Becoming a parent is a huge step into adulthood. You know you need to take care of this child you just brought into the world and you’ve googled every “MUST NEED” list for babies out there. You’re so overwhelmed, you don’t know what to buy, what works, what doesn’t work. You’ve got friends who said there’s a product that saved their life with their baby. But you never know until you buy all the things and try all the things.
I’ve compiled a list of things that have helped me get through these first 8 months of mother/parenthood. They may or may not have worked for others, but I feel it’s worth it to show what has made my life a tiny bit easier.
I bought this when my daughter was about three weeks old, in hopes that the rocking would put her to sleep. Turns out she didn’t like the rocking, but actually enjoyed sleeping in an elevated position. She didn’t start sleeping in it full time until about 7 weeks old and it was a godsend. It fit perfectly inside our closet right next to my side of the bed. She slept in it till she was around 4.5 months old. I don’t care what anyone says, I’d use this again in a heartbeat if it meant my baby slept great and I got some more sleep.
We received the Summer Infant swaddles from our baby showers, and while they worked great for the first two weeks, Bailee hated being swaddled after that. She just ninja’ed her arms up and out of them, so we stopped using them. When we transitioned her from co-sleeping to the rocker, I decided it was time to try a new swaddle. I first bought the stage 1 swaddle from Love To Dream and it was amazing. She was sleeping 8-10 hour stretches. Which I think having her arms up made a huge difference. When it was time to take her arms out, this 50/50 one was great! You just unzip one arm at a time to help. She’s almost 8 months now and we still use this as a sleep sack for her. We tried the Halo brand sleep sack, but she likes the tightness of the swaddle around her belly.
When we first started Bailee on solids at 4 months, she was using her Bumbo seat with the tray. Unfortunately, she realized she could push her feet on the ground and push the seat backwards. I knew it was time for a high chair. So I asked around, and got several answers. The two main ones were the ones that can strap to the seat and this one. I decided to go with the Cosco one because it was collapsible and on the cheaper side. The only downfalls are that the seat cover isn’t removable, which makes cleaning it a pain. And that the chair back isn’t adjustable. Bailee is petite, so I have to put a blanket it behind her back to keep her from slouching. But otherwise, it’s absolutely great for what it’s needed for. She even hangs out in it while watching cartoons.
If you want to talk about getting your baby hooked on something, these are it. I decided to try these guys out just to see how well her grabbing skills were. Needless to say, it didn’t take very long for her to realize their goodness and now she gets super excited whenever she sees the bottle. And I love that they’re good for her, and great at keeping her quiet while I’m out and about or trying to get something done around the house.
These have become one of Bailee’s favorite toys. She has about 5 or 6 rubber duckies/animals that she loves to pick up, chew on and throw. They’ve definitely been great for keeping her occupied and very nice of the pocketbook, too.
As much as I was overwhelmed looking at the many different sippy cups to start your 6 month old on, I wanted to choose a kind and hope she liked it and it worked. That wasn’t the case. I had started her on the Nuby 3-Stage sippy cups, but she just couldn’t figure out how to lift them to drink, even though she could hold her nighttime bottle no problem. I kept working with her on it, but she could care less. So one day while I was out with friends, I didn’t have a sippy cup for her. I decided to let her try to drink from my water with a straw. Lo and behold, she actually enjoyed it. And she was good at it. I headed to Target and ended up buying her these Munchkin ones. While she still can’t figure out how to use the handles, she just lifts her head over the straw and starts sucking. Sometimes she goes to hard and surprises herself. But they’ve been great, and if she likes them, that makes me happy.
Who knew there were so many pacifiers out there? And who even knows which ones are really going to work? We received about 6 different kids of pacifiers and it was overwhelming. We started using them when she was about 3-4 months old. We tried each kind for a few days until we got to the MAM kind. Here we are a few months later and 14 MAM pacifiers have graced this household. I love that these ones have an opening so that there isn’t a ton of saliva causing a rash around her mouth and the double as a little handle for her to pick them up by. Now when she sees one, she knows what it is and will pick them up.
Now mind you, this walker is meant for 9+ months, but my crazy kiddo has been pulling up on things for about 2 months now. So I decided it was time to get her something she could pull up on and then use for walking in the future. For the most part, it stays folded down and she loves to stand over it, hitting all the buttons and making all the sounds. Recently, she’s been using it as a step to climb up on the couch. But do yourself a favor, go to a resale shop and buy one. I got mine for only $7 and I’m glad I didn’t spend the $40.
My hasband’s sister kept asking us what we wanted/needed for the baby and we couldn’t think of anything. She had mentioned a video monitor and we told her we didn’t need one because we lived in a fifth wheel and we would be able to hear Bailee if she were crying. Long story short, she bought us one and it has been a godsend! I’m able to be in the living room doing whatever while she naps and it gives me such peace of mind. It’s a small monitor, but it has day and night vision, temp, volume, ability to connect up to 4 cameras and can even play music or you can talk through the microphone. I know there are so many different kinds out there, but this one has been great for us.
I know you’re probably wondering why clothes would be life saver product for a baby, but living in Southeast Texas has taught me that heat is no joke. During this 24,983,251 month long summer, I try to put Bailee in as little layers as possible. These have been great because they’re pretty light weight, airy and come in a variety of patterns. And if you ask my husband, he’ll say the snaps are the best part because he doesn’t have to pull anything over her head. And because they are a little more bubble like, she can wear them for longer as she gets older.
I hope this list has helped someone out there on their journey through parenthood. I would love to hear what some of your favorite products are in the comments!