Before I became a mom, I would roam the aisles at Target or Babies R Us to buy baby shower gifts for friends and to say I was overwhelmed and confused by all the “baby gear” is an understatement. Even when I was pregnant and put my own registry together, I was clueless. One of my good friends spent a few hours with me on a Saturday going through all the categories and helping me select all the items we would need for baby.
Although there are certain things we haven’t used, it is incredible, but true — babies require a ton of stuff, namely hundreds of diapers and wipes and so much clothing since they will pee, poo and puke all over them countless times a day. Do yourself a favor and buy a big bottle of Dreft baby detergent, you’ll be putting that to good use. ;-)
Now that I’ve been putting all the “baby stuff” to good use with my own son, I thought it beneficial to share my top 5 baby items. Some of these were on my registry and some we discovered post baby.
1. The Boppy – Weird name, yes. Indispensable baby product, absolutely. When I was first gifted the Boppy (the original and the newborn lounger), I was unsure what all the fuss was about. They may look like very simple pillows, but these things are LIFE CHANGING. The nursing pillow is everything – it props up the baby and makes it more comfy for you to nurse. Even as I’ve transitioned to bottle feeding, I still use the Boppy to hold W up. This also allows you to feed the baby more conveniently and still have one hand left for multi-tasking. The Boppy is also a great tool when visitors want to hold your baby. It makes it easy and comfy for them and the baby. Win win. You can also purchase additional slip covers for the Boppy, so inevitably when a spit up disaster occurs, you can wash one cover and always have a clean one handy.
The Boppy newborn lounger is also a must. This is a large, angled pillow where baby can lounge. This lounger is portable, comes in a nice neutral pattern and makes W super happy. He naps on it, lounges and even plays. We take it from the bed to the couch and everywhere around the house. The best part is it transitions and can be used as baby grows. If they sold this in adult size, my husband and I would purchase some. They are that comfy! If you haven’t been gifted the amazing Boppy pillow and newborn lounger, do yourself a favor and order them asap before your baby’s arrival. You will not be disappointed.
2. The Nose Frida – Leave it to the Swedes to invent an ingenious and simple tool that makes snot a non issue. The Nose Frida aka Snotsucker (by their own description) is a magical tool for parents. Trust me, never would I have imagined adding a snotsucker to my list of must haves (oy vey), but this tool is amazing. Those bulb syringes you’ll get at the hospital and in the baby grooming kits are a joke. They suck nothing out and leave your kid congested. The Nose Frida is amazing, but be prepared to put in the work. You must use the tube and physically suck the snot out. There is a filter and you’ll never ingest snot, but if you’re a germaphobe or not into your kid’s snot, hopefully your partner is braver. I for one do not mind using it, but my hubby not so much. If you’re apprehensive, just think your baby will likely be happier and sleep better if he can breath, so suck it up…literally!
3. Halo Sleep Sack – So I have to admit our swaddle skills were less than perfect using a regular swaddle blanket and it didn’t help that W absolutely HATED being swaddled with his arms secure. Then we discovered the Halo Sleep Sack (gifted to us by our hospital’s Sweet Pea baby club) and it made putting him to sleep exponentially easier. My favorite part about this sleep sack is that you can swaddle your baby with his hands in or out, depending on preference. Also it is brain dead — you don’t have to have “mad swaddle skills” to get it right. You simply place your baby in the sack, zip him up and wrap him. Done and done.
4. Fisher-Price Deluxe Auto Rock ‘n Play Sleeper – This newborn sleeper was literally a life saver. For a couple of weeks, W would not sleep on his back in the bassinet, so I came across this product via a mommy Facebook group. This newborn sleeper keeps babies secure and at an incline, so a lot of parents use it if their baby has acid reflux too. It is automated (pay the extra $15 for this feature, it is worth it!) and has two rocking settings – 30 minutes for a nap or 6 hours. It also plays music. Now that W has been sleeping in his bassinet, we use this rock n play during the day!
5. Sleep N Play Outfits – No doubt you will receive so many beautiful outfits for your baby, but as you will discover, especially the first few weeks, it isn’t necessarily about cute clothes, but rather practical ones. At night when your baby is waking up every few hours and you’re changing diapers and feeding and delirious…you want a sleep outfit that is easy to maneuver when you can’t see straight. The sleep n play outfits (these are Gerber, but there are a ton of different brands available) are a God send at 3AM. They zip up, instead of button and the zipper is on the foot, so you only have to unzip it enough to change a diaper and then you’re done. This keeps the baby asleep and you avoid the insanity that are the tiny little buttons on baby clothing. W lived in these outfits for the first 4 weeks and now as we start daycare they will continue to be a staple.
Obviously there are hundreds of different products, tastes and preferences, but these are five products that have made being new parents easier. I would love to hear from other mamas out there about their “go to” products.