*Disclaimer* This post contains affiliate links. They are marked with an *. See my full Disclosure.
I that am not a fan of baby junk; ugly plastic, obnoxious colors, cheesy characters, and so cheaply made that it rarely lasts through one child. When I had my son, I was determined to avoid “junk” as much as possible and try to only acquire quality items that were well-made, functional, and aesthetically pleasing. While I wasn’t 100% successful, I found some great products along the way. My son is 16 months old now and these items have stood the test of time and are still in great condition for Baby #2 coming in July! I hope to save you some time by putting all of these items in one post, so you don’t have to spend hours and hours scouring the internet as I did.
Hands down the best looking baby carrier on the market. I have not used any other carriers, but I have been using this one since my son was one week old (around 6lbs) and still carry him regularly now at 22lbs (while 18 weeks pregnant) in comfort and style. Seriously, these carriers are so cozy, comfortable, and beautiful. The Happy Baby Carrier is a soft-sided carrier where the waist strap is worn higher on the body and provides support for a very comfortable carry. I have the Original in Olive, which is made of linen and allows for front inward-facing and back carry. They also have the Revolution which allows for front outward-facing as well and an Onbuhimo style carrier that I am considering for Baby #2 (not because I need a new one, but because I want one of their other beautiful colors). These carriers are great for so many reasons. The Happy Baby carrier is much lighter and the fabrics make it much cooler than other carriers. They fit in your diaper bag and just get more cozy and beautiful with wear. Mine rides around in the car (usually ends up on the floor) and has spent many a day on the farm and still looks beautiful. My husband even uses it. He particularly likes the “olive drab” color. Have I mentioned you can nurse in them? Number one baby must have right here. They also have a wrap that was great for church or other nicer places during the newborn stage. It was more comfortable while sitting and it is much lighter weight than the Boba or Moby wraps.
Pro Tip: There is a very active Buy/Sell/Trade group on Facebook (that Happy Baby runs) where you can find used carriers and used carriers in discontinued colors. Members post pictures of the colors in different lighting, do fit checks, answer questions, and share the Happy Baby love. Brad and Beth (owners) also share sneak peeks of new lines, provide customer support, and get input for future projects.
My son decided swaddling wasn’t for him around a month old (I know, right?). He would fight his way out no matter how tightly we swaddled him or would fuss until we let his arms free. The SnuggleMe Lounger fit perfectly into our bassinet and its hammock effect acted as a swaddle in that it kept his arms from flailing and waking him up. He slept in the SnuggleMe until he started showing a desire to roll over and while he was in the bassinet beside our bed. Disclaimer: The SnuggleMe is not marketed to be used for unsupervised sleep. Please do your own research and make your own decisions. Their safety statement can be found here. This lounger can also be used for tummy time and for a safe place to lay baby down. My son continued to enjoy it on the floor in his nursery long after he stopped sleeping in it. He enjoyed using it as an obstacle to crawl over and a place to lounge and look at a book. Have I mentioned that it is also beautiful in addition to being practical and well made? Mine still looks brand new.
My name is Shannon and I am addicted to Gathre mats. They are leather and vegan leather mats that are beautiful, super easy to clean, fold up nicely, and wear amazingly well. I have the Mirco as a baby diaper changing mat, the Micro+ for a toddler changing mat, and the Midi as a multiuse larger mat (under the highchair in the formal dining room, on the beach, in the yard). The diaper changing mats have gotten the most use of all. They fold up very thinly for the diaper bag and if I got anything on them during a diaper change, I would just wipe it off with a baby wipe. I also have two of their toddler bibs that I purchased before they came out with the pocket bibs. They look nice, fold up small, and are easy to wipe down on the go, but pocket bibs really are the only way to go. I would buy just about every product they make if I could afford/justify it. I love their floor pillows and they just came out with padded mats that look awesome.
I’m not going to make a case that my changing basket is a necessary baby product, but it is absolutely stunning and perfectly functional. A lot of people expressed doubt that I would be able to use it for very long because they didn’t think it would contain a squirmy baby, but I still change my son’s diaper in this basket on top of a dresser every day even now at 16 months (always with a hand on him). It still looks brand new. Even the white pads I have still look brand new and it is not because I am such a good diaper changer that baby ick hasn’t gotten on them many times. I wash them normally, but I always hang them to dry. It does slide on the dresser some in the middle of a toddler tantrum mid change, so you have to be conscious of that when you’re changing diapers as your child gets older. I have not found it to be an issue, but I don’t want you to be surprised. If it does become an issue, a non-skid rug pad underneath would probably do the trick. It has not been enough of an issue for me to take any action, other than teaching my son to behave during diaper changes. The pros outweigh the cons in my book. This changing basket brings me joy.
Real talk. Most stuffed animals start looking pretty gross pretty fast with regular use and most aren’t that attractive new anyway. While we love our JellyCats, Maileg takes the cake as the absolute best stuffed animals out there. They are vintage looking and made of high-quality materials. When you hold one they just feel amazing. Even better, they wear incredibly well. The more they are played with the more beautiful they get. It’s amazing. My son has the hippo and the rhino rattle and I am so excited to pick out one for Baby #2. My sister in law has several and even with heavy wear from her three children they still look so beautiful. I don’t know how they do it. They also have a lot of toys for children older than mine and I look forward to adding more to our collection over the years.
Talk about ugly baby products. Pacifiers are not usually something about which to get excited. Until now. Bibs pacifiers are the perfect blend of vintage charm and function. I like the natural rubber nipples, simple design, and the colors are stunning. We used the Avent pacifiers at first, but quickly changed to these exclusively and found that my son liked them better. He used them until 6 months when we sleep trained and inadvertently weaned him from the pacifier at the same time. I look forward to picking out more colors soon!
Kate Quinn Organics baby clothes are so cute and soft and charming. They also run great sales often. There is such a difference in quality in baby clothes. I have found that buying good quality baby clothes is absolutely worth it. They don’t wear out as easily and pass well to the next baby. I also love Janie and Jack*, particularly for nice clothes and socks (they have great socks), and Hanna Andersson, particularly for pajamas. We have one Hanna Andersson shirt that started looking faded really quickly, but other than that everything we have from there has been good.
*Pro Tip* Footie pajamas are cute (and need to be purchased up a size), but footless pajamas allow your child to wear them much longer. This is important to think about when buying nicer baby clothes. You want to stretch your money as much as possible, at least I do.
This will be short. I couldn’t abide the animal-shaped humidifiers or the huge industrial looking ones. I found a sleek one that has served us very well and is very unassuming in the nursery. I went to find the link and unfortunately, it is not available anymore. However, here is one* that looks very similar and has great reviews.
CoverMe Ponchos are lovely nursing covers that come in a variety of stylish colors and patterns. They provide 360-degree coverage, allow for flexibility in clothing, are lightweight, and pretty. Great for nursing in the carrier.
We have done some cloth diapering, never exclusively, but since I got pregnant with Baby #2 we have only been using disposables. Since my son was out of preemie sized diapers, we have been using Earth and Eden brand disposable diapers. They are free from lotions, parabens, fragrance, latex, and chlorine bleach. I cannot say enough good things about these diapers. My son has not had one diaper rash that wasn’t just redness that resolved overnight with coconut oil. The design is minimal and neutral, but they still have an indicator stripe. Blowouts and leaks are rare because the leg cuff/leak guard is way better than any other diapers we used during the preemie and newborn phases (Pampers, Huggies, and Bambo Nature). The best part is that they cost about the same as Pampers and Huggies. Recently, they came out with wipes. We used WaterWipes until I saw these. They are very similar to WaterWipes (99% water), except they aren’t as wet. I found that the WaterWipes were a little too wet, so I have switched to the Earth and Eden wipes. I am on my third box and I’m officially a convert. Another advantage over WaterWipes is they actually have a lid, instead of just a sticky flap. If you’re like me and forget to close the lid occasionally, the wipe sticking out will partially dry out, but the rest are fine. I purchase Earth and Eden diapers* and wipes using Subscribe and Save* through Amazon Prime* (link includes free 30 day trial). When combined with my other Subscribe and Save items, I get 20% off each time.
*Note* The wipes are currently unavailable on Amazon (the only place they are sold). I sent a message to the company and they said they are currently out of stock in the Amazon warehouses, but they are working to get them restocked as soon as possible. I have included the link to the Earth and Eden website (not an affiliate link), so you can view their full selection. Here it is again.
Well, there you have it. Baby gear that brings joy. Who knew it existed? I searched high and low and this list is the best of the best in my opinion.
Have you found a great baby product that brings you joy? Tell me about it in the comments below!
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