Top 8 can’t-live-without but optional baby items!

So it’s been 6 months since I’ve been a mommy.  I figured now is a good time to share with you my thoughts on which baby items I think is super useful and nice to have, but not essential.

Some of these things I didn’t buy right at the beginning, but accumulated as I realized that I needed them. There are also some things I did buy right at the beginning, but then realized they weren’t actually all that useful.  I will share that with you here too!

So, here we go:

1. The Stroller/car seat combo:

One of the things I agonized over before I gave birth was whether I should buy a convertible car seat and stroller separate, or just buy a combo? The convertible car seat would have a longer “life span” since you can change it from rear facing to forward facing. What ultimately won me over was that with a combo, I can easily take out the entire car seat, and click it into my stroller WITHOUT WAKING THE BABY UP. This is the biggest bonus. There’s nothing worse than waking up a cranky baby just before a shopping trip or a meal at a restaurant.

I’m really glad I made this decision, since Chichi turned out to be a really good car seat sleeper. She’s more content sleeping in her car seat than anywhere else. This translates to longer napping sessions, which meant quiet shopping trips. Heaven!

2. Microwave sterilizer:

Now I realize that there’s some recommendation going around that it is not necessary to sterilize your baby items. But, I’m paranoid mommy. Plus, I think this is actually important if your baby is premature (as Chichi was). You could save yourself some money just boiling them in a giant pot and stand over it….or you can just buy a microwave sterilizer and pop it in for 3 minutes and 10 seconds (in my case). I personally think this is a much easier option, and a time saver. Totally worth the $30 I spent on the sterilizer.

3. Baby swing:

I didn’t have this until Chichi was around 3 months old. I tried delaying it and delaying it because frankly we didn’t have too much room and a swing would take up a lot of room. But when your baby won’t sleep and won’t stop crying unless she’s being rocked to and fro, well, then you go and get a swing. To be honest, I think I would probably be in some sort of arm brace by now if I hadn’t gotten this swing just from holding her in my arms so much.

4. Baby monitor:

To be specific, the Angelcare Movement monitor. I will be posting a review of this item shortly. For now, I will just say that it works (it really does detect small movements, like breathing), and it gives me a peace of mind. Plus, this thing has a ridiculously long range so you can hear your baby anywhere and everywhere.

5. A baby bath tub:

I hadn’t planned on getting this item. It’s bulky, takes up a lot of room, and why not just use the sink?

Once I brought baby home, I realized I would never bath my baby in the same sink I prepare my dinner in (as in, a surface that has come into contact with raw meats). So, I got this simple bathtub that was just that. A plastic bath tub. Nothing fancy, no anti-slip foam things, no incline, no baby stopper, no plug, no spa jets (seriously)?, no cute whale shapes. Nothing.

After a couple of weeks, I realized that this tub was killing my back.  Due to the shape of the tub, I couldn’t fit it over the sink, and had to fill it with water from my tub, then lift it out. In case you didn’t know, lifting a giant tub filled with water out of the bathtub kills your back. I also didn’t like how I couldn’t just fill it with new water if I wanted to mid-bath. So I went out and bought a bathtub with a plug at the bottom so I can drain it easily, AND fits over the kitchen sink. Since then, we’ve had happy bath times! No aching backs, no cold waters!

6. Sleep sacks

I started with the Halo Sleep sacks. They come in a variety of sizes, patterns and fabrics. I find that they keep the baby nice and warm, it doesn’t get kicked away, and there’s also no way the baby could just get smothered in it.  It’s important here to note that you should choose one that fits your baby appropriately, since there’s a theoretical risk that they could just “fall in” if it’s too big. Chichi sleeps in a sleep sack daily and I’ve never had a problem. If the baby happens to fall asleep while you are holding them, it’s also really easy to just put them down to sleep if they’re already in a sleep sack.

7. Change table:

Initially, I figured I could just lay a towel on the floor or bed and just change her there. This might work for some people, but, not for me. A newborn gets their diapers changed at least 8 times a day, and leaning over or bending over to change them gets really hard on your back after a short while. Plus, it’s nice to have all your diaper change supplies in one place for easy convenient changing.

8. Hydrasense Nasal Aspirator:

I’ve already written a review about this item here. I still love it as a mucous and snot sucker. Chichi’s gotten quite used to it as well and doesn’t even fuss when I use it on her now. Excellent product!

 

So, that’s it for my list of super awesome items.

There’s a couple of items that are still nice to have, but if I could do it over I may not have gotten them.

1. Diaper Genie:

This item does work to keep out the smell, but I think it would be just as good to have a garbage bin with a lid, and take out your garbage on a daily basis. At least this way you save on the refills and you don’t have a bunch of dirty diapers sitting around.

2. Boppy Pillow:

This one is kind of a surprise because it’s a must-have item on so many mom’s list. Personally, I didn’t find the Boppy pillow to really “fit” me. It was a lot easier to just stick a pillow underneath when I needed to, rather than try to squeeze the boppy in around me. The one thing I did find this to be useful for was to administer vitamins. I used it to prop up Chichi to keep her in an upright position so it was less likely for her to choke on and spit out the vitamins when I gave it to her.

That’s all I can think of for now. Feel free to share your list of must-have items!

 

 

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