When I was pregnant I sent an email to a few of my friends that already had children asking them the following:
What are 3 things you can't live without?
What are 3 things people told you wouldn't be able to live without but you haven't needed?
Any other advice/books/etc about babies that you want to give me?
One of my friends laughed at me (in a nice way) in her reply email and stated that Mommies certainly like to give advice about babies and that I had opened a can of worms!! I did end up getting LOTS of advice but it was really helpful! Since these were my friends it was easy to see why a certain friend might suggest one thing and other friends might say they never used it at all.
I started thinking about my top lists and you know how I love to make them!! So here is my "Top Ten Baby Items" I'll save the ones I didn't need for another post!
10. The Ultimate Crib Sheet
Have you heard of this one? You put it on OVER your crib sheet. But it doesn't tuck down the side, it snaps. When baby spits up or has a leaky diaper all you have to do is unsnap this and put it in the wash. If you have crib bumpers (like I do) all it takes is one time of having to untie and retie those before you'll want one of these!!
9. Pack-N-Play (with Bassinet)
I told everyone that our baby wasn't going to sleep in our room. Our bedroom doors are literally 5 feet apart and I thought we'd just start the little one out in his crib. Yeah, this lasted all of about 9 seconds once we came home from the hospital. He was SO little! And the thought of having him in the other room made me want to burst into tears. So tired Daddy put together the Pack-N-Play late that first night. I loved the bassinet function because it was contoured. Stafford fit inside snugly and I didn't worry that he would turn his head or be able to moving around much. I'm not too much of a "freaking out" Mom but I was concerned about SIDS (do your research about this new Moms!!) and I was happy that the bassinet was on an incline as well.
Little guy lasted about 6 weeks in our room and they we couldn't take it anymore. He was the LOUDEST sleeper on the planet! Grunting, groaning....you name the noise....he made it! We switched him into his room and never looked back!
8. My Jogging Stroller (Baby Jogger FIT)
Let's be honest here. I can't really call it a running stroller. I may run but I run like a granny so I think it's more appropriate to refer to my running as jogging. After doing research I narrowed my choices down to a BOB or a Baby Jogger stroller. Because it can potentially be dangerous I didn't want a stroller that had a wheel that wasn't fixed. (Some jogging strollers have a pin that you can use to "fix" or "un-fix" your front wheel. I didn't want to take the chance that the pin might come up and the front wheel would turn.) We opted to use our jogging stroller as our primary stroller. It has a car-seat insert so we were able to use it right away. It folds in half (literally all you do is pull the handle up and it is folded!) and stores easily. I LOVE it. I haven't used it without the carseat yet but it has been wonderful to be able to exercise with Stafford right away. This was a must-have for us!!
7. Nursing Cover
Udder cover....hooter hider....whatever you call it, it is fantastic. If you haven't seen these they are basically cotton blankets that have a tie around the neck. It's kind of like an apron but it is shorter in length and longer in width. Mine has an insert in the neckline that keeps it open a little bit so I can look down at Stafford if I need to. These are wonderful if you know you'll need to nurse in public. I've had people tell me that they didn't even know I was nursing! Be careful though, my friend Rachel had a hilarious experience with hers!! You can read about it here.
6, Floor Gym
I use this everyday. Stafford LOVES his floor gym. We have the TinyLove brand that has jungle animals on it. It has been so fun to watch his play change with this toy. He started laying in it when he was about 6 weeks old. He would just shake his hands and occasionally make contact with one of the animals. Then he started actually trying to hit the animals. Now he rolls over and plays with the different textures that are on the mat. He looks at himself in the mirror. He plays in this for at least an hour everyday. I hope all my babies love this because it is a great way in the morning for me to get my day started while he is occupied.
5. Burp Clothes/Old School Cloth Diapers
If no one has told you then I will. Nursing is messy! Once you get the hang of it you'll be fine. But at the beginning, geez!! I had a package of cloth diapers that I kept by my rocker to use for an "stray" milk. Especially at the beginning when baby is learning to latch! They were also nice to have for burping as well!
4. My Glider/Rocker
Oh how I love this chair! I swivels and rocks. The ottoman rocks. The back is tall enough that I can rest my head. It is comfy. Bear can sit next to me while I nurse. I have used this everday, multiple times a day without fail!! Some people can nurse in bed (especially if baby is still sleep in their room) but it didn't work for me. I didn't want to wake Peter up or keep him up once he went back to work. (Before you say, "oh Laura that is so nice", just know that Peter changed almost every middle of the night diaper before I nursed Stafford. So I'm not as nice as I sound!!)
3. Portable Booster Chair/Bumbo
We don't have a portable booster chair yet but I wish we did! Stafford just started eating solids about a month ago and since we had a Bumbo (thanks to the Porters!!) we have used that. It is bulky to carry however and isn't a replacement for a booster chair. I wasn't thrilled with the idea of a high chair because we have limited space in our current home. The booster is the perfect solution. It fits on a chair and you can take it with you to restaurants or someone else's home. I think they are great!
You have to take what you read with a grain of salt. I love what this website has to offer. Each week of your pregnancy and after the baby arrives you get an email with details about the baby's development at that point. It is fun to read and gives you milestones that you baby should be reaching in the near future. With that said, you have to read it knowing that your child is developing at his/her own pace and you can't freak out if your baby isn't transferring an object from one hand to another or pulling up exactly when the email says they will.
The website has lots of information and you can search questions you might have. When Stafford was little Peter and I noticed that his feet looked crooked. Before calling the Dr (I didn't want to be the Mommy that called about EVERYTHING) I searched the website just to see. Sure enough I found out this is common for babies. I am not advocating using this website as your primary source for information, especially health related information. But it is a nice resource to get you started.
This one is cheap but super helpful! I use the little toy links all the time to create a play area for Stafford. If we are somewhere they I don't want him to throw a toy on the floor I just use the links to attach it to his carseat or my purse, something that he won't be able to move. Then he can push and pull and bang around all he wants! I've also used them to make a play-area for him in the car. I simply made a long chain and attached it to the garment holder on each side of the car. Then I hang his other toys from the chain. Often when I get out of the car I find him asleep with his hand holding on of these toys! He loves to bat them around.
I'm interested to hear what your "can't live withouts" are!! I wonder if mine with change with another baby (that is not an announcement) or if our next child will enjoy some of the same things. It will be fun to find out!!