1. Summer Infant Rest-Assured Sleeper: I love the idea of co-sleeping, and I know that it's perfectly safe to do, but I just worry way too much (and Hank is way too hard of a sleeper) to be able to actually get any sleep with a newborn right in the bed. So this co-sleeper was the best thing for us! It goes right in your bed- Hank and I kept it between us with Henry- and makes breastfeeding a breeze since your baby is right there. The co-sleeper is reinforced with steel so there's no worries about rolling over onto it, and its mesh sides allow for air circulation. When Henry was first born we tried a pack 'n play in our bedroom but because of my c-section recovery it wasn't feasible to be getting out of bed so often to feed him. Then we tried him in our bed, but like I mentioned above, I was way too nervous. Finally I came across this wonderful co-sleeper online and it was a great solution for us. Henry ended up sleeping in it until he was about 6 months old, when we transitioned him to his crib full-time. The move to his crib was super easy too, and I think this can be partially attributed to the fact that the co-sleeper is just like a mini-crib. I also love that it folds up and is fully portable, which came in handy as we travel often. I'm looking forward to using this right away with Charlie this time around too.
2. Snuza: If you're going to get one "expensive" baby item (normally $160 but on sale via Amazon for $104 right now), let it be this. I try to tell every Mom I know about the Snuza, because we absolutely loved ours. The Snuza is a portable baby breathing monitor that clips onto your little one's diaper. If your baby stops breathing (in the case of SIDS), it vibrates to try and "remind" the baby to breath. If breath is still not detected in 20 more seconds, an alarm goes off. I really love Snuza because unlike the AngelCare monitors, it can be worn at anytime, which is convenient for long car rides, naps, sleeping in your bed, etc. Plus, with the in-crib movement monitors, once the baby can roll off of the sensor pad it's useless. The Snuza can be used all the way past the baby's first birthday, when the risk of SIDS greatly decreases. I can't stress enough how wonderful it was to have this peace of mind!
3. BreastFriend Nursing Pillow: Because I had a c-section, I needed a nursing pillow that wouldn't rub or irritate my incision post-surgery. Although I had and loved my Boppy, I didn't use it until a month or so postpartum, and even then I still preferred the Breast Friend. The difference is that the BF snaps around your body, and provides more a flat (yet soft) place for baby to lay while feeding, and for a first-time breastfeeder, it was nice to have the baby positioned properly from the get-go. I also found it to be incredibly comfortable for both Henry and me, and this is the pillow I'll be bringing to the hospital with Charlie.
4. Fisher Price Lamb Seat: I'm sure there are a million other seats just like this one, but since this is the one we got, this is the one we ended up loving (the matching swing on the other hand- totally disliked it!). Henry absolutely loved sitting in this chair, and we used it from day one at home when I needed to set him down. He would nap in the chair, hang out in the chair, and I'd put it up on our big counter (securely of course) when I had to cook so he could be right there with me. This was definitely a must-have for us.
5. Prefold cloth diapers: Fancy-schmancy burp cloths (yes, they exist!) never really had a place in our house, and the very best thing we found were these cloth diapers. Throw one over your shoulder, wipe up spit-up, line the changing table, whatever...these are multi-purpose, cheap and hold up like nothing else. I kept a huge pile next to the changing table, and we will using the same pile this time around for Baby C.
6. Wrap/snap shirts: In those first days, I found it to be the easiest to have Henry in a wrap shirt and diaper. You change diapers so frequently that I hated having to snap and resnap onesies a million times, and these shirts allowed diapers to be easy on, easy off. These shirts are also great because they're warm, go on and come off easily, and allow the belly button/umbilical stump to breath as it heals. The shirts also have built-in mitts at the end of the sleeves, but we never used them.
7. Playmat/Activity Gym: I don't think you need many toys in the infant stages, but a good playmat is always a plus. A soft blanket works too, but Henry really enjoyed looking up at the different toys hanging down, the mirror, etc., and when it was time for tummy time it was nice to have all of the distractions right there.
8. California Baby Extra-Sensitive Products: although Henry was never (and still isn't) super sensitive to products, from the beginning I wanted to be extra careful, so we used California Baby Products. As he got bigger we continued to use them, and I've always been impressed. Safe and gentle for baby, and the smell! So wonderful.
Do you have anything you'd add to this list? Feel free to share in the comments below!
Disclaimer: this post is NOT sponsored in any way - I didn't receive any of these items for free and was not paid to speak about them. I just wanted to be sure you guys knew that! I did though, use affiliate links, so to visit Amazon without my link, please click here. xoxo