Newborn Baby Gear

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One thing I’ve noticed about Round 2 – we use a lot less stuff.  Maybe Claire is just an ‘easier’ baby (true) or maybe we’re just more low-maintenance in general (definitely true, too).  But there are some things that I can’t imagine getting through each day without.  Here’s a list of the gear we love!

PicMonkey Collage

This Swaddle:

photo (33)

I refused to consistently swaddle Henry because I didn’t want to make him “dependent” on it.  This time around, I feel like, “SCREW IT. I AM WILLING TO DO WHATEVER WORKS.” Guess who’s been sleeping better?  Yup.  Me (and Claire!).  I was using light, cotton swaddles, but MomHTP suggested I try to find a fleece one.  I love this swaddle because it’s super comfy-cozy and doesn’t seem so “trappy” – just snug.  Also, it’s a sleep sack as well, so you can unzip it from the bottom and change a diaper without unswaddling the baby.  The first time I put Claire in it, she slept 8 hours straight but has since done a bunch of 4 and 5 hour stretches.


This Co-Sleeper:


I started off with a bassinet that a friend loaned me but soon switched to the Arm’s Reach Co-Sleeper.  This thing is amazing.  You can “roll” down one of the sides so there is only a small wall between your bed and the baby’s, which means you can look in at the baby without sitting up (score!) and keep your hand on the baby’s chest without having to awkwardly drape your arm over a high side.  Also, I think that, because there’s no big bassinet wall between you and the baby, the baby sleeps better – she can see you instead of just looking at a wall, and she can hear you better, too.  It feels like you’re in the same bed without being in the same bed (which, personally, make me nervous, and I don’t sleep well).  Also – the mattress on this is significantly thicker than the bassinets I’ve used, which I think helps sleep, too.


This Pump:


Same one that I used last time – I still love it.  It’s a great pump.  It’s fast, efficient, and I haven’t had any problems with it over 8 months of exclusive pumping with Henry and daily pumping with Claire. 


Actually, I owe you all a breastfeeding post because I know some people are interested.  Basically, things are going better than they did with Henry. I do a combo of breastfeeding (usually in the mornings and during nighttime wake-ups) and bottles (during the day when we’re out). It’s a combo that works well for me.  My master plan is to pump off an extra bottle every day and will probably stop breastfeeding Claire around the same time I did Henry (I’m thinking six to eight months is when I’ll hit my limit) and then wean her, switch to frozen milk, and then transition her to formula after my frozen supply runs out.  I’m  comfortable with this plan – and that makes me happy because the entire Henry feeding saga made me very unhappy.


This Lounger:


The Boppy lounger was one of my favorite products with Henry, and I love it for Claire, too.  I ended up buying a second one (one for upstairs and downstairs) and it’s worth every penny.  It’s super clutch when you need to put the baby down somewhere (like when you’re getting dressed in the middle of the hallway before driving your toddler to school, as in the pic above!).


This Snot Sucker:

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This is one of those weird parenting tools that you can’t imagine you’ll need and then can’t imagine living without. Claire gets a lot of boogers (I think because of the heater being on all the time), and this gadget (plus some saline spray) makes removing them super easy. 


This Swing:


I’m sure there are tons of great swings on the market, but I still really like our old one.  Mostly because you can rotate it three ways so the baby can be swung in different directions.  Swings are a LIFESAVER.  Again, I am less worried about making Claire “dependent” on sleep aids as I was Henry (I just want to effing sleep!), so we use freely the swing for calming, falling asleep, and some naps.  With two kids, it’s especially useful – like having two hands!


These Booties:

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Another thing we loved with Henry and love for Claire.  In fact, I bought her another pair so she has her brother’s old ones and some newbies.  These booties are SO great because, unlike baby socks, they do not fall off.  Ever.  She wears hers every single day.  (Side note: they shrink a bit in the washer/dryer, so order size 6 months for a newborn and after a washing, it will fit fine with tons of room to grow).


Here are Henry’s baby gear posts… It’s funny for me to read these – I no longer use a diaper bag [a big purse works just fine] or a baby bathtub [I just get in the bath with her or bathe her in the sink].  Henry hated the swing and his Boba carrier, but Claire loves both!


Newborn Baby Gear We Love (Henry Edition)

4.5 Months: Baby Gear We Love (Henry Edition)

8.5 Months: Baby Gear We Love (Henry Edition)



  • Michelle January 15, 2015, 9:02 am

    Claire is so cute! I just want to say I love your blog, you are just so real and inspiring!

    • Caitlin January 15, 2015, 9:15 am


  • Erin January 15, 2015, 9:14 am

    I have a daughter almost exactly Henry’s age and a 7.5 month old. We also used way less stuff with the 2nd one. And we ditched the baby tub too and totally just get in the tub at bath time, so much easier, lol!
    We also use those booties every day. And I seriously don’t know what I would do without the Nose Frida. I have a cold and kind of want to use it on myself….

  • Stacey January 15, 2015, 9:58 am

    I’m 38-weeks so thanks for sharing this info! We do not have a booger getter so I’m totally purchasing it with a winter baby. Also due to the sheer cuteness of the baby booties I ‘have’ to buy those 🙂 Bonus that they’re actually practical!
    Glad to read you do not use a separate diaper bag. I bought a bigger purse with lots of pockets and planned on using it for both. I figured I’d have a separate diaper bag to leave at daycare and then when we’re together I’m only responsible for one plus baby!

  • Kim January 15, 2015, 9:58 am

    I just love baby stuff! Can you do a post where you give your new-mom self advice or something along those lines? Thanks!

  • Bets January 15, 2015, 10:50 am

    That swing does look amazing! I’m starting to think about what I want to put on my registry, this post was so helpful. I’d love to hear more about what you use as Claire ages.

  • Joanna January 15, 2015, 11:18 am

    She’s so adorable! I’m pregnant with #2 and stressing about the breastfeeding thing. I had an impossible time with #1 and relied on your exclusive pumping tips to get me through 3 months. I want to give it another shot and I like your plan. It might not work for me but I like that you mixed it up with bottle and breast and are open to formula. Thank you for reminding me that flexibility is key.

  • Liz January 15, 2015, 11:31 am

    This is great to see because I’m 34 weeks along with my first and we have a lot of the stuff on this list! My sister-in-law handed us down that same swing (score!) and a bunch of the Halo sleep sacks, and I got some similar booties (Goumikids brand) for Christmas. Nice to get some confirmation that I have good stuff since most of the time I feel like I’m flying blind 🙂

  • Becky January 15, 2015, 12:08 pm

    LOVE those booties. Buying some this moment. For me the most used piece of baby gear round 2 is my Sakura Bloom Ring Sling. 2 hands is a must with a toddler and this has been my lifesaver. And I’m with you about being more relaxed about the sleep aids…my 2nd daughter takes a soother, is swaddled, sometimes falls asleep in the swing or ring sling….and I am SO okay with it. 🙂

  • Natalie @ The Ravenous Mommy January 15, 2015, 12:47 pm

    The nose frida is a must! It seems a little gross when you first realize you have to “suck it out”, but it is the best thing out there for baby noses. My husband even wanted to use it on himself to relieve his congestion, haha.

  • kristin | W [H] A T C H January 15, 2015, 1:33 pm

    what a sweet baby girl!

  • Stephanie @ Whole Health Dork January 15, 2015, 2:11 pm

    Thanks so much for this post! I find this info so helpful even though I don’t have a little one of my own yet. I’m big into minimizing and I know magazine and books will tell you that you need all kinds of stuff, but a friend of mine said you really just need the essentials and you’ll be fine.
    Great breastfeeding plan! You must feel so much better to have a plan and know you can adjust as needed.
    She is such a cutie!

  • Bridget January 15, 2015, 2:55 pm

    I know everyone has different preferences on baby gear, but I don’t recommend the fleece version of the swaddle sleep sack! At least the one made by halo – the fleece is super thick and baby will get so sweaty because it ends up being about 3 layers of fleece around the arms and core. Just layer under the cotton one if you think she’s chilly. That worked well for us and I had a baby last winter in Nebraska, so we definitely had colder nights! Just my two cents..and trying to save you two cents or like twenty bucks 😉 Also, Claire is the CUTEST.

    • Caitlin January 15, 2015, 2:56 pm

      I can see how that would be true – our bedrooms are FREEZING so we don’t have problems with it!

  • Aishah January 15, 2015, 3:51 pm

    Is it just me or does she look so much like Henry? They both look so sweet. Both are such beautiful babies 🙂 xoxo

  • Kim L. January 15, 2015, 3:51 pm

    Claire is so adorable!!! I love her hair. My mom says my hair grew straight up until it was heavy enough to fall over. My dad used to try to ‘grease’ it down but my mom put a stop to tha. I don’t have any babies any more but I love seeing the gear that new parents are using these days. I need to know this kind of stuff for future grandkids!

  • MK January 16, 2015, 12:16 am

    Claire looks like such a happy baby!

    Completely off topic, but… Are you watching the final seasons of parenthood? I started watching it after you made mention of it several times on the blog. It’s so emotional I can barely stand it! So good!

    • Caitlin January 16, 2015, 7:20 am

      OMG yes. Soooo good

  • Rebecca @ Bring Back Delicious January 16, 2015, 11:37 am

    I’m so glad we got swaddles! I definitely attribute those to her sleeping 6 hour stretches at 6 weeks and through the night very soon after!

    We actually ended up getting 4 SwaddleMe’s, 2 for each size. That worked perfectly. We didn’t need ones that opened up to change the diaper because chances were, she wanted OUT at that point!

    Right now she’s almost 6 months and has almost grown out of the largest size, so we took the velcro off one of them and reattached it to a large handmade fleece one, you know, for those cold Southern California nights… Turns out she’s allergic to fleece though. D’oh!

  • Christina @ Embracing Simple January 16, 2015, 12:33 pm

    My daughter is 6-months-old and I couldn’t agree any more about the Nose Frieda, Medela Pump-In-Style, and Snugabunny swing. We have all 3 and I can’t imagine getting through the newborn stage (or even right now) without them! It’s funny, I was of the mindset before the babe came along that swings were such a waste of money and space…oh my how wrong I was!

  • Sharon January 17, 2015, 2:38 pm

    This is an awesome list, thanks for posting! I have a 4 week old daughter (first baby) and we’ve been using the same swaddler. Definitely didn’t realize that we could change her diaper without unswaddling her – doh! And the booties? Currently investing in them right this second. I love your blog, thanks for the great posts!

  • Emily S January 18, 2015, 10:04 pm

    we loved the co-sleeper, too – for both Parker and Avery! It is the best of all worlds in the beginning. Can’t say enough good things about it and recommend it to everyone.

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