Lila is turning ONE next week and I’m in complete denial how quickly this year has gone by. Everyone told us that the second seems to grow up faster and it definitely seemed that way for us, even with the pandemic and life coming to a halt. With Lila on the brink of walking and growing like a weed I’ve been putting away a handful of baby essentials and wanted to reflect here with you guys what we used and loved the most. Seeing this was our second time around the baby block, I felt an overall sense of ease but also a more minimalist approach to the first year. So I wanted to compile a list of our favorites for the first year that we found essential as well as some new things that are ten times better aesthetically—what a difference 5 years makes in the baby gear world!
The most essential of the bunch is of course diapers. With Elin I learned that some brands really didn’t work for her sensitive skin and Lila was no different. With Lila I loved both Coterie and Honest the best. I prefer plain white diapers and you can get that with both brands. Coterie’s wipes are my absolute favorite because they are so soft yet get the job done and they’re diapers are so soft.
Annnd I have a special code for you guys to try. Use “CoterieSamantha” at checkout and get $20 off your first order over $75. They make the whole re-ordering process super easy by text, which is another reason I’ve loved this brand.
The First Few Months
One thing I learned about having Elin was how short of a time you really need some of the early essentials like a bassinet or swaddles etc. So this time I asked friends about borrowing items before running out and buying anything—nobody wants to store that stuff anyways, better to keep it in rotation with your fellow mamas. With that said here are the things we used/borrowed and found essential…
The Halo Bassinet was amazing. I loved how it swiveled and fit right up next to our bed so I could literally roll over and pick Lila up or feed her. We only used this for 5 weeks but it was such an upgrade from the bassinet I had Elin in. The Bjorn bouncer is by far my favorite that I used for both babies—a LOT. The color options are neutral and it’s super easy to store. We also used it from about 3 weeks to 7 months. The Boon Bathtub with a sponge insert was great especially when I put Elin in the bath with Lila and she eventually started crawling out of the Boon tub. But it was a perfect transition around 9 months. For feeding I relied on my Motif Luna pump and Lila used Comotomo bottles, although with little reason to leave Lila and all the time we spent at home I primarily breastfed and then one day she refused the bottle.
We’re big fans of all things Uppababy (used the Vista for both girls) and one of the latest and greatest things I discovered this time around was Artipoppe carriers—fashion meets motherhood. My favorite accessory as a mom and it’s incredibly comfortable for both Lila and me—and dad! We found ourselves at the beach a TON this year and discovered kid-friendly outdoor adventures all that were easy because of our Veer wagon. Especially convenient for more than one child for beach days, walks or Farmer’s Market trips.
I had forgotten how much changes when your baby starts eating solids. Both my girls have been good eaters and I’ve found keeping them on a schedule helps that tremendously. I did invest in a few new things for Lila in this department because I discovered so many amazing brands that had both functional and stylish products. Off the top of my head here are some favorites… Mushie bibs, Lalo high chair, Liewood bowls and plates, Ulla Belle feeding set and the best spoons, Simka Rose silicone baby food trays, Little Chew Snack Cups and a Liewood Cup. My biggest tip product wise for teething is a Boon silicone feeder. We fill it with frozen banana and it works like a charm. For mealtime out and about our favorites are the Inglesina Dining Table Chair (although it doesn’t work with thicker tables, perfect for most restaurant tables) and this one that I just ordered Hiccapop Portable High Chair for beach days and picnics. We borrowed this one from a friend and it was perfect it’s only $35 so I went for it and got our own.
This latter part of the first year gets much busier and a little harder to get things done with baby on the move. Lila is fast too! I look away for one second and she’s scooting into the other room. The Joovy Spoon Walker was a life savor in that sense. She could still move around but I knew she was safe and the tray was perfect for toys or even a snack. We had a bouncer for a hot second but gosh I hate those things, they’re all so ugly and neither one of my girls used it for more than a month before getting bored. Currently Lila could care less about toys meant for her and wants anything that is her sisters (especially if it has buttons or makes noise) and looooves flipping through books. She does love “feeding her baby doll” which is so cute to watch. We have a grand piano and right now it’s all she wants to do is sit and play it. I tried to get by with our old baby monitor that we used with Elin—it’s bottom of the barrel technology wise—but recently Lila decided to play with it at nap time and broke it so I traded up for the Miku Smart Baby Monitor and OH MY GOODNESS what a difference. We can use our phones now and the quality is night and day compared to our old one. I wish I would have gotten it earlier!
My most recent essential that we’re waiting to receive is a baby gate for the bottom of our stairs. Once she starts walking it’s the first place she’ll be I know it!