We got a lot of great gifts & made some really good purchases before Avonlea was born. Some that I know we will love that we haven’t even used yet since they’ll be for when she’s a little older…but I wanted to share what our favorites are for this stage. I’ve been keeping a running list in my phone so I remember these things for future shower gifts for friends!
[*these are must-haves, in my opinion!]
*side-snap onesies | Especially for her first few days, these were a lifesaver. These are similar to the ones we have. Avonlea really hates changing clothes, & especially when she was brand new & we weren’t used to it yet, not having to go over her head was so much easier. These also were good for when her cord hadn’t fallen off yet, so it didn’t get snagged pulling something over it. If I had it to do over again, all of her newborn outfits would be this kind, including the fold-over mittens to cover those sharp nails!
Jesus Storybook Bible | I’ve had my eye on this book since I worked at Lifeway, but it’s even better than I realized. It’s certainly one that kids could understand, but it’s not dumbed down like I think a lot of children’s Bibles are…I think they can understand much more than we usually give them credit for! What I love most about this one is that every single story talks about Jesus. The Old Testament stories end by pointing to Jesus & tell how they are just a picture of what was to come.
journal | Michelle got me a journal as a shower gift, & it was so thoughtful. Probably not something that most new moms think about getting ahead of time, & certainly not something they make a point of going to the store for during the newborn days, but it’s definitely a time when you’ll want to write so many things down so you never forget them!
*Milk Snob | There are other brands that are similar, but we’ve loved this one. The fabric is super soft & light, so I don’t feel like it holds in a lot of heat during the hot, summer days. It makes me feel much better about taking Avonlea out & about when she’s so little, since I can have her car seat completely covered. It will also be good when she’s a little older to put on high chairs at restaurants, or to cover the seat of the buggy at the grocery store. It’s easy to just throw in the diaper bag & doesn’t get all wrinkled.
Green Sprouts burp cloths | These are nothing fancy, but I’ve really liked the shape & the thickness of them.
Ikea Raskog cart | I’ve seen something similar at several stores, but the Ikea one is the cheapest & the sturdiest. I didn’t even know just how much use we were going to get out of this. We had it set up in our bedroom by her pack & play, but it’s been out in the living room most of the time since we came home. It’s on wheels, so that’s nice that we can push it out of the way if people are coming over, or easily take it to the other room if we need it there. Especially for our tiny apartment, it’s been the perfect fit. I have it stocked with diapers, wipes, burp cloths, hand sanitizer, extra changing pads, & a few changes of clothes in case she needs something else in the middle of the night.
*Sollybaby | This must be the closest a baby can get to feeling like she’s back on the inside. Avonlea loves it & it’s saved many an afternoon. We have this one! It’s not nearly as intimidating to put on as it looks like. After doing it once, it’s easy to do again & I feel like I get it adjusted a little bit better each time we use it.
*baby stain remover | This is one of those things that I thought I would just get when I needed it. And I’m glad I quickly pushed that thought out, because clearly I needed it on day 1. I have Dreft & I love how it smells. We use the Draft baby detergent, too.
Uppababy Vista & Mesa | (We have this one & this one.) The stroller was a splurge for us, but it’s absolutely been worth every penny. Plus we felt like it was a better investment in the long run since a second seat can be attached once we need a double stroller. It comes with a toddler seat (which is kind of poorly named – she can start using it at 3 months) & a bassinet, & Avonlea has slept in the bassinet almost every night since we brought her home (the hours that she would agree to sleep somewhere out of my arms, that is…). We love the big basket so when we’re shopping, we can just put whatever we’re buying in it (even holds a big box of diapers!). It’s easy to fold & light enough that even just a few days after she was born, I could fold it & put in the trunk of my car easily. The bassinet & toddler seat just snap on & off really easily, too. Grayson’s parents got us her Mesa carseat, which also attaches. It comes with one base, & we also bought an additional one so we could have one in each of our cars, but it can also be buckled in without the base, which I think would be nice if we were on vacation, or if she was riding with someone else. She looks so snug in it & falls asleep as soon as we get in the car!
Ergobaby | We wanted this to use when we go hiking, especially since it’s one that either Grayson or I could easily use (read: it’s manly enough for Grayson to agree to use). We definitely want to take Avonlea to Yosemite before we move back to Georgia (because obviously she’ll remember it & be really impressed), so it will be perfect for there. We took her on her first hike in it recently & she just snoozed the whole time. I almost didn’t get the infant insert because I’d heard some people say you could just roll up a swaddle blanket & stick in the bottom for the same effect, but I’m so glad we ended up getting it. She’s so tiny that she’s still a little bit too short for the Ergo, but if we didn’t have the infant insert she definitely couldn’t use it at all for several months, I think. We got the 360 Cool Air Mesh one, which is supposed to not be quite as hot as some of the others, & also allows her to be worn in 4 different positions.
Margaux & May receiving blankets | I love these, especially for a summer baby. They’re light & thin, but really big so they can cover both Avonlea & myself if need be (I’m always freezing in our house, so I need!). Their size makes them a little challenging to swaddle in, but Grayson is the Swaddle Master & has become a pro at it. I love that they are cute & not so typical baby-looking.
Babymel diaper bag | I mostly picked this diaper bag because of the material – it’s a coated canvas, so it stays clean or wipes off really easily. It’s a perfect size, & I like to use the outside pocket to put my phone, keys, etc. in, instead of carrying a diaper bag & a purse.
Fabric & Fox lovey | I love this so much right now, but I’m sure when Avonlea is a little older she’s going to love it like I do, too! I looked everywhere for this specific fabric – I wanted the adventure one, but in pink, because girls like adventures, too! I messaged the shop owner & she had exactly what I wanted, that just wasn’t currently listed, but she added it to the shop for me. It’s so soft & right now is the perfect little blanket for her to have in her car seat.
Wild Littles quilt + Letterfolk board | I came across this shop because I was looking specifically for a quilt with Rifle Paper Company fabric. This shop has SO many cute fabrics, & the quilt is exactly what I wanted for weekly/monthly photos for Avonlea, combined with the Letterfolk board.
Mamaroo | Avonlea loves her Mamaroo, & it gives me a way to take a shower & get dressed if she’s not napping! I love that it has the perks of a swing, but takes up way less space, so there’s room for it in a tiny apartment.