I shared my pregnancy must-have's here. Now, since I am getting lots of questions about my baby must-haves I thought I'd post. While everyone does things differently (breastfeed/formula feed, cloth/regular diapers, etc), there are a few things that have made my life a bit easier as a new mom. :)
- Since I bottle feed, this Beaba Expresso Water Warmer is such a time saver. We use Dr. Brown's bottles. We only have four at home, which is plenty since we wash them all the time anyway!
- Buy a white noise machine and a cool-mist humidifier (less bacteria production than a warm one). We run both every night. Per Dr. Karp and the Happiest Baby on the Block philosophy, they'll sleep like a dream. We have this one - no need for anything crazy fancy. They all do the same thing!
- Summer SwaddleMe - Used for sleeping, the Velcro is a must for Houdini babies like Nina. Also, goes with the Happiest Baby on the Block philosophy. While I had bought the Aden & Anais blankets to swaddle, I found Nina squirmed out too easily. She used these until about 3 months.
- Storksak - Couldn't live without this diaper bag. I think all mom's should splurge on a diaper bag you love - it needs to be functional and fashionable. Hey, you carry it around ALL the time, you should love it.
- We use Soothie pacifiers. They gave us one at the hospital, and ever since I have one with me at all times.
- Find a sling that works for you. It keeps your hands free during those first few months. We have a Moby and a Bjorn. I tried a ring sling, but didn't love it. Also, I have heard great things about the Ergo baby carriers.
- Buy a swing you love. We keep ours near the kitchen for moments when I need a free set of hands. We didn't let Nina sleep in hers, but just used it for small spurts of time (dinner prep, morning breakfast, bottle prep, etc).
- Gripe water and gas drops. Walgreens or Target has them. We used gripe water for Nina's reflux initially (prior to her prescription), but use it now for teething or the occasional gassy moments. Also, gas drops are a life saver. Read up on their benefits. :)
- Saline spray/drops for their little nose are great too. Since babies don't sniffle or blow their noses, this helps those boogers along.
- I've really enjoyed making Nina's baby food. Maybe you are interested... see my posts' here and here. My must-have cookbook for ideas was Tyler Florence's Start Fresh. Also, there is absolutely no need to buy a "baby food" maker, they are just pastel colored food processors/blenders/immersion blenders. Use what you already have!
- Find a good diaper cream or butt paste you like. We use A&D Ointment every night and use Cornstarch Johnson & Johnson powder after most diaper changes. Nina's never had a diaper rash!
- We love our BOB Revolution stroller - great for walk/runs, very smooth ride (we have the infant seat adapter also). We also have a Chicco Capri stroller - light, easy to collapse, great for for errands, plane trips, etc.
- As for good reads, my favorites are:
The Happiest Baby on the Block, Baby Whisperer, and Baby 411.
I recommend reading these pre-baby, when you have more time and mental capacity then those first few weeks. We decided on the EASY plan (from the Baby Whisperer book) prior to Nina's arrival. It made those first months so much easier, took some of the guessing away and made me (a planner and organizer) a bit more settled that we were parenting more intentionally. Also, Dr. Karp from HBOTB is genius and most parents will tell you his methods work like a charm!
- We also use lots of burp rags and bibs. Bows for a girl are a must! Wine for a mommy is a must. :)
- Most of all, this is the most important thing.... stuff is just stuff. Seventy-five years ago, most of this stuff didn't exist - babies were just fine, mom and dad's were just fine. These are just my list of modern day luxuries. All that a baby really needs is love, a crib, diapers ... the basics. Do what works for you - and own it. Everyone parents differently, but ought to be proud of their decisions. You love your children - that's what matters. You are a parent and raising a beautiful new member of your family. Babies are members of a family, not the center. Go on a date with your husband, relax, laugh. A new baby is the absolute best gift. Savor every moment, every smell, every smile.
Moms out there - what are your favorites? As Nina's grows up, any advice/products/books for her next stage? :)