When I was around 35 weeks pregnant, I remember telling my doctor about all of the stuff we still needed for the baby. She waved her hand dismissively and said “All they need is love and milk!” Gave me a chuckle.
While that is, I suppose, technically true, there are things out there that will definitely make life easier for a new mama. These are the items I’ve found to be most helpful in the last four months. I also did a post on pregnancy must haves – check it out here.
- WubbaNub. This is a pacifier with a stuffed animal (kind of like a beanie baby) attached. They have been great for Deacon. The legs are weighted so it stays on his chest, and now that he is old enough to grasp things he likes to hold it and play with it.
- Aden & Anais Swaddle Blankets. Or really any muslin swaddle blanket – thre are a lot of great brands out there now. They just need to be big (like 47 x 47). These are great for snuggling, tummy time, burp cloth, you name it. The wash wonderfully as well – they just get softer!
- Graco Little Lounger. I’ve seen a lot of people recommend the Fisher Price Rock n’ Play as a bassinet for newborns. I never used the Rock n Play, but what concerned me about it is that it isn’t recommended for babies to sleep for long periods of time at an incline, because it can squish their airway. So instead, I found the Little Lounger. It’s the same concept as the Rock n Play, but with the added feature that it reclines to pretty much flat. Deacon slept in this at night for the first 6-8 weeks. It probably would have been longer, if it weren’t for the next item on this list:
- Angelcare Video, Sound, & Movement Monitor. This thing is awesome for nervous first time mamas. It has video, so you can see baby (a plus for us because Deacon usually starts moving/stirring before he fully wakes up, so if we see him and can get to him we can settle him down before he fully wakes up and starts crying). But even better, it has a movement monitor pad that goes under the mattress. This detects baby breathing, and if it doesn’t sense any movement for ten seconds, it sounds an alarm. I could put Deacon in his crib and go down stairs knowing that he was ok. (A note of warning though, make sure you calibrate it properly. it took us a few weeks to get it properly set, and we had several mini heart-attacks because Deacon rolled off the sensor or was breathing too shallowly for it to sense. The alarm will definitely wake you up, thats for sure!)
- Baby Carrier. I actually have three. A stretchy wrap (Sleepy Wrap, mostly because it’s less than $20 on Amazon), a woven wrap (a Didymos Lisca), and an Ergo 360. The stretchy wrap was awesome for when Deacon was itty-bitty. I thought it was really easy to use and very snuggly. The woven wrap has been great since the start as well, but since it is more supportive I’ve been able to use it longer. I like it because it’s so versatile – there are lots of different ways to tie it, and when he gets older I’ll even be able to put him on my back. Deacon is only just now fitting into the Ergo (we never got the Infant Insert), so I haven’t used it as much as the other two. What I like about it so far though, is that it is way faster to put on. Also once Deacon gets older he can face outward in it, and I think he’ll really like that – He’s a social baby.
- Coconut Oil. I know, I’m THAT mom. Coconut oil is pretty great though. It’s moisturizing and doesn’t irritate the skin. Deacon gets chapped cheeks in the cold a lot, and it really helps heal and protect. I also use it for a diaper cream, because most mainstream diaper creams aren’t cloth diaper safe. Which brings me to the next item on this list:
- Cloth diapers. I won’t say too much about this, because I’m planning a whole post devoted to CD’ing. But, I will say, if you are interested in cloth diapering, do it! I promise it’s not scary at all, and it is so nice not to worry about running out of diapers in the middle of the night.