One of the most overwhelming things for me when I was pregnant was trying to figure out what baby and/or mommy gear I was going to need. I read article after article and blog after blog trying to figure it all out. Let me save you some time: no one can tell you what you’re going to need for your baby. Unfortunately, you will just have to make some educated guesses because what you decide you’ll need will invariably change once your little bundle arrives!
But, for those of you who like to do your research, like I did, I’ll share with you what I have found most useful these past three months. And I’ve added some cute, albeit irrelevant, pictures because that’s what I do. =)
1. BECO Baby Carrier — We started out using a Baby Bjorn but it killed my back. I also read that the Bjorn was not that fantastic for babies because of the way they sit in the carrier can cause hip problems. The BECO has a wider seat for the baby and a thick band that sits on your hips, taking a lot of the weight of the kid off your back. This carrier was a godsend for us because Munchkin has reflux and needs to be carried upright much of the time.
2. Woombie — My kid is Houdini. Every swaddle garment we’ve put her in, she’s managed to bust out of. It boggles our minds. So when I saw that the Woombie had no arm holes whatsoever, I knew I had to give it a shot. So far, we love it. She still struggles to get her arms out but the swaddle effect of the Woombie is very soothing for a fussy newborn.
3. Infant Optics Video Monitor — Freedom! We didn’t get the monitor for a while because I thought I only needed one when Munchkin started sleeping in her room. I guess I didn’t realize that a newborn will nap much of the day and if I wanted to get anything done, I’d need to keep an eye on her via a monitor. I did a lot of research and this monitor got the best reviews on Amazon and is surprisingly affordable.
4. Kiinde Kozii Bottle Warmer — I wanted to find a bottle warmer that would heat up breastmilk without destroying the nutrients. This warmer is made specifically for breastmilk.
5. Medela Pump in Style Advanced Breast Pump — I’m not the biggest fan of pumping because it’s a pain in the ass but I knew I wanted to build up a stash of breastmilk for times when the hubs and I wanted to go out and leave Munchkin with a sitter. This pump got the best reviews and it really is easy and portable.
6. Lansinoh Nursing Pads — If you dislike the idea of being covered in milk all the time, invest in several boxes of these babies. I leak. A lot. These keep me from having constant wet spots around my boobs all the time.
7. White Noise Application and/or Portable Sound Machine — I can’t stress the awesomeness of white noise enough! It has been a life saver, especially with a fussy/colicky baby. We have the Sleepy Sounds app on our iPhones and we use it several times a day. We also bought a portable sound machine that we can take in the car or put in her crib. Seriously, white noise is a miracle.
8. Glider — Combine the motion of a glider with the white noise machine and you’ve got yourself a recipe for a sleeping baby! Munchkin is almost always soothed by this magic combination. I bought my glider on Craigslist for a mere $100. There’s no need to spend a ton of money on one since you’ll probably only use it when your kids are tiny. I encourage getting one off Craigslist or from a friend.
9. Pack n Play — This thing is awesome for many reasons. We used this by our bed in the early weeks. Now it’s in the living room where it functions as a play area and a nap area. When we travel to see grandparents, we take this with us and it serves as her crib.
10. Puj Tub — Makes bath time so easy. Munchkin bathed with me the first few times so we could get her accustomed to the ritual. Now we bust out our Puj, plop it in the bathroom sink and bath time is done in 15 minutes. Munchkin loves it.
11. Stroller — In order to retain your sanity, get yourself a stroller. Being cooped up in the house all day with a tiny bundle of need is enough to drive anyone crazy. After several weeks of slowly going crazy, I finally drummed up the courage to put Munchkin in the stroller and go for a walk. It felt so good! Now it’s a daily activity that I eagerly look forward to. I got a Jeep jogging stroller at a garage sale while I was still pregnant. Strollers are ridiculously expensive; look for a good deal on Craigslist or garage sales.
12. Gumdrops Pacifiers — Add this to the glider + white noise recipe and you’ve got a happy baby! We love these paci’s because they have a round “nipple” (better for breastfed babies) and there’s a notch at the top that still allows tiny mouths to suck while keeping tiny noses free to breathe. We don’t go anywhere without her paci now!
What do you think, mommies? What else have you found that you can’t live without?