After Landon, I compiled a list of must have items I used with him (3 years to the day actually!). I recently saw it was getting some hits and decided I should update from my experience since then and with Oliver.
So here was a quick list from that post and my thoughts since then about them.
Top 10 From Round One: Revised
- Target nursing tanks – still love. Sadly, the quality of the Target ones went down hill in 3 years. I still have my old ones and much prefer them. They would adjust more than the new ones. I have to buy the bigger size for the cup size but the straps are too long. Womp. I also bought 2 “nicer” ones this go round to wear out and about because it was so hot. I would actually wear a nursing bra under them for added support but still accessible. I am now wearing them under my sweaters and such to keep my belly warm when I am nursing and pumping. I usually wear them on top of a nursing bra again for more support. I then usually sleep in the same one from the day. I pretty much always have one on.
- Snap shirts – We didn’t use these as much this time. Oliver was kind of indifferent to being dressed. He either hated it in all forms or didn’t care. I passed over the snap shirts more often this time in favor of just a onesie.
- Swaddles – Still crucial. Oliver is still in one now. He didn’t roll early so he is still being burritoed. I even tried the Miracle blanket but I don’t like it really. It never could get tight enough the way I did it.
- Cradle swing -YES! We even bought a second one in a bit of impulse buying at 10 one night when he wouldn’t sleep any other way. We had it in our room and then in his. I was great for when it just wanted to be walked to sleep. Also helped extend cat naps. If he woke up after 20 min, I just moved him there and he would sleep another hour or more.
- Water bottle – Still used all the time. THe Nalgene is still my favorite one for portability and being able to operate one handed.
- Angelcare Monitor – We haven’t really used this time but he isn’t belly sleeping yet. It will be on when that starts, I presume. I do know we won’t use it for as long. Near the 1 year mark with Landon, I wanted to throw it out the window. He was moving too much and it would go off. Someone ::ahem:: (not me) was still terrified and insisted on using it.
- Cloth diapers – Still valid. This is all Oliver’s daycare uses for burp clothes. THOUSANDS of them. They have the best soak up for spit up.
- Baby carrier – This was even more crucial this time. Going out with Landon to the park, playdate, parade, walks, etc. I also knew that he would always sleep this way so he slept for meals, walks, me blogging and jiggling. Some say their babies hated carriers and I weep for them. I would have lost sanity long ago without one.
- White noise machine – Landon still uses his to this day. We actually have 4 going in the house at night. We have a ipod dock in the bathroom between them (pocket doors) to cut down on waking each other up. Oliver has a iPod dock in his room and then a small white noise machine in the corner of the crib with the heart beat. I don’t think he really needs that one but it does provide a nice night light!
- iTunes track of vacuum cleaner – Once again, I listened to hours of this bit I found a white noise app to be better this time around. I could switch the sound a bit when I was going nutty over the high pitch vacuum. It was also nice to put in the swing with him on the iPhone speaker.
A New Top
- Additional pumping parts – It seems pricey to buy a second set of everything but TOTALLY WORTH IT. Especially now with more meals at home and even more dishes to wash, sometimes I want to be lazy. Also this allowed me to keep a set in the fridge at home and then a set to go to work without having to wash the second I got home. I would say register for multiple sets but you don’t know what size flange you need until you use one…so find that out and then order.
- A simple stand up mobile/gym. I stumbled onto this later than 3 months with Landon but ended up finding one at Walmart on clearance. Nothing fancy and be sure you can change out the objects in it. Our’s has 3 hooks that we rotate toys out of with the help of the little plastic rings. I liked this SO much more than the expensive play mats. For one, we don’t have a lot of room. Both boys have spent many hours on the padded ottoman in the living room. With this mobile, you could just place it over them when needed and then set off somewhere else. It wasn’t a big contraption. Save the money.
- A nice travel mug – or get used to cold coffee. I would make some and sip here and there when I had a free second. It was also nice so you weren’t risking spilling coffee on a feeding baby. I recommend the double walled metal ones from Starbucks. They are expensive but totally worth it. We are talking HOURS of hot coffee. Be sure to get one with a lid you can operate with one hand.
- Feeted pants – Baby socks are annoying. I do have some we like but feeted pants and sleepers are the way to go by far.
- Ear plugs – It took me years to get this with Landon. I had severe sleep anxiety. Even if he slept, I would lie awake waiting for him to wake up. Every toss and turn would wake me up. It sucked. This also was a result of a husband that wanted the monitor turned up. So I started wearing ear plugs. I can still hear if he baby cries but I just don’t hear all the rest of the grunting and moving around. Also helpful when you need to take a nap and remove yourself from chaos.
- Pumping bra – Hands free at it’s finest. I can’t even remember how I did it without it now. I have to recommend this one. I have a fancier one but it is too thick and complicated. Great gift for a mom that will pump in any capacity.
- A smart phone – One for ERRBODY. I needed it while nursing for entertainment. I needed it for white noise in a variety of places (car, swing, stroller). I needed one for the toddler to keep him entertained when playing zone defense. I needed it to look up crap all the time. Not sure how I would survive without it.
- Black out curtains – Both my boys were searching out light in the nursery to fight sleep. It was so aggrevating. Blackout curtains to the rescue. It also helps keep them asleep a little longer :).
- Video monitor – I have talked about this before. Great for seeing what is going on without interrupting. I can see when he wakes up happy. I can see if he is free from the swaddle. I can see his face if he is going back to sleep or up for good. I wish we would have had it with Landon…I think he would have been sleeping through the night early if so.
- Netflix/Hulu Plus – We don’t have cable. We have AppleTV with both of these accounts. I could watch, pause, startover anything. I watched 3 seasons of That 70’s show while just nursing on maternity leave! When Kevin was home, we watched Scrubs. Glorious. It is also nice to have on demand watching for when you need to brainwash your toddler while you nurse the baby!
- Nice bottle bag – We have to take a bottle bag with Oliver to daycare. I used the same one with Landon. Trick is to buy a tall bag for when the bottles get bigger. This also applies to the bottle bag you take to work to pump. I need mine to hold 2 small bottles to pump into and then one large for collecting. Then I put the horns in the bag too to save on washing.
- Nice drying rack – Even with a baby who only takes usually 2 bottles a day, we still have lots to wash with pump parts and such. Get a nice rack. Soon it will be bottles and little food containers. Get one that takes up less space and still has a lot of spots. Think vertical.
Hopefully this helps someone out. I know there are a million of these suckers on the web. This was just our take on it.
Now a break down of helpful previous posts about newborns!
Babies are hard: