The Mama Life: Things for Baby I Never Knew I Needed.
You have 9 months to prepare for your new baby. Let's be honest, if you're like me, I was collecting little baby nick-nacks long before we found out we were expecting. Once the news of your growing family is shared, people immediately start asking about a registry and bombard you with every little thing that they swear by for your newborn. It's a sweet gesture and completely harmless, however, it's a tad bit overwhelming- am I right?
When it finally came time to put our registry together, I had no clue where to even begin. Not to mention every teeny tiny cute thing distracted me. Thanks hormones! I had so many questions! Will I co-sleep? Will the baby sleep in her crib right away? Will I use cloth diapers? Oh, this newborn onesie is cute, let's buy 10! What kind of shampoo should I get? Oh, those little pink shoes are so adorable! Let's get two!...
I must say that all in all, the items that we decided on were for the most part, awesome. We've put great use to just about everything. But it's the random things that we ran out in a hurry to frantically buy for our teeny tiny newborn that really made a difference early on and well into our daughter's first year. Here is a compiled list of some of the most helpful things I never planned on needing, but so thankful I found later on.
Rock n' Play: This was one of the first emergency purchases we made. I think my daughter hadn't been home for more than a day when I realized how helpful this would be. It is slightly elevated so if your little one has a sensitive tummy, they might find a little bit of relief by being propped up at a slight angle. We purchased one with a vibration and rocking option which was great early on too! Our daughter slept in her rock n' play for the first four months of her life. It is small and compact, fit perfectly right by my bed, and if I wanted to I could easily move it throughout the house during the day.
early on and still does! Not only can it be used as a pacifier, but it's a soft toy for baby to snuggle with and hold onto. The price is a bit higher than a usual paci, but I will say that we have only lost one wubbanub in almost a year! With how large it is, there's almost no way to lose it... Unless your daughter decides to toss it out of her stroller when you're distracted by the clearance section at target and don't notice it missing till hours later... RIP Cow.
Netipure: If there's one thing I learned as a new mama, it's that sh*t happens. Sometimes everywhere...multiple times a day. For those moments, there is no other natural stain remover that I'd recommend. We haven't lost a onesie yet. My house is full of H2o at Home products including the laundry soap, disinfecting spray, clay, and mop!
Swaddle Me or Woombie: My daughter received the nickname of Houdini within a few weeks of her arrival. She could wiggle her way out of just about any swaddle. The Swaddle Me and Woombie are great additions to your night time essentials. They are easy to use, safe, and will help baby sleep more comfortably, without being startled by their own reflexes while they sleep.
Thick Burp Cloths--Made out of cloth diapers. I received these as a gift and initially had no clue what they were. Shortly after my daughter's birth, I soon realized how essential these burp cloths were. They are inexpensive, thick and absorbent, easy to clean, and can withstand just about anything. I have included a link on how to make them yourself. If you have a sewing machine or know someone who does, these little beauties are a must for a new baby.They also make the perfect gift for a new mama :)
Baby Carrier: K'tan and Ergo 360 are my two favorites. Carriers are so helpful in those early months. You're a new mama, trying to figure out this new season of life. All you want to do is snuggle your baby, but sometimes you need to get a little work done! Being able to hold your baby while still having free hands is so helpful. I loved using the K'tan when my daughter was little. The fabric is light and stretchy, not too thick but keeps the baby nice and warm. I still use my Ergo 360. It allows for easy carrying and feels secure with a big baby. I can wear her on my back, hip, or front. She can also face out if she wants. Whichever brand you decide, I promise you won't be disappointed with baby-wearing!
Angelcare Bath Tub Support: This tub is simple and affordable. It's sleek design allows for baby to lay safely and comfortably in water, making it easy for you to bathe your little one. I also really love the mesh-like bottom which allows water to surround your baby completely, keeping them nice and warm.
Nose Frida: We recently had our first family cold. Let me tell you, boogers stink! For the first few days I attempted to use the bulb syringe. First of all, she couldn't stand it. Second of all, it hardly worked. Thank goodness for the Nose Frida! Within a few hours, my daughter was in a much better disposition. She could breathe better and slept more soundly at night.
H2O at Home Microfiber Bath Towel: Babies love bath time. What they don't love is getting cold after a nice warm bath! My sweet mother, an H2o at Home Consultant, gifted me the most amazing microfiber bath towel- You really don't need any other. It is hooded, thick, and large enough for a toddler. My daughter absolutely loves it. We recently bought the microfiber poncho for her, which works great too!
Nursing Cover: En Babies or Milk Snob: These are two of my favorite nursing covers. They are lightweight but allow optimal cover. They are easy to slip over you and your baby without too much fuss and they can double as a light blanket in the stroller as well as a cover for the carseat. Milk Snob has adorable patterns for the more stylish mamas too!
Gripe Water: Some may say that that gripe water doesn't actually work. But I'd beg to differ. On nights early on when our daughter wasn't hungry, wet, or tired, gripe water came to the rescue. She definitely felt better and so did we!
Sound Machine: Although she is quite a good sleeper, there have been plenty of times when our daughter was woken up by either something outside, one of our dogs, or us doing the dishes at night. Having a sound machine in her room allows her to sleep more soundly and keeps us from having to tiptoe around the house after she's gone to bed.
Ikea Food Smock: Letting your little one explore the wonders of food is so exciting and so fun! In our house, the messier the better! That doesn't necessarily mean that you have to say goodbye to cute clean outfits that get stained by lunch. This food smock has been a total game changer. It has full sleeves and a front pocket for catching food. It can also be used later on during arts and crafts!
Noise Reducing Headphones: As a family, we travel a lot. Our daughter has gotten quite used to airplanes and staying in hotels. The hardest part about traveling for us is making sure she still gets a good nap wherever we are. This past weekend, we were in New York. Our daughter loved the hustle and bustle of the city. She was mesmerized by the sounds, people, and bright lights! Instead of falling asleep in her stroller or in her carrier as she usually does back home, she just couldn't get comfortable. I brought along her headphones for the airplane but thought, why not give them a try? Within a few minutes, my little girl, who had been fighting a nap for over an hour, fell asleep peacefully and stayed asleep for almost two hours as we toured around the city. They served their purpose once again on our flight back to California. She was fast asleep for over an hour, peacefully sleeping with her headphones on. :)
So there you have it! The things I had no idea I needed until our little girl arrived. Please keep in mind that this is my unbiased opinion. I have no affiliation with any of these products besides my own personal experiences. If I can help just one new mama struggling to find a solution for her new baby, then I've done what I set out to do.
Do you have any favorite products that you absolutely couldn't do without once baby arrived?