Part I: Favorite Products for Infants
Hey, mamas! So my latest Instagram poll actually revealed that most of you are interested in toddler products but when I started making that list, so many of my favorite infant products included, that I thought it made more sense to start here and then do a toddler roundup.
So, full disclosure, I bought all the baby things the first time around. All. Of. Them. Some of them I loved, some I was very frustrated by, and some I still haven’t found my perfect version of…yet.
This list includes only the products I am over the moon about and a couple that I am planning on purchasing for my second baby after copious amounts of research. I put an asterisk (*) next to those just so you know which products I haven’t personally used yet. I’ve broken this down into multiple posts to make this list helpful and not overwhelming…I remember reading these types of articles when I was pregnant with my daughter and feeling like these mamas were speaking another language.
This first post lists only products for feeding and sleeping. I’m keeping this simple and only highlighting the major reasons why I chose these products. I just provided the links for products that don’t really need an introduction. If you have more in-depth questions or specific functionality questions, comment on the post and I will respond promptly!
Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Bottles: We tried a lot of bottles and actually didn’t try these until Lilly was nine months old. I wish I had tried them sooner and will be going straight to them for my next baby. The Como Tomo bottles worked decently well for us until around the nine-month mark when she needed a faster flow. Even their fastest flow was much too slow. When she was a newborn, the Dr. Brown’s wide neck bottles worked well but there were way too many pieces to clean; I can’t imagine doing that for an entire year or longer. Honestly, as much as someone can recommend what bottle worked for them, it truly is trial and error and what works for your particular baby.
Kiinde Kozii Bottle Warmer and Breast Milk Warmer*: We didn’t plan to use a bottle warmer and spent the first few months using mugs and bowls with hot water which worked well for refrigerated breastmilk but not nearly as well when it was frozen. We currently have the Tommee Tippee Bottle Warmer but I often find myself overheating the bottles which would be devastating if it was breastmilk. Why you ask? Because overheating can kill off the antibodies and nutrients in breastmilk that are so good for baby. The Kozii uses a low-temperature water bath to heat bottles which is perfect for breastmilk.
Baby Brezza*: I couldn’t even bring myself to think of formula feeding my baby while I was pregnant with my first (no judgment at all, I just really hoped to be able to exclusively breastfeed my baby), but the reality is that you may end up using formula at some point. Mixing up formula may not seem like that big of a deal but the act of mixing it then heating it in the middle of the night or first thing in the morning while baby is wailing isn’t that fun. If we do end up formula feeding for our next baby, I will be investing in one of these.
Dapple Bottle and Dish Liquid: This stuff is the best. It’s made from only clean ingredients (mostly plant-based). Most importantly, it effectively removes all the milk residue using a very small amount.
Medela Quick Clean Micro-Steam Bags: These are pure magic. We started off boiling everything which was just insanity. Toss bottles and pacifiers in and microwave for instantly sterile everything.
Boppy Feeding Pillow: It’s a classic for a reason. I actually didn’t use this much past the newborn phase, but it was really nice when she was tiny and I could have one arm free to really keep her head positioned well for a good latch. I brought it to the hospital which was great for cluster feeding. There are lots of cute cover options on Etsy, too!
Munchkin Latch Pump Brushes: You have no idea how much bottle and pump part washing you will do. There are lots of little nooks that collect milk, so these are ideal.
Boon Grass Countertop Drying Rack: If you can make space for it, opt for the larger one. We’re still using ours for bottles, sippy cups, pacifiers and teethers.
Haaka Milk Catcher: This was so great for collecting extra milk that leaked while I fed her on one side. If you don’t get a good seal it will fall off and you will lose all the milk but that’s true of every milk catcher I tried. This one is by far the best in my experience.
Legendairy Milk supplements: Really great supplements for boosting breastmilk supply.
Little Unicorn muslin sheets: Seriously so soft and breathable with the cutest patterns. We have a bunch!
Breathable Baby Breathable Mesh Crib Liner: As soon as my baby started rolling, she started getting her limbs caught in the crib slats which was terrifying for everyone involved and woke her up every night. We had these overnighted. They aren’t cute, but they aren’t hideous, just simple and most importantly, safe.
Little Unicorn Swaddles: I loved swaddling my daughter in traditional swaddles when she was brand new. Then she became an escape artist and we needed to bring out the Velcro swaddles. The bamboo muslin ones are insanely soft but don’t have as much grip as the traditional muslin for achieving a super secure swaddle. We still use these for everything from playing outside to naps in public places over her in the carrier.
Aden and Anais Swaddles: Super soft bamboo muslin swaddles. I love the batik prints.
Nested Bean Zen Sack: I think sleep sacks are a lot like bottles in that it will really depend on your baby. That said we had a very bad sleeper, and these were the best we found. The beans in the front mimic the feeling of your touch so this is great for those babies who tend to only want to sleep in your arms.
Rohm Portable Sound Machine: This white noise machine is everything. You need a true white noise machine because anything with a pattern or loop can interfere with sleep cycles. The portable Rohm is actually louder than the Dohm and is great because you can keep it in the nursery and also use in the car or stroller.
Levoit Salt Lamp: This is the perfect warm light for middle of the night feeds and diaper changes. You can adjust the light via the dimmer and keep it really low. I actually brought this to the hospital and labored with this as my only light because it’s so calming.
Nighty Night Nursing Light: My baby did better with basically zero light for night feedings so I clipped this on to my robe just so I could find my way in the room and then turned it off while nursing. It does light on a timer, so you can gauge how long baby feeds if you decide to keep it on.
Crane Ultrasonic Humidifier: Filter free which gives you one less thing to think about. This is a must-have, especially when baby is congested.
Young Living Lantern Diffuser: We use this every night to diffuse essential oils for bedtime and sickness.
Young Living Gentle Baby and Sleepyize Essential Oil: We use Sleepyize neat on our baby’s feet, spine and behind her ears before every nap and at night. We diffuse Gentle Baby for nighttime. It’s such a great sleep signal and healthy sleep association that we’ve been doing since birth.
Dock-a-Tot: This is pricey, but I am so glad we had it. If your baby is down to nap somewhere besides your body, I’ve heard it’s great for being able to move all around the house for naps in the early days. If you’re even considering co-sleeping, this is a great tool to have. We co-slept during some really tough nights and I felt so much safer with this. It was crucial when we transitioned to the crib because she couldn’t sleep in that big open space after being used to smaller bassinets and sleepers. This definitely helped her feel cozy in that big crib!
Fisher-Price Auto Rock 'n Play Sleeper: This might have actually saved our life since it was the only way our daughter would sleep for her first four months. I’m not being hyperbolic, it was the only thing she would sleep on that wasn't a human body. It is not AAP approved for sleep, but our pediatrician actually recommended it because she had reflux and it kept her at an incline. Make sure the one you purchase is automatic and has the control panel below the area where baby will sleep so a light isn’t shining in baby’s face.
Pack 'n Play Snuggle Suite LX Playard: So necessary for travel and can be great for naps around the house. I like that ours has a changing area and a removable bouncy seat. I know there are cuter ones out there, but I heard the best reviews about this one from friends and family.
Babyletto Hudson Crib: I didn’t know it was possible to love a crib, but I love this one. It’s chic and modern but still feels classic, comes with a toddler bed conversion kit, was easy to lower, is certified to have as little chemicals as possible, and feels really substantial.
Stay tuned for more of our favorite infant items!