As a new parent, you are bombarded constantly with products claiming to be essential for your new little bundle of joy. With so many options to choose from, knowing what you truly need and what you’ll end up wasting your money on can get confusing and overwhelming. As a mom of four, “this isn’t my first rodeo,” as they say. I’ve wasted more money than I choose to count on baby items I thought I had to have and then never used. So I decided to make a list of products I would buy if I ever had baby number five. Hopefully, this helps make your decision a little bit easier.
A Baby Carrier
A good baby carrier can literally save your sanity. Having the ability to hold your little one and still have two functioning arms is a game-changer. Many babies will only calm down when held, which can be problematic if you try to do exciting things like making dinner or putting the laundry away. Having a way to carry your baby safely will give you the freedom you need when you’re out running errands or at home. Just make sure you choose a carrier that keeps your baby in a sitting position, with their legs slightly above their hips. If their legs are hanging down and the support is at the groin, it can harm developing hips. A few great choices are the Ergobaby, Moby Wrap, and Baby Tula.
Lanolin Nipple Cream
Chapped nipples are no joke. Whether you’re breastfeeding or not, having a good nipple cream to protect you from chafing and dryness is a must. Make sure you wear a cotton bra to allow airflow and wick away the sweat that irritates already sensitive skin.
I bottle-fed my first two daughters, and I learned very quickly, not all bottles are created equal! Babies have sensitive little tummies, and if there is excess air getting trapped in their bottle, they will swallow it and develop colic. If that happens, you can pretty much kiss what little sleep you were getting, goodbye! Investing in a bottle that helps keep your baby from swallowing excess air is a great idea. Brands like Dr. Browns and Tommee Tippee have some great options.
I loved my baby’s swings almost more than they did. At one point, the only sleep I got was when my son was in his swing. There are a million and one swings on the market now; with so many options, they could practically raise your baby on their own. I would suggest choosing a swing that moves front to back as well as side to side. Soothing sounds and music are great, and some even give gentle vibrations, which is terrific for gassy little ones. Just make sure you don’t leave your baby unattended and always strap them in.
You will need a quality, easy-to-read thermometer. New moms are notoriously panicky, and getting peace of mind by taking your baby’s temperature is vital. I would suggest getting a thermometer with interchangeable heads so that you can check their temperature in a variety of locations. A high-quality thermometer can last years; I still have and use the one we got for my oldest daughter, who just turned 16!
Little noses clog easily, and there’s nothing worse than hearing your baby struggle to breathe. The hospital will most likely have an aspirator that you can take home, but they’re the old-fashioned bulb ones, and they can get moldy and disgusting very quickly. Choose one that you can clean thoroughly to prevent mold from growing inside. If you can get past the gross factor, an aspirator that allows you to suck out the nose is incredibly effective.
Having a new baby is exciting, exhausting, and overwhelming all at the same time. Having a few tried and true products to help make the transition into parenthood easier will help relieve stress. A reliable baby carrier, soothing nipple cream, quality anti-gas bottles, a good swing, and a well-made thermometer and nasal aspirator are a few essentials all new parents can use. They will help you have a great start on your new and incredible journey!