When shopping for baby items there is no shortage of gear to choose from. Most things we bought or registered for were practical and essential. For the most part I did good at not getting unnecessary items. I researched. However, as I went through my past Amazon orders the other day I realized that some of those last few items we just needed are barely used. What were we going to do with the hoards of baby wash cloths...yep, convert them to cloth wipes. Or the pacifier holder that snaps on to her shirt, she dislikes pacifiers. How about all the baby towels sitting under her bathroom sink because she bathes and gets dried with me. The bug net that goes over the stroller or play yard...used once. Although I do hope to use it over the Pack n Play next spring and summer when we are able to bring it outside with us on nice days. This post isn't about all the un-used stuff though. I wanted to post about our must have items. Things that we could not do without...or at least we really would not want to. Stuff that makes life much easier for us.
This thing. Note that it's mentioned first. It's our baby off button. Baby is sleeping and starts fussing in the middle of the night...hit the button. Baby is ready for a nap...lay her down and hit the button. No kidding. It totally calms her, can get her to sleep and when she wakes too soon can put her back to sleep. It doesn't work every time but sure does work wonders a lot of the time. It even has it's own post that I wrote a while back here. The whole concept is that babies hear noises in the womb so this creates noise to mimic that and in turn soothes them. (Quick pop-in on this old post...This was not as amazing the second time around. All babies are different!)
Jeep Snap N Go
Finley and I are always on the go. I could not imagine waking her to put her into the stroller. Why not just get a travel system stroller or any stroller that a car seat (infant carrier) can snap into? They are bulky and heavy! This thing is light weight and compact. I literally grab the handle and throw it from the car to open it. Then on pop's Finley's carrier, baby and all. Some days we will make 5-8 stops at different places, some stops lasting only ten minutes. This makes life easy. I could not imagine unloading a big heavy stroller for a quick ten minute errand only to have to load it up and unload it again for the next stop.
At first I didn't get the appeal of this. It soon caught on. I nurse. This is my means to hands free nursing. I can eat or be online while Finley eats. This is precious time because she is occupied and happy. Then if she falls asleep nursing it supports her in my lap against me while I continue to do what I was doing hands free without having to move her and risk waking her. Since she cannot sit up on her own yet it's nice for her to be able to be propped up on her Boppy to see everything rather than just laying flat. She also sometimes naps in it but only when we are right there next to her because it could be dangerous if her head were to slip down or her face to turn into it. If I ever want to take a bath or shower without her I even put this on the bathroom floor for her to rest in right next to the tub or shower. Much more convenient than having to lug the bouncer in. I find it supports her better when I place a towel or blanket over it and then her on top of that.
Pack N Play
Finley sleeps through the night now. When she did not it was SO nice to have her right next to me to just grab her, bring her into the bed, change, re-swaddle, feed and put her back in her bed. I would do all of this witout having to totally wake and walk to her room. She sleeps all night now but I'm still too attached just yet to send her to her crib. I check on her many times during the night and sometimes re-swaddle her if she has broken out. I just like having her right there with us since she is still so young. I'm not a fan of her sleeping in our bed due to the risks involved so this makes having her near possible. We really don't use the changer on top anymore but it's really nice for storing her diapers and stuff. I know it will continue to get lots of use even when she's bigger and no longer sleeping in our room when we take out the middle sleeper part and put it in the living room for her to play in or outside with us on nice days and for any travel.
She loves it and so do we. She goes in here awake to chill and naps in it too. It's a place to put her down to get some stuff down. She loves the swinging motion and the spinning light up stars. It took a while for her to warm up to liking the swing but she really does now.
I would not be able to do big grocery trips without this. Contrary to what many people still think, you're not supposed to put a baby car seat carrier on top of the shopping cart. People still do it but it's really not safe. It makes the cart top heavy. Babies have fallen and been hurt by this. Some store associates will even caution against if they see someone doing it. Carts and carriers are not made to be used like that. The ring sling makes grocery trips possible.
I debated putting this here but just had to. I only pump when at work which is only two days a week but for those two days, it's essential.
Cloth Diapers and Cloth Wipes