There are so many products out there and I wanted to round up a list of my 10 favorites from Finley’s first year. I am kind of obsessed with reading reviews before I make a purchase but there are many items I learned I could do without and some that I wish I had bought initially.
1. Eat, Sleep, Poop is my favorite book for baby’s first year. I love that it is short and to the point and it has charts in the back for a quick diagnosis of minor issues. I love that it is written by a pediatrician and that he gives you his honest opinion as a father and as a doctor with a common sense bottom line. All this translates into an easy to read and fast reference for those nights when baby has his first (fill in the blank) and you don’t know what to do. Of course I still called my pediatrician’s on call number many times throughout Fin’s first year but this book was a great resource for knowing if and when something was call or visit worthy and it gave me more insight into what might be going on.
2. I really like the Aden + Anais muslin swaddles. They are so great as multipurpose blankets and swaddles and they saved the day when F had a major blow out at a friend’s house – we just laid one down on top of their changing pad and wrapped all his dirty clothes up in it to contain the mess and not smear it all over their nursery. They are a nice size for a nursing cover, a car seat/stroller cover when baby is sleeping, etc. When Fin’s changing pad cover is in the laundry I just cover the pad with one of these blankets and it still looks nice and covers the pad well.
3. For middle of the night swaddles I like the swaddleme velcro wraps. These make wrapping baby up a breeze when you are functioning on very little sleep. We were gifted 4 or 5 of these and it was great to have extra for those nights when he peed through several layers.
4. The Baby Shusher app was so helpful in soothing Fin when I couldn’t. It worked so quickly and it was more effective than me saying “shh” repeatedly. It really is a miracle app.
5. These little Angel Dear blankies are so soft and kids seem to attach to them quickly. I like that they come in a pack of three so you always have one clean and a spare should one go missing. Fin started sleeping with his raccoon when we started weaning from the swaddle and it was so easy for him to grab and snuggle. Now he chews on the corners and rubs it on his nose when he is getting sleepy.
6. The Moop Porter bag is my favorite diaper/multifunction bag and I wish I had just started with this instead of a smaller messenger. It works well and looks great when it is packed to the brim or when you just need a few things. It has two shoulder straps as well as a cross body strap and it is machine washable. I keep a small pouch for my cell phone, wallet, and lip gloss that I can pull out if I’m just running into a store or dropping Fin off with his grandma. I love that it can work as a carry on or basic tote long after the diaper bag days. All bags are handmade in the USA and are very high quality materials. Gotta love supporting a small business in the states!
7. The Uppababy Vista is a really versatile stroller that is so easy to push and fold and the basket is gigantic. It comes with a bassinet that Fin slept in for the first two months and I just wheeled him around the house so he could nap where I was. This stroller allowed me to get many grocery trips in during nap time since the huge basket allowed me to pick up all the essentials. I love plopping my huge diaper bag down into it while I still have tons of space for coats or shopping bags. The seat can face in or out and when your family grows later on you can add a rumble seat and/or a stand-on board. I love that this stroller packs so much function into one piece and I got it for about half off right before the next year’s model shipped.
8. A big Fisher Price swing was so nice to have when I wanted to eat dinner with two hands or take a shower and Fin would even nap in it which gave me plenty of time to fit in some chores and cooking as well. Yes it is ugly and big but oh so worth it.
9. A sound machine is absolutely essential if you have a yappy dog like Trevor. We started out with this cute stuffed lamb but the sound shuts off after 45 minutes and we needed something that lasted throughout the night since our dog barks at every leaf that blows. This sound machine has a few great options for white noise and we usually stick to the rain sound, but it’s nice to have options.
10. Lastly, one of my most used items is the glider in Fin’s nursery. It is so comfy and still looks great after tons of use. I rocked Fin a few times a day every day for the first year and it gave us a cozy spot to camp out during a few long and sleepless nights. Up until recently we rocked him to sleep for naps and bedtime and any night waking so it was nice to have a really comfy chair. Now that we have sleep trained F we still read to him in it and rock a few minutes before laying him down. I know we will still be using this chair for years to come.