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When you bring home a bundle of baby joy, you also bring home a giant mother load of baby shit and it takes over your life and next thing you know, you live in a daycare facility. <<<fart noise>>>
As tiny house dwellers, we aspired to be high-horse minimalist parents and failed so miserably: the boxes kept arriving with more things we thought we couldn’t live without and my anxiety levels spiked.
As we head towards Vince’s first birthday, I’m able to look back and see what really saved our asses and what we should have just said ‘no’ to.
Here are my picks for the Newborn Weeks. This list is obviously not exhaustive, but these are things that we used a LOT and I think should be on every mama’s list.
- Fisher Price Rock n’ Play – $60: Affectionately called ‘the taco’ in my mom crew, we all swear by this simple seat/rocker/bassinet combo. Vince slept swaddled at my bedside in it for his first 3 months until we moved him into his crib. It’s super light and folds up with one click so we brought it everywhere. Babies love the cozy shape and our pediatrician OK’d it for sleeping nights while he was small. There is a breathable mesh lining and the slight tilt is great for parents who worry about spitting up or reflux issues.
- Sassy Rattle Ring – $5: A really inexpensive toy that will move through all of baby’s stages from developing eye sight, to grasping objects, to tracking noise and later teething. This guy is just all around good design.
- Vornado Zippi Personal Fan – $19: They really freak you out about having good air circulation wherever baby is sleeping, so we picked up this little tabletop fan and it’s the best ever. Cloth ‘blades’ provide peace of mind and it folds up for travel. Plus it’s nice looking.
- Medela Lanolin Nipple Cream – $8: It’s the best one out there…and you’ll need it within the first few minutes of nursing your new babe so bring it with you to the hospital! Nipple cream for President!
- EO Lavender Hand Sanitizing Gel – $10: Hand sanitizer kind of grosses me out but with a newborn at home you will be using it all the time, especially during diaper changes…might as well use one that smells like a spa treatment and is infused with relaxing lavender essential oil.
- Nursing Tanks from Target – $20: I’m still wearing one of these everyday and to sleep at night. Nursing wardrobes are the worst worst worst, but I found my groove wearing one of these with a loose top layered over that I can easily pull up. This way my post-pregnancy belly is covered (not that I would have been comfortable baring it before pregnancy either) but my baby has easy access to the boob.
- BAGGU Duck Bag – $26: I was looking for an excuse to get one of these totes for a while, so I made it my diaper bag and it has worked really well for me. There’s an adjustable shoulder strap and it’s made from durable canvas so I don’t have to worry about rain, spit-up or sticky hands. It’s just the right size and best of all it doesn’t look like it comes with a side of minivan.
- AccuRite Indoor Humidity Monitor – $12: Another thing that new moms freak out about is humidity, so we all buy a humidifier when we have a baby (with good reason). But how do you know if it’s between the recommended 68 and 72 degrees ferenheit or if it’s above or below 55% humidity? This little guy is cheap and handy. Just get one so you can cross that anxiety trigger off of your growing list.
- Exercise Ball – $24: Strengthen your core? Um, no. Working out my abs is the LAST thing on my mind as a new mom. We were tipped off by our lactation consultant about this secret weapon for soothing a fussy baby. We were reluctant to buy another thing but sure enough, more than any other gadget we owned, simply holding Vince while gently bouncing on this ball was a no-fail way to get him to calm down or drift to sleep. Magic baby whisperer shit.
- CamelBak EDDY – $15: Throughout pregnancy, labor and delivery and all nursing sessions, this was my boyfriend, cuddled next to me and hydrating me like a champ. The no spill design is key for nursing since little hands tend to find their way into your glass.
- Skip Hop Treetop Friends Activity Mat – $75: We tried to go the design snob route and get a beautifully designed minimalist wooden activity gym with three dinky dangling toys…thinking our little budding architect would appreciate high design at an early age. After about four weeks it was clear that Vince was bored and we had wasted our money. Thankfully, a good friend loaned us this mat, which is actually pretty cute. It’s a really great, versatile toy and became a fast favorite until he was six months old and sitting up, at which point we turned it into a fort and got some of the best baby belly laughs in a raucous game of peekaboo. The moral of that story is…don’t be a douche to your baby…just get the good toys.
- Magnificent Baby Long Sleeve Burrito – $25: I would have outfitted Vince in these magnetic onesies every day when he was a newborn if I were a millionaire. He has super strong arms (and bad feelings about clothes going over his head) so dressing him was a struggle from day one, but this cute, gender neutral “burrito” (!!) opens in front and closes with magnets – the smartest idea ever. Bing bang bong…baby is dressed.
There we go. 12 things that I would buy ten times over if I had a litter of children to raise.