Aram is approaching 5 months old – I can’t believe it! As a mom of 5, you’d think I would have figured out a long time ago what the “best baby products” are, but the truth is, new products are coming out every single month in the baby space! Many things I loved and used with my first baby have been replaced by MUCH better things just 8 years later. Today I thought I’d take a few minutes to tell you about the baby products I found the most useful during my baby’s first 4 months, and also the products that were a miss for us.
Some of these products were sent to by the company, some were given as baby gifts from friends and family, and others were purchased by me. Even though some of these items were sent to me from the brand, I want to make it clear that I was not required or even requested to write this post. I just want to share with you the baby gear products I loved and what worked best for us!
The Best Baby Products (The Ones I Loved & Used the Most)
DockATot and Rock’NPlay
Of all the baby products I had on hand this time around, the two that have seen the most use are the DockATot Deluxe + and the Fisher-Price Auto RockN’Play. Both have been primary sleeping places for Aram since he was born.
For the first few weeks, Aram nearly always slept in the RockN’Play unless he was being held while he slept. In fact, I was starting to think that the DockATot was a waste. He seldom used it. Then somewhere around the 3-month mark things shifted. He started to really love sleeping in the DockATot at night and not the RockN’Play as much. By the 4 month part Aram has been sleeping nearly exclusively in the DockATot. Sometimes (by about 1am) he’s sleeping in the DockATot in our bed, the rest of the time I have it inside his crib.
Even though we have basically switched the DockATot now, the Fisher-Price Auto RockNPlay was a great asset for those first few weeks. I used it instead of a bassinet and, should we decide to have any more babies, would use it again instead of a bassinet. Especially since our house is louder with the other children running around, the movement of the RockNPlay helped him to stay asleep.
An important note about the Rock’NPlay — I’d highly recommend spending a little bit more for the AUTO rock and play. It plugs into the wall and will rock for 7 hours straight!
I will say, the DockATot toy bar was basically a miss for us. Because I typically place him in it once he’s already asleep, it’s a pain to try to get him in the bed when he’s already sleeping. Because of that, I tend to not want to put the toy bar on and off, on and off all day. We do however have 3 covers for it and that has been wonderful. He spits up on the bed a few times and it’s nice to be able to have a fresh cover to put on it right away and not have to wait for my laundry to wash. If you have a content baby who likes to lay and look at things, the toy bar could be great for you. Aram just loves to be held and doesn’t spend a lot of time out of my arms if he’s awake.
When it comes to baby clothes, most of their closet is made up of Carter’s and Gerber clothing. As I’ve had more children, if we are going to be home that day, I’ve gotten away from getting them dressed up into “outfits” and just let them stay in comfy clothes all day. ‘Cause let’s be honest, aren’t you usually more comfy in your pajamas?!
For the summer months, Aram basically lived in onesies/bodysuits and sometimes the matching cotton pants, depending on how cool the house was. We keep our house still rather warm in the summer (around 75 degrees) so he seemed quite comfortable in onesies. Now that the weather has cooled off and our house is a bit cooler (typically around 68 degrees), I put him in sleepers most days. Sometimes I will change him into long-sleeve onesies and pants, but that requires socks and he’s a master at kicking those off!
I try to keep about 3-4 nice outfits for when we take him out to church or someplace like that, but other than that, it’s comfy clothes all the way here!
As a side note, I recently discovered that Carter’s clothing has a line on Amazon — Simple Joys by Carter’s and you get free Prime shipping!
Britax Cool Flow Infant Car Seat
This is a newer car seat from Britax, the Britax Cool Flow and we’ve liked it quite a bit. Does it keep a baby cooler? Honestly, that’s really hard to say. It’s not like he can give us feedback. He seems comfortable in it and that’s what matters! The install of the base was super easy and the harness straps are easy to adjust which are two important features for me.
Vehicle DVD System
Speaking of the car, at the risk of being mom-shamed, we hooked up one of those DVD systems for vehicles that you put over the back of the seat so that Aram could see it. (It actually comes with 2 screens and since his older brother is also rear-facing, they are sitting next to each other in the car and both have a screen to watch.) He LOVES it! All of my other children have hated riding in the car, which resulted in many trips full of screaming and anxiety for both of us. I literally hated getting into the car with my other babies. It was downright miserable and I felt so bad while they cried.
So maybe screen time isn’t “best” for baby but I’m a much less distracted driver and Aram quietly falls asleep now without complaint. It’s a win for us!
Boppy ComfyFit Carrier
Aram likes to be held – a lot! Eventually, I just needed to have my hands free so I could do other things. We went through probably 2 painful weeks of me rocking him to sleep, putting him down, him waking back up a few minutes later and being cranky because he didn’t sleep long enough, and then me dealing with a fussy baby all day long, or starting over with the rocking and trying again. I was getting so frustrated because nothing was getting done around my house and I felt like I was neglecting my other responsibilities and children.
So, I finally broke out the new carrier from Boppy, the Boppy ComfyFit Carrier, and he loved it! He would fall asleep so easily and then just sleep for long periods of time. The Boppy carrier was much easier to put on too compared to the Moby I’d used with other babies. I liked it so much I already gave my Moby away. It also offers more support than the Moby.
Although he is starting to outgrow his need to be held for naps, I still use the carrier at least once a week.
Joovy Qool Stroller
I posted a full review of the Joovy Qool Stroller a few weeks ago. This stroller has been amazing for us! I do have a Britax stroller I could use as a travel system, but I also have adapters for my Joovy Qool which allow me to you it as a travel system. I absolutely love this stroller and can use it for 1-3 kids, depending on my needs that day. It’s the only stroller I use.
Jumper Seats and Entertainer Seats
Honestly, it probably doesn’t matter which brand you end up going with. Find the one that matches best with your decor/style or that you can get on sale. I’ve tried many brands over the year and they all basically work just as well as the next one. I will say, they have newer styles that are easier to collapse for storage and that is a huge plus! Currently, I have 2 entertainer seats (1 Evenflo and 1 Skip Hop) and 1 jumper seat (Skip Hop) and they are all great. I have them placed around different areas of our home so I don’t have to move them from room to room.
We didn’t start using them until about 3.5 months once Aram was able to support himself well enough in them but they have been a game changer for him. He loves to be able to stand in those seats and look around. Over the past week or two, he has really gotten interested in playing with the toys as well. I put him in the seats when I’m trying to fix dinner, wash dishes, or get other things like that done around the house.
I LOVE having a video monitor. It gives me such peace of mind to be able to check on Aram no matter where he or I am in the house. Lately I’ve been loving this video monitor from Panasonic.
I’m gonna be honest and tell you that I will use just about any brand of diapers if I can find a good deal on them! We were gifted a lot of baby diapers too and I’m VERY happy to use any diapers that were given to me! One thing I do to save money is use the cheaper diapers during daytime hours and save the name brands for overnight (Huggies and Pampers) because they do seem to hold more urine that the store brands. But, for daytime hours, the cheaper brands work just fine and save you some money!
I love me some muslin! That’s basically all I ever use for my babies now. The blankets are great for so many things besides keeping baby warm, like shade covering and spit up rags.
Things People Say You Don’t Need that I Love
There are two things I frequently hear other people say you don’t need that I use and love a lot — my wipes warmer and my Diaper Genie. Have you ever used a bathroom wipe on yourself in a room that is chilly? Brrrr – I’m not a fan! And babies seem to be even more sensitive to cold like that. In fact, my son Gideon, who is old enough to talk now, he actually makes comments about how he doesn’t like the wipes at Grandma’s house because they are so cold. One thing to remember with a wipe warmer is that they can dry your wipes out over time if you aren’t going through them really fast. I just keep a jug of distilled water and add a little bit to the warmer every few days to keep them moist.
The other thing is a diaper pail. I have a Diaper Genie and I must admit that with my first two children I too thought it was an unnecessary piece of baby gear….despite that fact that sometimes dirty diapers would pile up while they waited for me to take them to the trashcan. The fact is, I was just being cheap because I didn’t want to spend the money for one or the refills. Well, let me tell you, I got one a few years ago and I LOVE it. It keeps the nursery so much cleaner and keeps the smells in check so much better. And it’s not just poopy diapers. Diapers with urine in them can start smelling horrible if they sit in a trash can for a few days! I actually just ran out of refill bags for my Diaper Genie and I can’t wait to get to the store to by more because I’m already annoyed at the dirty diapers piling up on my changing table. Sure, I take a load to the trashcan whenever I can but you’d be surprised at how easy it is to get distracted with something else you need to do with your baby (or another child).
Hit Or Miss Baby Gear
I first got the MamaRoo with my 3rd baby and she absolutely loved it. She would fall asleep in it so easily and used it for months. Then my 4th baby came around and he hated it. Aram has been somewhere in between. He doesn’t love it like Zellene did but he doesn’t hate it either. Aram has fallen asleep in it a few times and would let me put him down in it for a few minutes at a time here or there. So, it was nice to have but I could have also lived without it.
Ditto to what I said about the MamaRoo. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. If you’re debating between a MamaRoo and a swing, I’d go for the MamaRoo.
I always use my nursing pillow pretty consistently for the first week. After that, I tend to just do without. Considering I only ever use it for about a week or so, personally, I could do without a nursing pillow. Now, that being said, I am rather small chested, so maybe it would be different if I was larger. It’s hard to say for sure. They ARE however great to help younger siblings hold a new baby and I used it a lot for that during the first few weeks.
Baby Products We Didn’t Use (Even Though We Had Them)
Okay, I have used the Bouncy Seat from Skip Hop that allows you to raise baby higher a few times. It is nice because I can put Aram at table height and that makes him happy. He is happier though typically in seats that move. I had a shorter, standard type bouncy seat and never used it.
I used my playard with every other pregnancy. I would set it up on the main level of my house as a separate baby station where I could let the baby sleep, change diapers, and store extra clothing for quick changes. For whatever reason, even though I had a playard, I didn’t use it at all this time around. I find myself becoming more and more of a minimalist and I just didn’t want another big thing sitting around. If you do decide to get a playard, I really loved using the Joovy playard with my other babies.
Floor Mat Toy
Aram wanted to be held, for the most part, so laying on the floor to play was usually out of the question. I put him on the floor every now and then so he has possibly spent an hour total on a play mat, but not enough to really call it a necessity for him.
If it’s not a muslin blanket, it’s likely I haven’t used that with the exception of 2 larger sized blankets I sometimes put on the floor for him to lay on. Oh, I have repurposed some of them as covers for my changing table though!