Guest post by Heather Kirk, Lindsey Culver Photography Assistant
I’m currently sitting here 11 weeks (or less, fingers crossed) from welcoming my third child into the world. As I have been gathering together the things that she will need (and the many things that really aren’t necessary), I have been reflecting on a few lifesavers for me during the baby period of my other two little ones. Everyone’s list is different but for me, these ten items were must haves and made newborn life around our house so much easier!
1. Snap and Go Stroller
Now what about that big, fancy travel system that the clerk at the baby store insisted that you had to have? I can count on one hand the number of times that I used the giant stroller/car seat system. The snap and go is perfect…small, easy to open and carry with a newborn! My advice- skip the travel system and go with the snap and go stroller! By the time that you are past this stage, it will be much easier to use a smaller, umbrella stroller anyway!
2. aden + anais Mulin blankets
Aren’t all swaddle blankets the same? Not to me! There is just something about the texture of these fabrics! They are light, breathable, and easy to toss in a diaper bag. These can easily become burp cloths, swaddles, and resting spots while at the park. And they have also upgraded with some really precious patterns since my first one seven years ago!
3. Rock and Play
Now these weren’t really “a thing” with my first baby but boy I realized what I had been missing when my second came along. Easy to pack up and take from room to room or to Grandma’s house, this will become one of your favorite items! Also, some children love bouncers, some love swings but they can be expensive. This is a great alternative for a resting spot that rocks and rests for a much lower price.
4. Space Saver High Chair
From the beginning, I knew that I didn’t want a giant high chair sitting in my kitchen. A friend recommended the space saver high chair and it was perfect for our needs! Attaches to your current kitchen chair and comes with a tray and toys even! This is awesome because you can just unstrap it and take it on vacation or to your friend’s house for dinner!
5. Nosefrida (The Snotsucker)
The phrase heard round the world, “I am NOT putting that thing in my mouth!” After about 2 minutes of using that terrible bulb syringe, you will change your tune! This thing is amazing! Yes, you suck on one end and the other goes right outside of your child’s nose. Never fear though, there is a filter and you WILL NOT get snot in your mouth! Instead, you will have a happy, nasal passage clear child!
6. Fan/Sound Machine
I made a firm decision around my house that we would not be a “quiet house” while my little ones were sleeping. I had seen far too babies that required absolute silence for sleep. From the beginning, we vacuumed, watched television, etc. around my children. Because of this, I think that the noise helped them sleep and it made our lives easier. For one of my children, I bought a $30 sound machine, for the other, I bought a $5 fan from the store, pointed it the other direction and it did the same thing… white noise! Personally, I would save your money for other things and go with the fan!
7. Baby Carrier
You might be able to get by without a baby carrier for the first one, but by the second child, you need your arms! There are lots of options out there and everyone has their own preference. I would try on as many as you can! Maybe even borrow one from a friend or neighbor to help you make your decision because they can be a big expense. I personally loved my Ergo but honestly, whatever works for you!
8. Sophie the Giraffe
So, who is this Sophie that everyone talks about? For some reason, this little teething giraffe can be found in just about every diaper bag you see! I’m sure that there have been studies done on what makes Sophie so amazing! All I know is, she can be a lifesaver for you! Your child also might throw it out of the stroller without a second look. I had one of each kind of child, one loved and one could care less. But at $20 or so, it is worth a shot!
9. Baby Tracking App
Whether you decide to breast or bottle feed, your minutes, hours, days become a blur! By using a tracking app on your phone, you can remember when you last fed, which side you started on, and exactly how many dirty and wet diapers your little bundle of joy has had! For my first, we tried the paper and pencil method, and I can tell you that paper will never be where you need it the next time. Stick with an app!
10. Handsfree Pumping Bra
If you will be pumping breastmilk at all for your little one, I would definitely invest in a hands-free pumping bra. From a mom that went back to work at seven weeks and pumped for the next 45 weeks, I can tell you that it is worth every penny! Yes, people will tell you that you can cut holes in a sports bra and make one yourself, but who wants to be pulling a sports bra on and off their head every time they pump? Or for that matter, wear a sports bras with holes cut in the front, all day long? I purchased mine an Amazon for about $20 and it just velcro-ed on top when it was time to pump.