With all the babies being born in our family as of late people have been asking me: What did you find useful? What is the one thing you can’t live without on a daily basis? Here is list of the top items we used the most in the first few months.
The Nap Nanny
The NapNanny was a gift from DH’s cousin, his wife, and their twins. They swore by the NapNanny. When I first found out about it, I was skeptical. I thought, “My kid has a bassinet; he has a crib, a boppy, AND us, what else could he need?” Little did I know this would be the most used item in our home the first three months lil’ man was here. We used it for naps, and we used it to interact him when we didn’t want to have him laying flat on the ground or in our arms. If used as directed, and supervised, I can’t see how you couldn’t love this thing! It is covered in a super soft minky fabric. You can buy an additional cover in case you have to wash the one it comes with. It was also fantastic to have on hand because lil’ man had a few weeks with reflux, and having him sleep on an incline was easy in the NapNanny. Love it, I honestly suggest it to everyone I know.
I got a lot of funny looks from some well seasoned moms when I registered for a video monitor. I got it anyway and I love it! You can add cameras, it has a secure transmission, and its works well in the dark. The image is in color in a lit up room. I like this because in the first few days of my baby not sleeping in our room (he’s right on the other side of the wall now, and I probably don’t even need a monitor) it put my mind at ease to see him happy and sleeping. In addition, I like it because I can see him playing in his crib, see if he’s really awake, or see if he’s dreaming and I don’t need to get up to get him. Our lil’ guy is quite the sleep talker! I anticipate it will be nice to have once he’s in a bed and I can see what he’s doing during his toddler years.
You can NEVER have enough swaddle blankets. We were lucky enough to be given hand me downs from my grandmother so our swaddle stash is quite large! My grandmother used them with my mother, my mother used them with me and my sister, and now I’m using them with my son. They just don’t make them like they used too! SwaddleDesigns has some great quality blankets that come close to the old ones. We used them for everything; from their intended purpose to swaddle the lil’ guy, to a burp cloth, puke rag, poo catcher, you name it. We use swaddle blankets like there is no tomorrow! They are also great to put on the carpet during tummy time. It’s nice to have less stuff to think about, use this for that, that for this, etc., we just grab one and move on. Look for over sized swaddles, they make for a much tighter wrap and your lil’ one won’t ‘bust’ out of it as easily!
I used the Medela Pump N Style to help establish my supply and now use it five days a week because I’ve returned to work. It was nice to get comfortable with the pump before going to work; it made the transition smoother. I was also able to pump and leave a few bottles if I wanted to go out for a few hours after the first month. (The grocery store never seemed like such an exciting place, it’s now 45 minutes of me time, I even leave my phone in the car!) I also use the tote and cooler to transport anything I pump at ork home. I like how it is discreet. So far I’ve been able to keep lil’ man mainly on breast milk; which was important to me during the first year. I would also suggest getting a few good nursing bras. I like the medla hands free style. It doesn’t give me ‘saggyness’ it fits like a regular bra. Our hospital actually offered someone to come and fit you the day you go home. This was nice because I was able to get a really good fit. I suggest it if you can!
Cloth Diapers (One size and New Born)
I wish we would have cloth diapered from the start. It isn’t that much more work, just a load of laundry every other day (and the smell of the EcoSprout soap is amazing). You will be doing more laundry than you have ever done with a newborn; one extra load, every other day is nothing! Cloth diapers have been better for my son. He hasn’t had rashes or major ‘pooslopsions’ since we switched to cloth, saving us from changing his clothes so often. In disposibles we were constantly dealing with ‘poosplosions’. There are a variety of cloth diaper brands out there and even many made by SAHMs, so your choices aren’t limited. While I haven’t had a chance to ry new-born sizes out, I would assume they are as good of quality as the regular sized diapers that the reputable companies have to offer. Check out GroVia‘s new-born size, and Rump-A-Rooz is supposed to have a fantastic newborn diaper with a snap down for the umbilical cord. Cloth diapers will last longer than just the first few weeks in terms of weight. Cloth diapers can also be used on more than one child and eventually sold as gently used. A good investment. Check out the Cloth Diaper Geek (see button to the left) for great info on all things cloth. (*Pictured Rump-A-Rooz lil’ Joey)
See a second post next week with five more things we couldn’t or wouldn’t want to do without!