Baby Must-Haves and Hacks

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A stroller and diaper bag full of the best baby products. I love the idea of being a minimalist. With three kids, it is hard to minimize the clutter, but I have always felt that less is more with baby stuff. After having my third baby girl about six months ago, I’ve got a narrowed-down list of must-haves and hacks that made her first half year of life so much easier!  

My Baby Must-Haves

Baby Carrier – I love babywearing! It allows me to be hands-free to help my big girls or continue functioning around the house. Also, my girls all loved being close to me, and it helped to soothe them through their witching hour(s). I used the Solly Baby Wrap through the first few months and then transitioned to my tried and true BabyFjorn Free.  

Sound Machine – We used and loved the Dohm sound machine with my first two girls. We have transitioned them to the Hatch Rest since it doubles as a sound machine and okay-to-wake light. All three girls have them in their rooms, and we love how easy it is to control them from our phones. 

Stroller System – If nothing else, getting a car seat/stroller system is a lifesaver! We love our Uppababy Cruz with the adapter for our Chicco KeyFit30 car seat, but there are many popular and wonderful travel systems depending on your preferences. 

Zipper PJs – Zippers make everything easier when dressing your baby and the middle-of-the-night diaper changes. Many companies also make 2-way zippers, which are even better—no need to unzip baby all the way when you need to change them at 3 a.m. 

Sleep Sacks and Swaddles – In the early days, all my girls were like Harry Houdini and could bust out of all blanket swaddles. Thankfully we had the Halo Velcro Swaddles to keep them cozy and secure at night. Once they were ready to transition out of the swaddle, the Love to Dream Swaddle Up, with removable sleeves, made the arms out transition a breeze.

 My Mom Hacks

Double make the crib mattress! When making the baby’s bed, layer a waterproof mattress protector, crib sheet, another waterproof mattress protector, and then a crib sheet. This extra layer saves you when there’s a blowout, spit-up, or need to quickly change the sheets in the middle of the night. Pull off the top sheet and mattress protector, and the bed is clean and cozy.

Prepare a car bag. I do not enjoy carrying a diaper bag. I find it bulky and have never consistently grabbed it when heading out the door. Instead, I have a small bag in the trunk that includes everything I may need when out and about. It consists of a changing pad, diapers, wipes, and an extra outfit. It’s all together in a small bag and can be thrown in my purse or under the stroller when we hit the town.

Use consignment or resale shops for baby clothes and gear! Baby clothes may be one of my favorite things, but I sometimes struggle to pay full price for something I know won’t last through the next growth spurt or messy meal. That is why I love second-hand or consignment shops for kids. You can find quality pieces from brand names in excellent and sometimes brand new condition. In Fairfield County, check out Around the Rosy in Westport. If you are up for a drive, check out Max and Lily’s Closet in Hartford, you won’t be disappointed! 

What baby must-haves or hacks have helped you?

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Nancy is mom to 3 girls (2016, 2018 and 2022) and lives in Trumbull with her husband Tom, daughters and black lab Norman. Originally from Farmington, CT, Nancy met her husband while living in Baltimore after college. In 2014 Nancy moved back to her home state of Connecticut, living in West Hartford, Norwalk and finally settling in Trumbull. Nancy is a full time high school teacher who loves to make the most of her time outside the classroom. Cape Cod, family dinners and a fresh manicure are some of Nancy’s favorite things.

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