I will admit I’m fairly minimalist when it comes to baby gear and many typical items I find downright frustrating to use! Here are the things I found most useful with my first two babies and suspect will get good use the 3rd time around.
Ring Sling. The first baby carrier I ever owned I made myself with instructions I found online! My sling has had a LOT of use over 8 years. Ring slings are easy to use, versatile and cost effective. Mine have been used to carry babies, toddlers, preschoolers, as a nursing cover, a blanket, a change pad, a cover up (when baby ruined my top with spit up), a support for a high chair or grocery cart and to staunch the bleeding of a head wound on my son! Most definitely my most used item! It is also my husband’s first choice in baby wearing. Our custom ring slings are all made with linen or linen blend fabric (soft and strong) and you can choose the colour or print you love!
Convertible Carseat. Let’s be honest, lugging those “bucket” carseats around is AWFUL! They’re bulky and heavy and awkward. With a convertible you buy one carseat & it lasts until your baby is a child ready to move out of a booster altogether. Most convertibles now can rear face until 3 or 4 years of age and keep your child harnessed facing forward even longer. (Quick note: a bucket seat is super useful in the dead of winter with a newborn ’cause you can get them tucked in snugly in the warm house (remember never to put a snowsuit in a carseat), so if you’re due in October – February you may want to consider one temporarily.)
Receiving Blankets. You can’t have too many of these! I like bigger ones for swaddling but all sizes are great to keep on hand. I made a few out of flannel and they’ve held up very well. Babies can be messy and these do a great job of cleaning things up. Because they are so soft they can often become “lovies” as baby gets older. These muslim ones are especially nice in warmer months.
Baby Nightgowns. I found these to be super practical during the newborn stage when LOTS of diaper changes are happening and baby sleeps a lot. So easy to slip the nightgown up to change the diaper & there are no snaps or zippers to fuss with or bother baby’s skin. They are not super compatible with carseats unfortunately.
Lansinoh. Lanolin is amazing for helping to heal and prevent dry, cracked nipples. Sometimes baby’s latch is not quite right, sometimes breastfeeding is a learning curve and sometimes damage happens. Healing it quickly is important. Because this lanolin is pure with no additives it’s safe for baby and mom. It also works great on dry lips and diaper areas. I give a tube of this at every baby shower I go to!