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Baby Must Haves
Like most first time parents, we filled our registry and our home with things we thought we would need for our newborn baby. We went to the store, followed the baby registry checklist, and used the cool handheld scanner. It was a lot of fun, but stressful at the same time.
Did we register for all the things we needed? Is there something that we missed? Do we really need to register for THAT? Then the internal battle between my head and my hormones started. My instincts were saying, “YOU HAVE TO HAVE THIS,” but my head was saying, “are you sure you really need this?”
With our second baby, I had a much better understanding of the things we actually used vs the things that were nice to have. Here are my top 7 favorite and useful things for newborn to 1 year.
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After a ton of research, we found Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor which has some really cool features. The base model comes with one monitor screen and one camera. The monitor can support up to 4 cameras per monitor screen.
It is nice to have an extra camera if your baby is going to nap in one place and sleep for the night in another. It is also nice if you have multiple children. Only one monitor is needed as it can be set up to scan between the cameras or stay on one of the cameras if desired.
I would recommend buying a replacement battery right off the bat. With our first baby, I loved to watch her sleep. The more the monitor screen was on, the faster the battery died. It would not hold a charge at all after a while and I had to order a new one. Trust me, you don’t want to be stuck tethered to an outlet for days while you wait for a new battery to be shipped to you.
We loved the Marpac Dohm Classic White Noise Sound Machine so much we bought a second one for our second daughter. We didn’t have to worry about walking on eggshells to keep the house quiet every time the baby was asleep.
If one of the neighbors starts a lawn mower or their car, it is not going to wake up the baby. If we have friends over after bedtime and we want to watch a movie, the sound machine drowns out most of the noise.
The baby actually sleeps better, and we sleep better too. We can hear the sound machine over the baby monitor and it helps us sleep better.
This Marpac Dohm Classic White Noise Sound Machine is great. It has an internal fan that generates the pink noise. It has a switch for a louder or softer noise. You can also turn part of the machine to increase/decrease the size of the holes the air is blowing out of resulting in different sounds.
When I know something is going to be loud, like trees getting cut down in the backyard during nap time, I will make sure the machine is set as loud as it can get. It won’t drown out all the noise, but it keeps the kids asleep which is what we are going for. We even hosted a baby shower during nap time. Our guests were ringing the doorbell when they arrived and socializing all the while our little one took a solid 2-hour snooze.
Changing station on each floor
Having a designated diaper changing station / area on each floor is amazingly helpful. It should be equipped with a flat surface for diaper changes, an area to store diapers, wipes, diaper cream, and extra clothes, and some sort of distraction for the baby. A toy or hanging mobile would be perfect distractions. We currently have a Pack ‘n Play Playard being used for a changing station on the second floor and the more formal changing table the Child Craft Arched Top Changing Table on the main level.
I set up separate bins of extra clothes, diapers, wipes, swaddle blankets, burp clothes, and extra diapers for each station. Do you know how many times a day a baby needs to have their diaper changed? On average, 15 times – yes, I counted! If you have to run to a different floor each time you have to change a diaper, you will be running up and down the stairs ALL day long. Make it easier on yourself and have multiple changing stations in your house.
Chair for baby on each floor
By chair, I mean somewhere you can put baby down securely while you do other things. You don’t want to try to move the chair and the baby down or up the stairs since it’s not safe. The chair should also be light and easy to move around from room to room.
We have a bouncy seat on the main level and a rock n’ play upstairs. If she isn’t sleeping, she likes to be able to see someone. It is nice to be able to easily move her around to the room I need to be in. I can set the baby down while I am cooking dinner, she can sit next to me while we eat dinner, and I can move her in the toy room while I play with her big sister.
On the main level, we have a Ingenuity InLighten Bouncer bouncy seat that we call the bear chair (I don’t think they make the bear anymore). It is great! It has lights for baby to look at, a small built-in sound machine, and little bear toys hanging for baby to play with.
Upstairs, we have a rock n’ play that the baby can lay in while I take a shower, clean, work in my office/craft room, or play with big sister in her room. The rock n’ play is great because it folds up easily and can be taken to a friend’s or family member’s house. Some of our friends didn’t have kids or any kid gear we could use while we were at their house, so we took the rock n’ play with us. It saved us from having to hold the baby the whole time.
Feeding pillow on each floor
A Boppy Nursing Pillow to feed the baby on is very handy to have on each floor. Even if you are bottle feeding, it is still nice to have. It saves your arms and back from holding all of baby’s weight while feeding. I would be sore from holding the baby while feeding at 1am, 3am, 5am, 7am, etc.
Near each of my feeding stations, I would have a drink for me, some snacks, the feeding pillow, a light source like a desk lamp, and a ton of burp clothes. You can’t have enough burp clothes! Both of our girls spit up a lot for the first 3 months. The feeding pillow helped me support and feed the baby with one hand while I could use the other hand to feed myself, drink something, or help big sister with something.
Play mat that folds up
We registered and received the Tiny Love Gymini Super Deluxe Lights and Music Play Mat play mat and I am so glad we did! It has a lot of space for the baby to roll around for tummy time. Both of our girls enjoyed it over the past 2.5 years. It is large enough for both of them to lay on it together. I love that it folds flat so I can put store it easily. It is the perfect match between functionality, organization, storage, and fun!
The Baby Einstein Neighborhood Friends Activity Jumper is a must for babies who have enough head control. It enables them to “stand” on their own or sit and bounce. The toys are entertaining, and some models feature interchangeable toys. It is so fun to watch the baby bounce, play, and learn.
If you are short on space, I would recommend something that folds up or one that hangs in the doorway. The activity bouncer we have for the main level takes up a lot of space, but our oldest absolutely loved it. I am sure our youngest will as well.
Looking for gift ideas for the New Mommy? Take a look at Unique Gifts for the New Mom in Your Life