Tuesday Top 10 – our 10 lifesaving baby items from the past 10 months
If this post feels discombobulated, it’s because that’s how my day has been. Baby G is refusing to nap more than 30 minutes, and she’s been a very hands-on baby. Which means no free time for this mom to get anything done. I can’t believe it’s 3 p.m. Where has the day gone?
Anyhow, today I’m thinking about some of the baby products we’ve found extremely helpful over the past 10 months. I’m forming a list in my mind of the 10 most useless baby products we bought too, but that’s another post for another day.
I didn’t buy mounds and mounds of baby stuff. I was adamant about not going crazy buying everything that people (advertisers) said I “needed.” For one, we live in a tiny place and we didn’t have room to store thousands of baby items. Seriously, Baby G’s Lion King bouncer takes up half our living room, and we store our beer in her “nursery” because we have no other place to put it. But also, I am a fan of keeping things simple for simplicity’s sake. While I wasn’t opposed to buying something that made my life or the baby’s life much easier, I was firm that we didn’t need to have every little trinket at Babies R Us.
That said, here are ten things that were absolutely worth having around.
1. Infant swing
Baby G loved her swing, more than I could have ever expected. Between month three and five, she refused to sleep anywhere else. At one time I remember panicking that we’d be moving her into her college dorm room and asking the Dean if we could replace the twin bed with an adult sized swing. But of course what I didn’t realize in the height of my new mother paranoia, it was just a stage – as everything is with babies.
2. Nursing bras
I laughed at the idea of a “nursing bra” while pregnant but bought one anyways, just incase. I now own three, and I haven’t worn a normal bra in nine months. Target carries cute patterns and styles too, so you don’t have to sacrifice looking adorable when you’re being milked like a cow.
3. White noise machine
The first few months, Baby G was a fussy baby. Some said she was colicky, but I refused to acknowledge that. But this $19 white noise machine worked like magic to calm her down and put her to sleep. I also downloaded a couple white noise apps on my iPhone so she could have white noise on the go. She no longer uses any white noise machines, but we do turn on a humidifier for her at night, which has a low hum to it.
We didn’t even start swaddling until Baby G was eight weeks old, because we thought it didn’t “work” because she would squirm out. Then we tried the Miracle Blanket, which was gifted to us – and WOW, that made a difference. There’s no zippers or velcro, it’s just a pouch with a really long piece of fabric that you can wrap around the baby over and over for a tight swaddle. When we started swaddling, she began sleeping in 4-5 hour chunks.
5. Food processor
When I learned how easy it was to make baby food, I never bought food from the store again (exception – see #6). My food processor, which I used probably once a year in my pre-baby days, now perpetually sits on the counter. It takes me about 90 seconds to make Baby’s G’s purees and it’s a fraction of the cost as those ridiculous little baby food jars at the store.
6. Food pouches
Even at $1.50 each, these portable baby food pouches are SO worth it. I try to stock up when they are on sale, but I’ve never found them cheaper than 90 cents a piece. I don’t use them when we are home because they are so expensive, but on the go there isn’t really an option that can come close in terms of convienence. I’ve had probably 100 women approach me when they see Baby G happily sucking on one of these pouches to tell me how much they wish these were around when they had kids.
7. Footie pajamas
When she transitioned out of her swaddler (at 6 months!), we started using long sleeved pajamas with attached feet to keep her warm at night. We live in a somewhat coastal climate with warm days and chilly evenings, even in the summer, so skin coverage is a must. A few times we put her down in pants and socks – the socks would come off and she’d wake up crying in the middle of the night with icy cold feet.
8. Baby carriers
Baby G was a “hold me” baby, so if I ever wanted my arms free, I had to wear her. I don’t have a favorite because I used different ones for different occassions. While on vacation this summer, we used REI’s baby hiking backpack. When at home, I used the Moby Wrap, and when shopping I used a structured front pack. Now that she’s older she prefers the stroller.
Since we’re currently renting a tiny place, the bumbo was an awesome mini, portable alternative to a high chair until about a month ago when we finally broke down and bought a high chair at our local baby consignment store. But the bumbo was great in the interim. Not only did it help her sit before she could on her own, but it didn’t take up a ton of space – and when you are renting a teensy farm cottage, space is very important.
10. Baby swim floatie
OK, this one was just so much fun. Complete with a canopy to block the sun, the baby floatie gave Baby G her first summer in the water. She even learned to kick around in it. I wish I had a picture to share but I went through my entire photo library and couldn’t find one. We used it at least a dozen times so I’m hitting myself for not capturing it on camera. You’ll just have to imagine how cute she looked in it.
What baby items do you love?