This is a follow-up to my Because I’m an Expert: Newborn Faves post, because babies change so quickly, and all that crap you needed when they were tiny newborns is hardly relevant 5 months later. I will say a number of things we LOVED at birth, we are still loving, or have found different uses for them, so check out the newborn list if you are on the hunt for what to register for.
I have a friend who is having a baby in July, that I was able to pass some stuff onto. I know you can sell or consign baby stuff, but it feels so much better to pass it on to a mom you know. I was so lucky when I was pregnant and was gifted so many hand-me-downs, and I want to continue the flow of mama-karma by giving away things too! Today Mr. Gaunt and I went through all of Vada’s clothing and pulled out all 0-3, 3-6 and many 6 month clothing items. We donated the basic items and kept a handful of special items (for future babies I don’t actually plan on having). Vada is mostly in 9 month onesies and 12 month pants. She’s kind of tall and thin right now, plus cloth diapers make a big booty, so you have to go up a size in length usually. It’s bitter sweet how big my baby is.
Without further babble, here are some of my current faves:
1. OsoCozy Flannel Wipes: The uses for these are endless. We have probably 75 of them. They are used for: Diaper changes, baby nose wipes, drool, spills, suck cloth, mom/dad nose blowing….everything. I toss them in the wash, and then distribute them all over the house. We have some in bed, in the car, in the kitchen, on the couch, we love em.
2.Space Saver High Chair: I was surprised that at 4 months Vada was easily able to sit in her high chair. We unfortunately do not have a dining room, and our house is small, so the space saver kind is awesome! Vada’s Nana even got one for her house in Colorado when we went to visit. I think I might get another one for our restaurant too. They are great for feeding and for just safe play. I had originally coveted this beautiful Oxo Tot High Chair, but when my friend gave me this one when her daughter was done using it, I quickly forgot about the fancy one. I also like that this one has soft padding and a high back, to support a baby that can’t quite sit up on her own yet. Plus they come in a lot of cute gender neutral patterns. The tray comes off easily and everything cleans nicely.
3 Activity Mat & Toy Links: We have a pretty basic one that my friend Jenny gave us. It doesn’t light up or sing or really have many toys. One of my favorite mom-blogs, Baby Kerf, recommended buying a couple packs of these toy links, and they are great. We hang all kinds of toys from her play mat, as well as on her high chair, car seat, stroller, anywhere. It keeps toys from falling on the floor, and she loves them. The mat was one of the first “toys” we had out. We laid her on it at probably 2 months old, and she would just stare blankly at all the toys. Within a month she was reaching (the first time she ever reached for a toy! Watch the video HERE) for things, and now she’s a wild animal on her gym! Every morning I get her dressed, lay her on her mat and she plays by herself for almost an hour every single morning while I get ready. It’s SWEET! Couldn’t live without it.
4. Ikea KRAMA Towels: I’m really into these handy white wash cloths with loops now that we are eating some solids. I don’t want to use a new wash cloth at every meal, so I just ring these out with hot water and hook them on a kitchen cabinet knob, and they are ready for the next meal time. Plus they aren’t too soft, or too rough, and you can bleach them. It’s the little things in life.
5. Boon Grass Drying Rack & Tree : If you end of doing any regular bottles or breast pumping, you NEED one of these. They are great! We originally didn’t have the Tree, and I thought it seemed unnecessary, but it’s not, its excellent! Plus its cute and modern. We don’t have a dishwasher, so everything is hand washed, and we really could manage without this. We use Dr. Brown bottles and they have lots of little parts to clean and dry.
6. Cool Mist Humidifier: Being a winter baby these have been really important to keeping our sinuses and skin moist. We have two of them (they went on sale at Mr. Gaunt’s work for $24 each!) one in our living room and one in our bedroom. We try not to bathe Vada too often, which can dry out her skin, and I use saline drops in her nose when she gets a cold, but I also really think these help.
7. Boba 3G Carrier: Now that Vada is a little bigger, I’m loving the Boba 3G even more (yes it was on my newborn list too!). I feel like it took us a while to get her little legs to fit right in the holes, and for her to stop being so obsessed with nursing while I was wearing her. Now she fit’s great, and enjoys looking around while I wear her. I use this mostly when we go grocery shopping, or any real errand running. I HATE dragging around the heavy infant seat, plus it fills up the whole shopping cart (FOR THE LOVE OF GOD PARENTS STOP PUTTING INFANT CARRIERS IN THE TOP OF CARTS!) and really Vada doesn’t want to sit in a seat, she wants to be up and in on the action. I love our Boba!
Bright Starts Bounce Bounce Baby Activity Zone: (no photo)To some extent I actually hate these things. I mean they are big and ugly and take up so much room. They also only really buy you 20 minutes of entertainment, if you are lucky. That being said, 20 minutes of baby entertainment is like GOLD for a working mom. I use this while I clean, curl my hair, or do office work. She likes it well enough, and for the price, under $40, its worth it. I would NEVER spend $75 or more on one of these things. This one is NOT fancy, but if you link a bunch of toys on it its kind of fun, plus its lightweight and I can drag it around the house with me where I need it. Like I said, 20 minutes is sooooo nice sometimes.
9. Hey Bear –Baby View Classical Music- Soothe and relax your baby – High Contrast – Infant Visual Stimulation: DONT JUDGE ME, but this is the only technology “screen time” we let her watch, and oh my god she loves it! I figure it’s so similar to the books, and it has classical music. I put it on in the morning on our big screen TV while she plays on her mat, and it is a life saver. It’s an hour-long, no commercials or anything, and its so pleasant. Just black and white shapes and classical music. If that is some how rotting Vada’s brain, then so be it.
Value Village & Goodwill: 99% of Vada’s wardrobe comes from thrift stores, mostly Value Village, and some Goodwill. I love cute baby clothes, and I love dressing her up, but there is no way in hell I’m paying full price for ANYTHING. She has already grown out of an entire wardrobe in her 5 short months. I can get great brands: Hanna Andersson, Boden, Baby GAP, REI, cheaper than Carter’s Clearance! Not that there is anything wrong with Carters, I like their kids pajamas, and there basic leggings are pretty cheap, but in general, they aren’t my style, and I don’t love the quality. I love the hunt of thrift stores, and I love the unique vintage or handmade items you could never get in a regular store. I have also tried a few kids consignment stores, and although you can get some cute stuff, it’s usually more expensive. I know thrifting isn’t for everyone, but man I highly recommended it for kids clothing!