Sweet little Baby K has been with us for a whole five months today! Hard to believe in some ways, and in other ways, it's hard to remember what life was like without her. We love this girl to pieces, and she has brought so much joy (and a lot less sleep) to our lives. We have tackled the newborn stage, the four-month sleep regression, and all the fun things that come with having a baby under 6 months, so I wanted to share some of my favorite products and ideas with you up to this point. Some of them will make good gifts for baby, while a lot of them will make good gifts for mom.
If you use the links here, I may receive a small commission. It doesn't cost you extra, so win-win! :) I hope this list helps give you ideas for what to add to your registry or Christmas list!
1. Hatch Baby Rest Sound Machine, Night Light, and Time-to-Rise - This was a baby shower gift and has come in handy for us. The reason the Hatch is so nice is because it can be controlled through the Hatch app. I can turn on the sound of choice (usually rain or ocean for us) without even getting up. If I need a nightlight to feed or change, I can turn on the Hatch light to the brightness I want all from my phone. It's very convenient. It will also grow with your baby because you can create timers and schedules for toddler years. I will probably program the Hatch light to turn on in the morning when Karis is allowed to get out of bed. She'll know that when she sees the pink light, she can get up for the day (you can also choose from many other sounds and colors)!
2. Wzye Cam - I've followed the Crosby family for years, even before Dave founded Wyze, so it's been fun watching the company grow bigger and expand to new products. The basic starter camera is so much cheaper than most home cameras on the market. We have one in Karis's room and use it as our baby monitor. Karis is still sleeping in our room for right now, but once she moves to her room, I'll be able to keep a close eye (and ear) on her. The camera is connected to your app, so you log in and watch from your phone. It also has black and white night vision, so if the lights are off, you can still see well. If you want to buy a memory card to record and playback the video, that's available too. Our family loves Wyze so much that my dad gifted one to my mom for Christmas, and Kris and I gifted one to my brother and sister-in-law. I actually sometimes log in to my mom's Wyze account and see what's going on at home! Creeper, I know.
3. Contrast Crinkle Book - In the early months, it's hard to know exactly how to spend wake times. Babies love all things contrast, so it doesn't have to be this book exactly, but having something for baby to look at and study is fun and helpful! I've literally just drawn pictures with markers for Karis to look at, so it doesn't have to be fancy. This one is cheap and crinkles which is a bonus for when baby starts grasping. Karis has a crinkle book and loves to manipulate it and put it in her mouth. It's nice on road trips too because I always know when she's started waking up...no hiding with that loud crinkly book!
4. Infant Bath - We were given a hand-me-down baby bath so this isn't the exact one we have, but it's very similar. I end up doing wash cloth/sponge baths often, but for the days when baby needs a good soak, you'll need something she can recline in while you wash her. Our infant bath has worked great for us...although Karis has become a mad women in the tub now. She kicks and splashes, and I have to hold on tightly so be prepared!
5. Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Carseat - It doesn't matter all that much what carseat you pick, but you will need one, and this is the one we have! No issues here! But the real blessing is the next item below.
6. Chicco KeyFit Caddy Frame - So this was given to us, and it has been one of the best things everrr! We didn't need it at first when Karis was lighter, but babies grow fast, and carrying around a carseat?...yeah, I'm over it. This caddy fits the KeyFit carseat, and it's super handy for us. It's smaller than a normal stroller so not as obnoxious to take her inside places! This is one of those "didn't know I needed it but SO glad I have it" items.
7. Books! I'll probably do a separate blog post on our favorite books. You can't really start too early when it comes to reading with baby. Karis has no idea what I'm saying, but she enjoys looking at the pictures and listening to my voice. It also helps her to hear sentences strung together and not just baby talk or funny sounds all day (even though she hears her fair share of those too).
8. Aquaphor Baby Ointment - Another "Didn't know I needed it" item is this magical ointment. My cousin, who is a pediatric nurse, gifted this to me, and we have used it for more than just diaper rashes. Karis has been drooling like crazy, and as a result, had a pretty bad drool rash on her cheek. I use this magic ointment for that. She also struggles with what I like to call "neck cheese." Are you barfing yet? I read that somewhere and liked the term. She'll get red and rashy from milk, drool, or spit up getting stuck in her neck rolls. Ha! Insert magic ointment (and some good old fashion soap and water, of course).
9. Play Yard - If you're like me and want to keep the babe in the room with you for the first several months, you'll need somewhere for him or her to sleep. We used a Moses bassinet at first, but she quickly outgrew that, so Mom bought this pack n' play. Comparing prices to others, this is one of the cheapest I've seen. She did end up buying a nice fold up mattress to put in it to make it more comfy for K because the mattress it comes with isn't really a mattress at all. It's pretty firm. We also find ourselves traveling often, so this is really convenient to pack up and take on the road with us! Last thing I liked about it is that it comes with a detachable mobile. I didn't have one of these, so this was a nice addition to things Karis can look at and do during wake times.
10. Itzy Ritzy Pacis - A paci's a paci, right? Kind of...here's why I love these pacifiers best! One, they're cute - the style and colors. It makes me some kind of happy to match the white one with almost any outfit she wears, but I realize that's not all that important. The second reason I like these is because as Karis has grown, she has loved being able to grab the handle of these pacis. She'll take it out then put it back in over and over again. It's cute to hear that little pop sound that means she's practicing her fine motor skills. As she's started teething, I've even put these in the fridge and used them as teethers. I love these pacis.
11. Boba Wrap - This wrap is comfy and stretchy, and when Karis was a newborn it would help soothe her, and usually she'd fall asleep. Now that she's a bit older, she's SO curious and loves being carried facing out. You can wear it to go on a walk, to shop, or even to just get some things done around the house. It's a little tricky to tie at first, but once you know how, it's super easy! There are plenty of YouTube videos to show you how!
12. Velcro Swaddles - We tried a few different types of swaddles, and these ended up being the ones we liked best. They were very easy to use, and they kept Karis restrained for the longest amount of time. Eventually she was able to punch and kick her way out of them which brings me to number 11.
13. Baby Merlin's Magic Sleep Suit - This is what we transitioned to once the swaddles weren't working anymore. Karis is very used to it, in fact, she takes almost every nap in this sleep suit in addition to her nighttime sleep. The idea is that the suit gives babies the impression of being snug and cozy, just like when you're holding them or when they're in the carseat. Plus it's just really cute. We're fans.
14. My Breast Friend Nursing Pillow - This one's more for mom. If you plan on breastfeeding your baby, a nursing pillow is amazing. It helps with positioning, adds comfort to nursing, and frees up a hand while feeding. My arm doesn't get tired from holding her or positioning her, and I have an extra hand free to check my email or Christmas shop...ya know, the essential things. Hands down this has been one of my most-used baby products.
15. Reusable Nursing Pads - Continuing with the breastfeeding theme, some reusable nursing pads are extremely handy. Some people opt for the disposable ones, but I've found that the reusable ones are easy to slip in and out. I personally don't love dealing with the stickiness of disposable pads, but it's just preference. Either way, you're gonna want nursing pads of some fashion.
16. Breastmilk storage bags - If you want to pump and build a freezer supply of milk, these bags will come in handy. I knew I'd need extra milk on wedding days when I would be away from my baby for an extended amount of time. Early on in Karis's life, I'd pump about an hour or so after her morning feed, and this allowed me to build a nice little freezer stash of milk.
17. Ameda Mya Breast Pump - Speaking of pumping, this is the pump I have, and I have no complaints. It's definitely not handsfree, but that's been okay for me. I like my pump. It's been a necessity, especially on wedding days. Note that most insurance companies cover a breast pump, so be sure to look into that before buying one!
That's all for now. I could've shared 18 things easily, but I like the number 17 better. So just in case you're curious, here is my honorable mention.
18. Contigo Water Bottle - This water bottle has EASILY made me drink more water. I'm not quite sure what it is about it, but it's perfect for chugging, in fact, it even says that in the title of it on Amazon. My mom bought this for me in the early days of bring Karis home because she was always on me about drinking more water, and this is by far the best item I've had to help me with water intake. You'll want to drink lots of water after giving birth too especially if you're breastfeeding.