Although Mackenzie has been out of the “baby stages” for quite a long while now, our move caused us to find and go through a bunch of Mackenzie’s baby things — and I realized I never really put together a list of my favorite baby things that turned out to be extremely useful in our lives. Anyone who has had a child knows that there is always a HUGE list of suggested items to by for a new baby — but in most cases, you can get by with a lot less.
Some of them we still use on a regular basis, despite it being nearly 4 years later. And to me, that says something big for the products.
- Philips Avent Baby Monitor SCD535– If you live in a small space, you may not need a baby monitor. But since Mackenzie went to sleep upstairs while we were still downstairs, having a monitor was super practical for us. Believe it or not, we have had this baby monitor for nearly 4 years, and although some of the pixels on the hand-held parent unit are no longer legible, the device itself works great. It has a super long reach, a great battery and we primarily only use it for the lullaby aspect now, but it’s also nice to know when Mack has finally given up the fight against sleep. This monitor also has temperature and humidity sensors, which is really nice when you are living in a country with no air conditioning or you have the heaters on and just aren’t sure how warm it is in your little one’s room. One other great feature is that it’s perfect for traveling because the base station which goes in your child’s room can also be powered by batteries — so it even works if you’re off camping or on the go.
- Baby Björn carrier – At some point, most moms reach a point where your baby wants to be held all the time, but you have just got to start vacuuming the floor, go grocery shopping, walk the dog or complete any other number of tasks that have been put off while your newborn joined your life. The Baby Björn Synergy carrier was our solution to Mack’s need to be carried all the time — and almost as soon as I put her in there, she’d be asleep. Unfortunately, as soon as I went to take her out, she was awake again. But this was a lifesaver until Mack was about 12 months old — and then I just couldn’t carry her that way any longer! Which is when we got our Deuter Kid Comfort 2 carrier backpack.
- Philips Avent BPA Free Bottles – These bottles are durable and long lasting, although the nipples can be chewed through pretty quickly once your little ones get teeth. They’re available all over the place and have lots of accessories like the handles to make them easier to hold, sippy cup nipples and the bottle warmer. I would definitely recommend them as your mainstay bottles.
- Tefal Quick&Hot Instant Water Heater (Europe only) – When you start using formula to supplement your milk supply or just want to brew yourself a relaxing cup of hot tea, this machine is a total life saver. It made making night time bottles a breeze, especially since Mack was far hungrier at about 6 months old than I could compensate for. And I still love using this machine to this day. With the touch of a button, you get one cup of hot water in about 3 seconds time, which is just the right amount for a cup of tea or bottle of milk (and of course add a few ice cubes to the milk to cool it down). Or you can use the manual button that lets you produce as much water as you need. The tank on the back holds about 1 liter of water, and includes a filter to remove anything unwanted from your local water.
- Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump – Since I was working from home, I didn’t need to pump very often, which made this pump practical and economical. If you pump more often, you may want an automatic one. But if you have trouble getting good suction, do make sure to get a breast shield in a different size. I had real complications with the standard sized shield, but once I put the small one on there, everything worked great. The breast pump is easy to use (once you have the right fit), makes your life easier since you don’t have to be attached to your child as often, and was a worthwhile investment. For example, if you want to go to a party and do not breastfeed in the middle of it (or would like to have a glass of champagne to celebrate), being able to pump beforehand and use a bottle during the event is really ideal.
- Multi-Mam Kompressen (Germany only) – These simple little things are breast feeding soothing pads which bring your aching and chapped nipples back to life after weeks of breast feeding — and will get rid of thrush in just a day or so. They contain only natural ingredients, which means you can leave them in right up to the point that you are going to breast feed again. They are essentially cotton pads with a soothing gel on them, and in individually wrapped in foil packets so they stay fresh and can be taken virtually anywhere you go. A good friend recommended them to me, and they are a special little something I include with every new mother gift package I put together.
- Nuby Bottle Brush – Although the Philips bottle start packs come with a bottle brush, this one from Nuby is just worlds better. After our Philips brushes died from lots and lots of use, I started looking around for a replacement. Although the Philips brushes work ok, I wanted something better. And the Nuby brush is SO much better. Not only do you have the standard bottle brush, but there is also an extra mini brush in the handle which is perfect to get the gunk out of the tips of the nipples. I love, love, love this brush!
- IKEA LEKSVIK Baby Furniture – Unfortunately it seems that IKEA has discontinued this particular line of their cribs and kids furniture, but any of their well priced cribs generally has to satisfy rigorous testing and safety standards. The LEKSVIK was wonderful because it’s got a classic look to it and is made primarily of real wood. Plus, it’s all convertible, allowing you to get many years of use from it. The crib converts from an elevated infant bed (to save your back) to a baby crib by moving 4 screws. And then you can convert it to a toddler bed by removing one long wall of the crib and adding a low support to keep kids from rolling out at night. It was perfect for Mack until she was about 3.5 years old, then started to get a bit short with her super long legs. The changing table is also a dresser, and the changing table part is just a few extra pieces of wood that you can remove later.
- Kiddy Car Seat – If you’ve read NOH for a while, you know how much I love our kiddy car seat and fully attribute it to saving Mackenzie’s life a few years ago. And I think she kinda knows it because she’s would remind us to put the shock absorber in and get everything fit just right whenever we use it. kiddy, a German company, has finally gotten some of their car seats on the market in the US, so if you are looking for a great kids car seat that your son or daughter can grow with, check them out. They also offer fantastic infant car seats too.
- Baby Trends Jogging Stroller – This stroller has put up with SO MUCH during the last four years –and although we’ve had to clean it up a bit and recently repainted the wheels, for the most part it still looks really good. And believe me, we’ve used it every day through rain, snow, sleet and anything else Frankfurt threw at us. Mackenzie has always liked it because it was comfortable for her to sit in — and as an infant, her car seat attached to it as well. Now that she’s bigger, it’s still suitable for her to sit in when we’re going longer distances or she’s already tired from the days events. I love that it has 4 cup holders and a nice amount of storage below it. Plus it’s easy to drive on all types of terrains without giving you that baby whiplash feeling when you bump into a curb.
What’s the one thing you wouldn’t have wanted to do without in your nursery?
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