Porter is turning 6 months (WHAT? How has he been alive for HALF a year already?!) next week. While I still consider myself to be a novice when it comes to being a mom, I also feel like I have learned a few things along the way. (However, most of the time I admittedly have no idea what I’m doing.)
I have had MANY friends who have recently had babies or who have recently announced their pregnancies. When I was pregnant, I remember asking many friends for baby product advice, and it seems that the tables have turned because many people have recently been asking me what I would recommend. Thus, this blog post was born. In no particular order, here are my top 10 baby products/ items.
[Links to products are below]
Rock-n-Play: Okay, this thing is amazing, awesome, incredible, [insert other favorable adjective here.] Porter slept in this for his first 8 weeks, and he loved it. I loved having it close to my bedside, and if he fussed (and wasn’t wet or hungry) it was nice to be able to reach out to rock it back and forth. It’s also great for traveling. We visited a friend last weekend and it was our first trip away from home with P man. He hadn’t slept in his rock-n-play for nearly 4 months, but he slept like a champ and barely even fussed when we put him down for bed. It also folds up easily, so it’s easy to store.
BumGenius 4.0 or Freetime diaper: I wrote a little bit about cloth diapering before, but I am SO glad cloth diapering worked out for us. BumGenius diapers are phenomenal and Porter very rarely gets a diaper rash/irritated. He wore a disposable swim diaper last weekend and he was so red and bumpy after only being in the diaper for thirty minutes. He also wore a regular disposable for about an hour a few weeks ago (David’s mom had some and we were considering using disposables while we traveled) and he immediately developed a rash. Plus, I love all the fun colors and his bum looks SO cute!
Swaddle Sleep Sack: Porter loved to be swaddled, and we tried and used many different swaddling products. They all have their pros and cons, but we really liked the Halo swaddling sleep sacks.
Marpac Noise Machine: No joke this is hands down the best noise machine ever. Two different friends recommended this to me and this thing is a life-saver. When Porter was a few weeks old, we went through a time when it was VERY difficult to get him to go to sleep at night time. We had a cheapy noise machine I had registered for, and we also had the Sleep Sheep and neither of those were doing the trick. To get Porter to go to sleep at night, Porter had to be swaddled. Then either David or I would hold him and rock him with one arm and hold my hairdryer on full blast with the other. Every time he woke up at night, we had to do this routine again. Once we had this noise machine, it became so much easier to put him to bed. This thing is so soothing (so much so that I want to buy one for OUR bedroom). It’s small, too, so it’s easy to travel with and won’t take much storage space when it needs to be stored away.
Snug-a-bunny swing: There are a million baby swings out there, and they probably all do the same thing, but we really love his Snug-a-bunny swing. Porter LOVES looking at himself in the mirror (Hopefully he grows out of this…) and it will swing in different directions.
Angelcare Baby Movement and Sound Monitor: This is perfect for any paranoid parent. Porter’s room is literally on the opposite side of our house, so once we moved him to his crib, I really began to appreciate this monitor. It comes with a sensor that goes underneath the mattress and it detects the baby’s breathing movement. If the sensor stops detecting movement for 20 seconds or more (baby stops breathing or moves off of the sensor) it will alarm. There is a little pendulum on the baby monitor that moves back and forth, which indicates that it is detecting movement. Thus, I can wake up in the middle of the night and check to make sure the pendulum is moving instead getting out of bed. I’ve been known to go stare at him while he’s asleep, so this doesn’t eliminate all paranoia, but it sure does help.
Quick Zip Sheets: Oh my goodness. These are amazing. My sister’s best friend recommended these to me, and I am SO glad I listened to her. You know how annoying it is when you change your own sheets and how you have to remove the fitted sheet from your mattress? You’d think that it’d be ten times easier to do that on a smaller, baby mattress…WRONG. First of all, if you’re in a situation in which you need to change the sheet, one of three things has probably happened: baby has spit up all over sheet, baby has peed all over sheet, or baby has pooped all over sheet. When one of the said things happens, baby is usually
upset hysterical and crying. If this happens while both parents are at home, one parent can hold the baby, while the other changes the sheet. However, if only one parent is at home, this becomes increasingly more difficult. These Quick Zip sheets were designed to zip on/off and it really is SUPER easy and quick to change a sheet. They advertise that it is easy enough to do one handed. I’m not sure about that, but it’s still really easy. The set only comes with one sheet, though, so I’d recommend getting at least one extra sheet.
Mama & Papa chair: I don’t really remember why I registered for the Mama & Papa chair instead of a Bumbo, but I did (probably because I think the Mama & Papa chairs are slightly cuter.) Anyway, this has come in handy more recently (4-6 months.) When we sit down at the dinner table, Porter sits in this so he can be with us while we eat. When he starts solids, we might start him in this before we transfer him to his high chair. It comes with a detachable tray. We also bought an activity tray that suctions to the tray, and he is obsessed with this thing. It can literally keep him occupied for 30 minutes sometimes (and trust me, that’s a long time.)
LuSa Booty Balm: This is all natural and is cloth diaper safe. Yes, it’s expensive for diaper rash cream, but it works amazingly well. Anytime Porter has been even the slightest bit red, we’ve use this and it goes away fairly quickly.
Medela Double Electric Pump: This would obviously only be helpful for breastfeeding mamas, but this pump is relatively quick and gets the job done. Having a double pump is the way to go, especially if you ever have to pump away from home (like at work) and need to get it done quickly. I would recommend the Medela steam bags for cleaning/sanitizing at night. I’d also get an extra set of pump parts, so you can have one clean set. While we’re at it, I’d get this hands free pump bra. I thought it was nonsense, too, but I had to pump and eat lunch at the same time, so it was the only way I could do that. TMI? Probably.
So…there you have it. It was difficult for me to narrow it down to 10 items, and I’m sure once Porter starts eating solids and becoming mobile that I’ll add a bunch more things to my “must have” list.