Tuesday, October 18, 2011

My Top 10 Baby Must Haves

Except for the big, obvious things, Kevin and I had no idea what products would be "essential" and what would be "luxury".  We got lots of suggestions from other people, but a lot of our stuff was just trial and error.  So, I decided to make a list of items that I consider must haves!  My list is in no particular order and of course since Kate is just 9 weeks old all of the items are things you would use from newborn to 2-3 months.  I'm sure we'll find out a ton of other things that we would want to add to this list later!  If you're about to be a new mom or about to buy a gift for a new mom, these are my suggestions!

*Note- some of the pictures link to Amazon.com so click on the picture if you want to check out the prices or see further details on anything I listed. 

-Top 10 Baby Must Haves-

1. Dr. Browns Bottles:
We were told by lots and lots of people that these were the best bottles out there, so we went with that and trusted experience! We did get some other non-Dr Brown's bottles though and have used them a few times. I will say that we can definitely tell a difference when we use different bottles... especially in those first few weeks. These bottles are great. And, the less air that she swallows = less gas = more sleep = happy mama!



2. Dishwasher Thing for Bottles:
The only down side of Dr. Browns bottles is that they have LOTS of parts. Since we stayed in a hotel for our first few weeks with Kate, we had to hand wash a ton of bottles.  Having all of those parts to wash was pretty annoying. (Luckily Kevin did a LOT of the washing... Thanks, Kev!). When we got home, it was great to be able to use the dishwasher.  Just put all of those parts in these baskets, and throw them into the dishwasher. We also throw Kate's pacifiers into the baskets too.  They cost about $5, come in 4 different colors, and are totally worth it!


3. Bottle Warmer:
Since we adopted, we knew 100% for sure that we would be strictly bottle/formula feeding... duh!  Because Kate apparently has a delicate tummy, we ended up having to use the ready to pour formula, which meant that he formula had to be refrigerated and then later warmed up.  So we definitely needed a bottle warmer... unless we wanted to boil water or hold a bottle under hot tap water for forever. We started off with a more expensive model that had more bells and whistles, but that also meant that it took longer to warm up the bottle. No good. When it's 2am (and then 4am and then 6am), you want that bottle ready yesterday.  In other words, the quicker the better.  So we exchanged it for this bottle warmer by "The First Years" from Target. It's been great! No complaints.  It's warms bottles quickly, and fits both the regular bottles and the wide bottles. Eventually, it even warms baby food.


4. Mylicon Drops:
Kate was only a few days old when Kevin was sent to Walmart at 1AM in search of something (anything) that would help. He came back with a bottle of Mylicon drops and we HAD to use these the first few weeks of Kate's life or she was miserable.  Nothing is worse than a gassy baby, and the helpless feeling that you have when you can't just make it go away. We still use the drops occasionally but definitely not as much as the first few weeks when we were trying to figure out what type of formula to use.


5. Swaddle Blankets:
These are lifesavers! Kate started out loving to be swaddled. Then she went through a 2 week period where she HATED it.  One day I decided to try it out on her again, and she slept 7 hours. Now we use them every night and nap. LOVE them.  We've used both the Summer Infant Swaddle Me brand and the Halo Sleep Sack.  Both are great (and the Summer Infant one is pretty cheap). Read more about our experience with swaddling here!





6. Music/Sound Machine:
For us, this is a definite must have. So much so that I wrote a whole post about it.  Read more about how we use ours here - it has deinitely helped Kate become a better sleeper.  She was 8 weeks on Wednesday, and is consistently sleeping 7-8 hours at night! It's too bad that long stretch starts at 7ish though, but we are pleased with how well she is sleeping.  Definitely much better than the 2 hour stretches that she started off at! :)




7. Newborn Sleepers with Zipper:
Kevin agrees with me on this one. Who ever thought that putting buttons/snaps on newborn clothing was a smart idea? What's wrong with zippers? They're just so easy.  From what I've found, Carter's is the only company that's figured that out.  Kate practically LIVED in newborn sleepers for her first few weeks. For various reasons, we didn't really attempt to put Kate into many onesies until after her umbilical cord fell off.  So for two weeks we stuck with the sleepers. She didn't seem to mind.



8. Diaper Genie II:
This one is kind of self explanatory! This was a gift from a fellow new mommy, and I LOVE it. It does a great job of keeping the smell in the trash can and out of the room, and I love that it is "hands free".  Just step on the pedal, throw in the diaper, and you're done.  And, considering the huge volume of diapers that Kate goes through in just a few days, I really don't have to empty the trash can as often as you would think.



9. Johnson's Natural Lotion, Body Wash, & Shampoo:
In addition to a sensitive stomach, Kate apparently has very sensitive and dry skin. We've found that this baby skin care line works GREAT for her. The only downside (if you want to look at it that way) is that it is fragrance free. So, no nice clean baby smell. However, all of her skin issues have cleared up!  She is nice, smooth, and moisturized!



10. Camera:
You can just tell by the number of pictures of Kate that I post on here that this one is important to me! I love my Canon, but I'd just suggest to get a camera that is really easy to use. Point and shoot. That's all I do!




So that's my list of baby items that we can't go without.  Does anybody else have anything to add?  Any suggestions on the best baby items for a 3+ month old? We're about to hit that stage soon!

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