I really wish I had done a Baby Essentials post when McKenna was a newborn… It would have been interesting to see the comparisons from then until now. I can tell you as a parent, what I needed when she was a newborn and what I need now is considerably less than I had thought. It is even less in our case than some; as we still co-sleep, I nurse and more often than not, practice baby led weaning (so McKenna eats a lot of what we do). We do still HAVE a crib, and it still does get used – albeit mostly for playtime. We still have bottles in the house, that are used should I be away from McKenna or if Matt feels like giving her a bottle. We almost always have organic baby food pouches on hand (we are preferential to Ella’s Kitchen), because they are incredibly handy on days when supper is running late, or we are traveling.
But this post is about the things we use on a DAILY basis .. besides the obvious diapers and wipes. Things that life would be quite difficult without.
From L to R, first row:
1. ErgoBaby Carrier: On Christmas, I was gifted a woven wrap by my sister-in-law and had I done a baby essentials post back in those days, it would have made the list. I used it whenever McKenna was fussy, and she instantaneously would relax once being carried. Now, I have an ErgoBaby and I LOVE it. On the days when I just have quick errands to run close to home, I scoop her up in the Ergo and we are on our way. When we are grocery shopping, she more often than not relaxes in the Ergo. When I am out walking the dog, it is far easier to have McKenna in a carrier than deal with Shiloh wrapping her leash around the stroller (SOOOO FRUSTRATING!). Even better yet, when we attended those two weddings in July, and when McKenna started getting tired later on in the evening, I simply placed her in the carrier, pulled up her hood and was able to still socialize and enjoy myself while she got some much needed rest. To say the least, it has been a lifesaver and could arguably be number 1 on this list.
2. Excer-saucer: McKenna likes her excer-saucer, and we do make use of it daily because it gives me the freedom of mind should I need to run downstairs to move laundry, she will be in the same place I left her. This is a luxury with a mobile baby, believe you me! I do need to mention, however, that with her newfound mobility, she is losing interest in anything that causes her to be stationary for more than 10 seconds. I will still keep it out for quite a few months to come in cases like the aforesaid, when I need to leave the room and need to be ensured that she won’t be getting into any trouble whilst I am gone. And hey, that folding out thing it does in the picture displayed? I NEVER KNEW IT DID THAT. Awesome!
3. Jogging Stroller: The one pictured is the one that we do own, and I am going to be honest – I wouldn’t recommend it to ANYONE. I do use it daily, and love some things about it: McKenna is comfy in it and has a lot of room to grow, and I have a lot of compartment space on the bottom. That’s about where the good parts end. We have had to replace the front wheel once already and it’s looking as though it needs to be replaced again. It wobbles dangerously and clanks, almost as though it is about to fall off. Matt has taken it apart several times to no avail. Anyways, all in all a stroller is a necessity because I take the bus, and I simply cannot have McKenna in her Ergo on the days we have several places to go because it is just too much to haul a diaper bag on my shoulder whilst having a baby strapped to my chest whilst maneuvering on a moving bus (I got exhausted just TYPING that).
From L to R, second row:
4. Children’s Books: The books pictured above are Sandra Boynton books, which seem to be McKenna’s favourites, but a collection of books in general is an essential. For the amount we read to McKenna (often throughout the day and always at bedtime) it is important to us to have variety, because although babies love repetition, it can get very tiring reading the same ten books over and over again! McKenna’s library is always growing and I feel as though books are a worthwhile way to spend our money.
5. Badger Sunscreen (Baby): I did my research on this one. Badger is one of the most natural sunscreens for baby on the market, and it has become a part of our daily morning routine this summer. As mentioned previously, McKenna has (unfortunately) inherited my fair skin and we take all proper precautions to protect it. And bonus, it smells great too!
6. Kidsline Ultrasonic Cool Mist Monkey Humidifier: For one, this humidifier matches theme of her room perfectly and is adorable to look at. For two, this also would have made it into the newborn essentials list because for those first few months of her life, McKenna was constantly stuffed up. We still use it quite frequently, but maybe not QUITE daily, but I still consider it an absolute must for us because anytime McKenna is stuffy in the slightest we can turn it on.
From L to R, third row:
7. Avent 12 Oz. Straw Sippy Cups: When we introduced McKenna to a sippy cup at around 6 months, she had no idea what she was doing. We continued to give her the sippy cup, but to no avail. When we were at a pediatrician appointment, he recommended a sippy cup with a straw incorporated, and said that now dentists were actually recommending that babies use this versus the soft spout. It took McKenna no time at all to master her new sippy cup, and it is now a daily essential!
8. Fisher Price Ocean Wonders Aquarium: McKenna LOVES her aquarium. Some nights I feel like even though her mind is tired, her body has a really hard time settling down, so more often than not I will put her in her crib and let her stare/play with her aquarium for a few minutes. I am also hopeful that when we make the transition to her crib the aquarium will make it easier, as she truly is fascinated by it. I don’t blame her either, it really is fun to watch and very soothing!
9. BabyGanics Baby Care Products: Matt and I made the decision to make the switch from Johnson&Johnson products after all the negative press surrounding them a few months back. I did do a bit of research and found BabyGanics to be a pretty outstanding product. And best of all? It is carried in a lot of the stores we already shop in so there is no need to make any special trips. The lotion also smells amazing!
So there you have it! I will try and do another one of these posts in a few months to see how things may change, but all in all, the amount of things REALLY needed to care for a baby on a day to day basis can be quite minimal. We do have quite a few toys for McKenna but we do not feel the need to constantly buy them, as we are more inclined to allow her to explore the world around her than play with a toy that will grow tired in a few weeks (or if we are lucky, months).