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Top 11 Baby Must Haves – Large Family Edition

Well now that I am back into full swing baby mode with a 5 month old, and a 15 month I wanted to compile a list of my favourite baby items. I try to be frugal mom so these items might not be the trendiest, or top of the line but they are quality, functional, and tried and tested!

  1. Contours Options Double Stroller – I love my stroller.  I did a lot of research on double strollers, and even though I dream of a bugaboo donkey, this checked off lots of boxes. Cost wise this was under $375 Canadian. The only place you can get them in Canada is Babies R Us, as far as I know.  I ordered mine online.  I loved the fun print, its gender neutral, and bright.  The inside of the canopies is a grey, white, and yellow graphic polka dot pattern.   You can also get it in black and red.

One of the biggest selling features of this stroller is that, you can position the seats in any way.  Facing out, facing in, facing each other, back to back, you get the deal.  It also comes with a universal car seat adaptor at no additional cost. The best part though is that you can fold the stroller with the seats attached in the forward facing position.  Pretty much every other stroller, you have to assemble and disassemble to get in and out of your car, so this was an awesome feature to just pop it closed, and in the van it goes!

I also love the huge basket at the bottom, it holds a lot! If you only have one kid with you, you can pop off the other seat and you have easy access to a huge basket to put groceries, beach gear, etc.

The only con I have with this stroller is that it does not come with a parent, or child snack tray.  You can purchase kids snack trays that just pop into the safety bar slot. However the parent snack/drink tray is not an option.  It comes with a cup holder on the side but I was constantly bumping into things with the cup holder, and it would pop off. I purchased the skip hop stroller caddy that velcro’s on, and it does the trick perfectly! I love my stroller, it is going on 4 years and other then a tiny tear in the basket its in perfect condition.

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2. Bum Genius All in one Cloth Diapers – I knew I was going to have a large family, so I invested in a large stash of cloth diapers.  After using several brands, Bum Genius is by far my favourite brand.  I could write a whole other post on cloth diapers, so I won’t get into too much detail here.  These are easy, due to the all in one design, adorable, (I mean look at that print), and absorb really well, I never have to worry about leaks, and they also wick away moisture so baby doesn’t feel wet. These cost about $25 Canadian but are so worth it!

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3. Aden and Anias Swaddle Blankets – These are by far the best blanket ever made for babies, light weight, super comfy, great size for swaddling, made of breathable muslin, adorable prints, great to clean up spit up without worrying about staining.  Seriously, just the best!! We have about 12 or so, and one comes with me everywhere.

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4. Baby Hawk Carrier – This is a fairly new one to me but I love it.  A Tula, or Ergo was my first choice but this was a much more reasonable price, and it does the trick! Its easy to tie on, easy to get comfortable and the straps are super supportive, spreading baby’s weight out evenly over your shoulders and back.  You can also do a back carry, but I have not done that yet as our little guy is still quite small.

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5. Ring Sling – I have had my ring sling since my youngest was a baby.  It is actually toddler sized, so I can use it for all 4 kids (not all at the same time).  I had my custom made and I love it.  I have a pink metallic ring, and a grey, white, and soft pink stripe pattern in a linen fabric.  I ordered it here, she has great customer service and it came to me very quickly! Some of the best features about the ring slings are how quickly, and easy it is to get on and off, great if you are going to be in and out of the car.  You still have room on your other side of you need to carry a large bag, and I also love how light weight it is.  A lot of carriers I find to be too hot.  The linen is a great summer sling option!

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6. Avent Bottles – I have used several types of bottles over the years but Avent is one of the best because they are easy to clean, and easy for baby to hold.  The 4.oz ones are adorably small, so they take up less room in the diaper bag.  I also love how there are not a lot of parts, just the nipple, ring, and bottle. They come in glass as well, as in pink or blue!   They seem to work really well for gassy babies and I have had no trouble with them ever leaking.

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7. Yogurt Melts – Alright these right here are baby crack.  The best thing ever invented.  Seriously I take these with me every where, my older kids still love them! Best way to keep a baby busy, calm a tantrum, distract from anything really.  Kids just love these.  Yes there is some added sugar but its not candy, so still relatively healthy.  Also they do not make crumbs so its a great snack for in the car, as they just melt in your mouth!

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8. Praise Baby – All babies seem to love these videos.  It is short videos to praise music, with pictures of children, and abstract patterns, and shapes. It is a great way to sneak in a shower!

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9. Car seat Canopy – I love this canopy because it is cute, stays on the seat well, keeps it quite dark, and quiet in there if baby is napping on the go, and it can double as a blanket as the inside is a super soft dotted minky fabric. It just velcros on so it isn’t in the way of the carrying handle.  It is easy to just pull the sides up a bit if it is a warmer day and baby still gets lots of ventilation and fresh air, but due to its thicker fabric it is a fabulous winter cover to block out the harsh cold air.  It comes in adorable patterns and very often this company has “free” codes where you just have to pay the shipping.

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10. Nursing Cover – These “udder covers” are great because they have a wire piece through the top so you can easily see baby, and also baby still has ventilation.  They are great for first time moms that are still learning to breastfeed.  I had some trouble getting the hang of it so just having this positioned perfectly, so I didn’t have to worry about flashing anyone was super helpful! Some other brands have a lot stronger wire piece, but I prefer these because they are more flexible, and easier to fold into the diaper bag.

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11. Snuza Hero – These portable baby monitors are so great for piece of mind.  I know as a new mom I was terrified of SIDS, and knowing that this monitor was checking my baby’s breathing, and movement all through the night allowed me to get a restful sleep.  The Snuza Hero attaches directly to the diaper and it will alert you if your baby’s abdominal movements are weak, or less than 8 movements per minute. If there is no movement in 15 seconds it will vibrate to rouse your baby. After 3, 15 second “rousing” vibrations an alert will go off to let you know of the weak abdominal movement.  After an additional 5 seconds of weak/ no movement a loud sharp audible alert happens.  Trust me this wakes you right up out of bed. Thankfully both times it was because the monitor had slid a bit and din’t have great contact on the skin, which I am sure was a user area from when I attached it to the diaper.  This was a pricey purchase but so worth it.   I bought the kit that alos included the video monitor which I love as well. It has night vision, and I can turn on music fro the parent device to help soothe baby.

Well there you have it! My top 11 baby must haves! What are your favourite baby items?  I would love to hear from other moms what makes their lives easier?

XoX Kait

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