now that jake is seven months (!), i wanted to share the items we found most helpful when he was a newborn. buying things for an experience (parenthood) you've never been through before comes with a bit of trial and error. you can read recommendations and talk to friends, but since every kid/parent/house/etc. is different, you do have to see what works for you.
i read a lot of pregnancy must-have lists before he was born, and hearing the perspective of many different people was helpful to me. the same can be said for baby stuff. there's a lot of things you can buy for a baby (duh) and reading other blog posts helped cut through the bs.
with that in mind, here's what i loved, didn't and a few things that surprised me.
1. nosefrida. i saw this on so many blogs, i lost count. i really can't tell you how helpful it was when jake had a runny/stuffy nose over the winter a few times. he had a cold that lasted for quite a while, and this, along with some saline nose spray, was the only thing that gave him some relief and allowed him to breathe better. cannot recommend this enough.
2. white noise machine. when he was 8 weeks old, we moved him out of the bassinet (borrowed from a friend; highly recommend since you only use it for a bit) in our room and started having him sleep in his own room. we still use this white noise machine every night. it also plays music. we put on those tunes while we're getting him ready for bathtime to help emphasize that it's time to wind down and go to sleep. our house is pretty small, so the white noise in his room allows us to carry on with the rest of the night at normal volume levels. there's lots of different brands, but for us, white noise is essential.
3. the miracle blanket. when jake was brand new, he loved being swaddled. it was the only thing that kept him sleeping when he was super tiny. he's always been really into his hands and if he wasn't swaddled, he'd wake himself up almost instantly. the problem was that he could wriggle out of any blanket we tried, no matter how tightly we burrito'd him. the miracle blanket worked wonders for us. i was skeptical because it's a little expensive, but it allowed him to sleep peacefully so that's always gonna be a win.
4. skip hop bath kneeler. i didn't want to register for this at all. this was my husband's idea and i thought it was so dumb. i was all, "can't i just kneel on some towels?" lol NO. we give jake a bath every night to calm him down. with our tile floor, this mat has been awesome. it's not really that expensive (we got it as a shower gift), but i happily ate my slice of humble pie (tastes like swallowed pride with just a hint of embarrassment!) since my husband was totally right about this purchase.
5. aden + anais blankets. these are also something i saw on every mommy blog on the planet. they're pricey and i wasn't sure he really needed them, but we use them for everything: nursing covers, overly air conditioned buildings, for sleep, carseat cover for naps, i love em. the cute patterns don't hurt either.
6. my brest friend. if you can get past the name, i highly recommend this over the boppy for breastfeeding, especially if you're having trouble with positioning. i had a rough couple weeks in the beginning and this was the only thing that worked for me. it's more supportive than the boppy, so once you get the hang of latching, you can kinda half sleep (kidding. sort of) in a hunched over position for those superfun 3 a.m. feedings. it looks kind of weird when you wear it, like a stiff, bulky tutu, but eh, whatever.
7. infant bathtub. i really wanted to like this. it just never worked for us and we ended up using the trusty old school sponge. when he was tiny, he couldn't sit in the seat and hated the infant "hammock" and when he was bigger, it was easy for him to slip out of the seat. maybe he's just an active kid, but we never used this.
8. infant car seat neck support. i thought this was a must-purchase item. we used it once without a lot of luck. he's always had good neck control so he really only needed the additional support for a couple weeks. we could have done just as well rolling up a thin blanket (another use for the aden + anais blanket) into a makeshift neck supporter. this was a waste of money for us.
9. sleep gowns/sacks. ugh. i thought these would be awesome. no snapping/zipping in the middle of the night. but i found them to be a pain in the ass. on the ones we bought, the elastic was WAY TOO TIGHT so when you tried to move it up for a diaper change, it didn't really work. these get a big thumbs down from me, even though i know a lot of people fully endorse these for newborns.
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if you're expecting a little one, i hope this was helpful. you're bound to buy a couple things that you won't use or that won't work out like you thought they would, but that's ok.
live and learn, right?