It took me a year to settle on the perfect cutting board. We’re down to two forks because I haven’t found the just-right ones to replace the mysteriously missing ones yet. Now, at around 8 months’ pregnant, with a long list of seemingly exotic new baby stuff to consider, I’ve realized I don’t have time to agonize over every buying decision the way I usually do. To make sure I don’t waste money and apartment space on anything useless, I asked momfilter’s contributors: What items did you swear by as a new parent?
The Beaba steamer: You can steam veggies then puree them in the same container. It’s got a timer and you can’t really blow it. Anything with a timer is good when you have a kid because you are constantly distracted.
My other most important purchase was a good bouncy seat — I had the simple Baby Bjorn Bouncer — that fits on your kitchen counter and is easy to move from room to room. I put Imogen in it while I made dinner and she would crash out.
A swaddling blanket. We honestly couldn’t have lived without it. They didn’t have Aden + Anais when my kids were born. If they had, they are what I would have used. They’re lightweight so the baby doesn’t get overheated and they’re extra long.
Samantha Razook Murphy
I definitely could not have done without Gripe Water (a fennel and ginger solution that immediately calmed newborn and baby fussiness when I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with my girls).
I loved the Ergo baby carrier. It’s way better on the back than other carriers. The Snap-N-Go (which carries a newborn carseat) has tons of room underneath, and is super-lightweight and cheap. I was sad both times when the boys outgrew it and graduated to MacLarens. And the tricked-out Medela Pump in Style breast pump is completely worth it if you’re going to be pumping at work.
These are truly the only things that looking back, I would get again. (For my daughter, anyhow–all kids are different.):
The Diaper Genie: I wouldn’t want dirty diapers in my house without it.
Twilight Turtle: This is a part of her bedtime ritual, and she has almost always been a good overnight sleeper. She is a crap napper, but that’s a different story.
Happiest Baby on the Block: Almost all the stuff I swear by are “Happiest Baby on the Block”- related. I didn’t get the book, but I did watch the You Tubes of how important the “Five S’s” are (swaddling, shushing, sucking, swaying, side/stomach position).
Pacifier! I started with the fancy German latex one, then the Soothie…and finally, finally!, she kept the Gerber Nuk in her mouth. (So when you think, “Oh, he won’t take a pacifier” he might actually just not take that kind of pacifier. Discerning tastes, babies have!)
We’re fans of the Baby Bjorn plastic bibs, which we’ve used for both boys (they’re useful from infancy all the way up to when they don’t need bibs anymore). Durable, pretty easy to rinse/hand-wash for something with a pocket, dishwasher-safe, and utilitarian.
It doesn’t get much hotter than the Easy Expression Pumping Bra. I actually made a Valentine’s card for my husband of me in this bra and we still managed to have a second child. You’ll never find yourself wistfully reading a novel while using this bra as the package’s picture misleads you to believe. You will however be grateful to let both your hands fall to your sides as you stare off into space riddled with exhaustion.
And this is by far one of the best suggestions anyone ever gave me: The Ultimate Crib Sheet, which lies on top of the mattress with six elastics to attach around the bedpost. Here’s the scenario it will save you from: It’s 3am and you haven’t been asleep yet. Baby has peed through her diaper, or less rarely, vomited. You now have to untie the 100 strings of the baby bumper, lift out the very tight elastic wrap-around sheet. You’ll probably have to even lift of the mattress to get the fitted sheet under it and then tie the 100 strings of the baby bumper. Now, there aren’t really 100 strings but remember you haven’t been asleep yet, so this is what it feels like.
Or…with this sheet you can just unsnap your six elastics, lift out the wet flat sheet and either put baby down on the clean fitted sheet or, if you’re not feeling so lucky, put another Ultimate Crib Sheet down. An absolute lifesaver.