A couple of months before my daughter was born a girlfriend took me to register at a big box baby store. Strolling the aisles with my scanner in hand, I was overwhelmed by the amount of products one tiny human needed. Luckily, my girlfriend was already a mama herself and steered me towards the essentials. Two and a half years later, I am sharing my own list of 10 Must Have Baby Products (in no particular order).
Sophie the Giraffe
I had never heard of Sophie the Giraffe when I was given one at my baby shower 2.5 years ago. My friend explained how she was a French toy and quite possibly the greatest teether ever invented. Skeptical that something that looked and squeaked like a dog chew toy could ever be worth $20, I did a little research and found a million mamas who swore by the giraffe! The color and texture of Sophie stimulates babies senses while her soft grooves do wonders to sooth painful gums. Nora adored Sophie the Giraffe and I have since given one to many friends at their showers.
White Noise Machine
Nora is a great sleeper. Since day one the girl has loved her beauty sleep. I think it has to do with a consistent, almost neurotic, bedtime routine, black out curtains, and her Homedics Lullaby Sound Spa and Projector. Whether the sound actually reminds her of the womb is beyond me, but it sure as heck blocks out all house noises. My husband and I have become so used to the machines muffled sound coming through the baby monitor we find it hard to sleep without one.
No matter how many times my husband showed me how, folding Nora up into the tiniest little baby burrito was not something I was very good at. A friend suggested the Swaddle-Me brand swaddles for their Velcro closures, various sizes and cute designs. I love them because they are fool proof guards against the moro reflex-startle reflex-which wakes babies up. If you are a swaddling pro you should check out the gorgeous Aden + Anais swaddle blankets.
Nora HATED tummy time with a passion, until I found the perfect playmat. What I love about the Kick-n-Play Piano Gym was how versatile it is. The colorful mat is great for encouraging head holding during tummy time. Once your little babe hits a few months old he will love playing the piano with his feet.
When I was pregnant I naively thought that my newborn would always peacefully sleep in my arms or wrapped against my chest. Thank goodness my friend convinced me to register for a bouncy seat because Nora was having none of the wrap and sometimes Mama’s arms need a rest! Nora would happily nap in her bouncy seat for hours.
It wasn’t until Nora was about 6 months old before she would hang out in her swing for good stretches of time, but once she did it was ON. She loved the constant motion and hanging a few baby chain links from the bar kept her entertained until she was lulled to sleep. Many of the swings on the market today provide the option for baby to move back-and-forth, or side-to-side … perfect for when baby needs a new view or is particular about which direction she is moving.
Splurge: Fisher Price Cradle N’Swing $170
Steal: Fisher Price Space Saver Seat and Swing $69
AKA Spy Cam. I would put this as my number one must have item. The advantages of being able to see the baby versus only hearing her are many; most important being your own sanity in the first couple of weeks and then when you move her from your room to her own. Being able to check on Nora without actually disturbing her when she stirred or cried was a huge relief to me. Now that’s she’s a crazy little toddler, I can watch her when she is “napping” or merely playing around the crib.
Splurge: Samsung Infrared Night Vision and Zoom $199
Steal: Fos Cam $58
Mesh Crib Bumpers
The American Academy of Pediatrics state that crib bumpers should never be used in newborn cribs because they can cause suffocation. Breathable mesh bumpers will protect your infants heads and limbs without the fear of suffocation, strangulation, or entrapment.
The Boppy Feeding & Infant Support Pillow tops most “best of” baby lists because it is pretty darn great. The Boppy contours to almost every shape giving support to the breastfeeding (or bottle feeding) mama. It also grows with your babe as he moves from tummy time to learning how to sit. The pillow itself is machine washable as are the covers.
Pack n’ Play
The pack n’ play has come a long way from the steel contraptions our grandparents used in the sixties. These days pack n’ plays come with changing tables, bassinets, and built in sound machines. Nora roomed with us until about 6 months and slept soundly in hers. They also come in handy when you travel and need an easy, portable, safe place for baby to sleep.
Splurge: Graco Pack ‘n Play Playard with Cuddle Cove Rocking Seat $179.99
Steal: Graco Pack ‘n Play Playard with Bassinet $69
Note: You will notice I did not add a stroller or carseat to the list. I think most parents-to-be think of these two items on their own. 🙂
What are are some of your must have baby products?