Baby & Toddler Essentials

Baby & Toddler Essentials
A few of our favorite baby items (so far).


  • Nanit Baby Monitor - Great breathing monitoring tech, and really nice to be able to check in on baby even when out of the house. Can be a little tricky to set up with some WiFi networks at hotels, but our trick is to use a cheap travel router like this to bypass gated networks.
  • Coterie Diapers - These are expensive diapers. They also are the only ones we've tried that don't give Zeph diaper rash and you can feel pretty good about their impact on the environment (until self-eating mushroom diapers come on the market, that is).
  • Solly Wrap Carrier - Super transportable, soft, and adorable. A little bit of a learning curve, but the only wrap we needed for Zeph in the first 6 months.
  • Magnetic Me Onsies - Avoid snaps and zippers for the newborn stage alltogether, magnets are so much easier!
  • Babyletto Kiwi Power Recliner - We really like having the rocking, swivel, and reclining action of this chair. Admittedly haven't used the reclining option as much as we thought we might, but it's a nice-to-have, not a need-to-have. Would also recommend getting a small stool for your feet—helped me so much to have a little leverage in propping up baby while breastfeeding.
  • Dagne Dover Diaper Backpack - Fairly neutral, practical, and good-looking diaper bag. The best one we've come across yet.
  • UPPAbaby Vista V2 (Jordan) + Mesa Infant Car Seat - Great stroller for the early days, works with bassinet attachment and car seat to minimize disruptions with little ones. Also works for two kids—we're looking forward to trying that out soon.


  • My Breast Friend Nursing Pillow - Great for 0-3 months. Helped me a lot as I got my breastfeeding sea legs and while Zephyr was little.
  • Boppy Nursing Pillow - Essential breastfeeding support for 3-9 months. This is controversial, but we also napped Zeph in the boppy for a few months. He was a much better tummy sleeper, so it allowed us to keep him in a position sleeping in a common area while we kept a very close eye on him and made sure all his air passages were totally clear. Gave him much better naps, so was worth the extra diligence.
  • Amma Cocoon Nursing Cover/Multipurpose Cover - Chic, breathable, and just slightly transparent so it doesn't make breastfeeding impossible. Also super simple to wash.
  • Earth Mama Organic Nipple Cream - Your nips will thank you. Can help ease the discomfort of pumping. Also nice on lips!
  • Pump and Legendairy Products - I'm still trying to dial in on the perfect pump. The Spectra gave me the best results, but I had to be plugged in for it. The Elvie was amazing for date nights and on-the-go, but didn't give me much milkies and liked to randomly stop pumping when the sensor got wet. The Imani is like, ~not subtle~, but gave me a nice combo of output and mobility. Also loved Legendairy products when I had supply issues. Karrie Locher did a super helpful wearable pump comparison, and generally ended up on the Imani as well. That said, she also did a piece on portable pumps (pumps that you can wear around, but are not hidden in the bra), and she highly recommended the Pumpables Genie Advanced, so I'm gonna give that one a shot this time around.
  • Boon Milk Collectors - Designed to collect milk that would otherwise end up in a pad or on your shirt. These work a lot better than the hakaa ladybugs because they actually fit in your bra and don't cut into your nipple. YAY.

Solid Foods

  • Lalo High Chair - Stylish, functional, and transforms into a low chair when ready.
  • Gathre Floor Mat - Great for tummy time on-the-go, an easy-to-disinfect dining mat when we were traveling without a high chair, and ended up being how we fed Zeph for months while he got used to solid food.

Bathtime & Health

  • Pipette Baby Products - Love their shampoo and travel-sized toiletries.
  • Tubby Todd All Over Ointment - Their over ointment helped Zeph's dry skin so much and also tastes a little bit like frosting. We also buy their bubble bath in huge quantities now that Zeph is bigger.
  • Frida Electric Booger Remover - We had the nose frida that you manually suck with your mouth, and that just felt so undignified. Having the electric option makes a huge difference with congestion, because at 2.3 years, Zeph still won't blow his nose.
  • Saline Spray - You will eventually have a congested baby, and they will eventually need saline drops or spray. Drops are a little trickier, spray comes out a little faster. It's your preference on which challenge you prefer, but saline was a surprise necessity us. Wished we'd had this on hand from the get go.
  • Frida Baby 3-in-1 Infrared Thermometer - Rectal temperature is the gold standard for pediatricians, so get yo'self one of those. BUT this one takes an accurate temperature from the forehead, so if you just want to check in without prodding your baby, would highly recommend getting this additionally. It can be used throughout the school years too, so it has longevity.
  • Boon Bathtub wrap - Lots of baby baths, but this one is easily transportable and has a built-in wrap to keep baby warm while you bathe. Otherwise, can just use a soft towel with warm water on baby's body to keep them warm.


  • BabyZen YOYO² Stroller - We love this system, and probably would have just gotten this to start with our first child if we'd known about it. It pops up easily with one hand and is super compact, making it ideal for travel or going around town.
  • Slumberpod - Instant blackout room while traveling and doesn't take up much space packing. Can also use in the nursery if you don't feel like getting blackout curtains!
  • Guava Lotus Travel Crib/Pack-n-play - Easy to set-up and break down, and the smallest travel crib we were able to find. Compact backpack for travel!
  • YogaSleep Travel Sound Machine - The Hatch requires a plug-in, so this is our on-the-go sound machine for anytime we leave the house and expect to need Zeph to nap. Decent amount of sound and battery for a little guy.
  • Baby Car Mirror - Pretty much all of the car mirrors out there are pretty cheap but this one does the job.


  • Baby Shusher - Sound machine + susher, our default sleepytime duo.
  • Hatch Sound Machine - The laundry dryer sound is amazing to train babies on. We love it too, and have had some pretty roudy parties right next to Zeph because he's accustomed to the irregular sounds that the Hatch machine makes. Also has a ready-to-rise feature that we're starting to use with Zeph as a toddler. We're about to have three of these lol.
  • Baby Merlin Magic Sleepsuit - Adorable puffy sleep suit to help with the transition from swaddle to regular jammies. We used this a lot for months three and four, before sleep training.
  • Zen Weighted Swaddle - Really cozy weighted swaddles to help little ones feel extra snuggly.

Play & Soothing

  • Baby Gund Floppy the Elephant - You're gonna get sick of "Do Your Ears Hang Low?" but your baby won't and that's the whole point.
  • Lovevery Play Gym and Subscription - I'm not a child development specialist, but these people are. Lovevery is a genius tool for parents to enrich their kids' lives with stage-appropriate toys, games, tools. Very common to see all these toys in people's homes, and has been a wonderful treat for ourselves every few months to keep track of stages and skills we can support.
  • Sophie the Giraffe Toy/Teether - Catnip for babies. Can't explain it.
  • Singing Bowl - Zeph was not a "chill baby." When he was having a hard time, having a singing bowl (especially our low-pitched one) made a massive difference. They can be expensive, but the sound and letting his little feet and hands touch the vibrations was sometimes the only thing that would knock him out of a fit.