Every mama knows what’s best for her own babies. She knows what food they like, what tv shows they like and what baby songs they like. But in case you wanted a sneak peak into what’s on my baby gear radar the second time around, keep on reading. With the huge selection of baby products out there and new ones always coming out, it can be especially helpful to see what other mamas are trusting and using.
My philosophy in picking baby gear is to pick once and to pick well. I tend to gravitate towards quality items that are gender-neutral for the most part and will work for all my babies. I want my baby gear to not only be functional but also beautiful, as a natural extension of my home and style.
I’m having my second baby two and a half years after my firstborn and saved most of the bigger stuff, so I didn’t actually register for all of these items. I’m sharing what we already have from our firstborn and will note what is new for baby number two. 🙂
I love the DwellStudio crib for its mid-century modern design; the metal-capped angled legs just tickle my fancy. It comes in a lovely French white, so I knew it would fit my nursery aesthetic perfectly. It’s beautifully made and wasn’t too hard to put together. Another important option with this crib (an add-on purchase) was the toddler conversion rail, so we knew this piece of furniture would last us a few years with our firstborn and then pass on to our second.
Honorable Mentions: Stokke Sleepi
At a mere 7 pounds, I was sold with this mattress. I could only imagine changing sheets in the middle of the night on little to no sleep with a heavy mattress when I was shopping for a crib mattress. The 6-inch thickness is nice and plush for a baby while still being firm, and the materials are non-toxic, waterproof, and resistant to bacteria. It fits perfectly in our DwellStudio crib. I don’t know how many spills and accidents I’ve cleaned up on this mattress, and you’d never even know it!
Honorable Mention: Nook Pebble
I wanted this beautiful bassinet when I was pregnant with my first, but I never got around to buying it because I just couldn’t justify it. A few years later, I’m still madly in love, so I think I want to get it this time around. Call me impractical, but I just love it. Actually, this bassinet has a bottom section that is usually covered by the fabric bedding, so I was hoping to use the bottom of the bassinet as clothing and diaper storage! So there’s a bit of practicality there, right?
We got this washable rug for Vienna before I found out I was pregnant with baby number two, but I definitely wanted to mention it as a nursery pick. Not only are Lorena Canals’ designs both beautiful and unique, all their rugs are washable and incredibly soft and cozy. Between all the messes kids make, washability is actually completely essential, and after this rug I don’t think I can ever buy another for a nursery or playroom. I just pop ours into our washing machine and then the dryer, and it comes out like new. The clean freak in me is very happy.
Strollers & Car Seats
Ever since I set my eyes on this futuristic stroller over 10 years ago, I was instantly drawn in. I love the Stokke Xplory for the height, the clean lines, and the beautiful fabric choices. It’s not for everyone, but design aficionados will definitely appreciate this head-turner. I have the bassinet for this stroller and can’t wait to use it again with our son.
If you have the Stokke Xplory, you have to get yourself this stroller hook. I have a couple of them for my strollers, and they’re lifesavers for hooking on my handbag or a few shopping bags.
We don’t have a double stroller at this time, but I was planning on using a rider board for Vienna or babywearing my son while Vienna still uses her strollers like usual.
About Double Strollers: If you’re having your first baby and think you might have another baby within a few years, it’d be smart to buy a single stroller that has the option to convert to a double. Some of my faves are the brand new Silver Cross Wave for long-ways and the Bugaboo Donkey for side-by-side.
With Vienna, we used the Peg Perego Infant car seat; we will have that car seat in Mr. Bond’s car next to his black Diono Radian RXT, which he loves. In my car, I’m planning on using the Maxi-Cosi Mico Max 30 that matches our Rachel Zoe Quinny stroller. I just love the leather details and goldtone hardware, and this special edition Mico Max matches Vienna’s special edition Pria 85 that’s already in my car!
I am a total Ju-Ju-Be convert and have a few of their diaper bags now; everything they make is machine-washable and very smartly-designed. I keep my main BFF in my car under Vienna’s car seat, and Mr. Bond has one in his car too.
They’re a local Southern California company, and I actually had the opportunity to do a fun studio photoshoot for them last year for some of their new launches! The owners are very sweet and down-to-earth.
Ring Slings / Wraps / Carriers
I have the Sakura Bloom ring sling in maple classic linen fabric from when I first used it with Vienna. Mine has a silver ring, but I see they now have the maple color with a gold ring too. I like that getting a ring sling onto your body is non-fussy and that the linen fabric looks almost like a scarf/accessory rather than clunky mountain climbing gear, although there’s a time and place for that too. It’s machine washable and comes in a variety of colors and fabrics, including luxurious silks. It holds a baby from newborn to 35 lbs.
I just got the LILLEBABY linen ring sling in Magic (Black) to use with my son. It has a gold ring as well as a removable pouch for a pacifier or your keys and maybe a few cards and cash. It’s made out of linen as well, is washable, and comes in some beautiful colors. It holds a baby from newborn to 33 lbs.
new Solly Baby Wrap
I just got the California mom cult-classic Solly wrap in Natural & Grey Stripe to use with my son. This wrap is made out of modal, comes in some beautiful colors and patterns, and is easily washable.
I love having a wrap in addition to a ring sling because it allows me more maneuverability of both arms; although I can usually get the ring sling on faster, one arm can’t go up as high as the other with the sling, which was mainly an issue for me when I was putting away dishes. With a wrap, the baby is more centered in between my breasts, and with a ring sling, the baby tends to be on one side or the other (at least with my experience).
If you’re worried about figuring out how to use a wrap, don’t be — it becomes second nature after a few tries. I watched a YouTube video my first time because I’m more of a visual learner. I tried putting on the wrap a few weeks ago on Instagram stories from memory and still remembered how to do it! This wrap holds a baby from newborn to 25 lbs.
I prefer to use my wraps and ring slings in the first few weeks and months, because it just feels the most secure for a newborn. I can also easily breastfeed in either. The fabrics and colors these brands come out with also make it fun to match with your outfit!
I got the LILLEBABY carrier in the Brilliance (White) color for me to wear with our son. With Vienna, I had the Coral one, which I loved using, but I gave that one to my friend who just had her baby. I absolutely love the Brilliance color with the gold accents — so glam! This carrier is known for it’s 6-in-1 carrying positions. I also love the pocket in the front.
We got the BABYBJÖRN carrier in Birchwood Beige so Mr. Bond could feel more comfortable wearing it. He likes babywearing too, but I feel like my white and gold carrier will be too feminine for him. The Baby Carrier One was updated in 2015 and features an ergonomic leg position with a wide seat area for the baby. The shoulder straps are extra-padded, and there are 4 possible front and back carrying positions. It’s suitable from newborn to 3 years old without a newborn insert. We can’t wait to try it out.
Activity / Entertainment
The mamaRoo is a very modern-looking baby swing and doesn’t take up much floor space compared to traditional swing designs. We used it with Vienna for about 9 months until she started walking and basically climbing out of it herself, and I want to buy another one for my son as well.
It was a lifesaver when I needed to do something with my hands free for 10-15 minutes while supervising her of course. We even used it on the patio for some fresh air and so that she could watch the birds and leaves swaying.
The mamaRoo seat is fully adjustable from sleeping to sitting, has removable/washable fabric, plays music via your phone (it has its own sounds as well), and comes with three reversible toys on a detachable mobile.
Sometimes you want a non-electronic bouncer/seat that’s lightweight and portable, and the BABYBJÖRN bouncer is it. It has 4 positions, from sleeping to playing, and helps baby develop balance and motor skills. I can see myself using this when I need to shower as well as bringing it to our parents’ houses since it folds flat. I’ve also seen people bring these outside, which will be very useful in the summertime at the pool and beach when I’m taking care of both a toddler and a baby. I also really want to buy the wooden toy bar for this bouncer — isn’t it adorable?
Playards usually give me major anxiety, because most of them are so hard to put together, but this one by Nuna is really easy to set up. It also has a removable bassinet top, which can function as a cozy sleeping spot for baby in the first few months or even as a diaper changing station. We loved using this one with Vienna and can’t wait to pass it down to our son. I’m a big fan of the Safari color and the simple, non-babyish design.
new Dockatot Deluxe
I don’t remember seeing the Dockatot when I was preparing for my firstborn, but now it’s all the rage. The Dockatot is supposed to provide a safe, snug, and soothing environment for babies. Especially since the first three months of a newborn’s life are considered the fourth trimester, I’m excited to use it as a cozy spot for my son to nap (supervised), rest, play, and do tummy time. We got the Deluxe smaller size which fits from 0-9 months, but it also comes in a Grand size for 9-36 months. I love that the cover is removable and washable; of course I got it in the pristine white. It’s also a safer option for cosleeping, since it provides a bumper between the parents.
This wooden jungle play gym by Finn & Emma is beautiful, non-toxic, and features organic cotton detachable toys. Vienna and I set it up the other day, and she has been pretending to be a baby ever since, batting at the toys. We had an IKEA wooden playgym with her; our daily morning routine in the first months before she started rolling over and crawling away was to lay her on a blanket under the playgym and let her explore the shapes and sounds and colors while I made my coffee. Ahh, what a sweet time it was and definitely way too short. I can’t wait to relive these moments with my son.
The detachable toys can also be used in a car seat or stroller. We plan to use this play gym above the Dockatot!
Vienna and I set up this activity center the other day and of course she is obsessed. She even climbed in it herself and keeps pointing and saying “baby brother” at it. I love that the little piano keyboard can be placed on the top level or on the bottom for either baby hands or baby feet to play with, and all of the rest of the pieces are movable. This is something that we will start using around the 4-month mark.
Baby bath tubs are generally bulky, and we live in a small apartment, so when I first saw the Puj foldable tub, I knew I needed it. To set it up, you fold the outer portions inwards and let the magnets on the bottom snap together; put it in your sink and set the faucet to a comfortable temperature. When bath time is done, unsnap, dry off, and store away flat.
I absolutely loved the Puj when Vienna was a newborn because it hugged her securely and was just the right size for her tiny frame throughout the first few months. It fit perfectly in our bathroom sink. I also loved that it was soft and comfy, unlike most tubs that are a hard plastic. Its suggested age use is from 0-6 months.
When Vienna was a few months old and I was a little more confident bathing her, I started switching between the Puj in our bathroom sink and the 4moms Bath Tub in our kitchen sink. I loved the temperature gauge and the clean water reservoir in the 4moms tub, although it’s definitely bigger than the Puj in terms of storage. I can’t wait to use both tubs again with my son! Something about bathing a baby is such a calming experience, at least it was with Vienna. She was and still is a total water baby; we actually still use the cup that comes with this infant tub in the big tub as a bath toy and as a way for me to rinse her off without showering her. I’m hoping my son loves the water just as much. Its suggested age use is also from 0-6 months.
Nursing & Feeding
My obsession with Stokke continues. The original design of the Tripp Trapp wooden highchair helps bring baby right up to the family dining table. It can be configured to fit a newly-sitting 6-month-old up to a full-grown adult. It also doesn’t hurt that it’s a beautiful piece of furniture and looks nice against our wooden dining table. This is easily the most used baby gear item next to our stroller and car seat to this day, especially since we use it multiple times a day for meals and activities in the kitchen. Vienna also uses it to reach the sink and “help” me wash dishes these days — so cute!
I used a Dr. Brown’s nursing pillow with Vienna, but I’m curious to try this new one by Ergobaby with my son. It’s a lot firmer, so I’m curious to see if I like that more. The firmness is supposed to help position the baby high enough to breastfeed comfortably.
Honorable Mention: Nook Niche Organic Cotton Nursing Pillow
My daughter never took to any of the bottles I tried (nor any pacificers), but I’m wondering if she would have been more keen on the idea if I had tried these Comotomo bottles with her, which are supposed to mimic breastfeeding and ease breast-to-bottle transitioning. The nipple is silicone and the bottle is soft and squeezable! It’s also supposed to be easy to clean with how wide the opening is and features leak-free vents to prevent colic.
new ZoLi Sippy Cups
We started using ZoLi sippy cups and many of their other products before Vienna turned one. ZoLi makes some of my favorite sippy cups ever, because their weighted straws allow liquid to flow when held in any direction. They do leak a bit sometimes if there’s air trapped in the straw or it’s overfilled, but I haven’t found a completely perfect sippy cup in my quest yet, and these have come closest.
After the ZoLi, Vienna actually gets frustrated with other sippy cups that don’t let her drink from any position/angle, haha.
Tips: Don’t overfill them, don’t put carbonated beverages in them, and be sure to squeeze the tip of the straw to let air out after you pour and put on the lid. To clean the straw, I usually massage it to dislodge anything stuck on and rinse from top-to-bottom as well as bottom-to-top. Btw, we love Dapple soap for washing sippy cups, plates, and utensils. You can also buy their straw cleaner, which I need to do.
Since boy things are typically not as cute as girl things, I’m embracing the cutest things I can find, like this tuxedo-look silicone bib. I mean, it’s ridiculously cute. Vienna has the pink BABYBJÖRN one, and I love having the silicone bibs that catch food at home. They’re easy to wash with the dishes when mealtime is done.
I got this breastfeeding meter a few months ago, and I can’t wait to use it with my son. I breastfed my daughter for basically 2 years, and at times I wondered how much milk she was actually getting, especially in the beginning. Momsense lets you monitor and measure your baby’s milk intake in real time, so I feel like it’ll help with that peace of mind. It uses an app to track baby’s feeding patterns and is safe to use.
Blankets & Swaddles
If you ask almost any mama, the bamboo swaddle blankets from Aden + Anais are the absolute best. They’re incredibly soft against baby’s skin from the very beginning and don’t need washing to soften up. I stocked up on some plain white ones with Vienna, so I can use them for baby boy as well. I used about one a day for swaddling as well as a nursing cover, burp cloth, lightweight blanket, sun protection, and a clean spot to lay her down.
Between all my white Aden + Anais swaddles from Vienna, I wanted a little print action, and these black, white and taupe swaddles by Little Unicorn were exactly what I was looking for. I couldn’t resist buying them a few weeks ago. They’re beautiful, soft, and a lightweight cotton muslin.
I hadn’t heard of the dream blankets when I was prepping for my daughter’s arrival, so I think they’re a newer product from Aden + Anais. I got it in the Midnight Stylo print for my son; I love that it’s a different print on both sides and really is super soft to the touch. It’s made out of 4 layers of 100% bamboo rayon, which is supposed to help reduce overheating. I can see myself using this as a stylish stroller blanket too.
I didn’t use a sleeping bag with Vienna, but I’m excited to try this silky soft one from Aden + Anais with my son. It’s supposed to eliminate the need for a blanket in the crib and helps reduce overheating. Love the black and white, in case you didn’t notice the trend yet.
The ever-so-sweet sheep print on this Ergobaby swaddler got me hooked initially, but its soft cotton terry breathable fabric and ergonomic design was what actually won me over. I used the Halo SleepSack with Vienna, which worked well, but the cream/beige one I have looks like a baby straight jacket, so I’m hoping this one by Ergobaby is as functional as it is cute!
The Little Giraffe blanket is incredibly luxurious with the ultra-cozy fabric and classic satin trim. It’s a good size for the crib, stroller, and tummy time. It was one of the very first things I purchased for my baby girl; these blankets also make for beautiful baby gifts if you don’t know what to get your expecting friends. She’ll be passing her blanket down to her baby brother soon.
Baby Boy Clothes
I like the idea of dressing baby boys like little men. I’m trying to stick to a specific color palette so everything kind of works together: white, grey, beige, and navy mixed in with some sage green, black, taupe, and baby blue. My favorite baby boy purchases so far have been from H&M, Zara, Cotton On Kids, Nordstrom, Janie & Jack, and some French and Spanish baby brands like Oscar et Valentine, Bonpoint, Mayoral, and Tartine et Chocolat.
Parasol Co is a newer diaper brand that I started using with my daughter last year, and they’re seriously the softest and thinnest disposable diapers I’ve ever tried. The closest thing to cloth diapers! Parasol diapers are hypoallergenic, latex-free, chlorine-free, fragrance-free, lotion-free, and printed with inks that don’t contain lead or heavy metals. Their beautiful patterns definitely make the mundane task of diaper-changing a little bit more fun. The Dream Collection is my fave for my daughter, and I want to start using the Delight Collection for my son when he’s born.
Parasol wipes are thick, velvety, soft, and smell like cucumbers. They’re alcohol-free, oil-free, phthalate-free, fragrance-free as well as free of petroleum-derived products. They contain cucumber, vitamin E, and certified organic aloe vera to nourish baby’s skin. The subscription box comes with both full size and travel packs of wipes for your purse or diaper bag.
The diapers and wipes are available for purchase on their own or as a monthly subscription service delivered straight to your door. And yes, they blow Honest Co out of the water!
Shipping is very fast too; I get mine within a day or two of ordering since I’m in SoCal and so is their distribution center (or one of them).
In the first few weeks, we’re not supposed to use diaper wipes on newborn skin, but I did use Water Wipes with Vienna since they are 99.9% water with a bit of fruit extract. I plan to use a few packs of these in the very beginning with baby boy as well. They are a thin, smooth baby wipe. Later on, we’ll switch to my beloved Parasol wipes that smell like cucumber!
Jellycat is a classic English brand for plush stuffed toys. I bought my daughter a Woodland Babe Bunny to start her collection, and she loves it to this day. You won’t believe how soft these stuffed animals are until you hold one!
Honorable Mention: Pottery Barn Kids stuffed animals
Sophie is a French classic, made out of natural rubber and decorated with food grade paint for teething babies. There’s actually a whole line of Sophie La Giraffe teethers, plush toys, and even books! Sophie is easy to hold for little hands and makes a delightful squeak when her tummy or head is squeezed.
The Cloud B Sleep Sheep has four soothing sounds to help baby sleep easier, and the on-the-go version fits easily in a diaper bag as well as attaching to the side of a crib. We still use Vienna’s to this day as a part of her nap time routine; I may have to buy a second one.
BabyList is an online gift registry that lets you pull things from any website and even add items such as meals and help around the house in those precious first few months. It’s a very modern and unique take on a registry.
This is what I was using as a wishlist tool for myself to organize what I wanted to buy for baby number two, but since my girlfriend offered to host a baby sprinkle for me (OMG YAY), it now has a purpose as a gift registry. I installed an ‘Add to BabyList’ bookmark to my browser to make it even easier. I love it!
This is where I registered for my first pregnancy, since we have a store location near us. I picked Buy Buy Baby for their wide range of brand choice, including harder-to-find boutique-y brands. They have Stokke and other higher-end brands in stock to touch and feel too, so that was a major selling point for me. Registry consultants are usually pretty knowledgeable across their wide range of brand offerings.
Perks include a goody bag upon registration, a 10% off completion program, complimentary announcement cards and gift packaging, and hassle-free returns. Also, they often have coupons that you can get in the mail (and email); some of the higher-end brands are excluded, though, so be sure to read the fine print. Non-expired Bed Bath & Beyond coupons are also accepted at Buy Buy Baby locations, just FYI.
Target is a great choice for its ease of access; almost everyone has a Target near them, and if you’re a wife or mama, you’re probably in there weekly anyway. You can often find baby deals via their text couponing service, printable coupons on their site, and special discounts via their Cartwheel app. The only reason I didn’t register here is that brand choices are somewhat limited in the stores I’ve been to; I do see that their range is much greater online, though.
Perks include a welcome gift (goody bag with samples and $50 in coupon savings), a 15% off completion program, and free shipping + 5% off for gift givers with the Target REDcard (I have one and love using it along with Target coupons and the Cartwheel app).
Please share your must-haves in the comments below! Let me know if you think I’ve missed anything!