Friday, August 2, 2013

10 Newborn Baby Essentials

Those first few weeks (or months in our case) fly by because of lack of sleep, frustration/helplessness and insurmountable joy. There were a few items that helped make those early days easier.

1. Fisher Price Deluxe Bouncer - My Little Snugabunny. This bouncy seat saved our lives for the first few weeks. Miles would take every nap in the seat swaddled and comfy. He was so content to sit in his chair and watch what was happening around the house too. I loved that it wasn't huge but could fit nicely in our living room. I think he might have even slept in it overnight when we got desperate for some shut eye. The seat has a smooth bounce and a vibrator that runs on batteries. Now at 6 months, we use this in our kitchen so Miles can watch me cook. He loves to bounce himself by throwing his arms around.

2. Ubbi Steel Diaper Pail. I searched high and low for a diaper pail that would work for both disposable diapers and cloth diapers later on. This was practically the only one on the market that wasn't a bucket. I love that it is stainless steel so it doesn't absorb the stinky odors. We ended up doing both disposables and cloth at the same time, so we had to buy a wet bag for the cloth diapers anyway. I will say that the Ubbi is one good looking diaper pail. My only complaint is that when you open the little door on the top all the stink pours out into the room. But when the pail is closed the room doesn't smell at all.

3. Timi & Leslie Annette Diaper Bag. This was my splurge for myself. I had my eye on one of these diaper bags for months while I was pregnant and once they went on sale on Zulily, I snatched the Annette style up! This bad boy is huge and has about a zillion pockets and compartments. The insulated bottle holder and changing mat are big bonuses. I did not want a diaper bag that looked like one. Any of the Timi & Leslie bags look more like large purses instead of frumpy baby bags. I give this bag two big thumbs up! It fits diapers, wipes, toys, books, extra outfits, blankets, and all my stuff too.

4. iPhone. My trusty iPhone helped get me through many late nights without falling asleep - sometimes you just need a good distraction while nursing or rocking a baby. I spent way too many hours looking at Instagram, Facebook and baby websites. But when you are pinned by a sleeping baby easy access to the internet is important to help keep a new momma sane. It is easy to feel disconnected from the outside world, but being able to catch up with my friends via Facebook and text messages made it easier for me to feel like a real person.

5. Solly Baby Wrap. Honestly, I don't know how I would have survived Miles' third month without this wrap. He would only fall asleep while being bounced, walked or jiggled. I wore this wrap while walking around the house, strolling around the block or bouncing on my exercise ball. I never tried the moby wrap because I was intimidated by the sheer amount of fabric. But I decided to try my hand at getting into the Solly Baby wrap because it's not as wide as other wraps. After the first few times, I was a pro at quickly getting wrapped up while Miles screamed. Once he was comfortably in the wrap, he settled down and I was able to get some things accomplished around the house or even sit at the computer. Now that he's older, we still like this wrap for outings. But for longer walks, we use our Ergo structured carrier.

6. Britax B-Agile Stroller. Originally, we wanted a cheap lightweight stroller that would be easy to use. Boy am I glad we changed our minds about that one! We live in a city where even sidewalks are few and far between, and a little umbrella stroller never would have allowed us to take walks around our house. The B-Agile stroller isn't small but it is super easy to unfold and is fairly lightweight. It has an incredible turning radius and front shocks so it is easy to maneuver around our little city.

7. Boppy Nursing Pillow. This breastfeeding pillow makes it onto almost every new mom's essential list. I liked it so much, that I had two. Miles and I really struggled to make nursing work in the very beginning (well really the first two months) and this pillow helped support him so I could use both hands to position him. Now we use it to help Miles stay supported while sitting so he doesn't crack his head on the floor.

8. Burt's Bee Baby Shampoo and Wash. When I pregnant, I researched everything. I knew that I wanted to use natural products for Miles and really didn't like the chemical ingredients in most baby shampoos. I landed on using Burt's Bee products because of their natural ingredients, soft scent, price and easy access. Miles has fairly sensitive skin and the shampoo and wash, lotion and diaper cream never irritated him.

9. Infantino Square Twist and Fold Activity Gym. From the start, Miles enjoyed laying on his back watching the cute stuffed toys or chilling on his stomach looking into the mirror. We still use this and he loves to reach up and play with the toys. We did add some different toys since the ones that came with the gym were a little boring for him as he got older. It has held up great to all of Miles' tugging and biting. He does a lot of his independent playtime on this mat. It's not the most attractive baby item, but it does the job without being too visually obnoxious and it folds up nicely.

10. Aden + Anais Muslin Swaddle Blankets. The super star bankets were the first things I bought when I found out I was pregnant. Miles loved to be swaddled for months and these blankets are perfect. They are breathable, large, square and soft. We use them now as lightweight blankets to take to the doctors office for when they make him strip down to his diaper and to the park to drape over the swing. They just get softer as you wash them and even though the blankets are muslin, they don't wear thin. I think this will be my new baby shower gift for every expecting mother.

But the one major thing that helped us navigate parenthood that didn't make it on the list was the help of our loving family. I battled some seriously crazy hormones and possible postpartum depression and anxiety which made things a little tricky. I seriously don't know if I would have survived without the consistent help of my mom. She's the best!

What are some of your newborn essentials? 

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