It's been 10 years since I had my first child and OMGosh they have invented such amazing stuff since then!
Some of my friends are having babies. They asked me what I like for my latest baby (born in 2013). Here is my list:
Amazing things. They are the right size with armrests to nurse or feed a baby, and they rock so smoothly without squishing little toes.
Even if you bottle feed the nursing stool is awesome for propping your legs a bit while you hold a baby for a long time in a gilder rocker. I didn't have one for my first two kids and now that I do have one I have said "What was I thinking?! They are so worth it!"
Newborns are tiny things, squishy and all curled up. Their heads flop around. How are you going to wear them? I adore my Moby Wrap until the baby is at least 5 months old. Do not get a color just to match your baby's gender. Get a color you would wear if it were a shirt. Once you put this thing on you will wear it all day like a shirt. If you are having a hard time putting it on take my advice: let the ends drag on the ground. They won't touch the baby anyway once it's on you. Also, be VERY CAREFUL with slings. You have to make sure the baby's head is not chin-to-chest or they can't breathe. This hard to do with a newborn in a sling and I DO NOT recommend slings for newborns. Keep your baby's head high enough that you can kiss it. The Moby Wrap does this.
Ergobaby Carrier or something like it
Once the baby is big enough I use an ErgoBaby Carrier or some carrier where they baby's hips are positioned wide and above their knees (NOT a Bjorn). A carrier that rests on my hips as well is awesome.
Baby Scratch Mittens
Yes, it's important for the baby to be able to suck on their hands. Yes, you should keep their nails trimmed anyway. But even this third-time mom has a bear of a time keeping her newborn from scratching her nipple while she's trying to learn how to latch again. Get the mittens for you until you get the hang of it.
Emery Boards Before Nail Clippers
Newborn nails grow fast but they are also soft. Their fingers are too small for nail clippers, even the safety ones. A cut finger is too easy and can get infected so just use your mouth to chew the nail or use an emery board while they are sleeping or feeding to soften and file them down. Easy peasy. Nail clippers are for later.
Aden + Anais Blankets
I have baby blankets a friend used with her son who is now 16. They are bigger than those useless receiving blankets you get in a pack at Target and I saved them because they were the only thing I could swaddle my baby in. This time around a friend gave me some Aden + Anais blankets and I am hooked! I bought more. They are THE BEST. Get the 47 x 47 inch ones (make sure of this size because they brand different blankets for different stores) and opt for cotton NOT the bamboo which are not really bamboo but rayon which is chemical made. Plus the cotton ones have a better grip and babies are squirmy. Yes they cost money. Buy them anyway.
I never had a swing until this last baby. Either we were broke or we had no room for one or both and I just didn't bother with it. My Sister-In-Law dropped off hers last year so I could use it and now I wonder what the heck I did without it. See TroublesomeTots.com for info on how the swing can be your new bestie. It's a terrible name because the website is sweet and the woman is caring and I wish I had read it ten years ago. I don't think it really matters what swing you get but I have heard rumors there is at least one that comes with a plug as well as battery options. I would get one with a plug if I had to buy one.
I love picking out strollers. Personally, I'm a Graco gal. This time around I could have spent $1,000 on one and I still went with the Graco click connect system. My favorite test is to push it around the store one-handed. If I can't one-hand a stroller it's out.
Try to park in a tight parking lot, open the back door of a SUV or sedan and get your baby or infant carseat out. Sliding doors ROCK.
My midwife suggested we blow dry the baby's butt to keep down diaper rash. This is yet another something I wish I had known with the first kids. Get one with a "cold shot" button so you don't burn a bum.
One more thing I thought was silly or just excess that I didn't bother with until this time around when someone handed me down one. OMgosh these things are the best. Baby doesn't howl now in the night because, um, wouldn't you if you were half-asleep and someone took an ice-cold something to your bottom? Shocking.
Even if you get a My Brest Friend, get a boppy. I didn't have one for my first two kids, this time I splurged and yet again I wonder what I did without it.
My Brest Friend
If you nurse, a My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow. Especially if you are a first-time mom. Get a Boppy as well, but definitely get thisl. I think for new nursing moms it's critical. For bottle babies it's unnecessary.
Smartphone or iPod with Wifi
You will spend a lot of hours rocking, feeding, nursing, holding, being with a newborn. It's nice to not go crazy lonely as well. With Facebook and texting and email you can still be connected to other adults even if you can't talk on the phone. These things did not exist with my first two kids like they do now and I attribute having an iPhone as a HUGE factor in my current happiness. I'm not alone! Yay! Plus, they have really awesome apps like feed timers and sleep timers and baby apps. And you can use it as a flashlight at night. And download white noise onto it to play. The list is endless. Of course you can use a tablet or iPad , but you can't hold an iPad in one hand while you carry a baby, not even the mini.
Along those lines, trips to the bookstore are not so easy now. Find a way to download and read books. Since my eyes strain reading books on a computer or tablet I have a Kindle with no backlight. It's as great as reading a book and I can download new books from my glider rocker.
White noise is your friend. Use it.
Black Out Curtains
One more thing I didn't bother with until this baby and WHAT WAS I THINKING?!?!!
Even in my small house it's nice to have another place to put down the baby so I can pull something out of the oven. You can get a traditional bassinet or you can get a playpen with a bassinet feature.
Changing Diaper Situation
Whether it's a changing table or a bassinet or a dedicated top of a desk with a changing pad on it like I'm using, a dedicated diaper changing place that doesn't require you to bend over too much is awesome. You will be changing a lot of diapers.
Organic Crib Mattress
Get an organic mattress with no off-gassing otherwise your baby is breathing in the chemicals they put in mattresses all night long.
Amazon Prime Membership
Delivery is your friend. Use it.
You will have a much nicer year if you have a cleaning service that comes every two weeks. Trust me. Imagine never having to clean that tub or scrub those floors again! :)
I had one with all of my kids. They hit about 6 weeks old and I'm like, "Where do I put them? They don't want to lie down and they can't sit up!" My son adores his bouncy chair. He laughs and coos and plays with his monkey friends on it for at least ten minutes. "Ten minutes?" you exclaim. "Is it worth it?" Oh heck yes. But only if you want to eat your dinner.
If they take one or not it's really up to them. Every kid is different. But that night when they want to get some gas out and they can't eat anymore and they want to suck to relieve their anxiety and either your body or your pinkie finger are worn out you will be glad you have one. Make sure you boil it for 5 minutes before you use it for the first time and of course, let it cool off and squeeze it before you give it to the little one since a really hot bubble could be hiding inside it just waiting to get sucked into a mouth. Ouch.
Boudreaux's Butt Paste
I use the natural version. It's the best diaper cream I've used in all my ten years of butts and diapers.
Sunday Afternoons Sun Hat
The. Best. Sun. Hat. Ever. For babies, for toddlers, for kids, and even for me. We all have them.
OK, not really needed for a baby, but if your kid won't poop in the toilet someday even though you know they can, try it. Kids are smart even if they can't articulate it. Sitting to poop is hard work and doesn't ever complete the job compared to standing or kneeling to use a pull-up. Let them squat over the toilet on a platform instead and be amazed.
Earthing Sheets or Throw Blanket
Earthing totally calms people and babies down. Since you may not be outside for quite some time, you can emulate the healing and soothing benefits of connecting with the Earth indoors. It's anti-inflammatory and stuff so do your research before you employ it if you are on blood medication.
If you are nursing you have some. If you are not nursing see if you can get yourself some. If your baby has acne, breast milk will clear it up. Cradle cap? Breast milk will clear it up. Diaper rash? Breast milk will clear it up. Pink eye? Yep. Breast milk. Basically just bathe your child in breast milk and all is well.
Before your baby is born get goldenseal (even if you get it at Whole Foods in capsules and crack open the capsules to make a pile of it yourself) and some Q-tips. Put it on your newborn's umbilical cord stump every time you change their diaper and it will dry up and fall off in a week vs. the usual weeks. SO AWESOME. Make sure you use Q-tips and don't double-dip to keep the powder clean. Make sure you don't get it in their face. P.S. The link to HerbLore.com is important. Keep it. My doula friend knows this woman personally. Her products are authentic. My midwife uses them. She rocks. Etc.
Because you can't put a onesie over that umbilical cord stump.
Footy Pajamas In Every Size
Babies usually grow out of their footy pajamas in the middle of the night. It's helpful to always have the next size up clean and handy to put on in a flash. Just sayin'.
Sounds obvious, but I forgot about it this time until I had to go out. Get one you like since it's like an extra purse.
For you. I'm partial to Dansko clogs and even Crocs. Yes, I said it. When you have a baby and you need to step outside for a moment you don't want to have to figure out how to bend over and tie your shoes.
Slippers You Adore
Because you will wear them a lot. A lot.
Extra Contact Lenses
Stock up before your prescription runs out. Going to the eye doctor with a baby can be skipped for a long time. Yay!
Got Someone Who Wants To Spend A Fortune On Your Wee One?There are only so many outfits your newborn or baby needs. Soon, however, they will need or you will want:
If you can't stop someone from spending on you, you can direct the flow away from mounds of space-consuming stuffed animals and plastic toys. Woot!