As a new mom, I was so overwhelmed about all of the baby products out there. From Instagram ads, to Amazon baby registries there was information overload on what I needed to buy for my new babe.
There are many helpful products that are SO expensive because you are paying for the brand name, basically like buying Nike vs. Target. You are paying for the popular brand name. As a young couple, we didn't want to go overboard with spending money on baby gear. Especially since we weren't sure what we actually needed, or what our baby would even like! I decided to search for dupes or knock offs of people's favorite baby gear and I am SO glad that I did.
I created a video explaining all of these products since people were about 50/50 on whether they would prefer to read a blog post vs. watch a vlog. So I'm giving you both. :)
Miss Fong Diaper Bag (dupe of the Fawn Diaper Bag)
The diaper bag... stylish accessory that needs to also be functional. I did not want to spend $250 on the Fawn designer diaper even though I loved everything about it. Alas, I stumbled upon the Miss Fong dupe. It looks exactly the same, but is 1/5 of the price at $50. I felt comfortable spending that much on a diaper bag, since some day I won't be needing a diaper bag, so I felt silly spending a huge chunk of change on something that won't serve me for longer than a couple of years. So many moms told me how important a backpack diaper bag was, so I knew that criteria was at the top of the list. This bag is faux leather and can be easily wiped down, and also has insulated pockets on the inside for bottles. A matching changing pad, over the shoulder strap, outside pockets for keys, phone, and masks (yes unfortunately this is our reality), tons of space for everything you may need, and opening to slide over a luggage handle are some other helpful features. My husband Lucas even wears this when we are out and about. He says that it looks like a bag Indiana Jones would have ;) We all give this two thumbs up!
Momcozy Hands Free Breast Pump (dupe of the Elvie or Willow)
Breast pumps can be such a beast. I'm lucky that my husband is a mechanical engineer with a background in control valves and oil pumps. I ordered the Spectra S2 through our health insurance that was completely covered. This worked well for the first couple of weeks at home where I only ever left the house for doctor appointments. With heading back to work, I had anxiety about pumping during a wedding day since I am a wedding videographer. Needing to be by an outlet, in a private room, exposed to the elements. Every wedding day is in a different location, and I never quite know what options I have for places to pump going into the day. Let alone the limited time I do have to pump. I heard how life changing hands free pumps are that fit right into your bra because of how discreet they are, and the fact that you can honestly be anywhere and not rely on a plug in. Yet, I didn't want to shell out $500 for hands free pumps when I already have a regular breast pump. I did a lot of searching for a solution and came upon the Momcozy hands free pumps. They are about $60 for each cup and have completely changed the game for me. I can pump in the car, while I am cleaning up the kitchen, doing my hair and makeup, they are a multitasking queen's necessity. The fact that they are almost 1/10th of the price of its competitors makes me love it even more. I always make sure to have them with me on any road trip, and on a wedding day they ease my anxiety of being tethered to an outlet. They are perfect for any type of outing where you are not sure there will be a good spot to pump or breast feed, especially if you want to be sure to avoid mastitis. While they are not entirely discreet as they do stick out of your bra and make you look even more endowed/"blessed", they are less obvious than a typical pump as it slides ride into your bra. It does make some noise, but doesn't anything with a pump mechanism? One of my favorite finds/knock offs by far!
NatureBond (dupe of the Hakaa)
I wasn't quite sure I needed this until I heard from other mom's. I thought I was all set with my Spectra breast pump and didn't need anything else. Wrong! This manual pump helps you to not cry over spilled milk. Literally! When breastfeeding I will attach this to the other side so that any milk that leaks is saved because it is literally liquid gold. This cheap piece of equipment has helped me fill my entire freezer drawer of breast milk in less than 3 months, in fact we are going to need to buy a chest deep freezer. Instead of pumping I literally just used this to create my breast milk stash. It catches all the milk that would otherwise leak onto your clothes. It also comes with a silicone plug, a lid, and a lanyard all to help you avoid the worst possible outcome... spilling your prized breast milk. No batteries, or crazy instructions. So simple! It even helps with unclogging a clogged milk duct if that happens to you. I always keep this in arms reach.
Hedgfox Baby Lounger(dupe of the Dock A Tot or SnuggleMe)
One of the #1 pieces of baby gear/equipment that was recommended to me as a Dock A Tot. I couldn't quite pull the trigger because of the $200+ price tag. My husband kept asking how many pillow contraptions we really needed between the boppy, my maternity pillow (which is a huge must if you want to sleep at all in the third trimester), and some sort of baby lounger. I decided to buy something less expensive to make sure that Serena even liked it, and if she grew out of it quickly I wouldn't be out of much. I am so glad I went with this one! It is 1/5th of the price and is so helpful knowing she is in her own little safe space when placed in it. It also seems to be our corgi Rosie's favorite place to lounge as it contours around her curves perfectly :) Serena loves to stretch out and sleep with her arms above her head for naptime in the living room in this. Plus, it has some adorable floral and fruit prints. I decided on the oranges! It can also be washed in the washing machine which is a huge plus.
V Tech (instead of the Owlet)
The Owlet is recommended by so many that I definitely researched it but also couldn't pull the trigger for it's hefty price tag of $400. Serena sleeps in our room next to our bed in a bassinet swing (I will do a post on this later on all of her sleep gear) but I knew it would be important for when she sleeps in her own crib in her nursery. It also has come in handy when Lucas and I are in a different room during nap time. We chose the V Tech honestly because we were shopping in Target one day and I had to sit in a nursery recliner because my back hurt so bad and Lucas started looking at baby monitors. It was 50% off for Black Friday during the month of November and we scored it for about $80. It comes with two cameras, and it's own monitor which I knew that I wanted. You can also hook it up to your phone to view it, but I knew that I need my phone during the day for work emails, phone calls, scrolling through Insta Reels, the necessities you know :) It has incredible night vision, you can move the camera all around to view the room, zoom in, and talk to your baby through the camera to reassure them. Lucas has been testing one of the cameras out on our 3D printer in the garage to monitor its progress. Having two cameras is super helpful for the summer when we spend so much time at the lake house so that we don't have to unhook the one in her nursery!
Last but not least is the adorable gear at 97 Design Co! There are tons of online boutiques these days, but this store is local and I will always support local when I can. Fun colors like camel, rust, ivory, sage, and mauve for tshirts and onesies. Plus some other fun goodies! You can use my code leah15 for 15% off your purchase through the month of April!
To watch my vlog where I go into depth a little further, you can find my video here:
I hope you at least found one nugget of helpful info :)
Leah & Serena