There are hundreds of gidgets and gadgets out there claiming they will change your life when you have a baby. (As if having a baby isn't life changing enough.) Each say that their product will make your life easier, your baby will be happier - and your baby will probably end up as president of the U.S.A. OK, so that was an exaggeration, but you all know exactly what I'm talking about. As a first-time mom, I have come up with a list of the top 10 must-haves that I recommend to any soon-to-be parent.
When my daughter was born, I was in school. In fact, I had her the weekend school started - as if adjusting to being a mommy wasn't enough. My sister-in-law gave me a bouncy chair and it really saved me. I could put my daughter in it, it cuddled and bounced her, and the gentle vibration soothed her while I got my homework done.
Newborns love to be moving or rocking. The swing will allow you to do a load of laundry or two while your baby is gently rocked back and forth.
Boppie or nursing pillow
This has two purposes in my mind. I never liked to put my daughter on the floor, even on a blanket. I always preferred for her to be in her bouncy seat or on the Boppie. I also loved the Boppie for feeding time, it relieved a lot of the stress on my back to have something I could put around my waist to elevate the baby and help hold my arms up while feeding. This is especially helpful when you are first learning the art of breast-feeding.
White noise machine
White noise is a must have. It can be an actual white noise machine, or something as simple as a fan. White noise is very comforting and soothing to a baby, and it can also drown out the extra noise of the house to help them sleep deeper and more peacefully.
Baby front carrier
Baby carriers are a life saver. My favorite is the Ergo. You can get so much done when baby wants to be held, and you have a carrier that allows you to still have two free hands. It is also a huge help when you go places that a stroller would be inconvenient, as well as things like going on a hike, or to a get together.
Learning saucers are great It won't be long before your little one doesn't want to be laid down, but doesn't want to be held - they just want to stand. Learning saucers are fantastic for helping your baby stand and play at the same time.
Jonny Jump Up
This can provide hours of entertainment for you and your baby. Just like the saucer this can allow you to get things done, and your baby will be happier jumping and playing in this than lying on the floor. Put the jump up in a doorway of a room you are working in. You and your baby will both be happy to be together and getting things done.
I can't even count how many times our video monitor came in handy. I am what you can call a very paranoid mother. I want to see what is happening in my baby's room. If I hear a thud, I want to know that she is OK. When my daughter was a newborn, she learned to roll over very quickly, and she preferred to sleep on her stomach. I would put her on her back, and she would just roll to her tummy. I loved being able to see that she wasn't suffocating or that the blanket wasn't covering her head. Video monitors can help with the extra anxiety of keeping your baby safe. I swear by these.
A good diaper bag
Make sure you have a really good diaper bag. Some people say that any bag will do, but I promise you the bigger and more functional the diaper bag is, the happier you will be. Don't just buy the first cute diaper bag you see. Do some research and figure out what it is that you want out of a diaper bag. Don't be afraid to spend a little more on a really good bag.
A sense of humor
This is a huge one! A sense of humor is going to save you from many sleepless nights, exhausting days, overwhelming amounts of laundry, and all the other things that come along with being a parent. If you can laugh it off, you will be in good shape.
Every baby is different, and every parent is different. These, however, are the things that I have found to be the biggest must-haves of parenting.