Woah, sometimes it feels like babies need so many items! And other times it feels like they can get by with very little. We prefer to use as little as necessary.
A few key pieces have made a big difference in having a baby at the farm working with us all day, every day. Some of these were a significant investment and they've held up really well to being used frequently in tough conditions; so glad that we went for quality!
AROUND THE FARM
If I had to choose one item as an absolute must-have it would be this wagon. We use it for naps daily and when we work cows or are working on equipment in the yard it gives baby a place to play and watch safely. It's a glorified play pen on wheels, BUT it's been worth the wheels. When our hands are full, we can push (or pull out the window of the mom car) where we need to go. Having it be so portable is incredible! Plus the end has a door that zippers open. Once the kids were bigger they could climb in and out alone . This gave them freedom and a clean place to be while we worked.
When a stroller is a better fit than the wagon, we grab this one. It lays almost flat so naps work really well in here and the wheels haven't met anything they can't handle. CLEANING TIP: I use the air hose to blow the dust off and then hose off with water. It cleans up looking presentable enough to go to town, all without any scrubbing or taking apart! ;)
Hearing is precious. We started these HearMuffs young, and they've been great peace of mind knowing their ears are protected.
For being white, this bunting still looks brand new! Cannot believe how well it washes. Great layering piece for colder weather; have used it daily on two kids.
Speaking of layering -- We use this blanket frequently as a layer. The texture makes it shake out larger debris easily and it washes well which is top priority for farm essentials criteria!
Bought these pacifiers (we rotated between the two in the pack and had a free hospital backup at the farm) because they were nicer looking than the lime green version the hospital sent us home with the first time that we used. Turns out they stay away from around the mouth better and the handle was great for chewing. Added the clip, because farm dirt, and really like how light they are plus no beads for a potential choke hazard.
Using the car seat from the car worked, but it also got incredibly dusty, incredibly! We added this seat to the ranger to keep there during calving and secured it with a ratchet strap.
We use our carriers extensively. To start, this soft wrap holds baby nicely while really small. Full disclosure: not a fan of trying to wrap in a cab or where the ground is dirty and keep the tails of the wrap clean, but the adaptability keeps us using it. Our collection includes a few wraps so we can rotate through the wash. Then we graduate to this more structured carrier that works on the front or the back for bigger kids.
My mom has a small office that we are able to use to get out of the elements. This baby swing had the smallest footprint and fit the space we had best. Works great as a safe place to set baby down since the floor isn't an option.
And of course, the fun cactus muslin blanket! Of all the supplies we had, we make sure to have enough muslin blankets in rotation.
White noise comes from the free app we have on an iPad or YouTube videos.
Rather than carry the diaper bag around the farm, we've got diapers in the office, breakroom, and barn office. This set of drawers gives us a place for extra clothes, diapers, wipes, books, teethers, and any other randomness that accumulates with a baby. We always keep a couple spare oufits and a spare set of shoes! It works best to keep the clothes in the next size up from what they are wearing so it's never too small and I don't have to pull from their current small wardrobes. BONUS: I keep the colors and styles neutral. In the event a boy needs clothes and we only have girl clothes, or vice versa, we are covered.
When baby begins to eat with us, we have a highchair. We started with this basic chair and added the footrest. Then when we added another kid, we went with the same chair we had at home for consistency.
We've found this account to be really helpful for feeding kids!
Everything else for mealtime is the same as what we use; utensils, water bottles, and meals. Trying to have separate items for baby was significanlty more work, so we skipped it all. Although, we do try to add additional variety in months 6-12 as baby tries new food!
My grandma had an old Pack-n-Play from when I was a baby and the breakroom had space, so we have that setup also. Gives baby a place to stretch out, roll around, and play where it's clean.
It's a juggle. It works for us because the village (GOD BLESS THE VILLAGE), takes turns. We play musical kids all day, every day. Nothing is as efficient as it was before, but our sole goal is no longer efficiency.
We prioritize learning, absorbing, and including these precious littles into this way of life. Watching their observant minds notice the most minute details is incredible. It makes the arduous moments fade quickly as we experience the magic that we gain from theirs family time.
The rhthym takes time to find and it's ever evolving.
Before buying most of these items, I made sure to check local Facebook Marketplace, Ebay, Mercari and Poshmark for gently used items. Sometimes, I got lucky!