Well, it's been two months since I had a baby, and in that two months, I've been using some amazing products that have really made life with a baby much easier. Because I work in the toy and baby industry, I was able to get the heads-up on some of these products before the baby arrived. But others were given to me as gifts, and those gift-givers definitely knew what was up!
If you're expecting and need to make your baby registry, or if you've been invited to a baby shower and want to give the new mom some truly helpful items, then consider this your go-to list!
How long has it been since the baby ate? How long has it been since you changed the baby's diaper? How long has the baby been sleeping? Which breast did you use at the last feeding? Don't know the answer to these questions? Well, you will know the answers with the Pocket Nanny. This handy device keeps track of "how long it's been since..." so you always know what baby is going to need and when. (Just make sure you press the buttons to reset the timers.)
2. Baby Bandana Bibs
Not only does our little baby look like the cutest little cowgirl in town (or the cutest little outlaw when she pushes this bib up over the lower half of her face), but she also stays a little cleaner when eating with these Baby Bandana Bibs. They come in a set of four, and unlike other bibs, they come up higher under the baby's chin so that any dribbles and drools fall on the bib and not onto the baby. These were a very welcome gift from one of the moms in my mom's group.
3. Joovy Boob Gift Set PPSU
It doesn't matter if you're planning on breastfeeding or formula feeding. This bottle set has everything you need to store your breastmilk, mix up formula, and clean the bottles by hand. You get three nine-ounce bottles, three five-ounce bottles, pump adapters, stage 1 nipples for newborns, a few later stage nipples to use when baby gets older, and insulators for each bottle size. The two included brushes clean the bottles and the nipples. I was planning on doing breastfeeding only, but when that didn't work out and I needed bottles ASAP for the formula, having this bottle set was a lifesaver. It's a bit on the pricey side, so this is probably best for that baby shower attendee who wants to get a big-ticket item for the new mom.
4. Ergobaby Swaddler 2-Pack
Swaddling is hard! Our baby kept working her way out of her swaddles when we tried to wrap her up like a baby burrito using a receiving blanket. But then we figured out how to use the Ergobaby Swaddlers, and we never looked back. These things are awesome, very easy to use, and keep our baby all nice and snug at bedtime.
5. Philips Avent Soothie
Our little one LOVED this pacifier. She will take other pacifiers, but in the beginning, it was this green Soothie all the time. They come in two-packs and are made of hospital-grade silicone.
One of the gross things about babies is that you have to get their snot and boogers out for them. But it doesn't have to be weird and disgusting when you've got the Oogiebear. This thing is great! There are two plastic loops on each side, one for hard boogers and one for the snot. At the bottom of each loop, there is a bear's face, which is really cute and also prevents you from sticking the loops too far up into the baby's nose!
7. Dr. Brown's Nose & Face Wipes/Dr. Brown's Pacifier & Bottle Wipes
These are items that are probably not MUST-haves, but if you have them, you will be grateful. The nose and face wipes are handy for the nursery and the diaper bag to wipe your baby's mouth after a feeding or to keep your baby's nose clean. And the pacifier and bottle wipes are great for taking on the go, just in case a pacifier falls on the ground while you're out.
And just a few tips for gift-givers:
1. Everyone thinks to give diapers, but don't forget the wipes! New moms (and dads) need just as many wipes as diapers with babies.
2. Everyone always thinks of bibs, but burp cloths are also an essential!
3. Always give gift receipts! It makes exchanging clothing for different sizes (because you never know exactly how big a baby is going to be or how fast the baby is going to grow) much easier. And for non-clothing items, it makes returning them (in case the new mom got more than one of something) easier.
4. Consider something for the mom-to-be like a gift card to a clothing store so that she can buy new clothes to accommodate her new "mom" shape. Not all of us have personal trainers and can fit into our pre-pregnancy pants (even our pre-pregnancy "fat" pants) by the time we have to go back to work!