I’ve been thinking about how I may want to incorporate this new found life of motherhood as I jump back into my previously food, fitness, and apartment life blog and I realized it’s a no brainer… I’m here to share what’s going on in my life and right now it’s baby, food, baby food, and fixing up an older home. So welcome to shifting gears. Life is in overdrive and I’m deliriously exhausted and I love it.
Now that I’m an expert in child rearing after a cool five months (please roll your eyes as hard as I just did) I figured I’d share while it’s fresh the top things that have made life SO much easier (or as I see it, marginally survivable) with a newborn. I still don’t know what the hell I’m doing, but I know I wouldn’t want to do it without a few key items.
The BabyBjorn Bouncy Chair $199
I can’t speak to any other chair on the market, and I never will. (if you want expert comparisons, go to Lucie’s List – actually, go there anyways, that blog alone should have probably taken my top spot.) This thing is IT! It has multiple reclining positions that have grown seamlessly with our little man, it takes zero batteries, moves silently. It folds flat for the car, to shove under the couch if you have other walking humans coming over, and the cover is a simply one piece cotton fabric that you can toss in the wash and it dries quickly back on the chair overnight. The price tag? Yeah, I know. Trust me, you won’t regret a penny. And if you do, order from Amazon with their great returns policy or put it up on any buy/sell site and it’ll be off your hands in an instant. (I don’t think you’ll want to do this, though.)
Spectra S1/S2 Breast Pump $159
If you’re breastfeeding, a pump becomes a non-negotiable early on. I ordered the Medela through my insurance and it’s certainly an old faithful, but my little guy is huge for his age and eats so. much. We’re talking 32-36 ounces a day. I was running thin on my end of the supply and demand chart and decided in a late night leap of faith to click buy on this thing and it was the game changer. It’s so much more comfortable with it’s “suckling” action versus a vacuum on your boob and I’m getting another 1-2 ounces per session. It adds up quickly. My extinct freezer stash has replenished 5 feedings after having it just a week. I would have given someone the last slice of pizza to tell me about this sooner (and if that doesn’t sound that serious, you aren’t breastfeeding a giant that’s stealing all your calories – trust me, it’s serious.)
Halo Bassinest $199+
I was on the fence about a bassinet style sleeper versus just a crib from day one, but I wouldn’t have traded a minute for the time we used our side sleeper. The ability to pick him up, feed, and go back to sleep without ever getting out of bed was a dream come true for late night feedings. We haven’t reach a sleep through the night situation yet and every time I get up I think “Are we sure he’s too big for that?” and then in the morning I remember he was almost too long for it after a month. There are multiple models that have various levels of features – I loved the night light on ours – but keep in mind this is another thing that is short lived and on the buy/sell market for a discount. I scored ours in like new condition for $100. Find it. You need it (or something like it) unless you have a baby that decides from day 1 to sleep through the night. (If you baby sleeps like this, never tell anyone. We hate you.)
Boppy Lounger Pillow– $29
I can’t tell you how many hours our little guy spent in this thing, and for probably about a month longer than his size and mobility would suggest he should have. But he LOVED it. He slept in it (sorry, warning tag, I know that’s against the rules), and also was so much more content during couch time (also allegedly against the rules, we’re rebels over here). Unless you expect to be holding your little one every waking moment (this is not realistic), get one of these. Everybody relaxes happy. Including the dog, who you’ll have to kick out of it. Sorry, pup.
Electric Kettle – $69 (for the version we’ve got)
Oh you thought it was just how European’s made their coffee? I mean, yes, it’s perfect for a pot of french pressed coffee (which you will absolutely need) but it also heats up in record speed to take the chill off of all those pumped bottles when your little bundle of love is screaming bloody murder and your nipples feel like they’ve been run through a meat grinder. Or your husband says “I’ll get him” when he wakes up 7 minutes after you’ve finally drifted off to sleep. (Side note: also make sure you’re having a baby with a husband that says these words, they sound better than I Love You for the first few weeks.) I didn’t want a bottle warmer or other items to clutter my counter, and since it brings the water to a boil I also use it to do a quick final rinse of cleaning the nipples for his bottles to make sure everything is clean and sterile. This may not be the most obvious thing on the list but we use it every. Single. Day.
Baby gear is expensive and exhausting and the list I just made here may not work for you. But I wish I’d had this earlier so I could have had added it to the registry for Great Aunt Muriel who desperately wants to buy something for your baby. We got tons of amazing stuff but some of the best things were found after reading two dozen amazon reviews in delirium around week two. Don’t be me. Buy these things and I promise your baby will be so much cuter when some of the other logistical problems these items solve get sorted out.
Let me know if you want more thoughts on this topic. Parenting is an immersion based learning experience that I know nothing about but am happy to share when I figure out something good along the way!