Your parents are going to think you have lost your mind or are doing it all wrong plenty of times. It will start with the baby items you insist are necessary.
Their response will be “well back in my day you slept in a dresser drawer and look, you turned out fine”. While it’s true that humans have been raising babies for thousands of years without all these fancy items, it’s often worth it to spend a little money to make your life easier or help you get more sleep.
In this post, I highlight nine items that sure, you could live without (if you like to do things the hard way or if you don’t like sleep), but will certainly make your life either more fun or easier.
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The Shopping Cart Hammock
I think it is so funny how many moms I talk to who they weren’t prepared for how hard it is to shop. It’s like everyone gives you lots of cute (and I mean cute!) onesies at your baby shower, says congratulations and not a single word on, oh that’s right, how hard it is!
I mean seriously some advice would have been nice. Well, if you are expecting and reading this, then here is my advice. FIGURE out how you are going to do errands.
You can’t push a cart AND a stroller.
The car seat can go into the shopping cart, but it will take up ALL the room.
You could wear baby in a carrier, which does work, but it can be tricky to bend to get items. I have done pliés in aisles before just to get things off the bottom shelf. And just wait until they reach that “I have awake time now and I want to see everything going on” phase that hits between 2-3 months. Then they don’t want to be in the carrier unless they are asleep, which of course they never are when you want them to be.
While the Binxy Baby Shopping Cart Hammock might seem over the top, you will not only use it, but it will become an absolute necessity. Especially when you also have a toddler who rides in the cart.
White Noise Machines
The last thing you want is for baby to wake after all that hard work of getting your little one to sleep. Baby L I swear had super sonic hearing and could hear any noise in the house. The result: an awake baby. I mean, we even had a pattern on how to walk up the stairs to not make them creak. The white noise machine will mask noises allowing baby to more easily sleep through anything. We still always skipped the third step on our stairs just in case 😊
Maybe some people get really lucky and never have a colic baby. AS for the rest of us, there is the Mamaroo. Yes, I did actually need a swing that has a car setting. I can remember many nights where that was the only thing that would put Baby L to sleep. Car setting on high with the white noise machine going in the background.
The real issue here is that pacifiers aren’t cute. Attach a cute little stuff animal to one and wow they are adorable. Besides the fact that you are partly buying this because you can’t wait to pick out which animal is on your baby’s Wubanub, it is actually pretty smart.
Baby will have something to hold onto meaning they will be able to put the pacifier back into their mouth as they get older. Additionally, the attached stuffed animal can become their lovey. They will associate holding the animal while they use their pacifier. Sucking on a pacifier just like sucking on a breast soothes a baby and therefore they will associate animal with comfort. As a baby gets older, it could really help with sleep.
What do you do when time comes to ditch the pacifier? Take the animal off and allow your child to keep the animal as a lovey.
These might seem gross or over the top but trust me, you want one. And you won’t care about how gross the idea of sucking snot out of a nose is when your baby can’t breathe. Babies are nose breathers and must breathe through their nose to nurse (or take a bottle). Your life will be miserable until you help baby get some relief. Save yourself the midnight run to the store when baby has their first cold, and buy one before they arrive.
Now I have a toddler who likes to copy everything I do with our new baby with her Minnie Mouse doll. I guess I must use the nose sucker a lot because Minnie needs her nose sucked a lot.
While my dog might think it looks like a dog bed, this bed is pretty awesome. You will find out in the first few days home that you always need a place to put baby. It is impossible to have a swing follow you around everywhere you go but this is easy to lift and carry. We use the DockATot for diaper changes, taking showers, playing and sleeping.
The Baby Nail File Set
Who doesn’t love a manicure?
While some might think that getting a full-on nail set for baby is over the top, you will have so much more luck with a nail file than nail clippers. Also, the risk of cutting baby is not worth it. It is surprisingly scary how much a little nail clipper cut will bleed.
If you absolutely need to use a nail clipper, turn it upside down. It is so much easier to use on someone else if it is upside down.
The Magic Merlin Sleepsuit
First comes the uterus, then comes the swaddle, then comes the Magic Merlin Sleepsuit. Your baby was snug as a bug in your uterus. After birth, you find out how wonderful the swaddle is and how much your little burrito loves be so cozy. Unfortunately, when they start to roll you have to ditch the swaddle.
Going from the tight swaddle to the giant openness of a crib is a sure way to have a horrible week, or even month, of sleep. However, your world won’t end because a mom invented the Magic Merlin Sleepsuit. Your child will literally be sleeping in a marshmallow. You might even want to get it just to take pictures of your baby in it. Nothing will give you a better laugh and yes, your parents are going to think you have lost your mind on this one.
The Bottom Line
If it helps you get more sleep or helps you get through the day with less crying and a happier baby, then it’s worth it. It doesn’t matter if people judge you. Your baby needs a happy mama.
So get the hammock to go on your grocery cart to make buying food easier. That way when the checkout line is unbearably long, you can rock the grocery chart as a make shift swing. (I still rock my grocery cart even without a baby in it out of habit).
Get any and all strange outfits to help baby sleep. I mean it’s either that or spending a crazy amount on coffee. If you are still pregnant, have I mentioned you might want to sleep AS MUCH AS YOU CAN.
Lastly, remember in all of the chaos that is new motherhood, it won’t last forever. I know in the thick of it, it can seem like that but your baby will grow up and before you know it, those first words of mama will turn into mommy and then mom.
Remember when you are ready to pull your hair out to just enjoy that baby and those 3 AM smiles.
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Dr. Trina Fitzpatrick is a wife, mom, blogger, and a breastfeeding advocate. She is the co-author of the Week-by-Week Bump Smart Course, the Nesting Planner and the Breastfeeding Handbook. She attributes her success at breastfeeding her own children into toddlerhood with working with lactation consultants in the hospital in the early stages and on a weekly basis afterwards. By writing at MomSmartNotHard, she educates mamas-to-be on all things pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding. Read more about Trina.