favorite baby products

So I said I was going to do a few posts on having a new baby at home.  Today I wanted to focus on what you need (in my opinion) in those first weeks of having your baby home.  I felt lost when it came to registering for baby stuff - it was very different from my experience with our wedding registry. When you are engaged, you are all on cloud 9 and imagining your perfect new life with your new hubby and all of your new things for your home.  When you are pregnant, it starts off with: oh my gosh, do I need all of this? How do I know what to pick out? ... and if you aren't careful it turns into: I must have this. If I don't have all of this my baby is going to die. Marketers do a pretty good job in making you believe if you don't have this "thing", your baby is going to be dumb work at Walmart never learn how to roll over die (fill in the blank with something negative).

I'll never forget the first time I walked into Babies R Us; I felt very overwhelmed. If you are a first time mom, I would recommend you go with a friend who has had a baby... one that you trust for their advice and mothering skills... and one who isn't overwhelming herself... which would just add to the anxiety.

Hopefully I am one of those friends you trust for my advice and my lack of  mothering skills.

Now, I am NOT saying this is the perfect list of items for everyone.  These are just the tried and true things that were very helpful to us in the early weeks.  These things could be VERY different for you. Funny how this list can change at 3 mo, 6 mo, 9 mo, 12 mo, and so on. But that's for another time.

As I was typing this post, I got a handy-dandy email from babycenter.com (If you are preggers, join their site. It was wonderful while pregnant and still is!) about what you really need for your baby. I laughed thinking, "Why am I doing this?  People can just go here to see their list."  So, if you want to do that, here is the link and I agree with most all of it! The difference in their list and mine is that they will tell you generic things and I will tell you the name brands I liked the best. And I'm not going to be as thorough as them. Sorry.

So, in no particular order, here we go!

**Not that I should have to say this, but I am not being sponsored by any of the companies... boy would that be nice!**

boppy pillow

This was fantastic for nursing.  It helped to bring Turner up to the correct height and really helped me to relax my back.  Babies nurse 10-12 times a day, so I consider it a MUST to have a comfortable nursing pillow. These are also great as the baby grows for a place to prop them up as well as tummy time for building their neck strength.

aden + anais swaddle blankets

I didn't find out about these until later, but they are on my must have list for baby #2.  These blankets are incredibly soft and just get softer with every wash. They are a GREAT size and so versatile. They can be used for swaddling, as a burp cloth, as a nursing cover, as a stroller cover for sun or rain, just to snuggle with, etc.  They are very lightweight and come in some adorable patterns.  This company also makes bibs, sleep sacks, and a whole lot of other cool things.

dr. brown's bottles
We tried a couple types of different bottles before we discovered these guys.  It was iffy if Turner would take a bottle until we tried this one.  After one try, we threw the others away and never looked back. These do a great job of limiting the amount of air into the bottle as the baby is drinking, therefore reducing gas.  A gassy, fussy baby is NO FUN. Whether the baby is drinking formula or pumped breastmilk, we found these bottles to be a winner.

gerber cloth diapers (used as burp cloths)
Sure, you probably will get a ton of cute burp cloths as shower gifts, and cute burp cloths are exactly that! So CUTE! Really fun to have in public, so it looks like you have it all together as a new mom.  But as cute as those are, these were great basic cloths to have lying around.  I swear I think we had at least 2-3 in every room of the house and I think I have one permanently adorned onto all of my shirts. You never know when they will be needed - for lots of different things... instead of listing those, I'll let you wait to find out. :) 

nuk pacifiers
Depending on who you talk to, you will get pretty polarized views of pacifiers.  Most lactation support people will tell you to never use a pacifier if you are wanting to have breastfeeding success. I was on that train until day 3 (I think).  My mom and I went into for Turner's check up at the hospital and the WONDERFUL nurse there (haven't forgotten about you, Tamara!) said that as a lactation consultant she says, "no, don't ever use a pacifier," but as a mother she says, "YES!"  We bought one right then and there and it helped a lot.  This is the kind we got at the hospital, and Turner liked it at first, but switched over the nuk a few weeks later. Trial and error, people. 

medela pump   
A sweet cousin of mine lent me her breastpump at the beginning and it was such a huge help until I got my own.  This was a big help at the beginning with engorgement, but became a necessity the 2 weeks that I had to go back to work before our move.  If you are going to be a working mom and plan to continue breastfeeding, this is an absolute must have.  If you are going to be a stay at home mom, this is still a VERY nice thing to have around.  Think - FREEDOM!  Oftentimes nursing can be overwhelming since hubby, grandma, sister, friend, etc. cannot feed your baby... that is unless you are able to pump for a bottle!  This means freedom to go have a pedicure, go to the store, go on vacation, share the night shift, or just go have some ALONE TIME. (What is that??)  These bad boys can be pretty expensive... but I think they are now included as benefits of some insurance plans - check it out!

iPad (with netflix!)
Before Turner was born, I was really wanting an iPad, but we didn't have a good reason to spend the money on one... that is until I was reading a blog and the mom included this on her must have after a baby list.  BINGO! I was getting an iPad.  We sold my laptop and bought one of these.  It was a lifesaver during all of those nursing sessions - especially the ones at midnight, 2 am, 4 am, you get the idea.  I'm sure Turner will have the How I Met Your Mother theme song permanently recorded into his brain because I watched the first 6 seasons while nursing. Yes, I should have been watching or listening to something more important, meaningful, that I could have learned from, but I was TIRED and just wanted to laugh at a funny show. Lily, Marshall, Robin, Ted, and Barney were some of my best friends those early weeks. And now Lily is pregnant in Season 7! (I'm behind.)

pampers swaddlers diapers + pampers sensitive wipes

Everyone is going to have their own diapers and wipes preference. These were ours at the beginning.

If you are nursing, these stuff is a necessity.  You will carry it around with you everywhere. It will help relieve nursing issues (that's all I'll say on here), but I have heard of moms using it for all kinds of things. Just make sure to keep a burp cloth or something around because this stuff is thick and sticky!

baby swing
Baby swings can be tricky, because you never know if your baby will like it or not, and they can be pretty pricy to have around just in case... We were given one that Turner could take or leave... that is until we went to visit my parents and they had one they were borrowing from a friend.  Turner was a totally different baby when he was in this swing... so much so that we bought it from that friend and took it back to Starkville with us! I'm embarrassed to say that we also traveled with this huge thing and even carried it to a beach condo just to use for a few hours during our one night stay.  Anyways, both swings that we tried were Graco brand, each with a little different swinging motion, so I guess Turner was just very opinionated about his swinging. The one he liked also played music and "noises" and he HAD to have it on the bird noise.  I swear we listened to the loop of those birds so much I can still hear them. There are a lot of great swings out there, so good luck trying them out!

moby wrap
Man, oh man, when we discovered the baby carrier.... "What do you mean, I can use two hands while still holding my baby?!?!"  This was one of the things I was overwhelmed about when looking at baby stuff.  There are so many different brands out there.  I will say that the BabyBjorn and ErgoBaby can be good options for once your baby is a little older but I fell in love with the MobyWrap at the beginning.  A friend of ours let us borrow theirs before we made the purchase.  This wrap itself can be a little overwhelming in how you tie it and at first it took me and Jesse both to get it situated, but before long it became second nature to me. Youtube is a great place to look for "how to tie" videos. One of the things I LOVE about this carrier at the beginning is that it is really soft and it hugs your baby in a sweet embrace, as though you are snuggling with them.  Turner always took GREAT naps when he was snuggled up with me in this wrap.

bouncy seat
This was the bouncy seat that we had, but any will do! I recommend one that vibrates.  This thing came in handy so much when I was cooking dinner. The thought of putting Turner in one of these and him staying there all bundled up is funny to me now.  He took many many naps in his bouncy seat.  Actually, there was a while there where this was the only place he would sleep, so we put it in the crib at night! Hey, do what you have to do, right? 

sleep nursing bras/ nursing tanks
When you are at home all day with a newborn and nursing, it's nice to just throw on a nursing tank and some shorts/pjs/yoga pants.  Sleep bras are also awesome!  You'll need some breast pads as well to handle the milk machines when you aren't feeding your baby. 

for kicks:

BIG water bottle
At first I used the one that I got at the hospital, but sadly google didn't have an image of a good ole OCH water bottle.  I'll never forget that thing... but seriously, take it with you from the hospital - you are paying for it!  If you are nursing, you will be thirsty ALL the time, especially while you are feeding the baby.  I always kept one of these around.  Advice:  If you want cold water during your night feedings, before you go to bed, fill up a bottle of just ice and by the time you need it you will have ice cold water to help get you through! I thought I was a genius when I discovered this.... it's the little things.

granola bars
Along with being REALLY thirsty all the time, you will also be really hungry all the time.  I always kept a granola bar or something with me while nursing.  I can remember being in the hospital, using both arms/hands to learn how to feed Turner, so Jesse was right beside me feeding me pieces of these granola bars.  What a sweetie.

So there you have it.  AC's must haves.  You may totally agree or totally disagree.  That's the funny thing about all this baby stuff.  We stress and worry about everything but all most babies end up just fine... no matter whether you co-sleep or not, breastfeed or not, sleep train or not, or start solids at 4, 5, or 6 months. It's all trial and error and figuring out what works best for you and your baby.

Thoughts?  What were some of your must haves?  Or moms to be, what are you most looking forward to buying for your bundle of joy? Let me hear it!

 Happy shopping to all the new moms to be (or to all the people buying shower gifts for these lovely ladies)!

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