With the impending arrival of a new little bundle of joy, I've been frantically scrambling to accumlate all the accoutrement necessary for survival.
O.k, ok., all you really need for a baby is some clothes, a boob, a carseat, and a safe place for them to sleep. But, I've found along the way that there are a few other items that certainly make life with a newborn a wee bit more bearable.
Fisher-Price Cradle Swing WITH an A/C Adapter
There are many swings out there on the market, but the one swing that all my mommy friends have reported success with is the Fisher-Price Cradle Swing. There are a variety of "styles" to choose from. It can swing both side-to-side (a unique feature particular to this swing, which both of my boys preferred) or front-to-back. This was the perfect solution for my nap-resistant babies, and the ONLY way I got any sleep when they were going through periods of day and night confusion! This is one item I honestly do not think I could have lived without!
Back when my boys were itty bitty, they didn't make them with A/C adapters to plug into the wall outlet. So, we burned through endless batteries. I donated our old swing and found one for Isla on Craigs List (for $45 - **patting myself on the back**) that DOES plug in! This new feature is a must!
Dr. Browns Wide-Neck Bottles
I have a love-hate relationship with these bottles. YES - they do have a gazillion pieces that have to be washed and sanitized. BUT - I have not found a bottle that vents better than this baby does! A bottle (if you use bottles at all) with a good venting system is a God-send if your baby is the least bit colicky or has any degree of reflux! Its worth the extra effort to wash and assemble all the parts. Trust me. These bottles are BPA-free as well.
I also like the Born Free Wide Neck Bottles, Twin Pack, 9-Ounce, but they are considerably more expensive and have just as many parts. They are another good option.
Medela Microwave Sterlizer Bags
Talk about a time-saver!!! These sterilizer bags are a time-saving way to sterilize bottle and pump parts! While you don't really need to sterilize all the bottle parts after three months of age, I always continued to sterilize the nipple anyway.
I also use these bags after pumping at work to sterilize my pump parts. They fold up compactly and fit easily into my pump bag. Each bag can be used up to 20 times and takes only 3 minutes to use!
White Noise Machine
When Carter was a baby, I had this problem where I would put him down for a nap, and he'd be awake again minutes later. I was ready to gouge my eyes out when I stumbled upon a miracle cure for this problem - white noise. One day, I just happened to be blow drying my hair near where he was "napping" and discovered that he actually was staying asleep. As soon as I finished, he woke right up. So I turned the hair dryer back on and wah lah! he slept soundly the entire time it was on - way longer than he ever slept without it!
Let me tell you - I burned through two hair dryers and tripped countless numbers of electrical breakers before a kind mommy friend pointed out to me that they actually make devices that replicate this sound for you! What a life (and energy bill) saver!!!! Both of my boys sleep amazing well with white noise, and still use it to this day! This is one thing I recommend to all first-time moms way in advance. A total MUST HAVE.
A Ring Sling
Babies like to be held. A lot. As in, all the time. I didn't discover the miraculousness of sling-wearing until Bennett was born. I purchased one in advance of his birth on the advice of experienced mommy friends who said its great for nursing #2 while still attending to the needs of #1. It turned out to be even MORE useful for me with Bennett because not only did I have to carry around a baby, I had to tote around a heavy apnea monitor and oxygen tank as well.
The benefits to baby of baby-wearing are numerous - just Google it. But the benefit to mom of keeping your newborn close, safe, and happy while running around the house, cooking dinner, roaming the store, etc. is something no study can document!
I should caution you, however, that recently there have been warnings about suffocation risk with the use of slings. For that reason, I recommend wearing the baby upright (as shown in the picture above), in a "froggy" position - this position is totally safe. This also happened to be Bennett's favorite position as well!
There you have it - my MUST HAVES for a newborn! Mommies - what are YOURS???