What I Can’t Live Without

What I Can’t Live Without

by our guest blogger Katie Sluiter from Sluiter Nation

I am not sure what is in the water lately, but there has been a baby explosion in my life both in my “real” life and with my online friends.

New moms are popping up everywhere!

I have two little guys of my own, the newest being only just four months old, and my husband and I have gone through some trials and errors with baby gear over the past three years.

To help the lovely pregnant ladies out there, I have put together a list of the Top Ten things that I use every single day that I am not really sure what I would do without.

An Infant Carrier/Car Seat

We go places almost every day in the car, so we obviously need a car seat. We went with a whole carrier/base/stroller “travel system”.  We have a Graco system, but I think there are plenty of good ones out there.  The key is to find a carrier that is comfortable to hold and snaps easily into the base and the stroller without a ton of fuss.

Graco Travel System

A Baby Carrier…To Wear

With my first, I didn’t know about “baby wearing.”  Now, I am not sure if I could function without my Moby Wrap.  Since putting the infant carrier on top of a cart in a store is extremely dangerous, any errands I have to do mean I have the Moby on.  Baby clingy?  Pop him in the Moby.  Going to a park with my 3-year old and need both hands?  Put the baby in the Moby.  Not only does it carry him, it somehow puts him to sleep within about 10 minutes of getting him in there.  Win.


Moby Wrap
Photo Courtesy of Moby Wrap

Miracle Blankets

My baby LOVED to be swaddled, but he was sort of big (born 8 pounds, 9 ounces), so he tended to accidentally Hulk smash his way out and then get all sad and awake.  Miracle Blankets are all tricky with little arm wraps and a pouch to put baby’s legs in.  It is darn near impossible for them to get out.  We may have nicknamed it the baby straight jacket.  And our son LOVED it.

Miracle Blanket


A Pack n Play

I wasn’t sure we would really need a Pack n Play when we were first registering 4 years ago.  I mean, how often did we go anywhere?  But our playard, as it’s called, gets the award for most underestimated baby gear we own. Not only is it handy for when we go away overnight (which isn’t often), but we bring it with us to friends’ and family’s houses too for naps. It has a bassinet and “mobile” of toys.  Plus, our Graco one has a net so it can be used outside without bugs getting in.  And they make them even cooler now!

Graco Pack n Play

An Umbrella Stroller

NOT all umbrella strollers are created equal, even though people will try to tell you they are.  We have the Bumbleride Flite. This thing is the mac daddy of umbrellas, mainly because you can use your infant seat on it (it has a special bar for clipping it on), so if you only wanted ONE stroller, this should be it.  Its canopy is 45 SPF, it has a cup holder, and it’s only 13 pounds! Plus  you don’t get a sore back from hunching over it like you do with other umbrella strollers.  SO worth the coin!

Bumbleride Flite

A Swing

I am not sure I would have my sanity without our swing.  And let’s face it, they make swings so cozy and inviting these days, I wish I could sleep in one.  We have the Fisher Price My Little Lamb Cradle and Swing. I like it because not only is it soft, but it washes nicely.  You know, in case you have a puker like I do.

Fisher-Price Swing


Bouncy Seat

I was under the impression that if you have a swing, you don’t need a bounce seat.  WRONG.  The swing is great for sleepy times.  The bounce seat is great for taking the baby around the house to where you are folding clothes, making lunch, taking a shower or dusting all the things.  We have the Sassy Zanzibar Bouncer because it matches the nursery theme, but if I was to get a new one, I would get the Fisher Price Lamb Seat.  Not just because it matches our swing, but because OH MY GOSH!  SO SOFT AND COMFY!

Activity Mat

I know, I know…another thing to put the baby on/in, but really.  My boys rotated from the swing to the bounce seat to the activity mat throughout their day.  It not only helped to give them new things to look at throughout the day, but because of the hanging toys, it gave them their first things to reach and grab for.  I watched both of my boys “find their hands” while on our activity mat. We have the Baby Neptune Ocean Adventure Gym from Baby Einstein.

Play Mat

Bumbo with a Tray

Both of my boys LOVED the Bumbo.  They were both in it by 3 months old, just working on those back and neck muscles.   My 4-month old giggles and coos and slaps the tray with his little hands.  He also works on picking things up in front of him, which is really good eye-hand coordination.

Aden and Anais Sleeping Bags

Once my kids were too big for even Miracle Blankets, we needed something to act as a blanket over them.  They couldn’t sleep without something, and they were far too young for blankets in bed with them.  Enter the sleep sack.  Aden and Anais make a sleep sack that is cozy and lightweight so it can easily go over super warm jammies and not overheat the baby . They are a bit spendy, but you definitely get what you pay for with these.

This list is far from being the end-all-be-all of registering, but it’s a good idea of things a mom uses every single day with her baby.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Katie Sluiter resides in West Michigan with her husband and two sons. She is a high school teacher and freelance writer and who should probably be grading papers or changing diapers but is more likely blogging, tweeting, or just overusing social media in general. She chronicles all this on her blog, Sluiter Nation.

You can follow Katie on Twitter @ksluiter or on Sluiter Nation.