If you are like me, when you found out you were going to have a little one, you made sure to stock up on all those baby “essentials.” Then you slowly found out, that you didn’t need a lot of that stuff and some of it, you didn’t use at all. What a waste of money. Ironically, at a time that you were already kinda worried about how you would afford all of those diapers. Wish I could have a redo on that one.
If I could go back, I would have been more conservative knowing that babies don’t require that much stuff. There are a few things that make life more convenient and therefore more tolerable when you are sleep deprived. I have compiled my list of 11 things I remember that made my life a little easier back then (you know it has been 5 years now). So, if you are looking for good ideas for a baby gift or if you are expecting yourself – congrats and check out this list for some great ideas!
There are no affiliate links in this post. Any links are purely for your convenience and further information. I don’t receive any financial gain for these recommendations. It is truly a list of some very helpful things.
I did not include a car seat with snap-in bases but seriously, that’s a no-brainer must have. Those kids get heavy! Nor did I include any strollers because I think those are necessary for some and not for others. I had one and used it maybe 10 times but I know people who use theirs daily.
Play saucers or play gyms weren’t considered since they are not necessary for newborns. I tried to focus this list on the newborn period (when sometimes you would just like a shower).
I didn’t have this exact napper but I had a Nap Nanny. They recalled those after some people put their babies on elevated surfaces and the babies rolled out – hmmmm. I’m sure you know why that is a bad idea. I loved this thing. It kept my babies a little elevated and it is so soft and comfy. I think they took every nap in this thing until they were 18 months old. My youngest had some reflux and this napper was my savior since he got very fussy if he laid flat. Lifesaver. They are a bit pricy but I certainly got my money’s worth.
I had one of these the first year they came out. I used it for my son to sleep right beside my bed where I could touch him. His sleep was sometimes restless due to the reflux. When I would hear him moving around, I would reach out and rock him until he settled down. Saved me on a lot of sleep. I’m very grateful. I see now these things have automatic rockers and everything. With stuff like this, how are you supposed to have horror stories to tell expecting parents? Way to suck the fun out of that. The rocker I had was less expensive but didn’t have all the cool features. My little man slept in this rocker every night for his first year. His reflux didn’t go away until he started eating solids.
This mobile is the exact one we had when my guys were little. There are quite a few out that have similar features and I’m sure any of them would be great. The sound is really helpful for newborns. I don’t think they can see the projection yet, but that is a hit later. This one has classical music, nursery music, and a heartbeat, so you can figure out which one the baby likes. It also has a remote that you can use to make it play again if it shuts off and your baby isn’t asleep. You can hit that remote without walking into the room. That’s handy. The projector shows up on the mobile itself or you can remove it and it projects onto the ceiling. It’s awhile until the baby can see all that. It was a nice calming quiet time distraction for my guys. The features are what makes it awesome, so find one that matches your decor.
This might be my favorite on this list. Just could not have survived without it. I know that sounds strange, but I used this caddy all the time. See, daddy’s mean well and really try to help, but it can be frustrating when you are holding a baby with poo up it’s back and all over the car seat and all over the carpet and now all over you and all you need are the wipes (cause you can’t sit that baby down) and you swear it takes him 15 minutes looking through every drawer to find them. UGGH! It was so nice to just tell him to go get the caddy. This thing holds a tub of wipes perfectly on one side with a nice drawer underneath. On the other side, it is perfect to hold a nice row of diapers. It also has a folded changing mat tucked into the back. I stored the cream for their bottoms, the thermometer, and nail clippers in it as well, so I was ready for anything. At night, I would stock it up and take it upstairs with us. That thing saved me a lot of trips. I can’t suggest it strongly enough. It’s the best disaster kit ever. At $30, what a solid shower gift too.
I can remember when I was expecting my first, I got a lesson in newborn eyesight when I came across these rattles. They have a lot of black and white on them, and it was odd at the time. These rattles are designed with a newborn in mind. Everything from the way they look to the sounds they make a tailored to the developing senses of a newborn. My boys really preferred these rattles so they got tons of use. This is a go-to shower gift for me.
For those who don’t know, a toy bar is a thing that stretches across the baby carrier from handle to handle and dangles toys in front of the baby. I would suggest one that lights up and plays music. We didn’t have this exact one (ours was a frog), but this is close. Newborns don’t always play with the toys that hang on the sides. We had better luck with these because it sort of mesmerized them. I can still hear that song in my nightmares! Really. That’s how much we played it. When they figure out how to push it themselves, quickly lose this thing if you want to keep your sanity.
Those of you who read my winter essentials post know that I never stopped using Aquafor. That stuff is useful for all ages. It is terrific skin healer. I used it for all of those things that irritate your baby’s skin – runny noses, drooling, dry skin and lips, and diaper irritation. It works wonders on those red patches your baby gets on their cheeks in the winter.
Another alternative when your baby has bad diaper rash is Triple Paste. It was recommended to me by a co-worker whose daughter had super sensitive skin. Their doctor had told them to wipe her, allow the skin to dry for a couple of minutes, then put on Triple Paste. I used this and if you followed those directions, the swelling and heat were gone the next time I changed them. This helped us avoid any diaper rash nightmares.
Also known as – the snotsucker. That’s what it is, really. You stick the end of this thing up to your baby’s nose and you suck on the other end. It sucks their snot. There is a filter in between, but I hope you don’t gag easily. If you do, you should rethink parenting. My husband never could do this. He couldn’t handle it. This thing is so helpful. When you have a newborn, they can’t sniff or blow. When their nose is stopped up, they cry. They won’t like this, but it is an inexpensive solution and works very well. I was always astonished at how much snot is in a baby’s nose. If you squirt some normal saline into their nose first to break up the snot, it comes out easier. I have seen motorized versions of this but I hear that babies are terrified of the noise. Either way, get a snotsucker.
When I first saw some Boogie Wipes, I thought they were a little silly. Why not just use a baby wipe right? Well, those baby wipes work great on bottoms, but when you use them a bunch on the face, they irritate the skin. Then I figured out why Boogie Wipes exist. They are particularly crucial with a runny nose and the continuous wiping. They don’t irritate the nose. I did later try some of the Pampers Sensitive wipes and they aren’t as irritating. I’m sure this depends on the sensitivity of your baby’s skin.
Babies can’t hold a thermometer in their mouth. Most of the ear thermometers aren’t small enough. You can rely on an armpit temperature or get a temporal thermometer. I love mine. I never had to wake the babies when they were sleeping, so if I was overly worried and wanted to check it every hour, no problem. You have to remember it may be a little off because it is a temporal reading, but you are splitting hairs if it really is 101°F instead of 100°F. The baby has a fever – do something! This is the exact model I have and still use. It has been worth every penny.
That’s my list of great baby stuff that I would totally buy again if I had another baby. I’m not going to, but if I did…I’d get this stuff. Hopefully this list will come in handy for you, these items certainly were for me. I would love to hear what you would add! Please leave it in the comments below or you can send me a message at [email protected].
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