What I’ve Learned So Far/Most Useful Baby Things (@ 4mo)

This motherhood journey so far has been one of the hardest most beautiful things I’ve ever done. I’ve found that’s truly the dichotomy of it all. It’s both ends of the spectrum all at once. Who knew you could fall so in love with a tiny little human who constantly spits up and/or poops on you. Wild. I’m so grateful to have a tribe of moms in my corner helping me get through the first couple months. Whether is recommending products, letting me borrow baby things, or even just answering my crazy texts. They’ve taught me so much. Now that we’ve been doing the dang thing for a couple months and with all the advice of all my mom friends, I have a few takeaways worth sharing for my mom-to-be friends. Here we go.

I’ll admit… I registered for a lot of stuff that I was told would be needed for baby, but now that we’re in it I’ve found some things to be absolutely useless. Some things solely because my baby doesn’t like them (ugh, sorry dock-a-tot) and some things were just good marketing. Did you know the data to target marketing to pregnant women is worth $1.50, vs. the average person is worth 10 cents? The baby industry is wild.

First and foremost we learned that 70% of baby’s waking hours should be spent on the floor, NOT in containers such as swings, seats, padded docks. All you really need is a blanket on the floor. Wish I had read that before we got a swing, a Dock-a-tot, a Boppy, another Boppy… The first few weeks we did just that, spread a blanket out on the floor and set up high contrast picture books for her to look at and it was great. Even if we needed to walk away for a minute we were okay knowing she can’t roll off anything. They do say as long as you minimize the amount of time to 2 hours in a container you’re okay… There were times where the Dock-a-tot would have been nice but Emma just hated it. We use the swing occasionally, like when she doesn’t want to be put down and I really need to make some food. Though, I don’t use it nearly enough to justify the amount of space it takes up in our apartment.

The second major learning we had was about diapers. I learned that not all baby butts are shaped the same and one brand may not work that great for baby’s bowel movements. We had a lot of blowouts in the beginning. I knew this was part of the job, but it was almost every single time. I finally asked my friends if this was normal and learned that it could be because of my baby’s butt shape. It’s true, Emma has the cutest little butt. While we really liked the price of Costco brand diapers, it just wasn’t working out. (There was a week where almost every morning we were woken up with a poo-plosion.) We finally tried Seventh Generation, Honest, Huggies, Pampers Swaddlers, Pampers Pure, and Target brand. Pampers Pure for the win. Honest came in at a close second, price wise they’re about the same.

While we’re on the topic of changing diapers, I found that changing tables with a cloth cover are a waste of freaking time. On a whim my friend was going to donate this [really nice and actually quite expensive] changing table and asked if we wanted it. I thought it would be nice to have one for the living room or something so I graciously accepted. It quickly became our every day changing situation. I wish we had registered for this one. While the one we got is super cute, somewhere on my Instagram highlights you can watch my husband having a breakdown trying to get the cover back on the changing pad. Take away: get a changing table you can wipe down, I promise you there will be more incidents of pee and poop than you realize.

Helpful side note: the best way to get poop stains out are either hydrogen peroxide & dish soap or a good solid OxyClean soak will do the trick.

I may have gone a bit overboard with the baby wearing carriers, but we literally use them everyday. I started out with the Baby K’Tan wrap, and while I loved it for myself the one size deal didn’t work for my 6’4” husband. So we also ordered the Boba wrap, which he loves and though it took a little bit of practice to get on, he’s a pro now. Recently I was able to try my friends Konny wrap (hi again Jacey) and fell in love. It keeps the baby in a better position and takes the stress of my back, as it turns out you have zero core strength post pregnancy. I also ordered the mesh fabric and its so so much cooler than the other wraps. Emma is a hot potato and is always quite sweaty when I pull her out of the carrier so the mesh is way more ideal. We were also gifted a Ergobaby which has also been great for longer walks, I can’t wait to take it hiking.

Some of the most useful baby items have been things that we borrowed. My super amazing friend (hi, Jacey) let us borrow her Mika Micky bassinet when my long baby grew out of her UppaBaby bassinet. Yeah, glad we spent $150 on the Uppa Bassinet stand that was so short lived. I will 100% buy this bassinet if/when we have a second child. Not only is it like the king size bed of bassinets, you can fold down the side so you can easily check on your baby/hold their hand in the middle of the night. PLUS it rolls. This has become super handy when trying to make coffee in the morning, or doing anything in the kitchen really.

Holding Emma’s little hand during a nap in the Mika Micky.

These have all been the items that stood out the most. Other runner up’s I’ve been using and found super valuable: cloth diapers as burp cloths, Tubby Todd all over ointment for rashes and dry skin, Burt’s Bees Baby onesies, Sandra Boynton books, Sassy developmental toys, Blanqi postpartum clothing pieces, Spectra S1 pump, Larken pumping bra, HelloBello baby sunscreen (again, thank you Jacey!)

I’ve also learned to get things secondhand where you can. Our UppaBaby vista stroller cost us a total of $200 vs. $900 new. Our Babyletto crib we also saved a bunch of money on by buying second hand. Most of Emma’s clothes were gently used by a girlfriend who was having a boy and no longer needed her girl clothes. Man, babies grow fast, I’m so glad we didn’t spend a ton of money on clothes. There are tons of great second hand items on Facebook- both their Buy Nothing or BST (buy, trade, sell) groups and marketplace. Also don’t forget Nextdoor!

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