Thursday, February 15, 2018

Newborn Must Haves; a highly subjective list

Ahhhhh the good old blogger "must have" list. Maybe it's just me but whenever I come across any sort of "must have" list on Pinterest I'm always curious to see if their concept of "must have" lines up with mine and so often they don't. I've read so many lists of "must haves" for the Newborn days and some of the stuff is helpful. Some of it definitely isn't; in fact some of it I would straight up contradict. So I thought I would join the hordes and weigh in on the things that I find to be "Must Have's" during the Newborn Stage.

There are lots of things we use EVERY DAY while having babies and toddlers. I think it's helpful to address those here also since many of them are useful in the newborn stage also. 

Newborn Stuff

Mam Soothers My kids LOVE these soothers. Avie wouldn't use other soothers until well after she was one. They come in newborn sizes and bigger. Bailey hasn't cared as much, but still seems to like these best. 

Baby Socks I CAN NOT say enough about these socks from Hanna Andersson. They are the only socks I have ever found that don't come off of newborns easily. They are amazing. We didn't have these with Avie, but my MIL brought a Christmas pair with her for Bailey's birth and I immediately ordered more (not Christmas themed). Bailey has worn these until like 8/9 months and are epic. I have like 3-4 pairs, and now with the twins coming have ordered another 3-4 pairs since my babies will live in these. 

Baby Slippers Once our babies reach about 2/3 months I start adding slippers to their outfits. We swear by these Baby Slippers which also don't come off - until the baby is old enough to rip them off, and then there isn't much you can do about it. My kids have both worn this well past the age of 1 - even as they can begin to walk, these slippers work inside. They add a layer of extra warmth on top of the socks that I like. They also have a style of glove that can really work for kids. They stay on pretty decently. 

Baby Knitted Boots These are very popular everywhere in Vancouver. Someone gifted us our first pair and they stay on super well. I've gathered these from thrift stores and friends as I've found them on sale. I have two matching white/grey pairs, a bright pink/purple pair and a bright green/blue pair. These stay on exceptionally well and keep your kids feet very warm. Great for stroller trips and car rides. 

Breastfeeding Pillow I swear by Breastfeeding pillows. I have the Jolly Jumper one for my day to day breastfeeding since it's big and comfortable, I also keep a spare in my van (I grabbed a free one online here, they aren't my favorite but work in a pinch) and throw it in my stroller anytime I'm out and about. Now I'll be honest - not everyone loves these or needs these. I have chronic back pain from years of being top heavy - I had breast reduction surgery when I was 23, and while that slowed the decline on my back, it didn't take it away, so breastfeeding without a pillow is basically torture for me. I don't mess around with back pain - I ALWAYS feed with a pillow.
Bouncy Chair / Chair Swings / Exersaucer Honestly every time we've used different chairs and swings (whatever someone wants to lend or give us) and we've liked them all in different ways. In our last house we kept one swing outside where we ate dinner each night (since it was summer) and one inside. In this house, we've kept one on the main level and one up in our room. I think we'll more reasonably have two swings on the main floor. We'll also have two exersaucer's (which we did in our last place since we had an upstairs and downstairs tv room). I like having them in the main areas we hang out in - they are especially useful when I'm cooking, or were eating dinner and want to be hands-free with happy babies. 

Baby Play Gym Same as with the above items, we've used a huge variety. I hardly care what they are like (and the babies seem quite indifferent to the differences and just like anything), as long as have one in the upstairs area of the house and one in the downstairs. I find they are great to give me a few moments to have a shower. I usually buy mine at a thrift store for like $15. We have one on the main level of the house, and one up in our bedroom. The girls often have their morning bottles on the floor in our room while we get ready, and then play with toys while we do laundry or clean up, so it's nice to have a place to lay babies that keeps them a bit occupied. 

Stocked Diaper Bag Last time we used an should bag, and this time we've switched to a backpack (so it doesn't slide off and on to a twin) but either way it's vital in the newborn times to have these stocked. We always go through it together each night (if we've used it) to make sure it's stocked. We keep a bottle (or two), formula, diapers, wipes, extra clothes, baby tylenol and extra socks. I'll be writing a further post on exactly what we keep in there and how we organize it but for now those are the main areas. As they grow into toddlers we start to keep more food there as well, but in the newborn stage, food isn't necessary, though again we do swear by some formula just in case babies are starving and you can't breastfeed where you are. 

Baby Stuff

Diaper Genie We have one of these in the kids' room and one of these on our main level where we spend most of our time (next to a rolling diaper kart that contains wipes, diapers, extra soothers, bum cream and refills of all of the above). We also have one of these for the new nursery room. I like the look of these, they are relatively inexpensive, the refills are cheapest at Costco (and I love me some Costco), and they do a decent job of containing diaper smells.

Sound Machine We have two of these, one for the kids' room and one for the twins nursery. Right now we're using the nursery one in our closet for Bailey's naps. I used to be either indifferent or opposed to sound machines - I was worried about giving the kids a crutch that would mean they would need special circumstances to sleep (like black our curtains and noisemakers) but with so many people living in our home, it makes such a difference to help keep some of the people noise at bay while the kids nap and sleep at night. 

Video Monitor We not only have this video monitor (which comes with one camera) but we now have three extra cameras to go with it. I love that you can add up to 4 cameras (crazy that we'll have enough kids for each of these). It lets you tilt around the room, if the kids gets out of bed, and you can talk back to them through it (not that I find that it helps - it mostly pisses our kids off more). You can chose what camera to leave it on, or set it to patrol so it cycles through all the cameras you have linked or you can leave it on a view that shows all at once. One thing I really like is that when you leave the volume on (which we only do in the newborn stage since we can always hear our kids through the walls as they get older) it doesn't broadcast a white noise, like our last video monitor did. It used to drive me nuts - if the volume was on at all it meant we had to listen to a weird white noise that it projected. This one just leaves it silent until your kids cries. I like that. Also, it shows the temperature - which was useful in the summer when the kids room overheated like crazy. We wouldn't have known to do something if it wasn't so clear. 

The big stuff for babies / toddlers 

City Select Double Stroller We LOVE this stroller. We took it to Europe and it was AMAZING. We take it everywhere in the city and have used it on beaches and at camp and it always performs. It's great in the newborn stage since you can click your seat into it (see below) and then continues to be great as you grow into the seats it comes with. It's easy to fold (a win for my bad back) and isn't too huge once folded (though you do have to remove the seats to fold it). It's adaptable and smooth. We will be trying a three seater hack I saw online and have heard good reviews of - we'll see how that goes. 

Car Seat with base We were given one of these free when we first had Avie and then bought another of the same when we were expecting Bailey. We now have a second on route to us. We love it. Inexpensive, easy to clean and easy to use. 

Car Seat to Stroller Adapter These adapters are awesome - they allow your sleeping newborn to transition from your car to your stroller and back without waking up. Life saver!

Car Seat Canopy These keep your baby warm and covered. Helpful in less than ideal weather conditions, or in louder spaces. We always get our free and just pay for shipping. 

I think that brings my must-have's list to a close. There are other handy things, but these are the things I wouldn't do this baby thing without. I wonder if this list will change much with twins - anything I would newly call a must have, or will no longer use as much? Let's see! Just a couple more months until we find out!
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