Friday, June 15, 2012

Must Have Items

When we took our first trip to NJ, I was sifting through Kinley's things and managed to get a reasonable sized bag together for her.  This got me thinking-if I'm leaving for the weekend and don't feel most of this stuff is necessary, then why do I have it? Well, duh! It was either cute, looked cool, was given to me, or someone said I 'had to have it.' And so, I've decided to compile an ongoing list of items I find to be key in raising a baby-and also keeping one content. (Please note, I'd be a hypocrite if I said not to buy those cute and cool things because my house is busting at the seams with them and I have no intention on stopping any time soon.)

1. Button up t-shirts with scratch mittens.

Forget the cute little mitten sets-unless you want to start a fashion statement and dress your child with mismatching paw covers.  You will lose them.  Well probably just one.  We lost our first one in the hospital. They scooped up my sheets and took the mitten along with them.  Of course when I realized this, I begged for the nurses to call up housekeeping to look for the 'tiny white mitten with yellow and green animals and patterns all over it'.  No dice.  Apparently that's not a priority of a maternity ward nurse. Go figure.  So my dreams of being that "together mommy" who had baby sock radar and placed each one of those tiny socks into the little lingerie bag each night in ended abruptly.  When she was two days old to be exact.

Another bonus of those shirts is that, since they don't snap at the crotch, they don't rub on the freshly cut umbilical cord.  That's not to say it won't fall off the day after she gets home from the hospital and you won't text and call everyone you know asking if you made your child susceptible to diseases or gave them an ugly belly button by allowing that thing to come off so fast...but that's a story for another post.  Also, Mark likes them a ton because, like many new dads, he has a fear of the baby's head and loves any product that does not require putting that dangerous thing through a tight hole and then shoving their arms through it while screaming.  (Did I mention that at seven months old, he will still pull her clothes DOWN her body, rather than over her head.  I keep trying to remind him that he's ruining her clothes and giving me good reason to shop, but the pros clearly outweigh our credit card statement.)  And speaking of clothes that do not go over a baby's head...

2.  Sleep Sacks

Zip up sleep sacks and Halo sleep sacks.  These, also, do not need to go over your baby's head.  If I leave the baby with Mark all day, there is no doubt in my mind that she would never wear anything else. (Unless it was camo.  All the better if it's a camo sleep sack.)  One time he tried to put her in her carseat wearing one.  (Don't do this.)  These sacks are easy and cute and serve as a blanket as well-thus decreasing the risk for SIDS.

3.  Tight Socks

Now I don't mean 'cutyourcurculationoff' tight socks.  However, a firm band is key.  Those thick comfy looking socks will end up in the pile of 'I'm missing my friend' socks.  Don't bother.

4.  Aden + Anais Swaddle blanket

I LOVE these blankets.  They are adorable and HUGE and the muslin material is light enough for summer, but thick enough for winter. The nurses at the hospital were also in love with them, and daycare started recommending them to the other parents after we started.  They are a little expensive, but I saw that Summer's Infant now makes their own version.  I've also recently noticed that they make little security blankets and bibs too.  (I shall add this to my list of things to buy when my husband is in a good mood.)

5. Moby wrap

For all of your baby wearing mommas-or the ones who are forced to go grocery shopping with the baby and a carseat that takes up the entire cart-get one. They aren't too expensive and can be contorted in so many different ways that your baby HAS to like one of the holds.  Kin still likes a version of the newborn hold facing in-which is weird for her age-but I love it!  I love my Moby and it has gotten me through many a day where the child MUST BE HELD or is teething or just wants to snuggle mommy-and mommy just wants to pee.

6.  Bouncer/Jumper

This is regarding a bouncy seat AND a jumperoo.  We didn't register for one because we had so many 'things' we figured it wasn't necessary.  A friend lent us one and I will surely be buying one of our own if we have more kids.  It's great to sit on the floor of the shower when you are able to get your weekly bathing in and when your baby has reflux, you can strap them in and place it right in their crib-which is what we did for a little with that dairy allergy misery.

Now that she's more mobile, that jumperoo is clutch.  The thing keeps her occupied and wears her out! An added bonus is the sheer joy on her face while smacks around every noise-making item on the swing (that's the no so fun part for mom and dad)

7. Sound Machine

We were given a sound machines portable white noise machine. It's cute and pink and portable-and a great distraction for a fussy baby.  Bonus, it soothes mommy right to sleep too!

8. Swing

Ohhh your baby doesn't want to sleep?  Put them in a swing.  Bliss.  We have the Fisher Price My Little Lamb cradle and swing.  That thing can eat up some batteries!  Luckily for you ladies who have not registered yet, this awesome swing now comes with a plug-in option!  Unfortunately for us, our grabby baby still loves her swing, but is able to reach the mobile and that terrible diga-diga-diga-diga noise that comes from the motor burning out from her trying to tear it down has gotten to be unbearable for me.

9. Rechargeable Batteries

Speaking of battery eaters-register for rechargeable batteries and a charger.  They are expensive initially, but totally pay off!

10. Cosleeper

We chose the Arm's Reach Co-sleeper because it can attach to the bed or stand alone and is also a mini version of a pack-and-play in it's portability. I read all sorts of reviews and sooooo many people commented on how great it was after their c-section because they didn't have to hit their incision leaning over a crib rail.  Pissshh!  That was a non-issue for me.  My hips were spread and that baby was coming out the way babies were meant to come out. Those were really big feet I felt in my ribs-not a baby noggin.  WRONG.  This was a wonderful little tool to have and those c-section mommas were right on!

11.  A Boppy 

Get yourself a Boppy or some other sort of support pillow.  Your back will thank you-and so will your puppy who fits perfectly in the middle.

12. Wubbanub Pacifier

Way early in my pregnancy, I found these adorable little pacifiers called Wubbanubs. There was a giraffe and my baby was GOING to use it. Luckily for us, she took it.  I don't know if it's because it was the first one we gave her, or if she just liked it, but we lucked out.  And when Mark saw how cute she looked with a soothie tucked between her lips and the little animal hanging out of her mouth, he promptly ordered 4 more and wrapped them for Christmas.  I love them because-we haven't lost one yet, and she is able to pull it out and find them in her crib and plug herself.  A small problem is that our blind dog sometimes mistakes them for his toys, and when he gets ahold of one, is likely to chew the soothie off.

13. Headbands

Have you ever seen a baby born with a mullet? Well mine was.  We were told she was going to have hair at our 37 week ultrasound.  Hair? Mark and I were both baldies. We had questions like: Will it be red? Will it be curly?  Will it be thick? 'Will it be a mullet?' never crossed my mind.  And so when the party in the back appeared, mommy went on to get something to bring the celebration right back up front.  Disclaimer:  You can dress the child in as much pink as you want with bows on her toes and flowers in her hair in her pink carseat-and someone relatively elderly will still tell you that you have such a handsome little boy!  (because she's wearing pants and girls don't wear pants)

14. Sophie the Giraffe

For some strange reason, this way-too-expensive version of a teether from Paris is mesmerizing for babies.  I am not sure if it's the soft material, the fact that there are tons of little nubs to put in their mouth, the squeak factor, or if the company put some sort of baby nip in it, but every baby I've seen with one LOVES it.

15. Mylicon/Grip Water

Just get some and keep it on hand. Gas is better out than in-for all of us.

16.  A Good Camera

This purchase-although very expensive-was the best thing we could have done.  Although your phone is convenient, you can't get these years back, and if you've tried to print pictures from your phone, they are never quite as good as they look on your screen. We use our Nikon camera daily and have some awesome products from it.  Clearly our subject helps.  ;P (Get some big memory cards too-it'll be hard to delete that sweet face!)

17.  Bumkin Bibs

Stains are my nemisis.  Stains on bibs are the worst.  No matter how fast you get that squash-soaked bib off of her body and soaking with a coating of stain stick on it, there always seems to be some sort of orangey reminder of meals past.  Cue the Bumkin.  This awesome bib is vinyl and adorable and wipes clean.  I just stick it in the sink and-like magic-the food is gone.  For me, this little phenom also serves as preventative medication for future stain fighting headaches-and for that I am thankful.  All hail the Bumkin.

To Be Continued

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