I have been a mom for exactly three months and three days now. That, by no means, makes me an expert. However, looking back through the last thirteen weeks, I realize that there were a few key items that I stumbled upon that absolutely made the newborn stage a little less stressful.
I’m hoping that these suggestions will help other mamas and save them a few bottles of wine.
Introducing, Piper’s favorite things! Okay, maybe they’re my favorite things. Whatever.
1 – 4Moms Infant Tub – If you’re a new mom like me, you were terrified when it came to bathing your newborn for the first time. How was I supposed to know whether she was comfortable? Is she too hot? Too cold? Is the dirty water going to irritate her? How full should I make the tub? Ugh, the list goes on.
Luckily, my sister-in-law, Amanda came through to put my mind at ease. She recently had twins, so she is basically a pro at finding baby gadgets that make things so much more convenient. She gifted us the 4Moms Infant Tub and we’ve been using it religiously since the day Pip’s umbilical cord fell off.
This handy little contraption tells you the exact temperature of the water going into the tub and even tells you when the temperature is the most comfortable for the babe. This has helped me immensely, particularly since our bath faucet is known for changing ten degrees in temp at the drop of a hat for no apparent reason.
This guy also filters out the dirty bath water through a little hole on the side of the tub, assuring that Pip is always chilling in fresh clean water. This also assists in keeping the water at a safe level. I mean, this bathtub is just genius!
I do want to recommend this Turtle Bath Sponge insert for the early months. The 4Moms tub is spacious, which is great because Pip can bathe in it for several months, but she would slip around when she was super small. This bath sponge fits perfectly into the tub and keeps your babe comfy and prevents sliding.
2 – StorkSak “Caroline” Diaper Bag – ohhhh, my beloved diaper bag! Let me tell you that I HATE stupid baby printed things. There was no way on God’s green earth that I was going to be toting around some pale pink duffle with teddy bears all over it. Please spare me the “why pay a fortune for a bag that’s going to get poop and Cheerio crumbs all up in it” speech. If that’s the case, then at least the exterior will be stylish as hell.
Blake bought me this beauty a few months before Piper was born for our first wedding anniversary. I stared longingly at it for two months and even had it all neatly packed for the hospital way in advance. Now that I’ve been using it for three months, I realize it’s as practical as it is cute. It came with a diaper changing pad and has all sorts of handy compartments to keep me organized. It’s the perfect size and the two strap options make it super easy to tote around. I can’t brag on this lovely bag enough.
3 – Halo Sleep Sacks – I usually like to brag about my stellar swaddling skills, but Piper is seriously Baby Hulk when it comes to busting out of a swaddle. Thus, she would wake herself up in the middle of the night from her limbs flailing uncontrollably. Baby problems, am I right?
Halo Sleep Sacks saved my sanity. They were another recommendation from my lovely sis-in-law when I mentioned to her that I thought Pip would sleep much longer if she would just quit being such a wiggle-worm. These fabulous little sacks swaddle your kiddo with Velcro, basically acting as a baby straight jacket. I know it sounds crazy, but trust me, it’s amazing.
I know you may think that your baby hates being swaddled because they “fight” it, but please give it another go with these Sleep Sacks. Sometimes when a swaddle is too loose, the baby gets agitated from struggling to get free. The Velcro on these bad boys helps make the swaddle super tight without coming loose, so your baby is actually much more content without the ability to wiggle around.
When your munchkin begins to grow out of the swaddle, you can Velcro the ends underneath their arms. This allows them to have their arms free while still feeling wrapped up tight.
Not only do Sleep Sacks swaddle like no other, but they will safely keep your baby warm throughout the night without the danger of getting themselves tangled up in a loose blanket.
You just can’t go wrong here. I have a feeling Piper will be snoozing in Halo Sleep Sacks until she’s in college.
4- Baby Trend Expedition FX Jogging Stroller – this stroller is perfect for all the JOGGING that I do. No, I’m kidding. I don’t run for shit, but this stroller is still fantastic. Blake’s sweet parents bought us the car seat/stroller combo and we couldn’t be happier. The car seat is fine. I mean, car seats are a pain in the ass no matter what, but this one isn’t so bad. It’s the stroller that steals the show, though. This thing rides like a dream. The handlebar is a perfect height, the suspension system creates a smooth ride, and it’s super easy to open and collapse and slide right into your trunk. Also, there’s a frickin’ AUX cord for your iPhone or iPad. You know, for all that hardcore jogging and stuff.
5 – Little Unicorn Swaddles – I have formed a new addiction since Piper came into my life – an addiction to swaddle blankets. I became slightly obsessed before she was even born, but once I discovered Little Unicorn it was all downhill from there. The first thing I ever purchased for Pip once I found out she was a girl was the Summer Poppy swaddle blanket (which I discovered from my favorite mama blogger, Jessica over at Little Baby Garvin). Yes, there are cheaper blankets out there, but I’m picky about prints. As I said earlier, if there’s anything I hate with a passion out there in the baby world, it’s tacky prints. Hot pink leopard print, yellow ducks, rattles, butterflies… those kinds of things are not Piper’s jam (she told me).
Little Unicorn has such a refreshing selection of stylish and modern printed blankets. Every blanket that I’ve purchased for Pip from LU has been feminine and dainty without being obnoxiously babyish.
Little Unicorn swaddles are so, so soft and delightfully enormous. They hold my little ninja baby in her burrito without stretching or coming loose (but remember, I do have a PhD in swaddling).
If anything, get one of these blankets just to take pictures of your sweet baby in. They’re the most photogenic swaddles on the market. Piper can vouch for that.
6 – DayDreamer Infant Sleeper – Obviously I love every product I’m going to list on this post, but this one… THIS ONE… I just want to throw open my windows and shout down to the village mamas to BUY THIS DAMN SLEEPER.
Let me preface by saying that Piper began sleeping through the night at 7 weeks on her own in her crib. It didn’t take too much effort on my part. I know… allow me to duck while you attempt to throw something at my head. However, she caught a nasty cold from daycare a few weeks later which prevented her from being able to sleep flat on her back in her crib without her little nose becoming completely clogged up.
So, after a brief panicky moment over how I was going to get her to sleep soundly with this mucus party going on in her nose and throat, I decided to try letting her sleep through the night in the DayDreamer. Although it didn’t prevent her from getting stuffed up entirely, there was probably a 75% improvement. Then, not only was it helping her from getting too stuffed up, but she actually started sleeping sounder and longer than she did in her crib. It truly was lifesaver.
Now, I’m a firm believer in having Piper sleep in her own room, so recently she has been feeling a bit better and has returned to her crib. However, she still tends to get a bit restless and stuffy around 3:00 am, so I will move her back to her DayDreamer next to our bed (never put the DayDreamer into the crib!) to help her stay comfortable and snoozing until morning. Hopefully her congestion will clear up completely soon so that I can transition her to sleep in her crib through the entire night again.
In the end, if you are a mama to a new baby that is struggling to sleep through the night, do yourself a favor and get that baby a DayDreamer. Something about the way it’s shaped makes your little one feel completely comfy and secure while the slight incline helps with congestion and reflux. This leads to more restful nights for everyone involved, and who doesn’t want that?
7 – Baby Brezza Formula Pro – I saved the best for last. Guys… this thing is a luxury item. It is, by no means, necessary for your baby’s health or development. It simply exists to make your life just a tad easier. I call this my “Baby Keurig.” It works exactly like a Keurig, in fact. There’s a tank that keeps water warm, and then a little tub on top that holds and dispenses powder formula. You preset the machine to know which formula your baby eats so that it dispenses the correct powder to water ratio.At 6:00 am, I wander into my kitchen with my hungry baby and I’m able to make her a bottle one-handed with this nifty machine. I simply select how many ounces I want and then press the green button. It’s literally THAT easy.
It does require a bit of cleaning every night to prevent formula clumping, but it’s really just an additional step when I’m cleaning Pip’s bottles at the end of the night. There will be no going back to the ancient days of hand mixing formula after having this miracle machine in my life. Here’s a little demonstration video of my Baby Brezza.
There are two things that I believe deserve an honorable mention.
Sound Sleeper iPhone App – The noisier the room is, the better Piper sleeps. In fact, when she’s napping in her swing in our living room we have to browse Netflix at top speed just to get some noise back on the TV before she starts to stir. So, you bet your ass I paid $2.99 for this marvelous app. I’ve been using it since our first night at home. There are many different sound options such as ocean, thunderstorm, womb, and even a car ride or noisy supermarket.
There is a free version, but the noise will cut off after an hour. I paid for the full version so I could keep it going all night or during long car rides, etc.
Amazon Prime – If you’ve been contemplating whether or not to sign up for Amazon Prime, consider this your sign to DO IT. ESPECIALLY if you have a little baby or one on the way. When I was on maternity leave I was terrified to leave the house. I ordered everything through Amazon Prime. Diapers, wipes, clothes, socks, shampoo, formula, you name it! All of these things were delivered to my doorstep within 48 hours. If that’s not a postpartum wet dream, then I don’t know what is.
I hope our little love list has helped all you new moms or moms-to-be discover some ways to make your hectic lives a bit easier. If not, then there’s always wine.
This little bald blue-eyed beauty has given us the best three months of our lives. I’m so looking forward to spending the rest of my life watching her grow and become an amazing person.