Since I’m about to become an aunt for the first time ever (yeeeeaaaaayyy!) and some others very special to me are also expecting their first, I promised to make a list of some of the best baby things to buy. Not that I’m an expert, but these are things that seemed to work for us.
First, daycare. If you live in Pennsylvania, and you want to use daycare, you need to check out the Keystone Stars database. My advice is to put your name on the wait list of every 3 and 4 star place. Then, when you get in, choose which you like best. It’s a good way to avoid missing out on your favorite – or like us – being on a wait list until your baby is 9 months old. Blech.
Handknit blankets are the best. But you can’t swaddle with most of them, so you’ll need another option too. Aden + anais makes a great summer swaddler. When you’re done swaddling but the baby’s still too little for a blanket, this is a smart option for when the winter chill comes – and the sleep sack comes in different prints and fabrics.
Graco is fantastic for infant car seats and strollers. We have the MetroLite, which is a great stroller and the infant seat fits right into it, very convenient. We paid way too much for our toddler car seats, and then bought one for my mother-in-law’s car that seems to be just as good – from Chicco.
Our daughter loves these Boon utensils. Easy for her to hold. The best bottles are born free. The pacifiers she likes best are Nuk – but we bought a few different options and let her choose. (Of course we also have the Billy Bob pacifier thanks to her uncle – it is pretty hysterical.)
We have a crib, but if I were to do it again I might consider only having a Pack & Play. Ours is from Graco, and I like it because it’s as large as a crib so it works for a taller child.
We have the Fisher Price space saver high chair, and it’s great but with one problem – the cover isn’t machine washable. Our fix: we just removed it. It’s totally unnecessary, and the bare chair wipes clean. Another option is this new 4-in-1, which I think is brilliant (but only available at Babies R Us.)
My Baby Bjorn killed my back, but I’ve heard good things about Ergo.
Our baby monitor was really inexpensive and it’s been great. We still use it to know when she’s up from her nap. By Safety First.
About baby bedding – a sheet is all you need. Doctors advise against bumpers and blankets, so they’re just a waste of money.
Diapers.com is a great site, I’ve ordered a ton of stuff from them. Buy Buy Baby is good too – you can use your Bed Bath & Beyond coupons there!
We started out with a simple infant tub with a hammock, like this one. Now that she’s a toddler, we bought this tub from Ikea. It’s great because it has a non-stick bottom, and we still don’t have to fill the entire tub for her bath.
Best diaper bag ever, from Lands End (ours is blue actually). Fits everything you need for baby and yourself, very durable and easy to carry.
Swim diapers are so expensive. We bought this reusable, adjustable diaper from One Step Ahead and the teachers at daycare say its the best one they’ve ever seen.
Our daycare has one of these – they call it a Johnny Jump Up – and it makes her terrifically happy.
Toys? Clothes? Three top places for that: friends, your local thrift store, and Etsy.