Tuesday is officially dubbed, “Top Ten Tuesday”. Though today isn’t technically Tuesday, I didn’t get my act together for yesterday to not be Monday. So, Tuesday it is.
Today’s my Top Ten baby items I couldn’t live without for age 0-1 month. I must inform you that this is purely selfish – I did SO MUCH research into every little bitty detail around baby gear and came out really confident in the 1) quality 2) price value and 3) usefulness of everything we chose. When it comes to these things, I err on the side of minimalism and simplicity. Things these days have so many bells and whistles on them and while some are quite nice, all the noise can be overwhelming and just too loud.
A couple items were gifted to us or shared by my sister. But I’m recording this list so that (God-willing) next go around, I have the list handy for quick reference. In a somewhat but not strictly particular order:
10. Smartphone – Baby Breastfeeding App/White Noise App – I’m highly aware that this is not a possibility for everyone and that this is a new development and mommies have been successful for all of time without one. But WOW, was this a huge help and such a blessing. For the first week, I used the paper chart that my hospital gave me but after a week or so I was DONE with the writing everything down. I was tempted to buy an Itzbeen until I remembered, “There’s an App for that.” And there was (win for Apple marketing). We have a White Noise app that is super handy and the reason I ultimately chose an iPhone was for the camera. I have an SLR but for quick pics and videos that are still high quality, it’s made me the “Mamarazzi” I am today (I’m sorry I’m not sorry).
9. Swaddle Pod – This one is misleading because we only used it for two weeks but I couldn’t make a list without it. I LOVE swaddled babies. My nephews were swaddled and I fell in love with those tiny little glo-worms. This is one of those items I was so excited about before Harry ever arrived. I was sold on the Woombie (my sister’s choice) but at $30/pod, I thought I’d play it safe and get the more affordable option to see how he took to it. Apparently my instinct paid off because after about two weeks, Harry taught us that he HATED to sleep with his arms swaddled in. He wanted them out and he wanted them high above his head (causing this song to be on loop in my head). We switched to sleep sacks and had ourselves one happy babe.
8. Skip Hop Pronto Diaper Changing Kit – Before Harry came, I wondered if we’d actually use this. My sister never had one or seemed to need it but I figured I’d hold onto it just in case. We have used this almost every…single…day. It stores diapers, wipes, and has a front pocket that we put these bags in for throwing away diapers when we’re out (to be considerate). I’m a lot more comfortable changing Harry in random places because I know that at least this is clean. Wipes clean easily and snaps onto stroller/diaper bags/car seat. Brilliant.
7. Infant Carrier/Snap N Go – A) My sister’s biggest piece of advice for the infant car seat was to play with the harness before we chose one because you wanted it to be easy to use with a squirmy baby (hers wasn’t). We wanted something somewhat gender neutral and classic (IE without animals or themes on it), and even though the reviews say that the Graco SnugRide 35 is really heavy, we loved the design and ease of harness. We still love the seat and how easily the base transfers cars if we need to switch it into my parents’ car. The harness is simple and sturdy but, the reviewers weren’t lying…this puppy is HEAVY. B) Yes I am sneaking another product onto this one but they go hand in hand. We managed to push off the stroller decision for a while and got ourselves something that, though relatively short term, has been a great help . It’s incredibly easy to fold out and fold up, has a large storage basket, built-in cupholders (who knew those would be a luxury amongst strollers?) and my babe can stay asleep when we use it. Love it.
6. Sleep Sheep/Sleep Giraffe – We were lucky to receive two as presents. Minimalist Monica was tempted to return one but wow, am I glad we didn’t. The giraffe still lives on H’s car seat and the larger sheep on his crib. They’re functional stuffed animals – dream come true! We generally stay on the white noise settings (the jungle sounds on the giraffe has gotten me strange looks in Target) and to be honest, I’ve yet to meet a mom who isn’t creeped out by the whales (no judgment here…just haven’t met one yet). My only beef with these multifunctional pets? The longest they run is 43 minutes. Seriously Cloud B, I’d pay a little bit more for a “loop” function…I can’t be alone on this.
5. Aden + Anais Swaddle Blankets – These will be handy until the end of time. They are big enough to swaddle, they’re a light cover for him or over the stroller when he’s asleep, they’re a play blanket on the floor, and Harry still shows definite preference for these as a lightweight nursing cover over the Bebe Au Lait. We got two packs of them and still rotate through them fairly often.
4. First Aid Supplies | Gripe Water, Saline Mist, Aspirator, Rectal Thermometer, Soothie (and on that note, a Booginhead) and Baby Emery Boards – Yes, big cheat with all these supplies listed. A lovely couple who just graduated from Med School gave is most of these as a shower gift. Given that sweet Harry had RSV at 4 weeks, running to the store was the last thing we wanted to do and we were SO thankful to have these on hand. And I promise you, you will call an aspirator “that sucky thing” at 3AM when you can’t find it and you’re asking your mate to get it so that your little one can breathe freely. My advice – have two or three around (and it’s true what they say, the hospital one is hands down the best). Also, you know you’re either a medical professional or a mommy when the words “rectal thermometer” find their way on your blog. It’s the best read you’ll get for their temperature. Trust me, I’ve tried the fancy ones and when baby is sick, it’s best to go straight to the accurate fact checker. The Soothie I was initially against but like most moms, after a couple weeks when I knew Harry was latching well it was just necessary and the Booginhead (AKA clip) was another gift that has come in handy numerous times when out. I was also lucky to get the advice for the emery boards – I would never have known that newborn nails are still fused to baby’s skin and if you clip them…blood will most likely be drawn. This led to my son getting manicures the first few months of his life (rough, eh?).
3. Mitten Shirts/Socks – Baby Clothes were really, really REALLY hard to resist. Especially the super teeny tiny ones because they’re just SO stinkin’ cute. But I knew that 1) people love buying baby clothes 2) he’d grow out of them SO incredibly fast and 3) I hoped he’d be swaddled most of the time. I did allow myself a few onesies that I particularly loved but otherwise, the only newborn clothes we had were his “wear home from the hospital” outfit, a bunch of socks I know to stay on most babies feet (but size up…those feet grow FAST!) and, most importantly, mitten onesies and sidesnap tops. These were best for protecting him from his little scratchy hands and keeping him warm (though I would size up in these too…they shrink!). New daddy was also more comfortable dressing the Noodle-y newborn with the sidesnap tees. After his swaddling days were done, these were still our go to in that first month.
2. Nap Nanny/Swing – Here’s the truth: I was super lucky to use my sister’s Nap Nanny and swing so I didn’t actually pick these out. I wouldn’t have even given the Nap Nanny a second glance. But let me tell you…if my sister and I ever have babies at the same time THIS is the first thing I’m buying. Yes, the swing was handy and I know it’s a lifesaver for a lot of mommies. It bought me time for a couple showers here and there. But Harry never fell asleep in it. The Nap Nanny was another story – he still loves this chair. He doesn’t take naps in it anymore but I strap him in and he sits with me while I work, he plays in it and he “chills” in it. For the first month when he wasn’t a fan of his cradle, this was his bed at night. We positioned it between us and it gave us the longest stretches of night sleep we had those first couple of months. It was easier to pack up and take with us when we went to our families’ houses at Christmas and the first couple months of road trips to Dallas. It’s even the backdrop for all of Harry’s monthly birthday pictures. He’s so happy in it and after this many months, we’ve been able to mark his growth by the ratio of chair to baby. I’ve been able to watch mommies with their babes before and after a NN – little ones who refused to nap and couldn’t fall asleep anywhere who were transformed by this thing. Worth every (pretty) penny!
1. Moby – This is it. The one item I absolutely, hands down, could not live without. When we registered, we only added the Ergo and were so excited to receive it at a shower. He has always liked the Ergo, and since then loves it more and more, but in the beginning, my baby just wanted to be held as close as possible for as long as possible. And though I wanted nothing more than to do this, I was quickly back to working from home and needed to multitask when he was sleeping. Though I currently no longer need to wear it around the house to soothe him or get a nap, the Moby is still necessary for us to eat out and attend church. I’ve never even had to leave Mass because he’s tucked in and every single Sunday, without fail, he passes out on my chest halfway through the service. He loves being in it – whether it’s looking around the church or watching his crazy cousins at a restaurant. He loves to snuggle up to me and I love being able to tuck the back of his head into the wrap and watch him sleep. He fit in perfectly as a newborn and it was super simple to figure out how to wrap him in when he got super long. Now recently, some have dared to say that “Baby Wearing” is an unhealthy form of attachment parenting and though I have respect for people’s’ beliefs and opinions…I shake my head at those people. Baby wearing is a long-standing tradition for mommies and babies all over the world and there are few greater joys than a little one cuddled up to you.
Remember, this was 0-1 month. Normally, these lists are done 0-3 months but that first month is so different from the rest. The only other things I would give honorable mentions to are bath supplies (we have a Summer Baby Bather that’s been great but the Puj Tubs are so awesome!). There are bath products I love but due to high risk for allergies, we use Aveeno natural and unscented products to prevent any irritation. A beloved topic for us is Cloth Diapers…we’ve been doing it since Harry was close to 2 months and we aaaaabsolutely love it. We didn’t use them for the first couple months because we were just getting our “mommy and daddy legs” under us but once we found a bit of rhythm, we’ve been rockin’ them ever since.
There are definitely items not mentioned here that we know have worked as crucially for other mommies as these did for us. Do you have a top ten or even a top three? I’d love to hear them!