Now that EM is a year old (and that I have a bunch of friends pregnant with their first child), I figured I’d do a recap of all my favorite things that helped get us through this past year. When you go register for the first time, especially at a baby super store like Babies R’US, it’s over whelming with the multitude of options they have to offer on EVERYTHING. We of course ended up getting some things we never ended up using, and ended up trying things out after the fact, but in reality most of them are “nice to haves” and definitely not necessities. You can raise a child with very little but of course we got spoiled by our friends and families (and splurged on some things ourselves) and these are by far our favorite 1st year items:
Hands Free Pump Bra: For the breastfeeding working moms (or any that use a breast pump), sitting there holding the cones (that’s what I call them anyways) for 30+ mins is not fun and makes you hate pumping. After about 1 week of that I went on the search and came across this hands free bra. It made pumping so much better. I was able to do both sides at once (I had a dual pump), keep my hands free for reading, texting, playing candy crush etc. Once I went back to work, it made it easy for me to bring my laptop into the mother’s room and work while I pumped so I didn’t have to make up my time while pumping. It made pumping 100x better!
Lanolin: Also for the breastfeeding moms, Lanolin was the ONLY thing that worked for me. I was super sore/chapped/bleeding (TMI sorry) from pumping and nursing and I lived in lanolin. I tried other stuff, nothing compared. Stock up! I probably was able to finally discontinue use after about month 2 once my boobs finally got use to nursing/pumping, but during the first two months, it was a lifesaver!
Boppy Pillow: There are several variations of the same “idea” of this pillow. I’m sure they all serve the same purpose and work great, but I only have experience with the Boppy. Even though that tiny little newborn only weighs between 5-10 lbs, your arms get tired very quickly when feeding! Having this pillow to lean on was wonderful. We also used it to just prop EM up, tummy time, cushion when she was still a wobbly sitter, and now for her to lay back on and take her own bottle/sippy cup. They have a ton of different cover choices as well!
Video Monitor: EM has been in her own crib, in her own room since day one (some people agree with this, some don’t, but it worked for us). However leaving such a tiny little baby is a little nerve wracking (especially for first time moms) so we knew we wanted a video monitor. We did a ton of research on the different ones out there and decided we wanted one that we could hook up to our cell phones and tablets (which by the way we NEVER did, so can’t speak to how well that actually works). There was only ONE true baby monitor on the market that had that capability at the time and it had JUST come out so we didn’t know how good it was but we were thinking about getting it. However, one day while browsing around Costco, we came across this security system monitor. It had everything we wanted in our baby monitor and more and was roughly the same price (maybe even cheaper, can’t recall). What really sold us on it was that you could hook up multiple cameras to it so in the future we could put them around the house in different rooms (play room, living room, kids rooms, back yard) to keep an eye on the kids when they are older and playing in a different room than we are. The cameras work perfectly. They have night vision, zoom capabilities, volume control, etc. The only thing I wish it did was “dim” down. The display screen is pretty bright, although I suppose if we ever hooked them up to our iPhones/iPads we could have controlled it on there and turned off the display monitor part.
Car Mirror: This seems so simple, but these mirrors are great! They have flexible, bendy things in them so you can easily adjust them to the right angles. G and I both have them in our cars and love being able to see EM in our rear view mirror to see if she's awake, sleeping, or smiling at herself!