Corporate marketing says that you need to have a million things before giving birth to your child. They throw you into a world of choosing between types of bottles that scream “Dentist recommended!” or pajamas that advertise that they’re made with 100% organic materials. As a new parent, it can become overwhelming very quickly.
I fell for a lot of the marketing techniques, and wound up with quite a few things I did not need. Below I’ve compiled a list of things that I loved and that worked well for my family for my daughter’s first year of life. All of these products have my daughter’s stamp of approval!
Skip Hop Three in One Activity Center. This activity center was a hit with my daughter. It has four legs that steady the activity center, rather than the giant round bottom that is unsteady. It helps baby develop strength in their legs while focusing on fine motor development and sensory play. The toys are easily removable and can be arranged any way you like which makes cleaning the activity center a breeze. The base can be adjusted to your baby’s height, and can be easily lowered as she grows. My daughter has outgrown the activity center now, but it can transform into an activity table or just simply an art table for when she’s older. Because I run a home daycare, it is away in storage so it doesn’t get destroyed. It comes apart easily and folds flat for storage. I can’t recommend this enough!
Jolly Jumper Nursing Pillow. This pillow was SO USEFUL! I not only used it for breastfeeding, but when my daughter was learning how to sit up on her own it proved to be an excellent support system to help hold her steady. Also she was obsessed with the Bright Starts Lion Rattle and Teething Toy. We had to bring this thing everywhere. She loved to chew on it, she loved the bright colors and she loved the rattle sound.
The Halo Sleep Sack swaddle was a lifesaver during my daughter’s first six months of life. She loved the security that the swaddle provided, and it was a comfortable and warm cocoon for her to gently fall asleep in. It mimics the feeling of being held, and this in turn soothes the baby and comforts them as they sleep. The Grobag was essential in the winter months. After my daughter outgrew her Halo Sleep Sacks, I switched her to the Cotton GroBag. The GroBag provided the warmth that my daughter needed during those chilly winter months in her crib, while pulling away moisture and keeping her dry. We used a 2.5 Tog rating in a 64-66 degree room and she did wonderfully with it.
Graco Travel System. The Graco Click Connect Travel System was a must have for us because we live near a dirt road. The rubber tires allowed us to plow through snow drifts, muddy roads, grass and any other element that was thrown at us. This stroller can climb curbs no problem as well and it folds almost flat to store in the trunk of your car. The infant car seat is easy to clean and it snuggles the infant. It has a simple connect system where you remove the seat from the base in the car and click it into place in the stroller, making a seamless transition for those cold winter months or if the baby is asleep.
Infantino Infant Carrier. Our infant carrier was great for those trips to the grocery store where the infant car seat wouldn’t be helpful. It allowed me to keep my hands free, and my daughter was secure and snuggled up next to me while I did my grocery shopping. My daughter also loved the view from up high, and she was able to see everything around her. Happy baby, happy mama!
Skip Hop Moonlight and Melodies Crib Soother Sound Machine. This product is a GODSEND. If you’ve read any of my previous posts, you’re well aware that my daughter does not sleep well. This sound machine is the only reason why she sleeps as much as she does throughout the night. It features four different songs as well as four different sounds (heartbeat, night sounds, rainforest and ocean waves, her personal favorite). It also has an adjustable nightlight and a ceiling projector to project a starry sky on your baby’s nursery ceiling. It’s also cute and a neutral color that will go with any theme. Win win.
Fisher Price Infant Swing. The swing was great for her older infancy. When she was a newborn, the swing that we were gifted was not very comfortable and my daughter hated it. This swing allowed her to be rocked forwards to backwards or side to side which is great if you have an infant that prefers one over the other. The swing also features music, soothing noises and the cover comes off for easy cleaning!
Safety 1st Recline and Grow Booster. This booster seat was a lifesaver for us. My daughter didn’t like being at the same level as the table because she couldn’t see both of us at once, but the rubber feet on the base of this booster allowed us to stick her directly on top of the table. Once she grew older, we strapped it to one of our kitchen chairs and she could sit at the table with us. It features a seat belt harness to keep your child within the high chair, as well as a removable chair cover, dishwasher safe tray and it was easy to clean up after a messy dinner.
These are a few of the products I grew to love. Mention any you loved down below!