Baby Series 1. - Top 5 Essentials.

I am less than two months from my third baby in three and a half years. Needless to say, I know my way around the Target baby section and Buy Buy Baby. Yet in many ways, I have tried to not go overboard with the baby stuff. With three babies coming in such a short amount of time, it'd be easy with each child to accumulate more and more. But in the three and a half years I've been a mom, I've also discovered and adopted a few simplistic principles.

I have a simple beauty routine, simple cleaning routine, simple meal-planning strategy etc. In all things I have challenged myself to find ways to do it simpler, and so far, it is working! By God's grace, it is working!

*Please note- I do cannot even begin to act like I have it all together...as in there's a pile of clothes I'm ignoring on our ottoman, and my three year old keeps kissing the "boo-boos" on my face (darn you, hormones!), and I'm literally always late... But I do truly enjoy life at home with my family. Our home and routines are a refuge, and it's something I've worked really hard on for almost four years now. I've read so many simplified home/organization/lifestyle books, but my greatest learning has come from trial and error, and true to the bone, get down and dirty grit. 

So to start a baby and home series, I will begin with my top 5 essentials!

Babies don't need near as much as we think they do. But there is something to be said about investing in a few key pieces.

1. If anyone were to ask me what is one thing I would've done differently with our first, it would have been the travel system/stroller choice. At the time, I saw the savings of buying things grouped together. I went with the first thing we looked at, checked reviews, and safety, and left it at that. It has been a great system for one, and since our third baby is within the warranty, we will still use it!

However, we didn't realize how quickly we would need a double stroller...especially once we got pregnant with our second only eight and a half months after giving birth to our first!

For months, I stalked buy, sell, trade groups searching for the perfect double stroller. I researched blogs and Instagrams, and found the Baby Jogger brand. But woah! The price intimidated me. Was it really worth it? So three double strollers later (all but one re-used from buy, sell, swap pages), I noticed I still wasn't really happy with the stroller situation, and looked into the City Select, knowing it probably wouldn't happen.

But I continued to monitor prices on Amazon, went through everything I owned, and started selling. By the time I had gathered all my items to sell, I found a single City Select on Amazon for less than $300, and found the second seat for $115, and the glider board for a third for less than $60.

What I sold covered the cost of the one stroller I was looking for, taking our stroller count from six (yikes, so many, I know!) to two!

I have had the stroller for a little while now, and I am so in love. Like, feeling like I'm driving a luxury car in love! So If I could do it all again, I would go back to my 2014, 24 year old self, and say... "Find a stroller that can grow with your lifestyle. Buy a compatible car seat, and keep the stroller game simple!" 

PS- You can still find the City Select for wayyyyyy less at on Amazon... do yourself a favor. give yourself the gift of mobility as a mom, and just buy it! It is a worthy investment!

2. A few months ago, out trusty sound machine broke, making us have to rig it the right way to use it...and eventually all our attempts to fix it just didn't work. So we found ourselves needing a new sound machine. As that happened, our three year old started coming into our bed consistently every night, making me a super-hot-don't-touch-me-I-will-sweat-preggo very uncomfortable. The whole sleeping with mom and dad thing wasn't going to happen in our house. She was also afraid of the dark, and despite our best attempts, we couldn't make her happy with other night-light forms. After some research on both sound machines and wake clocks, I found the Hatch Baby Rest. A sound machine, night-light, wake-light all in one, that can easily be controlled from my phone! #holla 

After we bought it, I set four different programmed routines from my phone. One for naps, one for nap-time wake up, one for bedtime, and one for morning wake up. For the most part the routines have been followed, she has stayed in bed, and the sound lulls them to a peaceful sleep every evening. For our third, I have purchased another to keep in our room for the sound and night-light (for middle of the night nursing sessions), and it will be transferred to her nursery when she starts to sleep in her crib. This is probably, my new go-to for baby showers! I love love love it!!! :) 

3. My last new product was a gift from my mom and sister. Prior to our Easter trip to West Texas, I had bought a Skip Hop bag, which I still love. And I have a Petunia Pickle Bottom from my first that still looks brand new! But I had been eyeing the pale pink, vegan leather, new Freshly Picked diaper bag. It is the perfect pink, can be a cross body or back pack, with a convenient carry handle, and has plenty of room. Plus, did I mention it was the perfect pale pink, and basically made for moms of girls? Seriously so perfect! 

When I arrived in Lubbock, my sister and mom had planned a small sprinkle to celebrate our sweet Savvy-Vay. To keep the tradition going, they took me to my favorite baby shop in the whole world, My Cup of Tea Baby, and purchased my favorite baby outfit ever, and my newest, perfectly pink bag! It was the sweetest day, and every time I look at the bag, I smile!

I truly USE all three of my bags all the time, depending on the day and the activities. And I count these as essentials, because with the amount of time a mom spends packing, unpacking, reaching in, pulling out, wearing, hauling, and searching through the diaper bag, she might as well love it...or three. 

4. So far, I've been two for two on babies who spit up a lot. I changed my diet, switched to formula, and tried many other tricks, but they still spit up everywhere! I imagine our third will be the same, and so I'm stocking up again on these burpy-bibs. I still have the first set I bought with our three year old, and they are still in excellent condition! These are a must have for our nursing station, the bedside, on guests shoulders, and the diaper bag! Plus, there's plenty of cute design options. 

5. When I first got pregnant, the only nursing pillow I knew of was the Boppy. In recent years, new pillows have come out, but I've stayed loyal to my Bobby for a few reasons.

For one, I nurse a lot in bed, lying side to side, therefore I never really needed it at night. But to have it easily accessible, next to my nursing chair has been invaluable. Second, the ability to change covers in a flash has allowed us to keep a clean cover on through multiple spit ups. Third, I offer it to guests when they come meet the baby.

I offered it by chance in the hospital with our first, and by our second, everyone had used it during those first few weeks. I have found many guests, especially great-grands feel more comfortable holding the baby if they have the support of the Boppy. I don't know if some of the other brands would've been as friendly for multiple people in those first few weeks.

 

There are plenty of other essentials to cover, but these essentials are things I wished I had invested in sooner, or have been tried and true favorites. I have found with many other baby needs, each mom has her own set of essentials.

I didn't list any swings or baby seats, because I never used them as much as other moms. There are literally a million car seats, we've used the same ones for the past three years because they are all still in warranty. I'm still searching for the best baby carrier (Ergo, ring sling, or wrap...I can't decide). Our monitor does everything we need it to, three years later. My babies took every bottle and pacifier offered. I nursed as long as I could (6 months for both) and then formula fed. When introducing solids, we did purees for a while, but within a month or two went directly to baby led weaning. And as for baby washes, lotions, and balms, I stick to the simple and old school.

I'm sure as time goes on, I will remember more essentials, but being two years out of the newborn stage, these are the things I am preparing now, or will continue to use daily for life with another baby!

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