A couple of months ago, I was shopping at Babies R Us when I noticed a pregnant girl arguing with her mom. As I went past them, I heard the girl say, "All of this is just so overwhelming! It's like, if I don't buy the perfect pacifier, or blanket, or bottle, or whatever, I'm a horrible mom! How am I supposed to already know everything I'll need?!?"
I wanted so badly to say, "I'll help you pick out stuff!" But I'm sure she would have thought I was some crazy lady with way too many opinions. So, I realized that I wanted to share all of my favorite products without being a weirdo in a baby store. I figured the best way to do that would be to write a blog post about it, just like my friend did when I was pregnant.
Hopefully this post will help any mama who needs somewhere to start with their registry, or who just wants to read an opinion about something from someone familiar. Whatever the case, I hope this post helps! :)
1. Nap Nanny
This is by far, my favorite baby item!
The first night we brought Mary Catherine home, I tried to put her to sleep in everything! You see, at the hospital they make it look so easy. Like, just swaddle your baby up and put them in something, and they're out. Not so much at home. I tried to swaddle Mary Catherine at home and she hated it! I thought for sure she'd fall asleep swaddled up in the Summer Infant Rest Assured Sleeper, but no. So then I tried the bouncer...nope. I tried the swing...nope. Sigh. But then, I decided to unswaddle her and put her in the Nap Nanny. She went right to sleep! You can put it on the floor right next to your bed and still have your baby right next to you. We ended up using her car seat head positioner to give her a little head support while she slept. Another thing that's nice about the Nap Nanny is that it lets the baby sleep at an incline. This is perfect for babies who have reflux. Another awesome thing, the Nap Nanny is easily portable. I'm sure that a lot of people have success with bassinet co-sleepers, or even just a crib. But the Nap Nanny helped Mary Catherine "sleep like a baby". She was sleeping 7-9 hours through the night at 3 months!
So, this is an amazing product, but........there's one problem. The company that made them has gone bankrupt. (ugh!) They had to file bankruptcy because of being sued from parents whose infants died because of improper use. The Nap Nannies were placed in cribs (which the huge warning label says not to do), the babies were not strapped in (the huge warning label says to AWLAYS strap the baby in) and there were soft, loose blankets in the crib. It's so sad that a company has to shut down because people want to blame the product. The deaths of the infants were a horrible tragedy, but that doesn't make it right to sue the company when the parents used the product incorrectly. You can read the whole story on their website: http://www.napnanny.com/
So basically you can't buy them in stores anymore. Which means I look at my Nap Nanny now like some priceless treasure. I wanted to tell you about them though, because sometimes you can still find them on Craigslist. And before you get grossed out about it being used, the whole cover is machine washable. So no worries. If you find one, make sure it's the Nap Nanny Chill model. They had to recall two prior models because of lawsuits where people used them improperly (of course). The Nap Nanny Chill has a snugger fit and the straps go all the way through the back.
2. Snuza Hero Movement Monitor
This monitor helped ME to sleep through the night! It's a little monitor that you clip onto the diaper so that it can detect breathing movements from the baby's belly. Which means, if it detects that your baby has stopped breathing, an alarm will sound. I thought about getting one of the movement monitors that goes under the mattress, but I liked this one so much better. We rarely got false alarms with this monitor. With the other kind, I read that people got false alarms all the time. Also, this one is portable. It's a bit pricey, but I actually found a brand new one on Craigslist for about half the price. I don't know about you, but I love a good deal. And for me, when we had to start buying all this baby stuff, Craigslist became our dear friend.
Snuza Hero on Amazon
3. The First Years Sounds For Silence Premium Sound Machine
So, apparently this sound machine has horrible reviews. I will say it's not the best sound machine ever, but I do like it and feel that it is definitely a must-have for me. The sound options are a bit strange, and we only use the true white noise one. The other ones sound like a heartbeat, a car horn (seriously), a sucking sound and two other unclassifiable ones. But, I love that this sound machine is LOUD. Mary Catherine is a light sleeper, so we needed a loud one. I had the Sleep Sheep, which is very cute, but it was not loud at all. It was almost as if we weren't even using a sound machine. That's why I got this one instead. It also has a night light and little classical piano tunes that I turn on when we're playing in her room. It's also portable, but has a plug in that you would normally use. There may be much better sound machines out there, but this one works great for us.
I am a sucker for footie jammies. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE smocked dresses and hair bows, but there's nothing like a cuddly newborn in some footie pajamas! And it's not like you're going to be taking your newborn out and about all the time. So, I would stock up on all the cutest newborn size footie pajamas you can find! Carter's is my favorite brand, and they're not expensive. They're comfy for the baby and easy to get on and off. Plus, there will be lots of exploding diapers in the beginning, and I'd much rather stain inexpensive pairs of jammies rather than pricey outfits!
Carters Baby Boy Pajamas
Carters Baby Girl Pajamas
5. Video/Audio Monitor
This is an obvious one and I don't really have a specific brand to brag about. We actually found an older Summer model on Craig (we're on a first name basis now) for about 50 bucks. It works great, even after I dropped it into the shower...while the water was on. I'm not sure which brand is the best, but you can always read the reviews to check on each one. If you buy a new one, make sure to use a coupon or wait until they go on sale. If you buy a used one, make sure to meet somewhere like a Starbucks so that you can plug it up and see that it works fine before buying it.
6. Fisher-Price Cradle Swing - My Little Snug-a-Bunny
We loved this swing! At first, Mary Catherine didn't like it too much. But the more we put her in it, the more she loved it. She would even take 3 hour naps in it! At first, you only need to swing it on the low setting. But when your little chunky monkey gets bigger, you'll probably have to put it on the highest setting to get it going. It's really soft, it plays music and it has a little mobile for the baby to watch. It can also swing from side to side or front to back. You'll never guess where we bought ours...yep, Craigslist. It was in brand new condition and I only paid half price. I took off all the soft parts and washed them. Michael scrubbed down the metal and plastic pieces with Clorox wipes and we were good to go. Mary Catherine used this swing until she was 6 months old! But whatever brand of swing you buy, make sure it can be plugged in! Otherwise you'll be replacing batteries all the time.
7. Evenflo - SimplyGo Dual Electric Breast Pump
This is one thing I didn't splurge on. I leaked pretty easily anyway (sorry if that's TMI), so I figured I'd buy a cheap one in the beginning. If it sucked, well actually if it didn't suck, I would go out and buy an expensive one. Well, it ended up working fine. The pricier ones might work much better, but I like this one just as much as the expensive one I used at the hospital. However, I only needed to pump every once in awhile. If you're going to be pumping around the clock, I would invest in a Medela model. They seem to have the best reviews.
Ok, so those are my must-haves! I hope that this post makes some new mama's life a little easier! And if you ever have questions about any other products, I'd be more than happy to help! :)