The term “must-haves” can give a new mom anxiety. Everyone seems to have their own list, and if you truly must have every item on every mom’s list, you’ll buy yourself out of house and home. That said, these items truly make life with a newborn easier. Consider them branded with a Wise Mama stamp of approval. But, as you browse all the must-have lists out there, keep in mind the only item on my cousin’s must-have list when I asked for her advice: “Lots of patience! The rest is a bonus.”
1. ERGObaby Baby Carrier with the Heart2Heart Infant Insert. Get this or something like it! When no amount of rocking, shhing, or swaddling calms my little man, taking him on a couple of laps around the house in the carrier restores tranquility. I love this product so much, it inspired this entire blog.
2. Wimmer-Ferguson Infant Stim-Mobile. This mobile’s high-contrast images fascinate H. Unlike most mobiles, the images actually face toward the baby, not the adult. It may not match your nursery decor, but we can get over our nursery vanity, right moms?
3. Pacifiers. H’s paci of choice is the NUK Silicone. Whatever pleases your bundle of joy, buy lots of them, don’t submerge them in water or the water seeps inside, and get a few pacifier leashes while you’re at it. Booginhead PaciGrips have cute designs.
4. Aden & Anais Burpy Bibs. It’s no accident that these burp cloths have 5 stars and 112 reviews on Amazon. With reviews like that, you’d think the things could do your taxes for you. The Burpy Bib’s bean shape wraps around your neck without falling off of your shoulder every 30 seconds. It’s soft enough that H can burrow his little face in it without irritating his skin. They are pricey. If it’s not too late, stick several (more than you think you’ll need) of these bad boys on your shower registry.
5. Medela Pump in Style Breast Pump. Everyone told me to get this, and everyone was right. If thinking about the concept of pumping milk out of your breasts makes you shiver, fret not. This thing doesn’t hurt, and it’s easy to use and clean. Look for sales on this product.
6. A bassinet tall enough for you to reach from bed. In our case, the Contours Classique 3-in-1 Wood Bassinet does the job. I snagged a gently used version for half the retail price. It lacks the changing table, but I don’t miss it. I replaced the flimsy mattress with a more substantial one. My favorite part of this bassinet is that I can reach it from bed. This is ideal for soothing H at night and, in those early days, checking to see that he’s breathing. We all do it.
7. HALO SleepSack. For some reason we left our stellar swaddling abilities at the hospital when we left for home. Velcro-ing, however, we can do. We use the fleece sack at night and cotton sack during the day. Swaddling is one of Dr. Karp’s The Happiest Baby on the Block tenants, which to me, are magic.
8. Fisher-Price Whale of a Tub. I spent an embarrassing amount of time researching bathtubs. It paid off. We love the whale because, even as a wee one, H can “sit” on the ledge in the tub. He seems comfortable. Now, if I could just find a convenient place to store it.
10. Boppy Pillow. This is the only breastfeeding pillow I’ve tried, though I’ve heard good things about others. Whichever pillow you choose, bring it to the hospital. Trying to surround myself with pillows for 3 am feedings post-C-section was rough. Buy more than one cover if you can.
That does it. My humble offering to you, new mom. Please remember that you will succeed with or without these items. You will develop your own list. And, cheesy though this sounds, the only things you truly must have are patience and love. The rest is a bonus.
Experienced mamas, what would you add?Google+