Our little Madeline Grace is already 5 months old and is safely out of the newborn phase of life, which means she’s growing and changing every day. As first-time parents we have tried a lot of products and there are 15 (so far) that have really stood out as “baby essentials” for us.
“Bundle of joy” doesn’t even begin to describe how amazing it is to have this little person in our lives. She’s happy, she’s healthy, and she’s developing at such a rapid pace it seems as if all you have to do is blink and she’s doing something new! I hope this list of our top 15 baby essentials will help any other new parents out there! 🙂
- Dr. Brown’s Bottles – Madeline didn’t have colic (thank goodness) but these bottles were the only nipple she would accept besides mom’s, so she kind of made the decision for us on this purchase. In my experience they really do reduce gas, since we did try other brands (unsuccessfully) and Maddy seemed to have a noticeable increase in burps and butt-toots. Theses bottle involve a little more labor when cleaning, but man, the trade-off is worth it!
- Munchkin Diaper Bag Dispenser – this miracle product has saved us multiple times on the road because it’s a compact way to store disposable diaper sacks and it’s super easy to use. I also like that it has a little plastic hook on the end of it because it’s easy to clip to one of the inside pockets of her diaper bag so I always know where it is. The refills can get pricey, but I’ve found a generic solution on Amazon that has worked just fine.
- WubbaNub Pacifier – Madeline isn’t really into Paci’s, in fact, she tends to spit them out and lose them, but if we hand her a WubbaNub she’s happy as a clam. Mostly because she’s busy hugging the stuffed animal or trying to shove the whole thing in her mouth (hey, whatever works for ya kid!). They can be a bother to clean, but if it means she’s happily occupied while she’s on a walk in the stroller, I’m ok with boiling them over and over (seriously, it looks like we’re making stuffed animal soup).
- Musical Gym/Activity Mat – We got this Tiny Love activity mat as a gift from my cousin and his amazing wife who have two little boys. Maddy loves the colorful animals that she can easily grab and she’s fascinated with the lights and music it makes when she kicks. Mommy loves that the mat can be stripped off and washed in the washing machine! 😉
- Forehead & Ear Thermometer – As new parents we have used this thing more times than I would like to admit. Thankfully they were all false alarms (helloooooo helicopter parents), but this wonderful thing has given us peace of mind quickly and accurately every time.
- Munchkin White Hot Safety Bath Ducky – We got this as a gift and it was beyond helpful those first few times we filled up the bathtub for Maddy and wound up with water that was a little on the warm side for our daughter’s sensitive skin. There’s an indicator on the bottom of the duck that will tell you if the water is too hot or juuuuuust right.
- A Good Diaper Bag – I needed a diaper bag that served 2 purposes, 1) that it could fit all her shit (and seriously that kid requires a lot of shit) and 2) it could go with almost anything. Mission accomplished with this stylish stripped number from Kidd! It’s got plenty of room and hidden pockets to store everything you’re going to be lugging around with you and it has an additional cross-body strap that is removable if you need it (PS you will need it).
- Dr. Brown’s Bottle Brush – This thing is magic, I’m pretty sure it’s made from the whiskers of a wizard, because it fits all bottles, it manages to reach all the muck that other brushes miss, it unscrews to reveal a tiny brush that scrubs the bottle’s vent inserts, and it has a stiff base that stands the brush up and off the counter. I also like that it’s made of a very sturdy material, so I can really scrub the bottles and not feel like I’m going to break the thing.
- A Non-Creepy Mobile – We tried several mobiles for our child’s crib, but they all seemed to feature creepy plinky music that sounded like something out of horror movie. Rather than scar my child for life, I searched around and found this ah-mazing Tiny Love mobile that features colorful characters that Maddy loves, a lovely lilting Mozart tune (that I now know by heart), a clip that makes it easy to transfer from her crib to her pack ‘n plat to her glider, and it detaches to attach to your child’s stroller or car seat. We’ve used this on multiple car trips and it’s been a life saver. Totally one of our best purchases!
- An Interactive Floor Seat – When Maddy’s neck got strong enough we got her a floor seat that has bright colors and a tray to rest toys (and eventually snacks). This Fisher Price chair has a soft supportive back to keep her upright, clips for toys and it folds up so it can easily be stored away when we’re not using it.
- Cloth Book – Madeline has a bunch of these books and they are a fun toy that she loves to play with. Most of them have crinkly material that keeps her occupied for a while and squeakers for her to discover when she bites down on the pages. Plus, we want her to get into books, so this is a great start!
- Baby Einstein Octoplush – This doll has a bunch of pretty mozart tunes and each of its eight arms tells baby a color when you lightly press on them. Madeline loves the smile on her octoplush doll and it always makes her giggle when it starts playing music for her.
- Baby Moisturizer – We happen to like the baby Aveeno line of moisturizers because they’re unscented and extremely gentle for her sensitive skin. It also is great for mommy’s hands because they’ve become quite dry after all the washing I have to do!
- Manhattan Rattle – This fun toy is one of Maddy’s favorite to teeth on. All the colors dazzle her and its light enough for her to pick up and shake. Plus, each of the little loops on this thing are easy for her to grab and they’re made of a soft enough plastic that when she misses her mouth and hits her face it doesn’t make her cry.
- Baby Bath Tub – We don’t trust the sink in our rental, so we needed to get a bath tub for our baby that would transition her from newborn to infant and into baby and we decided on this Summer Infant Bath Tub for that reason. It’s got a handle sling that we used when Maddy was tiny, and now that she’s bigger it’s got a handy seat inside for her to sit up and splish-splash to her hearts content. I love that it has a little plug on the bottom that allows you to drain the tub without having to turn it over or make a huge mess.
** I didn’t receive any of these products in exchange for a review, these are my own unbiased opinions based on purchases and gifts we got for our daughter.