Hi, this is one of my most popular posts so I thought I'd share it with all of the Friday Favorite followers! It first posted in August 2014 after some recent outings to baby product vendor events. The original post was titled: If my Bestie was having a Baby. Hope you enjoy!
I would like to begin by saying that my best-friend is NOT having a baby. So Cotton and Josh on the off chance that you are reading this post, you can relax. (But on the off chance you are reading this post, everyone else should be scared because, a very hot place has just frozen over.)
Any who... if my bestie were having a baby, and more importantly her FIRST baby, I would take it upon myself and do her big giant favor by telling her exactly what she needs and what she doesn't. And not because I am just a big giant know-it-all but because it is my duty as a seasoned momma to help a sister out.
In the six, almost 7(!) years that I have received the title of momma, approximately 103,827,010 unnecessary things have been developed and marketed to the overwhelmed, overinformed, over-read, mom-to-bes. (Give or take a few). These women are in panic mode. They want only the best for their child. They are more than likely on the cusp of the GenX/Millenial Generation which means they are overachievers. They only succeed. They will read every book, listen to every expert, and then google what they still have questions about.
They will buy every type of sleeping contraption, blanket, bottle, and pacifier and then question whether or not their baby should sleep, be swaddled, be bottle fed or even given a pacifier because any of the above may influence brain development and social skills.
And I'm not kidding.
I've seen these women up close and personal. I have had them ask me questions and I have watched their overwhelmed reactions when I give them answers. And y'all - these sweet women are being suckered into thinking that what is right for their babies are things like LEATHER STROLLERS.
So, friends, Romans, readers... do your bestie a favor. Have her check out this list. While I am no official baby expert, I have birthed 3 kiddos, and they are all now above the age of 2 with no real signs of damage. They all slept through the night by 6 weeks (see item number 9) and I only locked one of them out of the house. (Well, actually, I locked myself out of the house...he was inside the whole time).
You really want to pin this one and pass it on to your besties.
Like everything, there are degrees to what you "must have".
Example - you "must have" shoes. You probably don't need the 4 inch neon orange street walker pair.
Same thing with babies. There are certain things that they must have - to care for them, to comfort them, and to give you some sanity as well. This is a collection of things that I would put on my must-have list. This is just my OPINION. Sadly, no one is paying me to write any of this stuff.
This is a priority for all tiny humans, because you can't stay home forever. So, since you must travel, you want to keep them safe. Most people are on the go all the time these days and kids spend lots of time in cars. Ryan and I currently own 10 car seats. TEN.
That's ridiculous - mainly because that means there is basically an all-inclusive family vacation sitting around in safety gear. But, it's worth it. We love our Britax seats. They are consistently rated among the safest seats for infants and toddlers, have a huge selection and provide a great, quality product. We have the Marathon and the Roundabout. Both have lasted through all 3 kids and can either be rear or forward facing.
Out of necessity, we discovered Diono carseats. We only have one car that fits all three kids in the back, and only because we purchased two of these seats. They are narrower than other carseats which allows people with big(ish) families and small(ish) cars to not have to purchase that SUV. (Or minivan) (Although I am DYING for a minivan) (I am just not dying for a car payment).
So, while the cost of these seats is a bit pricey, it was only a one time investment rather than a 5 year payment. For us, it worked. We have been pleased with the quality and also thrilled with the safety ratings.
I didn't carry Radley that much as an infant. Well, I carried him, but I used my arms and not a carrier. Then we had Emmy and I discovered that I needed my arms more than with just one kiddo and fell hard for the Moby Wrap.
Some people are slightly intimated by the "wrapping" process but don't be. It comes with easy instructions and a video. Piece of cake. I loved the wrap because I could put Emmy/Landry in there and she was all safe and sound and out of the danger of those pesky stranger hands. You know, the lurkers. The people who feel that it is their right to touch your six-week-old. You know the ones.
Having her wrapped kept unwanted dirty hands and it kept my hands free to shop, cook, or hold Radley/Emmy's hands. I used this a ton with Landry!
We could go anywhere and she was as content as could be. She would nap and even nurse if she needed to.
I wish I would have also purchased an Ergo. Technically I still could since some of them can hold up to 45 lbs. I have friends that swear by them and think that it would be a great addition for any new parent - something that would last through all babies!
As I mentioned, we are always on the go... which means that you need stroller. There are tons out there (even leather ones). (Y'all. Do not buy a leather stroller. I will judge you.) (In the nicest way).
If I had to buy a new stroller today as a first time parent, and I knew that without a doubt, I would need a stroller again. I would be extremely tempted to go with the Orbit. I will not lie. These things are PRICEY, but they are ingenious. I have seen them up close and personal at a few baby events and I am a fan.
The carrier can face any direction - out, towards mom/dad, to the side. The handle bars extend up so taller parents aren't slouched over, which can sound silly, but pushing a baby through the zoo, a park, the city and you want comfort. You can switch the bottom out for a traditional "basket type" storage or a diaper bag. It's easy set up/break down and very light weight.
Now again. It is pricey. But, it would be a worthwhile investment if you plan on having multiple kiddos!
All babies need baths.
All babies need safe baths.
All babies' mommas/daddys need an easy way to give said bath.
I did not know of this product for any of my kids, but if I would have, I would have been a fan.
You don't have to fill a cumbersome tub with water and then empty it out and hang it to dry. You simply fill your normal tub and then place this in the water. It won't get that nasty goop on the underside that you don't really check for until it's there and it just dries in the tub.
I am a nursing mom. Well, I was a nursing mom, so I know nothing about formula. BUT, I do know about breastfeeding helpers. My MUST have items for nursing moms...
Lanisoh and Medela are the names in breastfeeding. Both companies offer such great support to nursing moms. True story - my pump broke... and Medela overnighted me a new one... FOR FREE!!! I just had to send mine back in.
I used the Medela Pump-In-Style and Pumpy survived all three kids. I had to buy a couple of replacement parts but serially, their representatives are so helpful and nice and it was a breeze!
I also used a few Lanisoh products. Starting about 3 weeks before my due date to about a month after, I used their lanolin because well, the sensitive bits are sensitive.
I preferred the Lanisoh storage bags... they were a little longer and provided more room to write. I estimate that I probably stored at least 25,000 ounces of milk through all 3 kiddos which is roughly 4400 storage bags. These were great!
They also have the best nursing pads. Thin but absorbent and extremely discreet.
Remember that part about all 3 of my kids sleeping through the night by 6 weeks. Yeah, maybe a lot of that has to do with luck, and my super fatty milk... but I am also convinced it's because of our big belief in swaddling. SWADDLE your baby. Period. The end. They need it. They LIKE it. They will sleep better because of it.
Our favorite blankets were by Aiden and Anais. They are super soft and airy... big enough to swaddle NBs to 6 months and adorable!
All babies are going to get a runny nose, a cold, a fever, etc... Our pediatrician recommended a tilted mattress and a humidifier. And well, there is none out there better than Crane. And there is definitely none out there CUTER than Crane... I mean, I can't handle it. We own the frog and the elephant.
Sadly all babies get diaper rash at one time or another. And it's pitiful. Radley got the WORST diaper rash ever the day before we were scheduled to take his 1 year pictures and I so wish I would have known about Dr. Smiths at that time. Instead, we were still using a different product and it didn't clear up for a few days.
And I'm not sure if I've mentioned the SPRAY yet... but y'all... the SPRAY. It is amazing! It's not like sprays that you are used to... it is a concentrated stream, it doesn't linger in the air... you simply spray and move on with your day. It's almost reason enough to have another baby. ;)
(And because I want you to be informed readers... here are links to safety information regarding the products listed above. These are just my opinions... I want you to be comfortable with your choices as a parent and for your baby!)