Wednesday, June 1, 2016

the baby item(s) i couldn't live without

I've been asked a few times what baby items I really love. It's always a loaded question because personal preference makes all the difference, and every baby is so different. What worked for me might be a terrible idea for you.

That being said, there is one item I really loved, and I think every mom would benefit from owning one. But first, the back story.

For the first few weeks, Charlie slept in a pack n play in our bedroom. (This one from Nuna, which I love - it has a built in bassinet option that is great for newborns). All were happy with this arrangement, but about 5 weeks in, Jon left for a couple of nights on a work trip. After one early morning feeding, I was being lazy and instead of getting out of bed to put Charlie back down in his pack n play, I kicked the pillows off the bed, rolled the covers down, and let him sleep on the half of the bed that Jon normally occupies.

Charlie loved it, and I loved it so the next night, I decided to let Charlie sleep in the big bed with me for the entire night. It was such a luxury. Instead of having to get out of bed every time he fussed, I just reached over to soothe or feed him as needed. We both slept great.

But, alas, Jon returned and Charlie got booted back to his pack n play. After one night of our old pack n play arrangement, I said never again. I had been totally spoiled by having Charlie right next to me. So that very next day, we loaded up the car - baby gift cards in hand - and went to Buy Buy Baby to pick up this beauty, the Halo Bassinest.



It's actually not that beautiful, and it's pretty expensive for what it is, but it made all of my new mom dreams come true. My only regret is that I didn't have it from day one. Charlie has since grown out of it, much to my dismay, but it's still my favorite baby item.

It sits right next to the bed (adjustable for your bed height), and has one side that easily pushes down so you can reach in to soothe or pick up your baby. For c-section and/or nursing moms, this would be especially great. The mesh siding is not only safe for baby, but easy for you to check in on him whenever you want. Again, really great for nervous moms who spend half of the night worrying that baby has stopped breathing.

You can get the one without any extra bells and whistles, but I say spend the extra $50 for the version that comes with the nightlight. It's the perfect amount of light to peek on baby or to get him out for a midnight snack. It also plays music and vibrates. I didn't use those features very often, but I loved having the light feature enough to justify the higher price.

The other awesome feature is how it swivels. Unlike other co-sleepers or bassinets that are stationary, this one swivels 360 degrees so you can easily get in and out of bed. I mean you should probably just watch the video to see how amazing this bassinet is.

You may not think you want a co-sleeper, and that's fine...if you have a miracle baby that sleeps through the night from day one. But if your baby doesn't, do yourself a favor and get this bassinet. It may not seem like a big deal, but every time you get out of bed - even if it's just to walk to the other side of the room - you lose sleep. Sleep is precious. You do not want to lose any more sleep than necessary. Being able to roll over to give baby his pacifier, or make sure he is still breathing, or to feed him is a luxury you will want in your life once baby is here.

I have not been paid by Halo. I just really love this product. Anything that allows mom to get more sleep is a big win in my book. It should also be noted that Charlie had no trouble transitioning out of this after hitting 4 months so if you are scared that a co-sleeping baby will never sleep in his own bed, you probably shouldn't be too worried.

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And just for funsies, here are a few other baby items I recommend (these would also make awesome gifts). You can find great lists out there with lots of recommendations and info so I won't bore you with a rundown of every baby product I use and love. But here are some things I didn't necessarily see on every list, but I am so glad I found:

Keekaroo changing pad - If you are turning a regular or existing dresser into a changing table (which I highly recommend because it can grow with your child), you probably can't do any better than this changing pad. It's non-skid material means you can plop it down anywhere and it won't slide around. It also can be easily wiped down, it doesn't require covers that will need to be washed, and it looks way better than your average changing pad.

Babiators - These may seem like a silly item, but babies kind of hate having the sun in their eyes and car seat/stroller shades can only do so much. These sunglasses not only look adorable, but they come with a little case, cleaning cloth, strap and best of all, a lifetime guarantee. Just register them online and if they are ever lost or broken, you get a replacement pair.

Ubbi Diaper Pail - So obviously you will see diaper pails on lots of lists, this one included, but I couldn't resist adding it to my own list because it's just that great. We kept this in our master bedroom since that's where Charlie slept and was often changed for the first 4+ months. Our master bedroom did not smell like poop in the slightest (and we - rather embarrassingly - only emptied the pail once a week on trash day). Enough said.

Zutano Booties - Keeping socks on a baby is a full-time job. I thought it was ridiculous to spend over $20 on baby booties until these arrived via the Amazon prime angel and saved my life. They are easy to put on and they actually stay on. Charlie wore his fleece pair all winter, and they didn't wear out and they never fell off or got lost.

Baby Merlin's Magic Sleepsuit - I had never heard of this product before, but it was given to me at my shower by a fellow mom who should probably be considered for sainthood. It's designed to help babies transition out of the swaddle. We just went cold turkey from swaddle to sleepsuit one night and have never looked back. When it comes time for your baby to lose the swaddle, I highly recommend giving this a try.

Pacifier Clips - We were about 2-3 months into parenting before it occurred to me to use a pacifier clip. Duh. Mom brain is real, and I think common sense is the first thing to go. But, here is my real tip - even if your baby doesn't use a paci, these are amazing for keeping toys from being dropped. I use them religiously now to clip balls, rings, teethers, etc. to Charlie's shirt, car seat or stroller. No more picking up his toy every time he drops it. Genius!

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