I figured I would start a post on baby products that you really need as a first time parent, and things that are more gimmick-ey and not real necessities. However, that being said, every baby is different, and every parent is different, and what works for one parent may not work for another. So, I advise you to just take this stuff into consideration, but do (or purchase) what you think is right.
Things we consider a must-have:
- Bassinet: I thought I’d be smart with this one, and use a Pack n’ Play (players) as our bassinet. My logic behind this was that I didn’t wanna spend money on a bassinet that we would use for 6 months and basically be stuck with this piece of furniture once our son is in crib in his own room. I thought the pack n play would be great since you can pack it up and store it easily, whereas you’ll have to disassemble a bassinet. That backfired. We ended up getting the Halo Bassinest which was great, helped baby sleep, which helped mom and dad sleep. I think the smaller space (versus the pack n play) was comforting to our son. Halo Bassinest Official Website
- Dock-A-Tot (or some other fully breathable lounging station or mattress): this is huge. And you can’t fully appreciate the peace of mind you get when you have something fully breathable so you aren’t constantly worrying your baby might suffocate while you are asleep. Although expensive, the security you get from knowing your baby is safe is priceless. Dock-A-Tot shop, with 10% off from WTF Parent
- Compact Stroller: We purchased the Mountain Buggy Nano, and we f***ing love the thing. It fits everywhere. In the smallest restaurants, stores, literally everywhere. It fits our Peg Pérego Primo Viaggio 4-35 car seat perfectly. Mountain Buggy Official Website Crocodile Baby (Nano available at Canadian Retailler) Westcoast Kids (another Canadian retailer for the Nano)
- Wipe Warmer: this will for sure draw some criticism. We’ve heard people say to us “babies are so spoiled these days, they need their wipes to be warmed. When our kids were babies, they had cold wipes” #FirstWorldPains . I get it. But… When you’re up in the middle of the night and you can change your baby without him screaming his head off from the cold wipe on his ass, I’ll take it. I don’t care if you wanna think my kid is spoiled. It’s also a great baby shower gift cuz if you get one on sale, they can be between CAD$19-39. Babies R Us Canada
- A good swing: key word there is “good”. And I would highly recommend the Nuna Leaf swing. It’s a little pricey but it will last years. And I mean years. It holds up to 130lbs, which means your kid could probably use it till they’re 10 years old. It has a soothing rocking motion that is not mechanical, and for some reason, just puts the baby to sleep or calms baby down. Westcoast Kids (Canadian Retailer)
- Good Bottles: if you’re going to be breastfeeding, the Munchkin Latch is the best set of bottles that we have come across. Regardless of the brand, if you plan on breastfeeding as well, make sure you get wide nipple bottles to minimize or prevent nipple confusion. We used the Dr Browns wide nipple bottles, the Comotomo bottles and the Munchkin Latch. The Latch seemed to make our son work the hardest for his meal, taking him more or less the same amount of time as if he were breastfeeding. Also, by the time he was done, he was tired (if not already passed out) from having to work (latch and suck) to get his meal.
- Nursing Bras. That’s plural. Make sure you have at least 2. Because babies spit up. And when you’re nursing, your boobs leak and if you don’t have a nursing bra on, while one is in the wash (from the aforementioned spit up), you’ll be leaking onto your clothes. Personally, I liked the Medela ultra stretch nursing bras, they’re super comfortable and serves their purpose.
- A good Nursing Pillow: get something good, because you’ll be using it a lot. I recently got the Ergobaby natural curve nursing pillow and love it. If you’re interested in purchasing the Ergobaby natural curve nursing pillow, and you’re located in the US, click this link to get 10% off your entire Ergobaby purchase. I also hear that My Brest Friend is a really good nursing pillow to go with but I haven’t actually tried it. Crocodile Baby (Canadian Retailer) or at Westcoast Kids (Richmond, BC)
Things that were kind of a waste of money:
- TeePee Tents if you’re having a boy. They flat out do not work. They seem like such a practical item, but they’re not. I didn’t know (the extent of) this before, but babies fuss. And move. Especially when you’re changing them. They kick their legs and don’t stay still. Instead, buy some puppy training pads and lay them on your change table for easy pee clean ups so yore no constantly having to wipe down the change table as your baby is lying on it.
- Shitty swings: if they’re cheap and look cheap, and rock, sway or swing like they’re cheap, chances are, your baby isn’t gonna like it. Even though it’s on sale, avoid the temptation and splurge on something good instead. You’ll be thankful you did when your baby is peacefully sleeping because of the better quality rocking motion of the swing.
- Big Stroller: we bought a larger jogging style stroller, and never used it. It was supposed to fit a newborn in it (without a car seat), but the straps were too long even at its shortest setting so we couldn’t put our newborn in it right away. So, for the first little bit, we went without a stroller. Then your baby gets heavier which makes the car seat heavier and more difficult to carry around. So we bought a smaller stroller that we could literally take everywhere. There’s no way we could’ve brought the bigger stroller in some of the smaller (more crowded) restaurants and shops that we went to.
Before I end this post, I’ll leave you with two tips or two things to think about. They are both obviously money permitting, but for:
- If you can afford 2 car seats, buy 2 of the same. Basically, if you have 2 vehicles, you’ll most likely be buying one car seat (which should come with a base) and an extra base for the other car. The reason for this is, you will have diaper explosions occasionally. If these happen while baby is in the car seat, you will need to wash the car seat liner – which means you can’t go out with the baby until the liner is washed and dried. By the time you contact the company of the car seat, and buy the extra liners or inserts, you might as well get a whole other car seat with a base (and don’t buy the extra base). Hopefully this makes sense… Crocodile Baby (Canadian Retailer) or at TJ’s Kids or Westcoast Kids (Canadian Retailer)
- If you and your husband have 2 cars, unless you have a successful system going on, you’re bound to leave the house one day with the stroller in the other vehicle. A second stroller would be super beneficial if you end up getting a cheaper one. I know, I know, it’s like I’m on commission with Mountain Buggy (but I’m not), but their Nano stroller retails at CAD$299 and if you get an Uppa Baby or Stokke brand stroller, those will set you back a minimum of $800+ so realistically, getting 2 of the cheaper Nano’s are a great idea and super convenient. I can’t tell you how many times I had to struggle carrying our son in his car seat around a grocery store buying diapers in Walmart while our stroller sat in my husband’s car while he was at work.
Anyways, hopefully this blog helps and gives you some food for thought. If you have any questions or other suggestions or experience of items that are necessary or useless, please feel free to comment on this blog post!