1. Swaddle - Okay, so swaddling takes some practice. I remember my husband watching our daughter get swaddled by the nurse after she was born, and with so much enthusiasm said, "I've got this!" He, in fact, did not have this. But if you stick with it, it's truly a lifesaver. We loved 100% organic cotton Muslin Swaddles, which we then used as blankets in the cooler months when our daughter grew out of swaddling. Win!
2. Zip up Pjs - Ever wrestled an alligator while trying to paint their toenails? (idk if they have toenails but that's not the point). That's what trying to dress your baby feels like when changing them into snap up pajamas. Zip up footie pjs made changing baby's diaper, getting ready for bed, or just getting baby dressed 100x easier. Zip up pjs for life.
3. Books - Cannot recommend reading to your tot enough. We added a few books into our bedtime routine, and now our daughter absolutely loves to read. It's also such a nice way to build confidence, develop their understanding, and spend quiet time with your kids. Our personal favorites are Kids for Culture's ABC Affirmation Book and Little Lingo Book.
4. Wraps & Carriers - I never used a baby wrap with our daughter, Josephine. But with our son William, I used it almost every day. I would take him to the grocery store, and he would sleep the entire time wrapped up on me, and I was able to get so much done. So go ahead, text your BFF, make yourself some toast, and find a little more peace in the newborn days and beyond.
6. Diaper Bag - I remember going into Buy Buy Baby and feeling so overwhelmed by the amount of diaper bags. Do I buy the ugly practical one? Do I buy the gorgeous $300 leather bag that has zero functionality but makes me look like a hot mom? Well, we spent a bunch of money on the hot mom bag, and I am here to tell you to run to Target and grab a functional $40 bag with insulated pockets because that $300 bag ripped within six months and ya girl was MAD. Two years later and our Target purchase is still going strong with our second baby.
7. Toiletries - I was extremely picky when it came to baby shampoo, baby body wash, and baby toiletries in general. So many brands had dyes and perfumes and gave both my kids a rash. I ended up partnering with Tubby Todd years ago, and quickly fell in love with their products. (I no longer partner with them, but still use them and pay full price). Their products are fragrance free, and so gentle on babe. 10/10 recommend.
8. Feeding Supplies - Because both my husband and I work full time, sometimes cooking becomes an afterthought. For that reason, we eat out quite a lot. Meaning restaurant table germs and insane toddlers running around throwing stuff. Hey, I won't sugar coat it for you. So some of my absolute favorite items are The Saturday Baby's Silicone Placemat (easy to wipe down and shove in that $40 Target Diaper Bag), The Dearest Grey's Silicone Bento Box which is also great for school lunches, The Saturday Baby's Snack Cup, and the very much needed Saturday Baby Suction Bowl that comes with a lid. All great for on-the-go feeding, snacking, and saving embarrassment at your local Jason's Deli.
9.Teethers - Teethers are heavily utilized within our household. My favs include wooden teethers, 100% food grade silicone teethers, and the squishy liquid filled teethers you can toss into the freezer. I may have used the liquid filled frozen teethers as an ice pack for my breastmilk at work. Don't judge me, k?
10. Toys & Development - Montessori toys are all the rage currently, including wooden and plastic free toys. I absolutely love Melissa & Doug from Target, as well as Kids for Culture flashcards. I fully attribute my daughter's speech to flashcards. These are great for developing emotional literacy, confidence, and an interest in the outside world.