Jessica’s Favorite Baby Must-Haves

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By Jessica Tomes

Wife, mommy to three precious little girls, currently pregnant with baby a boy, and owner of The Plaid Pony!

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Jessica Tomes is a wife and mommy to three precious (but rambunctious) little girls. She is currently pregnant with baby number four, and can’t wait to meet HIM this September! She has a degree in broadcast journalism from Texas Christian University. She owns The Plaid Pony, an upscale online boutique featuring curated favorites for infants through tweens — and is so excited to launch The Plaid Pony Home this Fall! She is passionate about writing and marketing impeccably designed clothing and furniture, and this wonderfully beautiful mess we call motherhood. She happily resides in Houston, Texas — eating all the Tex Mex she can get her hands on!

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Registering for baby is both overwhelming and exciting. Friends and family will share their two cents (whether you ask for it or not). In the end, you will register for — and purchase — what you like and think you need for your little one. We registered for all kinds of silly things we didn’t need, and picked up additional items (we did need) as we went. This worked for us. After two kiddos, I have come to realize that most of the time you end up needing less than you think. Here are a few “must-have” items I adored, and would definitely use and/or purchase again. You’ll notice I left off the basics like a stroller, a safe carseat, and a cute diaper bag for mom, because duh.

A Baby Swing

As new parents, we mistakenly thought our oldest daughter (now three) would be ready to sleep in her own crib her very first night home from the hospital — and every subsequent night after that. Boy, were we wrong. Many a night was spent “accidentally snoozing” on the couch in front of the television, or in the rocker in her nursery. (Usually because I passed out from sheer exhaustion during a late night nursing session.) With our second, I wised up and registered for a swing. We were fortunate enough to receive the Fisher Price My Little Snugabunny Cradle n’ Swing from a precious family friend — and let me tell you, that puppy was a lifesaver. Our 18 month old was still sleeping in the crib in the nursery at this time, so I put that swing right next to the bed in our guest room, and that’s where the new baby and I slept. My youngest didn’t transition to a crib until about 4 months. She slept so soundly in that swing, which meant mama and daddy got to sleep, too. So important when you have two little ones on the loose. I realize this may not be the method for everyone — every family situation is unique — but I wouldn’t dream of doing it any other way (should there be any more additions to the Tomes household in the relative future).

aden+anais Burpy Bibs

You guys, there are so many adorable bibs and burp cloths on the market. So many colors and pretty patterns to choose from — and don’t even get me started on the monograms. (I’m a sucker for anything with a monogram.) But I very quickly learned, that much like people, just because something is pretty, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s useful. And when it comes to bibs and burps, absorbency is key. Multi-function is also important — you can only fit so much into a diaper bag before you’re toting a duffel. That’s one of the main reasons I love these burpy bibs from aden+anais. It’s a fabulous bib (think baby drop cloth), and full-coverage burp cloth in one. Plus, they’re cute. And I love anything and everything from aden+anais. So there you go.

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burpy bib

An Awesome Baby Blanket (or 10)

Swaddle blankets, and stroller blankets, and those fancy toddler coverlets for the crib. Oh my! I basically registered for all of the blankets, but I can honestly say that with two little girls, we have made good use of them. Plus, both of my babies were born in Montana, so bundling up was kind of a matter of life or death. (Only half kidding.) I was no expert baby swaddler by any stretch of the imagination, and both of my children possessed Houdini-like powers. Try as I might, they were out of their swaddles in 60 seconds or less, every single time. And then I found the Easy Swaddle (another favorite from aden+anais). Can you say game changer? At first I was a little iffy — I mean it kind of looks like an adorable baby straight jacket, but just use it. Babies love to be swaddled. Do you want to sleep more than an hour at a time? Just. Do. It.

swaddles

chevron blanket

toddler blanket

easy swaddle

Something Sweet for Snuggling

Every new baby has to have a stash of sweet, snuggly friends. It’s basically a parenting commandment. Snuggly friends make wonderful nap time companions (once baby is old enough of course), the best travel companions (think long car ride entertainment), and the perfect playtime pals. My three-year-old to this day insists on dragging her snuggly friends along with us to the grocery store, out to eat, and even tries to smuggle them into her backpack for school. Lovies, stuffed animals, and soft dollies make perfect snuggly friends. Click the links above to view a few of our favorites. We usually add to our collection on holidays and special occasions. What can I say? Mama’s a sucker for cute baby toys.

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lovie

stuffed animal

soft dolls

Cute and Comfortable Clothes

Don’t get me wrong. As a Southern mama, I love me some smocked baby clothes. But you and I both know that expensive bishops and bubbles do not make good everyday wear. Especially for infants. My requirements for everyday infant wear are the following. Is it soft? What’s the fabric like? Is it easy to clean? Is it going to be easy to remove for diaper changing (think nasty blowout)? If it’s cute, well that’s just an added bonus. Some of my favorite places to shop for cute and comfortable baby clothes are Feather Baby, Matilda Jane Clothing, Kate Quinn Organics, and KicKee Pants.

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boy clothes

philomena dress

kimono

kickee pants

What are your baby must-haves? What items did you think you were going to need, but they turned out to be totally unnecessary? I would love to hear! Every mom (and dad) is different, and every baby is different. What works for some, won’t for others. And that’s just part of this crazy-exciting adventure called parenthood!

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