Whole Parenting Family

Five Baby Items that Make Parenting Easier

SuperBoy Here are my top five baby items. I wrote here about registering tips {The Everything Registry List}. None of these have endorsed me (ha!) but I am planning on working on a few of them for a giveaway deal or a discount to my readership. They are all pricey, to be honest. Either we received them or we splurged on them. Everything averages $80 (or $35 for the diaper covers). You don’t need it all, in fact, I’m sure many of you have long and happy babyhoods without any of them.

These are all nice wants, not needs. Despite the sticker shock, I’m going to say these are give things I use every single day and have since SweetPea was born. With SuperBoy, I wasn’t as savvy–or selective, ironically though he was my first!. With both children, and in general, we buy used or are the grateful recipients of hand-me-downs.Especially in the clothing department–have you seen how expensive new baby/children clothing is? Buy consignment, Goodwill or thrift shops, or garage sales.

For the staples you’re going to use and wear out, I’ve found that these five things have been worth the cost and to do it all again, I would spend the money on each of them used if we hadn’t received most of them as gifts. These are the only 5 things I rely on every day that are spendy but worth it.

All this being said, with no further ado:

1) Blessed Nest Nesting Pillow.

Website here. People all say buy a bopie. Or Breastfriend. Or whatnot. Gonna say, don’t do it! Even used! Save your money for a Blessed Nest. I slept with mine all through pregnancy (still do), used it as the best nursing pillow, use it for road trips as a lower back support, used it as a prop for little baby, and then later for tummy time. The nesting pillow is $87.

Organic US Cotton. Organic Buckwheat hulls. It’s totally conformable to you and your shape while still providing support. Love love love it. Just sent one to my sister-in-law who’s expecting. Just a little love from her nephew and nieces. My sisters and I agreed: she couldn’t continue her pregnancy without one.

2) Sakura Bloom Ring Sling.

I know, I’ve advocated for my girlfriend’s variation of the Moby (Rockin’ Wraps) and I do love mine. I’m a big Ergo fan. Not a fan of Baby Bjorn for the pelvic problems and hip problems it can cause for babies–not to mention the over stimulus of a small child under 2 looking OUT at the world. But this sling takes the cake. My sister hunted high & low for the right carrier for her daughter as a sling is basically your stroller/car when you live in New York. She came upon the Sakura Bloom. And then my family gifted one to us. They range from $88 to an obscenely high amount I won’t even mention.

Website here. The company offers linen or silk, single fabric or double. The slings are made in Massachusetts. The sling is adjustable with one hand. So when you’re in public, you don’t have to set your child on the ground/table/available ledge to get into your wrap.

You just sling it over your head, pop the baby in, and then adjust it with one hand while holding the baby with the other. I use mine every single day, even with an almost year old baby. Around the house, to wrangle when SuperBoy is outdoors and racing about, to run errands with her, to nurse her discretely at church.

3) Phil&Teds Lobster High Chair.

Another one that I only discovered after my sister found it (she’s getting credit for everything so far). It’s a clamp-on high chair that brings your tot right up to your counter. Amazingly, it fits up to 3 years old. It’s snug and close to the counter so there’s no wiggle room to get out of it. The padded strap works wonders for the squirmy eater (ahem, Sweets). It runs about $80 as well.

Website here. The best best best part is that you can screw it into place one handed, while holding the squirmer in the other arm. The lobster claw like arms really are grippy and easily adjusted to grab that counter top. No assembly required (thank GOD because I’m terrible at directions).

Spray it clean and set it to dry by the sink and it’s ready to go by the next meal. Very portable. Love love love love love it. Use it three times a day, and sometimes more if I need to run and change laundry or visit the loo.

4) BabeeGreens Wool Diaper Cover.

I picked up a pair of these at Peapods, our local amazing store for everything child related (and yes, they sell my Bandit Bibs & Contour Cloths!). The plastic diaper covers we’d been using gave SweetPea a rashy-rub on her little thighs. They always worked well for SuperBoy, but he was a hunk of babe. She’s a bean of babe, and a small bean at that. Perhaps it was due to her petite build, but the plastics just weren’t cutting it.

Enter cashmere wool diaper covers. Ah-mazing. No more rubbing. No more indents of the snaps on her little leggies and tummy. And I rarely have to wash them! Unless there’s a poop, I only wash them by hand in the sink once a week or so. The cashmere is so soft, and wool is waterproof that they act just like a plastic cover, but without the plastic part. They’re better, in fact. I cannot sell these strongly enough. If you cloth diaper, GO GET A PAIR. They run $35 per.

A little about the company (website here): you guessed it: upcycled sweaters. Three sizes (S, M, L) and each has three rows of snaps and a little wiggling room to ensure a proper fit across the front. Each is unique and beautiful. Wool is also naturally antibacterial; did you know? Hoping the company is interested in some sort of deal for my readers, you, my friends, because you need these.

5) Brookstone Baby Sleep Sound Machine.

With two children and a big loud household, this sound machine (gift from my mother) has saved our bacon so many times. Dogs barking in the backyard right outside Sweets’ window? No sweat. Crying toddler right outside her door, insistent he needs to wake her up so she can go potty on the toilet with him at 10pm? Nada problemo. Gentle soothing sounds? Check. Cool options? Yup.

You plug it in and choose from six options: white noise, dolphins, lullaby, cars, and womb sounds–I’m missing one. We cannot leave home without this. Hotel room, family’s house, wherever she’s sleeping, she needs her dolphin/ocean sound to block the noise but also be soothing at the same time. Are we creating an addict? Maybe! Website here. It runs about $80. I know there are a million sound machines out there, and many less expensive–try a box fan!–but this one has worked for us in our household.

Hope this little list of the spendier items can help inspire you to either go for them or find alternatives that meet your needs in a similar way!


  1. sarah marie on April 10, 2013 at 10:17 am

    That pillow looks amazing! And the Sakura Bloom… I’ve been wanting one of those… maybe with our next, if we are blessed with another! This is a great list, thanks!

    • Natural Mama Nell on April 10, 2013 at 11:14 am

      The pillow is life changing. The Sakura Bloom is better than any stroller in the universe. 🙂 It’s all about getting into the habit of using, and knowing how to use it correctly, and then poof! It’s on me everyday still–if I need to do laundry in the basement which is NOT baby safe, or help SuperBoy with Monopoly and someone else–ahem–wants to be held and I need free hands–you name it!

  2. Alison on April 10, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    We used our ring slings religiously. I actually made my own and considered selling them until I found out that the insurance you would need to carry basically made it impossible to actually make money.

    They are wonderful though, and my go-to for carrying baby.

    • Alison on April 10, 2013 at 8:53 pm

      Oh! And the pillow is buckwheat! We sleep on buckwheat pillows. Awesome stuff. What a great idea.

      • Natural Mama Nell on April 11, 2013 at 6:51 am

        It’s pretty amazing! You guys sleep on buckwheat pillows? What brand? I love this and would love to have more around the house.

        • Anonymous on April 11, 2013 at 7:48 am

          We honeymooned in Japan and fell in love with the pillows we found in every ryokan. We bought the organic buckwheat pillows on Amazon from the seller Beans72. I tried the Zen Chi one for my son, but I don’t like it as much. It came with a lot less buckwheat.

          They are great because they always stay cool and conform to whatever shape you want. We all have the Japanese size.

          • Natural Mama Nell on April 11, 2013 at 8:37 pm


    • Natural Mama Nell on April 11, 2013 at 6:51 am

      Oh wow–insurance makes sense I suppose because of the potential for injury. I do love them!

      • Anonymous on April 11, 2013 at 7:44 am

        Yeah, product liability insurance. Even if a parent drops their kid of their own neglegence they can still go after everything a crafter owns (because they are generally sole props). It wasn’t worth it in my eyes.

        • Natural Mama Nell on April 11, 2013 at 8:37 pm

          All these lawyers 🙂

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  4. Karen on March 22, 2016 at 7:06 pm

    I’m just finding your blog as I’m preparing to be a first time mom in October. I’m looking for a sling and am very interested in the Sakura Bloom. Is it difficult to learn to use? Have you tried the Maya Wrap? If so, how does it compare? Thanks!

    • Natural Mama Nell on March 23, 2016 at 1:23 pm

      Hi friend! So glad you’re here. I LOVE LOVE LOVE my sakura. I’ve bought two of them and they’re worth every single penny. The learning curve is about 30 mins of watching videos or having someone help you hands on, and maybe a week’s worth of wearing. I haven’t tried the Maya Wrap. I’ve tried the Moby–and I can say the Sakura is way simpler and gets a tighter feel on that new babe. There’s a Buy-Sell-Trade Sakura Facebook group I can send to you that you could buy a used linen sling on to give it a try before diving into the deep?