1. The Arms Reach Co-Sleeper Bassinet: In the last few days, Bug has a decided she doesn't want to be around anyone but me and she doesn't want to be put down. However, she sleeps in her co-sleeper every night very happily. It's close enough to where she can still be near me, and I can pat her tummy while she falls asleep. There is also a canopy that can be purchased separately, which has been a life saver because it keeps the cats out when we aren't in the room. You might remember, I had a little trouble with George and Lox using the co-sleeper as their personal love den.
2. The Sleep Sheep by Cloud B: This sheep plays 4 sounds (heart beat, ocean waves, rain and whales) for 23 or 45 minutes. After feeding Bug, I turn on the sheep to the whale noises and rock her to sleep and she is out cold in minutes. LOVE THIS! In fact, I love it so much, I'm getting the travel size so that we can keep it in the diaper bag. Cloud B also makes the same products with different animals.
3. The Sleepy Wrap. Did I mention my Bug will rarely let me put her down during the day without a fight? Did I also mention that the school I work for doesn't seem to understand the concept of maternity leave, so they call me constantly to do things. It would be impossible without the Sleepy Wrap. Its similar to the Moby, but personally, I prefer the fabric of the sleepy wrap. Bug can hang out in here for hours and I have heard, though we are definitely not there yet, that many moms can breastfeed their babies while in the wrap. That would be wonderful! It takes a few tries to get the hang of putting it one, but there are a ton of youtube videos to show you how to use it.
4. A swing. I don't care which. The only time Bug will let me put her down during the day is in a swing. I have one downstairs and one upstairs in the master bathroom, which has allowed me to shower daily, quite a feat for a new mom. Babies only use swings for so long and then their parents get rid of them to free up some space in their house. I got both of mine for free, but you can also find them cheap at garage sales and craigslist. There are a few things I would recommend looking for in a swing. First, one that allows you to adjust the amount that the seat is reclined is very nice to have. Secondly, I'd recommend one that can be plugged in and will use batteries.
5. The First Years Breastflow Bottle. Think you will be exclusively breastfeeding? So did I. And then I had a tongue-tied little girl. We haven't given up on breastfeeding yet, and these bottles are making the transition between bottle and breast a little easier for both of us. The baby needs to work to get the milk out of here, and these have really helped Bug get the hang of what she should be doing at my breast... these are like boobs with training wheels. If you are doing any bottle feeding, I'd recommend these highly. And its good to have a few bottles around so that you are prepared in the event of an emergency.
6. A breast pump. I registered for a Medela Pump in Style, but was fortunate that my health insurance also covered the first month of a rental for a hospital grade pump. Check into it and see what your insurance offers, but remember that breastfeeding supplies are now tax deductible. Wooohooh!
Also, make sure that you fill out that little card to register your breast pump. Mine has already been recalled and we haven't even used it yet.
7. Baby Gowns with Elastic. I registered for/bought a bunch of sleep sacks and we don't use them. These work so much better for late night changing. Also, she sweats like crazy in the sleep sacks, and that makes her angy. Nobody likes an angry baby. Oh, and notice the snaps next to the neck, they make life so much easier when you have a big headed newborn.
8. The Bob Revolution Stroller. I know, you don't want to spend $300 for a stroller, but it is so worth it. We also have a Snap-N-Go stroller (another easy to find used item... we got ours for free) that I keep in the car. The Snap-N-Go is easy to pull out of the car and to snap the car seat into, but it drives like a crappy car with no power steering. Its clumsy and difficult to turn and maneuver over bumps, even the tiny bump created by our door frame. The Bob handles all of this like a champ and handles so nicely. I still haven't been able to take it on a run, but I did take the hellion Daisy Dog with Bug and I for a walk and it was wonderful. I have a friend who also got one by having the person who threw her baby shower ask for donations toward the Bob from people who were stumped for gift ideas. That way, no one person has to shell out the cash for this guy.
We got the car seat adapter, which needed a few modifications to make it snug. Ask, and I'll show you what we did.
9. Seventh Generation Diapers and Wipes. We two packs of these newborn diapers from the woman my sister works for who has more money than time and bought the wrong size and never returned them. In our prenatal classes, the instructors warned us not to use wipes because newborn skin is so sensitive. They suggested using cotton balls. Yuck! Seriously?!?! If they want to come over and wipe my kids ass with a cotton ball, they are more than welcome to. But I decided that we'd use chlorine free, unscented wipes and diapers until there was a problem, and then, if we needed to, we'd switch. So far, so good. No rashes or irritations. The diapers are absorbent and high quality. The wipes are very thin, which sounds like it would be a problem, but actually, the worked much better than the Babyganics wipes we purchased first, which were much thicker and more expensive.
10. A pacifier. We worried about using one, especially since Bug was having so much trouble latching. However, after a few days of her attempting to suck her thumb and having a melt down every time it didn't work, we decided to try it. It made a huge difference in the number of melt downs we had in a day. We have been using the soothie and the gumdrop, both of which she likes. Several moms at my Mother and Me group suggested the Wubbanub Pacifier for older babies (right).
So that is my list... what were the things you couldn't live without as a new mom?