As a third-time mom, here's what products I actually use and what products were a waste of money for our family. You need the obvious things for a new baby: a bassinet or crib, onesies, wipes, diapers, etc. But the baby market is saturated with “must haves” that have families wasting their money.
Here are the products we live by and those that we feel are cluttering up the house.
Baby Swing - This was absolutely our saving grace with Mav. He was not, and still isn't much of, a sleeper. That was our first adjustment to life with a baby. The swing was the only place he would actually nap. We took turns on the couch watching him snooze away. It gave us a little shut-eye.
Banana teether - My favorite teether/toothbrush ever! Both of my kids used this thing like crazy. It reached the molars and is easy to grip. The bristles feel good on their little gums. And it lasted through both of them and still looks brand new. I got it on Amazon, but you can also find it at Target.
Zipper PJs - Newborns live in pajamas. Please don’t ever button down. Read why in the "How Not to Waste Your Money" section below
White noise maker - There are tons of gadgets out there that play white noise. I was not a fan of the battery powered ones as you end up replacing the batteries so often. There are some great plug in versions though. We just use an old cell phone with the "White Noise Lite" app and we set it on the "Heavy Rain Pouring" sound. We have the apps on our phones as well in case the kids fall asleep in the car and we can play it over Bluetooth to keep them asleep on the road.
Nose Freda - No one should be without this genius contraption. It sounds SO disgusting because you literally suck the snot out of your baby’s nose. I'm a freak about snot. It gives me the heebie-jeebies seeing it, thinking about it, let alone touching it. Don't worry, the Nose Freda has a stopper. Believe me, I made my husband test it out first. And it is such a comfort for your baby when they're all stuffed up. This thing works wonders, much better than those bulb syringes!
My Breast Friend Nursing Pillow - If you are a breastfeeding mom this is a must. I actually got this as a hand-me-down from one of my sisters. For that reason, I didn’t buy a Boppy. But I love this one because it clips around you and has back support. It really did help with the backaches and positioned the baby perfectly so you didn't have to hold the weight. I wouldn't even feed my chunk (Rhett) without this. Plus, there are little pockets on the side for any pacifiers, nipple shields, creams, etc.
Baby Wearing Carrier - I personally like the Baby K'tan Carrier for so many reasons. First, it's simple and easy to slip on. It feels safe and secure and let's you have your hands back while keeping the baby happy at the same time. Plus, this one goes up to 35 lbs which is about what my 3-year-old weighs (even though I often give up trying to put these wiggly kids in before they're one).
Car seat canopy - We picked up a car seat canopy that also functions as a nursing and shopping cart cover. I like this specific cover I bought on Amazon (notice a shopping trend here?) because they’re super soft, light weight and breathable. This makes nursing in public a breeze and they're really easy to slip on the car seat so the baby can sleep and strangers aren't touching them.
And there's a little opening where you can easily peep in to check on them. I will have to admit I don't use the shopping cart cover option. This is a lot of work with two kids and I never remember it after the baby has grown enough to sit in a shopping cart. In my opinion shopping cart covers are more of a pain than they are worth.
How Not to Waste Your Money
Shoes - There are so many cute outfits, shoes and pajamas for newborns that it can be hard to resist an impulse purchase. A little not-so-secret from me and the other parents in the newsroom.. DON'T BUY SHOES FOR YOUR BABY. They can’t walk. And they don’t stay on. Literally only good for cute pictures.
Clothing with snaps - Please for the love of everything - buy the zippered version of clothes. Good luck getting those snaps together and lined up properly with squirmy, screaming baby. Are your hands a little slick from any liquid? Forget about it. Snaps are even worse in the middle of the night. I swear my husband and I would silently fight over who got to the zipper onsies first. As far as this one goes you really can get away with buying only a handful of outfits for the first couple of months. Newborns live in onesies and pajamas.
Hand mittens - Ha! After three times I never tried these things again. They angered my newborn who wanted to play using his hands. They angered me because they're worse than socks when it comes to finding a match. And... they fall off before you get the second one on. If you insist on hand mittens. See me. I have 12 unused pairs.
Baby towels and robes - These sure are cute, but totally impractical. An adult-sized towel works great! Baby towels are usually thin and much less absorbent. They also cost more. Baby robes are absolutely pointless, but I'm not going to lie, I own some because they were too frickin’ adorable to pass up. (see above)
Wipe Warmer - Unless you plan on carrying this around with you everywhere you go – don’t buy it. Babies are fine with room temperature wipes. Also, five seconds after you remove the wipe from the wipe warmer it gets cold again.
Boogie Wipes - Again, why not use regular wipes? Maybe I'm a mean mom, but Kleenex and wipes have worked just fine for my kids. (See above for another nose solution I consider a must-have.)
Pacifier Wipes - I didn't even know this was a thing until someone got it for me. I still have yet to notice them in the grocery store. Who has the time?
Baby food maker - Again, this is just a more expensive and glorified blender. I say if you have a blender, use it.
Did I miss anything you feel your household cannot live without or you wish the impulse to buy had never crossed your mind? Let me know!
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