Obviously, every baby needs clothing, diapers (cloth or disposable) and a place to sleep. But there are some other items that make our lives easier. These are some of mine:
- Basic Cloth Diapers – Even if you are planning on using disposables, I highly recommend registering for at least 1 pack of the standard (cheap) white diapers. My favorite use for them is to lay it on the changing pad. Unless you have a white changing pad cover, the colored covers hide the little bit of poo that gets on there. However, if you lay one of these down, you’ll see the bright yellow marks more often than you’d like. We change it every day – and its nice just being able to throw the diaper in the laundry instead of having to change the changing pad cover. And besides, everyone knows these diapers make great burp cloths after all they are made to absorb liquid! Also, if you ever run out of diapers you can at least use these instead of having your LO sit in a soiled diaper until someone gets a chance to run to the store.
- Waterproof lap pads – I registered for a fancy travel changing pad, but I really like using these a whole lot more. First, its much more comfortable to lay on cloth instead of sweaty plastic (we live in LA – it gets hot!). Second, super easy to clean… just throw it in the laundry. Thirdly, I have three of them so I can easily throw them in the laundry and still have one to use. And last, these are bigger and actually fold up smaller than my travel changing pad.
- Moby Wrap – I cannot even begin to say what a lifesaver this has been. Nothing calms our LO quicker than putting this wrap on and tucking him in. I can even get work done around the house with him in it!
- Aden & Anais Muslin Wraps – Let’s face it, most of us took a few of those wonderful swaddling blankets from the hospital and they worked perfectly. However, after about a week when the baby stops keeping his/her legs curled up like a frog, those blankets just don’t cut it. These on the other hand are wonderfully soft and large, perfect for swaddling a larger baby, covering up the car seat and using for a cover up if you’re breastfeeding. An absolute must have if you live where it gets hot – they are so light and comfy. They might seem a little expensive but oh so worth it!
- Sling – Although I prefer the Moby wrap, my DH loves the sling. He throws it on, puts our DS in there and takes the dog for a walk. One advantage of the sling over the wrap is that if your LO falls asleep, you can take it off with him/her in it and put it directly into the crib or bassinet. You can even pass your LO off to another person. We have several slings but we like the Organic Baby Carrier Sling by New Native
- Sun hat – My DS was born in the middle of summer so this was an absolute must have. He has worn a sun hat almost every day since he was 5 days old. I’d take him out in the Moby Wrap and put the sun hat on him as I walked our dog. There’s nothing cuter than a little baby face sticking out under the rim of the hat!
- Fancy burp cloth that abosrbs – While at home, we have simple flannel burp cloths strewn about the house. However, when you’re out and about and feeling pretty shleppy, its nice to pull out a fancy burp cloth. There’s something reassuring when you see a classy print underneath your LO’s chin. And besides, it helps to hide the previous spit up that you haven’t cleaned off your shoulder yet. Its a little luxury that won’t break the bank but will bring a smile to your face! (I also really like the JJ Cole Burp Cloth Set
- Kiddopotamus Snuzzler Complete Head and Body Support – We have 2. One we use in the car seat (that’s kind of given) and the other one we use in the stroller or swing. Really there’s not much to say except it keeps your LO from slumping over.
- Sleep Positioner – We got this sleep positioner as a gift and I must admit that I thought I would never use it because it was so cheap looking and flimsy. However, our DS could turn from his back to side since the first day home. We have to swaddle our DS and this positioner is perfect when you have a swaddled baby. I’m not sure about using it without being swaddled. But the main reason we like it so much is that our DS hated to be in his bassinet so we started co-sleeping with him. That’s when we decided to start using this. As it turns out, he got very used to the comforting feeling of being confined in between the wedges that now he sleeps wonderfully in his bassinet. For us, this was truly a wonderful gift.
- Baby care essentials – See my list on baby care essentials (coming soon…)
- BabySense Infant Movement Monitor – I’m a very laid back person, so when moms told me that I’d be hunching over my baby’s bassinet looking to see if he was breathing in the middle of the night, I politely smiled and disregarded the remark. Think about how shocked I was that I kept waking up to listen to see if my baby was breathing. If I couldn’t hear him, I’d get up and hunch over the bassinet to try and see if there was movement. I even went so far as to poke him a few times. Luckily, there is a product that help you get much needed sleep. Baby Sense – its a movement monitor. This came recommended by my DH’s family (did you know they are all doctors – OB GYN, Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine Pediatrics and Pediatric Cardiology) and they know a thing or two about kids, both from being doctors and having their own. Anyways, the Baby Sense monitor has definitely helped my sleeping and doing anything around the house.
- Exercise Ball – I’ve had an exercise ball for years to do exercise (hahaha). Truthfully, it sat deflated in my storage unit with the hopes I’d take it out and use it. However, one day while my DS was wailing away, I remembered seeing them at the Pump Station where a wonderfully kind lady told me that they are wonderful for consoling a screaming baby. Out of desperation, I went to my storage unit got the ball and the foot pump and with my screaming DS on my lap I inflated it. Within seconds of getting on the ball and bouncing, DS let out a great big burp and quieted down. The only thing I could think was why didn’t I get the ball out sooner? Now I use it in the middle of the night and when I want to watch some TV. DS stays completely calm and I get peace and quiet. And it also helps keep my leg muscles in shape. It’s a win-win solution all around!
- White noise machine – If you’ve read or seen Harvey Karp’s “Happiest Baby on the Block” then you know all about the “Shushing.” Let me tell you, it works! However, most of the readily available white noise is quite irritating. My DH is a trained musician so the thought of white noise is like nails on a chalkboard to him. Luckily, there are some really great and cute solutions. We really like the Cloud B Sleep Sheep – its cute and there are 4 different types of sounds to choose from. A friend of mine has also recommended the Cloud b Twilight Constellation Night Light Sea Turtle since our DS loves lights, too!
- Bath luve – We got this because we thought it was cute but my DH had serious doubts about it. BUT… it really does keep our LO from crying at bath time. He sure does not like to be cold and wet! But he doesn’t mind being warm and wet.
- Hand Sanitizer – Read my article on washing your hands before you touch a baby.