With Kristin's baby shower coming up in just a couple weeks (plus I'm in the midst of getting rid of a lot of Parker's too small clothes and baby equipment), I've been thinking a lot about some of my favorite things we've had around for Morgan and Parker. When Morgan was born, we were living in a one-bedroom condo and didn't have a lot of room, or desire, to have a ton of baby stuff. Just the essentials. We learned a lot about what products we liked and didn't like. What to keep for baby2 and what to give away and look for a replacement. Between Morgan and Parker, these were just a few of my favorite baby must-haves:
Skiphop Studio diaper bag - my mom got me this diaper bag shortly before Parker was born, as I was likely going to need something bigger to haul around all the stuff needed for an infant and a toddler. It's an awesome bag! It looks great. It's roomy. I am able to always keep in it: a couple of diapers for each kid, wipes, a changing pad, at least 4 snack options for Morgan, hand sanitizer, a small first aid kit, a burp cloth, kleenex, and crayons and paper to keep Morgan busy. Plus, there are insulated pockets for a sippy cup for Morgan and a water bottle for me, pockets for my wallet and cell phone, my planner, pen and keys. There's a zippered antimicrobial pocket on the outside to keep the unexpected stinky or wet stuff in until I get home. And inside there are straps you can use to hook it to your stroller handle. Plus, now that we are back on the potty training wagon with Morgan, I can still fit her potty seat and a change of clothes in it without the bag being too terribly bulky. This is definitely a bag I will be using beyond the toddler years.
Beaba spoons and bowls - I splurged on these spoons for Parker since he is home with me all day. They are silicone, so no worries about BPA, and they look and feel cool (as I'm sure you can tell that's a big deal to me). They have a nice long handle and Parker likes to gnaw on them too. I'm sure they are going to last beyond the time we'll need them. Unlike the spoons we used for Morgan, which were kinda small and stained instantly after feeding her sweet potatoes. The bowls were an awesome gift from my parents. They are the perfect size, dishwasher safe, and now, his tableware matches. And that's just plain cool.
Boon Grass drying rack -Yes, we had a perfectly fine drying rack we used for Morgan's bottles. But damn, this one looks so much better in our new kitchen, on our new countertops. It doesn't look like a baby bottle drying rack. And it doesn't get gross and gunky because the water drips into it's own little tray and we can put both parts in the dishwasher. Actually, I probably use it for more non-baby stuff that I hand-wash or wasn't completely dry out of the dishwasher. I use it to hold everything from my french press parts to pacifiers, bottle parts to wooden spoons and measuring cups. We don't have a ton of countertop space, so the small footprint is perfect. This is another 'baby item' that we'll keep around for a while.
Moby Wrap baby carrier - I knew, being home with a newborn and a toddler in the middle of the summer, I was going to want to get out of the house as often as possible. We have a large walkable neighborhood and a park closeby, but I didn't want to invest in a double stroller. So, right before Parker was born, I bought a Moby Wrap. Yes, it's a little intimidating pulling out 15+ feet of fabric and trying to wrap it around you just right. But after a good week of practicing and carrying Parker around the house, I was comfortable putting it on by myself, leaving the house and putting Parker in it safely on my own. It may have been easier if he wasn't the size of a 3 month old when he was born, but we made it work and I really got good use out of it last summer and fall. I was happy to see Kristin had registered for one for her twins because I've read that it's probably one of the only baby carriers you can use with two babies.
Sophie the Giraffe teether - she's cute, she squeaks and she's French! Morgan loved her and so does Parker. And now it looks like she's spawned off all kinds of different teethers. My mom got a mini Sophie with handles for Kristin's twins. :)
Thirsties Fab Wipes - Even if I didn't use cloth diapers on Parker, I would still be sold on cloth wipes. I love these soft wipes, especially for big, poopy, I'm-eating-solid-food-now messes (much nicer than a thin disposable wipe). I just dunk one in some warm soapy water, wipe and toss in a diaper bag. Now that Parker doesn't need a diaper change as often as when he was a newborn, I split up our stash and keep half of the wipes in the kitchen to wipe messy, sticky hands and faces after eating and just throw it in the laundry basket.
Itzbeen baby care timer -We were a bit anal with Morgan and logged every ounce she drank, every nap she took and every tablespoon of food she ate in a journal for almost her entire first year. With a little experience under my belt, I didn't feel like I needed to do that with Parker. So when I saw the Itzbeen on clearance at Target (I think I snagged it for $7 last winter!), I grabbed it immediately. It keeps track of the last diaper change, feeding and nap. Plus there is another button you could use for almost anything. I used it to keep track of when to take my pain medications after my C-section and later, as an hourly alarm to get Morgan to try to use the potty last summer. Eventually, she knew when she heard it beeping, she'd yell "potty time!" and ran to the bathroom. After 7 months, even though Parker has pretty much put himself on a bit of a feeding and sleeping schedule, I'm still using it. Especially to keep track of his nighttime feedings, which I tend to be half asleep for and forget when the last one was.
Skip Hop Toolbox diaper caddy - In the condo, we didn't have room for a changing table for Morgan, so we just kept this diaper caddy on our dresser, full of enough diapers and supplies we needed to have handy. Diaper cream, lotion, QTips, cotton balls, Boogie Wipes, Vaseline, etc. For Parker, I keep the caddy on his dresser and put his cloth wipes in the large diaper section. They look pretty cute just stacked out in the open.
Rockin' Green cloth diaper detergent - I originally learned about this detergent through Emily and her cloth diaper store, No Pins Required. It's marketed as a cloth diaper detergent but I, as well as many of their customers, use it on everything I wash in the wash machine. It's free of all the crap that is in regular laundry detergents (which is very important with cloth diapers) and it comes in some super yummy scents. We're using Smashing Watermelons right now and I'm about due to buy more in the next couple weeks. Maybe Mighty Mighty Marshmellow?
Skip Hop Playspot play mat - I guess I should just put Skip Hop as a company on this list. My parents got this play mat for Morgan for her first Christmas and it got a ton of use on our hardwood floors in the condo. At our new house, it helped define her play space. It was perfect for us in her pre-crawling through walking stages. Plus, again, it looked nice in our living area and not so much like a play room.
What are your favorite baby items?