Three kids in, it’s evident I needed next to nothing in the baby gear department. I had a back room full of gadgets and contraptions for babies, all in a gender neutral palate that I registered for 5 years ago when I was expecting Navy. Shopping for baby is, in a way, a form of nesting, though. And with the third child came some different needs than when I first had Navy. For instance, we have two older children now and our lives (and home) cannot be completely taken over by a baby this time. I’m sorry, Brighton. Third kids (and beyond) just need to fit into the mix. After really getting discriminating in my backroom, I was able to eliminate a few things that simply don’t suit my life as a Mom³, and reassess what items would be more appropriate. Here’s the list of items that got the boot:
- My big, giant diaper bag. Loved it then, but ain’t got time for that now. Also: padded diaper bags have a deceivingly limited cargo capacity because so much of the shell is just thick padding. You would think they are next to Mary Poppins’ bag in terms of storage capacity, but they trick you and instead it’s like a giant pillow with a bottle pocket and diaper sleeve.
- My big, cloth activity gym which I’m pretty sure had been peed on AND had all of the toys stripped off it by a certain toddler boy, never to be seen again. Also, it took up half of the floor space in our living room when in use, which makes the boys’ wrestling matches (which they refer to as “Cubs Game” ?!?!) slightly riskier.
- A handmade carseat canopy.
- A nursing cover that looked like an apron and was the biggest, loudest pattern known to man. Like, HELLO EVERYONE, I WOULD LIKE YOU TO KNOW I’M NURSING MY BABY UNDER THIS GIANT PINK AND ORANGE TENT. BUT I’M BEING DISCREET WHICH IS EVIDENCED BY THIS SUPER UNNOTICEABLE NEON SHEET I’M WEARING. K BYE NOW!
That left a few vital holes in our baby gear collection, which allowed me to get some new items that, I’m telling you, are amazing updates in the world of baby gear! It’s crazy to think that even in just the five years I’ve been a parent, the products have improved so much. Kudos to all of the companies out there who continue to be innovative problem solvers. I tip my hat to clever inventors, and I love supporting them.
- Longchamp ‘Large Le Pliage’ Tote: I actually got this as a gift from my mother in law for my birthday after requesting it as my new and updated diaper bag. Here’s why I love it:
- It’s just a big, roomy tote. Lots of space for lots of junk.
- It’s a purse, not a diaper bag. I don’t have to sacrifice streamlined style to accommodate the needs of my baby.
- It folds up as shown if you want to pack it for travel, or use it as a secondary bag (oh, to travel… I’ll just consider this a pro of the bag even though traveling seems like such a faraway dream right now).
- To be totally objective, here are a couple cons about the bag too: it doesn’t want to stay on my shoulder very well. I’m constantly repositioning it, which can be a little annoying. Also, the fact that it is just a big catch-all bag makes it so you need to try to stay on top of your own organization otherwise it becomes a dumpster. Finally, the large capacity means you can really fill it with a lot (a PRO!), and it will likely weigh 72 pounds (CON!). New moms, you don’t need to carry that much crap around. Stop it. Your back will thank you.
- Petunia Pickle Bottom Convertible Clutch: This product is the brand of diaper bag I used to carry and they really have diaper bags dialed in. This one I LOVE because I would have totally skipped the diaper bag thing altogether, except I wanted a nice changing pad and a little bit of diaper organization for inside my Longchamp. This clutch fits in the Longchamp, PLUS it has a long shoulder strap in the event you were ever just out and needed only the bare essentials (which as a breastfeeding mom is pretty easy) and you can carry an attractive bag without schlepping around all the accoutrements of motherhood. I mean, forthelove, do we really need eleven binkies, a rattle, 2 spare outfits, a first aid kit, a sleeve of Boogie Wipes and a jug of hand sanitizer everywhere we go? No. We don’t. So stop it, Moms. Relax every once in a while, your kid will be fine.
- Dockatot: I am so in love with this thing. I have already brought it to family and friend gatherings (it’s so easy to transport, and so worth it to know that you have a baby-safe place to lay your little one down even in a home that’s not already set up with all the baby gear) and we use it a ton at home. Technically this little life raft shaped contraption is a co-sleeper for safe snoozing with your little one, and while Brighton and I have definitely enjoyed a couple mid-day naps together with it, we mostly use it in our family spaces and at the kitchen table during dinner time, where Brighton is the sleepiest centerpiece you’ve ever seen. We have the Deluxe size for infants through 8 months, but they have a larger model also for toddlers. Take $10 off your Dockatot purchase using this code: http://dockatot.refr.cc/HZLLCFF
- MilkSnob: I really like this nursing and carseat cover combo (and HEY the founder was just on Shark Tank last week!). I’ve had my eye on this for a while and was very excited to finally get one for myself. I like it most as a carseat cover, but I know my feelings for it as a nursing cover will improve once Brighton gets a little easier to nurse. She’s so tiny right now she gets kind of lost underneath it. When we’re out in public, though, I love knowing she’s covered and out of strangers’ reach. People are so gross. The fewer people I have breathing on her, the better. I got the ivory and olive striped cover even though the black & white cover is shown. Give me all the olive green things!
- Finn & Emma Activity Gym: So as I mentioned, our activity gym was kind of trashed. It was unable to collapse or fold up, so it was always up in the living room, and was a real eyesore to be honest. On top of being spit up and/or peed on multiple times, the toys had all been stripped off it and really the whole activity aspect of the activity gym was basically gone. Enter this Finn & Emma organic gym. Here’s why I love it: It’s very low profile and fits against the wall without taking up a ton of space; it’s all organic and when Brighton is older and teething/chewing on everything, I don’t have to worry about what she’s putting in her mouth; it fits PERFECTLY over the Dockatot for awake time/play; it is modern in design and totally visually unoffensive. Thank you, Lord, for baby gear that babies AND mommies like to look at. Take 15% off all Finn + Emma purchases of $50 or more using this link: http://finnandemma.refr.cc/BRBCZVG
- Binxy Baby: I have been following this brand for a long time and I think this product is pure GENIUS! Baby can either safely lounge in this grocery cart hammock while mom shops, OR you can set your whole gol-darn baby carrier in it and it can support the weight of your carrier + baby while still affording you all the room of the shopping cart that you had pre-baby. Gang, level with me here: how in the ever-loving heck are we supposed to shop for our families of 5 with baby in tow, when baby + carrier take up the entire bloody cart? Enter Binxy. Brilliant, I tell you. Use the link here to shop and receive 10% off their entire website (hooray!). http://binxybaby.refr.cc/MTHFVH
I’m so glad Brighton has a few lovely new things to rest her sweet little head on (that don’t have her brothers’ nasty germs on them). Things that improve our day to day activities and make life with 3 cleaner, easier and more functional. I’m all about that life. Brighton’s all about it, too.
Select content has been sponsored by Finn + Emma, Dockatot and Binxy Baby; the products have been tested by me and the opinions expressed herein are my own. For collaborations, please email me at email@example.com.