My friend and future sister-in-law made a comment the other day of "thank you for having everything!" in response to me lending her a baby carrier. I told her that's what happens when you have five kiddos... you tend to collect "everything"! It made me think though, if I could go back in time or to the future and share with my daughters or daughter-in-laws about to start a family, what are some of my favorite things I would not want them or me to be without? Interestingly enough... not a lot! So I'll share a very few of my favorite "things" that have gotten me through.
My most favorite baby thing is my Ergo Baby Carrier. I am getting nothing from you checking this out, so don't think I'm trying to make a sale... this is by far my favorite baby accessory! It is the most comfortable baby carrier I've ever tried and I've tried a lot! It's especially comfy for those cranky 1yo's who want up and held when not feeling well or tired or feeling ignored while you teach. Those little ones get HEAVY after awhile! Even in a sling! The Ergo is like a hiking backpack and all the weight goes on your hips, not your shoulders or back. I use to play kick ball with Hannah on my back and practically forget she was there minus the giggles and swinging feet by my side! My Ergo is what makes it possible for me to go to church every other week with five kids all alone! Addison goes on my back and I still have two hands to hold papers, drinks or grab shirts as children go flying by me! I will say,I don't use my Ergo until they are about 3 months old. Before that I use a sling. But as soon as they are comfortable not being right on my chest they are in the Ergo. I don't "wear" my babies all the time but if they are fussy and it works I go with it! The Ergo's are expensive but they resell on eBay for about the same price. I didn't get mine until baby #4 and I wish I had it before!!
A baby jumper. I couldn't find our exact one and this one is a bit fancier but the same idea. I know there's an old wives tales that they shouldn't stand or bounce because it's bad for their legs. I'll leave that up to you. We were told it was fine and according to instructions you just want their tip toes to touch. They're basically hanging and they catch on they can swing or bounce after awhile. It's the funniest thing to watch and all my babies loved it! The best part is it's easy to bring anywhere. Everyone has a closet or doorway available and it's much easier than bringing an exersaucer!!
Speaking of bringing things with you, we got this with Addie and again I would've bought it right from the get go if it existed!! A rotating hook on baby seat. This thing ROCKS! It hooks on to most tables... it does not hook well to one of our antique tables and it does much better in a center than an end. It takes the place of a high chair and it turns all the way around. So if you're sitting next to them to feed them you just turn it and lock it in place facing you. You can obviously face them to the table or turn it all the way backwards and they can watch you cook and sweep right under them. I love that it has a tray to feed them on, it washes easily and it is super easy to travel with. I even took it to church for our Thanksgiving dinner. She hung out watching the world, could sit right at the table with us, didn't take up a ton of room and still had her own clean tray to eat off of.
I have to say most everything else is optional! I did like having a little bouncy seat of some sort to feed them in and let them watch the world when tiny. We had many other things but none of them that important to us! Truly the more kids you have the less you need! Honest! Who needs toys when you have brothers and sisters to watch? Who needs baby seats when everyone fights over who holds you next? Again, who needs toys when you have Rubbermaid bowls and wooden spoons!! Of course we do have a stroller too. We've had many from pricey to cheap and can't say there's a huge difference there either. Each one served it's purpose.
I must admit, I LOVE babies!! I'd have a million more if my husband would let me-he will not :0( My favorite place to shop is ANY baby section or baby store, it doesn't matter if I have a baby or not! That was my favorite section long before I even had children (hubby should have taken note huh!)! They come up with some of the cutest coolest things but, thirteen years later these are still our top three. If you are expecting a little one or have one now check these out.