As I said yesterday, every baby and family is different. But, just in case you're curious, these are the things I don't know that I could have lived without during Tillie's 10 months so far. They don't include obvious things like car seats and strollers. I'll probably talk about those later.
1. White Noise Machine.
This is the one we have. Seriously, I don't think we would have made it without this. If I need Tillie to wake up, all I have to do is turn this off and her head pops up. It's great because I can take it anywhere and it makes her think of sleeping. There's a reason a message board calls it the "Baby Crack Machine." She yawns when I turn it on.
2. Boppy Pillow
I use this excessively. Even when I stopped breastfeeding, I used it to hold her in my lap when I'm giving her a bottle. She took naps on it when she was tiny. (This is a "NO" on the boppy tag. I only would do it when I was in the same room as her.) When she was learning to sit I would put it around her. Oh, and it's also good for tummy time. I would recommend getting at least one extra slipcover, because babies can be messy. Some people like the My Brest Friend better. I hated the name, so I didn't look into it.
3. Aden + Anais Muslin Blankets
These blankets are amazing. They're huge (47"x47"), so they work for a million things. They're lightweight and breathe, which is great in the summer. We used them for swaddling, sun shade, nursing cover, and just snuggling. Target has a version too, but they're a little smaller (42"x42"). The smaller ones were nice when she was a newborn. I bought these myself in June and felt like I had to justify them to everyone since we already had so many blankets. My mom thought they were great and bought me the non-Target big ones. She thinks they're awesome.
4. Kidpottomus SwaddleMes
Tillie would not sleep as an infant without being swaddled. (Okay, this was the case until she was 6.5 months old.) These wraps made it so much easier because she couldn't break out of them. Some kids don't like to be swaddled, so it may not be worth it for you. Some people say you should stop swaddling them around 3-4 months. I tried, and it did not work. We just kept swaddling her until one day around 6 months she just fell asleep without it and just like that, we were done swaddling. We registered for two, one knit and one fleece. We bought two flannel ones later. I think the fleece one was easiest to tighten, but it wouldn't work too well in the summer. The knit one stretched better, but the flannel ones were cute gingham, which is why we probably ended up with two of them. We actually went out and bought the flannel ones when she was about a week old. Yes, we made a big trip across town to BRU. That's how important they were.
5. MAM Pacifiers
When you take the breastfeeding class, they recommend not introducing a bottle or pacifier for 3-4 weeks. At the hospital, Tillie had a really good latch, but seemed to have a strong need to suck. Since I didn't want to be a human pacifier, I decided to give her a pacifier once we got home. I had registered for Nuk pacifiers, because I think they're cute. Tillie didn't really seem to like them. At two weeks we had to give her formula because of supply issues. She instantly took to bottle feeding and still had no problem breastfeeding. We tried Avent pacifiers next because we were using their bottles at the time. It was better, but she still didn't love them.
One day as I was feeding her I noticed that when she sucked, my nipple was almost flat. (I know, way more than you ever wanted to know.) It looked a lot like the MAM pacifiers. So, I decided to give one more design a shot. It was so worth it. She loved them. We're still using the size 2 (2+ months) now. I tried to give her the 6+ months, but she's so used to the other size.
6. Sling/Baby Carrier
Tillie wasn't a very happy baby until around 4 months. (Yeah, that was when I started giving up breastfeeding because it wasn't working. Turns out she was kind of unhappy because she was always hungry...Yeah. Mom of the year over here.) But, she adored being worn in a sling. I would say she spent 70% of the day time at camp last summer in my Lucky Baby pouch sling. It's a basic pouch sling, and they have a lot of brand names. We also have a BabyBjorn. The Bjorn is nice because Tim wears it too. It's adjustable so it will fit anyone. Other popular baby carriers are Mei Tais (I think I'd like one of these), and Ergos.
7. Playtex Drop-In Bottles
Tillie will take pretty much any bottle we give her, except for the cute Nuk bottles I registered for. We mostly use the cheap Gerber bottles. But, for breastfeeding babies, I would definitely recommend the Playtex Drop-Ins. I got one free in the mail as a sample, so it was in my cupboard. We first tried the NUK, formula just ran down her face. Since I had an Avent breast pump, I decided to try their bottles. I knew Tim's cousin used them. Avent bottles were good at first -- Tillie really liked them. Then they started to leak and I couldn't get them to stop. Plus, they were expensive! (About $8 a bottle for the 5oz. But, I have heard that they've redesigned again to prevent leaks.)
Then we tried the Evenflo glass bottles, because they had been a decoration at one of my showers so I had them. We liked those too, but they leaked. We were at camp during this time and my friend Rebecca had the cheap Gerber ones for her daughter. I bought some of those because I was so sick of leaking -- and Tillie had no problem switching from bottle to breast. When we got home from camp I remembered the Playtex in the back of the closet. Tillie really seemed to like it. Plus, with the drop-in design babies swallow less air. They don't leak, they're not expensive, the nipple is wide and the drop-in liners are recyclable. I use the Target liners. We had one 4oz bottle.
Around 5 months she started drinking more than that at time, so I might recommend just 8oz bottles. Or at least most of them that size. You might not need many bottles, since some kids who breastfeed refuse bottles. (That was me as a child.)
8. Bumbo Seat
I didn't register for this because a few people told me their kids didn't like them. Katie, who I work with, bought me one because her friends all loved it. We packed it away this month and started using it consistently around 3 months. She loved being able to sit up and look around. I loved not having to hold her 24/7. It was especially nice because she didn't start sitting up by herself until 6.5 months.
9. Sooth and Glow Seahorse
I bought this on a whim because I had a coupon/gift card that had to be used. It is amazing. It's like a glowworm, but it plays classical music -- and it's nice music. It turns off after 5 minutes. Tillie loves it, and cuddles it in her crib. A lot of people have this and rave about it. I thought it was a lot of hype, until I bought one. I can put Tillie awake in her crib with it and she'll just fall asleep. Not until she moves into a weird position though.
What items were must haves for your baby?