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Here is a list of baby changing and crib items that I have purchased, or received as a gift or hand-me-down from friends/family, that I can personally recommend.
Keekaroo Peanut Changer – Because love means never having to launder changing pad covers at 2am because of blowouts. I know it’s pricey, but think of the money you’ll save on replacing soiled changing pad covers! Put this on your registry, if you have one. You really need this.
See this post for a detailed review of the Keekaroo vs. newer options (Hatch Baby Grow and Bumbo changing pads).
Naturepedic Organic Cotton Seamless 150 Coil Mattress – We got this mattress as a hand-me-down, and after 5+ years of almost daily and nightly use, it is still firm and clean. The seamless, food-grade waterproof cover is a huge bonus. And, of course, it’s non-toxic, and does not contain off-gassing foam. It’s a nice, thick, firm mattress that easily supports infants and toddlers, and should last for many years.
QuickZip Crib Sheet System – Because love also means never having to lift a crib mattress to change the sheets. This product is genius. You can buy extra top sheets separately. You probably only need one base, and 2-3 top sheets. I recommend the standard cotton for summer and the plush “heavenly mink” version for winter. It’s been over a year, and I have not needed to wash the base, only the top sheets.
Waterproof Mattress Pad – Made to go with the QuickZip sheets. Provides a nice extra bit of cushioning for baby.