Hi everyone! Today I will be sharing with you all our MOST USED, ESSENTIAL, MUST HAVE baby items from when Kensley was born till she was 6 months. Once she hit about 6 months I realized I needed to finally start putting away some items we had been using almost DAILY because she didn’t fit or had lost interest. This is somewhat of a short list and should not be used as a master checklist for new moms, but is rather a list of items I recommend that I could not have survived the first 6 months without!
I remember being pregnant this time last year feeling super overwhelmed at all those checklists on Pinterest thinking to myself — do I REALLY need all this stuff?? The quick answer is no, you don’t need it all, but these items you DO in fact need.
1.Rock’N’Play – This is my favorite baby item to recommend. We used this so much when Kensley was first born. She napped and slept at night in this glorious baby contraption(6-7 hour stretches at night – I miss it!!! haha!). This one has all the bells and whistles. It auto rocks, plays music, vibrates, and even connects to your smart phone so you can control all of this even if you’re in the next room. When I first brought Kensley home she wouldn’t sleep anywhere but on me at night…until I put her in this bad boy!
2.Swing – After awhile, I had to put Kensley down for naps a little differently. Either baby wearing or in this bad boy. Such a lifesaver when you need to get things done around the house but need to keep baby happy! I can’t tell you how many times the swing saved me from a fussy baby or one who wouldn’t go down for a nap any other way.
3.Swaddle Blankets – I used swaddles so much in the first 6 months of Kensley’s life it started to become a running joke between me and my friend that Kensley “had” to have her swaddle. Truth is these little miracle blankets are PERFECT if you have a summer baby like I did. They’re super lightweight so baby doesn’t get too hot in the summer. They also make great nursing covers. I only used Aden & Anais brand because that is what I got at my baby shower, but I’m sure whatever brand works just as well. They just came out with Disney prints though and are to die for!!! #disneymomforlife
4.Sassy Ring ‘O Links – My daughter was obsessed with this toy starting right at about 3 months. She STILL loves them today, hands down her favorite toy. I think initially she liked them because of the bright colors, but she loves to gnaw on them to soothe her little gums.
5.Pack’N’Play – Kensley eventually grew out of sleeping in the rock’n’play. My girl is super long – 24.5 inches at her 2 month check up!! So around 10 weeks I broke out the pack’n’play with bassinet portion attached. She ended up sleeping in this at night up until a few weeks ago!! Now we took the bassinet portion out and use it as a playpen to keep her contained so she doesn’t get into trouble when we can’t watch her closely. There are MANY different variations of this item, like having a sleeper and changer on top. Those options can add an additional $100-$150 to the price tag. We registered for just the simplest version and have been perfectly happy without all those add-ons.
6.Exersaucer – We were able to put Kensley in this to play when she was about 4 months. She could sit in it earlier but she couldn’t really play because she wasn’t able to support herself and play at the same time. She loves this though and what I love about this particular Skip Hop activity center is that it converts 3 ways. First baby can sit and play, then you take the seat out and put the foot rest on top and baby can use the table to help stand up and play with toys on the side, and eventually you take the toys off the side and it becomes a table for the kids to use. I love products that don’t have to go into storage after only a month or two. You need this one!! And just to note, this Skip Hop version has a seat that does not bounce. The seat swivels so baby can play with all the toys!
7.Activity Gym – Another one of Kensley’s most loved items. These are great for the early days! Kensley really grew with this toy. At first she just sort of laid on it and stared at the toys, but eventually when she was able to she started batting at the toys. She could play and be entertained for SO long! I think it really helped develop some motor skills. We also used it for tummy time because you can attach the toys to the matt as well. This Fisher-Price Kick’N’Play Piano Gym version is also another great product that grows with baby so we haven’t put it in storage yet!
8.O’Ball Rattle – This toy is great for little fingers because it’s easy to hold on to. It rattles and it can be thrown easily. What else does a baby want?
9.Fabric/Board Books – I highly recommend getting a couple of these for baby! Not only is it said to encourage an early interest in reading, but for some reason my daughter just loved these. She probably loved the fabric ones like below because they are crinkly, squeaky, and have bright colors that are great for early days. The cardboard books are better for towards end of 6 months, like when you’re trying to read to baby and she wants to gnaw on your book, haha.
10.Baby Carrier – This is an absolute must have. Just because it’s number 10 on my list doesn’t mean it isn’t the MOST important. If you want to survive the fussy days, nap time, grocery trips, making dinner, basically life with a new baby – you need a baby carrier. I started out putting Kensley in a cloth wrap, then we graduated to a bulkier baby carrier. I used Lillebaby brand, linked below, but there are SO many different and similarly great options out there. If you’re unsure about which one is right for you, check out this website https://babywearinginternational.org/. This organization holds meetings where you can try out different carriers for a month to see which ones you like and also to have trained individuals check you are using the one you wear properly. Do yourself a favor and treat yourself to a carrier or register for one NOW! 🙂
So there you have it… Basically my life in a nutshell for the first 6 months of my precious baby girl’s life! To all my pregnant friends and new moms struggling out there, if you don’t have these items then try them out! They made a world of a difference in our lives! Hope they do the same for you.
Please let me know in the comments if these items worked for you! Or, if you have something you could not have survived the first 6 months of baby’s life without that isn’t on my list.