When I discovered that I was pregnant with babyZ, my first impulse was not to rest or start eating better, but was to go shopping! I started pinning ideas for the nursery I will design like a maniac, I personally visited every stroller available in the market and I oohed and aahed over pretty dresses (mind you, this was even before I knew the gender). So the result of this deranged behavior was that I accumulated more stuff than I needed. Not to mention what happened after we discovered we were having a daughter. If I could go back in time and talk to the newly pregnant loony that I was, I would tell her to CALM DOWN! We are not preparing for Armageddon. The stores are here and will still be there when your baby comes into the world. But there are some decisions that I made (or were made for me) that I am extremely happy with. There are millions of comprehensive lists available online which you can look at if you are shopping for your new baby. This is not anything like that. These are some things that I got a lot of use out of in the first few months of babyZ’s life. And if someone ever comes to me for advice, I will tell them to invest in these.
Chicco Next to me Crib – This is a small bedside crib with one side that completely zips down and can be attached to your bed. So it is like co-sleeping but the mother and baby still have their own space. I know that co-sleeping isn’t really recommended anymore, but this is completely different. You can’t roll over to your baby’s side of the bed, but it is very nice to be able to hold your baby’s hand when she’s sleeping. It was great for late night feedings because I didn’t have to get out of bed per se (still had to sit up). And I am sure new parents will agree that in the first few days to be able to make sure that your baby is alive by touching her as soon as you open your eyes can save your sanity. It is a very light crib and can be moved about when cleaning. BabyZ slept in hers for a good 8 months but then it became too dangerous to leave her unattended in it as the sides are not too high. I guess it is not meant to be used for babies who can sit up on their own. It was easy to assemble and can be packed flat when not in use anymore. I loved it and will without a doubt use it again. (I bought mine at http://www.mumzworld.com/en/chicco-sleepin-cot-dove-209381).
Mamaroo – This is an infant seat and I must say that this is amazing. It was a gift from my sister and I will forever be thankful for it. You know the first few days of bringing the baby home, when you are so tired that you could fall asleep standing, the postpartum depression kicks in and the dreaded colic begins, you definitely need the mamaroo. It has very gentle swaying motions and a humming sound which put the baby to sleep. The seat’s incline angle can be adjusted as your baby grows. It also has some in-built sounds but we never used them. There are some soft toys hanging from the seat which kept babyZ engaged for long times and later on we replaced them with other hanging toys to keep her interested. The mamaroo came in very handy when we decided to wean babyZ earlier than usual. She couldn’t sit in her high chair then so I used to feed her in the mamroo and once she threw up all over the seat. I put the removable cover in the washing machine and it was as good as new. A highly recommended investment. (My sister bought mine from http://www.mumzworld.com/en/4moms-mamaroo-3-0-multi-plush).
Baby Monitor – I don’t know what I would do without my baby monitor? Especially in the early weeks. I would constantly be rushing to the bedroom to check on my baby and disturbing her sweet slumber in the process. I won’t say that having a monitor totally relaxed me, but it definitely helped a teeny bit. I could take a shower while she was asleep and sometimes we napped on the living room sofa, all the while having the trusty monitor next to us. It was especially great when we were sleep training babyZ (but more on that in another post). The one I have has a built-in projector and when after a couple of months, babyZ was able to look at the shapes projected on the ceiling, it was really relaxing to lie down with her and watch them. She still loves to look at them and I still love the peace of mind it provides. Every mother needs it, no matter how big or small your home is. (I have this model from Avent https://www.amazon.co.uk/Philips-Monitor-SCD580-01-Projector/dp/B00D9EZZVS).
Bath Seat – Before babyZ was born, I bought a standard bath tub from Mothercare along with the foam insert that goes into it. I don’t know how people bathe their days old babies in it? I used it only twice and I must say that it was extremely difficult to use, at least for me. It was nearly impossible to hold a squirmy baby with the added slip of the soap and wash her. It’s only a miracle that I did not drop her. The third day I went out and bought this bath seat and voila! The stress of bath times was gone. The seat can be inclined at four different angles. I must mention that now that babyZ can sit confidently, I use the Mothercare bath tub, but we only use it to play and splash water around the bathroom. And then we move over to the Summer seat for the bath. It’s a must have for every mom. (https://www.summerinfant.com/deluxebabybather?SKUID=1663)
Travel System – Buying babyZ’s stroller was probably one of the biggest decisions that we have taken as a couple. We argued and deliberated for days but eventually came out smelling like a rose. I am very glad that we invested in a travel system as opposed to buying a stroller and car seat separately. The car seat fits right on top of the stroller frame but you have to take out the stroller seat. This feature was especially useful in the first few months when babyZ was very tiny and felt more secure in the car seat. As she grew bigger, we started leaving the car seat in the car and making her used to the wide seat of the stroller. The only downside to this stroller is that it is a bit heavy. The Husband got a back ache once lifting it to the trunk of the car! So I would suggest lifting your stroller multiple times to trunk height in the store before deciding to buy it. (This is the one I have http://www.mamasandpapas.com/product-sola-mtx-pushchair-adaptors-blue-denim/4762m66w3/type-i/)
Bobby Pillow – I bought a bobby pillow with the best of intentions. Obviously to breast feed. Couldn’t do it, so it lived in the living room un-used for a month or two. One day I used it to prop up babyZ to feed her from the bottle. I loved the angle and support it provided. That day, the bobby pillow got a new life. It moved around the house with us. It earned another few points in my book when it offered great support to babyZ when she started sitting. Even when she was able to sit without support, we left the pillow behind her to cushion a fall. I still use it, now as a part of the enclosure I create in the living room to stop babyZ from reaching Tutu’s cage and eating his rejected food. For some reason she hasn’t figured out that she can easily go over it. One day she will, until then I will revel in the peace it provides. So whether you plan to breast or bottle feed your baby, you need a bobby pillow. (I bought mine from http://www.mumzworld.com/en/dr-browns-gia-nursing-pillow-pink).
Look out for the next part of this post which will be coming soon. There you will read about some smaller items and techniques that I believe I could not have survived without.