Before giving birth, I’d thought I’d keep our registry to a minimum and only request diapers and books. In spite of these minimalist intentions, we ended up with enough Amazon Prime boxes to build a cardboard Fort Knox. The “one-click” ordering is way too easy to do, even while nursing! Looking back at the manic shopping, here are my thoughts on what’s worked for me. FYI, none of these are affiliate links. I hate when bloggers use those without disclosing and hate it even more when they try to disguise them using bit.ly.
The Awesome: the stuff that I have found well worth the money and would recommend to new moms.
1) Nosefrida. I’d originally thought this was too gross to do, especially after my brother told me he’d gotten sick after Nosefrida-ing his son, but after the Boogie Bulb failed to effectively extract Parker’s snot during his first cold, I caved and bought it. Now I find the snotsucking process oddly satisfying.
2) Magic Merlin sleepsuit. A friend recommended this to me years ago, and I filed it away in my “potential gift ideas” list but forgot to register for it myself. A few friends from my new moms group brought it up during a sleep conversation last month, right when Parker had hit the 12 pound minimum for the suit. I immediately ordered it via the Amazon Prime app because swaddling wasn’t keeping Parker from startling himself awake. Since using it, he’s slept for many 6-8 hour stretches.
3) Side-snap tees and long sleeves. These were awesome for the newborn stage when Parker’s umbilical cord stump hadn’t fallen off yet and when we weren’t adept at changing his clothes. They’re a lot easier to take on and off than bodysuits. We hadn’t initially bought any newborn-sized clothing based on advice not to (in case our baby was big). We were glad that two-day shipping existed for these, because Parker was a tiny little peanut at birth.
4) Zip-up footies (like this). These are much easier to put on than onesies with snaps. They also cut out the issue of losing socks.
5) Bravado nursing tanks. These are awesome for layering under cardigans, button-down shirts, or other shirts. I prefer them to the Undercover Mama.
6) Bravado nursing bras. They fit well and are easy to snap/unsnap with one hand.
7) Mustela Physiobebe and shampoo.
8) Skip Hop Pronto changing station. This has a changing pad attached to pockets that hold a few diapers, a small tube of Vaseline, and a Munchkin bag dispenser. It also has a refillable wipes box that I prefer to Butipods. It folds up into a nice compact shape that easily fits into a regular tote bag or backpack.
9) Brooklyn Bamboo baby washcloths. We use these a lot for bathtime and as burp cloths. These are more absorbent than the Koala Baby ones.
10) My Brest Friend pillow plus an extra slipcover to use while the other one is being washed. We don’t need this as much any more, but it made breastfeeding so much easier by providing a stable surface, back support, and a small pocket for things like snacks or a cell phone. Thanks to a helpful hint in the Amazon reviews, we put the plastic case that the pillow came in over the pillow and then put the slipcover over that. Then we would only have to wash the slipcover if Parker spit up (or did worse) on it.
11) Red nightlight. I actually bought this in the blue/green color at first, only to learn at a mom support group that those colors disrupt circadian rhythms. I bought a red gummy bear nightlight without realizing that the short version of the Ikea nightlight was red. I like the Ikea one for its cuteness and because it’s easier to turn on and off than the gummy bear one.
12) Chicco Bravo system. The car seat is highly rated for safety. It’s easy to click the seat in and out and to fold the stroller. I can even carry the frame in one hand and the car seat + baby in the other up several flights of stairs. There is a big caddy underneath (bigger than that on the City Mini stroller). The cup holders are great for iced drinks and water bottles, but not for hot coffee cups. When Parker is older, we can swap out the infant car seat for the regular stroller style. However, if I were to go back and buy our stroller all over again, I’d actually try out the more expensive ones such as Uppababy or Bumbleride because of the “cost per use” factor. We use the stroller so much that what seems like a crazy cost up front ends up yielding a low cost per use.
The Good: the things I find essential but think would also work in different brands.
1) Skip Hop stroller organizer
2) Car sunshade and rearview mirror
3) Baby tub with infant sling
4) Summer Infant changing pad and covers
5) Bebe Au Lait nursing cover EDIT: (2/19/16) Also found this useful for pumping at work and in the car!
6) Scratch mittens. We bought these when Parker scratched his face during feedings and at night, but stopped using when he discovered his hands.
7) Skip Hop Giraffe Safari playmat
8) Pack ’n Play with napper and changing table.
9) Diaper Dekor
10) First Years drying rack
11) Rock n Play. Parker napped a lot in this initially, but the auto-rocking didn’t soothe him. He’s now getting too big for it (at three months).
12) Skip Hop Diaper bag. I liked it at first, but sometimes I prefer just to use the Pronto with my backpack or tote bag.
The Ehh: the things that haven’t really worked for us.
1) EDIT (2/19/16): Fisher Price bouncer.
Parker doesn’t like sitting in this. But he doesn’t sit for very long in the Mamaroo (bought used from a fellow Somerville mom) either. If I could do this over again, I’d see if friends would let us try out their bouncers before so I could see what Parker liked before making a purchase. We did do that with the Mamaroo. I spoke too soon! Parker started to love this after 5 months. He was so fascinated with the things he could grab as well as the songs and lights.
2) Philips Avent natural infant starter set. We did use the soothie pacifier and have used the bottles a bunch, but I wish I’d tried different brands first. We bought the bottle warmer and the sterilizer as well, and I feel a bit locked into this brand.
3) Phillips Avent freeflow pacifiers. Parker doesn’t like these at all.
4) Buying so many diapers in newborn size. He outgrew them too fast!
5) Boppy. These didn’t work well for nursing, but I think I will like it for tummy time and learning how to sit. EDIT: (2/19/16) It is great for helping him learn how to sit up.
6) Gas drops. At first these helped Parker burp, but stopped being as effective.
7) Medela lanolin. Ended up not needing the big tube I purchased. The tubes that the hospital gave me were enough.
9) Brooklyn Bamboo nursing pads. Ended up not needing these as well.