Now that Caleb is 4.5 months old I can safely say there are definitely things that have been must-haves in our lives (and of course there have been things that have been completely useless as well). I thought I would compose a list of essentials- I would also consider these “must-haves” for any new parent.
Ergo Carrier: So much more comfortable for the wearer than the Baby Bjorn. It is also more ergonomic for baby’s hips as their legs don’t dangle. We use this thing when we go shopping (or anywhere we don’t want to take a stroller). Caleb LOVES the Ergo and falls asleep every time.
Swaddle Me: We swaddled Caleb every night until he was about three months old. This is one of the reasons we think he slept so well. SwaddleMe blankets and The Happiest Baby on the Block are now my go-to baby shower gifts.
Halo Sleep Sacks: This is the bid’ness. Once we moved out of the Swaddle blankets we moved to the sleep sacks. These are nice because Caleb doesn’t need a blanket at night and they zip in a way that you can change a diaper without fully unzipping baby. We love these things. The bonus? They make them in large sizes so that even kids who are standing/walking can use them.
California Baby Calendula Cream: This cream is wonderful. It smells great and it works like a dream. We put this lotion on Caleb every night before bed and it lets him know it’s almost bed time. It smells so good (we don’t like the baby powder smell almost all baby things have) so this is a great change. We put this on his face when he had infant acne and it was gone within about 2 weeks. This stuff is a must in our house.
Sara Bear Diaper Caddy: When we registered for this it was sort of on a whim. When we got it at our baby shower we thought we might have no use for it. Wrong. This caddy is a staple in our living room. We put wipes, diapers, lotions, a grooming bag, and teething toys in this. It has been essential in our life from Day 1. I realize now it would be nice to have one upstairs as well. I guess some people wouldn’t need this but if you live in a two story home- definitely a must if you don’t want to run up and down stairs to get some things. (This also means you need to buy doubles of some things to have some on each floor for ease of access).
Angel Care Movement Monitor: This is the one thing I would recommend over all others. My sister bought this for us and moving Caleb to his crib would have been impossible (not literally) for me. I am petrified of SIDS. This monitor senses movement and will beep like crazy if there is no movement after 20 seconds. It is also a sound monitor so we can hear Caleb when he wakes up. Some people say they get a lot of false alarms with this but if you read the instructions it says to put a piece of MDF down under the mattress to stabilize the sensor. We haven’t had any false alarms and I actually get to sleep at night. One other bonus: it tells you the temperature in baby’s room and you can set the thermometer so if the room rises or drops below your desired temperature- it will tell you. This is worth it’s weight in gold in our house. Absolutely, 100% necessary for this momma!
TinyLove Activity Mat: We started using this on Day 2. (We skipped the first day because that was full of snuggles). Caleb still loves this activity mat. We do tummy time every single day and then when he gets tired of that we flip him over for some party time. We made sure to buy extra links so we could hang some toys lower as he was developing his reach but now he loves grabbing and hitting all of the toys. His favorite parts are the crinkly elephant ears and the polka dot giraffe. There are music settings so that when he kicks the mat music will play and another setting that plays Mozart all of the time. He loves this thing…and it is pretty fun for us too.
Freddy the Giraffe: The Lamaze Stretch the Giraffe is Caleb’s car seat toy. Whenever we go someplace he gets the giraffe. Babies need routine and this helps Caleb know that we are getting in the car (which he loves, by the way). Since Caleb commutes with me daily it is essential to keep him entertained. “Freddy” the giraffe does this. (Don’t ask where the name came from, that is just what I call it). The ears and antlers are gross from Caleb chewing on it so much but he certainly loves it!
Friends and Family: These “things” are the most essential of “items”. Having positive family and friends to support, visit, and hang out really make being new parents easier. It is good for Caleb to have so many people who love him in his life and we are so thankful to have such wonderful family and friends. Our dogs fall into this category, too. Seriously, the entertain the heck out of Caleb and he sure does love them.
Honorable Mention? Of course: Sophie the Giraffe Teething Toy (very worth the money), Fisher Price My Little Lamb Cradle and Swing, Fisher Price Ocean Wonders Jumperoo, Fisher Price Ocean Wonders Deep Blue Sea Soother (we use this every single night), and the Cloud B Twilight Turtle (again, something we use every night).
Things that we think are useless? Changing table (we have never ever used ours), high chair (too big, we bought a booster seat. Much smaller and way cheaper, plus, Caleb can actually sit at the table with us), diaper pail, and anything “infant” sized or “infant” suited. Caleb was just too big for that stuff.