I may only be twelve weeks into the wonderful world of motherhood, but I’ve already broken in to all my baby shower gifts (and the items my fiancé and I bought for the baby) and tested them out. Some gifts we received ended up being fairly useless. Other items were life savers. If you are a new or expectant parent and want the scoop on the things you won’t be able to live without, or if you want to be a savvy gift giver, here is my list of must-haves:
(Links are to stores where you can buy the products)
1.) Boppy Pillow (don’t forget a cover, too!)
I had to have a c-section with my son, and let me say I would not have been able to endure long feedings or hold my fussy, kicking boy without it. After the c-section my stomach was extremely sore. Just holding him was a chore, let alone when he kicked, sometimes hitting my incision. The Boppy Pillow easily wrapped around me and helped provide the support (I was very weak post surgery) and protection (from his kicking) that I needed. It also comes in handy for late night feedings when you’re just too tired to hold him for an hour straight.
Poopy baby diapers stink! The Diaper Pail keeps your nursery smelling less like a latrine by keeping the top of the bag twisted so smells don’t leak into the room. It also sprinkles some baking soda into the bag to help reduce odor. One bag refill holds about a weeks worth of (newborn) diapers. It’s also cheaper than the Diaper Genie.
3.) Avent pacifiers
My baby doesn’t like the pacifiers with the flat bottoms. Somehow he knows they aren’t his bottle (which is what he really wants to suck on). Avent makes pacifiers with a completely rounded tip that are similar to bottle nipples, and they trick him every time.
4.) Zippered Long-Sleeve Onesies w/ Footies
Since my baby was born in October he will spend the beginning of his life in cold weather. To keep him warm I found nothing better than long-sleeve onesies that have a built-in foot and zipper from bottom to top. Not only do they keep him warm (babies kick off socks very easily!), but they make diaper changing easier than it would be if you had to strip off a pair of pants and unbutton a short-sleeved onesie. So do yourself a favor and get some of these. They zip from the left foot up to the chin.
Here are some onesies by Carters:
5.) A Baby Papasan Chair/Bouncer
My baby hates laying flat in the crib. And when we do put him in the crib his pee has a tendency to roll out of the diaper and wet his clothes, causing him to scream all night until we change him. The bouncer also comes in handy downstairs when I’m watching him during the day and don’t have the energy to hold him. He can safely go to sleep while I busy myself with housework. Just make sure to get a sturdy one with a wide base and safety straps (babies have a tendency to start slouching down to the bottom of the seat without them). Here’s the one I have (Fisher Price Baby Papasan Vibrating Chair):
6.) A Glider with Ottoman
Middle of the night feedings would be an absolute pain if it weren’t for the lovely glider my fiance’s mother gave us. I keep it right next to the crib with a floor lamp next to it so I don’t have to turn on the bright overhead light and risk waking baby.
7.) Baby Monitor
Most baby monitors are good enough, but you will want to get one that displays the temperature of baby’s room on your monitor screen. Baby’s room should be kept between 69 and 73 degrees. You’ll know for sure if you get one that displays the temp.
I recommend the Angelcare brand, specifically the Angelcare Baby Sound Monitor (Model AC-420-Sound).
8.) Laundry Bag
Babies go through a lot of clothes. I didn’t believe it either when my family told me to wait and see how many outfits baby goes through in a day, but it’s true. My little guy averages about 3 outfits a day between spit up and peeing himself. So you will be doing a lot of laundry. One thing that comes in handy for those tiny socks, mittens, and hats is a laundry bag that you throw in the wash (like the Especially For Baby Laundry Bag). Trust me, it’s no fun searching for little loose socks in the wash.