Hey friends! To those of you who are already moms, you've been there and done that and this post probably isn't for you today. Sorry. For those of you who are expecting or plan to be a parent one day, then hopefully this is right up your alley today.
Here's the thing. I love lists. Behind recipes, various lists are probably my most pinned items on my Pinterest boards. Needless to say, I have several pregnancy, new mom, hospital bag, etc lists pinned. At some point, I've read them all. I even reached out to some friends of mine early on and asked them what items were a "must" for them. You can read all the internet lists you want and listen to advice from everyone you know but when push comes to shove, you end up making your own list of what works for you. While these are my favorites, they may not be yours, but perhaps you'll get some ideas from it.
Fisher Price Rock & Play
We registered for these solely from recommendation. (I'm talking about you Stephanie and Taylor.) Everything they told us, they were right! These things have been a lifesaver for us. They don't take up too much space and have been easy to throw in the car with us during all of our holiday travels to let the girls lay and sleep at whose ever house we've been at rather than continually getting passed and passed around.
Our girls are 3 months old now and still sleep in these every single night. They fit perfectly beside our bed and having two of them they're easy to slide around on the carpet so that I can manuever which baby is right beside the bed for me to put a pacifier back in their mouth, rock, etc.
There are several different "models" available, we have these.
6' Long Apple Charging Cord
We quickly learned that with newborns, you'll find yourself living in every square foot space of your home. More times than not, you'll have your phone with you or near by and out outlet may not be as close as where your're sitting. Also, these came in HANDY at the hospital where normal charging cords wouldn't have reached to the bed or the pull out bed that Stephen slept on.
We ordered a couple of these and use them every day.
Part of our bedtime routine, includes playing soothing lullaby music. As soon as the music starts playing they instantly start settling down. I'll let this play on my phone in room for a good hour after they're asleep. I also play it when they wake in the middle of the night. This is the album I downloaded. For now, I just play it on my phone since the girls sleep beside our bed, but when they transition to their cribs in their nursery, I'll play it from my phone through a small bluetooth speaker in their room.
For us, we prefer zipper sleepers over gowns. We've tried gowns and for the most part, our girls don't seem to like them. They squirm more in gowns than they do in the zipper sleepers. It's tempting to want to dress the girls in cute outfits every day, but realistically with two babies and if we're not going anywhere that day, we keep them in these sleepers all day long. They're cozy, cute and super convenient for all the diaper changes going on around here. Carter's has our favorite zipper sleepers and often run them on sales.
There are multiple monitoring systems on the market, and if you're like me, you'll read about them all until you confuse yourself which one does what. In the end we chose The Owlet. This system works through a sock monitor placed on baby's foot, through a bluetooth base and an app on your smart phone. The downfall for us is that you cannot have more than one baby profile on your app. So, Stephen's app is for Amelia's monitoring and mine is for Mae Parker's.
We wanted a monitoring system for various reasons, and after the girls were born prematurely and SIDS is higher in preemie babies, we knew these were a must! Also, coming from two plus weeks at the hospital and constantly watching their monitors of the girls, we're glad we had these as a transition to home monitoring. The Owlet monitors the baby's heart rate and oxygen levels.
The pediatricians at the hospital lightly advised against monitoring systems saying most give off false alarms and overtime parents become insensitive to them. The boy who cried wolf response. We've not had any false alarms with the Owlet, but over time it seems like the socks are stretching and not staying on as well.
The Baby BUM Brush
I received two of these as gifts and had never heard of or seen them before. Since then, I have given these as part of multiple baby shower gifts to other expectant moms. In the hospital we applied diaper rash cream by hand and once that stuff is on your skin, it seems impossible to get it off. You fingers feel greasy for the rest of the day.
This is another personal preference item. We've tried various bottles and just recently started using a MAM bottle. There was a free sample one take-home bags from the hospital; we had it here for months and one day when we somehow had no bottles clean and the girls were suddenly screaming HANGRY, we grabbed those two freebies we had. We instantly loved them and the girls took these bottles better than ANY other ones we had tried. Since then we've purchased enough more to stock us throughout the day and have a few already stocked up in a bigger size.
Yes, there are parts to clean, but how well and smoothly are girls take these bottles outweighs the cleaning methods. Also, these bottles are "self-sanitizing" - the nipple and top ring fit within the bottle's base and by adding a small amount of water and microwaving, they are sanitized saving you pots of boiling water.
Baby Brezza Formula Mixer
Basically this is a Keurig for formula. Self-explanatory. The end.
OK, maybe I have a bit more to say. So, this is an item that I'm not sure I would recommend to a singleton pregnancy. If we just had one baby, I would probably mix the bottles myself and have a small bottle-warmer on hand. BUT, with two babies...this thing is a lifesaver!
You tell it what size ounce bottle to make and the Baby Brezza dispenses it into your bottle at a perfectly warmed temp. Just screw your nipple and cap on, shake and you're ready to go! I wasn't sure how much or IF we'd even use this...but we do. All day. Every day.
You just can't have enough. You just can't.
When the girls are awake during the day, I often play music on different Pandora stations. Since I was home with them all through the holiday season, we jammed to Christmas music channels and now we've moved on to a Toddler music channel. Think..."Wheels on the Bus", "Five Little Monkeys" "If You're Happy and You Know It"...fun little songs to sing along too and the girls have alot of smiles to share when we play this in the house.
Dreft Stain Remover
Let me just say, this stuff was sent down from heaven above. I've yet to meet a formula, pee or poop stain that has not come out. And even, DAYS old stains...it comes out. Faaaabulous!
Also part of our bedtime and naptime routines are light draping a fleece blanket over our girls while rocking them. They IMMEDIATELY close their eyes as soon as we put these blankets over them. They are just so so soft and comfy. My grandma has made all the fleece blankets we have, but I'm sure any fleece blanket would work.
Both of our girls have been stuffy / snorty / snotty / congested since we brought them home. They'll sound stuff for a few days and then sound fine for a week. We've been to the doctor for it only to find out there's nothing they will give to babies for it. So...we crank up the humidifier and rub a Respiratory Blend essential oil on their feet a couple times a day. We dilute the blend with coconut oil. Using this on a daily basis has seemed to help them tremendously. When trying essential oils with babies, start with a heavily diluted amount and watch baby carefully for any allergic reactions. Especially with blended oils since there are multiple "ingredients" involved.
The last one is totally self-serving. So you're on maternity leave, you're at home by yourself day in and day out. You have no visitors. It's flu season, you have preemies...you're bound within the four walls of your home. Daytime TV is useless. (Until Pioneer Woman comes on at noon.) Thankful to the creators of Netflix for providing me with my daytime entertainment and binge watching addiction. They must've known new moms would NEED this to pass their time while rocking fussy babies.
That's my "Must Have" list! To those of you who have babies already, what items are on your list? I would love to hear! Share below in the comments or on my Instagram post!