When you have your first child every one tells you that all you need is a car seat and pack’n’play to survive. While that is theoretically true because you just need something to transport your child in safely to and from places and have a bed (albeit portable) for them to sleep in, it is not true for this family or I would be in the loony bin by now. So, here are a few of our families MUST haves in order to maintain some sense sanity with a newborn.
1. The swaddle. Not swaddle blankets – an actual swaddle. It resembles something like a mini straight jacket and it keeps the cuh-razzies away from this house. None of our kids were swaddled from birth but right about 4 weeks they realized that they could move and they would look into my eyes and they would say (without words of course because my kids are not THAT advanced), “I can’t stop moving these awesome, cute little arms of mine but I am so, so sleepy and I know you are too mom and I want us both to get rest. Could you put me in the binder thingy?” And I would nod yes and wrap them tight and like magic their eyes close and they are out for the count. These things are miracle workers.
2. The baby swing. Everyone I talked to said that a swing was a must and to borrow one from a friend but I say buy it. We were lucky enough to not have to make the purchase and were given a very nice swing for free! Woot! Since having multiple babies grace the swing with their presence, I think that a baby swing is worth the investment (especially if your child has reflux because they will need to be upright for awhile after eating). No need for anything fancy, just something simple that will free up your hands from time to time and a place to put an infant who decides to have a middle of the night party is always worth it to me. *We braved the weather last night and purchased a brand new swing because
I she needs it.
3. The pacifier. I know there are a lot of moms out there who are totally against pacifiers but I have embraced them with each child. Every baby is born with a need to suck and all of my breast feeding books say to not use a pacifier and let the baby latch and suck. But when your child wants to just be soothed and not eat, it is like an uphill battle – cry, latch, milk comes, suckle, cry, spit up, cry louder. And letting them suck your finger works great but when you are holding a baby in one arm and trying to frying an egg with the other, it doesn’t work so well. With a paci – all you hear is the sweet, sweet sound of a content baby and have at least one free hand. Now, not all babies need a pacifier and I would never force a child to take one but all three of mine have loved them and so do I.
barf burp cloth. A burp cloth is a burp cloth is a burp cloth. No it isn’t girlfriend! My kids have all dealt with reflux and are professional pukers. I have my out and about burp cloths – those cute ones from Target that match their outfit. But they aren’t absorbent like an actual cloth diaper. And when absorbency is the name of the game, you need big, fluffy cloth diapers to catch the puke.
5. The baby monitor. I prefer the simplest, cheapest monitor. Nothing fancy. There are hundred dollar monitors where you can watch you child and record their every move but I really don’t see the point. The only time I turn on our monitors is at night when I go to bed so I can be sure to hear either of the Nugs when they wake up in the wee hours of the morning. If we lived in a bigger house I would probably turn them on during nap time as well (although they have to stay in their rooms/crib during mandatory napping/resting hours unless they are sick or hurt) but I can hear our kids just fine without it. And I don’t really get the video monitors. Maybe someone, some day can explain to me why I want to be a creeper and watch my child on an itty bitty screen. And it does me no good to have a video monitor when the only time it would be on is when I am asleep.
6. The breast pump. It is my breast friend – ha. ha. ha. (lame joke I know). Without this friend of mine I would never be able to leave any of my nursing children for more than a few hours. I love all three of my children more than I can express but this mama needs some time to be an adult and not get puked on for more than a few minutes here and there throughout the day. You don’t have to go all out and get the medical grade pump unless there is a need. The manual works well for occasional usage.
7. An awesome daddy. This one needs no explanation because my Awesome Husband is also an awesome daddy and without him I am sure this house would fall apart.
I am sure there are many more things that I couldn’t live without but here are a bunch of things I can: wipe warmer, bottle warmer, travel system (I did have one but used it only a hand full of times), car seat mirror thingy, diaper genie, baby robe (while a cute gift, totally impractical), grocery cart cover thingamajig, baby wash cloths, baby bath tub, and tons of baby toys (we have a ton and really, they only get dumped out on the floor and never played with). Stores make it seem like this little person you just birthed needs every thing or they will not grow up to be a normal, functioning adult. Trust me, they will and they will never remember that you washed them with a human sized wash cloth or that you threw their diapers in a normal garbage.