Oh hi. I started this awhile ago and it’s been sitting in my drafts folder but I hesitated to post it because what am I, some kind of mommy blogger? However recently I decided MAYBE I AM and so here it is.
Having a baby is 1% pushing a human out of your body and 99% buying things online. At least that’s been my experience. And once I realized how much stuff we were going to need I felt overwhelmed with all the infinite products and choices and the sense that I had to have everything ready before the baby arrived (this turned out not to be true and everyone tried to tell me but I didn’t listen.) Going to an actual brick and mortar baby superstore (in our case Buy Buy Baby) where they had whole walls devoted to things I didn’t know I needed only ratcheted up my anxiety. Now that I’m on the other side of it I realize how much you really don’t need everything right away and how much, though there seem to be infinite brands and products, everyone seems to end up with the same few items from the same few brands. I cast a pretty wide net and ended up with some can’t-live-without items, some useful items and some stuff I use far less than I thought I would. Here’s my list of can’t-live-without items:
Exercise Ball: I don’t know when an exercise ball became the go-to baby soothing device over a rocking chair (we have both) but the baby world is nuts for balls. When Elliot was a newborn, holding him in my arms and bouncing on the ball stopped his crying almost immediately. It was magical. These days I still use it multiple times a day and even bought another one because I’m tired of trying to carry a baby and a giant ball from one room to another. (I also bought another baby that I keep in the other room with the new ball. Now I’m truly hands free!) Also near the end of pregnancy when I could no longer sit comfortably in a chair at my computer or while recording my podcast I sat instead on the ball. I know it’s supposed to be a bit of a workout but it never feels like one to me which probably means we have the wrong size ball.
Rock N Play: Confession: we put an expensive bassinet—one which came highly recommended—on our registry and my mother-in-law generously sprung for it. I so badly wanted it to work and I am still trying to make it work (it’s still taking up a TON of space next to my bed don’t even get me started) but Elliot just prefers the Rock n Play. The downside is there’s some concern that the Rock N Play can lead to flat head syndrome and Elliot’s head is not un-flat. But I know tons of kids who slept in rock n plays at the beginning and have perfectly shaped heads so it clearly doesn’t cause problems for every kid. (Update: Elliot now sleeps in his crib but occasionally naps in the RnP. Might I recommend these crib sheets?)