I apologize for the radio silence last week in terms of the blog. We’ve had some changes over here, especially in our routine, that have us in a slight adjustment period. Your patience is much appreciated while I do my best to keep up with blog posts during this period.
Today I want to talk baby products. As an expecting mom I honestly had no idea what would be essential, necessary, or important to have for when baby arrived. There were quite a few things I thought for sure we’d need right away, or others I thought would be fine to wait for, and some things I didn’t even know existed that ended up being our saving grace in rough patches.
Everyone has their own journey, and not all babies respond to the same methods or products, but I do know that preparing for baby can feel extremely overwhelming. I thought I would share our list of baby products that were “essential” for us, in hopes that it will be helpful or useful for someone.
Snuggle Me Pillow
This is my number one, favourite baby product of all time. If you guys don’t know what it is, it’s a sensory lounger designed to make baby feel that their being held or touched. It’s basically a big, oval, snug body pillow that you place baby in for comfort. And let me tell you: it works. Carter was always a pretty good sleeper, considering he was a newborn. A little over a month after giving birth we received the pillow at our baby shower. We started using it right away, while also swaddling, and immediately Carter went from sleeping 2-4 hours, to around 6 on average at night, and always around 2 hours at a time during the day.
This pillow is also easy to bring anywhere. We used to bring it basically everywhere we went after we got it. We could lay it on a bed in a quiet room and he’d sleep through anything, which helped us feel like we had a bit more freedom.
It also helped us with transitioning him to sleeping in his crib in his own room. Starting with naps we would put the pillow right in his crib and that’s where he’d sleep. Eventually he moved in there for bed time too, until he ultimately didn’t need it anymore.
This pillow is effective, as well as extremely convenient. I highly recommend it to ANY new mom; especially the ones trying to catch a few extra Z’s.
I know that these are controversial in the parenting world, but ours was also a saving grace for sleep. Carter went from sleeping 2 hours at a time, to about 4 at a time in the very beginning. The rocking motion was soothing for him, and it helped us get some much needed rest.
There are many different styles of sleep sacks on the market. I believe the most common or most popular style is the sleeveless sleep sack, however, our favourite style actually came from a friend of ours who is quite impressive with a sewing machine. She purchased a Zipadee-Zip swaddle online for her daughter and fell in love with it. It worked really well for them, so she decided to try to make her own “homemade” version. Soon she was making them for a few of us as well.
Basically it’s designed to be an “in-between”, transition-type swaddle. It has full-length arms, however they’re a little constricted in terms of movement to still give them the same kind of comfort/security, while also allowing a little freedom.
This sack also helped in establishing a bed time routine. Putting him in his sleep sack is a sign that it’s bed time, and time to settle.
I suppose he probably doesn’t need one anymore, but I think if something works why change it?
I highly recommend sleep sacks to all moms, especially those trying to transition out of newborn swaddling.
This thing is awesome. It kept Carter occupied for what felt like hours at a time. I was able to get some things done, all while he was having a great time and could still see me. It was great to help with boredom, exercise for baby, and freeing up a little time to get a few extra things done.
Carter really struggled with tummy issues and gas as a newborn. For quite a few months actually. We felt that his gas would cause him to wake up more frequently in the night some nights, and he seemed to be in quite a bit of discomfort. Our friend told us about Ovol Drops — because I’m sorry, but gripe water doesn’t really do anything — and thank goodness she did. I guess the difference is that these drops actually break up the gas bubbles in their stomach. They were absolutely essential for us, for months. I’d give Carter a drop before, during, or right after a feed and he’d literally sleep like a baby.
I highly recommend Ovol to all moms with babies experiencing gas problems.
As gross as I used to think this contraption was, it has also become an essential in our household. Carter hasn’t been sick much, I think only twice, but when he was he’d get completely congested. He’d wake up in his sleep from not being able to breathe (which was both sad and scary), and he’d scream while we sucked the snot out of his nose, but it truly works so well. We’d be able to suck out enough that he could go back to sleep for the night. I promise it will never come close to your mouth. There’s a filter. It sounds disgusting, but trust me. Suck it up (joke intended) and get one.
I sucked at swaddling. I’m sure I still do. Cody, surprisingly, turned out to be the Swaddle Master, if you will. We were given this little swaddle sack as a hand-me-down and it quickly became the only thing I’d put him in myself. I’m not sure how exactly to explain it, but it makes swaddling your baby so much easier. So. Much. Easier. It was the saddest day when he grew out of that thing.
I recommend these to anyone who struggles with swaddling, or just wants an easier way to do it.
Snaps suck. End of story. They are a pain, especially when your baby is older and squirms the entire time you’re trying to get them ready for bed. Do yourself a favour and just buy the onesies with zippers. For you and your friends. You and your friends will thank you later.
We received a Bonds Wondersuit by a friend after we had Carter, and I am now absolutely obsessed. They are made with the most breatheable material, with a zipper at both the top AND the bottom. Yes, you read that right, two zippers. This comes in handy when you’re changing a diaper and don’t want to almost completely undress them. It’s honestly amazing. They also come with sleeves that can fold over the hands, but the amazing part is that the same can be done to the feet! I’ve washed and dried his Wondersuits (of course I have multiple now) many times and they do not shrink. They are the best quality, and the best design.
They’re an Australian company so shipping is a little pricey, but honestly so worth it.
Do your baby a favour and get one (or four).
Seriously, there’s nothing better than hand-me-downs. We were SO lucky to receive so many useful baby products & clothing from multiple sources. Seriously, a lot of the big things we needed in the beginning we didn’t have to buy at all. From a crib & dresser set, to our baby swing, bassinet, highchair, and a million bags of clothes, we were pretty set and so thankful. My biggest piece of advice to any new mom is to accept hand-me-downs wherever and whenever you can. They come in handy, and they save you some money. Babies grow out of stages, toys, and clothing so quickly it’s almost not worth buying everything brand new if you don’t have to.
There were many products that have been helpful along our journey, but these have definitely been the most significant for us.
Like I said, we won’t all have the same experience, but I hope that some of the things on our list can be helpful for other new moms as well.
Feel free to drop your favourite baby product in the comments.