Babies, babies everywhere! I have two new nieces born within the last two weeks, two more on the way (one of them is a nephew), and countless friends have either recently popped or are getting ready to. Are you feeling baby fever in your world?
Having a baby is always exciting and cause for celebration! However, if you are having baby #5 and you already have boys and girls, there may not be so much of a need to be showered with dozens of gifts of baby gear and goodies like there is when you are starting your family. But baby gear and goods change dramatically frequently and even if you are on baby #5 like we are, there is a good chance you will be looking for a few updates.
We did have a few needs and I also had the need to have a few of wants this time. Basically when it came down to it, I wanted to have fewer, but nicer things. Here are some of the baby products I was and continue to be most excited about. Maybe they will give you a few gift ideas for the new or new again mamas in your world.
1) Lily Jade — A Grown-up Diaper bag.
Diaper bags have come a long way since the black nylon (really ugly and utilitarian) bag I brought home from the hospital when my oldest was born nearly 14 years ago. With so many great options in other kinds of bags and purses out there, why should a bag meant to hold baby things have to be ugly or juvenile in nature?
I began to notice the beautiful Lily Jade diaper bags popping up in lots of posts on Instagram and fell in love with the Sarah Grace. I wrote Lily Jade and asked if I could have one to review. I was thrilled when they said yes! Here are my thoughts about the bag.
- Beautiful Design. There are several bags to choose from, each with quality, fashion-forward styling. Not sure that it matters to anyone else, but it made me smile that it went so nicely with the fabrics and decor I’m using in the nursery.
- Versatility. Each bag comes with a removable insert bag. This means that you can leave the insert with the babysitter, and take your beautiful bag for a night on the town. Or that you can keep and use the bag as your purse, even when you no longer have the need to tote around a stash of diapers and change of baby clothes. Smart! And it makes the investment a lot more worthwhile if you are only having one kid or are at the end of your child-bearing years to know that you don’t have to put the bag away when you aren’t carrying diapers around any more.
- Functionality. The insert bag is thoughtfully designed with lots of pockets to organize all of those important but easy-to-lose little things for baby (binkies anyone?). I really like the changing pad that is included in the insert. It is thick and sturdy and large enough that baby can fit entirely on the pad (at least in the beginning). It is easy to clean and rolls up tightly and snaps closed when not in use. It seems like diaper bags I have used in the past either didn’t have a changing pad, or it was pretty flimsy or awkward so I rarely used it. We use this one all the time!
- Um…hard think of one. The bag could be a little larger, but if it was I would be tempted to carry around more junk than I really need. There is plenty of room for all of the basics and compartments for everything.
My Lily Jade bag was the inspiration for this outfit that became one of my most popular posts on Instagram. It was so nice to feel put together at a time when I was struggling to get it together (still am). The last thing you need when you are trying not to feel frumpy is a frumpy diaper bag.
Bottom line: I love having a diaper bag that is fashionable and functional! If I could I would get more in other styles because they are that cute, thoughtfully designed, and well-made.
I also reached out to Solly Wrap. I am not the world’s best baby wearer, but I wanted to give this one a try. Again, I had seen it popping up in my feed in Instagram often.
- Lightweight. Wearing a baby in Phoenix in the summer is going to make you sweat. The last thing you need is a lot of heavy fabric cranking up that internal thermostat. I think this is the lightest weight (read: coolest) baby wearing fabric I have ever encountered.
- So very soft! The organic cotton feels so nice for baby and for mama.
- Pocket feature. There is a pouch on one end of the wrap so the entire thing can be tucked into itself. Smart!
- Fashion friendly! Solly Wraps come in an array of beautiful colors. I think the Heather Grey stripes I got may be among their most popular because it can go with most anything and is even gender neutral enough for Dad to wear. If you are a frequent baby wearer, it would be fun to get a couple of different colors to change it up!
- user error. Apparently I still haven’t mastered the wrap. I posted these pictures on Instagram and was made aware that the baby was too low. I’m sorry to admit that I still haven’t figured out how to keep him in an ideal position for too long. He’s a very squirmy kid and seemed to always work his way down. I think I need it to be even tighter. I just found this video, which is extremely helpful and gives more details and safety considerations. It will be easier to position him straight now that he is older and sturdier.
- Very long. It is supposed to be, or it wouldn’t work. Not taking this into account, I had a few awkward parking lot moments trying to get the wrap on without dragging it on the dirty ground. I later realized that smart baby-wearers put the wrap on and wear it like a shirt while they are still home, then just slide baby in and out at the various destinations. That would be easier if it weren’t for con #1.
Bottom Line: If you are familiar with baby-wearing, you will love Solly Baby Wraps! If you aren’t a natural baby-wearer, it is still worth watching the videos and practicing, because there are times when you actually need to have hands available to do things besides hold a baby. Tell that to my son, anyway!
3) aden + anais blankets
I actually had these ones from the last baby, but they are a must-have! I asked my Facebook readers what baby items were their must haves and nearly everyone said aden + anais. (I like the name, too! Same spelling as my son!) In hot climates like Phoenix, these are life-savers. Most every other baby blanket is too hot to consider using in Phoenix in the summer.
- Cotton muslin fabric is soft and breathable. Perfect for warm climates.
- Beautiful modern designs
- Perfect for swaddling–larger than most blankets. Just the right size to swaddle.
- Cost. They come with a significantly higher price tag than the typical baby blanket, but they become the go-to blanket for everything.
Bottom Line: Absolute must if you swaddle your baby regularly and/or live in a hot climate.
4) Cute clothes at Zulily
I didn’t need a lot of new clothes for this little man, since we had hung on to quite a bit from his big brothers, but in dealing with a difficult pregnancy, I found it motivating to purchase a few cute basics, to help imagine this cute kid before I got to see him face to face. When I have the time, I like to shop for kids clothes on Zulily. It features daily deals on stylish clothes, gear, and toys for babies, kids, moms, and the home.
- Unique finds not available in every store
- Great selection…there is always stuff I want, pretty much every day.
- Decent prices–always discounted from retail.
- Organic options. Higher end brands that might only be in boutiques often run sales here. The onesies I bought were organic cotton and are so soft on the skin and breathable.
- Shipping is slow! Because of the business model, they run the event, get the orders, then request shipping in a bundle, or something. What that means is it may well take 3 weeks or so to get your order. This can feel painful if you are used to Amazon Prime, but if you plan ahead for holidays or special events. This should be fine.
- No returns/exchanges. Because they don’t carry inventory, they won’t accept returns or exchanges. I have gotten store credit refunded a couple of times, when the item didn’t work out right, so don’t panic, but can be tricky.
Bottom Line: Zulily is carefully curated to have the really cute stuff you are going to want to buy. Just be patient with shipping and try not to get sucked into spending hours every day scanning the cute deals.
- convenient bundles delivered to your door. You determine the frequency of delivery, the designs, and the sizes. You can change these at any point until it is time for the next shipment.
- CUTE! Let’s be honest about honest diapers. The natural stuff is a big draw, but the thing that seals the deal are their cute, trendy, noncommercial designs that change seasonally. Perfect for someone like me! Suddenly diaper changes aren’t so mundane. “Should we wear the skulls and crossbones or the superhero diapers today?” And you can pretend like you didn’t get them dressed on purpose so people could see their cute diapers
Just a few days old and wearing Honest Company diaper with the t-shirt designed by his big brother.
- Free trial bundle
- Free trial signs you up for monthly bundles. These are easily adjusted/spread out, but hard to cancel entirely, I have heard. If you don’t want to sign-up for the automatic shipments, Target caries Honest diapers in store now. They have limited design choices there, though.
Other Fun Finds:
Santa brought baby Aden a few fun things for Christmas that we have enjoyed!
I know she is all trendy and that, but Sophie is a great teether and toy and he loves her (watch out…the dog does, too!) I watched the video from the company and was sold. She touches on all of the senses. I think that is why she works. I have bought my kids other teether toys in the past, and they don’t usually use them. So Sophie may be worth the investment (and she matches the nursery!).
If that picture doesn’t make you smile, you must have no “cute radar” at all. You probably don’t even like cat videos on the internet. (Come to think of it, I don’t really like cat videos on the internet), but I do love the Mustachifiers. Functional and funny! There are different kinds of mustaches to fit your kid’s personality.
What have I missed? What are your favorite finds for babies these days?
Disclosure: At my request, I was provided with the Lily Jade diaper bag and Solly Wrap for review. This post contains affiliate links. As always, I only feature products I am excited to share with you. All opinions are my own. Instagram pictures feature designs from #rhonnadesigns app.