Baby Stuff: What to skip and What’s a Must!

I’m a new mom. And only by 2.5 months. So I’m not expert on parenting or baby gear. But, I’ve learned a thing or two on what works for us. I’ve also learned that there are some products that I swear by, and some I could do without.

I’ve had a few friends reach out about a few products I have used and I thought I’d make this post on the products I love. Every baby is different, so what has worked for Wilder might not work for our next one.

These are items I wish I knew about before I registered for baby gifts. I feel like I registered and received things we were told we’d need (internet and commercials), but didn’t really need them. Or won’t need them until later on.

[these are products I love and found and am not being paid]

MUSTS:

1. Snuggle Me Co-Sleeper ($90)and Love to Dream Swaddle ($25) [both pictured below]:

I have been getting a lot of questions about my swaddle. Wilder liked being swaddled in the hospital, but didn’t so much like it at home. He loved having his arms up by his face, so we started to swaddle with his arms up. Next thing you know, the swaddle would be over his face. So, one night while on Instagram, I found this amazing swaddle. He can still use his hands to soothe and move his arms without worrying about a blanket. It’s very easy to change his diaper because it has two zippers. When he was about a month old, we woud use this to help calm him down if he was fussy. It worked great. Also, because newborns have the startle reflex and flail their arms waking them up, this helps with that. Now that he has gotten a little older and bigger, we mostly use this for night sleeping only. As soon as he’s ready for bed, we use this with our nighttime routine. And right when he wakes up for the day, I take his arms and legs out so he can stretch.

The second is the co sleeper – praise! We have now traveled a few times and  haven’t had to worry about bringing a bassinet/pack n play/or rocker. We just bring his pillow. Yes – we co sleep (sometimes). Jake hated to co sleep at the beginning because he was worried he’d roll over on him. Me, I’m a light sleeper anyway, and would worry when he wasn’t with me. After about 3 weeks or so of him sometimes sleeping with us and sometimes sleeping in his rock and play, I found this. Another Instagram find. Actually, the version I found was the Dockatot. This is awesome and more people use it, but it was super expensive for my taste. Either one is a must for me! He sleeps so good in it that once we moved him to this, he was sleeping about 4-5 hours a night. Now, he’s sleeping 7-10 hrs a night.

Imagine going from the cozy womb to a big open crib with no blankets or anything. Both of these products help him still feel cozy and safe.

2. Solly Baby Wrap ($65)

There are many versions of this – but I found the Solly Wrap. You guessed it. Instagram. This TTC community is amazing. I love following new moms because we can help each other out with products like these.

This was a LIFE SAVER when I first got it. I don’t know how I survived my first 2 weeks without it. For real it helps calm him down and sleep. He would sleep for about 3 hours in this thing and I could do laundry, put dishes away, text, etc. This thing is amazing. The past few times I’ve tried now at 2 months he isn’t quite sure about it. One thing is that he likes to face outward now, and another because I really haven’t been using it that much. But this is pretty awesome. We even used it at the dog park and Target a few times. Kind of expensive at $65, but it was worth it for him to sleep a few hours and me to be hands free.

3. ($35) Fisher Price Sit Me Up

This is new for us. And new as in we’ve had it for 2 days. But, I love it. Wilder loves it. He’s now at that age where is wanting to see things and he likes to stand and sit. Like I said above, he likes to be facing outward now, so this seat helps him sit up and it supports his head. He smiles and plays in it. I can have him sit in it and read books to him. He is also starting to grab things, so he’s loving this. It’s also nice for when he’s older too. And yes, I saw an Instagram person using this so of course, had to try it!

I’m actually looking online to get another one so I can take it to work with me. He sat in this for about a half hour cooing and playing and loving it. And Mommy got to eat and brush her teeth.

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3. Glider

I researched what to get for our nursery and I found an amazing double rocker. It wasn’t a glider, but it was nice for when he would be a baby and also when he would be a toddler. We could sit and read together. However, I’m hardly in the nursery. And the rocker rocks and moves across the floor. I did use this much more at the beginning and it is comfortable. But, I found that I loved the glider we had used in the hospital too. We ended up buying one and putting it in our living room. I still love both, but love having one in the living room where I am most of the time.

4. Gas Drops/Gripe Water

These are just great because sometimes babies get gassy and it won’t come out. Also, Wilder gets the hiccups a lot, so Gripe Water instantly gets rid of them. I mostly will use at night if he can’t sleep because of hiccups.

5. Fisher Price Rock and Play ($62)

We received a similar one for our baby shower and we loved it. Wilder likes to sleep in it or take naps. I would for sure recommend one with an automatic rocker. We used this the first 2 weeks and it worked good for him to sleep in. Now I use it to put him in while I shower and while we are eating dinner. It also vibrates.

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6. Owlet Baby Monitor ($249)

This was one of the things I wanted the most. Being a new mom is scary and even if you had other kids this would be great). It relieved a lot of anxiety and stress at night. We used this for about the first month and a half. This saved me lots of nights worrying. It’s a heartbeat and oxygen monitor and it will get through those first few weeks. The only downside is that it’s connected to your wifi. Yes, the app is super nice. But our wifi sometimes is spotty. So, in the middle of the night, the alarm would go off and scare us to death. Only to find out it’s the alarm that the base station as disconnected.

We haven’t used this in a while since we have the co sleeper bed and he’s in our room. But we plan to use it again once he’s in the crib.

SKIP:

1. Mamaroo 

Ok, I mean, some babies LOVE this! Wilder however, does not. I would say if you have the budget or find one for a good deal try it out. We are only holding onto ours to see if he will warm up to it. But this $270 (plus $40 infant insert) isn’t worth it to me.

You can easily skip this and get the Fisher Price Rock and Play for more than half the cost. Another thing Wilder does like more than the Mamaroo is a swing as well.

Not hating the Mamaroo because many of my mom friends swear by it, but it just didn’t work for Wilder. And the cost…wah wah…at least I got mine used for $150.

2. Crib

Ok, I’m not saying skip this entirely, but I spent way too much time stressing and worrying about a crib. He’s used it 3 times. Only once overnight and the other two for about 2 minutes. Yes, you’ll need one eventually, but I certainly could have waited to get one. They are expensive and I feel bad this is just sitting there not being used. I know he will use it soon, but ya, I could have waited.

The only positive thing was that it’s done. But if you’re money conscious, I would get a bassinet or pack and play and the cosleeper before you need to get a crib. Jake would argue, “When you were pregnant, you wanted that room done, so we needed the crib” And I agree. But it’s something that I don’t think we needed right away.

3. Nuk Single Electric Breastpump

I don’t know how this has a 3 star rating. This was crap. I took this to NYC with me for Bridal Market and it hardly worked. I usually can pump 3-5 oz and I got 1 oz from both sides. I tried again another time on my trip and it wasn’t even worth the hassle. My boobs still hurt and I didn’t get any milk from it.

Instead I would have rather got a battery pack or the Medela Swing Pump. I didn’t want to spend $150-$300 for another pump, but honestly having one of these would have saved me A LOT of stress. I did end up having to buy a hand pump while in Manhattan and that worked better than the Nuk.

Pass.

Other notes:

We took back a handful of items from our baby showers. Not that we didn’t appreciate them, but we found that they just didn’t work for us.

  • Baby  Bather – he loves baths and hated this. It was hard for him to sit in and he was cold
  • Bottle Warmer – we’ve been giving him cold bottles and he’s fine
  • Blankets – we love having blankets, but started running out of room to put them
  • Baby Towels – we just got too many
  • Travel Bassinet – we found he likes the co sleeper more

We were able to take back a few thing and put that toward our baby monitor. That doesn’t get much use since he’s not in the crib yet. But we know we’ll get our use out of it one day.

It’s hard when you’re a new mom to know what to get and what your baby will like. I would have loved more breastfeeding/pumping gear instead of other things. I felt like I was at Target so much getting those little things we needed. It’s so hard to know sometimes.

We are still figured it out. I’m glad we did get some things for when he’s older, but we have no clue where to put it. Someone needs to invent something just to put all the random baby stuff you need, but don’t know what to do with!

I hope I helped with a few things we love and a few lessons I learned.

Here’s some baby pics because he’s just too damn cute:

Wilder Kipp Fahlsing [2 months]

Since it’s about midnight – I’m sure I’m forgetting something. If you have a product you love, I’d love to hear about it!

xoxo Kolby and Wilder

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