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  • Like a Mother – Angela Garbes: Wish I had read this when I was pregnant with Raya, it is such an empowering, beautiful book with a personal story interwoven with scientific/medical inquiry. Absolute must. #katesfav
  • Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn – Penny Simkin: My doula recommended this book as she was trained by Penny Simkin, a very respected Seattle-area doula. Super detailed and in-depth look at pregnancy and childbirth in a no-nonsense way that adds a holistic approach. #katesfav
  • The Power of Showing Up – Daniel Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson: This duo is the standard in child cognitive development and I like this book because it talks about how parents’ own upbringings impact how they react to their child, and makes you much more aware of your reflexive behaviors inherited from childhood and your own parents. #katesfav
  • How Eskimos Keep Their Babies Warm – I read this book while pregnant with my first kid and it was helpful to see that different cultures had approaches to raising children, all of which mostly worked. It gave me more confidence to approach parenting my way and to know there isn’t always just one way of parenting. #jeanettesfav
  • 12 hour’s sleep by 12 weeks is the sleep training book we used for both of our children. We didn’t follow the schedule exactly but we used many of the principles and tools to get our kids sleeping through the night around 4-5 mos. #jeanettesfav
  • Happiest Baby On the Block is a book we’ve gifted to expecting friends and family. We found it really helpful in the first few weeks in giving us tools to settle a crying newborn. Watch the DVD – the footage from the 90s is a throwback and seeing Harvey Karp soothe these crying infants is pretty amazing. #jeanettesfav
  • Expecting Better and Crib Sheet are two books by the economist Emily Oster who lays out the evidence for different decisions parents face during pregnancy, childbirth and infant years. For a data-oriented person like me, it was a great book. #jeanettesfav
  • Discipline that connects with your child’s heart is a book about how to foster positive behavior in your kid and protect/ even grow your relationship with your child in the midst of disruptive behavior. Because let’s face it, sooner or later our sweet little angel is going to be a terror (at least at times) and it will definitely challenge our patience and sanity. Note – this book is written by Christian pastors and does incorporate a Christian point of view but I think it could be useful to a broader audience #jeanettesfav
  • The Whole Brain Child gives a neurology-based explanation for why our children (and frankly adults) react the way they do in challenging situations and gives us tools to respond in ways that are not only productive in the moment but better equip our kids to face similar challenges going forward. #jeanettesfav
  • The First Forty Days: The Essential Art of Nourishing the New Mother. A nice gift to a new mama to-be (even better if you make the food for her!). I really missed not having the wise circle of female elders around me once Art was born. These recipes are delicious and draw upon different cultures too. Having girlfriends make me some recipes and me freezing some before the baby came really helped during the agonizing days of feed baby, feed mama, sleep, and repeat. #susansfav
  • Nursing camis: H&M has cheap nursing camis which are comfortable. I suggest wearing these to bed over leggings – very comfortable and accessible for nighttime breastfeeding and/or pumping (using the clip-on bra above). #katesfav
  • Nursing pads to prevent milk leakage and stains. If your nipples leak milk, use Bamboobies for both reusable and disposable nursing pads. Do not cheap out, I tried 3 brands (Kindred Bravely, Lansinoh and Bamboobies) and this is the most $ but the least itchy and most absorbent (you do not want itchy pads on sore nipples!). I use the reusables for overnight and then the disposables during the day, although you could certainly wear reusables all the time but I suggest buying at least 8-10 pairs of reusables as I use at least 2 pairs per day if not 3, depending on how much milk was leaking.
  • Spectra – S2 Plus Electric Breast Milk Pump for Baby Feeding. I was really happy with this. I even got the wireless elvie but when considering volume storage and amount of time being hooked up to a machine, I would use this again if there was a kiddo #2. That being said, get all the generic extra pump parts and make sure the flange actually fits your breast! There are many sizes so get a few to test (once you start pumping because your boobs grow so much) and then once you figure out your sizing, get the extra parts and throw them in the dishwasher every round. #susansfav
  • Kindred Bravely Sublime Hands Free Pumping Bra. I am such a frugal woman, BUT these bras are worth it. Get them a) when there’s a sale and b) once your milk actually comes because your bust line CHANGES. I’ve been a B all my life and then was suddenly a G?! You’ll be living in these at a certain point and getting a set of 3 (or putting this brand on your registry for a gift card) is just SO worth it. #susansfav

Baby gear
  • Favorite bib: OXO Tot Roll-up Bib. Prevents big messes (read: anything soupy), rolls up to fit in our go-bag, and the only one Art will wear. In general, really love OXO products for the babe and for the home. #susansfavs
  • Favorite romper: PARADE Signature Print ‘2-Way’ Zip Romper Short Sleeve. We have 90% hand-me-down clothes which is awesome (my sister is the best). We allowed grandma to get us some clothes and Parade with its organic cotton became the first thing we would reach for out of the laundry. Zippers all the way over snaps anyday. They have a nice selection of all kinds of clothes. Really love this brand. #susansfavs
  • Favorite travel crib/pack n’ play: Guava Lotus travel crib is the favorite of many of my mom’s friends and we own two. Easy to assemble and disassemble and fits in a handy carrier. Pro tip, you can often find second hand ones in excellent condition on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. #katesfavs
  • Favorite baby wrap/carrier: Personally I think a soft fabric wrap is the best for the early months/when baby is small, as the wrap style imitates the closeness of the womb. I chose the Sollybaby wrap for its versatility and beautiful/flexible fabric and design. It’s a huge favorite with  moms on Instagram and for once, they are actually right. I have to say that it really is wonderful for a smaller baby/newborn because the fabric is stretchy, breathable, washable, and once you learn how to tie it together, easy to use and adaptable to a wide range of body shapes and heights. It’s also an independent woman-run business and has great matching crib sheets, sleepers, and wraps in the same soft modal fabric. #katesfavs
  • Favorite swaddle: Why do hospitals still teach how to swaddle using a piece of fabric? Waste of time! There are so many ready-made swaddles out there, so I won’t even list the swaddles that are just a piece of fabric (like from Aden + Anais, etc.). If you insist on using a traditional swaddle, I suggest Sollybaby’s swaddles as the fabric is stretchy and it’s much easier to work with. That being said, I strongly recommend using a ready-made swaddle such as one of the following:
    • Love to Dream Swaddle Up which is unique because it allows baby’s arms to be up as opposed to down, and this is largely each baby’s preference. Raya loved having her hands up by her face, so this was her favorite swaddle early on. #katesfavs
    • Ollie Swaddle which is great because it grows with the baby: can be used for arms contained swaddle, one arm out, and when baby transitions out of full swaddling, arms free. It is the strongest swaddle of the many I tried – the velcro is practically military-grade. The downside is that it’s often sold out, so get on the waitlist! #katesfavs
  • Favorite inexpensive zip onesies: Forget snap buttons, who has time for those! Zip onesies are the way to go and I like the Target Cloud Island sleep n’ play onesies, which are inexpensive and come in boy, girl and neutral designs. #katesfavs
  • Favorite portable sound machine: Yogasleep Hushh is portable for travel and child-proof, great for on-the-go or if you have multiple sleeping spots for baby. We used a full size sound machine at home and always took this one for car trips and to grandparents’ house. #katesfav
  • Favorite diaper backpack: Most diaper backpacks have terrible user experience/design and quality and many are just ugly. I looked high and low and tried most of the top picks of various mommy lists and finally settled on the Dagne Dover Indi diaper backpack. There are now 3 sizes, and I love how thoughtfully the inside is designed with compartments that are actually useful. The sleek neoprene aesthetic may not be for everyone, but I like the urban chic look, and it has a laptop compartment for working moms. Bonus, a friend who is an early investor in the company said that you can throw Dagne Dover neoprene items into the washer on delicate and then air dry, even though the brand doesn’t explicitly endorse the practice. #katesfav
  • Favorite stroller: BABYZEN YOYO2 6+ Stroller – White Frame with Ginger Seat Cushion & Canopy. One of the few items we splurged on was this stroller. I like that it’s super compact, (relatively) lightweight at 14lbs, and can fit in an overhead airplane bin if you can sneak it on. I still have a Thule Urban Glide Stroller (used on Craigslist!) for parks and big days but if I’m going solo and needing to manage a lot of stuff, the compactness of this stroller (especially in tight situations like a restaurant) is really nice. #susanfav
  • Favorite snot solution: Baby Nasal Aspirator NoseFrida the Snotsucker. Much more effective than the plastic bulb, this gets the job done. #susanfav
  • Favorite baby nail scissors: Simba Baby Safety Scissors. When Art was first born his nails were long and I was so scared to cut them. We got an electric baby nail filer and it just wasn’t working. I kept putting mittens on him so he wouldn’t scratch his face but the nails kept growing so fast. Finally, I sucked it up and these scissors have been my saving grace. They’re baby and adult proof and I haven’t cut him yet. 
  • Favorite baby bottle: Comotomo Baby Bottle. We had gotten the Baby List Bottle Box with 5 types of bottles to try out for Art. He liked all of them. But as the parents, bottle management became really crazy. At a certain point, we just wanted to reduce the number of movements tbh. So we went with the Comotomos which are a bit pricier but with way less parts. The value was there for us because we spent so much energy on cleaning bottles. And we put them in the dishwasher (which I bet you Kate would disagree with and say you should get a sanitizer!). #susansfav
  • Must have for ouchies: Vaseline 100% Pure Petroleum Jelly. Don’t underestimate the power of the simple things! A nice layer to put on the butt after a diaper change to make your next change easier. Put it on cuts and things and it’s cheap! #susansfav
  • Best snack box: Ubbi Tweat No Spill 2 Pack Snack Container for Kids. It’s so nice to clean … less. We fill these with cheddar crackers which are really helpful in a meltdown or I give him this container when I’m driving so he has something to preoccupy him as long as possible before the tears begin.
  • Best straw bottle:
  • Dinnerware: I highly recommend metal plates and Corelle dinnerware because they are unbreakable and don’t retain odor. I hate hate hate the expensive fancy silicone dinnerware advertised for babies and toddlers – has anyone ever eaten from them? Because if you have, you’ll want to vomit…the silicone retains odors and the food is IMHO virtually inedible. I also love the Oxo Tot fork and spoon set, it’s super ergonomic; the Modern Twist silicone bibs which almost no one seems to know about but I think are perfect for babies and smaller toddlers, unlike the gigantic silicone ones. Also, Bapron Baby splash mats are the cutest splash mats (a must for baby/toddler eating), washable, thin and easy to pack as picnic blankets. #katesfav
  • Good Earth Sweet & Spicy Flavored 25 Tea Bags 4 Pack Herbal Teas. This is my go-to caffeine-free tea. I’m super sensitive to caffeine but sometimes I need that feeling of soothing comfort that’s also zero calorie (!). I also like the different quotes on the tea bags. Feels like the Universe is speaking to me. #susansfavs
  • Yamamotoyama – Genmai Cha (Brown Rice Tea). One of my caffeinated everyday thinking teas. I tried to go loose leaf a few times and certainly have it in my tea collection, but when the kiddo wakes me up at 5am, I’m aiming for less steps to getting warm tea in my belly. #susansfavs
  • Harney and Sons Fine Teas, Green Tea with Coconut. This is one of my splurge teas. I love the use of coconut and lemongrass here. It’s divine. #susansfavs
  • Simple Mills Almond Flour Crackers, Fine Ground Sea Salt. I buy these at Costco now because I am such a big fan (and well, it’s cheaper there). I am not gluten-free, but these are gluten-free. It’s the savoriness of a wheat thin but the crunchiness of something you want to gnaw. It doesn’t taste like cardboard. They are my new favorite crackers and I inhale them. They are dangerous but then I justify that since they’re made with almond flour, I can eat a whole box. #susansfavs
  • Mama Instant Noodle, Tom Yum Shrimp Spicy Flavor. I get cravings from childhood and this is one of them. When I was a kid, my family used to eat it for lunch in our nail salon lunchroom. I’ll throw any mushrooms we have in the house and an egg and then Marvin will hover for a few bites. I know it has MSG and it’s a guilty pleasure. #susansfavs
  • Better Than Bouillon Organic Reduced Sodium Roasted Chicken Base. I love this product and it’s much cheaper at Costco but I just wanted to point out how clever it is. Instead of opening up a can of broth, you get two teaspoons and some hot water and you’re done. On an environmental level and cost level, it’s totally a great product. #susansfavs
  • Juna’s Jar is a sweet book about a Korean-American girl who is growing up in Los Angeles and misses her friend who moved away. I grew up in Koreatown in LA and this book’s illustrations make me think of my childhood. #jeanettesfav
  • Where’s Halmoni? is a hilarious mashup of Korean fairy tales and Korean-American culture. Admittedly it’s targeted towards a pretty narrow audience (Konglish anyone?) but its specificity is part of what I love. #jeanettesfav
  • Bibimbap is a rhyming book about Korean dinnertime that my kids enjoyed as babies and toddlers. #jeanettesfav
  • Smoky Nights is a book that deals with a difficult subject – the LA riots – but I deeply appreciated the straightforward, kind and empathetic way that the authors talked about this event. Winner of the 1995 Caldecott medal #jeanettesfav
  • Last Stop on Market Street is about the conversations between a black boy and his grandmother as they encounter the beauties and inequities of our world on a short bus ride. Another sweet, sensitive book with emotionally resonant illustrations. #jeanettesfav
  • Frog and Toad is one of the classic friendships in English children’s literature. We’ve literally read this book over a hundred times and it still makes us smile. #jeanettesfav
  • Winnie the Pooh – we have both the 5 minute stories as well as the compendium of the original stories. The 5 minute stories are more simple and better for younger kids (mine were into them around 1.5-2 years of age). The original stories are longer and better for older toddlers (mine were into them around 3 years of age). #jeanettesfav
  • Narwhal and Jelly has a more modern sensibility and is written in a comic-book format but the two characters are pretty adorable. #jeanettesfav
  • Dog by Matthew Van Fleet. Art loves dogs and this book has pull tabs and touchable textures that he really loves. A lot of the books that he can slide open or pull up a flap are instant favorites. #susansfav
  • OXO Good Grips POP Container. I like to have white and brown rice on-hand but just had the huge bags from Costco so I wasn’t reaching for the rice as much because it was such a pain to get to. These containers were game-changing because the measuring cup fits nicely in and out of it and I can store both grains next to each other in a cupboard without sacrificing too much space. #susansfav
  • Weck Jars. Marvin’s Number 1 pet peeve is tupperware. He hates that the lids and the containers don’t elegant fit and there’s always a spill of them somewhere. In general, he hates plastic. So, these Weck jars are awesome because all the lids fit all the bottoms of different sizes. It’s a one-lid system (unless you get the itty bitty ones but I’m talking about the ones for leftover food storage not sauce storage). I really like this half liter size because whenever someone would drop off food for a Meal Train, I would divide everything up into five of these jars and have them ready to go to throw into the microwave when I woke up to pump. They’re see-through so it’s easy to see what you have in the fridge and what to rotate out when it’s gone bad. #susansfav  
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