Putting together my registry for my baby shower was a stressful task. Everyone had some gadget or book or something I had to get – it was quickly turning into an avalanche of stuff. How could something so small require so much? The truth is, very few of the things you get for your baby are essential. In some countries, even diapers are optional. However, there are plenty of things that can make life a little easier. Over the last two months, these are the products that have made my life, and little James’s, so much easier.
What are some of your favorite baby gear products? Is there anything I should look out for as he gets a little older? Let me know in the comments!
If you have to get one thing, get the Snoo. Yes, it’s pricey. But if you can afford it, or have people chip in, go for it. Developed by Dr. Karp, the pediatrician of The Happiest Baby on the Block fame, the Snoo is a new parent’s dream. Dr. Karp realized that newborns exist in a “4th Trimester,” where womb sensations are deeply soothing. The Snoo incorporates several of his soothing techniques into one grib: swaddling, shushing, and swinging. The zip up swaddle straps in your baby on his back – so it’s SIDS safe; the crib escalates in jiggling depending on how distressed he is; and white noise plays at different volumes, to match his crying.
Newborns need to learn how to connect their sleep cycles, which is why they wake up every two hours in the beginning. What the Snoo helped us with was getting James to go to sleep and stay asleep until he needed to be fed, have a diaper changed, or anything else urgent. The Snoo doesn’t keep the baby asleep, it just helps him go back to sleep when nature calls. Those horror stories of my parents having to drive me around the block to get me to sleep, or rocking me in their arms for hours on end made me nervous, and The Snoo removed this element from our nighttime routine. James will wake up, we’ll give him what he needs, and then he’ll go right back to sleep. From the beginning, this gave us nice long stretches of sleep and with James at 7 weeks, we get about one six or seven hour stretch a night.
The mamaRoo is my go-to for daytime fussiness or when I’m working in the kitchen and want to hang out with James nearby. This cozy seat has multiple settings of undulating motion (Car seat is James’s favorite!) and of white noise. James just started noticing the fuzzy mobile attached to the mamaRoo and LOVES it.
Cuddles and naps are some of best things about having a newborn, and the Dock-a-tot is wonderful for this. You can pop it anywhere – your bed, the couch, the floor – and know that your baby is safe from rolling into heavy blankets or between cushions. Plus, it’s fabulous for tummy time.
Craig has become a carseat master, getting James suited up and out the door in just a minute or two. I love the look of this carseat, and James is a fan because he falls asleep in it almost immediately after the seat belt clicks into it. One of my favorite conveniences about it is that it snaps into our stroller – so we don’t have to bounce James between the car seat and stroller.
Craig and I joke that this stroller has the same suspension as a luxury vehicle – it’s just so smooth! It’s meant for any terrain, but we love it for walking around the farmer’s market. Plus, it has a super sleek design.
White Noise Machine
Funny enough, the white noise machine is for me rather than James. He is such a loud sleeper! Grunting and kicking would wake me up every half hour in the beginning, even though James wasn’t waking up. We’d refer to them as “warning squawks,” little squeals that were the calm before the storm. So the white noise machine helps neutralize these little noises so I’m only waking up for when he really needs me.
We originally got this lamp for the hospital, so we could keep the room nice and dark (hospital light is so soul crushingly bright), but have ended up using it as our nightlight for James. It has the prettiest hue, which means that even when it’s at it’s brightest, it never reads as glaring. This is super important in the middle of the night when you need to keep the baby in a sleep state but also need to grab a diaper without fumbling around in the dark.
I tried securing James in a regular swaddle, but he’s just too damn strong. The zip up ones are handy and he loves them for sleeping.
I tried a few nursing pillows, but this one is the best. It’s so soft and squishy! I have not only the large on for nursing, but the back pillow and the small pillow which I use for my neck or for Jame’s to lean on during tummy time. Plus, no zippers or velcro, just a soft, plushy, washable surface.
Craig thought up this idea and it’s brilliant! I’m basically a one woman raw dairy factory, and with raw dairy everything has to be sparkling clean or else bacteria might form. Even when washing the pieces of my pump, setting the parts down in the unsanitized sink might be a problem. Craig’s solution was this touchless soap dispenser. This allows us to just hold the parts in our hands while washing, without having to set anything down.
We tried out quite a few diapers, and honestly, these were the ones he came home from the hospital in. I love the stripe down the front that tells you if the diaper is dirty, the wings are great at keeping leaks in, and they’re super absorbent. Also, we go through an astonishing amount, so the affordable price tag is a bonus.