“These are a few of my favorite things…”

By the time we were awaiting the arrival of baby #2, we had already learned a lot about what to do and what not to do (sorry Harrison). When thinking about what we needed for this second baby, we didn’t need a lot besides bedroom furnishings, thank goodness, but there were a few items that we picked up. Many of these were things we just didn’t know about until Harrison was already passed that stage, or it didn’t make sense to buy another item when we already had one that worked perfectly well. We also needed a couple of things we already had before because, well, they got lost in the shuffle of our move. Before I share my list, I want to make a point to say that’s all it is. My list. I don’t expect these to be things everyone needs or wants, or even agrees on. I also want to say that I wasn’t paid or perked to talk about any of these items.

1. aden + anais (anything, really) blankets, burp cloths, and sheets. We had a couple of swaddles from Harrison, but they weren’t that breathable since he was born in November and it was colder weather. We decided on the aden + anais blankets after many people raved about them. They work great because they are stretchable and very breathable, being made of muslin.

The burp cloths are very absorbent. A few times after Beckett has spit-up all we’ve had to do is rinse it off in water and wring it dry. You’d hardly know it was wet.  The designs aren’t bad, either.

Same with the crib sheets. I love how soft they are. And they only get softer with each wash, which we’ve had a few of after some major soakers. I definitely recommend these.

2. NoseFrida Snot Sucker. This has been wonderful. So much better than a bulb syringe! I wish I had known about this with Harrison. So much easier and more thorough than a bulb syringe. I like that you just suck at the base of the nose, too, and you don’t have to stick anything in your baby’s nose. And, don’t worry, there’s a filter you put in that prevents anything you suck out from going into your mouth.

3. Medela Swing Breast Pump. Obviously, this one is not for everyone. I had a Medela breast pump with Harrison, and it was a double pump. It was an older model that worked fine, but wasn’t what I wanted or needed anymore. I am going back to work, but only part-time. I also needed something more portable and that could use batteries, too. So, when my mother-in-law asked if there was anything I needed this time around, I mentioned the Medela Swing. It’s quiet and efficient. I can easily pump in 10-15 minutes.

4. Skip-Hop Pronto changing station.  This isn’t the design I got (it’s cute, though), but I highly recommend it. I found mine on clearance at Target, which is what inspired the purchase. This one stays at home, and we use it for changes around the house. It was especially handy when Beckett slept in our room for the first month. I love it because it’s wipeable, and we don’t have to worry about getting a mess on our bedspread, a blanket, or the floor.

5. Life factory glass bottle. This is a personal preference, of course. It’s just a decision we’ve made as far as being “greener” around here. I like these bottles not only because they’re glass, but also because they convert along the way to sippy cups and water bottles.  We only needed a couple because I mostly nurse Beckett, and he only gets a bottle when I’m gone or need a cup of coffee.

6. bumGenius 4.0 one-size stay dry cloth diapers. What can I say? I love these cloth diapers. We didn’t start cloth diapers with Harrison until 6 months for some reason, but we started out right away with Beckett. We did have to wait until he was 8 pounds, so he was in Seventh Generation diapers until then. We asked for a few more at Christmas since we thought we might have two in cloth diapers, but it turned out Harrison was potty-trained before Beckett was born. We are still happy we asked for more, though, because there are lots of messes the first few months. We have 23 now and wash every other day. Beckett doesn’t go through all of them in that time, but you need some while the others are in the laundry. At the recommendation of someone else, we picked up a few with velcro closure  for those late-night changes. Very handy. As for cost, these are well-worth the upfront investment. It was amazing how many diapers we went through in that first month with Beckett. We spent at least $100. Cloth diapers pay for themselves in a few short months, and your child is in them for at least 2 years (typically). You end up saving thousands.

7. Munchkin Safety Baby Bath Cradle. This has been great for those early sponge baths and awesome in the tub, too. We had a special baby bath for Harrison we received as a gift, but it took up a lot of space. At $6 or $7 (I can’t remember), this is so cheap and really all you need. It stuffs into the closet easily to be out of sight and is nice padding for Beckett during a bath.

So, those are the items that we have found to be particularly functional and helpful. What items are in your repertoire that you can’t live without?