6 “Secret” Baby Essentials


six secret baby essentialsWelcome to motherhood! Before giving birth, you may have an idea of the gear you need to make your life easier, but soon enough, you’ll discover that some of the items you just had to register for have absolutely no useful place in your house. (I’m looking at you baby bathtub!) I’ve been introduced to several new baby essentials from other seasoned moms in my life, and now that I have a newborn again, these six things are even more important in my household than they were before. Here are some helpful products no one told me about until after I had kids….

1. Nosefrida

The Nosefrida. Odd, but VERY effective.
The Nosefrida. Odd, but VERY effective.

My new baby girl has three older brothers, so it was inevitable that she’d catch the crud sooner rather than later. Since she’s so young, there aren’t many medicines we can give her for relief. She’s been coughing and super snotty, and the bulb that was sent home with her from the hospital was useless to me.

In desperation I turned to Facebook, where a friend recommended the Nosefrida. OH MY GOSH. The “snot sucker” has changed my life! It was hard to find (we looked at Target, Walgreens and CVS before finally finding it at Buy Buy Baby) but it was worth looking for. And it really works! Just place one end on baby’s nose and the straw end to your lips and suck (don’t worry, there’s a filter to catch anything you suck out … no one wants a mouth full of THAT). Baby girl got her first night of restful sleep in over a week the first night we used it.

2. Vapor bath

Mama ALWAYS buys vapor bath to keep in her bathroom as well as in the kids' bathroom.
Mama ALWAYS keeps vapor bath on hand in the bathroom!

When your little one is sick, you’ll try just about anything to help them feel better.

Enter the vapor bath.

Imagine placing your infant in a tubful of eucalyptus and menthol scented bubbles … ahhh, instant relief! The vapors are super relaxing and help clear up congestion.

You can purchase name brand of vapor bath, but there are also store brands, and they all smell the same to me … awesome. And it’s good when mama isn’t feeling so great either. Nothing better than a bubble bath on a cold night with a magazine and a Lime-A-Rita. (I may have stashed a can or two in the bathroom.)

3. Tub sling

The Summer Infant baby bather is what I recommend to all mamas who think that the infant bathtub is a pain. (To each his own!!)
The Summer Infant baby bather is my recommendation over a baby tub.

This recliner sits down in the tub and is awesome for bathing baby until she’s big enough to sit up on her own.

I registered for a baby bathtub and used it maybe twice. It was just too big and bulky for me (not to mention I’m super clumsy and tend to make a mess when big buckets of water are involved.)

I didn’t register for a bath sling, but was so grateful someone gave me one, which I quickly tried out when the baby bathtub didn’t was too much for me to handle. I highly recommend it. It doesn’t take up much space and is just as effective at getting baby clean!

4. Ergo carrier

I’m late to the babywearing game, but I so wish that I’d purchased my Ergo carrier prior to baby number 4. Carriers are great at providing the skin-to-skin contact babies need and love (as well as many other benefits), while also allowing your hands to be free to do other things (in my case, take care of three boys and maintain my household). Just be sure to use the infant insert as well if you’ve got a super tiny tot. The great thing about the Ergo it is designed to evenly distribute baby’s weight between your hips and shoulders, so it’s really comfortable and doesn’t kill your back. I was lucky enough to find a slightly used one at a discount, but it’s well worth the steep price tag if you can’t find one second-hand.

5. Teething Tablets

Hyland's Teething Tablets are inexpensive enough to at least try when you are at your wit's end with a teething infant.
Hyland’s Teething Tablets are worth a try when you are at your wit’s end with a teething infant.

When my first was having fits while cutting teeth, our caregiver recommended giving Hyland’s teething tablets a try. These tablets worked wonders for him. He would be irritable and fussy, we’d put a couple of tablets in his mouth and he’d be instantly calmed.

Per their website, these homeopathic tablets “have rocked the charts by being the #1 infant oral pain reliever in America! They make nights bearable, days livable, and truly make the teething years way more groovy. Easy to use, no mess, no fuss – Hyland’s Baby Teething Tablets have perfect timing, right there whenever you need them.”

With three older kids, I’ve tried a lot of different remedies to ease teething pain. Find out more about my experiences with nine of the most popular remedies.

6. Gripe water

A seasoned mom gave me Mylicon gas drops with my first, and they worked okay to soothe his irritated tummy. But gripe water was a godsend. Formerly a concoction made in home kitchens to soothe irritable tummies, modern versions can be found just about everywhere. If the ingredients list concerns you, check with your pediatrician before administering it to your infant.

Bonus Discovery:

This time of year my hands get super irritated and chapped due to the weather, not to mention I’m washing my hands a million times a day while taking care of a newborn. The absolute best cure for my chapped hands is creamy Vaseline. It’s not sticky or slimy and absorbs almost instantly. It’s also cheaper than most lotions … a win-win!

What “secret” baby products did you learn about after you had your baby?

Top Secret Photo credit: Malakhi Helel / Foter / CC BY-ND


  1. i just got a bath sling from a mom in the playgroup… Glad to see its not useless! I used gripe water for “J” at the recommendation of some friends from the Caribbean… It’s an English remedy actually… Saved us big time! I’m trying to find a Mo+m carrier…. Unfortunately Amazon is out and I’ve not been able to find one! It’s just like ergo but ventilated… Since I’ve not done the baby wearing and am hot natured…. I have a few months though so hopefully they will be available somewhere!

  2. Blue pads, also called chux. They are disposable pads to put on the changing table for dirty daipers. Saves on washing. I always have some with me for diaper changes while out, since public changing areas gross me out. I buy cheap ones on Amazon.


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