Okay, time for part two in our Baby Buying Guide series. We’ve covered the basics of keeping your kid alive and (relatively) clean in our first installment, which you can find HERE if you missed it. So, now it’s on to the things that are going to make your life so much easier.
Sure, pioneer parents were technically able to raise their kids without all of the modern conveniences that we have now. But they also survived on a lot less sleep and had an average life expectancy of 30-40 years.
I think we can safely ascribe at least some of that shortened life span to kid-stress, no? I mean, think of how much easier their lives would have been if they’d have had comfortable baby carriers, for real.
So, without further ado, here are:
Top 5 Things To Buy For Baby
1. Baby Monitor
Okay, look – here’s the thing. Do you need to have eyes on your sleeping baby at all times? Probably not. But here’s the thing about being a new parent: Rationality has no place here, sometimes. You are going to worry for no apparent reason. It’s a rite of passage, really, so embrace it early and roll with it. At some point, you’re going to wake up in the middle of the night and freak out about your baby. Are they breathing? Have they climbed out of their crib? HAVE THEY BEEN KIDNAPPED?!
With a baby monitor, you can have eyes on them and answer these questions without the risk of waking them with your insanity. And, bonus points: When they become a toddler, a video monitor like THIS ONE is going to help convince them that you really do have eyes in the back of your head. You’re welcome.
2. Baby Wrap
Okay, so it’s theoretically possible that pioneer people made use of this kind of thing, since the concept has been around for a hot second, now. But, there’s something to be said for a product that stands the test of time like this. THIS baby carrier is super popular for a reason, you guys. Strapping your baby to your chest or back may seem like the beginning of some major attachment issues down the road, but it’s going to save your sanity. When your baby is going through that “Don’t You Dare Put Me Down” phase, and nothing seems to make them happy but being stuck to you…this thing is amazing. The tight, stretchy wrap mimics the feeling of being in the womb, you can cover tiny little heads to make for a dark environment, and it’s often an instant soother. Beyond the calming effect, you as a parent now have two usable hands to get things done around the house (or, you know – eat an actual plate of food). The wrap grows with your baby, too, so you can even use it for packing your kid around the zoo, or on hikes.
Infants are complicated little things, sometimes. They sleep a lot, but you can’t keep them in their crib all day – and Lord knows you’re going to need a break from holding them. So what do you do with them in those in between times? You have dishes to wash, (endless) laundry to fold, and for the love of God, you need a shower.
This is where a bouncer like THIS ONE is an absolute life-saver, friend. You can take this thing to whatever room you’re getting your sanity on in, securely strap in your little bundle of joy, and grab a few seconds of peace. The vibration function may sound weird, but babies love it, and it’s often a quick and easy soothing mechanism if they’re fussy. The toy bar across the top provides an extra entertainment factor, and you get to feel like a good parent for stimulating your baby’s play skills while you self-care. And all this while you can easily keep an eye on them. Portable entertainment for the win.
4. Pack ‘N Play
This is one of those life-saver products that you just need to buy now and thank me later for. It’s got a million and one uses, and will be making baby-life easier on you for a long time. When your baby is a newborn, the changing table insert, bassinet functionality, and all kinds of diaper/clothing storage means that you have a portable one-stop baby shop that you can park anywhere in your house. You can even bring it to grandma’s! When your baby is older, think of it like a portable play-yard and nap crib. Or a toddler jail. You’ll need both functions, I promise. Units like THIS ONE have all that you’ll need, in an easy-to-travel-with package. Buy now, thank me later, friend.
5. Tub Kneeler and Elbow Pad
Okay, so this is one of those things that no one ever tells you that you need. Except me, because I buy this for every baby shower I ever attend.
Let’s do some math, here. You’re going to bathing your kid every night. And sometimes more than once a day, depending on how much mischief they get up to. This is going to go on for at least the next 4-5 years of their life. That, my friends, is 365 baths per year. Over 4 years (and let’s be honest, can they really be trusted to bathe themselves well even after that?), that’s 1,460 nights spent lathering and rinsing your little cherub tub-side.
I am three kids in, and I can tell you that bath time takes a toll. Sure, a towel could maybe work in a pinch, but THIS SET is luxury on the knees and elbows, AND comes with toy storage. ‘Cuz you’re gonna have a lot of bath toys, incidentally.
There you go, parents. Those are my top five picks for essential things to buy for your new baby. I hope this list was helpful, and saved you a few prematurely-gray hairs! If you missed the first installments on the bare necessities for bringing home baby, you can find that HERE. Next up, we’ll be talking about things you shouldn’t waste your money on!
BONUS: Swaddles and Sleep Sacks
Here’s the thing that no one tells you about swaddling: NO ONE KNOWS HOW TO DO IT. Sure, those nurses in the hospital make it look easy, but that’s not real life. You’re going to go home with your kid, get sleep deprived, and have absolutely no idea how to wrap them up like that. So, do yourself a favor and get a pack of swaddlers, like THESE. Sure, it’s basically a baby straight jacket, but it provides exactly the right tightness to mimic the womb and calm them right down to sleep. (Please, for the love of God, sleep). And you don’t even have to remember how to do the wrappy-wrap thing! It’s VELCRO!
Another key sleep product is a sleep sack. They’re like wearable blankets that your kid cannot kick off! No more worries about them freezing in the middle of the night. And, for when little fingers get busy, the zipper actually goes from head to toe – so it’s harder for them to Houdini out of it.
Okay, that’s it for my top recommendations for making life easier with a newborn! If you had a miracle product for your own baby, please let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear your take!
Stay tuned for part 3, What Not To Buy for Baby!