What can’t you live without?

Little Champ’s sitter recently posted a question to mommies of infants. What 2 or 3 items could you not live without, for the different stages (e.g. newborn, 3m+, etc.)

I began to answer her, and then realized that maybe some of my dear readers would be able to give in their two cents, too! So here are mine. Add yours in the comments :D


Prefold diapers.

Little Champ used these for diapers after his first week (didn’t want to stain them with the meconium…) until he fit into our One-Size cloth diapers. These are much cheaper and much thicker than burp cloths. We went through about a dozen each day when he was a spit up machine. We still use them now, as dish towels, a bib in a pinch (clip with a clothespin in the back), and a replacement for paper towels in the kitchen.

I will probably buy another dozen of these soon, since I am trying to go paper-towel free eventually.

A Jumperoo.

Little Champ had pretty good head control even at birth, so we could put him in a Jumperoo at 2 months. He was at a stage where he wanted to be vertical 24/7…not on his tummy or back, not sitting or reclined in my lap…so the Jumperoo was a godsend. He’s almost 13 months, and today I had him in there so I could take a shower. Seriously, get one. (Look for one used. People are quick to get rid of these once their kids grow older because they take up some real estate in the house). 

Now, Sophie the Giraffe is definitely the most beloved teether amongst babies and children. Little Champ was infatuated with Sophie for about a month. But now he has zero interest in her. I’m hoping our next one will show her some love.

3-6 months 

This is the stage where Little Champ needed to be entertained but couldn’t entertain himself. Secret weapons:

Activity Gym

I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again. I thought activity gyms were THE stupidest baby product out there. But sometimes you need a break from dangling a toy in front of a baby’s face for hours on end. This is your replacement dangler.  Do housework if you have to, but try to squeeze in a few minutes to read a magazine or paint your toenails.


You can spend $30 to get a mirror the size of a slice of bread, or you can buy one of these cheapo door mirrors at Wally World and put it on the floor, horizontally, against a wall. Babies love to look at themselves. And really, who can blame my little man for liking to look at himself? I can’t take my eyes off him!

6 months and up 

This kid has a zillion toys already (though I resist buying him toys that won’t grow with him, he keeps inheriting toys). And, true to form, he doesn’t play with any of them.

We try to entice him with his cars or blocks, but he really just wants to pull things off the shelves and eat our electronics. As I type this, he is playing with LT’s graphing calculator. Er…don’t tell my husband.

Smashable electronics

I have sacrificed one of my wireless keyboards to the deity of drool, and while he does like to sit on the buttons, he loses interest in a few minutes. Can’t really blame him, since he is just as distracted by my shiny iPhone as I am. He doesn’t want electronics to play with, he wants something that will play with HIM. Interactive, that sort of thing. But it had better have a screen, and it had better look black or silver like one of mommy or daddy’s “toys”—those baby cell phone toys are not legit. I’m considering buying one of these babies. Or getting him a calculator that daddy didn’t spend a hundred bucks on.

Finger food

Nothing like giving my kid snacks to keep him distracted. That’s not hereditary at all…

You could buy baby-specific finger food in the baby aisle. But if you pay attention, you might have observed that companies can always charge more if they slap a “BABIES” or “WEDDING” label on it. So instead of stocking up on only fruit puffs, feel free to broaden your baby food horizons.

My top picks?

1. Cinnamon Burst Cheerios. Like all Cheerios brand cereals, this stuff is easy for little ones to pick up. The 20% daily recommended fiber helps keep my little guy regular (have you ever lived with a constipated infant? Not pretty.) It’s iron-fortified, too. And if you start to notice your baby’s diapers smelling less foul and a little sweeter, you might just thank all the cinnamon he or she is snacking on. True story.

2. Frozen Peas. There are fewer finger foods that are as easy on you and your pocketbook as frozen peas. Pour some into a colander, run hot water over them for a few seconds to thaw them out,  and put the rest back in the freezer. Easy PEASy. Yes, I just said that.

A push / ride on toy

The only toys that Little Champ will always play with, unless he hasn’t had enough Cinnamon Burst Cheerios for the day (ifyouknowwhatImean), are his push toys. He already had one push toy, but for his birthday I got him the Radio Flyer Retro Rocket. LT attests that it is the coolest toy in the galaxy. “3…2…1…BLAST OFF!” I wanted this so badly for the little guy that I was going to pay full price for it (GASP). But I ended up finding one in mint condition for over 75% off the listed price on Craigslist. Mom win. Little Champ already can get on it by himself. We saw him swing his leg over the seat and straddle it. He can’t even walk yet. I just hope this doesn’t mean he is going to want a motorcycle on his 16th birthday. If he asks for one, I’ll pull this baby out of the garage and put a big bow on it. Sorry kid, you’re going to have to settle for your dad’s Jeep when you are old enough to drive. Poor child!

All right, besides coffee and TV, what two or three items couldn’t you have lived without when your baby was these ages?


One thought on “What can’t you live without?

  1. Newborn:
    -Moby wrap! (or your wrap of choice)… I could actually get things done while “holding” him.
    -Arm’s Reach co-sleeper
    -Bouncer with vibration setting

    3-6 months:
    -amber necklace to help with all that drooling
    -receiving blankets for spitting up
    -I second the activity gym

    6 months+:
    He’s not quite 8 months so I don’t have tons of comments yet. He has a rideable truck that he loves but causes bumps a million times a day. I also love our highchair because he likes to sit up high and look around and play with toys (or eat!) while I am doing things.

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