Hitherto undiscussed in this blogland, I did in fact birth a baby roommate in March, and he’s been living rent free in our house since then. Previous to this small human, I had zero experiences with babies. Never really held one, definitely hadn’t changed a diaper, and was clueless on what was needed to keep them alive, much less thrive.
Four months in, and it seems like I have enough experience under my belt to share with yal what has worked so far in this upbringing game. I’d say we’re feeling somewhat successful right now – Vincent is mostly sleeping through the night, he’s traveled with us several times without real incident, he eats and poops proportionately and cries only when he deems it essential (more than I’d prefer but I am not in charge).
Here are 14 whozits and whatzits that have made this co-habitating situation easier and everyone seems to enjoy. Also, don’t get me wrong – I am very grateful to have all of these items, but babies can get by with much much less – they are by no means necessary, and it’s only through some gifting, splurging and curiosity that I am lucky enough to have an arsenal of items to keep this kid alive.
1 – DOCK-A-TOT – We used the Dock-a-Tot constantly for the first 3 months until he was too long. V was a premie so it was a great spot for him to nap in, and sleep at night. We could put it anywhere and he would be comfy cozy and go right to sleep. I like that you could schlep it around from room and room and always have a snug, safe place for him. Plus it makes for a pretty background in pictures b/c the fabrics are lovely 🤪
2 – HATCH NOISE MACHINE Nothing groundbreaking here b/c Hatch seems to be the go-to sound machine for baby humans, but it’s worth mentioning it’s sought after for a reason. It has lots of sounds, you can tap the top for different colors that are all dimmable for a good nightlight, and it’s attractive enough in the room. We keep it on extra loud, and use it as a middle-of-the-night feeding beacon in his dark AF room.
3 – 4MOMS PACK N’ PLAY This pack n’ play has been our go-to for traveling. It stores in a great black bag that’s easy to check on the plane, and it pops right open for easy setup. We tuck it in corner in a hotel room, or a back room at a friend’s house for dinner and he goes right to sleep. It’s great b/c the sleeping platform at the top has a little give to it, so you can rock gently when baby makes a fuss.
4 – PAXTON POWER GILDER I did a fair amount of research on rocker/gliders and choose this PBKids one b/c it’s motorized, very comfortable, it reclines all the way back so you can nap, it swivels and rocks, and I like the fabric. I am super-impressed with it, and highly recommend this one.
5 – COTERIE DIAPERS I ordered Coterie diapers from the get-go b/c a friend recommended and the IG ad got me – and I thought they were great, but didn’t truly appreciate them until I tried others when we were in a pinch. Other brands are just no comparison – Coterie touts they’re ‘as soft as cashmere’ and that’s no joke. Plus, they’re made from sodium polyacrylate (SAP) and Totally Chlorine Free (TCF) wood pulp from sustainably managed forests.
6 – ACTIVITY GYM V spends a lot of his free time in the Galaxy, a very cute playmat he was gifted. He loves the hangy-down things, the mirror he can peep himself in, and he really digs kicking the sides with his feet to make the whole universe shake. Plus it’s attractive for mom to look at, since it lives in the middle of the floor.
7 – LITTLE SLEEPIES PJS By far our fave PJs (and DayJs to be honest) – Vincent wears these all the time. They’re made from bamboo viscose, which makes them super soft, and most importantly, they have two zippers, so middle of the night diaper changes can happen quickly.
8 – BREZZA FORMULA MACHINE The Brezza has been a game-changer for us. V has been on mostly formula since he was born, so getting a bottle easily during our every-two-hour night feeds was a necessity. We love it so much we’ve got one for Raleigh and one for Aspen. It’s just hard to go back to the old-fashioned way when technology has made it sosososo simple. Think Keurig for baby bottles.
9 – SNOO BASSINET Yup, we bought a Snoo. Well we were very graciously gifted a Snoo. And our experience has been interesting. He never really slept in it during the night. He was so small we had him in the Dock a Tot in bed with us, or he was downstairs with a night nurse, in the Dock a Tot — and then before we knew it, he was big enough to go into his own room in the crib. We were bummed it didn’t get much use b/c we had been initially really stoked about it, but we’ve found that having it in our den during the day makes the perfect nap spot for him. So it’s all worked out — iphone robots can soothe him while Mommy writes this blog post. If I had to make a call, I’d say the Snoo is a pass, but since we do have it, we’ve found a good use for it.
10 – SWADDLE WRAPS These litte velcro swaddles were a go-to for first three months. Easier than a burrito blanket setup, these are all ready for a tight swaddle with a pouch for the feets, and velcro in all the right spots to make a tight bundle. V slept in one of these every night with arms tucked in, then we freed an arm, and now he’s in a little Love to Dream swaddle that keeps his pterodactyl arms contained but gives him some freedom to squirm.
11 – MOBILE V loves the big mobile over his bed, and mom and dad do too. We took a modern mobile we’d had over our bed and moved it to his room and he’s obsessed. Personally, I like the idea of an adult version so the whole fam can enjoy. There are lots of cool ones on Etsy that don’t break the bank.
12 – CARAA DIAPER BAG Really happy with my diaper bag choice. I got this one b/c it holds my laptop, plus tons of his shit. We’ve flown several times and it’s just big enough for all his bottles for the trip, change of clothes, diaps, wipes… all the things. I love the fabric, and b/c it’s a bookbag, it’s extra-convenient if you’ve got more luggage.
13 – UPPABABY VISTA STROLLER This stroller was a splurge but I swear it’s like driving a (insert fancy car name). I walk V around the neighborhood several times a day, often with two dogs in tow, and it’s a treat to push along. You can face baby in or out, adjust the handles for Tad or me to drive, it holds a bassinet or a carseat, has a ton of storage, folds up easily and is a very smooth ride. Totally recommend this one – worth the cost, imo.
14 – KEEKAROO CHANGER Lastly, a friend recommended the Keekaroo Peanut Changer instead of a classic cloth-covered one, and she was totally right. Makes cleanup a breeze b/c you can just wipe it down. Nothing to wash, fold, or othewise add to my chore list. It’s very soft, and although I’m not a fan of the color, I can look past that b/c it’s so practical.
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