In this post I’ll be sharing my hands-down favorite baby items. I made one of these posts six years ago, when I was a first time mom, on my very old blog that no longer exists… and I can tell you after coming up on baby four, some things are the same, and there’s also a whole lot less! Less. Is. More. Babies really don’t need as much as the money-making-baby-industry says ya do 😉 For centuries, moms and families had very little. Minimalism and necessity were commonplace, unlike today where we are inundated with needing the newest, flashiest things, most upgraded this and that… if for SO LONG, most people went without, why do we need it now? We don’t!
I also want to address that I spent hours upon hours searching for the perfect brands, products, and most current, and safest baby ITEMS when I was a first time mom, I completely spaced on researching SO MUCH MORE important things. Things that are typically standardized, but I regret spending so much time focused on the cute or supposed necessary baby items, and not enough time researching bigger topics that are often surrounded by fear mongering, pressure to do what society tells you to do, and so on. Without going too in depth, I want to encourage any new (and maybe even not new!) moms to take the time, and look at so many of the typical appointments, procedures, and so forth. Dig deep on those trigger topics, not only the latest baby trends. Making fully informed, educated choices, is most important for your baby. Not any of the products I’m about to share about.
PHEW. Now we can dive in…
I’ll share how I’m preparing for another home birth, along with postpartum, in a separate post.
Here are my tried and true, absolute favorite baby items after having three, and preparing for another:
I have used so many carriers over the years, and for the first six months, the Solly is by far my favorite. It’s soft, supportive, and easy to nurse in. Most people who’ve never used one can be intimidated by figuring out how to wrap it, but thankfully Solly has this how-to manual right on their site, that also comes in their wrap box. Tons of how-to videos on their Instagram, and even go live often to answer questions and so that you can see how they’re used in real-time.
I have used these wraps since my first was a newborn, and they’re still hands-down my very favorite. I often put the wrap on me before leaving the house when we go out, so that I can easily pop baby into the carrier on me, without worrying about wrapping while out and about and having kids wait on me.
I have also loved and used the Sakura Bloom Scout since it first came out (when my second was a baby), and love that it’s both soft and structured. I wholeheartedly love, especially from 5 or so months (basically when I feel ready to stop Solly-ing) to toddler age. I could still wear Rudy in it easily right now, I just don’t because of my belly (I’ve seen photos of pregnant mamas wearing babe on the back too though). I wore Mabel and Rudy in the Scout for years, DJ wore Nora too…. even at 4 years old. It has been our favorite for hiking, walks, and even naps on my back while doing some homeschooling in our camper.
Since finding out about our current growing babe, I’ve also learned about Malama Bebe, and then we found out we were having a girl, and thennn they came out with these gorgeous floral patterns, and you better believe I snagged one so fast! I only followed them on Instagram and found out about their releases through watching their stories, so be sure to follow along there if you want to grab in their next restock!
I’ve also always really loved Wildbird ring slings! I have quite a few from over the years, but I will say, there is absolutely a learning curve with this carrier! I highly recommend visiting their website for all the tutorials, tips, and how-tos because if not worn correctly, both mama and baby could be easily unsafe or uncomfortable. Otherwise, once you get the hang of it, they’re not only pretty but super easy to carry in a diaper bag or throw on quickly and nurse, etc.
We’ve used this lounger for all my kiddos and absolutely love it. It’s soft, there are no buckles to worry about, easy to move around when necessary, the covers are incredibly easy to take off for washing, and it’s all completely organic materials. We safely bedshare/co-sleep, and we love having this to safely cocoon baby at times. We often only use it for naps/just safely placing baby somewhere when I can’t hold baby… and it genuinely got tons of use. I have multiple friends who also used theirs up until a year or so… they do make toddler-sized loungers! But just in case you’re worried, I do have friends who’s baby loved snuggling in it for… a long time 😉
We do not swaddle baby. We did with our first two and to this day, we regret it. You can check this highlight out, and also this one, for more information to make your own informed choices. We still use and love soft muslin, or even soft/knit/cotton swaddle blankets alllll the time. To lay baby on in random places, safely over baby in the carseat (not covering face), and just snuggled in our arms wrapped (not swaddled) cozily. Also amazing for nursing covers, if you prefer to easily cover in certain circumstances. Some of my favorites are from Solly Baby, Quincy Mae, Willaby, Goumi, and honestly Amazon has tons of options, too!
I love having a micro mat for changing diapers on hand; in the diaper bag, in the car, by the couch, by the bed. We also have a mini padded mat on the little dresser we have for baby (used for Rudy too), which is also great. For Rudy, we also had the padded playmat which was amazing for tummy time. We didn’t get to keep it when we were moving into our camper, but I do recommend! Anything Gathre, honestly. Ya can’t go wrong! But the micro mats are amazing for so many reasons, but especially for diaper changes!
I tried many of the big popular brands over the years, and truly, hands down, the La Mere is my absolute favorite. I have a petite size which I love having for seasons where I don’t need to bring much for outings, or I’ve also used it as my camera bag. I have tried the Grand size and found it to be too big for me personally, but I adore the original size. There’s ample room for snacks for all three, swimsuits for all three, diapers, wipes, etc. Diapers for two kids if needed (I have had that twice now, and likely will again a third time!). I love the super soft material (I have the vegan vintage leather), it’s not too heavy, it’s structured without being bulky, and soft without feeling floppy. SO many pockets, both inside and outside. Zippers are super easy and smooth to use, and the straps are great.
They have video of the inside here 🙂 I’ve been using these bags for almost 5 years, and I’ve even tried others to see if I’m just hyping them up in my head, but no, I truly love these more than any other. I have been both a customer, paying full price on items, and have partnered with them. OH, I have never dealt with peeling material, either! Their leather one looks gorgeous as well, I just love how easily wipeable and buttery soft the vegan leather one is, and tend to prefer the more muted color ways they come in, too. Overall I HIGHLY recommend. I have several other Azaria products too, but for the sake of consolidation, I’ll just keep it to the diaper bag. You can use code OURKINANDHOME to save on your purchase!
INFANT CAR SEAT:
We had this one for my first two girls, and it was great! I loved how soft and plush it felt, it was fairly lightweight, and the covers were easy to take off to wash. No complaints about it, and I’d definitely recommend this one! We ended up donating to a family in need when my second grew out of it, not knowing we’d be continuing to grow our family, but I’m sure our boy would’ve used it too since it hadn’t expired or been in any accidents!
For Rudy, since we had to buy a new one, we went with a Nuna Pipa. We had just gotten our girls the Nuna Ravas at the time, loved the organic materials and that no toxic flame retardant (very common) is used, and overall loved that it was lightweight, and very safe. We are using this one again for our newest girl! The cover is also easy to take off for washing, very similar soft materials and overall just a wonderful car seat we’ve really loved.
CONVERTIBLE CAR SEAT:
Both of these seats can be used from newborn on through big kid, instead of getting an infant seat, then switching. If you’re comfortable baby wearing a lot, want to save some major money, then I think going straight into the convertible seat, and skipping the infant seat is an excellent idea. These seats are both designed with lifetime-purchase in mind. Baby can ride in the same carseat their whole childhood, and you can put them in the carrier on you, when you’re not driving.
As mentioned, we got our girls, and have since gotten Rudy these carseats. They are incredible safe, can rear-face for an extended time, and can overall be used up to 70lbs. The price has gone up quite a bit since we got ours, but I certainly feel they live up to their hype. They’re wonderful and incredibly easy to install.
Based on our experience with our very first carseats, I feel I can likely recommend this seat as an alternative. It’s similar all around, but I don’t have personal experience with it to say definitely. Based on reviews and overall specs, I’d say this is a great option! I also definitely love the color options 😉 the day that I’m posting this, it also happens to be on sale. Hopefully when you’re reading this and ready to purchase, it will be for you too!
We love these ones for disposable, and these are my favorite wipes. I also like these ones too though; they’re easy to grab locally and for sure less $. They are quite a bit thinner than the Coterie ones, but, sometimes cost and ease to get, is more important than top favorite.
I’m giving cloth diapering a go! I did have a short stint of cloth when I had my first two under two, both in diapers. It didn’t last long sadly, but I think it was mostly because of the kind I was using.
We’ve been using these slim, all-in-one, organic cotton ones a go, as well as these ones. Both are simple and streamlined to use, organic materials, and easy enough for us to use starting at 2.. that I feel we will have no issues continuing on with baby girl.
We really love that the Esembly brand offer your entire system directly from their site! They offer all the things needed to get started, a try-it-kit, and all the tips and tricks. We’ve really liked these, have found them super simple to use and wash, and haven’t had any issues even with our TWO year old! I can only imagine how simple and seamless they’ll be with a little breastfed baby.
You can actually use code HOME20 to save on THESE diapers!
CLOTHES / SLEEPERS:
OH MAN! We for sure have an over-abundance of baby clothes… between THREE of my kiddos having plenty to pass down, and already having been gifted plenty, we’re very blessed and so thankful! I have hand-me-downs from my first daughter, second daughter, plenty of gender-neutral from my girls and son, and we’ve also done plenty of consignment-store shopping over the years! My favorite “small-er” shop brands for baby (and kids) clothes are: The Simple Folk, Jamie Kay, Kate Quinn, Quincy Mae, Solly Baby, Goumi… and I’m sure there are more, but these are some at the top of our drawer 😉 we also love Zara and H&M (mostly their conscious line), and of course as mentioned, shopping secondhand (through friends on instagram, fb groups for pre-loved clothing, or in-person consignment shops).
We love anything with EASY diaper access, super soft materials, and easy overall changes since babies have blowouts and sometimes spit up and breastmilk galore. Outfit changes are frequent when they’re itty bitty, so it isn’t a terrible idea to have quite a bit of each size. Or, you can of course just wash more frequently!
I don’t believe baby should be put down… ever 😉 kidding, mostly. Baby should have AMPLE tummy time, time to crawl, and learn their body without restrictions. I have learned that many baby containers are honestly more harmful than good when it comes to development, so we keep it minimal. The three listed are all we have… no exer-saucers or bumbos or anything of the sort. We keep times in these to a minimum, and only when necessary, but when we have them we sure are thankful to! Babes know their mamas womb. That’s what their world was for their whole life until being born. It’s why baby wearing, contact naps, and snuggling baby to sleep are all such wonderful ways to help bridge womb-life to earth-life. Ah, I digress…
Levo Rocker — Not necessity at all, but we have for sure used it tons since we got it in 2017, and still love it so much. It’s a pretty little wooden, organic lounge seat, that keeps baby in a safe little seat when mama’s hands are full or needs a shower (with supervision of course). My kids are STOKED to have our own baby girl in there so soon!
Stokke Trip Trap Newborn Setup — We’ve had the tripp trapp with baby seat since my second was a baby, but we added on the newborn seat attachment for my third baby and it was AMAZING! I loved being able to have baby up high in a safe seat, that didn’t mean putting a seat on a table or somewhere that could fall. I loved that he could be right there next to me in the kitchen while washing dishes, or making meals. I also loved that he could sit right next to us while we ate dinner. Again, I wear baby a lot, and enjoy doing so… but this little seat was game changer! Especially before I could wear baby on my back. In the kitchen I just really loved having this option. Then, overall this is just an AMAZING highchair. Since you can use from birth, to sitting up baby, to toddler, to child sitting at the table as a child seat, level with the table. You for sure get your money’s worth with this one!
Organic Bouncer — We like having the bouncer when baby is slightly bigger (a couple months old) and is more interested in what’s going on around them. It’s more upright than the rocker, and not a place for sleeping, but for being able to see and be part of what’s going on in their new world around them. Again, not a necessity. Tummy time and in your arms are the best! But our reality has also always been needing a safe place for baby to sit for a short short while at times. Love that this one is under $100, made with organic materials, and has calming color options. I also love that it folds in half, making it super easy to store in small spaces, or take for travel!
My first daughter used pacifiers that I would not recommend now (and we had major issues with latch, but that’s a whole other topic/shpeal to dive into), and my second daughter used pacifiers that I would also not recommend now. My son honestly never really took to any! He mostly just played with them. For this baby, I’ve got a couple of these NinniCo ones that are truly made to be breastfeeding friendly. They *should* not cause any major dental issues, nor will they cause latch issues which is often a big issue with breastfeeding babies. I have never used them, but after many trial and errors over the years, I’m excited to try these out.
Any nursing pillow will do! I absolutely recommend having one. It helps keep you from hunching over and bringing breast to baby… keeps baby up and higher to your chest. You can simply stack a couple pillow you already have! We have this one for this baby. Its organic, pretty, and you can read all the details about it here. I’ve loved it as a pregnancy-type pillow (usually between my knees, or under my belly) as well.
I’ll be the first to admit, we’ve had a million strollers, lol. Not everyone even needs or wants one, or has use for a stroller — which is why this isn’t first priority on this list! I don’t think it’s most important at all. We went from city-living, to forest-living, to farm-living, to camper/tiny-living, and back to city-living for the time being. We’ve had so many different strollers for all different lifestyles. Hopefully me sharing what worked best for us in each season, can help you narrow down what will work best for you in your season, that hopefully also isn’t ever-changing like it’s been for us the past 5 years, haha. And also, I’m simply sharing my very top favorite. Most research should be less on material items like a stroller, and more on overall lifestyle and wellness choices that will highly impact you and baby, but that’s just my two cents 😉 for toddlers (not itty bitty babies) and if you don’t have a need for walking or being out often, then a simple umbrella stroller would suffice for those random long days where it would be too much walking! You know the ones you can grab easily from Target or Walmart.
Bumbleride Era / Indie — Absolutely LOVE our Bumbleride!!! We had the Indie twin and ended up deciding to sell it right before we moved to Oklahoma, strictly because we had no space to store it. Again, I was so bummed. I used it constantly when my first two girls were little. We did a TON of trail hiking those years. We did hold onto our Era though, and let me tell you why I love these strollers… the tires are totally all-terrain. I have taken these strollers on bumpy, rocky, tree-rooty, forest trails, bumpy grass, and hikes galore and they do fantastic.
These strollers are built more rugged. We got the matte black for both, so I don’t stress so much about dirt or mud, and the completely-recycled materials they’re made of, makes it super easy to hose-off, and dry in the sun. I’d say anything Bumbleride is perfect for those who are outdoorsy, and spend lots of time on trails, at parks, overall need something to withstand all-terrain. You can also order adapters for your carseat to use on the Era, or they also have a bassinet you can purchase separately. We have the carseat adapters, and also the mini board, so Rudy could ride on that while, baby is in the carseat, or I could wear baby and push Rudy, and Mabel could ride on the board. So many options for the setup we have, even for trail rides!
Breastfeeding is such a gift and blessing that I do not take lightly. I worked hard with all my babies to make it work. I highly recommend following Marissa, here — breastfeeding SUPPORT is pivotal for any mother.
I don’t prefer to be completely uncovered when out, or at church, or in certain settings outside of my home without a way to nurse discreetly. I found this nursing cover and love it so much! I wish I’d had one like it for my other babies. It’s lightweight, and seems real easy and simple to use 🙂 I look forward to having this handy in my diaper bag for outings! I nurse on-demand, so if baby is hungry, I’m always wanting to be available to feed/comfort with ease! I chose the Natural Melange option.
WHITE NOISE MACHINE — we have loved and adored THIS ONE for many years, but we also have and love THIS ONE. The hatch we like that it can get pretty loud, you can set it up to have a rise time (like set it to turn to a green light or automatically turn white noise at certain times, etc), different sound options if that strikes your fancy, or have a low nightlight for those midnight nursing and diaper change moments. We really love it!
The simpler one is just that! It is simpler, it is a natural fan noise; it’s mechanical, and has an actual fan inside. You can adjust the volume a bit, but it doesn’t get as loud as the other one which some people definitely prefer so it’s all-around more natural.
KING SIZE BED — For you and your spouse and baby. Yes, I’m serious. Here’s an account I found very helpful a few years ago, before we had our third babe. I won’t do a deep-dive into infant sleep, but as of now, we have no nursery and have no plans of putting our crib up in our little room, since Ru’s basically collected in our old house.
CRIB MATTRESS — I do not have an affiliate link or discount code, but if we were to get a crib and need a crib mattress, we’d go with this one. We have an Avocado Green Mattress, and love it SO much. We got it right before baby boy was born, and have loved this brand ever since!
Rocking Chair — I currently have a very simple, secondhand, vintage rocking chair that I love, and fits in our little home easily. If I were to splurge on one, I REALLY loved the one we had when Rudy was a babe (before we sold everything to move into our camper!). It was tall enough and comfy for me and my husband. Looked sleek, and overall just really loved it. This one looks fairly similar, and I’d be willing to try it out since it’s a fraction of the price! Nursing and rocking before naps, or just in quiet moments, or even in the middle of the night were truly some of the most fond memories I have with my babies. I had a secondhand rocker with both of my girls too, so truly, you do not need the fanciest chair. Just something comfortable enough to lean your head on, and sweetly hold and comfort your darling babe.
Babies DO NOT need to be bathed! AFTER the umbilical cord has fallen off, a warm water bath is nice, but even then, still not necessary. Of course, if baby has a blowout, and wipes are not going to cut it with the mess… then a bath is fine! But you do not need “baby scented” sudsy soap. You don’t even need soap at all! Their precious newborn skin needs as little chemical disruption as possible. Warm water, and lots of skin to skin and breastmilk is truly what they need most of.
SINK BATH — I’ve loved this little sink tub since my first babe! I’ve held onto it and so glad I have. It’s tiny and perfect for those first little rinses.
SOAP/WASH — Again, babies do not need soap! It can cause more harm than good, especially those that are “formulated” for baby (ahem, the Target baby aisle)… they are filled with so many unnecessary ingredients. If you feel you need to use a wash of some sort, I highly recommend THIS ONE or these items! Either are moisturizing, and don’t strip away or add toxins to that precious newborn skin.
LOTION — I don’t actually use lotion specifically, but absolutely adore all the tallow whips, balms, and salves that Humble Hive Co has to offer! I use her Luna Magnesium Tallow balm right now during pregnancy, and use her wild or sunbird whipped tallow on the kids and I after showers! Super moisturizing, and filled with incredible naturally occurring, soluble vitamins. Use code OURKINANDHOME to save at her shop!
TOWELS/WASHCLOTHS — We love any organic waffle or muslin towels for the kids! We’ve had these ones for years, and continue to use them daily… I’ve tried the dupes and honestly, ours are SO SOFT, they are not the same. But I also completely understand budget! Just want to share what the difference is 😉
I recommend checking out:
This account for breastfeeding support.
Again, I’ll share more on preparing for home birth and postpartum in another post.