Welcome to our newest series. In “Friday Favorites,” our team will share a handful of favorite items. These can range from clothes to beauty products to recipes to books and anything in between.
I recently had my 4th baby. I’m no baby expert, but I have curated this list over the past few years with trial and error and LOTS of advice from other moms! Whether you’re about to have a baby or looking for the perfect gift for a new mom, look no further!
No one has sponsored any of these listings; these are products I truly love! Although, if anyone wanted to give me another ring sling or more diapers, I won’t say no!
I’ve worn all four of my babies from their first days through their toddler years. It’s an essential part of my motherhood survival strategy. It’s no surprise babies want to be held ALL THE TIME. And that’s ok! So for those times you need two hands to take care of older kids, do dishes, eat, etc. baby-wearing will be your BEST friend. Ring slings are so easy and perfect for newborns, and I LOVE my ring slings from Boca Baby Co. I have a soft linen one (which I can choose the size so the tail isn’t crazy long!) and a mesh one that’s perfect for the pool or a hot summer day!
I am famous for my utter lack of swaddling abilities. So I have even used these in the hospital and impressed the nurses with my pre-emptive thinking! There’s a lot of easy swaddle sacks, but this one can even be used safely in the car seat, which makes for a happier baby in the car! It has a hole in the back for the bottom clip, and then can be swaddled after the baby is safely strapped in. Genius!
I’ve gone through a few diaper bags over the years. Even the expensive ones didn’t last well or give the functionality I needed. Because I babywear a lot, I need a backpack for comfort. Not only is this diaper bag machine washable with wipe-clean interior (it truly is!), the pockets and functionality is unmatched. From perfectly placed pockets to the elegant look (that you can use apres-baby stage without batting an eye) to the longevity, this diaper backpack is well worth the investment!
*The Exchange usually has JuJuBe on sale too!
We got this as a gift with my second baby, and it was the best baby gift we’ve ever received. Not only is it a rechargeable sound machine, but it has a bluetooth speaker with a long-lasting battery! It can either hang or be propped up and is ideal for the carseat, stroller, vacation, and every day. Ours has been used every day for three and a half years for nap time and overnight and is still going strong! When fully charged, the battery lasts a good two days of on/off use. Plus, the corresponding app allows family members to send you voice messages and record songs and well wishes that you can play for your baby. We loved this feature while my husband was deployed!
Strange name, but an invaluable tool for breastfeeding. It is easy to get clogged ducts (especially in those early days and weeks) which if left untreated, can easily turn into mastitis. NO ONE wants that.
But this “pump” uses very gentle suction to help express milk. When combined with hand-expression, this is the best tool to help engorgement and avoid mastitis! Many also use this to collect milk from the opposite breast while feeding, but I’ve found that to be too cumbersome (see below). And take it from me: getting a Haakaa with a spill-proof lid is well worth the extra cost, especially to keep it in the diaper bag for on-the-go needs.
I have been blessed with over-supply issues and extreme over-supply in the first few weeks postpartum. All I have to do is look at my baby, and I become a human waterfall. So when breastfeeding, I have a lot of leakage. I’ve tried many milk collector cups, and these are the most discreet (for use in public!); because of the design, they can hold more milk than any other. They can also be used as a shield to protect cracked and hurting nipples.
There’s no short supply of lactation teas on the market, but what if you don’t like tea? Enter lactation coffee!! It’s decaf and dairy/gluten-free to accommodate common sensitivities, and it’s packed with amazing galactagogues (milk-boosting nutrients) without compromising taste. I personally can’t speak into the lactation increase it touts, but all the reviews speak for themselves!
Every baby is different, but if you have a breastfed baby who is picky about taking a bottle, give Como Tomo a try. They are truly wide-mouth bottles that actually have the shape of a breast. This is the only bottle I’ve gotten my babies to use as littles. It’s soft silicone, so you can “massage” milk out, and so can your baby. It comes in 5oz and 8oz sizes with slow, medium, and fast flow nipples and two color bands to choose from. And since it’s a true wide-mouth bottle, it’s so easy to clean and dump scoops of formula without spilling.
Because I have over-supply issues while breastfeeding, I’ve never been able to comfort nurse my babies. So a pacifier quickly became our best friend! With an abundance of pacifier options, I liked our Wubbanub the best for the first few months. It is machine washable and one piece to avoid bacteria growth. Plus, having the weight of the attached animal makes it easier to keep the pacifier in for a new baby who doesn’t know how to hold it in their mouth. They have a wide variety of animal choices, but this “puppy sucker” (as my kids call it) is my favorite.
I cannot emphasize the importance of having a ton of waterproof pads on hand. Not just for the newborn stage, but for all life with kids. Until eternity.
I use these as a changing pad for the living room, a changing pad for my toddler to change his diaper on the floor, a blanket for tummy time (and the inevitable spit-up that always ensues), when my kids are sick, to protect the car seat/bed/floor while potty-training, and so much more. I love these because the waterproof layer is in the middle, which protects it better and helps it last longer.
My babies have all had super sensitive skin, and even the “sensitive” diapers and wipes have irritated their skin. A few years ago Pampers released their PURE line, and it’s the best compromise for budget and a great product. The diapers are fragrance and paraben and chlorine-free yet still have amazing leakage protection. The wipes are water wipes that are thick and soft. It’s been the perfect diaper and wipes for my sweet babies and their precious skin!