Below are a few things that I'm happy to have discovered as a new mommy.
1) Arms Reach mini co-sleeper -
This wonderful invention is just perfect for new mommies and daddies who want baby close by when they sleep, but don't want to share bed space. The co-sleeper was introduced to me by Jeanne Hill. She had one for her kids and offered her used one to me. Honestly, when she asked if I wanted it, I had no idea what it was. Then when I got it and we set it up I thought that it would be useful for a while and good for travel back to AR especially. This thing quickly became Chaselyn's bed. If you are planning on nursing, I cannot stress how much I would recommend this wonderful contraption. The baby is right there beside you. You don't have to walk all the way across the apartment/house to get the baby for those 3 am feedings. Just pull the little tot out, attach to milk source, put her back when she's done. (Note: many times I would just pull Chaselyn in to bed with me while she nursed. This often led to us both falling back asleep. It kind of contradicted the co-sleeper, but I wouldn't replace those cuddle times for anything.) Also, the mini version is fairly compatible with travel. It's kind of heavy, but if you use it as the child's bed like we did, they get the advantage of having their usual bed anywhere you go. We ordered a new one like the one pictured above for Jacob, it should be on the door-step when we get home today!
2) Swaddling blankets-
These are not to be confused with regular old receiving blankets. These things are life savers. Chaselyn was a little cuddle-bug. We had to wrap her up like a burrito every night, arms and legs fully secured. If not, she would find some way to hit herself in the face and wake herself up. One of our good friends Rachel gave us one of these kinds of blankets for Chaselyn. We kept that thing either in the bed or briefly in the washer at all times. They are bigger than typical blankets 44" square rather than 32" square. That extra room allows you to continue to wrap little baby up for much longer than the standard blankets. When Chaselyn was little, we could only find these at specialty shops and they were $15 - $20 a piece. But now, you can get them from Target 4 for only $26.99. I actually got some off the shelf at the Target in Ft. Smith last fall and intended to give them as a baby gift to someone else, but I forgot and they sat in the sack. Then we found out we were having little Jacob, so we're keeping them. They're also very light weight, so they work well for shielding baby from the sun or even covering for nursing.
3) Hooter hider-
Again, a must for nursing moms. And if you have a crafty mother-in-law or friend or other relative, you may be even more in luck. My mother-in-law fashioned one of these for me on the cheap. If I remember correctly all the materials cost about $8 rather than the $35 for the official product. And, if you have someone make it, you have more fabric options. Very good for outings with the nursing baby, family functions, and when company comes over.
4) Resale shops- No picture for this one. The best ones are generally very localized. My favorite local resale shop is "Smarty Pants". Especially for tiny babies, you can find brand new or barely worn clothes for much lower prices. I've noticed that the clothes start showing up with more wear at about the 12 month size when the kids get mobile. But you can still find good deals, especially on some of the name brand deals.
5) Hands-free nursing bra - Ok, we're going to go with no picture on this one too, because the pictures look kind of ridiculous. Also, I don't actually own one of these, but plan to soon. If it works as promised, it will be a very handy dandy tool while trying to pump at work and at home. Without such a contraption, you're stuck there holding bottles and suckers for about 20-30 minutes each time you pump throughout the day. Sounds like a nice break and a good excuse to stop working. And it is, but just think, no one knows what you're doing when you're pumping. You can still use the excuse of pumping but now you can do work or blog or look at a magazine or read a book or whatever. I don't think I like the idea of pumping while playing with my little ones as displayed in some of the pictures, but to each her own. I'm very hopeful and the reviews seem positive. I would love to hear if any one has personal experience.
As you can see, these items are more focused towards making life easier for Mommy. An important task if ever there was one. I'm sure I've left some amazing products off the list that I'll remember are super wonderful once Jacob comes, but for now this is my list.
Oh, and I just posted a pregnancy update about an hour ago, so don't miss out on that post just because this is the latest post. :) Hooray double post day!
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