Thursday, September 16, 2010

My Must Have Baby Items!

So, I've been thinking about a few first time pregnant friends. I thought I'd make a post on the things that I found "must-haves" but obviously I'm by no means an expert! If you think of something I'm forgetting or something you think should be added, comment so they can see it!

*Disclaimer: Obviously, my list will depend on my own personal experiences!

1. A sling of some sort. I used a Slingling and an Ergo. This was a lifesaver! Even though you hope your baby will sleep perfectly wherever you put them, they don't always fit that mold. Caroline was not a fan of being put down and sitting on the couch all day was becoming quite difficult to do when my house looked like a tornado swept through. Those are the slings I used, but there are tons of different ones out there. For this pregnancy, I'm really contemplating a Moby Wrap. :)

2. A swing. I know, I know. Tons of you will comment saying your baby hated the swing. Oh my...Caroline loved it. I got showers, sleep, meals, and my ears got a break when she was in her swing. If you want to play it safe, borrow a friend's swing for a couple weeks or get one from Craigslist. We LOVED our swing. I can't even explain! We took our swing with us on weekend trips. Not the travel swing (she hated that one) but the actual full size swing. HA! We have the Fisher Price Little Lamb Cradle Swing. I do suggest getting something with some sort of mobile thing at the top because they do eventually start looking up there and they might get bored without anything. They have some now that PLUG IN to the wall. I really wish ours did that because as much as she loved her swing, we went through batteries faster than Judd with a pack of Double Stuf Oreos...that's really fast. The size D rechargeables didn't last very long at all and really weren't worth the hassle. Anyway - you get the idea...we loved our swing.

3. A breastpump. Obviously, if you aren't planning on breastfeeding then this won't apply to you and you can skip to number 4. I have the Medela Pump In Style Advanced. It's pricey but it's worth every penny. The suction was great and it was extremely easy to use. If you are going to breastfeed, get a pump. You will want one - and at some point, you'll probably need one. Definitely read up on pumps and when/how to use them! Always remember though, no matter how great the pump is, it can never get as much out as your baby can! So don't look at your output from the pump and assume that's all your baby is getting! :)

4. Pampers Swaddlers. Oh, I can't say enough about swaddlers. They're wonderful. We had very few leaks and they are SO soft. I wish they made them in toddler size for Caroline now! You'll hear lots of diaper opinions, but my vote goes to Pampers Swaddlers. We tried several different kinds and brands but they were definitely our favorites!

5. A highchair. We have the Fisher Price Space Saver. When we had Caroline we lived in a small house and weren't planning on moving so we got a space saver high chair. We didn't have room for a full size chair so we got one that strapped to a regular chair. I'm really glad we went with that option. We really like this highchair! No, you won't use it in the beginning but you'll be using it before you know it!

6. A noisemaker. We use a cheapo fan from Walgreens. Some people buy the noise machines but we found that a fan works just as well and circulating air decreases the risk of SIDS. You may think you're being cruel by subjecting your kid to "white noise" because they may need it "forever" but I promise, you're not being cruel. With people in smallish houses, it's so hard to keep little noises from waking up the baby. Caroline could have heard my phone ring from any room in the house. Should you keep your house super duper quiet? Well no. But when you've been up for hours on end and they FINALLY fall asleep - you want to murder whoever or whatever wakes them up. So just do yourself and the baby a favor...and get something to at least drown out the mundane day to day noises. They'll sleep better...and when that do you!

7. A Boppy. I can't say enough about my Boppy Pillow. There are other brands, but I'm not sure what they are. They have the Boppy at Target with different slipcovers. I do recommend getting one with a removable slipcover because it does make it easier to clean and you can change it out with different gender babies if you plan on more than one. :) These are GREAT for nursing but even if you don't plan on breastfeeding - they are wonderful for bottle feeding. I've gone both ways and I used the Boppy for both!

8. A nursing cover. I have an Udder Cover. Yes, it's funny. It's also functional! This is another breastfeeding only item, so skip it if you're not planning on breastfeeding. One of my least favorite things about nursing is the feeling that you need to leave the room to feed your child. Should we feel that we need to do that? No. But let's be honest - whipping your breast out to feed your child makes other people squirm. So do you HAVE to cover yourself? No. Is it respectful of others? If they're uncomfortable. With a cover, you feel like you can stay in the room with your friends and family while everyone is sitting around chit chatting or watching a movie. If you try to leave the room every time you need to feed the baby you're going to spend a lot of time by yourself. I loved my cover!

9. A good nursing bra. Yeah, another nursing-only item. My favorite bra was from Motherhood Maternity and it was SO comfortable. It had built in nursing pads but I used the disposable pads instead. I think this is the bra I have. In the beginning (until your supply is well established) you'll want a bra with no underwire because they have been attributed to mastitis. I had two of these bras plus some other nursing tanks and bras. This was just my favorite one. :)

10. Zip-Up Sleepers. My favorite ones were from Kohls. Not that specific one, but just so you get the idea. :) The gowns are nice too, but Caroline's legs always came out of them and it bugged me. I know lots of people that swear by the gowns, though. The zip up sleepers were my favorite. Notice I'm not saying the BUTTON up sleepers. Those are so annoying in the middle of the night (or anytime of day, for that matter) because the baby is upset and you're trying to snap 500 snaps all the way up his/her crotch. Annoying. Go for zip ups or gowns.

11. An activity mat. We have the Fisher Price Melodies & Lights Deluxe Gym. I cannot say enough about this activity mat!! The flashing lights at the top make all the difference in the world. She LOVED the lights. It had fairly interesting toys and you could easily add your own if you wanted. My only complaint was that the mobile didn't move. It would be a lot cooler if the mobile moved, but even as it was, Caroline loved it. My nephew Drew also had this activity mat and loved it! HUGE hit! :)

Well, those are my top 11 that come straight to mind. PLEASE leave a comment if you think of something I don't have that you REALLY appreciated!


  1. I LOVE baby gear lists--and mine matches almost exactly to yours. (minus the breast feeding stuff: I have the same breast pump--unused--because Jackson wouldn't nurse)

    Someone gave us their travel swing and free is best, so we didn't buy a full size one. BUT...with this baby we're thinking of investing so Jackson cannot play with (ie: annoy) the baby as easily. We were thinking of getting the one you suggested. I guess that's a green light.

    We also use a fan for white noise & have just put Jackson in a high chair similar to the one you have. And the boppy was great for bottle feeding and tummy time--for the non-nursing moms!

  2. Zip up sleepers...a big yes! I think this might be the one you're thinking of...

  3. Kacie, thank you so very much for this advice!!!!

  4. The moby is great for the newborn stage. I love my Ergo!

  5. I agree with the fan, I put one in both of my kids rooms as soon as they were sleeping in their own rooms. My 6yr old still uses it but I don't think it's a problem! He could have worse habits right? The bobby was an amazing thing! For my first baby I didn't get a wipe warmer but I did for my 2nd and I will definitely use it for the 3rd child, it's an amazing thing!

  6. We have a noise maker and it's been worth it's weight in gold! Actually we have an old ipod and speakers that we downloaded a white noise album off itunese but it does the job, I'll definately be looking into getting a fan instead next time we have a baby. I agree with everything else too! Our swing especially has been another thing we couldn't have survived without. Our first baby Ava wasn't fussed on being sat up until she could sit on her own but our little boy Lucas spent so much time in his! Anything that can buy you 10 minuted of peace is worth it!