I cannot believe we have a 6 month old! I admit to tearing up everytime he outgrows a cute outfit, but it's true "what they say", each stage is more fun and more exciting than the last. We love watching him take interest in everything going on around him, seeing his eyes light up as he strives to be involved in each and every little happening. I could sit and just watch him for hours. And, I do! He is so completely engaged by the tiniest things. A silly song or dance I make up on the spot to flip his frown upside down. Bouncing on my legs and giggling. Chewing on the rim of Smokey the Bear's hat. Getting his toes into his mouth! And I must admit, I'm equally as engaged and enamored by these simple moments.
I'm no expert, and there's so much incredible baby gear out there that I don't know about, but I love researching and finding new items for our life in baby land, while still keeping things simple around here. Our goal is to not have our house overrun by baby goods, but to keep handy the things he really enjoys. Here's a list of baby items that we have found to be essential in Hans Royal's first 6 months. If you aren't expecting, well, I happen to think any of these would make great gifts if you're going to a baby shower anytime soon.
Hans loved to be swaddled for the first couple months, but he did fight it! He wiggled his arms out of a muslin so fast, it wasn't even funny. The SwaddleMe kept him nice and cozy, plus they have some really adorable little prints. We tried a variety of swaddles and this was our fav, hands down (ha).
Honestly, I wouldn't have thought twice about them because they aren't especially cute. (I'm a designer, I can't help but care about how things look.) We learned about the goodness of these shirts in the hospital. When Hans was tiny, he hated being changed, and he hated anything going over his head. We needed clothing changes to be simple, quick, and tear-free. These also made diaper changes easier, especially when he was sleeping.
Speaking of diapers. And diaper changes. And poop. (We talk about this an embarrassing amount. But honestly, what parents don't?) We have been using and loving Smile, Mommy! Diaper Service since Hansi was born. They are so easy to use and it feels so much better to put 100% on our baby's bum. Plus, they really are cute. I like to coordinate his diaper covers with his outfits. Are you surprised? If you know me, probably not. Anyhow, Smile, Mommy! takes any extra hassle or work out of cloth diapering by doing all the laundry for you! They deliver fresh, clean diapers to your doorstep every week. We used disposables for a weekend out of town and hated it.
I am so in love with these burp cloths that I may start making some. Burp cloths seems like a silly thing to get excited about, but these are great. They are the perfect size (our baby spit up a LOT the first several months), super duper soft organic muslin, and are actually CUTE. Even when covered in spitup! Isn't that like, the ultimate test? A+ Oh, and I've seen them on zulily, so maybe you can scoop them up there at a discount. Also, their packaging is so cute, it's perfect for gift giving.
Everyone has this. Everyone has it because it's great. I feel like I am always cleaning bottle or pump parts, because we rarely use our dishwasher, so this thing is always full.
Speaking of bottles. Dr. Brown's is great in general, and especially great for colic, spit up, and gassy babies. Hans was gassy and had some reflux issues. I think these helped. Plus, we really like the glass bottles. It felt more sterile and well, a little more 1950s to us. In fact, I've been on a mission to find a farm that delivers organic milk in glass bottles. I finally found one in Kentucky but they're difficult to track down in Nashville.
7. Solly Wrap
I just love my Solly. I registered for one just because I thought it was cute, but it has been very useful around the house. Hans was sooo tiny and sleepy at first, I just had to have him on me all the time. He still loves taking a snooze in the Solly while I'm (trying) to do chores. Danny wore Hans in the Solly quite often the first few months also. It was a bit intimidating the first time I wrapped him, but then I didn't even think twice about it. Oh, and with a little practice, you can nurse your baby while he/she is in the wrap. Plus, you can use #sollybaby to show off your wrap and for a chance to win a new one.
Bathtime. He hated it at first, but within a couple months (and lots of Sesame Street Bathtime mix), Hans grew to love bathtime. Now, he happily chews away on rubber ducky while splash-splashing his legs the entire time. This tub has been great, it's a bit cushier than the hard plastic old-fashioned tubs, but very sturdy. The only downside is it's too large to travel on a plane with, but we didn't travel too much for it to be an issue. There's always sponge baths or kitchen sinks!
Back to Poop. We have a really adorable changing pad cover from Land of Nod, and I hate getting poop on it (those gold dots are not going to withstand hundreds of runs through the washing machine), so I got some liners. And they were terrible. They pilled on the first wash and were really cheap quality. THESE are great, and they are plain white, which I really like. The quality is wonderful and they've held up for many washings, and will hold up for many more. Plus, they're great to bring when traveling. Just throw it on the hotel bed or the pack n play.
These are chlorine-free and fragrance-free. I like to have them in my diaper bag so if he is in a daycare situation, or someone with a sniffly nose is cuddling him, I can do a quick swipe of his face and hands to keep the germs away.
11. Topo Tote
I use this in addition to my diaper bag (which is Skip Hop, and it's great, but it's probably not the end all be all of diaper bags). My husband is well, a little obsessed with bags, and this is his favorite carry company. When we go to the grocery store or farmer's market, I throw my wallet and a burp cloth in this tote, put Hans in the Ergo, and go do my thing. I'm not a fan of plastic bags, and I'd rather not chance a heavy bag breaking while I'm carrying my son. So this bag is perfect.
12. Ergo 360
We went back and forth on carriers. I like having the Ergo in addition to the Solly, because I use them for different things. I use the Ergo when Hans is more awake and active, and wiggly. Or when we are hiking. Or when I'm grocery shopping. It's very sturdy and secure. Additionally, we used the infant insert because he was a tiny 6 pounder for the first month. What sold us was the frontward facing carry option. Hans loves it! This is a bit pricey, but totally worth it, and I think this will see us through a couple babies.
13. Babylit Primers
These are just the cutest books. They're clever, beautifully illustrated, and educational on various levels. Easy to throw in the diaper bag (do I overpack?) ...great to collect!
14. Leather Paci Clip
I thought this was a really original idea, until I found out it already existed. I like my baby to be handsomely accessorized, and he likes to have his paci or teether at the ready. Everyone wins! You can find these around on the internet, but if you'd like to buy one locally, send me an email! colleen (at) weareforevercompay.com I even custom stamp baby names on them, if you're interested. They come in a variety of shades of leather.
15. Rock N Play
This was a lifesaver for almost 5 months, then he just outgrew it. Hans slept in the rock 'n play next to my bed for the first couple months, and it was easy to rock by tapping my finger as I laid there half asleep in the middle of the night. He found it quite cozy, and it was easy to fold up and move around the house with me. You can take it apart and throw it in the washing machine, always a bonus.
This one is a bit of a toss up. I did plenty of research on the amber, and then on specific brands/ makers. That led me to Little Willard. Hans started teething at 3 months (no teeth just yet!) and we think amber has helped to take the edge off.
Thanks for reading along! Do you have any favorite essentials for the first 6 months? Or months 6-12?
Remember, though, it's not about the cute outfits and clever gadgets you buy for your little one. It's about being overwhelmed by love, and being incredibly grateful for each day of health and togetherness we are given, and finding happiness in the exhaustion. And laughing (or crying!) when it gets really difficult. And it's about having fun.
*This is not a sponsored post and all opinions are my own. But, if you do buy through Amazon, I'd appreciate if you purchase through my affiliate links, as I am trying to creatively work from home! You'll find the links in the titles.