Now that I've had the privilege of actually being a new mommy, shopping for one is so much fun. I know the things my baby and I needed, the things we loved, and the things we used the most. My gifts to new mommies are now practical yet precious. I realize I sound a bit prideful here, and that's because this is huge for me - having confidence in a baby gift!
But aside from my newfound ability to shop for new parents and their baby on the way, I also love to share with them some of the things we really did need, love, and use the most - things I believe every new mom should have or at least consider. A lot of them make your life as a new parent just a bit easier, and I am thankful someone shared them with me.
1. On Becoming Baby Wise: Giving Your Infant the Gift of Nighttime Sleep - This book was recommended to us time and time again from a number of parents. Most claiming the book was fantastic, some only agreeing that it was good information, while a few asserted it was useless and didn't work at all. The positive reviews outnumbered the negative and really, who doesn't want your infant to sleep at nighttime? So, I read it before our little one entered the world and then referred back to it several times afterward.
I am a huge advocate for Baby Wise. I believe it should be approached as a useful tool, not as a textbook. It is not a book that you follow word for word, nor is it a set of instructions that you cannot stray from. It is a guide. Every child is different and I believe the most important thing is to understand the principles behind establishing nighttime sleep and adjust for what works best for you and your family and your schedule. I initially made the mistake of approaching it as a set of instructions that I could not waiver from. It took no time for me to realize that the principles within Baby Wise are completely personalizable - able to be tailored to you and your baby.
2. Video Monitor - When building my registry for my baby shower, I had a dear friend who helped me choose what to include. She was a fairly new mother and had invaluable insight on what I would need and use. One of the suggestions she made was a video monitor, and I am very thankful that I heeded her advice. Below is one that is similar to what we have.
It has been an absolute blessing. Having a video at my fingertips of what my baby was doing in his crib at all times was wonderful. I could put him down for a nap and walk away to care for the things such as the house, the yard, and myself (like taking a shower) and still be able to hear and see him. When he'd begin to cry, I could look at the monitor to see if his need was urgent or if he was just fussing in his sleep. I could let him play in his crib when he awoke and know that he was just fine.
I believe this was crucial in helping him learn to sleep on his own and develop a bit of independence. As a new parent, you want to constantly check on them - make sure they are breathing, legs and arms aren't trapped between the slats, and faces aren't smashed against bumper pads. I could do all of these things at an arm's length - a great benefit to both mommy and baby.
3. Zip Sleepers - I do not believe you can have too many sleepers for your baby. My little one stayed in them from the time he was born until about the time he started walking. And in particular, sleepers that zip, not button.
4. Sleep Sack Swaddle - As a new parent, your told to not allow your baby to sleep with a blanket to prevent suffocation. But as a parent, your concern is how am I sure he or she is warm enough (especially during the colder months)? You're told that some babies love to be swaddled and that that's the answer to a lot of sleep obstacles. But as a parent, you lack the ability to create a satisfactory swaddle. The sleep sack swaddle was our cure all for both concerns.
5. Amazon Mom Prime Membership - Shortly after having our little one, a friend of mine told me about Amazon Mom. Mothers and caretakers could sign up for the Amazon Prime Membership at no cost for a specific period of time. I signed up having no idea how huge of an impact this would have for me.
Amazon Mom members enjoy free two-day shipping and with subscribe and save, you can save up to 20% on certain items, including diapers and wipes. I can honestly say that having diapers and wipes arrive at my doorstep on a moment's notice was amazing. As a new mother and especially if your little one arrives in the colder months, any excuse to not get out in the cold weather is a good one. And you can order all sort of things with the Mom membership, not just items for baby.
Right now, I believe you can try Amazon Mom for a three month trial period. If you're a new mother, expecting, or just looking for an easier way - I highly recommend you check out this offer, because it is an offer that I am so thankful someone shared with me.
I hope you've found this list helpful and that you'll share it with others who might think so too.
As always, thanks for reading.
January 12, 2013