As soon as you become pregnant, you're bombarded with conflict. Buy this, don't buy that. Babies are simple and don't need much, but also expensive enough to bankrupt you. You want to give your baby the best, but you don't want to spoil them. What to do? Here are my 5 favorites for babies under 6 months old:
"Deluxe" Pack N PlayWe chose to use a Pack N Play from day 1 rather than a bassinet. While a bassinet is completely outgrown by 3 months, a pack n play serves multiple purposes, and can be used much into toddler-hood. While there ARE other (read:cheaper) Pack N Plays, we loved this one for a lot of reasons. The changing table is great for those newborn midnight diaper changes. They were just too gross for the bed, and no one wants to walk to the nursery 4 times a night. The "napper" was great. Aisley slept SO well in it, and she stayed in it until she was about 4 months old. And my favorite: the shelves. No matter how "minimalist" you are, babies still have a bunch of stuff. We keep extra diapers, wipes, pajamas, blankets, and an extra binky handy in our room. 'Cause hey, you never know when you'll need it. And of course, they remove so you can lower the mattress for a standing baby/toddler. I know these aren't cheap. But when you offset the bassinet cost and know that you already have somewhere for your kid to sleep while traveling-its worth it!
Summer Infant SwaddleMes...ALL of them
We didn't start with the newborn "pods" and we wish we had! We had a skinny mini that busted out of swaddles like it was her full-time job. We learned a pretty nifty trick to swaddle her during the day, but at night, nothing beat the swaddleme. She still doesn't sleep without one to this day. I'm so glad that summer infant makes these up to toddler size, because honestly, she'll still be in one as long as she wants to be....even if I have to have one custom made for her when she's 9. If she still likes it, she still gets is, because sleep matters. Side note, we liked the microfleece best when she was still swaddled with her arms in, even if it meant swaddling her naked so she didn't get too hot. There was less stretch to the fabric, so the little magician was stuck in it.
When I was pregnant, someone told me that the MAM binkies were most loved by breastfed babies. I can't for the life of me remember who told me, but I owe that person my sanity. The lactation consultants preached, "no pacifier until 4 weeks old. You don't want to confuse the baby." And 24 hours later, I didn't care. Aisley needs a binky. End of story. Thanks to this binky, shaped like no other one I've seen, we had NO nipple confusion. We started with the classic MAM, but quickly moved to the MAM start when we saw how much the regular one swallowed up her face at first. I took a gamble out of desperation and picked up the MAM Air for 6+ plus at around 5 months, and its even better. The design is great for babies this age. It gave her so much more control to loop her fingers through the sides and manipulate it. MAM Air turned her binkies into soothers and toys.
|Hospital Aisley with her giant MAM Trends binky|
Giant Muslin Blankets
Some people swear by the aden + anais blankets, but I really prefer the price point of the identical Hudson Baby brand muslin blankets. These were the blankets that facilitated our crazy swaddle. We resorted to a method that looked like it came straight from the biblical era. It took a little practice, and these were the ONLY blankets we could accomplish it with. On vacation, we wet them and draped them over her while hiking. Otherwise, I don't think she would have been able to tolerate the heat. This blanket is SO multi-purpose. Shade, blanket, desperation nursing cover (on the rare occasion I use one), and the best thing for Aisley to
play with eat.
Baby Jogger City Versa
I've mentioned this before, but I just love it so much. A friend and I joke that we should be paid by Baby Jogger (but really we probably should be). Why? Because everywhere we go, we refer more and more business back to them. Their customer service is amazing, their products are phenomenal as well, and i just can't stop telling everyone. This stroller is great. It folds easily, grows with your child, isn't heavy, and is (apparently) comfortable as can be. I had another stroller for the first two months of Aisley's life, and I used it twice. I use this one almost daily. I love all the accessories for it too. It can be expanded to hold any carseat, has multiple trays, interchangeable wheels, the works.....
And that's it! Those are the best things Aisley has owned thus far. Stay tuned for her favorite toys and more!