We were very fortunate to receive a number of gifts making the transition from no baby to baby, relatively easy. With that said, I wanted to share some of our favorite items, my hope is that someone will find this list when they’re looking for a review of an item and it will make their decision a tiny bit easier.
In no particular order…
1: Consumer Reports Online Website
Seriously! This might seem really silly but it was one of the BEST purchases I made. I was able to go onto their website and search for items to determine their safety and assembly rating.
When I was registering for our gifts, I had the toughest time making decisions because the reviews for multiple items would be great and the colors would be perfect but this made it easy. I’d find the top two or three rated items on their site, compare real people reviews of those 2 or 3 items and make my decision from there. It really simplified how certain items were chosen. The website isn’t all encompassing but things like cribs, car seats, strollers, are all there and with the trusted Consumer Reports review.
If you’re expecting a baby, I HIGHLY recommend you get a membership. It was $6.95 a month when I was a member and it’s a month to month subscription, so you can cancel at any time.
2: Fisher-Price Newborn Rock N Play Sleeper
The experts recommend that a baby sleep in the same room with their parents for the first 3 months of life to reduce the risk of SIDS. The issue for us is that we live in an apartment with VERY small bedrooms so fitting a full sized pack and play in with our bed, would have been quite a squeeze.
One day while searching for a portable bassinets on Amazon, I came across this baby and I was immediately sold! It is approved for infants to sleep in, is 100% portable and fit perfectly on the side of our bed without taking up so much room that we were crawling over it. Emmett loved it and we had a hard time transitioning him from sleeping in this to his actual crib.
3: Boppy Pillow
Not everyone will need or want a Boppy pillow, however for myself and Emmett, it was absolutely necessary. I am nursing him and putting this pillow around my waist and laying him in front allows everything to be much more comfortable.
There are other brands of pillows on the market for nursing mothers but I am unable to compare because I’ve only ever used the Boppy and I love it!
4: Graco Sweet Slumber Sound Machine
When Emmett was first born he roomed with us (in his own cradle). Seamus and I use an air purifier as a white noise machine for ourselves, so we knew when we moved Emmett to his own room he’d require something similar. This machine has worked perfectly for us! It is small, lightweight and affordable. It plays a bunch of different sounds and music and you can also connect your mp3 player or iPod/iPhone to it and play music from it through the sound machine’s speakers. It also has a night light which I like because we leave it on all night long, so that when I go in to nurse Emmett in the middle of the night it’s not pitch black in there.
5: Fisher-Price Cradle ‘N Swing
There have been days when I could not have lived without this item. You can read the product description but it is just phenomenal! It swings 3 different ways, has 6 different speeds, plays music has a mirror above the baby and some birds/leaves that float around, so perfect. Emmett has taken many a nap in his swing on days when he would just not sleep in his crib. Not much more to say other than it’s a life saver!
6: Fisher-Price My Little Snugabunny Bouncer
At first glance it may seem as though you might not need both the swing and the bouncer but in my opinion, you do. The swing is great for calming a baby when they’re screaming or need a nap but the bouncer is mobile and you can bring that with you to the bathroom when they won’t let you out of their sight and you so desperately need a shower.
7: Summer Infant Swaddleme Blanket
Swaddling a baby is easy and can be done with just a blanket but using one of these is even easier and doesn’t come undone like a regular blanket will. Emmett has slept in one since the day he came home from the hospital and will continue to until he starts rolling form back to belly (it is no longer safe for their arms to be swaddled up at this point). These are great at keeping baby warm and for soothing them, making them feel as though they’re in the small enclosed space of their mother’s womb.
8: Baby Einstein Caterpillar and Friends Play Gym
This item has come in handy countless times when I’ve needed to put Emmett down for a quick minute and no where is really safe for him other than on the floor, the mat is slightly padded so it’s not like placing him on the hard wood. There are also numerous little toys that come with it and tons of little notches to place them on. When Emmett was new, this was great for him to just lay under and look at and work on his eyesight, as well as do his tummy time but now he spends hours on it between back and belly. The center star lights up and plays music so that catches and holds his attention and then reaching for the items has now become his favorite activity.
9: The First Year’s Infant to Toddler Tub with Sling
Best. Baby. Tub. Ever! Seriously!
When you first bring the baby home from the hospital you can’t give them a full bath because you’re not allowed to get their belly buttons wet and if you’ve had a boy and had him circumcised you can’t get that wet either. The sling that comes with this tub hooks to the top and allows you to lay the baby in the tub without them getting wet. This way you’re able to give them a sponge bath and let the water drain into the tub instead of all over your counter. Now that Emmett is older and able to get wet he sits right in it on the reclining side and loves it. It supports him well and he’s able to sit, kick and play and enjoy the sensation of the water without me needing to constantly hold him in place.
10: Avent Bottles and Pacifiers
Emmett is exclusively breastfed but since about 6 weeks old he’s been given at least one bottle of pumped breastmilk a day so that he could get used to it before going to day care. He’s responded very well to all of the Avent bottles, we’ve never had any trouble.
And the same goes for their pacifiers. Emmett has used one since his first week of birth and has enjoyed them on and off without any trouble with his latching to my breast or to his bottles.
11: Medela Pump in Style Advanced Breast Pump
Before going to our breastfeeding class, Seamus and I had tossed around the idea of getting an inexpensive pump but after going to the class and hearing the lactation consultant explain what can happen to your breasts and nipples if you do not use the proper pump, we decided to go with the Medela pump. Yes it is $300 but it is so worth it! I’ve had 3 different lactation consultants, who were in no way affiliated with Medela tell me that they’re the best and well worth what you pay for (I tend to agree).
If you happen to live in the Western New York area, I recommend purchasing your pump at The Care Connection. It is a locally owned small business that specializes in breastfeeding and breastfeeding supplies. If you purchase your pump there, they will ensure you are given the proper sized phalanges and will show you how to use it. You can certainly purchase the same one at a department store but you won’t receive the personalized attention that you do at The Care Connection.
Okay, so that’s the list so far. I’m sure as the months tick away we’ll have a new list of favorites and I’ll be sure to share with you then.
I’d love to hear what you found most useful or couldn’t have lived without. Or you can even feel free to share items that you found were completely pointless!
*Not paid reviews*