Hey, all, so I thought I'd share with you my favorite baby and post-partum products so far. I'm so glad we have these things and I highly recommend them!
1. Giant, square receiving blanket - we like the Ultimate Swaddle Blanket. Most receiving blankets we have are nice, but not big enough for a proper swaddle. Be sure you have swaddling down to use this blanket properly. We like the swaddle by Dr. Karp, in the Happiest Baby on the Block (video and book)
2. Baby swaddler. Even if you can swaddle like a pro (and especially if you can't), this makes it SOOOOO much easier and faster. Amelia broke out of our other swaddles fast, but this thing is like a baby straight jacket. We bought 3.
3. Boppy Noggin Nest Head Support. You put your baby on her back to sleep, but then you have to remember to position her head (if she'll even cooperate). This eliminates that need to do that and position her head because it prevents a flat head. Her head lies cushily in the hole and she's all good!
4. Ergo Baby Carrier. Okay, we don't have this one yet, but I have completely lost faith in baby slings after seeing this news report and trying to put my newborn in one. It practically cut off her ability to breath, was difficult to get her in it and seemed very unsafe in general. So, we got out the baby bjorn. This was cool, however, in doing research comparing the Baby Bjorn with the Ergo, the Ergo is far better for lots of reasons: it's more ergonomic, has pouches to carry things in, can work until your child is well past the age you should be carrying them (and replaces those giant frame backpack carrier things), and you can use it to nurse in. Plus the Baby Bjorn isn't as ergonomic for you or baby and I read that it can harm baby spinal development. For all these reasons I think Ergo is the best choice. Just ordered one. Can't wait to see how it performs.
5. Soothie Pacifiers. Apparently babies LOVE (and I mean LOVE LOVE LOVE) to suck. Amelia was no exception and we used our finger until it became impractical. We switched to a pacifier after 2 weeks (and breastfeeding was well-established) and she could barely figure out how to use it. The reason we like this over the other kinds, is the lactation consultant told us that normal pacifiers (and NUK baby bottle nipples) teach babies how to bite down on things, so we tried this. Amelia loves it and there has been no biting thus far. The nipple is just like a bottle nipple, so it's not different than what she's used to.
6. Baby hats - get someone to knit some for you, because the knit ones are the BEST and cutest! I can post some patterns if anyone is interested.
7. Our Bumbleride stroller - amazing and works for newborns!
8. Changing pad and portable changing pads - we use these CONSTANTLY
9. Diaper covers and wool soakers - great if you can knit them yourself or even if you use the store bought kind. Couldn't do cloth diapers without them.
10. Any baby outfit that snaps down the legs and front AND includes feet and hand covers. Sure, onesies are great, but our baby often seems cold in them unless it's dead hot, which is hardly ever and I'm constantly trying to find something to cover her legs. These outfits are amazing. She hardly keeps the mittens and socks on, also, so anything that covers her hands and feet are great.
Other things I'm glad I have/made:
1. Waterproof mattress cover. Um, yeah, my mattress doesn't have plastic on it (I'm using an arm's reach co-sleeper) and we would be so screwed without this. It was so easy to make. SO easy. Made it of PUL.
2. Reusable wipes - we wet them with water before wiping her butt--a much better alternative for the environment and better for sensitive skin on baby butts. I will say that it's kind of a pain to keep them where you can wash them easily and to wash them and we seem to run out fast, so I'd make at least 50 if you were going to do it. I made wipe-sized squares out of an old receiving blanket and zig-zagged the edges with my machine.
3. Medela Advanced pump in style breast pump - GREAT pump. So far, it's been a huge help. I'll be pumping when I go back to work, so I'll have to let you know how that goes. Before this I used a manual pump, the Medela Harmony and it was also REALLY great--I highly recommend that one too.
4. Baby monitor - invaluable because we always have her nap in her crib. We tried having her nap in the living room, but that was hard on both of us - it overstimulated her and kept us constantly looking over to make sure she was okay. In the bedroom we know she's safe and contained and she gets used to sleeping in her own crib.
Post partum products:
1. Reusable nursing pads. You can buy these anywhere or make them yourself out of flannel or old receiving blankets (I made about 6 pairs out of both). They are AMAZING. They feel MUCH nicer than the disposable kinds and are easy to wear and reuse. Trust me, you will need these, at the very least for night time. It can be a very leaky time of day...
2. Nursing tanks. Seriously a life saver for the first few weeks and maybe beyond. I bought some nice nursing bras, but right now, while I fit into almost nothing, I wear the tanks daily with my comfy sweatpants or yoga pants or whatever. They might work when I go back to work, but I don't know. Right now they are great for feeding her every 3 hours during the day and night and surprisingly offer good support. Target sells them for a VERY reasonable price here. I prefer the side sling over the full sling or the lift up kind here. The full sling just looks and feels weird. If you want to spend more $$, you can get ones by Bravado and they are around $45, which I feel is too much. Sure they are nice, but Target's are basically the same thing for 1/3 the price.