New parents end up with a lot of "stuff."
Some gifts are great but others, really leave you scratching your head, wondering WHERE am I going to store all this baby stuff?
Photo Gallery: Pictures of baby Kingsley
I am guilty of giving lots of useless gifts! I'm so sorry if I ever gave you a "wheel of responsibility" game (parents spin to see who will change the next diaper) or a bag full of fluffy random baby stuff that I thought looked cuddly and cute--just what new parents NEVER wanted!
(I cringe when I of some of the gifts I've given! So sorry!)
Now that I am a mom, I want to share some of my favorite finds that helped me survive the first three months.
1. The Happiest Baby on the Block DVD
My husband and I read way too many books about pregnancy but once we had a screaming newborn, all we wanted to do was find the "off" button!
Thankfully, pediatrician Dr. Harvey Karp taught us the 5 ways to calm a baby. His DVD is easy to watch in a sleep deprived state.
We were skeptical at first, but soon became "baby whispers" with special wonder twin powers to easily calm our screaming newborn. The added bonus is that she sleeps through the night all snuggled in her swaddle.
(Disclaimer: I had to buy a "dummy proof" swaddle that would keep her arms inside and I could easily wrap at 2:00 a.m. Swaddle Me--which has velcro patches--is the one I really like.)
2. Baby Bjorn
This is a great way to cuddle with your baby while also watering the plants, cleaning the house or folding your laundry. It may be tough to get dad to wear a sling... but I promise, he'll love Baby Bjorn!
3. Moses Basket
My mom gave us this gift and I wasn't sure I would really use it until she showed me how easy it is to move from room to room. Your newborn can nap in the kitchen, living room wherever you like, tucked in a basket. Kingsley liked it so much, it became her crib for about two months!
4. Newborn Lounger
As much as I love carrying my baby, I knew at some point I would have to put her down (my back reminded me!). My newborn lounger saved the day. It's angled so she can sit up a bit and watch us stare at her!
5. Lactation Consultant's digits
Don't leave the hospital without the lactation consultant's phone number. Trust me on this one! Make her your best friend in the hospital. Bayfront Baby Place's lactation consultant Kim Ramer saved me on several occasions when I needed help. She offered comfortable positions, advice on when to cluster feed and gadgets that could make the whole experience easier on mom. Thank you Kim!
6. 40 Ounce Container
Yes, some women in England may drink half a pint of Guiness as a nursing aid, but you need a generous stainless steel 40 ounce container to make sure you're hydrated enough to breastfeed. Carry it with you so you know how much you're drinking. One day I even downed 3 of them! If your lips are chapped, you're not drinking enough water.
7. Book Reading Light
You won't have a lot of extra time to read books, but a small book light will make those 2:00 a.m. diaper changes much easier to see. You'll be surprised and amazed at what comes out of such a cute, little baby!
Small, inexpensive book lights help me see what's happening without waking up the baby!
8. Glass and Vacuum Sealed Storage Bottles
If you're trying to avoid PVC, pthalates, BPA and other controversial chemicals used in plastic, you can find glass Evenflo breast milk bottles online or use the DEX milk storage system. It lets you pump out any oxygen in the container. I wish someone would create a tempered glass, vacuum sealed storage system that could even survive in the freezer! I realize it's hard to freeze and thaw liquids in glass, but a lot of moms are already using glass jelly jars to avoid plastics altogether.
9. Green Baby Products
Our babies will be exposed to enough unregulated chemicals in their lifetime. As much as I love all those powdery scented baby wipes and washes, the chemicals that create those scents aren't as appealing. I try to use products with ingredients I can pronounce like California Baby or Clean Well. She still smells just as sweet!
10. Diaper Genie
One of the best compliments I've ever received was from one of my co-workers who came to my house to shoot a TV promotion in our nursery. He asked if I actually changed her diapers in that room because it did not smell like, you know what! I have to give all the credit to the magical diaper genie! It's a dream during those late-night, newborn triple diaper changes (our record is six diapers during one changing period!).
It's nice to know that certain parts of your body go back to pre-baby size. Many women in other countries wrap their bellies after childbirth to help shrink back down to pre-pregnancy size. Wink Maternity sells some sexier versions of the belly wrap that will make mommy feel good again! ;)
Get a fresh perspective on health: Check out Heather's Natural Health
Share some of your favorite baby products below.