All babies are different. My baby never quite learned to latch right, catnapped, and was borderline colicky. Needless to say, it was a fun first couple of weeks. Below are 8 baby products that literally helped us maintain some sort of sanity in those early months.
8 Must-Have Baby Products That Helped Me to Keep My Sanity
1. Bottle Warmer
From day one, my daughter never liked latching on to breastfeed. We just never could make it work, and if by some miracle she did manage to throw a few gulps back, she’d quickly fall asleep at the breast. We’d gently tickle her chin, or apply a cold press to her cheek, but she’d never be able to stay awake to breastfeed, and when she woke up 5 minutes later, she’d cry with a vengeance from hunger. After living on the couch for a week, trying tirelessly to make it work, I gave in to the breast pump, and it worked like a charm. This became my only way of feeding her, which brought us to needing a bottle warmer. Once my breasts became a milk factory, our refrigerator and freezer became my warehouse. In order to warm up or melt the milk, this bottle warmer made it so quick and easy. It is easy to adjust the temperature, takes any bottle size (we used Avent bottles – they never leaked for us), and can function as a bottle warmer, food warmer, and sterilizer. It quickly warms up the milk, which we all know is super important when your baby is rabid for food, and it makes it the perfect temperature. Thank you bottle warmer. You were much appreciated!
On a side note, I would add a breast pump to this list, but to be honest, I used a manual breast pump (for 8 months!), and I don’t wish that on anyone. If you are going to pump, get yourself a good quality, automatic breast pump. My friends have loved the Medela Pump in Style.
We have this beautiful thing to thank for giving us silence. Putting Brooke in this thing, and physically bouncing it with our feet, is the only way she would fall asleep (well, this, and while trying to latch while breastfeeding). This bouncer actually has a vibrate function, dangling toys, lights, and songs playing, but my daughter preferred watching mommy and daddy buff up our calf muscles by having our foot going on this thing for hours. We’d be on the computer, eat, and fall asleep bouncing this thing, but thank god for those hours of sweet baby sleep. I salute you baby bouncer.
3. Swaddle Blankets
When my daughter was over a year old, Bret comes out of her bedroom after putting her to bed, and says, “I think it is time for me to stop swaddling her.” My response, “Um, I think you were supposed to stop swaddling her months ago, since she is able to stand up and walk now.” True story. When Brooke was little, we swaddled to keep her cozy and safe. When she got older, Bret swaddled to keep her from growing up. Either way, these swaddle blankets made for a happy baby. Swaddle blanket, it was tough to see you go, but you make fabulous rags now. Job well done.
4. Nasal Aspirator
Babies can’t blow their nose. This is one thing I guarantee you won’t think about until you have a baby with a stuffy nose. When your munchkin gets their first cold, or they just had a good ole’ cry, I promise you’ll be running for this thing to get those pesky bats out of their cave. It is the simplest thing, but it makes all the difference. There’s a real feeling of triumph that comes with seeing a big booger get pulled out of there, and that smile that will appear on your clogged-free baby is priceless. I should have invented this. I’d like to shake the hand of the person who did.
If you live in the city, you’ll either get really good at memorizing which subway stops have elevators (let me tell you, not enough), or you’ll grab yourself one of these. This is the route that I went. It was just easier for me to wear my baby, rather then end up one of those poor people that try to shlep their stroller, diaper bag, and baby up a million subways steps during rush hour. Note to all New Yorkers, if you see this happening, please help them carry that darn stroller up the steps. You have no idea how much that will make any parent’s day. I got this one because I liked the versatility of how you could wear it. You can wear it on your back, chest, and with the baby facing in or out. I always wore my daughter on my chest facing me, merely because I found that the most comfortable, and it allowed me to stare at that cute little face when the subway performer walked around the subway train looking for a tip for singing some doo-wop song. The material is very breathable, the straps are adjustable, and I found it easy to wear. I personally thank you, dear carrier, for making life a little bit easier to get around this concrete jungle. If you were a person, we’d be friends.
6. Diaper Rash Cream
Diaper Rash sucks! It puts your precious one in pain, and as a new parent, it’ll ultimately make you question your parenting skills. Fret not, new parents. Every kid out there has had diaper rash, and it has nothing to do with you. My advice is to try different diapers to see which one works best for your little one (we loved Pampers Swaddlers), and lather on some of this goodness. It works wonders to clear it up, so your little one can continue on with their regularly scheduled day of eating, pooping, and sleeping. Diaper rash cream, thanks for being a parent and newborn’s savior in a tub.
Confession time – We still use a humidifier every day, and it is only sometimes for the purpose of adding more moisture to the room. What we actually use it for is white noise. When my daughter was born, she had horrible eczema, and it was recommended to use a humidifier. As any good parent would, we took the doctor’s advice, and got one. Who knew that it would be the perfect white noise for our room (yes, we shared a room until she was almost one), that we would no longer have to fear that rolling over, cause the bed to creak, would wake up our nicely sleeping baby. To this day, it masks outside noise marvelously, and our sweet sunshine sleeps through the night like a trooper. Oh, and if you’re wondering, her eczema is a million times better now! Humidifier, thank you for unintentionally being one of our most awesome kiddie related purchases. The bags, that no longer call under my eyes home, thank you as well.
8. The Sophie Giraffe
You know what.. I know that this is a list of items that personally helped me keep sane during the early months of parenthood, but I must bitterly admit that I actually didn’t have the famed Sophie Giraffe. Everyone and their mama had one, yet I never got one for Brooke. All my friends that have kids swear by this little teething doll, so taking them by their word, I include this on the list of must-haves. Apparently it has magically powers, and calms teething babies, and if you’ve ever dealt with a teething baby, finding a product that helps comes accompanied with choir song. Sophie, the Giraffe, I wish we had become acquainted when my poor daughter went 6 months with only her two bottom teeth, to welcoming all her other teeth at the same time, after her first birthday. I’m sure I would have worshiped you for your other-worldly calming abilities, but unless I have another, I’ll appreciate you from afar for making my friend’s babies a whole lot happier, in turn, making my mommy friends a whole lot happier. I thank you for keeping my friends sanity intact, as they are much more fun to go to happy hour with that way. Cheers.
Bonus: Unofficial #9: Wine
Though not a baby product, I definitely attribute some of my saneness to a good glass of chardonnay (heck, who am I kidding, all types are welcome!). Cheap, delicious, and totally my happy place.
I’m sure some of you may disagree with some of my list, and that’s ok. As I said in the beginning, all babies are different, and you may have a child that freakin’ hates to be swaddled. In that case, I’m sorry, and I am sure there is some super awesome product out there to help you.
As always, I love hearing from you, so let me know
What would you have on your Must-Haves Baby Product List?
Help a new mommy out with your comments. Lord knows we need all the help we can get!
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally, and believe will be good for my readers.