favorite baby things

When I was pregnant I solicited my friends for their recommendations on what must-have's I needed for when the baby arrived. They had GREAT advice and suggestions. So, now that he's arrived here's my of favorite must-have's for the baby.  Hopefully this will help other first time moms or if you're looking for a shower gift it might help you there too! So without further ado (in no particular order)... As an FYI I've continued to add and edit this list as Ian (and mama) have really used these items. 

Chicco Keyfit 30 Car Seat
It is repeatedly ranked one of the top safest car-seats out there
but it's also super easy to use. I'm very pleased with it. I
also found that it is compatible with every stroller
base out there. Just a good solid choice.

JJ Cole Bundle Me
This. Is. Great.
If you have a winter baby it is a total must-have.
This was something my friend Robin recommended and then
got for me as a gift, and boy was she right!! It's basically like a sleeping
bag that attaches to the car seat and you can zip it off and on... it is so nice
for when it is cold out to keep the baby warm when going outside.
I think it's why Ian loves his car seat so much and falls asleep within
seconds of sitting in it. I'm pretty sure it works with any car seat, but
I know for sure that it works with the Chicco Keyfit 30.

Skip Hop Changing Station
This was something I discovered after Ian was born, and I LOVE how handy
it is. This would make a great gift for a shower. So, it's basically a changing pad, and
diaper/ wipe holder that folds up into a little "clutch" if you will. It was designed by
Johnathan Adler for people like myself who care about that sort of thing, so the print
(and there are more options) is stylish and not some lame baby thing. From a size
perspective it's great if you're not going to be gone all day and don't want
 to carry the whole diaper bag. Love, love, love.

Uppa Baby Vista Stroller
I really like my stroller. It has every bell and whistle
I need. It folds down easily, has a bassinet attachment and
an attachment for when the baby gets older (that come with it).
You can use the bassinet to sleep the baby and they have a stand you
can purchase separately - so that's nice.  The car seat clips into the base
as well... you do have to purchase the car seat adapter separately.  It looks cute too!

We call it "the egg" but this sucker is slick and totally the
new age bouncy chair. It is electronic and it has several settings (simulating
a swing, car ride, etc). It also has an ipod hook-up if you want to play
the babe some music while they bounce around. I was totally lucky to get this, but
it's a pricey one, so if you can't swing this guy just know you will need something
 like this to stick the baby in if you ever want to get anything done. 
Summer Infant Babytouch Color Digital Monitor
I went back and forth between this and the Angel Care Monitor...
those are probably the 2 monitors most often recommended, but after
surveying all my friends on facebook this one was the big winner.
I  have been very happy with it. We have Ian on the floor above us so it's
nice to be able to just look on the monitor to see if he is just fussing in his
sleep or is truly waking/pissed before I go running for him. You can also zoom in on the
screen and check that he's breathing (I do hat about 3x a night because I'm nuts).
 The video is also clutch because you can "check" on them without risking waking them
by going in their room. A monitor is a must and this would be my pick.

Aden + Anais Swaddle
LOVE these blankets! They are light weight and make amazing swaddles.
Sure, they aren't free, but the fabric is unlike anything else out there and it softens over time.
They make wonderful wipes for a drooler or spitter-upper in a pinch too.
These would be at the top of my list, and Ian LOVES them too. 
Simple Wishes Hands-free Pumping Bra
I hate to admit it, but this thing rocks. It is a TOTAL
pain in the butt to sit there for 15-20 minutes at a time holding
pumps up to your boobs... you are literally chained to the pump...
this allows you to play scramble, online shop, and facebook (or maybe that's just me)
while you pump. If you end up pumping  a lot it's a must have. Oh, and get
a Medela pump to go with it.

Medela Pump In Style Advance On-The-Go-Tote

So I have a love hate relationship with this thing. It's "sucking" sound will
forever be embedded in my head and likely give me nightmares into
my late 50's, but as far as pumps go it's the one to have. It's a dual-pumping
electric machine. Another nice feature is that it is in a discrete tote and can be battery operated for
 those moments you find yourself in a brewery bathroom pumping (not that this has ever happened to me).
It also comes with an ice-pack for storage, and a few bottles for storage. 
This sucker ain't free, but a necessity if you plan to b-feed. Medela is like the Nordstrom's of breast pumps...quality and top notch customer service (I had an issue with mine and they sent me a new one) - you get what you pay for. 

Aden + Ansis Comfort Blanket
Where would we be without these?! Banging our heads against the wall, that's for sure.
 This little blanket has been a total life-saver and comfort for our little buddy.
He can't go anywhere with out it. I've literally bought no less than 10 of these, and have them
stashed everywhere. It's a must in our world, and little man doesn't go to sleep without it (and his thumb).
The Bumbo
It's short lived thing, but for those few months when the baby isn't quite sitting
up (or can't for super long), this is awesome. I also like the tray as an
add-on for when you start feeding the little one. 
The Skip Hop Owl Play Center
It's cute and practical. It's perfect for tummy time
 because there is a mirror on the pad  and little "squeaky"  leaves
to interact with  when they are on their tummy. And it comes
with the nice little pillow to help with tummy time when they
are still small. All of the little guys that dangle down from the
top have have special features like making noise, squeaking, etc.
Tommee Tippee Bottles
Fine, I'll admit I like the looks of these bottles, I'm a designer after all, but
they are really good. I tried a lot of bottles since I pumped and bottle fed, and
these were my fave. For starters they are easy to clean none of that Dr. Brown's millions
of parts crap, and they didn't cause us any issues with acid reflux or gas.
Bottles are a personal thing for each baby, but these worked for us.

Inglesina Countertop Chair
If you have an island to hook a chair on, get this. Honestly
I didn't buy this because when I was first getting a "high-chair" we didn't have a
good spot for it in our old kitchen, but we've used it at friends/families houses
and I love it (I got this brand for a traditional high-chair and I'm super happy with it too). Plus, it
is well designed, and doesn't scream baby (which I very much appreciate).

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