Graco Pack 'n Play
|Snoozing in his newborn napper.|
First and foremost, Sammy probably would not have slept had we not had the Graco Pack 'n Play with the newborn napper. After perhaps the worst night of our lives (aka his first night home), where Sammy refused to sleep at all, never mind sleep in his bassinet or crib, my mom saved the day and tucked him away in the newborn napper component. From that point on, Sammy napped throughout the day in this, and slept throughout the night. After the first month, we transitioned him into his crib reasonably easy, though he definitely slept more soundly in his snug little newborn napper nest.
|We affectionately refer to this item as Sammy's "dog bed". Also good for napping.|
This was another item were my mom stepped in and saved the day. The first couple weeks, we tried out every item we received for our shower, including the bouncer and a swing. Sammy hated them both. I didn't feel comfortable having him lay on the couch all the time, and yet needed somewhere to ... STORE him when he wasn't sleeping. My mom found this on Amazon, and next to the Pack 'n Play, it became our most used and valuable item. We put it on the couch, placed Sammy in it, and he was snug and comfortable. He's now too big for it, but considering the price, the fact that it was relatively short-lived is no bother to me.
OXO Candela Tooli
So everyone sees this and has no idea what it's purpose is, or what exactly it is, but this was, and continues to be, invaluable to us. Throughout Sammy's night feedings, so as not to wake him with lights, we take this into his room so we can see. It's bright enough where it serves it's purpose, but not too bright where it keeps Sammy awake. I plan on getting one of these for every new mom friend of mine. Also, during blackouts, it comes in handy as an extra flashlight.
aden + anais Swaddle Blankets
|Snuggled in his aden + anais blanket.|
As Sammy was born in the middle of July, these swaddle blankets were perfect for him, and allowed him to not sweat to death. The perfect weight, the perfect size - nothing else compares. And even though we failed miserably at swaddling, they still were perfect for wrapping around Sammy. (I believe Target makes a slightly cheaper version, though I hear that the weight isn't the same. Considering how often we used these, they're worth the extra dollars.)
Gerber Cloth Diapers (For Burp Cloths)
Prior to giving birth, I had bought a few cute organic-style burp cloths - what a waste! These became absolutely invaluable to me. The weight and soak-ability (is that a word??) is perfect. And let's face it - the kid spits up on them. One hardly needs a fancy cloth to soak up spit up.
|No idea why I took a pic of Sammy's feet on this particular day, but it came in handy!|
A little (okay, a lot) overpriced for something as simple as socks, but as most would agree, they're the only ones that stay on Sammy's feet! Plus, they're super cute. I got some off Gilt, and received another pair as a gift, but am in the market for more. Sammy is currently wearing the 0-12 months size, but is already ready for a larger size.
BOB Revolution Stroller
|The BOB even goes to the beach!|
The BOB Revolution was perhaps the baby item I was most excited to get. I run, and had / have visions of me pushing Sammy as I jog on a gorgeous day, my biceps glistening in the sun as I get in that little extra workout that comes with pushing a jogging stroller. My running friends said this was the only stroller I would ever need, and as I had no desire to purchase multiple strollers (other than a small umbrella stroller for down the road), I excitedly splurged - though on an older model. (Who cares about recalls?)
Almost four months later, I have used this stroller almost every single day since having Sammy. It runs so smooth, and though it looks a bit large (I can't tell you how many comments I've gotten from older people noting that it is "quite the contraption"), it folds up so easily and fits just fine in the back of our SUV. We also have the infant car seat adaptor and the handlebar console, which is a must for holding my keys, phone and water / coffee.
As Sammy is still a little young, I've only recently actually run with the stroller, and it definitely added a bit of challenge to my run, but that was to be expected. I'm excited for the Spring, when Sammy is no longer needing to be in his car seat, and I can get in many more runs with him.
Side-Snap Newborn Shirts
I have no idea why clothing company makes newborn-size onesies! When Sammy was born, I was so nervous about material rubbing against his little unhealed belly button that I immediately ordered a bunch of these. All he wore for days was one of these shirts and his diaper. (It was actually quite an event when we finally dressed him in a onesie.)
GAP Favorite Short-Sleeved Bodysuits
|Nice and cozy, and able to slide over Sammy's neck without a problem.|
We've tried almost every brand of bodysuit, but the ones from GAP are my absolute favorite. The fitting is somewhat loose, the necks are wide, they don't shrink, and they're nice and soft.
Other Items We / I Enjoy
Fisher-Price Rainforest Activity Mat
|This pic was taken at a friend's house, so I wouldn't forget which activity mat kept my son so content for so long!|
Prior to having Sammy, I stood firm that our house would never be cluttered with bright, plastic, loud toys. But, as most say when having children, never say never. I had originally registered for an adorable Boppy activity mat with cute garden playthings and such. And Sammy actually seemed to enjoy it a lot - before I broke it. (I especially enjoyed a reprieve from having to hold him all day.)
Right around that time, we had visited a friend who let us borrow her daughter's activity mat, which was the Fisher-Price Rainforest mat. Sammy was completely mesmerized by the lights, and stayed content for our entire visit. Right then and there - I became a light-up, loud, obnoxious toy convert. (Though in all fairness, this mat is not all that obnoxious. The music is rather catchy, and if not in the mood for a calypso-themed Skip to My Lou, there is a rainforest sound option.)
Sammy has been laying on his activity month since pretty early on, but now he is actually able to grab and reach for the toys - on purpose. It's pretty cute seeing him bat at the hanging monkey.
Fisher-Price Rainforest Jumperoo
|Note the large box under Sammy's feet.|
Around the three-month mark (which is way early for this sort of toy, I know), I saw Sammy kicking a lot, and his legs seemed to be pretty strong. Plus, I was desperate for some other contraption that would hold him, as he clearly was not into his bouncer or swing. Enamored with our new rainforest-themed activity mat, and having received a ton of great reviews, this jumperoo seemed to be the next obvious purchase. Again, as he's still a little young, we had to place a box on the floor so he could actually, well, jump - but happily, Sammy loves this. The music is similar to that of the activity mat, and seeing him jump up and down while squealing just melts my heart.
Ergo Baby Carrier
|Hate this picture of me, but it's a good representation of the Ergo.|
The same friends that recommended the BOB also recommended the Ergo over any other baby carrier, hands-down. Everyone I know who has the Bjorn complains about back pain, but I have yet to feel any with the Ergo. I also tried out the Moby wrap, but that was a little too hippy-dippy for me. (Plus, I just couldn't figure it out without causing Sammy to burst into tears.)
I used the infant insert a few times, but in the summer, it was just too hot to keep Sammy all bundled up in everything, so I really didn't get much use out of this until he got just a bit bigger. I've taken long walks with him in it, and use it mostly when we go to the grocery store. He'll occasionally break down after he's been in it for awhile (usually while we're waiting in line at the store), but he's also fallen asleep in it numerous times.
|Sammy's first bath!|
It's basically nothing more than a piece of bendable plasticky foam, but this little thing made it so easy for us to bathe Sammy in our bathroom sink the first few months. He's now a little too big to be bathed in our sink, so we've moved on to this whale tub, but I still am glad we had the Puj tub. I especially appreciated being able to just hang it on the back of our bathroom door and the lack of space it took up.
All babies are different, and I'm sure any future siblings will have complete opposite taste, but for us, these are the items that we couldn't have lived without.