A few weeks ago I had a friend that is expecting a baby soon ask me for any advice that I had to give on what to buy/not to buy for a newborn. I decided it might be helpful to write this stuff down so that I'll remember when we get ready for baby #2..... a looong time from now. :)
Most of this stuff is pretty standard, but its still stuff that we couldn't live without! Oh and just FYI, this is in no particular order. Just happens to be the order that my pictures uploaded haha.
First off, bottle drying rack. Some of our good friends got this for us and I never could have imagined how handy it would be. It's just an added bonus that its so cute! :) I think she said she got it from Williams Sonoma. It's so helpful to have a place to hang bottles to dry after washing them because it doesn't take up nearly as much space as it would if you had to sit them all sprawled out along the counter.
Next, my bible study group got us some video monitors and we LOVE these things. I definitely think these are a must have. It's so nice to be able to look at Mary Hyatt on the monitor while she is taking a nap to make sure she is ok rather than to have to walk in her room to check on her and risk waking her up. I'm not sure if its because I'm so new at this momma thing or what, but I constantly like to make sure she is ok when she is sleeping, and these things have been a huge help. It's also nice to be able to go downstairs and do laundry and not have to worry that I wouldn't hear her or something.
This next thing is something that has especially come in handy over the last month while Mary Hyatt has been in daycare. They are little bottle labels with her name engraved on them. I ordered them offline from inchbug.com. I knew that I would probably want to reuse these bottles with our next baby, so I didn't want to have Mary Hyatt's initials permanently written on them, and these definitely helped solve that problem. They have been great so far.Next- Swaddle Blanket. These are probably the #1 thing that we couldn't live without with Mary Hyatt. I especially love these particular ones because they are designed with velcro to make it easy to swaddle her. The velcro also helps it stay tighter than most of the others do. Mary Hyatt LOVES to be swaddled. We don't swaddle her during the daytime during naps, but at night she won't sleep unless she is swaddled really tight. They sell these at Babys R' Us and Target.
We also love Johnson and Johnson's Bedtime Bath wash and lotion. We give Mary Hyatt a bath with it every night and then I rub the lotion all over her before putting her pj's on. Ever since we started this routine, she has been a great sleeper. I don't necessarily think its definitely because of the lotion/bath wash, but I do think it helps to soothe her. Not to mention it smells pretty good too!
This boppy pillow was also a lifesaver during Mary Hyatt's first few months. We put it down in her bassinet and she slept swaddled on top of this every night. I liked it because it kept her head kind of elevated too. We don't really use it much anymore, but it was definitely nice to have during those first few months.
Since we were told not to heat bottles in the microwave, we quickly realized how annoying it was to wait on the bottles to heat up in a glass full of hot water. It seemed like it took so long, especially in the middle of the night with a fussy baby. After the first few weeks, I decided to purchase this handy bottle warmer. We bought this inexpensive one from Target, but it works great and made everything so much easier.
Lastly here a few small random things that we have loved. We use Dr. Brown's bottles. When I was registering, I never thought I would like these bottles because they come with a few extra pieces that have to be washed. However, we tried several bottles and these seemed to be the best ones to not cause MH excess gas or tummy aches. It really hasn't been bad washing them either. We just wash them all at the same time so its quite easy.
I also love having a little backpack to use as a diaper bag. We did buy a big diaper bag and I do use it for daycare, but I have found that its nice to have a little bag to carry around if I'm just running in to the grocery store or something. It's also hard for me to carry MH in her car seat along with a huge diaper bag when I'm by myself. I love being able to throw the backpack on and then have both arms to carry her or do whatever else I need to.
I love having pacifier clips to help keep her paci from falling on the ground when she pushes it out of her mouth. It also helps make it easier for me to reach back there and find it when I'm driving. In the beginning, we had to have soothie pacifiers because that's all MH would take. Luckily now she has branched out. I also love having a baby mirror on the back seat of the car to help me be able to check on her when driving since she is turned around backwards. We also borrowed a box like fan from my parents and MH has to have it on every night to sleep. It's not the actual fan or air that she likes, it's all about the sound. I have a feeling we will be packing this fan with us anytime we go anywhere. She doesn't sleep near as good without it.
As far as baby gear goes, we didn't use a whole lot of it in the beginning. We did use her bouncy seat a lot. I liked being able to move it around easily. That's pretty much the only way I was able to take a shower in the beginning; she sat in her bouncy seat in the bathroom. To our surprise, MH didn't much care for her swing until just recently. She now likes to sit in it and watch the mobile spin around. Everybody told us that we didn't need a bassinet and that it was a big waste of money, but we actually loooved ours and are so glad that we got it. It was great to have her at the same height as our bed every night so that I could just reach over and get her, and its also nice because the top portion of it comes off so that we can take it places when we go out of town and don't have to worry about where MH will sleep. We have loved having a jogging stroller. Though that's definitely not a necessity, it has been such a huge blessing to us. We attempted to take her on walks with her regular stroller, but the wheels definitely couldn't handle the hills of Birmingham and rough roads around our neighborhood.
So I guess that's about it for now. I'm sure as she gets older, there will be tons more things to add to our "must have" lists!