Things I Can’t Live Without

Yesterday I posted about the things I’m probably not going to use again when I have my second baby in April.  Today I thought I’d post about the baby things that I can’t live without.  So, let’s get to it…

Playtex Drop-In Bottles and Liners – I was a little nervous about using bottles with liners when I had Bean.  Wouldn’t it just be easier to use a bottle with no liner?  Maybe.  But I’d heard that the bottles with liners helped with gas.  Good thing, too, because Bean was a gassy little dude from Day One.  What I love about the Playtex bottles and liners are how easy they are to assemble, fix, and use.  I could put them together with one hand, which is convenient when you’re toting a hungry baby around.  And I loved that they had several parts that were all replaceable.  There’s the nipple that you can change out with flow speeds depending on how old your baby is, the ring at the top, the bottle itself, and the liner.  While that might seem like a lot of parts, it was actually really helpful because if one part needed to be replaced, I didn’t have to replace the entire bottle.  And Playtex was so durable!  I used about 12 bottles with Bean (some 4oz. and some 8 oz.) and I’m happy to report that I don’t even have to replace the bottles with Gracie.  We just bought new nipples and rings and we’re good to go.  Saved us a lot of money!

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A pretty clothes hamper – Originally when we had Bean, I didn’t not intend to get one of these.  I thought it was ridiculous to spend $20.00 on a clothes hamper when I had perfectly good plastic hampers I could use.  But here’s the thing about newborns – they go through a LOT of clothes and linens.  And as they get older, they go through even more.  The nice thing about a pretty, sturdy clothes hamper is that you can sit it out in the room and it still looks good, but it serves a really practical purpose – keeping you from piling dirty burp cloths all over.  If you’re going to splurge, this might be a good splurge to make.  It’s really convenient while still looking good in the room.

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A Diaper Genie Elite - Just do it.  Don’t skim on this one.  Your nose will thank you.  And every time you bring someone in to show them your beautiful new nursery and your beautiful new baby, you won’t have to worry about how the room smells.  We have used this one since Bean was born and it’s been great.  It’s easy to use, uncomplicated to load and unload, and keeps the smells under control.  The only down side is that the refill packs are so darn expensive!  We buy them in bulk at BJ’s Wholesale and that helps the cost a little.  Another tip?  Stick one of those car air fresheners down in the bottom of your Diaper Genie to help eliminate the odors even more!

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Chicco Cortina Travel System – This was the most expensive item on our registry and it was worth every single penny.  I loved this set and it has held us so well that we’ll be using it again for Gracie, too.  The car seat is so snug, cozy, and safe.  It looks like you’re tucking your little one into a very soft harness – which a car seat should be, I guess.  And it snaps into the stroller perfectly.  The stroller is my favorite part though.  I can pop that sucker up and down in one motion, in one second, with one hand.  It is awesome.  What I really like about it is that its so streamlined.  It has all the features of a big stroller, but it’s compact enough to fit through clothing racks at the mall or festivals packed with people.  And it has really grown well with Bean, too.  He’s bigger now, but the seat has adjusted and grown with him.  Lastly, I love the fabric it is made out of.  It is so easy to wipe clean.  There’s not a stain on ours and I’m sure that’s because it’s so easy to just wipe things off of it on the spot.  No time for a stain to set in.  I highly recommend this set.

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Onesies – Buy these.  Buy many of these.  And then buy more.  With Bean, I wanted him to be in outfits all the time, but what he really lived in day-to-day when he was little were onesies.  So easy to throw on him and so comfortable for him (especially during the summer).  And the nice thing about them is that they are cheap, so you can buy a lot of them and won’t run out of the clothes if you end up changing him into five onesies in one day (which happens – trust me!).  I knocked the onesies at first, but I quickly saw the error of my ways.  For Miss Gracie, I’ve been buying little bloomers in all different colors to throw on over her onesies.  A lady does have her modesty to protect…

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Fisher Price My Little Lamb Swing – Not all babies like swings, so we’ll have to see how Gracie feels about one.  But Bean was addicted to this swing.  He chilled in it, napped in it, played in it.  He loved his swing.  I like this particular one because it swiveled so it could swing front to back or side to side.  This was really convenient in our house because we’d move the swing around and sometimes there wasn’t room for it to swing front to back, so we could turn it in the direction where there was more room.  Bean liked the change of pace and scenery.  I also liked this one because it was SUPER soft.  And the cover came off the swing so you could throw it in the wash for a quick clean.  The tray on the front of this one was helpful, too.  We’d clasp all kinds of toys to it and Bean would sit for hours and play.  We used this swing every day and I bet we only replaced the batteries two or three times in a year.  It was really efficient.  I hope Gracie likes it, too.

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Fisher Price My Little Lamb Bouncer – This one was crucial in our house.  Bean didn’t really like the bouncing or the vibrating, but it was nice to have a place to sit him while I was cooking dinner or something.  It angled him upright so he could see what was going on, instead of laying him down like the pack-n-play did.  And it was really comfy.  Or, at least it LOOKED really comfy.  We moved this thing all over our house and Bean used it for a long time.  The only downside with this one is that its not very entertaining when your baby gets a little older and needs more stimulation.  That one lamb hanging there isn’t too exciting.  So, I’m not sure it’s a great entertainment item, but it is very helpful if you just want a place to put you bambino when you can’t hold him.

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Tiny Love Stroller Arch – I stumbled on this when Bean was about 6 months old and was going through a phase where he hated being in the car.  I’d give him hand toys to play with, but he’d just throw them accidentally and then get mad.  This arch attaches to your car seat or stroller (or swing or bouncer or whatever else you can find to attach it to!) and instantly turns anything into a toy.  Bean loved it!  The parts spin and the colors are so bright and happy that it kept his attention for a long time.  It saved us numerous times in restaurant when Bean was getting restless in his seat while we ate.  It is expandable so it fits just about anything and the clamps are easy to use and gentle on whatever you attach it to.  I can’t recommend this one enough!

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Okay, that’s all I can think of right now.  But I’ll keep posting these periodically as I remember more things we used.  Hope it’s helpful to all you preggos out there!!

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