Everyone talks about the things you HAVE to have on your baby registry and what you NEED for your hospital bag. No one talks about the items you order online or ask your husband to pick up after the baby is born. Trust me, you’ve done it or will do it too! Here’s my MUST-HAVES for bringing home baby.
The day has come. You get to bring your bundle of joy home. If your baby was/is/going to be anything like mine, she was just a little angel in the hospital, sleeping away in her cold, tiny plastic box in her nice hospital blanket swaddled around her. Don’t get me wrong, she woke up every two hours to eat, but she didn’t mind being put down in the hospital bassinet.
Fast-forward to the first night at home, she won’t let you lay her down in the bassinet you so lovingly put up for her next to your bed. She seems to hate her swaddle. Now what? Thank God my family was here to help us out. That first night was….well now it’s in the past. Let’s not dwell. Let’s talk about what I ordered like a sleep deprived mad women over the next couple weeks.
One of the first things I ordered was the Baby Shusher. Our newborn photographer, Stefanie Michelle (hey girl!), used it during our session. Our little one slept for a few hours without a peep! Now, this is way different than your typical white noise machine. We have the Hatch Baby Rest and the Skip Hop Stroll & Go Portable Baby Soother Owl and those are good in their own right. We use the Baby Shusher to lull her to sleep at night while still using the white noise from the Hatch Baby Rest. It sounds like overkill, but it really helps her fall asleep quickly.
We also used it during her slight crying phase around 6-8 weeks. She didn’t really cry a ton, but when she got upset, the Baby Shusher calmed her down immediately. The only con about this product is that is has timers for 15 minutes and 30 minutes. If I use it during naps, she wakes up as soon as it turns off. She just doesn’t get in a deep enough sleep to stay asleep (at night, she does). So either I have to turn it back on, or not use it when I put her down for a nap. If it’s not clear, I LOVE this so much! Any baby showers I attend in the future will be receiving the Baby Shusher whether it’s on their registry or not. You can thank me later.
Another one of the first things I bought was the book: Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp, M.D. (I also bought the DVD—also super helpful if you’re a visual learner). Like I mentioned earlier, my baby did not want to sleep in her bassinet and did not want to be swaddled. Turns out I was wrong. Well, at least about the swaddle. I was just doing it wrong (more on that later). This book helped me understand how to calm her down easy when she got upset including needing to “shush” her (you can only shush for so long—Baby Shusher came in handy). Now, she never slept in that bassinet, but I did get her to sleep and that’s a win. I have Harvey Karp, M.D.’s next book already on my Amazon shopping list: Happiest Toddler on the Block.
Disclaimer: This may be too much information for you. Please skip if you do not wish to discuss bodily functions (which if you’re reading this you’re probably a parent or going to be one, so welcome to your new life).
Our little one had trouble with her bowel movements (I warned you). She was just so constipated. We tried everything: warm baths, bicycling her legs, thermometers, etc. Everything worked eventually, but she was uncomfortable and that kills you as a parent. I found the Bright Starts Playful Pinwheels Bouncer from a YouTube video. They said that the vibrating feature could help, and boy did it! We even nicknamed it “the poop chair” because it worked so well. I would say that “the poop chair” had a success rate of 98%. Even with all her lounging options, I would say this was the best! And it’s so cheap!
Ok, another book recommendation: Moms on Call Basic Baby Care 0-6 Months by Laura Hunter and Jennifer Walker. I didn’t buy this one right away. She was probably 3-4 weeks old at the time. She had generally been a good sleeper, but she was eating all the time. I couldn’t even call it cluster feeding. It was crazy. Moms on Call helped me get her on schedule at about 5 weeks old. And she was sleeping through the night at 6 weeks old (like 8-9 hours). I don’t agree with everything in this book and made tweaks of my own, but obviously most of the methods worked. My baby is 7.5 months old and sleeps in her crib, without a sleep sack/swaddle, for 10-11 hours straight.
This also where I learned how to really swaddle my baby (not the up, down, up, down that I learned in Baby Care Basics class or in the Harvey Karp book above). My little girl is fierce and strong. She broke out of every swaddle/sleep sack I had! I bought the Moms on Call swaddling blanket. It’s extra-large and flannel. You wouldn’t think this is important, but it truly is for those babies who are too strong for their own good. I found some similar swaddles on Amazon too and they worked just as great if not better. I was able to swaddle her all the way until about 14 weeks old. From 12-14 weeks, she became my little Houdini once again.
We already talked about soothing, sleeping, and pooping, let’s move on to something a little more fun. As I’m sure you know, most babies hate tummy time. My baby was no exception. So I went searching for things that would entertain her while she worked on all her little baby muscles. I found the best tummy time toy and it’s still one of her all-time favorites. It’s the Earlyears Fill ‘N Fun Water Play Mat. You fill it with a little bit of water and there are little fish in it that move around when you press on it. Endless hours of entertainment. And like I said, she still loves it!
Well those are the top five things I bought after we brought home baby. What did you order after coming home? What are your essentials that you never put on your baby registry? Leave it the comments below. Thanks for stopping by!
Other products mentioned:
And if you missed it, also check on my post on Surviving Teething.