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Preparing for baby, I found myself reading lots and lots of blogs by mamas of all sorts. This really helped me to narrow down what was important. As first time parents, we definitely gave in to many items that for us, turned out to be not as useful as we hoped and at the same time we ended up going out to buy items after we brought Bodhi home that we probably should’ve had before he arrived.

My list of must-have items for our baby will probably be very different from almost any other parent. Every baby is so unique, but in my experience with Bodhi, these items rock and are key to a successful day in our little world!

A baby carrier—we have the Baby Bjorn. Bodhi falls asleep in this thing on walks, at the grocery store, at parks and even while we bounce on an exercise ball which I am doing right now. We call the exercise ball and Bjorn combination the “magic sleep button.” Even at his fussiest, this combo is perfect. I’ve heard wonderful things about the Ergo Baby Carrier as well. We own it too, but just haven’t used it yet. This all leads to…

An exercise ball—while not technically a baby item, our exercise ball has worked wonders for us and also works for my friend and her now 7-month-old.

Summer Infant Swaddles—we started off swaddling Bodhi at night with Aden and Anais swaddle wraps but found it to be difficult to get the perfect wrap in our sleepy middle of the night state. While at a local baby store recently, I saw the velcro Summer Infant SwaddleMe organic cotton swaddles and bought one. It is perfect! So easy in the night and pretty hard for our little guy to break free of it. We bought two more and just rotate them with a short-sleeve onesy for night-time since it’s getting pretty hot now.

Photo credit—AdenandAnais.com

Aden and Anais swaddle wraps—I didn’t love them for swaddling only because neither my husband or I are good at creating a strong swaddle and Bodhi is like Houdini! He magically frees himself in seconds. We use several each day as blankets since they are so light and it’s getting hot. We also use these to cover the stroller or to cover Bodhi when he’s in the Bjorn if it’s windy or sunny. They are great and look good too!

Update: At 17 months, Bodhi still uses these for comfort or a light blanket at night. He also used and still uses the awesome burpee bibs which work as a burp cloth early on and later snap on for an incredible bib.

White noise machine or other white noise maker—we use our iPhones and a white noise app hooked up to a speaker system. Very helpful at night. We also use the Graco Sweet Slumber white noise machine.

Earth Mama Angel Baby Natural Nipple Butter—Sorry if this is too much information for the non-parents reading my blog. If so, please skip to the next one. :) I’m past the pains of breastfeeding now so rarely use it, but this all-natural balm was wonderful and even worked well on Bodhi’s cracked skin right after birth. Many babies and their mamas are allergic to wool, so lanolin based products don’t work as well.

Boppy or other nursing pillow—I would actually recommend having two. Moving it from room to room when your baby is hungry can be a struggle. The boppy is also where I prop Bodhi up during his “play” time which is really just him staring at things and making cute sounds.

Bath-belly-cover-thingy—I don’t even know what it’s called, but the fish thing on Bodhi in the photo to the left was recommended by my good friend as it helped keep her little man warm during baths. We registered for it at Target. Bodhi stays calm and warm with this on him and after the first bath at home (real bath, not sponge bath) with him screaming like a mad man, we learned that warmth is the key to baby bathing success. A shout-out to my good friend Ann who gave us this!

Seventh Generation diapers—everyone does their own thing with diapers. We considered cloth and just didn’t feel committed to it enough to pay for the start-up supplies. Out of several brands of chemical-free diapers, we found Seventh Generation to leak the least and to fit Bodhi comfortably.

Update: We’re still using these at 17 months and they are great. We have had very few blowouts or any leaking.

Photo credit—Lifefactory.com

LifeFactory glass baby bottles—a new purchase, these bottles are light, won’t break thanks to a cute silicone sleeve and are dishwasher safe (no plastic). So far so good with these bottles. Bodhi rarely uses a bottle as it is mostly just when the hubby and I go on date night or I’m at the mall alone and he has a hunger-fit! I’m not currently comfortable nursing in public.

Update: At 17 months, we now use these with the sippy cup tops and I even use them for water for myself with the screw-on top when I am on the go.

A great stroller—this can be any stroller that works for you. For me, we love our Uppa Baby Vista because it is so easy to fold and maneuvers like a miracle! I see other moms in store aisles having a hard time turning their strollers while ours, even though it is fairly large, makes sharp turns. I think the key here is that you or whoever will spend the most time with your baby needs to be able to fold and unfold it quickly! I am able to go out fairly often with Bodhi (or I was able to until he recently realized he hates the carseat so car rides are tough) thanks to a stroller that I can manage well.

While we bought nearly everything under the sun, we don’t find swings, bouncers, bottle warmers, wipe warmers, the Sleep Sheep and other gadgets to be helpful at this time. They seem to just take up space for us. Some moms and dads swear by them though, so don’t take my word for it. Bodhi enjoyed his Mamaroo the first couple of weeks but now screams after seconds of being placed in it. The highest speed seems to be too slow for him. We’ll let you know if this all changes.

Now, any moms and dads out there have thoughts on the Boon Flair high chair? The high chair is the only major purchase we have left for this first year. With our very modern taste, this fits the bill for us.

Update: We bought the Boon Flair high chair. It is super easy to clean, adjusts up and down which means now that Bodhi is bigger we let him eat at the table with us. We just take off the tray and pull him in, but it will raise up for times when I am standing and feeding him or would work with taller tables or kitchen islands.

I have a friend who is expecting in the fall and I promised to give her a list of must-have and can-live-without items. What works for you and your baby? What items do you wish you could still return and throw the money into a Maui fund? Off to the zoo with two of my best girlfriends and their children. One is here from North Carolina on her way as she moves to Kodiak, Alaska! She’s a Coastguard wife.

Happy Friday everyone! Live the fancy life!

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