I know a bunch of new and/or expectant moms out there, and just like I was when I was pregnant, they’re all trying to sort through the barrage of baby products. If you’ve ever walked into a Babies R Us, Buy Buy Baby, or even Target’s baby section, you know how easy it is to be overwhelmed by the variety and amount of baby products that are available. 50 different kinds of pacifiers, 45 high chairs, 22 exersaucers…. not to mention swings, bouncy chairs, rattles, bottles, formula, and various other items. It’s all a bit overwhelming. So in the interest of helping sort through a bit of that confusion, here are my 9 favorite, irreplaceable, necessary baby items:
1. A Swing/Bouncy Chair. You can get two separate things if you want. But I discovered and registered for a swing that has a chair that comes off and is a bouncy seat. All one product, every possible combination you could want. Joel’s aunt, Beth, got this for Clara, and she absolutely LOVES it! She spends some time in it just about every single day. And she spent the first 6-8 weeks sleeping in that bouncy seat in her crib. She hated laying flat, and it was the only way she’d sleep. Lifesaver.
2. Swaddle Wraps. I don’t know about you, but I think nurses have a special talent for swaddling babies with a plain blanket. Joel and I just could NOT figure it out. But these things are magic. They kept Clara from waking herself up with her startle reflex and actually got her to sleeping through the night. Amazingness.
Too bad that she’s even figured out how to get out of these. I gave up on them this week. But they were great for the first 15 weeks!
3. Sleeping Gowns. When you have to change about 8 diapers in the middle of the night, these things are great. No snaps to mess with. No trying to get a wiggly baby’s feet back in the legs of the pajamas. In the dark. Just pull up the bottom, change the diaper, and pull it back down. So easy. These are especially great for the first 2 months or so… or until the baby sleeps through the night. Then it’s not such a big deal anymore.
4. Pacifiers. The green, round ones they give you at the hospital are so ugly, and Clara didn’t like them very much. I just opted for the normal kind. She likes them much better, and they fit on one of those pacifier tethers too. Which brings me to…
5. Pacifier clip. I can’t find a link to the ones that we have, but they’re basically a ribbon with velcro on one end and a clip on the other. Clip it to the baby and it won’t fall on the ground every time, and you don’t have to carry 50 of them around with you.
6. A Sling. There are tons and tons of these on the market. This, I think, is one of the most confusing things to try and purchase. If you go with a fixed size one, make sure you measure correctly. If you’re wanting a wrap-style sling, you can make one. Get about 5 yards of fabric (some sort of jersey knit) from the fabric store. Cut it in half lengthwise, and then look up the wrapping instructions on the Moby website. That’s it. I don’t know much about the carrier-style ones (e.g. baby bjorn, etc), but they seem like they’d be good, too.
Another option is a ring-style sling. I made one of these with the help of my friend Melissa. All you need is some fabric – 2.5 yards will be more than enough- and 2 metal rings. If you want to do this, let me know. I can help. So easy.
Whichever style you choose, you’ll be glad to have one when you need to do things around the house and your baby wants to be constantly held. You might use it all the time, or only once in a while, but you’ll be thankful for it when you use it, no matter how often.
7. Travel wipes case. You can get one in the travel products section at Target. Just a small plastic case with a few wipes that you can refill. It fits nicely in the diaper bag and travels well. And no noisy plastic wipes refill jostling around in your purse or diaper bag…
8. Diaper bag. I’m working on a review of mine. So many options. So many price points. I wanted a single bag for everything – all my stuff, and all the requisite baby stuff. So it took me a while. But I finally settled on the Babymel Amanda. I got one of their discontinued prints and it was on major sale, so I didn’t spend near what it’s listed for now, but I really do like the bag. More on that soon.
9. And most importantly – HELP. You NEED help the first week especially. Maybe more. Even if you don’t think you will want it, when the times comes, you probably will. If you don’t have family that can come, find a friend. Just ask for help. Everyone will want to help, but people will also want to give you your space. Don’t be afraid to ask.
So, there you have it. The 9 things I found most helpful and useful through our first few months with Clara. Thoughts? Questions?