Below are the top 10 items/products that we have found the most useful with our girls. Every single baby is different and what works for one baby may not work for another, even if they are siblings, but we still recommend giving these a go!
Boudreaux's Butt Paste
Lots of people have heard of Desitin, but we swear by Butt Paste. Our daycare introduced us to this wonder cream and now we don't use anything else for diaper rash. Desitin has alcohol in it and can irritate diaper rash further, which can cause some ear piercing screams. As soon as we switched to Butt Paste, the screaming stopped and the rash started to clear.
I understand that not all kids spit up constantly, but you can't go wrong picking up a couple packs of burp cloths. We have found that your basic white cloth diapers work just as well as the fancy ones. In addition to cloth diapers, we also really like Tiddliwinks flannel burp cloths, but I haven't been able to find them again.
Angel Dear Lovey
A family friend gifted the sheep Angel Dear to Morgan, embroidered with her name, prior to her birth. We introduced it around 9 months or so and it has been a staple ever since. We do a lot of traveling, so having a lovey she can sleep with every night allows her one constant, no matter where we are. We bought one for Amelia after she was born and she loves her piggy Angel Dear.
Sophie the Giraffe
I honestly have NO idea why this thing is so amazing, but it is seriously like crack for small children! We did NOT leave home without Sophie when we had Morgan. It got pretty beat up so we ended up buying a new one just for Amelia.
BooginHead Paci Clip
I know that not everyone uses pacifiers for their kids, but we did and we would NOT HAVE SURVIVED without our BooginHeads! Even now, Morgan has a striped BooginHead and Amelia has a polka dot BooginHead. They know which paci belongs to which girl and there is no confusion (at least within our small family).
This is called "sauce" in our house and is one of the few ways we can guarantee our girls will eat their vegetables. Our favorite flavors usually include two veggies like, Spinach, Pea & Pear. We carry these with us everywhere and the kids can usually eat them without making too much of a mess. Since the mixtures usually contain fruit there is enough sweetness for my girls to think they are pulling one over on us!
I cannot recommend this enough. The Chico chair that we have cost us $30 and we take it everywhere! It folds up really well to fit in the trunk for trips to see relatives that don't have high chairs! And while I can't always recommend taking your children to bars, sometimes they have great food, but they don't have a high chair and this helps a lot! We actually use this instead of a high chair for Amelia so that we can all sit directly at the table.
I'm sure every kid has a preference on cups, but we have found these work perfectly. We re-use them, but if a lid gets clogged or one cup gets really really dirty, we just toss it. They also make the cups with straws or handles for younger children. We recently picked up some cups at Meijer with a Minnie Mouse design and I have also seen Disney Princesses. I am sure they have equally awesome boy design options, but alas, I am not usually looking for that!
Baby Oil & Cotton Balls
A lot of people give Baby Oil as part of a baby toiletry gift, but a lot of parents don't really know what to do with it. When our girls get a diaper rash, we skip the wipes and use cotton balls and baby oil to clean the area instead. It may sound gross or messy, but there is absolutely NO irritation and can make changing their diapers so much easier.
We bought this toy well before Morgan could walk and we used it to help strengthen her neck and body for sitting up. We stabilized the walker so that she could sit in front and play with it. Morgan was sitting up and looking straight ahead within a couple of days since she finally had something that brought her attention away from the ground. This toy was also instrumental in helping Morgan to walk, so it did serve a dual purpose. There are TONS of walkers out there and I really believe anything will work, but I'm just recommending this as a toy you invest in before baby starts to walk as it can assist with other milestones.
Whew! This was actually fun to put together. Matt and I walked around the house trying to pin point the items we really feel we could not live without. Butt Paste is probably my number one recommendation, but we really love all of the items we listed on here. If you have other "can't live without" baby or toddler items, please share them in the comments!
Easy Go Dispenser
We were not even up 3 hours before Matt and I realized that we forgot to include one very important product, our Easy Go Dispenser. A friend of ours started this company and we originally purchased one to help support his business. We had no idea this product would go with us EVERYWHERE! The dispenser was originally created to store and dispense protein powder, but it works just as well for formula. We find that one turn equals two scoops (4oz). It can carry enough formula for at least 3 - 8oz bottles. It's only a little bigger than a baby bottle and easily fits in the bottle holder of our diaper bag. We have brought it on the airplane and the security guy even stopped to ask where he could get one. I will be buying this for every new mom who is not going to breast feed at all or long term. The best part is that once we are done with formula, Matt will use this for protein powder.
You can only purchase an Easy Go Dispenser online at www.easygodispenser.com