Baby must-haves

The many faces of Harper Corey.

I can’t believe we’re almost a month into having a baby. In these first weeks a few items have risen to the top as essentials. I know when you’re planning for a first baby you don’t know what you’ll really use, and everyone has different needs. But here’s what’s been great for us:

BabyJogger City Mini GT stroller

All strapped in just in case mama runs into a curb.

We’re kind of obsessed with our stroller. Mainly the feature it has where you pull up a handle and the whole giant thing collapses into a surprisingly small package. It’s a little awkward with the car seat attachment right now, but we still love it. It seems sturdy enough to handle a little off-road strolling. And I’m pretty much guaranteed to get in shape quickly because the baby always calms down or sleeps on a walk.

Diaper Dude messenger bag

Maybe this diaper bag is marketed to dudes, but I think it’s the perfect unisex bag for couples. It has umpteen compartments, a changing pad, an ergonomic strap and a little printed list inside of all the things you are probably forgetting. Plus it’s stylish.

Boon Grass drying rack with tree

Absolute essential! Since I have to pump milk until we’re through our breastfeeding woes, I am constantly hanging bottles and caps on this handy thing. Even if you don’t have a baby, you should totally get one.

• SwaddleMe sleep sacks

Though we have umpteen blankets that can be used for swaddling, I think it’s so much easier to plop the baby in this Velcro number instead. For our weather we don’t need anything heavyweight or fleece, so these sleep sacks are perfect. I found a 2-pack on clearance at Target, so I stocked up.

Harper also really loves to snuggle in this little fleece blanket we got from Mike’s mom.

• Diaper Dekor diaper pail

We ran into this random stranger at Buy Buy Baby who sung the praises of the Diaper Dekor pail, so we went ahead and got one. It’s cool because it has a locking mechanism that keeps our dogs from getting into it. And the bags inside are basically one long bag that you cut when it gets full, tie a knot and start another one. We found some refills on clearance at a local kids store, so we’re set for a while. (Or at least until Harper fits into her cloth diapers.)

• IKEA Poang chair

We actually bought this chair for the living room, but it works great as a gentle rocker for a baby. I don’t like to sit alone in the nursery very often, so it’s nice to have another option. This chair looks great, and the price ($149) is right.

• Plastic freezer containers

One of the best things we did before the baby came was to cook extra meals and freeze them in single-serve containers.

Failing that, just get some Amy’s frozen dinners. 😉

• Folding play mat

I think this came from a garage sale, but it is getting a second life with us. I didn’t count on having to entertain a very young baby, but Harper loves to play on this thingamabob in the mornings (mainly stare in the little mirror and vaguely swat at the hanging toys). When she gets a little older I’m sure she’ll like it even more. Best part — it folds up into a portable case with a handle.

• Grandparents

I’m sure this goes without saying, but you need a lot of help in the beginning. It’s a shame that we live so far from our parents, but we’ve been grateful to have them visit, and we have more coming this week!