Getting pregnant is the first big step. The second big step is combing through all the different items you can add to your registry and figuring out which ones you really need and will actually use. The newborn market is flooded with tons of gadgets that companies have invented and made you believe you need to survive life with a new human. They are lying. Did you read my Homemade Baby Food blog? One of the items these companies try to sell you is a food processor specifically for making homemade purees. It’s a sham. They’re extremely small so making more than a days worth of food would take hours. Just use the one you already have. That is the type of gadget that is just there to get you to spend more money. Lucky for you, I was that expectant mom that thought I needed everything that I saw. But then I started reading parenting blogs and talking to friends to find out what I truly needed. I went through and removed items from my registry that I knew I likely would not use and despite that, I still ended up with items I used once, maybe twice. This post is here to save you from making the same mistake I did, or at least try to. Some things are just so cute and fun you want to buy them anyways! Below are the items that I think you should, without a doubt, purchase to make your new parenting days a little bit easier!
When people ask me what the one thing is that I would recommend to new moms my answer is always the Baby Brezza Formula Pro. You know that Keurig you have sitting over in the corner of your kitchen that you love to use every morning to make yourself a quick and delicious cup of coffee with zero effort? That is exactly what this is but for baby formula! When it came to light that our son had a cow’s milk allergy around two months old we needed to switch him to a special formula. For the first few days, my husband or I would get up and make bottles each and every time he needed to be fed. Scoop, measure, dump, pour water, shake, shake, shake. Repeat 4-5 more times throughout the day as necessary. Despite being time-consuming, making bottles can also be messy. After having enough of making bottles by hand, especially at 4am when I would be worried I was too exhausted to be measuring correctly, I gave in and got us one of these. It was nothing short of life-changing. You dump the entire can of formula into the top, fill with jug water, place the bottle underneath and press the desired number of ounces. Then, voila! In less than sixty seconds you have a perfectly measured bottle at the most ideal temperature. Yes, it comes with a pretty hefty price tag at $179.99, but what cost would you put on your sanity? Hint: the answer is any amount of money.
Two of the items that are probably the most popular to register for is a travel system/infant carrier combo and a play yard. I did quite a bit of research on the various travel systems, including going to Buy Buy Baby multiple times and taking them for a “test drive.” The UPPAbaby Vista ended up being our winner, and I am so glad it was. I love this stroller. It is like the Cadillac of baby strollers. We also went with the coordinating UPPAbaby Mesa car seat. The travel system comes with the base, which has an adjustable handlebar, a bassinet, toddler seat and some extra stuff like a bug net and water shield, neither of which have ever been used. The bassinet was perfect for neighborhood walks, especially during the colder days since you could load up the bassinet with blankets to keep baby warm while still sleeping perfectly on their back. I started using the toddler seat when our son was about five months old. I bought the infant snug seat to help with the fit and head control, but I loved that you have the ability to make the seat forward or parent-facing, as well as the ability to fold up the stroller without removing the seat. I still use the vista today (it lives in my suburban and rarely gets taken out) and still think it is the bees-knees. It has a huge basket so when I am shopping there is plenty of space to store my items. I also use it for grocery shopping when I do not need a lot of stuff because there is plenty of room to put the items in the stroller. I have since added the snack tray attachment which is perfect for when we are going to be out for longer periods of time. His snacks and water are conveniently where he can reach them and I don’t have to worry about him dropping them all over the ground.
The play yard we decided to purchase is also something I believe that saved our sanity. Have you ever seen someone try to put together an old-school pack and play? It gives me anxiety just thinking about it. Cue the 4moms Breeze. My husband and I decided we needed to purchase a play yard for when we traveled. We also used it in our room to co-sleep for about three weeks. (Yes, our son was in his crib sleeping through the night at a month old. Parenting win!) You literally push with one hand to open it then pull on the handle with one hand to close it. My husband tried out the regular play yards at Buy Buy Baby and after about three minutes gave up and decided to spend the extra money on the Breeze. The one downside this product has is the bassinet and crib mattress. They are both very hard and thin. I cannot imagine they are very comfortable. Probably why our son never slept well in it until we cut a memory-foam mattress topper down to size so we could put it underneath the play yard sheet. He loves it now and sleeps like a baby when we go on vacations.
Another 4moms product we loved (we had every product of theirs at the time besides the highchair, which I still wish to this day that we had purchased instead of the one we ultimately chose), was the bathtub. I loved that the tub was easy to use in our sink and had a built-in temperature gauge so we knew if the water was too hot or too cold. The tub was set up to allow fresh water to flow in while dirty water flowed out. I’ve noticed with some infant tubs where the water doesn’t stay in the tub so the baby is just sitting there in the nude getting cold with the occasional warm water being splashed over them. I would be screaming too if I was cold in the tub. Unfortunately, it does not look like they are making these anymore. I’ve looked on BBB, Target, Amazon and the 4moms website and no one has them in stock. So if you are looking for a tub, I would definitely recommend one that has a built-in temp gauge and has the ability for you to keep the baby semi-immersed in water throughout the process.
One product I swear by but my husband refuses to use is the Fridababy NoseFrida. It is used to suck boogers out of your baby’s nose. It is not pretty or glamorous, but it works, and at the end of the day that is all that matters. Except to my husband; it freaks him out. He cannot bring himself to suck boogers out of our son’s nose using his mouth, despite the filter and long tube separating the two. He uses the old school bulb. I, on the other hand, always reach for the NoseFrida. I cannot say our son enjoys it, but it is effective and clears everything out so he can go back to breathing normally.
The final two things I really loved when our son was an infant and still love to this day are his sound machine and video monitor. We received the Skip Hop Moonlight & Melodies Elephant Nightlight Soother as a present. We were actually going to go sans a sound machine so I did not even have one on our registry. Man was I wrong for thinking that. This sound machine is simple but effective. It has an auto-off timer that can be set for 15, 30, 60 minutes, or you can choose continuous play. It has volume control, a built-in nightlight (that can be turned on and off), in addition to the moons and stars, it projects onto the ceiling. We take this with when we travel with our son. It is very helpful if we are staying in a house with other people because it drowns out the noises that could potentially keep him awake.
The video monitor we currently have, which is our second, is the Motorola MBP36XL. I wish we had bought this monitor originally. The parent unit is much larger with a better picture quality than our first, and there is no delay in the video. With our old monitor, we could hear our son cry in his room then a second later it would come through on the monitor. So we were hearing everything twice. I did like the feature on our old parent unit that I could set so when there was a noise in his room, the video screen on parent unit would automatically turn on. It was so bright in the middle of the night that I did not even need the sound to wake me. That adjustment was hard when we got this new one but after a couple days of figuring out how to use it, I love it so much more. And if I had never had that first monitor I would have been none the wiser that the auto-on was even a feature that existed.
There are so many other products we used when our son was an infant that we loved (see list below), but the ones listed above are the things that, if given the choice, we would buy again without hesitation. There are also different products that have been great as he has grown into his toddler years so I will do a separate post about those down the road. As with all things, the best advice I can give is do your research. No matter how menial you think the product is, research it. Read reviews and blogs. Watch videos. If you can, go to the store to test out the product. Buy products that fit your style, budget, and needs. Most products are going to get a mixture of good and bad reviews. If the overwhelming number of reviews are bad, then I would stir clear. But if they are 50/50, then I would say go with your gut. And most of all, save your boxes! Most stores will accept a return on a gently used product, especially if you have the box and original or gift receipt. I returned quite a few things to Target after opening them because they just didn’t live up to what I was expecting. With the good, there is always the bad. There are some products we had that were terrible, but those are for another post!
What is your favorite baby product? Is there something new on the market that trumps one of the ones above? Let me know in the comment section! You never know, I might need it for baby number two!
P.S. to all my friends and family reading this… no, I am not pregnant. I am still working on convincing DR we need another!
- Oxo Tot Perfect Pull Wipes Dispenser – you don’t need a warmer!
- Boppy Newborn Lounger – with this, while we loved it and used it daily, I would likely get a dockatot next time around.
- 4moms rockaRoo – we thought this was infinitely times better than the mamaroo.
- boba Wrap Baby Carrier – I never thought I would be a baby wrap person, but I loved this for baby-wearing around the house. The Ergo was better for on-the-go wear.