Today I’m sharing my must have baby gear that has gotten me through the first two months of motherhood.
I’m just going to dive in. These aren’t in any particular order, although I’ll try to cluster the things that kind of go together.
I don’t know why it took me so long to figure out that I should try swaddling Owen. I was well versed in swaddling and the benefits of it. I blame being postpartum on this brain fart moment. Anyway, I started putting Owen to sleep in Summer Infant SwaddleMe swaddles when he was about 2 weeks old. At the time, he was sleeping in the Mamaroo in our room but I didn’t like the angle he slept at while in the swaddle so I moved him to the Rock ‘N Play. Genius. The swaddles helped him sleep for longer stretches at night. Full disclosure: I was waking him every 3-4 hours to nurse him (per our pediatrician’s recommendations). I still swaddle him every night. His current typical schedule is sleep for 7-8 hours (per my motherly intuition), wake up on his own to nurse and have a diaper change, re-swaddled, and then he goes back to sleep for another 3-4 hours. Swaddles FTW.
Rock ‘N Play
Like I mentioned above, Owen started sleeping in the Rock ‘N Play around 2 weeks old. He’s currently sleeping in our bedroom next to my side of the bed in the Rock ‘N Play. To get him to sleep, I turn on the vibration mechanism. By the time I get ready for bed and come back in our bedroom he’s usually asleep so I shut off the vibration because I don’t want him to get too used to sleeping while being vibrated. If he fusses in the middle of the night, I’ll turn the vibration back on to help him go back to sleep. I also like how the Rock ‘N Play is easily moveable and collapsable. Sometimes Owen will nap in it next to me in my office. We’ve even taken it out on our back patio so he can hang out while we grill and eat dinner al fresco. We also recently took it on a road trip to Brad’s parents’ house for the weekend.
We Owen loves the Mamaroo. He doesn’t hang out in it as much these days because he needs a little more stimulation when he’s chillin’, but he’ll still nap in it. Owen slept in the Mamaroo in our bedroom for the first 2 weeks of his life before I discovered the swaddle and Rock ‘n Play combo.
While we’re on the topic of sleep, I’ll bring up the Snuza we use on Owen. It’s a portable movement monitor that clips onto his diaper. If movement isn’t detected for 15 seconds, it vibrates in an attempt to stimulate the baby. If movement isn’t detected within 5 seconds of the vibration, an audible alarm is activated to alert parents. This little $100 piece of equipment has brought us so much peace of mind and is worth every penny, IMO. We’ve been using it for weeks, and we’ve yet to have a false alarm. I also love how it can travel with us when we visit family.
White Noise Machine
Like many babies, Owen loves him some white noise. Seriously, it’s baby crack. We sleep with a fan in our room so that provides white noise for him while he sleeps. But I have a white noise machine in his nursery for when he gets older and moves into his crib. I currently use it during our nursing sessions in his nursery. I’ve tried to equate the white noise sound to comforting feelings since he was born. Is that scientifically proven to work? I have no clue, but I’m going with it.
Portable White Noise Machine
Speaking of white noise, I love this little portable white noise machine. If we’re out and about and Owen starts to fuss I can turn it on and clip it to his carseat. It fits conveniently in our diaper bag. I’ve gotten a lot of “oh, wow! that’s awesome!” comments from other moms and grandmas about it. My only complaint is that it can be turned on easily. Often, I’ll be walking through a store with it in the diaper bag, and I’ll start hearing the heartbeat sound. Kinda creepy. You can always get a white noise app on your phone if you don’t want to invest the $10 in the portable white noise machine.
Kick and Play Piano Gym
Owen loves this activity gym. At the beginning of last week he started to purposely bat the toys hanging from the arch and kicking the piano. He can play contently for 15-30 minutes… until he passes out from sheer exhaustion.
Aden and Anais Rayon Swaddle Blankets
I love these swaddle blankets. Owen sleeps with one covering him up (well below his face) at night. They’re lightweight but warm, especially when folded a couple times. Plus, they’re super soft. I keep one in our living room, bedroom, and one in the diaper bag.
DIY Burp Cloths
Oh, how I love these burp cloths. They’re super absorbent because they’re technically cloth diapers, but they’re also fashionable. We’ve been known to go through 3-5 in a day so they’re on constant rotation. Like the swaddle blankets, they’re littered throughout our house, and I always have one in the diaper bag. I always include a set of 3 in my baby gifts for friends, and they always rave about them.
Medela Pump In Style Advanced
I’m breastfeeding so this breast pump has been my buddy. I got it for free through our health insurance. Under The Affordable Care Act, most insurance companies are required to provide a breast pump to you free of charge. I called my health insurance, inquired about breast pumps, they gave me three different medical supply companies to choose from that offered different pumps, I ordered the Pump In Style through one of the companies, and it was mailed to me within days. I haven’t had any issues with my pump, and it’s one of the pumps my lactation consultant recommends. Note: I’ve heard that most insurance companies won’t let you order your pump until 30 days before your due date. I ordered mine 3 weeks before my due date.
Dr. Brown’s Gia Nursing Pillow
I touched on the Gia pillow in my “What To Steal From The Hospital After Popping Out A Kid & Other Advice” post. I’m still using it to nurse Owen, and I still love it. I’ve used a Boppy and a My Brest Friend to nurse him, and I still prefer the Gia. Definitely invest in a pillow cover if you get a Gia. ETA: Owen is now 11 months old and we still use this pillow daily. It’s by far one of my most favorite baby items. And Brad informs me that it’s great for supporting your arms and hands while playing video games. Here’s a photo of the Gia in use when Owen was a day old.
Boon Grass Drying Rack
While Owen doesn’t take bottles often (he can, he just prefers the boob), I’m always using the Boon to dry my pumping equipment and the bottles I pump into. I have the smaller one, but they also have a larger one. I kind of wish I had put the larger drying rack on my registry. So if you have the countertop space, I recommend getting the larger one. I also have the twig accessory for drying nipples and pacifiers.
Lansinoh Breastmilk Storage Bags
I don’t need a huge freezer stash because I work mostly from home, but I’m still building a small one just in case. Plus, I typically have to pump in the morning to help with engorgement. I’ve been using these breastmilk storage bags, and I don’t have any complaints so far.
Dr. Jack Newman’s All Purpose Nipple Ointment (APNO)
While this obviously isn’t baby gear, APNO is a must if you intend on breastfeeding because the initial nipple pain is for real. I HIGHLY recommend having your OBGYN writing you a prescription for this before you have your baby. I didn’t invest in some until I was 2 weeks into breastfeeding and woo buddy do I wish I would’ve done it sooner. FYI, I had mine made at my local CVS pharmacy, not a compounding pharmacy. Although the directions say no substitutions, instead of using miconazole powder, my pharmacist used miconazole cream, and it was still effective. I used the cream once or twice a day for about two weeks before I was able to stop using it all together. Seriously, so much better than lanolin.
Uppababy Cruz Stroller
Before I was approached by Maxi-Cosi to be a brand ambassador, we had purchased an Uppababy Cruz stroller. We decided to keep it because we wanted a full size stroller. And I know this will sound spoiled, but this allowed us to have a stroller for each of our cars. We use the Cruz for our nightly walks, and we love it so far. A little tip: we bought the stroller from Buy Buy Baby (they have an awesome return policy) but I was able to use my 15% registry completion coupon from Amazon.com to buy the stroller (Buy Buy Baby only gave me a 10% off registry completion coupon). We also saved money by using Buy Buy Baby and Bed Bath & Beyond gift cards we had received as gifts from friends and family.
Uppababy Cruz Bassinet
I never would have purchased this had it not been on sale. My good friend, Jacque, spotted the bassinet on sale for half off (because the box was dented– no damage to the bassinet) in her local Buy Buy Baby in Tennessee. She texted me and asked if I wanted it. I was all “Heck, yeah.” The bassinet was $122, which included tax and the shipping cost for Jacque to send it to me. I love the bassinet because it’s so easy when it comes to taking Owen on our nightly walks. We just put him in it and go.
Keep in mind that these are items that have worked for us. They may not necessarily work for you or your baby.
I recreated my baby registry HERE if you’d like to check it out!
PLEASE anchor your furniture and electronics! A child dies every two weeks as a result of a tip-over incident. I strongly encourage you to read my blog post on how to anchor furniture and electronics HERE. Let’s keep our babies alive and well.
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What are some must have items you and your baby loved during the first two months?