced milk for the first several months. This was a great pump for me, and I do recommend it.
I should also mention that many insurance companies will buy or help buy breast pumps now, so you should look into that option when purchasing a pump. You may have to buy from a medical distributor to make it qualify, so check with your insurance company first.
I didn’t post about this back then because I mostly nursed, but I did use some bottles when I used that pumped breastmilk (or the occassional formula for Piper since I had limited supply in the last couple of months nursing her), and the bottles I really loved were the Dr. Browns bottles.
(find them here.)
They cut down on air swallowed during feedings, which means less gassy babies, and less fussiness. They also come in glass, in case you’re hoping to go plastic-free.
Back then, I recommended the Fisher Price Ocean Wonders Deluxe Tub.
Verdict: This tub was great for both of my girls. I found it easy to use and clean, secure on my kitchen sink or in the bathtub, and it easily hung to dry on a shower curtain rod.
2. Bath accessories
Back then, I recommended the Munchkin Shampoo Rinser.
Verdict: I still recommend this for babies. Since it’s soft, not slippery, and holds plenty of water for a little one, it makes it easy to rinse the baby without hurting them with a hard, slippery cup. But once they get to be big babies, especially girls with long hair, I recommend using a big, cheap plastic pitcher. It holds way more water than a regular big cup, which makes it easier to rinse long hair or growing bodies clean.
Back then, I recommended hooded towels.
Verdict: I still think they are cute and functional and love them. I wish it was more common for big kids too because the ones I’ve found for bigger kids are expensive, and my kids love them.
Naps and Bedtime
- Baby Blankets
Back then, the Halo brand was my favorite sleep blanket for babies. They also had an easy swaddler (shown below) for newborns.
Verdict: After using these for both my girls, I still highly recommend them for crib use. They are safe for babies because they can’t kick these up onto their faces, and they are so easy to use and wash easily.
My girls wore these until about one and half years of age. A little less for Piper because she was a hot mess and kept trying to take them off and getting stuck with one arm out of them. I decided then to switch her to a regular blanket.
When you need a soft swaddle blanket or just something to throw over the straps when the baby is strapped into a car seat or into a baby swing or vibrating seat, I really loved these Munchkin 100% Bamboo blankets:
(Find them here.)
I was given some as a gift for Piper, and I loved them and ended up buying even more. They are less expensive than the Aden + Anais brand that is so popular, and these Munchkin sheets are SO soft- and get softer the more you wash them, and they’re a nice big size. They’re also light, so you aren’t making them sweat wearing it.
Now that my girls aren’t babies, they love to wrap their baby dolls in them, and I keep washing them so I have a clean baby blanket to offer friends who visit with their own little ones. I wouldn’t be surprised if some baby grows us to use them as a lovey, because they are that soft and are also beautiful!
Back then, I recommended the Summer Infant Complete Coverage Video Monitoring System.
Verdict: This worked great for us, but I recommend a newer system that connects to your devices via wi-fi and allows 2-way communication. That way, you can rotate the way the camera is facing with your device, zoom, and check on baby from anywhere. You can also speak to baby, which is especially useful when you’re trying to teach a toddler to stay down for nap when you convert from crib to toddler bed (or regular bed).
- Car Seat
Back then, I recommended the Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat with base.
Verdict: I loved this carseat. It held up well to a lot of use from both girls, and when we were done, it was still in good enough shape to give to some friends who had taken on foster parenting and needed an infant carrier. Highly recommend it!
Back then, I recommended the B.O.B. Revolution SE.
Verdict: This is an amazing stroller.
Tom used to run with this all the time, and I would regularly go on walks. It had an attachment for our Chicco Keyfit 30, and then when Jo was big enough, we let her sit in the seat. She was comfortable, and the ride was smooth. This stroller swivels on a dime, it was easy to navigate rough terrain or in a mall. We loved it.
Once we had Piper, we bought the Phil & Ted Navigator Stroller with a second seat. I bought this one because it was as narrow as a single stroller, allowing me to still navigate narrow areas without a double wide stroller to contend with.
They have discontinued the Navigator and basically sell the same thing under the name “sport.”
(Find it here.)
See? Basically the exact same thing with a new name.
The pro of this is that it still easily goes over most terrain with those wheels, the second seat is removable, and it is very slim compared to most double jogging strollers.
The cons are that it has not the greatest view for the kid in the back, it seems like for heavier kids (like my tall girls) the weight allowance is going to limit how old they can be riding (they would probably ride longer in the double B.O.B stroller where weight is more widely distributed, and the view would be improved too), and the extension at the bottom is more likely to hit your legs when jogging and annoy the kid in the back when you hang a bag from the handle.
So why did I pick that one? Because I am not a runner, and Jo likes to walk. I mostly would put her in the bottom seat in parking lots and in the mall where I needed to move faster. When we went to the greenway on walks, I would let her walk too, and I would have the second seat on just in case she fell and hurt herself or got tired (neither is uncommon on walks with little kids). It fit my lifestyle, but if I was a runner, I would have gotten the B.O.B. duallie.
3. Car Seat Cover
Back then, I recommended the JJ Cole Car Seat Cover.
Verdict: While this is good for winter climates, in Georgia, there are more practical car seat covers. I recommend these car seat canopy covers that come in varieties for any taste. You can block wind with it as well as germy hands and faces that can’t resist baby otherwise.
Back then, I recommended the Wubbanub.
Verdict: These things are awesome. Josey loved them. But as she got older, she still wanted the plush animal, and the paci was for infants. I was finding myself sewing new pacifiers on that were age appropriate. So I bought Piper the Nookums Paci Plushies Panda:
(Find it and a bunch of other animal here.)
They are great because you can easily swap out the pacifier from the ring for the right size as baby grows. Of course, Piper was a thumb sucker with no interest in pacis, just my luck, but she did happen to love looping her finger through the paci holder (sans paci), and she would hold it while she sucked her thumb.
She ended up being more attached to her panda than Jo was to any of her Wubs, and she still has to have it to sleep.
2. Baby Seat
Back then I recommended the Fisher Price Infant to Toddler Rocker.
Verdict: Loved this seat and do recommend it still. In fact, I bought a second one when we had Piper.
We never used a swing because I was afraid the girls would not be able to sleep without one if we started, but we did have this vibrating baby rocker. And we had a baby with reflux- Pipes had to be upright for weeks when she was born. It was a big help when I needed to set her down for a minute to get showered or use the bathroom (anyone with a reflux riddled newborn knows the one place that baby wants to be constantly is on you).
I had one for upstairs and one for downstairs because that is how much I used it with her. Jo used it plenty, but she had no reflux issues, so laying her in the pack n play or crib was also an option early on. Piper couldn’t sleep unless she was upright.
Speaking of reflux, I wish I had tried the Fisher-Price Newborn Rock ‘n Play Sleeper.
(Find it here.)
I didn’t find out about this until Piper was well adjusted to her medicine, but the friends who told me about it swore that it was the only thing that made their reflux babies sleep other than mama’s chest. I can’t pass up the chance to share that info, because if you think newborns and recovering from birth is exhausting (and it is!), you will find a new meaning for the word when you have a newborn with reflux. And if I can help another mama get some sleep, I am all about it.
3. Play Mat
Back then, I recommended the Infantino Vintage Twist and Fold Activity Gym.
Verdict: This is a yes. Josey loved it. Piper used it less thanks to the reflux, but she did like it when she used it. The thing is, tiny babies can’t do much, so this gives them some stimulation and something to look at and reach for and kick at. It’s good for them! I also like that this one is gender neutral so you can keep it through all your children.
And that FINALLY wraps up my revised review of baby items I recommended in 2012 for babies in months 1 and 2. I hope this helps any new moms out there picking things for their registry with no clue where to start. I will be going back to revise my recommendations for the other blog posts I did for babies months 3-4 and 5-6 later, so check back!
And for any of you moms who bought things I recommended back in the day but don’t recommend now…sorry. I didn’t know what I didn’t know! Hopefully you’ve sorted it out since then!