Our oldest will be five soon. As far as I can tell, everything about parenthood can be divided into two columns: “the stuff that everyone tells you about it”, and “you literally could not make this up”. It is thrilling, and joyful, and frustrating, and exhilarating, and terrifying, all at the same time. As your baby learns and grows, you do too. Somewhere in those blurry, first days you make the transition from “I have no clue what I’m doing” to “this is exactly what I was made to do” and sometimes, “I know exactly what I’m doing, thanks stranger at the grocery store!”
Sometimes I would give so much to hold that tiny, cooing version of the small human who sometimes calls me dude when he is frustrated with me now. (I know it’s been a week since you last tried but NOPE, STILL NOT OKAY.)
I was going through the kids’ closets the other day and I started thinking about the most useful things we bought or received when they were babies and there were definitely some things on that list that I have no idea how we’d have survived without. So I thought I would share my list of very useful things, for baby and mom.
// For Baby
// 1. Thanks to the Boppy, I successfully breastfed both of our kids until they were almost 21 months each without either of my arms falling off. Yay! I seriously considered buying an extra one just to keep in the car for all those backseat feedings in the early days.
// 2. I used our Ergobaby carrier ALL. THE. TIME. It was extremely helpful when I needed to get things done around the house with a clingy baby and it made everything from getting through airports, to quick trips to the mall with baby a breeze.
// 3. The Sleep Sheep is a great (and cuddly) little white noise machine. Both of our kids have had one since birth and I think it really helped them tune out and learn to fall asleep when they were babies. True story: they STILL use their sheep when they go to bed every night. (Because who doesn’t want to fall asleep to crashing waves?)
// 4. I’m not saying this should be the star of the show if you’re looking for gift ideas, but it is VITAL to the newly nursing mom. Lansinoh lanolin would be a great addition to a gift basket.
// 5. The NoseFrida. So I was aware of the NoseFrida when little O was a baby, but I was a new parent and still all, EW GROSS SNOT SUCKING, NO. I’m not sure what finally compelled me to buy one of these bad boys with my second (probably just having a very snotty baby), but it is worth every penny and possibly a few more. There is absolutely not a single thing out there as effective as this is at unclogging those little tiny noses. And yes, it does have a filter and no, you aren’t going to inhale any snot.
// 6. THE BABY BURRITO. I’m going to go ahead and credit the SwaddleMe as THE reason we were able to transition our babies to sleeping in their own beds so early (about two weeks old) and so seamlessly. It gives baby the secure feeling of being swaddled, and the velcro tabs ensure that you aren’t having to re-wrap it every time he or she moves. It also keeps baby nice and warm without the risks of having blankets in the crib.
// For Mom
// 1. When you’re so wrapped up in all-baby-everything (as you should be), it’s such a nice surprise when someone thinks of you. Getting baby’s initial on a pretty necklace for mom (like this necklace by Lulu Frost) would be such a sweet gift.
// 2. Bath bombs. I could not get enough of Lush scents when I was pregnant. They are so cheerful and pretty and never overpowering. This is for the pregnant mom, of course. Because bubble baths once you have a newborn? LOL, maybe next year.
// 3. I pretty much lived in my fluffy bathrobe for the first few weeks of motherhood. It’s comfortable, not restrictive, and makes for easy nursing. It was also really nice to have something cozy and familiar to wear at the hospital. This robe from L.L.Bean would make a really useful gift for an expecting mom.
// 4. I’m not sure if everyone gets the urge to scratch their skin off when their belly starts to grow, but I definitely did. I tried a ton of different creams and lotions and one of the only things that helped stop the itching was this Supple Skin Oil from L’Occitane. Plus it smells like heaven. I still buy this occasionally because it reminds me of when I was pregnant.
// 5. One fact about the early days of motherhood is that they are not the cleanest. Showers, at least for me, were few and far between (sorry, everyone I encountered) and dry shampoo was my best friend. Lush makes a great dry shampoo that has a really nice (light!) scent that won’t break the bank.
// 6. Slippers were another part of my daily new mom uniform and something that I’m so glad I brought with me to the hospital. I like that these UGG slippers have an actual sole on the bottom.