New Favorite Baby Gear.

By: Jen Shoop

Doesn’t motherhood always look like the elegant portrait above? Ha. (Never.)

I will eventually get around to updating my ultimate guide to baby gear with many of these products, but in the interim — a round-up of new-to-me products I’m loving with baby deux:

1 // Tubby Todd All-Over Ointment. Micro had very dry and rash-prone skin and I tried about four or five different lotions, everything from a pricy Chantecaille to your run-of-the-mill drugstore Aveeno. Then a classmate of mine from Visitation posted something about Tubby Todd as a miracle worker for everything from eczema to cradle cap and I gave it a shot. It did not disappoint. Micro’s skin cleared up instantly and I love that you can use it on anything from diaper rash to face. It’s got a lovely consistency — sort of a whipped ointment? — that glides right into the skin without leaving a sticky residue. I’m a total convert. I use it on his entire body every day. I’m impressed enough that I currently have this “starter kit” in my cart — eager to try their other products!

2 // NoseFrida Nasal Aspirator. When I first heard about this, pre-baby, I was nauseated by the concept and insisted I’d never be That Mom. “Old blue bulb for me, thankyouverymuch.” Then micro came down with a something that left him horribly congested — to the point that he often spit up his meals because he was coughing so hard. I was beside myself trying to ease his discomfort. We spent long stretches of every day in a steam shower. I propped him upright most of the day. One night, we had him sleep in his carseat so that the post-nasal drip wouldn’t keep him up and coughing. Etc. So when my pediatrician suggested I give this a try, I decided to put my old squeamishness aside and give it a shot. I’m so glad I did. It’s disgusting, but it works. And trust me when I say that I would have done anything to ease the discomfort of my congested two month old.

3 // Love to Dream Swaddle. I just wrote about this recently, but micro has always loved to have his hands up by his face. Though I’m partial to a classic swaddle via muslin blanket, at the suggestion of a friend, I tried out this snug-fitted zip-up swaddle, which keeps the baby’s hands up by his face. Micro loves it. I’ve been using it primarily during daytime snoozes and then swaddle him in the traditional way at night, but I’m very impressed. It fits really snugly and he seems to be very cozy in it.

4 // Kissy Kissy Convertible Gowns. I must have been out to lunch with mini because I never really got into the habit of using these with her. She was born in a Chicago March, which is pretty much the deadest, most desolate part of a long and brutal Illinois winter, and I remember wanting her to always be dressed as warmly as possible — and even a convertible gown felt like she was too exposed. Anyway, this go around, I’m loving the genius of the convertible gown. It makes nighttime changes so, so much easier.

5 // Stroller Phone Mount and Apple Airpods. Such a silly thing, but having these set up while I’m out walking with the stroller has been a gamechanger for me. It’s so nice to be hands-free and able to listen to podcasts or music (even when said music makes me weepy) or chat with my mom on the phone while I’m bopping around.

6 // YoYo Nuna Pipa Adapters. I am so, so glad these came onto the market in the last two years. They’ve enabled us to make do without breaking down and buying a double stroller (though I do wish we owned one on occasion). For $50, we have basically all over our needs covered and I can easily take micro in a cab with me.

7 // Puj Flyte Tub. I wrote extensively about this last week (scroll down to post scripts — who knew I had so much to say about infant bathing?!) but I prefer this compact, sturdy little foldable bath (which fits into virtually any sink) to the full-size Puj. Fantastic buy and strongly recommend this over the full-sized Puj. Babies outgrow even the full-size Puj by like 2-3 months anyway; believe me, this is not that much smaller.

8 // Laundress Baby Detergent. I used Dreft for mini, but I have been really impressed with the Laundress formula. I love the scent (and it lingers — just the right amount, not too overpowering!) and I find that it is much gentler on clothes, as all of micro’s clothes look as good as new even now after two months of intensive washing. I also feel like this formula lasts a lot longer — I am still somehow on the first bottle of it even though I feel like I do a load of his every other day.

9 // Pehr Swaddles. I like these just as much as I like Aden + Anais brand for actually swaddling the baby. Both brands have a nice thick muslin that stays in place well but is breathable. Plus, the prints are adorable!

10 // Organic Baby Towels. These towels are excellent! Highly absorbent and, most importantly, super long, which is something I overlooked when I had my first baby! You want long towels so you can flip up the bottom portion and cover that shivering baby. I love love love these.

And, a few MVPs that mini loved but that micro has been especially into:

+The 4Moms Rockaroo. Oh how micro loves the colored balls on top of this! He stares and gurgles at them happily forever. He also naps in this swing happily for long portions of the day. A fantastic addition to our home.

+Fisher Price Activity Mat. Never mind that its music will haunt your dreams — this mat is the stuff of baby dreams. Both of our babies have loved it. The garish colors are so attractive to them, and the silly sounds and flashing lights…oh! A great way to get tummy time out of the way, which both of my kids have not been huge fans of.

+Wubbanub Pacifiers. Micro is like mini in that he’ll take a pacifier and it often helps prolong the time between feedings but it’s not a totally necessary fixture in our lives. Still, as far as pacifiers go, these are my absolute favorite. For some reason, both babies have preferred the Soothies to every other kind of pacifier I’ve given them (the rest they tend to just spit out), and I like that the stuffed animal makes the pacifier easy to find and also kind of holds it in place in the baby’s mouth. Genius.

+Philips Avent Baby Bottles. I just love these. They’re brilliant! They have a wide lip, meaning that it’s easy to dump powdered formula in there (have you tried doing that with a LifeFactory bottle?! The opening is like one inch wide!), they do not spill or drip (a problem we run into with the Comotomos for some reason), the caps stay on snugly, and — best of all — you can swap in different “speed” nipples as baby grows. I think these are the best bottles on the market.

Finally, a few things in my basket right now:

+New books for micro. Mini has had a few jealousy outbreaks when she’s found me reading her books to micro. We will need to figure out an elegant way to get through it (or it might just be one of those “buck up, sweetheart” moments for mini), but in the meantime, I did buy a couple of new books for micro. Sometimes it dawns on me that it can be special to buy new, specific things for baby boy — he doesn’t need ALL hand-me-downs! I just ordered this and a few of the STEM books by this author. He already loves this book, which I did not have for mini. I like using it to expose him to different textures and he’s always trying to grab for the tail. (More great books for babies here.)

+Nuby teething keys. He’s not teething of course, but these brightly colored keys looked like the perfect addition to his small toy basket — something to attract his attention now but perfect for drooling on later.

+Rainbow heart jammies. For those who were fans of the Roller Rabbit blue heart jammies I have been dressing micro in, these are a great way to get the look for a lot less. (Though, I’m addicted to Roller Rabbit pajamas — so soft and so adorable. I am eyeing this new print and already snagged him a pair in the batik bunny print. And wouldn’t this be the sweetest gift for a new mom?!)

+Micro needs more proper clothes now that he’s edging out of the layette phase, where I essentially only dressed him in cotton coveralls and onesies. Anything else feels too exposed and scratchy! I like the look of little overalls/rompers like this, this, and this (<<he owns these thanks to a generous girlfriend) layered over these bodysuits.

+Micro’s baptism is coming up! For the actual ceremony, he’ll wear a baptismal gown that belonged to my grandfather and that countless babies in our family have worn (I have 18 cousins and many of them have multiple children, all of whom have worn this special gown!), but he’ll need something special for the celebration after. I am debating between this romper and this ceremony button-in. Either way, I’ll be putting him in ribbed knee socks and t-bar shoes!

+Love these cotton bubbles from Lila + Hayes. Super soft and well-made. They remind me in a certain sense of these Pima cotton playdresses, which I am going to order in multiples next time TBBC runs a promo — they hold up SO BEAUTIFULLY in the wash. They come out looking like they’ve just been ironed?! Love. And so comfortable and easy for mini to play in.

P.S. 10 great books, an ode to the em-dash, and PLEASE read the comments on this post — LOVE.

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12 thoughts on “New Favorite Baby Gear.

  1. The best muslin swaddle blankets hands down are Saranoni. They are an extra large size, which means they fold beautifully for the little babes but were also used by my girls as toddlers and preschoolers taking naps at school. Even now they are lovely take-alongs for long car rides when you don’t need a blanket for warmth, just for coziness! The muslin is softer than A&A and any other brand I’ve tried. I pair it with a book and it’s my go-to baby gift now—plus some of the patterns are super sweet.

  2. I have been genuinely impressed by all the FridaBaby products I’ve used – besides the NoseFrida, other standouts include the Mom Washer, the boogie wipes, and the DermaFrida (which is amazing for getting rid of cradle cap). And my kids have never had trouble taking meds, but their dosing pacifier is just about the most genius hack I’ve ever seen!

    1. YES – have seen that pacifier dosing thing! Seriously, so smart. Going to investigate in the whole suite. Also thinking that a couple of their products might be good additions to a gift for an expecting mom…


  3. Mother of two young boys and have tons of book recs for Micro! Toot Toot Beep Beep, Trains Go, Love is a Truck, Open the Garage Door, and Freight Train. As you can tell, we love everything with wheels in these parts.

  4. Love that Roller Rabbit set! I’ve been trying to think of a good gift to bring along to my sister-in-law, who just gave birth to my niece — I want to bring something that’s just for her. The catch is that they live 2,500 miles away and so it needs to fit into a carry-on, and I’ll also be visiting when the baby is ~2 months old. Any brilliant ideas? I’m covered with gifts for the baby and for my new-dad brother, but I’m slightly stumped as to what would be most helpful for my sister-in-law (other than cooking meals for her while I’m there & watching the baby, etc.!)

    I agree with Margaret — you’ll have to post about your dress for Micro’s christening!


    1. Hi! Two ideas: one, I just gave a good friend who just gave birth a gift card for a Drybar blowout. It was something JUST for her that would give her a minute to feel human, relax, take some time to herself (and take care of washing/blow-drying her hair so she wouldn’t have to worry about it). That’s something small and easy to gift, provided that there is a Drybar close by. The other idea is a soft robe. I love mine from Eberjey. She’ll be spending a ton of time nursing/caring for baby around the house, and an extra robe is comfortable and convenient.


    2. Jen! A Drybar gift card is the PERFECT idea … I love it. There’s one near her and it will be the best treat. I’ll look for a cozy robe, too … thank you so much for your thoughtful reply! xx

  5. Out of curiosity, why will you have your son change out of the christening gown after the ceremony? Avoid getting it dirty/damaged? Looking forward to seeing what you and your daughter will wear, too, in due course! I loved my kids’ christenings so much. Such incredibly special days. I hope you will share more about Micro’s, as you see fit!

    1. Hi Margaret! Yes, I will share more about the entire event. I will be changing him out of the gown after the ceremony (and after pictures are taken) — it’s such a precious heirloom (has been in the family for 110 years…!). More to come! xx

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