baby buys: the top 5 list

I sat down to write a list at 3 months of what baby gear had been working for us, and then I abruptly stopped. If I wasn’t sleeping in more than 4 hour intervals, I definitely couldn’t tell you what was working for us let alone advise you to go and get it!

So I thought 6 months would work… and it still didn’t feel right. But now as Baby M approaches the toddler distinction, I think it’s ok to write about all of her baby stuff with honesty and openness. And in no short order, here’s what we have and what we needed to survive.

All-Star List:

Graco Sweet Slumber Sound Machine ($35)

This white noise machine is utter magic and brings calm and peace to Baby M during her naps at home and every night when she falls asleep. We discovered the magic effect white noise had on her thanks to the iPhone app, and we honestly just left our phones in her room nightly. But that white noise is a bit harsh (like annoying static), so we bought this machine as a more permanent solution. It also has a spot for an mp3 player so it’s use is good beyond the baby years in her room.

The Miracle Blanket ($30)

This is Mr. M’s top product ever. We refer to it as a baby straight jacket, which you’ll understand when you see it being applied. Now let me be honest, this is not an easy product to use the first time, especially if your baby is crying while you’re putting her in it. But soon you realize that you’re making them calm and warm and happy and cozy, and that if they had a wish in the world it would be to be placed in this awesome swaddle. Baby M would bust out of every swaddle we put her in but this one… well, until she got older and we couldn’t swaddle her anymore.

Diaper Genie II elite ($35)

This is one of those things that people tell you is a waste to purchase.

“Just buy a garbage can.” “You’ll take out the diapers daily anyway.”

Folks, let me be straight with you: for us, it’s absolutely amazing. During the weekdays, we usually only change a morning diaper and an evening diaper. And the nursery is on the 2nd floor and our garbage cans are through the garage and out on the side of the house. Would it be impossible for us to walk these diapers down daily? Nope. But realistically, why chance having your house smell like poop? This thing eliminates all the smell and makes the task of taking down diapers easy compared to any other way. I could see this costing a lot of money for SAHMs because you’d be using up the refills very often, but we probably only use one every 6-8 weeks.

Uppababy Vista Stroller – 2010 version ($650)

This super stroller works for us and has been nothing but wonderful! The bassinet feature had us strolling around the neighborhood when Baby M was days old, and it let her take long naps as she grew up. The ability for her to face front or back has been wonderful, and the reclining features make it a very comfy place for an afternoon snooze. It folds and unfolds like a breeze, carries tons of things in the bottom of it, and easily survived a trip to and from and all around Disney World ! And it’s by far the best stroller for us tall people! I don’t have to lean down too far to get Baby M, and the adjustable handle makes it so easy to push! It has served every need of ours and then some, and Baby M adores the sunshade as well!

The Happiest Baby on the Block DVD ($18 or free rental with NetFlix)

We rented this DVD from Netflix before Baby M arrived. Mr. M thought I was crazy and laughed at me, but about 2 weeks into our new sleep deprived life, we popped in the DVD to see what all the fuss was about. I’m going to write something now that I believe whole heartedly and every English teacher will cringe at: DO NOT BUY THE BOOK – ONLY WATCH THE DVD. You wouldn’t believe that this [UCLA] doctor is anything but a crazy quack if you didn’t see the 5 S’s in action, on real babies with real parents there in the room. And once they work for you, you feel so much more powerful as a parent in the situation! Baby M didn’t have colic, but she definitely got upset every now and then where all 5 techniques were employed. (Mr M liked the football hold the best). This really really helped us get through that difficult 4th trimester where communication is tested and tried again and again.


So that’s the Top 5 list thus far… I’ll share a list of the other things we have and comment on them as well. But for now, this is my dream list that I’d pass on

to any other expecting mom!


  • Donna

    What a great list! I recently did something like this with my top 3 baby must haves. Do you have any top 5 that you wish that you got or had a better one? For me, I wish that I had a better baby carrier, baby swing and monitor!

  • Michelle Perry

    We use 3 out of 5 on your top 5 list. And I couldn’t agree more on those 3. Especially the DVD of Happiest Baby on the Block. We popped that thin in when DS was a month old, and let me tell you, it was a life saver. Football hold was also J’s favorite position, and Zach’s too.

  • Tina C.

    Great list! I was just considering my white noise options, so I’m glad to see the sound machine on your list.

    I did wonder about one thing though: the happiest baby DVD.

    I’ve got a 6-month-old with…sleep issues (who still needs swaddling which I don’t mind)…and a friend just brought over the DVD, but I’m wondering if it’s worth watching since my baby isn’t in that 4th trimester stage any longer…what are your thoughts? did you still use the 5 s’s after the 4-month mark?

    • kimberly michelle

      I think it’s worth watching just to know that there are tools that you can use to help calm your baby that may seem silly but really work. I think that the white noise (or the “SHHHH” S) is really profoundly amazing! I mean, they all are really! I just discovered a trick with Baby M to calm her down that’s essentially yoga breathing and biofeedback and it works like wonders! Suddenly, everyone is calm and peaceful all because I did some deep breathing. Who knew?