1. Fischer Price Rock N Play I had several friends mention this to me before Eowyn was born. They said it was a convenient napper-especially for travel-and a lot of babies had slept better in it than in their cribs. For us, Eowyn had a small bout of reflux in those early months and would really struggle to sleep. Out of sleep deprivation I remembered someone mentioning this and we ran to the store and got it. I won't say it was a miracle fixer, but I can tell that she sleeps in it better. I'd recommend it, especially for babies with reflux. I didn't have any issues with flat head or anything like that (Some amazon reviews claim that their baby got flat head-that has not been the case for me.) And it really is convenient. It's also nice when guests come over we can just move her into our room, or when we go to our parents she's still sleeping in her bed. We even managed to pack it into a suitcase for when we moved here. Talk about awesome.
2.Colic Calm- Another recommendation from those with babies with reflux-We've noticed that the tummy issues she was having greatly diminished with this. We tried gas drops and they didn't really seem to work. This has. Its pretty expensive-but we just bought a new bottle after having it for about a month and a half. I wanted to avoid putting E on any prescriptions and this really did take care of it. Bonus: it instantly takes away hiccups. It comes out black because of some plant stuff in it-so beware, it kind of looks like you're feeding your baby ink. My mom even fooled my sister into thinking E had gotten into a permanent marker. Yet, a little black mouth is okay to me. It's all natural-no side effects. I'd recommend it.
3. Aquaphor- E has eczema just like her dad. This stuff does the trick. The dry climate doesn't seem to help, but again, Id recommend this stuff-it works. We lather it on at night and in the morning her skin isn't all scaly.
4.The New Basics: A-to-Z Baby & Child care for the Modern Parent- This was a fluke buy on google play since we had a credit and it looked interesting. I'm so glad I bought this. I love this thing. It works sort of like an encyclopedia with different topics A-to-Z just as its title suggests. The author has a very laid back approach to parenting which really fits Ben and I. I appreciated the honesty and overall direct communicative approach. It is void of scare tactics and he doesn't give hypothetical what ifs. Very informative and laid back, yet truthful. This has allowed me to gauge what really is something to be concerned about-and has settled most of my worries.
5.Beco-Gemini-This is Ben's go-to carrier. We have yet to buy a stroller-I usually use the sling and he uses this and its done well for us. Its way too expensive in my opinion to buy new-and we managed to get this on craigslist for a steep discount, but it is quality and it will last us for several kids. If you asked me which carrier to get, I would point you towards the Beco line.
6.Wet Bag for cloth diapers- I've actually gone the past 3 months without one, just using a garbage bin and/or plastic bags and it has worked, but as E is getting older and having fuller diapers (read:smelly and impressive), So, I've put it on the must get next list. I've only heard the best of Planet Wise-but I know several Etsy vendors sell them and there are tutorials to make your own-price wise however, I think its more cost effective to buy online.
7.Swaddleme-Eowyn is just learning how to effectively self soothe, up until that point she would wake her self up when her arms would flail in her sleep. Being all bundled with the swaddle me fixed that problem. We even went out and bought larger ones for her that we use every night. We are able to bundle her looser now (since she'll be able to roll soon and we want her to learn how to use those hands) and she still loves them.
8.Burp Cloths with Chenille-Go to a fabric store, buy some chenille and cute cotton fabric and sew these babies up. They're quick and super easy to make and they've done far better than any of the burp clothes I've bought at stores. The link above is a tutorial. I tend to give these as gifts-they're so easy and so awesome.
9.Flip Diapers-Ben and I are fairly new to the land of cloth diapering, but so far we've already gotten our favorites. We bought about 6 fuzzibunz and a day-pack of the flip diapers (comes with six inserts.) Ben and I both have had to fuss with the fuzzibunz (they're high customization which means highly probable you'll get it wrong the first few times when searching for a good fit) where as the flip have worked since the get-go. We started cloth diapering at about a six-weeks and have done this daily. At night we've still used a disposable, but we're phasing out of that as well. I'd highly recommend the flip diapers, both for affordability and the ease of use. They're one size-meaning they grow with your baby. We've saved a ton of $ on diapers and I've barely noticed a difference in the laundry.
10.Baby Sling-My mom bought me a sling from when she went to Guatemala and that thing has been one of the best accessories I own! I carry E everywhere and its been awesome. I think there might be a trend to think you look a little hippie, or maybe that's just me and the whole-not cutting my hair since I was a teenager-but I find most of the people that talk to me when wearing this thing lean more towards that style. However its worth it. I'm a fan and find it highly convenient. I don't have a brand I'd recommend, but I'm sure a good amazon review search would do the trick.
11. AVENT Pacifiers- They give them to you at the hospital, so I'm sure most of us are familiar with these. I found them to be highly favorable to others. First for E, its the only one she'll take-but it also hasn't been engineered so well that it stays in her mouth too easily. While some would see this as a disadvantage-I've noticed that she doesn't rely on it too much since it falls out the minute she's tired of sucking on it. I think it'll allow us to skip the whole pacifier dependency phase and yet still get the convenience of using them for soothing. Only downfall is if you look close, you'll realize there's a weird clown design with the pacifier being the nose. I hate clowns, but the pacifiers are great.
12. Huggies One and Done- For the first month of E's life I bought sensitive generic wipes. I wanted to take care of her little bumpus, but didn't want to spend money on something that was going in the trash. While I would probably recommend even going to re-usable wipes, Ben and I just aren't there yet and in the meantime we've made the switch. My sister recommended these and I swear by them. These things are the BOMB. I used quite a few more of the generic brand, where as these are advertised effectively. One and Done.
13.Burts Bee's Baby Shampoo- This was a gift to us and its been awesome. The shampoo washes off easily and I like the smell. That and I've had only one bottle this entire time and I'm not even 3/4 of the way done with it. I recommend the stuff. Its mostly natural, smells nice and really does last.
14.Nursing Cover-Word on the street is that these are incredibly easy to make. While many people would argue that you may not even need one-I tend to like to have one. It's nice even as a blanket to shield the wee-babes eyes from the sun/bright lights, and I've worn it at a movie to cover her little face from the bright lights as well as outside. I end up nursing in the car a lot when we're out and a bout, and this keeps any awkward sight-seeing at bay.
15. Burts Bee's Diaper Ointment- The stuff is magic. Any time she starts having a rash, I put this on with a disposable (although some have said its safe for cloth. Since I'm not sure, when its a minor rash I use California Diaper Rash Cream with my cloth diapers) and that rash is gone. Completely.
16. Rockin' Green Detergent: For my cloth diapers I use this detergent. Its recommended, and while some say its unnecessary, I intend to use these diapers through multiple children. You only use two tbs or so per wash, so it really lasts forever. And it smells nice and does an excellent job cleaning the diapers.
I would probably recommend downloading the White Noise app on your phone as well. It helps keep Eowyn asleep when we're watching movies, laughing etc. She has hawk ears. This helps.
Other than clothes and blankets, and cutesy stuff, I think I've summed up our essentials. Hope this helps any new mommas looking for what they may think of getting-especially if you're thinking of cloth diapering. I'd also encourage most moms to wait to purchase things.
Use the "save for later' feature on your amazon accounts and just see if you even need it. I took this recommendation and have saved myself quite a bit of cash. A lot of the stuff I've found is really unnecessary. And if theres something I MUST have (which has yet to happen) there tends to be a local store that carries it. I have yet to feel like a martyr, or like I'm going without and I have more $$ to buy things we really need.
Yay for Babies!