favorite things:: 0-6 months

Since I have a lot of friends {IRL and bloggy} who are having/about to have kids, I figured it would be a good idea to share what we use and absolutely couldn't live without for these first six months!

The can't-live-without list::

Swing. We used the Graco Sweet Peace and absolutely loved it. At night time, when we exhausted all other options and he was still fussy {and typically fighting sleep} this did the trick every time - so much so, I nicknamed it "the magician." You can rotate the seat 90 degrees so it swings side to side or front and back, and it also has six speed settings and two music, one that sounds like the womb (kinda scary) and an iPod input. These are kinda pricey, and I actually got ours at a garage sale. It would be worth every penny of retail price, however.
Cooper outgrew the swing at about 5 months and it moved to our basement then. Some babies use theirs longer though - we have friends whose kid had reflux and would often sleep in his until he was 2!

via google images

Sleep sacks: Mister was a champion at breaking his swaddle, so we didn't really worry about it. Then I read that swaddling helps kiddos sleep, especially with the startle reflex, so we broke these out. After less than a week of swaddling {at five weeks old} he was sleeping about seven hours at night. I tried taking it away around 3.5 months {around 4-5 months they start needing to be able to move their arms and legs at night, developmentally} and he started waking around 4 a.m., so I gave it back for another month, and then he did just fine!

AngelCare monitor: LOVE this. I have always been the girl afraid a kid is just going to stop breathing, so when I heard about this, I knew it was a must. Totally the reason why Coop was in his crib at about a week old. It can be kinda sensitive - we had him down for a nap in the crib our first weekend home and it went off and I about had a heart attack - but it's still well worth it. Now that C moves a lot at night, J has upped the sensitivity on it.
The only thing I don't like is that it's not portable. So, for instance, if C is napping in the P&P I can't use it. When I had garage sale with my mom at her house, I didn't have one. But I figure if it's ever a big deal, I'll just buy a cheap unit for that purpose.

via google images
Pump: Crucial for the mother who plans to breastfeed. This was a relief early on when my milk came in, and great for helping establish a supply and build a stockpile. I have a Medela double electric and love it {as much as a woman can love a breast pump.} I've written more on breastfeeding here and here, where I gave a rundown on my essentials for that.

Pack & Play: This resides in our living room and won't be leaving any time soon. We honestly like this more for napping than packing it up - it's quite the pain! Early on, we knew we needed to differentiate between nighttime sleeping and napping, so he takes all naps at home in his pack & play. I think any would work, but we chose the {pricey} Chicco Vega, because it was neutral and we liked the color scheme. It also has the little dome with stuffed animals that can hang with the bassinet setting, which is good for developing that hand-eye coordination. You're supposed to remove the bassinet feature and only use the play yard once babe is 15 lbs. or pulling up, but we kept it until last week, when we noticed chubbs was starting to weigh it down.

via google images

Bumbo: I know there is a lot of controversy about these, but we love ours. Cooper has been in his since about six weeks {I think?} and I credit a lot of his upper body strength to it. We also have a tray, but haven't used it yet. Of course, we don't elevate it unless we are right next to him, and actually don't do that at all now that he is a little squirmer.

Diaper Genie: Those diapers are sweet at first, but get rough and need the stink contained. I do hate how expensive the refills are, and may look into purchasing one that uses regular trash sacks in the near future.

Other stuff::
They say that, for the most part, babes eat, sleep, poop and play, so that's how I've divided everything else up :)

Eat: We've been fortunate to exclusively breastfeed until 6 months, so this is kinda limited.
  • Bottle brush/drying rack. I didn't really want one, but we were given the rack and I love it now.
  • Dr. Brown's bottles. I heard these were the best and had a friend selling hers, so I bought them from her at a quarter of the retail price. They've worked great. They do recommend different nipples for 0-3, 3-6 and 6-12 months, but we're sticking with the Level 2 --- different ones just have bigger holes, and babe kinda chokes on it when first introduced to the next level.
  • My iPhone - I used the free Similac app to track what time he ate, how long on each side, etc. Our hospital had a form that was good as well, and I believe there is one on The Bump, but I always feed in different places and usually had my phone, but not the paper and pen.
  • My mom bought me a bottle warmer at a yard sale, but we don't like it and have only used it once. Instead, I fill a big soup bowl about halfway with water, then heat it in the microwave for 2.5 minutes. Once it's heated, we place the bottle in the bowl. For small bottles (3-4 ounces) about three minutes is enough, but if it's a bigger bottle (5-8 ounces) it takes about 5 minutes.
  • I use a Medela sterilizer bag every few weeks on my pump parts. Don't sterilize the bottle parts, just wash in clean, hot water and rinse well.

Sleep: This category is awfully thin, probably because the sleep basics are my must-haves!
  • Bassinet: Cooper stayed in our room for about a week, then we moved him to his crib and it was a wonderful transition. We actually thought we all slept better once he was on his own. I bought our Graco rocking bassinet at a yard sale for $5 and it was great for that first week. I did use it some later on, putting him in it if we napped at the same time.
  • Wearable blankets: Kinda like a sleeper, but the bottom is more like a skirt. We have these in long sleeve and sleeveless, also purchased from yard sales. A great way to keep babe warm and not worry about loose blankets smothering him/her once you take away the swaddle around 4 months. 

  • We primarily use Pampers, but have also used Luvs, Huggies, and are now trying out some Parent's Choice (Walmart brand) we were gifted. I'd heard Pampers were best, so I stocked up on them before he was born when Amazon had great deals. Something to note - I didn't think we would need/use newborn diapers (when I though I was having an 8-pounder), so I didn't buy any. However, we were gifted some and I am SO grateful for that, as they really had a better fit. We went through two of the smaller packs of Pampers as well as one package of Luvs - I'm guessing probably about 80 total? And I had an almost 10 lb. baby! Going on, we initially preferred the swaddlers to the dry max, but now that we've hit Size 2, I like the dry max better. Weird, huh? We also went through (I'm guessing) about 500 Size 1s, but that all depends on how fast your babe grows. Also, there is some overlap in terms of weight. My advice is to stock up (you really don't want to go shopping if you don't have to) and just don't open a pack until you need it - stores will generally allow you to exchange for other sizes. If not, diapers don't go bad and you can save them for the next one or give as a shower gift.
  • Wipes: We aren't picky. We use Pampers, Huggies and Parents Choice. Pampers are probably my least favorite. We just had to buy more and I got the Walmart brand - they are cheapest and we like them.
  • Ointment: Coop has had a couple cases of diaper rash. My cousin who owns a pharmacy gave me some "Booty Goo" that is amazing. We also have Desitin on hand.
  • Changing pad: A lifesaver! Get it now. Also, we have two covers for those little accidents.

Clean baby:
  • We have a Fisher Price rainforest tub. Once Cooper's chord stump fell out, we quit bathing him in the kitchen sink and began using this. We loved the hammock. Now that he's a little bigger and really enjoys the water, I typically just let him get in the tub with me. We've also done the garden tub, which he really likes.Washcloths: May seem unneccessary when you have your own, but these are oh-so-soft!
via google images

Baby wash: We're flexible. So far we've used Johnson & Johnson and the Target brand. It smells heavenly ... So much, in fact, that I sometimes use it on myself.

Towels: We have a few baby towels, but hubby typically wraps little man up in one of our big fluffy towels. Like most babies, he hates getting cold, and our towels make it a lot easier to wrap him up and keep him warm! So save your money and skip the towels!

Rubber duckies/friends: Doesn't seem like a must, but now that Coop has figured out he controls his legs, he loves kicking at these guys while in the tub. Hubby is always telling me I have the water too hot, and we recently bought one at Target that indicates if it is too hot, which is quite helpful.

Other stuff:
  • In terms of laundry ... we just use anything free & clear. That's what hubby and I typically use because I have sensitive skin, so that works best for us. Oh, and TONS of OxiClean. I keep a bottle in Coop's closet and one in the laundry room.
  • Play mat. Another yard sale buy, for us. I pulled this out a little before two months and he wasn't quite ready for it yet, but up until about 5 1/2 months, when he began sitting up, it was a great distraction in the mornings while I would pump or in the evening while I cooked and/or we ate.
  • Bouncer: Something I didn't plan on buying, but my mom found one at a yard sale for $2 so she bought it. It was pretty helpful in the beginning when he wanted to sit up but I couldn't hold him, like when I was working part time from home. For awhile, we kept it in the basement so we'd have something down there. Honestly, we haven't used it in so long, I'm not sure he would still fit/not turn it over.
  • Exersaucer: Same as bouncer - mom found one cheap. This is used a lot more though! We brought it upstairs around 4 months and he is in it quite often. I think it really helps his head control.
  • Boppy: While I'm not a big fan of using it for breastfeeding (just one more thing to wrestle) we like to let Coop use it for some elevated tummy time. Our PAT coordinator actually suggested it, and it makes tummy time much happier when our babe can see the world around him.

  • In terms of meds, we aren't big on any of them, but Coop has had gas drops and Little Noses saline spray. I've purchased some infant Tylenol but he's only had it with his fever when he had Hand, Foot and Mouth. We don't do Tylenol before shots and he does just fine.
  • For the snotties, we use the suction from the hospital (he also has one in his diaper bag for daycare that we were gifted). We also run a cool mist humidifier at night.
  • Nail clippers: We were given some with a magnifying glass, but we have a very good babysitter who does this for us, since we are both terrified of hurting him!
  • For clothing, we really liked the gowns when he was a wee little one. A lot easier for changes, especially in the middle of the night. On clothing sizes - again, buy the newborn! My little whopper wore the newborn about three weeks - bigger sizes would swallow him. We bought most of our clothes at yard sales :) Love Old Navy and Carters brands the best. We had a good mix of sleepers and basic onesie tees and sweats/jeans. I really love for Mister to look like a little man, but sleepers and such are a lot more practical for the sitter. So far, we've been in each size two to three months, although some of my friends's kids have skipped a size. All babies grow differently, so I'd suggest keeping tags on things you have a receipt for or could exchange for the next size up and washing them just a few outfits at a time. I hate for Coop not to wear an outfit that was gifted, but would hate even more for him to just wear it once and outgrow it.

Toys: Up until about three to four months, it was just the soft ones in the play gym. Once he figured out grip, rattles, keys and squeaky toys were a huge hit, as well as his stuffed chocolate lab pup. Since he is now sitting up and really getting after it, the keys and such are still great, as well as anything that plays music/lights up. He especially likes the Vtech steering wheel. We have others, but I'll wait until he tires of this one to introduce something new.

Carseat/stroller: We have the Chicco Vega (which matches the pack & play) and like them both. A friend let us borrow their spare base for hubby's truck. He'll outgrow the carrier at 22 lbs. and at 17, it's already quite the weight! Once again, pricey, but has the best safety ratings. We don't use the stroller a lot, but like it when we do. I may be on the lookout for a smaller umbrella-type stroller to use over the summer or at the mall once he is a bit bigger.

Whew! Babies do need a lot of things!

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  1. I love your list!

    On diapers we got mostly huggies in the newborn size with the cord cut out and I don't like the way huggies fit. The pampers swaddlers are the only other brand we were given in Nb so far and I was sad when they were gone and I had to go back to using up the huggies.

    Since they told me after he was born to file his nails and not clip them yet I have only filed them but once I can clip them I think I'll still file them as long as I can! He doesn't mind it and I feel much my comfortable doing that.

  2. We totally use regular trash bags in our diaper genie! Works just as well!!


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