What they say is true: no matter how much you prepare, you will never be prepared for motherhood. It changes your life in ways you can’t even begin to imagine. There are, however, a few things that might make the transition into mommy-hood just a wee bit easier. I have put together a list for my soon-to-be momma friends of the things I received/purchased myself/wish I had purchased sooner.
Boppy Newborn Lounger
I’ll be honest, I did not expect to use this much. I almost regretted putting it on my registry. But it ended up being the thing we used the most . . . and are still using! Get one. It’s perfect for naps. It’s portable. You can take it all over the house or put it in the center of your dining room table. It’s soft and makes Scotlyn feel secure without smushing her little body up . . . which is important when you are worrying every second about whether or not your baby is still breathing. (Oh yes, my friend. You will worry, too.)
Fisher Price Deluxe Rock ‘N Play
I didn’t get this soon enough! When our baby was just 5lbs we literally had nothing to put her in during the day. She was even too small for the boppy lounger! We ended up bringing our changing pad downstairs to put in the middle of our huge table so she had a place to nap. When we got the Rock ‘N Play it was AWESOME. Just get it. You can use it as a bassinet by your bed or throw it in your trunk if you are going to visit someone. (I had heard nothing but good things about it but I was confused. I thought it was flimsy and that it rocked and was worried it would be unstable. But you can make it where it stays still. And the one I ended up ordering—the flat one—was not flimsy at all!)
Aden & Anais Boutique Muslin Swaddles
Another purchase I wish I had made earlier. I had a few muslin swaddles but considering we had a baby in the middle of the summer, I didn’t have nearly enough. If you live in the south and your baby is due in the summer, do yourself a favor: get at least 6. They keep your wee one from overheating! (Also, notice I say, “boutique.” The ones at Buy Buy Baby, Target, Babies R Us, etc. are not the same thread count and are scratchy. Your baby will notice and so will you. The other ones get softer with each wash.)
These are the greatest invention ever. When your uncoordinated baby “holds” it with their tiny fingers your heart will melt . . . for the millionth time. Get at least two. You can find them at baby stores and at amazon.com.
I waited a month before buying one. Don’t do that. Your spine will be angry and every muscle in your body from your belly button up will yell at you. If you don’t get a boppy pillow, get SOMETHING to support your arm. I used a paper towel holder once . . . before I got the boppy… I was that desperate.
Don’t try the fancy stuff that says it’s natural. Just get the lanolin. Trust me. Actually, ask for it at the hospital and they will send you home with a bottle. You will need it for the first month, at least. Unless you enjoy crying . . .
These things are not over rated. They are GREAT!
These are much better for newborns than the bottles that will come with your breast pump.
Fisher Price Bouncer
We lovingly call this Scotlyn’s “bunny seat.” She didn’t fit into this until she was about a month old but now she sleeps in it all the time. She also loves to just sit in it and coo and play.
We tried several different ways to bathe our little beauty when she was tiny. Obviously, you can’t stick a 5lb infant in a bath tub, and holding her over a sink can be both cumbersome and terrifying to a new mommy and daddy. This tub was ridiculously expensive but it is THE best. It is soft and shaped the way it should be shaped in order to support a babe. Scotlyn never wailed or even fussed when we put her into it. (She did in the hard ones…) She actually seemed to enjoy bath time so much! My suggestion is to use a diapers.com 25% coupon code or find another way to get a discount so it won’t be SO expensive.
Halo Sleep Sacks
Instead of swaddling your child like a burrito, consider getting a sleep sack that enables your baby to move. Swaddling too tightly does NOT make your baby feel like he/she is in the womb (they kick and flip around in there, remember? Scotlyn had her hands up by her face in the womb so it made sense she hated having her arms pushed down in a swaddle when she was born.). If you must join the swaddle fad, swaddle reasonably. Don’t squish your little love. Let them breathe and kick and move their arms a little. Yes, they “get used to it” but you don’t have to make them. Stretching is good for babies. They are growing. Sure, they will startle themselves awake sometimes… and then wake you up. That’s OK. It will pass. Halo sleep sacks worked great for us all the way up until 8 or 9 months (I tried an aden + anais linen one but it bunched up all night if she tried to turn and kept waking her up… which in turn woke me up). In the winter, we used a fleece, summer, a cotton.
These are really important. Keeping little one’s chest dry can keep little one from getting sick. Unfortunately, these have velcro and I quickly discovered that bibs with velcro are incredibly annoying and ruin just about everything they are washed with but these are the only ones we found with the lined back to keep the drool off of baby’s chest. Just be sure to wash them with towels so they don’t ruin your clothes.
OMG. I wish I had had these from day one. We had a bunch of snap up sleepers and we had no idea what a pain they would be. A friend dropped off a two pack of Carter’s Zip-Up Sleep and Plays and we were like, “wahhh??! Why didn’t we have these from day one?!” Don’t think it will matter to you? Well, picture yourself waking up at 3am to change a diaper… 3am… snapping 5 million snaps on a screaming or wiggly baby. Now, picture yourself changing a diaper, then zipping up a sleeper in two seconds. Which is better? Get zip-ups. Target sells Carter’s Zip-Up Sleep and Plays in two-packs and Gymboree and Gap Baby carry some as well.
Boppy Changing Pad Liners
These are great!
Ok, this did not work for me AT ALL at first. Scotlyn hated it. I hated it. But once she outgrew the newborn hug hold she and I both learned to love the other hold and now I can wear my baby! Not often… but often enough. If your babe hated this as a newborn, give it a try a few months later with a different hold. I got mine at diapers.com with a coupon code.
Robeez Baby Socks and Shoes
I can’t say enough about the awesomeness of both Robeez socks and shoes. The socks do not squeeze baby’s ankles, THEY STAY ON and seem comfortable. They are worth the extra dinero because you won’t lose them (did I mention THEY STAY ON?) and they keep baby from getting cranky. (Wouldn’t YOU be cranky if your socks were hanging off/uncomfortable with yarn stuff in the toes?! What are baby sock makers thinking?!) Robeez shoes are also amazing because they are soft. Baby shoes should be soft, not stiff! We kept shoes off of Scotlyn until she was about 6 months old because I knew shoes were only for show… not necessary or comfortable for a babe… so we just didn’t buy any. Now, research is showing that keeping shoes off of baby as much as possible is best so I feel like I should win an awesome mommy award or something. Just kidding. It’s not just about comfort, it’s about growth and development. When babies are learning to stand and walk their feet need to be bare as much as possible.
Anyway, Scotlyn LOVES shoes and I think it is because her shoes have always been comfortable. Except for the time I bought a pair of Gap dress shoes for her… she kept asking for me to take them off. I won’t buy any shoes like that again. So, when you look for shoes, look no further than Robeez.
Aveeno Diaper Cream and Baby Wash
Burt’s Bees products work now that Scotlyn is a toddler, but at first the body wash made her break out. Aveeno has been fantastic. I know, I know, some people say there are chemicals in it. But I think if it’s gentle enough for the most sensitive of babe’s, it’s probably a-ok. And, unlike some products, Aveeno Diaper Cream actually worked…. PS If you want your kid to NEVER get diaper rash, don’t ever wait, not even an extra 10 minutes, to change their diaper. The minute you see it is wet or dirty, change it. Even if it’s not full. My mom taught me this and she was oh-so-right. It’s worth spending an extra few dollars on diapers each month… suffering from diaper rash would not be pleasant. The old saying, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is absolutely true in this case!
They might be more expensive but they are worth it. They absorb so babe won’t get diaper rash. They don’t leak (very often, at least). Subscribe and save on amazon.com
Pampers Sensitive Wipes
Why wait to see if your kid has an allergy? Just get these. They also work great for cleaning up.
We all want our babies to be able to sleep through anything but the truth is, not all kids are wired to do that. Just like adults, some babies are lighter sleepers. When you finally get your kid down for a nap and outside noises wake them up you find yourself wanting to run outside and harm whoever or whatever made that noise (ha ha). From leaf blowers to kids shrieking after school, sudden noises can wake even the best sleeper. We used an app on the iPad for the first year but I finally broke down and bought a sound machine when Scotlyn was about 14 months old. I should have just started with this… it’s great.
My clothing advice:
Don’t get too many onsies. They are so hard to get over your baby’s head! They cry, you cry. I don’t know why anyone ever invented them. The only good thing about them is that babies seem to feel more secure and stay warmer in one pieces. Try getting the ones with buttons or snaps on the shoulders.
Be careful when purchasing clothing with buttons or snaps in the back! Would you want to lay on metal all day? Ow. Just be sure if there is a button or snap it is in a comfortable position when you lay your baby down.