Tottini & GGC Present: Must-Have Baby Gear and Giveaway!

*updated with winner, below!*
gear ye, gear ye!

I'm super excited to be teaming up with for the next few weeks both here on GGC and on, re: latest must-haves for newborn and baby. For those unfamiliar with Tottini, they're a small mom-owned and operated store + web destination offering the latest and greatest essentials for newborns and beyond. Brands and designers include Ouef, Monte, Stokke, Maclaren, bloom, Medela and more. Basically, Tottini is a one-stop shop for quality goods for baby, child and parent. And the owners (Hi, Melissa and Melissa!) are super rad.

As well as partnering with Tottini on this and other posts, I'm also a customer. Remember those hairclub for men ads? Yeah, that. The following post wasn't paid for, but Tottini did generously hook me up with some of my must-have gear items. (Noted, below.) Thanks, Tottini!


There are SO many things one needs when baby-rearing and even though this is my third pregnancy, I have little in the way of gear to show for hand-me-downs. I'm the opposite of a hoarder and tend to give everything away as soon as it's no longer in use, so I'm basically at square one as an expecting mom. Which is annoying but also kind of fun. Anyway! The following pieces are some of my must-have gear essentials for the soon-to-be newborn(s) in my life. Behold:

Treetop Activity Gym
I happen to love this Baby Gym because it's cute without being obnoxious. One of the few of its kind in the Baby Gym department, which for whatever reason, insist on being hideous. I love that it's gender neutral and isn't PINK FOR GIRLS! or BLUE FOR BOYS! Instead it's just cute for everyone. Dig.

Triumph Stroller 2011

When Archer was a baby, I knew nothing of strollers. For the first few months I pushed around a massive Graco Travelsystem. That was massive. After a few months of knocking people over, we took the Graco to my parent's house to use as a spare and snagged ourselves a Maclaren. It folded up like an umbrella (hence the term, "umbrella stroller", had plenty of storage and we all lived happily ever after. This time around, we're rocking a Snap n' Go for the first few months and then we're going double Mac. Because, even though we're upgrading our wagon to a Minivan, six people and two dogs will BARELY fit in that beast so the most packable stroller is kind of a total must. Also, one of my besties has one for her (Irish) twins and claims it absolutely fits through doorways and hallways, which, again... very important.

Twin Triumph

And speaking of strollers, Snap n Go's are my #1 recommendation for the first six months:

Clic it! Universal Carrier

The price is right and they're the most practical things that exist. I just ordered my double snap (via my search, Baby Trend is the only brand that makes them) and will use it exclusively in the beginning as not to be constantly pulling babes in and out of carseats. There are several fab "universal" carriers out there - make sure the one you order fits your carseat(s).

Go & Glow Audio Monitor Set

Anyone remember when Baby Monitors were just things you put by the crib to hear your baby cry from another room? Yeah, those were the days. Apparently, today, in the year 2011, monitors now double as television video-recorder-x-ray-vision-bomb-detectors. You know... just in case. The Safety First monitor is right up our WTF-is-all-that-really-necessary? alley. Besides, I'd rather spend the hundred-bucks saved on monitor devices and splurge on a really slick portable bed. Ahem... this:

Portable Bed: Phil & Teds Nest, $99


I haven't purchased this because I don't think it's safe for twins. It definitely maxes out its capacity at one human child, but how awesome is it? Especially for those of us who do lots of traveling and/or like to keep baby close. I never liked porta-cribs because of their humungousness. This "nest" is ideal for those with smaller spaces or those looking for a travel bed for babies. (Nest is for newborns to nine-month-olds.)

Wide Neck Baby Bottles

I've only purchased ten of what I assume will be 78928312893 bottles, but Green to Grow are some of our favorites. They're cute and they were Fable's brand of choice when she was drinking out of a bottle. And by "was" I mean "is". Because sometimes a lady needs a bottle before nap time.

Lawn Drying Rack

We bought ourselves two of these suckers because, A. they're totally adorable and B. uh... yeah, we're going to need them. In the words of Hal, "I don't mind spending a few extra bucks on a dry rack when it LOOKS LIKE GRASS HOW COOL IS THIS?" Bonus? When we're done using them to dry bottles, they can TOTALLY double as Barbie's (eco-friendly) backyard.

Infant Dishwasher Basket
For the first time EVER we will be able to wash bottles in our dish washer which is very luxurious after living ten years (and two babies) without one so we bought a couple of these as well.

Harmony Breastpump

I used an electric pump ONCE and I haaaaaaaaaaaa(infinity a)ted it. Not only did I feel like a dairy cow, but it sucked. No pun intended. I remember calling my mom and being like, "Mom! I hate these! Nothing is even coming out and I feel like I'm hooked up to a machine and what is happening to my life!???" and she was like, "buy a manual pump! they work much better." So I did. With both babies I pumped with my own BARE HANDS and no electric sockets. Medela just happens to be my brand of choice. Highly recommended for those who don't have $500 to spend on a pump and/or prefer not to feel dairy-cowesque. Bonus: manual pumps are fantastic work-outs for lower arm enthusiasts.

Nursing Cover (more colors)
I still have my Bebe Au Lait nursing cover from the days of nursing Fable (score!) and I love it. Highly recommended.

Backpack Owl
Backpack Fox

Several of you commented on Fable's backpack when I posted about her first day of school. We purchased her penguin at a gift shop of a local museum but Tottini ALSO has them for sale, as well as the Owl & Fox (above) which I ordered for the twins to keep their things separate. Keeping a "baby pack" is really helpful for me. Beyond having a diaper bag (which I am still shopping around for) small backpacks I'm assuming will be ideal for twins with different needs, preferences in bottles, pacifiers, etc. This way I can keep their things separate (one backpack beneath each stroller seat). Plus, they're goddamn adorable.

Baby Carrier: Ergo Baby (organic) carrier, $145 c/o Tottini:


As well as pushing my babies in a Snap n Go + lightweight stroller for the first few months, I plan to wear one baby at a time as much as I can. This way, I can bond with the babies as individuals. I carried both Archer (Baby Bjorn) and Fable (Baby Hawk) on my bod for the first several months but have heard nothing but fantastic things about the Ergo and look forward to giving it a spin, soon. (ED: Don't forget the infant insert!)

Bare Naked Pillow

Regardless of whether or not you plan to nurse, Boppy pillows are awesome. They're supportive, comfortable and easy to clean, wash, love. We have two and I keep envisioning the babies propped up in their Boppys staring at each other, reading each other's MINDSSSSS! There are also a million fabulous Etsy shops with Boppy covers to fit your taste and style. So buy bare now and deck it out later.

Babysitter Brown & Beige

This identical bouncer was what Fable lived in her first six months. We didn't have a lot of room in our apartment, so we'd sit out on the patio and I'd write and she'd bounce and giggle and throw her rattle and I'd go chase it, pick it up, dust it off, give it back to her. We have one for now and will likely purchase a second, depending on how much either (or both) twins enjoy a good afternoon bounce. What I love about this bouncer? It's been passed around among friends and is still in amazing shape. Totally timeless and gender neutral and practical and yes.

Wait! There's more! Tottini has agreed to give one Baby Bjorn bouncer ($180 value) to a lucky GGC reader. To win? Tell me about your must-have baby GEAR items. I'll select one winner via next Friday, August 5th. Good luck and thanks in advance for sharing! Still in baby shop mode, so it's super helpful to hear what gear is near and dear to you.


P.S. Shop Tottini now through September 31st and receive 10% of your total purchase by entering code: child10 at the register. Happy shopping!


Congrats to commenter #46, Kelly! And thanks to all for participating in the giveaway! Many more giveaways to come, stay tuned!


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Courtney B. | 6:44 PM

A recliner for me, of course! My first beautiful baby slept on my chest for the first 5 weeks (not to scare any of you newbies out there). It was the only way she or I would get any sleep. So, yeah, a big giant recliner with big side arms that kept us snuggled. Oh, and it was faux leather, which meant that spit up and shooting breast milk were a breeze to clean. I plan on using it again when my second comes ... in just 5 weeks. Peace and love to you all.

Liz | 6:45 PM

Oh, I just want to shout "Amen" on so many of your must-haves...especially the Snap n Go. Oh my gosh, whenever my friends register for baby, I want to scream at them to not get the stupid travel system. Snap n Go is by far the greatest invention.

What I would totally add to the list though would be swaddlers that velcro. Maybe I'm just really inept at mothering, but I could not get a normal blanket to stay tucked in nicely. Loved the swaddler...we used it for 5 months with #1 (expecting girl #2 in September)!

JenAHM | 7:23 PM

I've only been a mom for three months, and we have a few things that have been fabulous, but the top two have been the Swaddle Me Swaddler with velcro (if we need to change her in the middle of the night, you don't have to completely undo the swaddle) and the OXO Candela Tooli night light. It gives off enough light to see her to nurse her, but not enough that it wakes her up completely.

emily bilbrey | 10:49 PM

LOVE this gear review!! and i'm not even a swag girl to be honest, but all this stuff is cute & ever-so-practical, and i own a good deal of it myself, heehee! (; also, poppy is 27 months & still gets a bottle before nap & bedtimes. i'm a firm believer in NOT ripping away comfort items from littles until they are personally ready! rock on, mama - you're my favorite forever and ever! xoxo!

Sarah | 7:59 AM

Oh my! I'm expecting (Xmas baby!) and this bouncer is one of my MUST HAVE items on my baby list!!!

I'm a soon to be mom, so I can't confirm or deny certain baby gear is MUST HAVE, but I have recieved some advice from friends on some useful baby gear:

- Swaddle blankets
- Puj Tub (portable, foldable tub; good for traveling with infants which we will have to do a good amount of!)
- Kushies Waterproof changing pads (small and easy to throw in your bag)
- OXO bottle cleaning accessories (cuz I want to keep my kitchen baby-friendly AND cute! Much like your grass rack :) hehe)
- Sling! I definitely want to be a baby-wearing mama!

Oooo and of course the bouncer! Its high on my must-have list ;)

Sarah | 8:01 AM

Oh no! I didn't type my full contact info ;( sorry about that! For the post I made about expecting a Xmas baby....that's ME!
(I listed swaddle blankets, puj tub, oxo bottle accessories, bouncer, sling..etc..)

Sorry again for the mistake!

iskry | 8:55 AM

I'm having my first baby in March (also happens to be due around my birthday, so that's double awesome). I don't quite know what is my essential baby item but I'm getting advise from my mommy mentor who swears by her Britax carseat. So now I find myself swearing by one too... and am now eyeing a Britax stoller to boot.

The Jorgensen's | 9:24 AM

I love my baby swing. We have a 2 story house and it's been perfect for both my kids to nap in without having to run up and down stairs all day when they are newborns.

Megan | 11:41 AM

Gross as it may be, a Nosefrida snot sucker was the one thing that we would have been lost without. That combined with some sterile saline spray saved many a night's sleep when my 5 week old caught a cold.

Anna | 4:08 PM

I'm not a mom yet (we're trying!), but have worked in a day care infant room. The most indispensable baby item was the Boppy pillow. Perfect for setting a very young baby down but they can still look around since they're not laying flat. Also perfect for babies learning to sit up.

Blair | 5:55 PM

I love my babyhawk! It is really supportive on my back which makes wearing the babe so easy!

Chandra | 5:59 PM

Well, I'm pregnant for the first time, with twins as well (!) so right now my must have baby items are my pregnancy books...and GGC of course!

Jessica | 11:24 PM

Ok fav baby items are:
bob stroller, I hate the double though it's too big...
aden and anais swaddler blankets...a must!
ergo baby! hands down best carrier
and my petunia pickle bottom tiny diaper's the cake brand and it's a tiny little clutch, love it for grab and go!
Little Goats Milk Chevre...something like that you can find it at whole foods, it's body butter, lotion and body wash for babies,,, so yummy smelling!
I can't think of anything else at the moment!

KristieS | 5:29 AM

I loved my boppy pillow. We used it for nursing, tummy time and when my daughter was learning to sit up. That and zip up sleepers, I could never get the snaps right on a sleeper at 2 a.m.! Zippers all the way, only took my a week to learn that!

Steph | 6:57 AM

I love the Bumbo baby seat! Perfect for taking from room to room and propping the baby up anywhere.

Ashley Smith | 7:34 AM

I want one of those jogger strollers with the huge mack truck tires. I live on a dirt road with grass all around, so if I go out walking with the baby this will be the only thing that rips through the brush! :)

prettypants | 8:45 AM

My must-have is the Baby Bjorn. For the first few weeks, it was the bassinet, but now that is just taking up space! How quickly they grow!

Jenna | 9:20 AM

I'm pregnant with my first so right now the most needed baby gear that we recently purchased is a crib! We're so excited about this kiddo!

Tracie | 9:27 AM

Ergo! I never would have survived commuting on the DC metro without it.

Stephanie | 10:12 AM

I'm a newbie, so I have no idea what my must-have gear is... yet. But articles/comments like this really helps me. But I am going to cloth diaper, so I'm pumped about that!

That bouncer is awesome!

TriciaR | 10:26 AM

I have no idea what my must-have baby items are! I'm pregnant with my first. But, I have had my eye on the Baby Bjorn bouncer.

craftbynight | 12:12 PM

I'm pregnant with my second right now, so this is on my mind.... My must-haves are the Ergo carrier, Aden and Anais swaddling blankets, and My Brest Friend, a breast feeding pillow like the boppy, but just a different brand.

findingmagnolia | 1:00 PM

The fox backpack is BEYOND adorable--we have the mouse version, and I hadn't seen the fox yet. I may have to purchase it for hypothetical kiddo #2, even though we're a little ways out from staring the paperwork for our next adoption.

My must have baby gear, since we are adoption people and need to work on secure attachment, is a stroller in which baby can face me. Even after nearly a year together, Zinashi still feels better when she's able to face us. In second place (because I can't choose just one thing) is a good baby carrier. We love our Beco, and there are so many options out there. If we do as we plan and adopt a baby this second time around, we'll probably get a second carrier in a sling or moby wrap style.

Elisa L. | 1:58 PM

The wearable blankets with the swaddle option were a miracle for us! Looks like a torture device, but our son slept so comfortably all wrapped up in them.

Michelle | 2:01 PM

Boppy hands down is my favorite baby item. Finn still uses his after four and a half years to sleep at night. I had to buy another one when I had Tate for breastfeeding.

Close runners up: Moby wrap & the Summers swaddle pods

Mama Times Two | 2:12 PM

I am not sure what my must have is because I'm currently 28 weeks pregnant with twin boys and don't have any other children. I'm thinking bouncy seats though are going to be pretty important.

Fefe | 4:51 PM

my favorite items are teh gerber washcloths that come in the pack of 8 or 12. good for buns, faces, drying, cleaning, smearing, snuggling.

Momfish | 6:27 PM

For baby gear we loved/used our boppy pillow the most out of everything, for sure! :) But I also loved my Moby wrap and Ergo.

Jen L | 7:22 PM

We're expecting number two in December, and I've been trying to make a "must have" list... So far, a wrap for baby-wearing (Didymos) is topping the list. Thanks for sharing your favorites! jmlushbough AT gmail DOT com

Brenda | 7:30 PM

I N-E-E-D this bouncer for my 2 month old! I have already spent $1,937,983,982,987 on this baby and I could use something free!

The baby essentials (I am a mommy of 2) are a double stroller (duh!), a baby bjorn, swaddle me blankets, and the Avent baby formula dispenser!


kittenpie | 9:50 PM

My very favourite thing that I buy every new mom is a local-made thing called a babywrapper. You could make the same thing by taking a bath towel and attaching two straps to the skinny end so you can put that over your neck and wear it like a long apron, then when you lift a baby out of the bath, you put it on your chest, flip the bottom half of the towel/wrapper up over her, and she warm and safely snugged up to you. LOVE these.

I was also a pumper, but I used a medela double electric and yes, I did feel like a cow, but it was faster and for exclusively pumping, that counted!

(Also only entering this because I have a good friend who is preggy, not me! Just to say that...)

lindsay | 10:31 PM

Moby wrap for baby wearing! Such a dream!

leah | 4:53 AM

Muslin. Lots and lots of muslin. I've bought metres of the stuff so I can cut it down to size for everything from blankets to diaper inserts to wash clothes. It might be plain white but it's much cheaper to buy it from a fabric shop.

Twitter - @leahhung

Candace | 5:32 AM

I'm 26 weeks with twins, too! Three weeks behind you. I'm inspired by this blog and it keeps me in a positive space about the changes that seem to happen so fast!

My MUST-have items with my first (and only) daughter was an infant carrier, the wipes warmer, and a vibrating bouncy seat. Without those items, I'm not sure what we would have done!

Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy - and thanks for keeping other multiple-mothers-to-be like me inspired.

Berit | 7:24 AM

One must-have? I'll go with my BOB jogging stroller. I would have gone insane those first few months without it. Not sure what I'll do when #2 arrives in January, as jogging while pushing a newborn AND a 2-year-old is a little too macho-insane for me. Maybe I'll stick to power walks.

Thanks for hosting the giveaway!

Jess | 8:48 AM

I am due in January and I've been told by many moms to get a great baby carrier to wear! The one I want is made by Britax.

AmberM | 9:18 AM

Hi! I have absolutely no idea (yet) what my must-have gear is, as am pregnant w/ first kid ever and thrilled/terrified/thrilled! Would love to start off with this :)

Amy K | 10:50 AM

I think Soothies pacifiers were our most used baby item. My daughter got one in the hospital on Day #1 and didn't want to let it go until her second birthday.

Hannah Jane | 12:55 PM

I too am having twins and we just found out they're a boy an a girl :D so let the shopping begin! Being a first time mom I have no idea where to begin with twin shopping...I love your posts about baby items, thank you so much!

Kirdy | 2:48 PM

I love organic burp clothes, couldn't live without them. They are cream and softer than the white ones (hide the baby throw up really well!), my sister-in-law put an adorable fabric on the ends of them so they look more cute than just a burp cloth. Seriously love them, I have 6, could use 12!

Erin | 7:38 AM

Aden + Anais swaddle blankets. They have so many uses- nursing cover, swaddle, security blanket. LOVE.

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