Baby gear I actually swear by

In my last blog, I shared the Twin Baby Gear I couldn’t live without.  Here are some things any one can use, whether you have multiples or not.

This is NOT a sponsored blog, so this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

 

For your diaper changing station: Foam changing pad like the Summer Infant Contoured Changing Pad

Pros: You can find these on Amazon or at Babies R Us and they are super affordable. They can go on top of a dresser, or stay on the floor.  You save space by not buying an actual diaper changing station for the nursery (I put mine on top of the dresser).  Super easy to wipe clean, you can get cute pads to cover it and make it more fun and decorative.  This is very functional and all-around awesome.

Cons: If on top of the dresser and not secured, it will slide.

For your diaper changing station, crib and/or bassinet: Waterproof liners like Summer Infant Full Length Crib Pad & Changing Pad Liners

Pros:  These are super easy to use, machine washable, and they have saved me many spills and clean-ups.  I know you can by fitted sheets, but I prefer the pads because they cover the whole area and it’s a lot easier to take on and off the bed (I don’t like dealing with fitted sheets in the middle of the night when I need to strip a crib and hold a baby at the same time).

Cons:  After a year or two of use they can start to look a little ratty, but they are inexpensive and easy to replace.  I just use stuff until it disintegrates.

Reusable Breast Pads: Bamboobies

Pros: Wash and wear and I didn’t leak through my bra! Cute colors and you get a pair for free if you write a nice review for them on Amazon (which I did – and got the extra pair in the mail shortly thereafter)!

Cons: Honestly – they are awesome. I have tried multiple brands and types and these are the best around. I have nothing bad to say!

Diaper pail: Arm & Hammer – Diaper Pail by Munchkin

arm & hammer

Pros: HANDS DOWN the best at handling stinky diaper smells. We tried the Diaper Genie and the room smelled like poop to the high heavens.  No thank you.  This really, really works.  If you’ll have double the poopy diapers, trust me, you don’t want to deal with the stink.

Cons: You need to buy their bags (I couldn’t find a generic version compatible with this diaper pail). Also, the lid is not always easy to close shut.  If there are a few diapers in there, the lid needs help closing and it makes a horribly loud snapping/clicking sound if you force it.  We broke our first pail trying to force it.  We then tried the Diaper Genie (which sucked), so we bought a second Arm & Hammer diaper pail knowing the lid is problematic.  Despite these cons, it’s still the best on the market.

Stroller: A lightweight stroller frame (instead of the big bulky, heavy travel system)

Pros: This is what I used when my oldest daughter was in her infant carrier (instead of the big bulky “travel system” the company sells).  Her seat just clicked in.  It was so easy to travel with this.  I loved how this fit my lifestyle of being on the go, but not being held down with a ton of baby gear.  I used this to run errands and the basket underneath meant I could fit most of my groceries/items without needing a shopping cart (this meant I didn’t need to take my daughter out of her infant carrier).  It’s light, it’s compact, it’s fabulous.  I cannot say enough good things about this.

Cons: Crickets… crickets… well, if you find out you’re having surprise twins, then you’ll need to replace this, but don’t worry, they make a double version!

Baby Carrier

Family vacation in California.  We chose to bring our Ergos instead of the double stroller.  It worked out really well.
Family vacation in California. We chose to bring our Ergos instead of the double stroller. It worked out really well.

Pros: You will be hands free, and save your biceps from burning pain (because holding babies for a long time takes a lot of strength, even little babies)!  Baby carriers are great to use when you know you’ll not be able to easily navigate with a stroller, like when touring a historic battleship, hiking through the woods, or any place there will be lots of steps.  All of my children want to be held (sometimes I feel like a walking hammock), but I get it, it’s comforting to be held by your mama/daddy, you feel safe, and you get to see more stuff from a higher point of view.  We currently use the Ergo baby carrier, but I’ve used others too.  Names I hear often are Tula, Mobi, Bjorn and more.  We love the Ergo for the versatility of wearing the babies on the front, back, or side and it’s totally machine washable.

Cons: I really don’t have any.  The only issue I have run into is having one baby cry while I put her twin sister in the Ergo.  We usually “suit up” when both me and my hubby are available otherwise, someone is left crying.

Sippy cups: The First Years Spill-Proof Cups, Take and Toss

Why have 1 cup when you can have 2?

Pros: Easy to use, easy to travel with, if they get lost – no biggy because they are inexpensive and easy to replace. Easy seems to be the key word here.  These are simply made with just a cup and lid.  I don’t have to fiddle with crazy looking pieces to clean every time they go in the dishwasher.  I love these and my girls do too.  They are great for practicing drinking without a lid too because they are not a screw top.  My girls transitioned beautifully from breastfeeding/bottles to these cups.  Also, I like how they are transparent so I can see how much milk or water is in the cup and if a refill is necessary.

Cons: These will wear after a while (but it took a good 2 years before we really needed to replace them), and sometimes the holes on the lid get clogged (easy to clear out with a rinse of hot water). Depending on the batch you happen to purchase, sometimes the lids don’t fit super duper tight and if the cup falls (or gets dropped), it will spill.  Other more sturdy and durable cups can handle falling from the height of a high chair, but they are also more expensive and have more pieces and parts to them to clean.

Blankets etc.: Swaddles

Big sister wants to be swaddled too.
Big sister wants to be swaddled too.
In my house a swaddling means I have a happy, calm, and sleeping baby.
In my house, swaddling means I have a happy, calm, and sleeping baby.

Pros: If swaddled properly, your baby will be calm and sleep longer at night, and take longer naps during the day. Read Harvey Karp’s “The Happiest Baby on the Block” to learn about the 5 S’s.  They saved my life many times over!

Cons: Baby may fight the swaddle, arms break free and smack them in the face (they are not aware of their limbs until a few months old). My advice, swaddle them tighter around the arm (legs should be looser and can move up and down and all around) or look for a different type of swaddler – there are blankets, velcro versions, wraps… lots of choices.  One of them should work for you and your babies.

To make your own baby food: Hand blender, simple ice cube trays and Ziploc freezer bags

hand mixer

Pros: INCREDIBLY easy to use and clean.  LOVE LOVE LOVE!  I would just boil whatever I wanted to puree (broccoli, peas, carrots, prunes, apples, chicken, beef), keep some water in the pot and puree in 1 pot.  Then I scoop the food into ice cube trays (each spot is 1 tablespoon), freeze, then pop the cubes out and put them in the Ziploc freezer bags.  I could make easy meals like chicken and broccoli or fruit medleys by combining different cubes.  I would actually get ideas from looking at the baby food aisle at the grocery store and think, “I can make it at home!”  Note, I would bake yams in the oven at 350 degrees for a few hours until they caramelize and they basically become pureed food all on their own (super yummy for grown-ups too).  Also, this particular hand mixer comes apart and is machine washable.  I bought mine with credit card points.  It couldn’t be easier.  (Bonus: hand blenders are awesome for soup recipes too!)  I just feel dumb for not having a hand blender when my first baby was born.  Live and learn.

Cons: None.

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