Thursday, July 31, 2014

Adri's BabyMust-Haves

I have some friends pregnant with their first baby, so I thought I'd offer some un-solicited advice to them and anyone else who has a baby in the future. A while ago, one of my friends made a list like this, and I even referred to it before having Grace. The newborn stage can be hard, and it's nice to know what other people used to get through it. Someone else may have a completely different list and hate everything on mine, but this is my personal top 10 (in no particular order).

Some of the things on my "must-have" list are things we had with Sophia, and others are things I WISHED we had the first time around. I've probably used every one of these things in the past 24 hours.

1. Fisher Price Rock n' Play Sleeper
I did not have this with Sophia, but Grace had a hard time sleeping in the pack-n-play bassinet and wanted to be held all the time.  After one sleep-deprived night when she was about a week old, I dragged my zombie self to Walmart and hunted this baby down. It's awesome. It's small enough to sit right by my bed (nice to give her the binky when I'm half asleep or grab her and nurse her at night without having to leave my bed - except for diaper changes), easy enough to drag around the house, it keeps her at a little bit of an incline and is small enough that she feels a more enclosed, and it rocks. No, it literally rocks. :) When she fusses at night, there's been more than once that I've just reached over and rocked it and then woken up a while later with my hand still on it. It also vibrates, which she likes. I don't have a swing because they're bulky and expensive and Sophia didn't even like a swing, so this is my life-saving alternative. It's probably the best $50 I've spent so far with Grace. The only (sort of) downside is that it's low enough to the ground Sophia can reach it and bug/violently rock/poke love Grace while she's sleeping.

2. Summer Infant Video Monitor
Love this thing. Looking back, the model I got is a little flimsy and I've had to order replacement parts for the camera and power cable, but the video monitor itself is a lot of fun. It gives me more peace-of-mind to actually see my little babies, and then it's hilarious to watch the older babies/toddlers. Also, it can connect up to 4 cameras, so when I'm in the shower, I hook up both of mine and it'll scan through them every 8 seconds, and I can keep an eye on both of them. They're $100+ and should NOT have been as flimsy as mine was, but worth it, I think. The only other con about it is the relatively short range (compared to sound-only monitors, which are also MUCH cheaper). 

3. Aden and Anais Blankets
They're soft, have lots of pretty patterns, light-weight, and HUGE. I don't know why I used the receiving blankets from Walmart or Target. They were so small Sophia broke out of them all the time, but the aden+anais blankets are awesome. The Swaddle Me blankets with the velcro are also great. We got one from the hospital, and when Grace is particularly fussy/flailing around a lot, they give a great, tight swaddle that's even tighter than the blankets. I just don't prefer to have her in them at night because the zipper and velcro is kinda tough to get into (in my opinion) at night. Plus, they're not great if you want to use them as a regular blanket...because they've got the velcro and I wouldn't throw it in my diaper bag or car seat for an outing, but they definitely have a place and purpose.

4. Pampers Swaddlers
No matter which brand you buy, I love the newborn diapers with the wetness indicator stripe that turns blue when the baby has peed. Genius! Swaddlers happen to be my favorite because I think they're softer and because I especially prefer Pampers to other brands in the larger sizes, and since they do a rewards point program - might as well start getting them now and rack up the points for later. I know everyone has their own preference, but when I've bought other brands recently, Sophia has had more leaking and complains about them being scratchy. So I won't buy anything else. 

5. Play Mat
It's just nice to have a place to put your baby down, and play mats are good for different stages. Now, I use it for tummy time. As Sophia got a little older, she really liked looking at, reaching for, and eating the toys. Then when she started sitting up and rolling, I took the bars off and put her toys on it. I just think they're great. And now that I've gotten it out for Grace, Sophia sometimes puts blankets on it and calls it her ya go. Fun for all ages!

6. Electric breast pump
With Sophia, this was necessary because I worked. Now, it's just nice to have a bottle or two pumped in case we're out running errands when Grace needs to eat, or if I want to go somewhere and leave Grace with Russ. It also gives me peace of mind to have a little supply and know just how much I'm producing/ she's getting.

7. Camera/Baby Book
More than anything, these represent RECORDING MEMORIES! My advice is to write down as much as you can and take lots of pictures. You'll only regret pictures you don't take and you'll be amazed at how much you DON'T remember. Moms get together a lot and talk about when your child started doing this or that, and you can pull out and the baby book/blog/journal and remind yourself. Now that I have Grace, my advice is also to write everything. Not just the good. I say that because I've been trying to go back and see what we did with Sophia when she was up all night with gas or when she had growth spurts, but since I only wrote the mushy, good stuff, I don't have a record of how we handled her. Plus, I just like comparing how things were the first time and now. 

8. Itzbeen or iBaby Feed app
The itzbeen is a little timer for eating, diaper, and sleeping. It also has a flashlight and tells which side you fed on last. It was my brain for several months of Sophia's life. Then when I used it for Grace, Sophia kept playing with it, sooooo it wasn't as useful. Then I learned about the app from my friend's must-have list. It's my new brain for keeping track of diapers and eating.

 9. Easy-to-get-into Jammies
Some of the cutest jammies are the ones with snaps. My advice is to first look for the zipper ones while you're shopping, or if you get snap ones, make sure they're cute enough to justify all that snapping when you have a squirmy baby and you're half awake. :) The nightgowns are Russ's favorite. They make diaper changes really easy!

10. Pacifier with clip
The binky, of course, is a life-saver in and of itself for me, but I've spent what has probably added up to HOURS of my life in the past 2.5 years hunting down pacifiers (or "uh oh"'s as Sophia calls them - because we'd say "uh oh!" when she dropped it so when she learned to talk, she called it an uh oh). I don't really use the clip that much to actually clip to Grace since she's in and out of blankets so much right now, but I like that with the clip, it can't go too far, and I can hang it on her bed/car seat/stroller and find it more easily.

Here is Grace, my beautiful model, showing the blanket, rocker, and pacifier clip in action. :) haha This wasn't planned. It just proves that I really do use this stuff every day.


Kadi Abel said...

Perfect timing for me! What kind of baby book/journal do you do? I can't find a book that I love.

Kadi Abel said...

Perfect timing for me! What kind of baby book/journal do you do? I can't find a book that I love.

Carson said...

I'm thoroughly amazed you had the time to do this post with a six-week-old and a 2 and a half year-old demanding your attention! It will be a great resource for other new moms.

Michele said...

we are pampers fans too! i won't buy any other diaper. and i loved using an app to remind me nursing times and which side. lifesaver for sure! hope you are enjoying that little baby, they grow way too fast!