I may not know many things about raising a child, but in my short three and a half months as a new mom, I have learned what some of the most useful baby items are. I want to share these items with you in order to make your life easier as a new parent.
For Out and About
First and foremost, I must say that this is the best and most used item that we have received: a stroller frame. This is a lightweight stroller that a car seat can click into. In order for it to be used and must have the car seat, unlike the traditional stroller that comes as part of a travel system. Many of these stroller frames have a basket beneath the car seat to carry your belongings, and some even have cup holders to carry a drink (obviously, specifications vary depending on the brand). These frames are very lightweight and easy to stowaway in your trunk without killing yourself. The frame that I use, is about 10 pounds. The stroller that came with my travel system, weighs about 20 pounds. And that is a big difference, especially if you are in and out of the car multiple times with the baby. For someone who has trouble carrying the car seat, this is a huge help. Aside from being lightweight the frame also folds up smaller than the travel system stroller. If you have a small trunk like me, this is very important.
For Hanging at Home
One of my favorite places to put my little one down is in his swing. So many swings these days rely strictly on batteries in order to power them. When we were looking at swings, I specifically looked for ones that allowed you to plug it in. With as much as I had planned to use it (and have ended up doing so), that was an important feature to me. The swing that we use is the Fisher-Price Snugabunny. It does take up a fair amount of floor real estate, but it does just what we need it to. And Micah LOVES the mirror on the mobile. That bit is worth the whole thing.
My little Bug and I tend to stay home most days. And, since he decided to come in the fall just before the cold weather hit, I wanted an easy way to keep him warm and not have him so bundled up that it takes an act of Congress to get him undressed to change a diaper. Enter, sleep sacks. While Micah gets a clean and fresh onesie once a day (sometimes more frequently than that, lol), he does not get dressed up every day in pants and sweatshirt to keep warm. Sleep sacks have been a life saver here. They keep his arms warm, his little footsies warm, and the rest of his body warm but allow for easy access to change his diaper. He likes the sleep sack because it keeps him nice and toasty but he is still able to freely kick his legs and move about (minus walking or crawling, but he can’t do those things yet, so that’s not a problem for us).
If you’re a mom, you understand how much your life revolves around feeding your baby, especially if you’re breastfeeding. You understand that your life is almost consumed by it. Hopefully, even with that consumption, you love it (I know that as much as I disliked the around-the-clock feeding at times, I loved that bonding time with my sweet little boy. I loved that I could provide for him in a way that no one else could.) Anyway, you know that you spend a lot of time sitting on your butt feeding your little one so comfort is a must. I was given a Boppy-style pillow to assist me in supporting Bug while I fed him. I love the pillow but I found it impractical for sitting in a chair with arms, like the glider I have in Micah’s room. However, it works great when I’m sitting on the bed feeding him. A friend blessed me with some baby items, as her littlest one can no longer use them and one of these things was a breastfeeding pillow called My BrestFriend. This has been a life-saver. I can easily feed the Bug while sitting in a chair with arms. And, because you secure it around your body, it does not slip away from you even if you have a squirmy little one.
If you have even been around a baby, you know that they have lots of spit up and lots of drool. Burp cloths are essential. I love cutesy burp cloths just as much as any new mom, but all of the ones I have run across aren’t the best at absorbing the fluids. I have a few, and I use them when out and dressed up so that I look a little cuter myself, but that’s the extent of the use of those. What I have found to be the best burp cloths are actually cloth diapers inserts. These little things soak up a mountain of spit up or drool and work better than anything else I have encountered.
Sleep is illusive in this house, at least during the day. While we’re home, Bug wants to be awake. While we’re out, he does pretty good sleeping but needs consistent noise. Enter, the Sleep Sheep (“to go” version) – we affectionately call this little guy “Sheep Sheep” (thank Daddy for that nickname). It is a sound maker that is very portable. It has a Velcro strap that I can hook onto the car seat while we’re out, or onto the crib at night. It has 4 different sound effects that I can play (the ocean is our favorite). And it has an automatic shut off (22 or 45 minutes) so it doesn’t completely destroy the batteries. The only thing I don’t like about this thing is that the automatic shut off cannot be turned off. But oh well. The portability, cuteness, and practicality outweigh that small downside.
These are my favorite baby items so far. I’m sure the list will grow, but these things I found to be essential to get us through the first 3 1/2 months of Buggie-Boy’s life. I hope this will help you figure out what some of the best things will be for your new addition. If you have a little one that is even half as cute as our little boy is, you’ll crumble at their smile and cuteness and adorableness and wonderfulness…and you’ll want to do whatever you can to make them happy (and simultaneously make your life easier).
This does not constitute endorsement of any products. All opinions are my own and unsolicited. Please do your own research to decide what is best for you and your family.