It's official. I've survived my first year of motherhood...and my son has survived my first year of motherhood, too. Hooray! 😂
As a part of the Cairn Crew, I'm lucky enough to get my hands on a ton of great outdoor gear; and I was thrilled that much of the gear I've tested also made my life as a new mom a little bit easier - both on outdoor adventures and in everyday life.
Here is a list of the ten items that I've found most useful, from one new mom to another. This doesn't run you through all of the kid-specific items you'll want (like a wearable carrier), but I wanted to put together a list of gear that I had pre-kid that has transitioned perfectly into my kid-filled life. All of these items have been featured in an Original Cairn or Obsidian Collection (with the exception of the Cloud Sleeping Bag, which was featured in a unique way detailed below).
Note, this list really applies to all new parents, and even grandparents, so if there's a new baby human in your life this list may come in handy)!
1. Cotopaxi Luzon 18L Daypack
This pack is one of Cairn Subscribers' all-time favorite products, and for good reason. It's lightweight, has awesome functionality, and looks great. I use it as my everyday diaper bag, but it's also roomy enough for travel or more extended adventures. It provides the organization I need - I keep a changing pad, wipes, and diapers in the hydration sleeve and smaller items like my wallet, phone, and snacks in the front zipper pocket. I also find the drawstring top way easier to open and close one-handed than a zipper. Learn More
WANT YOUR OWN COTOPAXI LUZON?
Snag one now by starting off your Cairn Subscription with our Trailhead Collection, featuring the Luzon (a $39.95 value all on its own)! Use promo code TRAILHEAD when you subscribe. Learn More
2. Hydro Flask Wide Mouth Bottle
Really any size of this handy insulated bottle will do. I have a 32 oz. but the Kids 12 oz. size would work and can transition with the little one into childhood. When my son was an infant, I threw some ice cubes and a couple of my pre-filled breastmilk storage bags into this bottle and I had cold milk storage that easily fit into my bag! Now that he's graduated to cow's milk, I just pour milk in my Hydro and can divvy it into a sippy cup as needed throughout the day. HydraPak's Bottle Bright cleaner is perfect for deep cleaning your insulated drinking vessel. Learn More
3. Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Tech Compression Cubes
For extra organization in your diaper bag, or when you're trying to squeeze all of your stuff and baby's stuff into the smallest duffel bag possible for travel, these lightweight, compressible cubes are perfection. I like to keep an extra change of clothes for my son and small toys in the small cube in my diaper bag. The medium size has been perfect for packing all of my son's clothes for multi-day trips, which makes it really easy to find and access when it's in my luggage. Learn More
4. PackTowl Nano
About the size of a pacifier when folded into its pouch, this little towel is endlessly handy. From burp cloth to towel to cleaning tiny fingerprints off of my glasses, the Nano is easy to rinse, wring out, and hook onto your diaper bag to dry (90% faster than cotton!). It's so tiny and lightweight, there's really no excuse to leave it behind because, well, life with a tiny human is a mess. Learn More
5. Sierra Designs Cloud 800 Sleeping Bag
It's zipperless. ZIPPERLESS! You will likely be getting up 8,000 times a night for a while to feed, comfort, change your infant and not having to fumble with a zipper with your half-asleep hands every time is amazing. Not to mention that you can easily regulate your own constantly fluctuating body temperature (thanks, hormones) with the zipperless foot vent and integrated comforter design. And even better, it's got a sleeping pad sleeve that keeps you from rolling off the edge of your pad. Seriously, these touches make a huge difference in your nights at camp. Learn More
WANT YOUR OWN SIERRA DESIGNS CLOUD?
Right now (May 2018) the Cairn Community has exclusive access to a special offer on this award-winning sleeping bag. Log in or create a Cairn account to unlock the offer! Learn More
6. Serac Hammock
I am all for spontaneous napping, and hammocks were made for that activity! Kid taking a nap at camp? So am I. It also makes a great stand-in for a rocking chair when you're out in the wild trying to soothe your little one. Learn More
7. LuminAID PackLite Max 2-in-1 Charger
Remember the 8,000 times you'll be getting up at night? When you're tent-bound, the PackLite Max has a low setting which provides a soft light that's perfect for changing that diaper. Plus, it'll keep your phone charged if a white noise app or lullabies help the little bugger fall back to sleep. Learn More
8. Humangear GoToob and GoTubb
I like to keep my diaper bag as light, compact and organized as possible; and these little storage containers have definitely helped me do so. Keep mini supplies of lotion, anti-bacterial gel, or creams in the GoToob and small items like Cheerios in the GoTubb. Learn More
9. Nite Ize S-Biner
I'll say it again, I like to keep my diaper bag organized. The S-Biner has kept me from losing three essential things: my keys, my son's pacifier, and my mind. Clip small essentials to an easy-to-access spot on your bag and you won't need to dig around in a panic when your kid is screaming and you're trying to get into your car while holding a 14-ton infant car seat (not that I'm scarred or anything). Learn More
10. Cairn Subscription
Having a little one doesn't mean that your activities outside stop. Yes, it can be a little tough to get back into the swing of things, but it will happen. Having a monthly delivery of gear show up at your door is an exciting little dose of inspiration to spend time outside. Learn More
What would you add to this list? Tell me in the comments!
Author: Jennifer Dinan, Senior Marketing Guru at Cairn, and mom to one-year-old Dean.