There are a few things that I found to be indispensable in the first few weeks of motherhood. Things like car seats, diaper bags and strollers go without saying and might get a post of their own, but this list is about day-to-day sanity. Things I needed to perform daily tasks around the house and that I needed to go about my business of being a mom in a sane and comfortable environment.
1. Baby Swing/Baby Carrier.
The reason these two things are together is because there are different philosophies in motherhood – those who put their kids down on occasion and those who don’t. I am not a ‘baby wearer’ but I know many people who are. They believe that wearing a baby helps cement the mom-baby bond, soothes the baby and can even facilitate nursing/napping. I can’t comment on a good baby carrier for those purposes, but if that is the way you are leaning, you will need a good one!
As for the baby swing – these are things you will need to consider: Swing options – I like a model that has side to side as well as front to back options, things to look at – either a mobile or blinking doodads, things to grasp – as the baby grows older it will want to reach out and hold on to these fascinating things, music – to soothe and drown out the cries of your child as well as to drive you insane with the repetitive melodies, vibrations – to soothe that little bebe to sweet slumber and maybe help them pass a little gas at the same time.
2. Bouncy Chair
This was good to have as a portable infant sleep facilitator. I took many a shower with a baby in a bouncy chair. Lots of similar considerations as the above-mentioned swing: Vibrations, sounds and a bar to grab with handy-things. Go for colour over style. Kids like colour once their little eyes develop enough to see contrast.
3. Nursing Pillow
I didn’t have one of these for my first child and my back has never been the same. I LOVED my nursing pillow the second time around. It is great for nursing, obviously, but also as a temporary baby prop. You can use it to lie baby propped up when they are sleeping to help make sure they don’t roll as well as place baby tummy down on the pillow with the arms over the top for some tummy time. NOTE: This is not recommended by the manufacturers and you should always be next to your baby when you are using your pillow.
4. Nursing Cover
Don’t skimp in this department. Get a good one, in a pattern you will be able to stand for more than a few months. Make sure it has a U-shaped wire peek hole at the top so you can actually see your baby as you try to get them to latch onto your boob in the middle of the shopping mall. I have even seen one that loops around both of mom’s arms and has the U-frame wire which I thought was genius.
5. Baby Monitor
You can get monitors that range anywhere from static transmitters to contraptions that allow you to hear your baby’s every toot. There are video monitoring systems and ones that lie underneath your baby and monitor their vital signs. For reals. I suggest going for something in between. Unless your baby is super premature or has health issues that require incredibly close monitoring, go for one that has clear reception and that allows you to hear them cry. If you really turn it up, you can hear breathing. You will want to do that as you will have many moments where you really believe your baby has stopped breathing. For no reason. Going overboard in the monitoring will make you paranoid and anxious. Babies make noises. Also, get one that has more than one receiver so you don’t always have to carry that thing from room to room.
Good luck! Happy Baby-ing!