Oh, the world of baby gear! Has there ever existed a more confusing, overwhelming, over-priced bunch of stuff that companies convince us we absolutely need for our baby to survive?! I think not.
When I had my first baby, almost 5-years-ago, I was diligent about researching to find the very best of the very best baby gear for her. My husband and I read all the reviews, all the blogs, all the tips, all the advice. We were stocked and ready, armed with a drawer full of clean cloth diapers, shelves filled with the most beautiful wooden toys, and a house filled with only the most natural, high-quality, perfect packaging, bird-friendly, shade-grown, bug-free, sure-to-make-your-kid-go-to-an-ivy-league-(for-free), products.
Then I got pregnant with my second kid. (Tale as old as time…)
And I realized something very important. There were TONS of things I bought for my first kiddo that I either never used, or just plain hated. So I decided to do things differently. I decided I’d only get the bare minimum for baby #2. We researched the hardest-hitting, toughest, most durable baby gear we could find, and thought hard about what we loved with our first, and what we could skip for our second. And more importantly, what we’d buy instead to replace some of the items we’d not particularly enjoyed with our first.
So, to make your life easier, here are the items that I wish I’d had for my first kid, that I absolutely LOVE with my second.
1- OXO Tot Perfect Pull Wipes Dispenser. With my first, I just used wipes right out of the plastic packaging they came in. However, more often than not, I would grab too many wipes or not close the package properly and all the wipes would dry out. Just a general mess. This dispenser prevents all of that. Plus, it helps eliminate unneeded waste, so I can just buy wipes in bulk and refill this as needed.
2- Gathre Mats. For my first, I had a diaper bag that came with a changing pad that was really nice quality, but overall, pretty big and bulky and just overkill. I decided with my second, I wanted to be able to use a normal non-diaper-specific bag every day. That’s where this Micro Mat comes in. Since this mat just rolls up super nice and tiny, it’s a perfect space saver changing pad. We also use a Mini Mat at home for a million different uses–playtime at the park, to spread out on the rug for tummy time, and under the highchair to catch all that extra food he loves to throw on the ground. The best thing about these mats is you can literally just hose them off if they get totally trashed and they still look good as new.
3- WubbaNub Pacifiers. I had this idea in my mind when we had our first that pacifiers were the devil and they would never see the light of day in our house. Goodness gracious, have times changed. I love WubbaNubs because they play double duty for baby’s oral soothing mechanism to kick in, and a lovey for baby at bedtime. My son doesn’t even necessarily need the pacifier anymore to help him fall asleep; he just likes to snuggle the sweet little baby attached to it.
4- Hanna Andersson Wiggle Pants. With my first, I had drawers and drawers filled to the brim with cutesy little outfits for her to wear. If it was cute, I was buying it. I didn’t think at all about how the clothes would actually hold up. This time I got smarter. These pants are the absolute best for baby. They wear & wash incredibly well, are awesome quality, are so soft and comfy, and they grow with your baby since you can cuff and uncuff the bottoms as needed. I wish they made them in my size…
5- Tide Original Powder Laundry Detergent. Ok, here’s where stuff gets serious. With my first, I would never dream of using conventional laundry detergent to clean her, or any of our, clothes. Only all-natural, plant-based, organic stuff here. After years of never quite finding a laundry detergent I loved for her clothes, her cloth diapers, our clothes, and just generally all our laundry, I decided to try a different approach: I went old school. And let me tell you. The very best clean for cloth diapers, for all of our clothing, for all of our household laundry, is this. A couple of notes here: it has to be the powder–the liquid doesn’t cut it; and it has to be the original formula–no extra scents, or free & clear, or other crazy tricks. Just the original powder in that big orange box.
6- Eco by Naty Nature Babycare Diapers. I’ve written before about our cloth diapering experience with our first kiddo, which I still to this day absolutely love, and have zero regrets about. However, with our second, we couldn’t ever really find a brand that fit him right. We tried several different kinds, at several different ages until finally we just decided we were gonna try our best to find the next best thing. Our priorities were environmental friendliness and leak protection. We tried a TON of different brands and this one has outperformed them all by leaps and bounds. If you’re looking for a high-quality, eco-friendly diaper, look no further. These take the cake.