When I was pregnant I dreamed of maternity leave. I dreamed of blissful days away from my work routine just cuddling my new sweet little baby. Sometimes I look back at my naïve, blissful pregnant self and laugh. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed my maternity leave so much and I miss spending my days with my peanut. However, maternity leave was no vacation and most certainly was not blissful. Some days my husband would come home to a super messy house, along with a super messy wife and I couldn’t even remember if I had brushed my teeth. Showering suddenly became a new luxury for me as did sleep. Sleep and I had been good friends for so many years and just like that my friend was gone. I had gone 33 years doing whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted and now I had to pray for a few minutes just to shower! I spent so much time during my pregnancy decorating the nursery making sure everything was perfect when I should have been preparing for the complete chaos that would now be my life. My little girl is the best thing that has ever happened to me and I wouldn’t trade a second; I was just so clueless as to what becoming a new mom was really like. I was so tired of hearing my friends with children telling me to “sleep now” and enjoy your “me time” while you can. Needless to say, I now understand this advice. I vowed that when I started my blog that I would post about the “must have” products that saved my husband and I during the newborn phase. This post may contain affiliate links however all opinions are my own and I truly feel as though these products made life just a little easier for us. I wish someone had made a list like this for me before I had my little one; it might have saved me a few break downs!
- Dock a Tot. This one was a total lifesaver for us. My little one would not sleep anywhere but on me during the first 6-8 weeks of life. She would fall into a blissful sleep and then as soon as I would try to put her in her bassinet or anything safe other than me she would instantly wake up and cry. My husband and I were so tired and desperate, we didn’t know what to do. The dock a tot saved our lives as she would sleep at least 4 hours in this at night. By 8 weeks we actually put the dock a dot in her bassinet and this worked wonders. By 10 weeks she was sleeping 8 hours a night in this!
- 2. The Zen swaddle. I swaddled by baby until she was about 3-4 months old. This was the only way she began to sleep more than 4-5 hour stretches at night. The zen swaddle was amazing because it is weighted and made her feel as though she was still being held. This was the only swaddle that gave us more than a four hour stretch of sleep.
3. Harry Karp’s “Happiest baby on the block” video. This video was given as a gift to me by a very dear friend who has twins! After 3 full days of no sleep and a fussy baby, I remembered I had this video. The advice was so simple, yet so effective. The techniques described in this video ( the 5 “S”‘s) helped to calm my baby in a matter of minutes. I will buy this video for every friend of mine as a baby shower gift!
4. White Noise App. My baby loves noise, the sound of the ocean and music. We discovered a white noise app and it still works so great for us. She is now sleeping in her crib and we play the white noise for her each night. The app that we used is called white noise on the iPhone.
5. Mamo Roo swing. This swing is the just simply the best. This is the only thing my baby would nap in during those first 6-8 weeks of life. This swing has settings that mimic a car ride and even a bouncing kangaroo ( which our baby just loved). The mama roo was a lifesaver and gave me some time to do some things around the house, shower or just lay down. I used to put the swing in the bathroom with me so I could see her when I showered or when I was getting ready. I’m honestly not sure what we would have done without this.
6. Graco click connect snug ride jogging stroller. This accounts for our infant car seat as well. I took my baby for walks almost every day on maternity leave. This stroller is great because the infant carseat clicks right into the stroller and you don’t have to disturb your sleeping baby! It also works great on the beach! I think you should get double the calorie burn for jogging with a baby, that is hard work! There is plenty of storage underneath and a place for cell phone, keys and two cup holders. It is also reasonably priced for everything you get, in my opinion.
7. Baby wearing. Newborns just love to be held. During those early days I literally think my baby was attached to me 24 hours a day. Baby wearing was great because I could try to get some things done around the house or give my arms a break and she loved it. Sometimes this was the only way she would take a nap. I personally received the Eddy Bauer 3-in-1 comfort baby carrier as a gift from my mom and used it almost every day for the first 3 months.
8. Wipe warmer. I know some moms feel as though this is not a necessity. However, my little one would scream when her wipes were cold; such a diva! The munchkin warm glow baby wipe warmer just made diaper changes so much easier for my husband and I. Life is just better with a happy baby!
9. Fisher price 4-in-1 sling N seat tub. This tub is so great. The sling kept our baby in just enough water to be safe and so she was warm. She loves this tub and has never once cried when being in it. It has made bath time so much fun for us.
10. Medela advanced on the go breastpump. I initially received a generic breast pump from my insurance for free when I had my baby. If I had known anything about breast feeding, I would have argued for a better one. I read a lot of books, but I had no idea what I was doing. Let’s just say, after many tears and melt downs trying to build my supply, a friend and midwife finally asked me why I didn’t have a Medela pump. I ended up ordering the medela advanced on the go breast pump because I wanted something that would travel well once I did return to work. This pump is worth every single penny. It is so easy to use, easy to clean and the suction is fantastic. I was able to pump so much more and I stopped stressing about not making enough milk when I returned to work. I would recommend this pump to all moms that will have to be away from their baby during the day and don’t want to stress about a dip in supply.
So this is my list of the top ten products that my husband and I could not have lived without. Like new parents, we were desperate to just make our baby happy and also for some sleep! What products do you feel as though you could not have lived without? Would love to hear your thoughts!
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