I am probably the last person you want to see a baby gear list from.
I've mentioned before that I tend to be a little unorganized. I'm also not really a "gear" person meaning I don't usually have the latest and greatest of things. I just got an iPhone 6. I tend to show up to things like camping trips grossly under prepared. I took my laptop to the apple store for repair and they referred to it as a "vintage machine". But when it comes to baby stuff, I do my research. Planning for Ruthie's arrival 2 years ago in a giddily excited haze, I pieced together a pretty cohesive registry.
This is a list of the things that I have used every. single. day. for the last 2.5 years. I haven't gotten bored with them, frustrated with them, annoyed to the point of throwing them out the upstairs window (unlike my husband and his short lived romp with an electric toothbrush), and they also haven't worn out on me despite everyday use through two babies.
These are the items I didn't know that I would fall in love with, therefore could not have recommended until recently. Some of the items I'm still using with 2 year old Ruthie and 8 month old Bobby simultaneously. THESE ARE GOOD THINGS.
1. Ergo Classic. My number one, all time fave, will-recommend-it-until-I-die piece of equipment is the Ergo. This piece of gear is built. to. last. I use it every day, multiple times a day around the house. I nurse in it, feed myself, literally run with Ruthie, cook and photograph food, rock babes to sleep, take them to the store. One of Ruthie's first words was Ergo. Anytime I leave the house, it's with me. It was originally grey but is now has a sort of beige haze of spit up and food stains. Somehow a crayon melted inside of it. It isn't pretty anymore but structurally, it is still as perfect as the day I bought it.
I got really into different carriers after having Ruthie and tried out a ton of varieties (ring sling, stretch wrap, mei tai, Tula soft structured carrier, and Ergo). I loved the ring sling and stretchy wraps with Ruthie, but Bobby has been too heavy for both since he was about 3 months old. A few things I look for in a carrier: a wide base that enables legs to be "frogged", a flap to help hold head in place after baby inevitably passes out, and cushiony straps.
END OF LIST.
Jk I have a few more faves.
2. Phil and Ted Lobster Claw Seat. This little diddy has been through some gross stuff. It gets a thick coating of food almost everyday and you KNOW I'm not wiping that bad boy down after each meal. The removable canvas seat usually gets hit with the hose and hung to dry but I have also put it in the washing machine (not recommended by manufacturer) and it is still as sturdy as day one. The metal frame is pretty bulky so I wouldn't exactly call this portable, but it is perfect as an everyday seat. Clamps right to the counter or sturdy tabletop allowing you to sweep right underneath after feeding babe (or you know, 5 hours later 🤷♀️).
3. Charlie Banana cloth diapers + wipes. One thing I researched a ton, like spent WAY too much time on, was cloth diapers. I drove to an adorable little cloth diaper store to take a CLASS in cloth diapers. The women of yore are rolling their eyes so hard at me. There are so many different varieties of diapers and I found it super confusing. There is a lingo and a community and a million hashtags and it was a lot of info. I ended up investing my diaper money 70% into Charlie banana and 30% into another brand and the Charlie bananas are the ones I always reach for first. It's not only the cute prints, the same exact diapers somehow fit really well from birth all the way to a 2 years old. I use the same diapers now with Bobby that I did with Ruthie (again, not being super careful and following all the manufacturers directions), and most of them still look pretty new. We use cloth when we're home and disposables overnight and when we're out and about.
I also love the wipes. They are super soft, I just run a few under water before going in for a dipe change and then toss them into a wetbag. Even if you don't cloth dipe, these are very handy to have around! Ruthie has a special pack just for bathing Hank, her inflatable hippo.
4. Jessica Simpson nursing bras. NURSING BRAS ARE TERRIBLE. I've been wearing one since 2015 (even when I didn't have to wear one 🤔) and can tell you so many of them are just not what I was looking for. Whyyyy are they so flimsy? At a time when you most need NON flimsy? IDGI. I found some solace in j.simps. She makes nursing bras with convertible straps that can be worn under racerback tanks. This style offers sturdy support without those weird, perfectly circular removable cups. Some of the reviews claim that the cups are too stiff and don't fold down easily enough for nursing. The cups are firmer than normal nursing bras, but I find that to be a good thing and don't have any problems with it. Oh and all of her bras are under $50!
5. Halo Bassinest Swivel Sleeper. I've only had this one for about a year so only Bobby has tried it out, but this is the co-sleeper I had been searching for since Ruthie was born. I borrowed and tried out an Arm's Reach Co-sleeper and a snuggle nest (similar to dock a tot but less $$): the Arm's Reach was too low compared to the height of our bed, and the snuggle nest took up too much room. The Swivel Sleeper extends to the exact height of our bed or even swivels over the top of the mattress, so night time feeding is super easy. By the time Bobby was about 3 months old, he could simultaneously touch all sides, so he had to move out. But I still felt like we got great use out of it. They are a little pricey (and super sturdy, the base weighs a ton), but well worth it if you're looking to co-sleep but already have a bed full of toddlers and husbands. I found mine second hand through a Facebook mom's group for $100!
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What are your everyday baby faves? Leave your recs in the comments! 🙏🙏