I get asked often what kinds of products/books/items I felt were essential when my kids were first born. I think most “veteran” (and can I really call myself a veteran? My kids are 3 and 18 months….oh well I digress) moms get asked this a lot. So I decided to just blog about it, maybe in the future when someone asks I can just refer them to this post! Now a little disclaimer here…these are the favorite things for MY family. What was essential for us, might not have been essential for you. Every baby is different, these were just some things that worked for us with both kids. We don’t subscribe to any one rigid form of parenting. We do things that would make attachment parents cry and things that would make die hard ferberizers call us hippies. We’re a little bit hippy, a little bit old school, a little bit tough, and a little bit soft. And it works for us. So without further ado..these are a few of our favorite things:
! When Noah was about 4 weeks old, we were seriously at the end of our rope. The kid would not sleep. One day he stayed up so long that honestly, it felt like child abuse. But we could NOT get him to sleep! The pediatrician recommended this book and I read it in an hour. This book should cost hundreds of dollars and is truly worth its weight in gold. Many of my other “favorite things” stem from using the 5 s’s that are outlined in this book.
. Okay I know, it looks like a baby straight jacket. I remember when I was pregnant with Noah, someone on my birthboard linked to it and I scoffed saying MY baby would never need such a contraption. Well even the nurses remarked on how he could bust out of their super de duper double swaddles. He was STRONG! We bought this blanket and it was like magic! We used this with both kids until they were around 4 months old.
Actually any swing will do, but a swing that plugs in will save you a ton of money in batteries. My kids both had reflux. Which means they needed to sleep propped upright. I don’t even want to admit how long my kids slept in their swings…a long time. Lizzie slept through the night at 5 weeks old swaddled up tightly in this swing. It was great because we could keep the swing in our room so we could keep an eye on the kids all night long.
Prefold cloth diapers make excellent burp cloths. Lizzie didn’t spit up much. She had “silent” reflux. Noah spit up BUCKETS. For hours and hours after he ate. We had a ton of these since they were the only thing thick enough to keep our shoulders dry! A note on these cloth diapers…they are great for burp cloths, but not so great for actual cloth diapering. We cloth diapered both kids for a time and these are not even comparable to the quality that is available out there for cloth diapering. I highly encourage you to look into cloth for your baby. Cheap, economical, and environmentally friendly.
A moby wrap. Now I did not pay full price for my moby. My SIL and I bought about 6 feet of cotton interlock fabric…cut it in half and bam…instant wrap. The moby is awesome and much more comfortable for baby than your typical bjorn.
I LOVED this stroller when the babies were little. It was small and easy to push around. The bottom basket is HUGE! I was so incredibly spoiled by this stroller in so many ways. I, to date, have never found a stroller I like as much. Which is unfortunate because this stroller only works as long as your child is in their infant seat. Well worth it though. Being able to take a sleeping baby from car to stroller without waking them up AND without lugging around a huge travel system? Priceless.
Playtex binkies. Both my kids took the same kind of binky. We tried out several different kinds with both kids and this is the one that both of them were able to keep in their mouth from very early on. We took Noah’s away at 2 and it was no big deal. We will do the same with Elizabeth.
So those are just a few of our favorite things. We considered them essential and I’m happy that I can share our experience with others. Some of these products I had never even heard of before I had children, so I know how hard it is to walk into babies r us and be overwhelmed with your options! Next I’ll have to compile a favorite things list for toddlers, but I’m still working on that one!