I feel like such an overachiever getting out a second blog within a week! That’s a big accomplishment for me 😉 I wanted to share what products, toys, etc worked best for our family. I’ll also share some things that people told me were “must haves” and they turned out to be regrets! Remember, what works for one baby may not work for another… even within the same family! (I know Peyton is not 6 months yet but pretty much.. ish lol)
- Muslin swaddle blankets & Halo swaddles- While we did use the muslin swaddles for swaddling some nights, we didn’t really use them often for sleep. They are SO useful for so many things though! Burp clothes, play mats, and just cuddle blankets. They get softer the more you wash them and I love them! Halo swaddles worked best for Peyton. It was WAY harder for her to “bust out” of them since they have velcro. They were super easy for middle of the night diaper changes and they are awesome for transitioning! You don’t HAVE to keep their arms inside and they still feel the security of the swaddle. Regrets… receiving blankets and the “summer infant swaddles”. There is nothing a receiving blanket does that a muslin can’t. The summer infant swaddles were TOO tight in the hip area for Peyton. I didn’t feel they were very healthy for her hips and her breech legs didn’t help with that either. This is her in her Halo with the next must have! 🙂
- Co-sleeper bassinet- I am a believer in safe sleeping habits for babies. The co-sleeper bassinet kept her close to us in our bed, while also being separated god forbid we rolled over on her or she got caught up in our blankets. She slept in it until she was 4 months old and now she sleeps all night in her crib, in our room. I bring her in my bed once in a while in the mornings if she decides to go back to sleep. She is strong enough now to lift her own head and roll over if she needed to and she is no where near my blanket. Still, I would never leave her in our bed all night. Some people choose to do that which is fine! To each their own, but that doesn’t work for us 🙂
- Rock’n’play – This was a LIFE SAVER for us. Peyton struggled terribly with reflux. After feedings we would have to hold her upright FOREVER. When laying her down flat, she would start having terrible reflux. The rock’n’play has an incline and it helped her tremendously. We only used it for short naps, never throughout the night. I wasn’t comfortable leaving her in there all night. We just now stopped using it for cat naps since she sleeps either in her crib or on the floor nowadays 😉
- Owlet- That brings me to the BEST product we bought. The owlet. It is pricey, but it was worth EVERY penny. I sleep so much better knowing she has it on. It detects her heart rate and oxygen levels constantly. The base station will notify us if her levels go out of the norm. It is extra reassurance for me and nothing beats peace of mind for a new mommy! (We will be using this for as long as it allows).
- Diaper genie- LOTS of people told me that this was a waste. LOTS of people didn’t know that I had experience with these already, at my old job. As soon as my school decided they didn’t want to pay for the refills, our toddler bathroom smelled HORRIFIC. While the bags do get expensive, I feel it is worth it for her room not to smell. The only time ANY smell gets out of that thing is when we wait too long to change the bag and the top is slightly open. Just laziness on our part! No fault of the genie!
- Side snap onesies- Not only are they super cute, but they made changing a delicate newborn EASY. I didn’t have to pull onesies over her precious tiny face and push her little skinny arms up through the holes!
- Play gym- She used this since day 1 for tummy time. I have it under 3-6 because that is when she REALLY started utilizing it. My gym had the toys up SUPER high which I didn’t like. It didn’t allow her to get any satisfaction from pulling the toys and being able to put them to her mouth. SO I added some links to each dangling toy and voila!
- Sit-Me-Up Seat- Peyton LOVES her sit-me-up. She comes to life in it! I started putting her in it for short periods of time once she was able to hold her head up easily. She enjoys being a part of the conversation and she gets to look around like a big girl! (Remember, no baby gear should be used for long periods of time. I keep her in it for 20 minutes tops).
- Teething toys- Peyton showed early signs of teething at 3 months. I really love the teethers that go in the freezer or in the fridge. I can tell it soothes her 🙂
- Sleep sacks- This is what she started using once her startle reflex settled down. Babies sleep better in cooler temperatures and so does mommy 😉 The sleep sacks keep her warm without having loose blankets in the crib. Again, safe sleeping habits!
- Books- Obviously this is something you should do from day 1. We always read to Peyton and we also make it a part of her bed time routine. She is already starting to love books! Reading to babies helps them build their vocabulary.. among so many other benefits. I swear she tries to read and turn the pages already!
A few more regrets to quickly address…
Binkies. This doesn’t go for everyone, believe me! Peyton just never wanted to take one. We have SO MANY and she hates them all… unfortunately lol Plus side, that’s not something we will have to wean her off of later on down the road!
Boppy. EVERYONE told me how helpful this would be for feedings… especially post c-section. We MAY have used it 5 times. I felt it was awkward and uncomfortable. I still have it so she can use it now for support while learning to sit up on her own but I didn’t like it for feedings.
Glider. This was more helpful to me while I was pregnant than it is now. I couldn’t sit on my squishy couch without my round ligaments tightening up. We bought one early and that is what I sat on in my living room until I had her. We used it throughout the night in the VERY beginning but it is NOT a necessity. Save the money.
This got super long… whoops! Hopefully you’re all still here and this was helpful to you if you are expecting or for someone you know! Again, these are the things that worked for OUR family and MAY work for yours! I have always been passionate about psychology but also about early childhood education. It was a dream of mine to start a home daycare but it just isn’t feasible in this house at this point in our lives. I will be doing some toddler homeschooling for Peyton when that time comes. I actually plan on starting some school activities for her soon and I’ll be writing blogs on that! It’s never too early to start learning 🙂