Are you planning the baby shower? Or crafting your registry? I've pulled together the top products for the soon-to-be mother that we've loved the best.
When we had our first, we were living in a small apartment in the city - so not only did each item need to be super functional, it had to look good, too!
Here are the essential gifts that we've used time and time again.
1 | The Bugaboo Cameleon, $1200.
I'm not saying this is the cheapest thing you'll have, but I am saying it will be the most useful. So look, 10 weeks after we had our first we moved abroad to Paris for a few months. So if you live in a city and walk as your primary mode of transportation, it really is worthwhile to invest in this. And even if you don't live in a city, if you plan to walk a lot, travel with your baby, go to restaurants while baby sleeps, etc. etc, then this is perfect for what you need. Here's why - it's narrow and can fit in tiny spaces, you can switch from bassinet to chair (and use the chair as a highchair at restaurants -- WAY better than the restaurant highchairs), unattached the bassinet from the base and use it as a baby crib while you travel, and it will last for years. We've had ours for almost 5 years now, and it looks great. Seriously. Worth the money.
2 | Puj tub, $45
By being able to put the baby in the sink while you bathe, and having that cushion - I mean, it just makes sense. Babies are slippery when they're wet. So anything you can do to not only contain them, but make sure they're safe is key. It adjusts to any sink, and really does grow with the baby for several months until they're able to sit on their own in the bathtub. Finally, it folds so you can store it out of sight. In a small space the last thing you want is a bunch of baby gadget clutter.
As your baby starts to move around and walk, try to keep them in soft soled shoes. There's been a ton of research that indicates that their mobility, dexterity and foot development improves when you let them learn to balance without hard soles giving them that stability. Research aside, these little booties are so cute, and your baby's footprints are molded to the soles... how great is that?
For a bag that can do everything - carry diapers, hold your laptop, carry your yoga mat, and hold your groceries - this is the perfect solution. This is the modern day solution to the diaper bag. We don't just do one thing in the day - care for our baby - we do a lot of things! And not only that, but dads are involved, too! It's important to get a bag they're comfortable wearing, too.
5 | Sofia Cashmere Baby Blanket, $218
This is a blanket you'll want to pass down. The clean lines and colors are gender neutral, and can be used from baby to baby. It's a perfect companion to the bassinet or crib, and can be unfolded on the grass for baby to roll around on.
6 | Sophie the giraffe, $25
We played with Sophie so much, she had her own song! I was amazed at how many developmental milestones this little giraffe made it through. She was with us in the car, while traveling, and just playing around the house. Plus, she's lightweight and flexible, which means a lot when you're packing.
7 | Ergo baby carrier, $115
When my babies weren't in the Bugaboo, they were in this. And in fact, to this day I'll put my oldest in the stroller, and carry the baby in the Ergo. Like Sophie, the Ergo can fit into the smallest of spaces, which is huge whether you're leaving for the day or for several days. And, by having the thick strap around your waist, it puts most of the baby's weight on your hips rather than your back. We bought the infant insert, which is for babies under 12 pounds. An added benefit to baby wearing is that it keeps strangers at the grocery store at bay. I know they mean well, but you don't necessarily want them so close to your newest little addition :)
8 | DockATot Deluxe+ in Pristine White, $165
I wish we had this when my kids were little! It travels easily, and can be used for sleeping (including co-sleeping), lounging or playing. And the reviews are amazing - I've heard so many great things. Plus, the Grand size can help your child transition out of the crib and into the bed.
When your baby is an infant, you'll use this to swaddle, change diapers, and shield baby from the sun. As your baby grows, this is a great blanket, and can be folded to fit in your diaper baby easily. Plus, they have so many great designs in a modern aesthetic.
10 | Oliver & Adelaide, Baby's First Toy Set, $135
Surround your child with natural, calming materials and colors. It includes a giraffe teether, a wooden rattler and giraffe push toy made from cherry wood.
11 | Bloom Alma Mini Wood Crib, $340
Designed specifically for small urban spaces, this wooden crib folds when not in use, and takes up a small footprint whether in use or set aside. It fits easily to the side of your bed, or in a small room (even a closet). Additionally, it's made with eco-friendly materials, meaning it's safe for everyone in the family.
12 | Stokke Tripp Trapp Highchair, $249
Once baby starts eating solids, it's great to have a highchair that incorporates your baby at family meals. You can also purchase this Baby Set, which is designed specifically for babies 6-36 months. Both my kids have one, and we love how it supports the idea that everyone has an equal place at the table. And after the baby years, this highchair grows with baby from childhood through adult.
I hope this list has been helpful! These were -- and many of them still are -- essential products in our home!