Why isn’t this just a post about my Top Baby Essentials? Well, once you hit baby #3, you really start to prioritize. Like, do I really need mittens for baby? Do I really need a bassinet or a $300 stroller? Some of you may prioritize those things, but I find it an exciting challenge to see how cheaply I can acquire stuff. Anyone else like to save money?
This post will cover the basic essentials I believe you shouldn’t go without.
A Pack ‘N Play is one of those things you’re going to get your money out of. You can have it from your first kid through your last and use it like nobody’s business. It’ll withstand a lot of use and is a must have, especially if you travel!
Throw the bassinet idea out the window. When I was a baby, mom used a dresser drawer. If you really want to cut costs, you can go this route too. If you can afford to splurge a little, spend your money where you’re going to get the most bang for your buck. I know you want baby close to you so a bassinet sounds like a great idea, but how long are they really going to sleep in it?
Conclusion: Unless someone is donating a bassinet to you, go the Pack ‘N Play route. You can even buy extra small baby mattresses for $20 to put in the Pack ‘N Play to add a little more padding for baby.
Gone are the days of bulb snot suckers. Who knows if you were even sucking up anything substantial? No matter what you use, baby isn’t going to love it. Enter the Nose Frida. This contraption looks scary and sounds somewhat disgusting, but it’s one of the most amazing tools you can have on hand when baby is congested. By using your own mouth, you control how strong or how gentle to suck that snot out. Before you start to worry, just don’t…the design makes it impossible to suck up any of your baby’s snot. Instead, it goes into a small reservoir that you will clean immediately after you complete snot sucking. The result, is a baby who is a bit agitated at you, but with a lot less snot in their system. You also get a mom or dad with a SNOT more confidence.
Everyone has their favorite diaper cream, but I think I’ve tried them all and have definitely found that the more zinc the ointment contains, the better it works. This ointment is the Bees Knees when it comes to ointment. It clears up a diaper rash quicker than any other ointment I’ve tried. It’s not very expensive and it’s pretty versatile. Not only can it be used on diaper rashes, but it can also be used on your other children for skin issues such as burns, minor cuts and scrapes, and wound drainage. I’ll never use another ointment!
This is for you brave cloth diapering mommas. If you’re choosing to tackle cloth diapering, the one thing you can’t do without is a diaper sprayer. Easy to install, diaper sprayers take away the headache of cleaning off freshly soiled diapers. Honestly, I’ve never had the opportunity to cloth diaper my babies because I’ve been a working mom. This is the first time I will have baby at home with me 100% of the time. Everyone has their reasons for choosing cloth over disposables and mine are:
-They’re more comfortable. It’s like the difference between wearing an adult diaper and a pair of soft underoos. Would you want to stay in an itchy diaper for almost 24 hours? I’d just rather make him as comfortable as possible.
-They’re cheaper and I’m all about saving money! I’ll let you know how it goes, but I did not purchase the most expensive cloth diapers. I did not want to make that investment and decide later that I hate cloth diapering. I understand that part of the hate may come from not having a quality diaper, but I’m more concerned with the time required to wash them than I am concerned about leakage, etc. If I find that I can handle the process, I’ll order a few more. I do have some disposables on hand just in case grandma is watching him or we’re traveling.
-There is less trash. There’s nothing like a trash can full of stinky disposable diapers and the guilt I feel throwing those suckers away, one after the other, can be avoided by just not participating. I’m not a tree hugger, but I do try to conserve where I can, when I can.
-They’re healthier. It seems like everything causes cancer these days. Shampoo, fruit, carpet, your dog…I try to cut out things I know aren’t the healthiest and choose alternate products that I feel will be better for my family. It’s also usually cheaper to make healthier versions too, so it’s a win-win!
Moby wraps are awesome, especially if you’re on your third child. The stretchy, tight fabric holds your baby securely and snuggly to your body allowing you to free your hands to do other things. They are much more comfortable than a typical baby carrier, especially for those with back problems. The wrap distributes the weight of baby evenly across your entire upper body, providing relief to problem areas.
I have been fortunate enough to have two daughters who are 10 years apart, so I have always had a ton of help. This time though, I’ll finally get to experience what all you crazy, busy mommas do..having two under 3 years old. While I’m sure my three year-old will be a huge help because she’s super independent, I definitely foresee needing my hands free at times during the day and the Moby wrap is a perfect solution!
We will also be attending tons of hockey games where storing and pushing a stroller is impossible. It will be much easier to carry baby in the Moby!
Tip: Scour E-bay! Instead of $40, you can find them for less than $20. Even if they’re used, they’re usually still in great shape!
Safe Baby Wash
There’s enough for baby to get used to in the dirty world without having to worry about contributing to that unnecessarily. That’s why I try to cut out the yuck wherever I can. I can’t say I’m a “crunchy” momma, but I do make an effort. What is a crunchy mom? It’s a mom who practices natural living – with everything from breastfeeding, not vaccinating, co-sleeping, cloth diapering, homeschooling, and using organic products.
I absolutely love the smell of Johnson and Johnson Baby Magic shampoo and body wash. It’s like the epitome of baby smell, but on the “Dirty” product rating system, it has been given a 9 out of 10 and even a 10 out of 10 for dirtiness. What does that mean? It means that the ingredients found in the product can be carcinogenic, cause developmental and reproductive toxicity, and possible cause allergies and immunotoxicities. Is it true? Heck, I don’t know, but I rest easier knowing I’m possibly avoiding those things by just choosing something more natural.
If you have a specific product and want to know how toxic it is, there is an app to help you! It’s called THINK DIRTY and it’s absolutely FREE! Here are a few soaps I like that I know are clean:
- I use Earth Mama Angel Baby Soap – It has ratings of 0-3 depending on the product and that’s just because the fragrance source is unknown and has not undergone investigation. If the fragrance is found to be natural, the rating will change to a 0. It has only 7 ingredients! But be careful not to get it in baby’s eyes as it is not tear-free.
- Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap – I use this soap to make my handsoap for my bathrooms and kitchen. It comes in a huge bottle and lasts forever. It has a 0-1 rating on the THINK DIRTY scale depending on the scent, but the baby soap in particular, has a rating of 1.
- California Baby– The good thing about California Baby shampoo and body wash is that the fragrance comes from essential oils instead of chemical fragrances. It’s also easy to acquire as many stores carry the brand.
There are tons of options when it comes to swaddlers.
Swaddle Sacks- Many people prefer a swaddle sack. What do I not like about swaddle sacks?
- They can be very warm (my last baby was always warm so I worried about overheating).
- They do not grow with baby, so it requires you to purchase a bigger one as they grow.
- You cannot wrap baby as tight as you can with other swaddles.
The best material for swaddling is cotton because it’s breathable and prevents baby from overheating. Muslin, linen and other fabrics such as these are great choices.
I chose muslin for that very reason. There are no snaps, velcro, or other fasteners that will wear out over use, it’s breathable, it’s large enough to swaddle comfortably, and they come in tons of cute designs!
Finally, for your viewing pleasure, some sneak peaks at Jacob’s bedroom:
Can’t live in Nashville and not be a hockey fan!
Growing him up right!
Daddy’s shoes his mom had bronzed years ago. Love that we can incorporate them in Jacob’s room!
Oh deer! I can’t wait for him to get here!