You know, goodness knows one of the things I’ve learned most clearly during these months is that every single baby is 100% an individual, just as much as adults are. I guarantee that if I were to ask 10 moms what their must have items for a baby were, they’d all have different lists. Shared items, for sure. But what makes the biggest difference during the time completely depends on the baby!
For us, Scarlett was both a fussy, colicky baby, and a not so great sleeper to begin with. (Praise the LORD that has changed🙌🏼!) We also had quite the time with breastfeeding until around month 5. Needless to say, the first couple months were exhausting and challenging. Full of blessings, no doubt, but still challenging. For me to say that these 6 things top our charts, that means they really helped us. Some in bigger ways than others, but all still got us through it!
These six items baby must have items are in no specific order – they all helped get the job done then and still do today! There are of course no-brainer items, like a carseat, stroller, and bottles, not included. These are ones that might not be on a registry, just made all the difference for us!
One. Boppy Nurser
The fact that I’ve made it to 9 months breastfeeding is absolutely crazy to me, based on how hard those first few months were. 9 months, and Scarlett and I STILL use the Boppy Nurser every single feeding. We can without it, neither one of us like to. I bought 3 total: one for my parents house, one for our car, and one for home. It’s not exclusive to breastfeeding – it’s a great prop for holding a baby and feeding a bottle as well. Brett used it a ton when rocking Scarlett as a newborn. It’s also perfect for tummy time or when little ones are starting to sit up and still need that extra support. We purchased a few covers for ours and just rotate them out as needed (these were by far my favorite; they are SO soft!).
Two. Sound Machines.
We actually went through 3 different types to try. We got Google Home Mini to use in her room, as we use that as a sound machine in our own. It kept cutting off during the night (still love it, though), so we invested in an actual sound machine… until the one we bought broke not 2 months after using it. Our favorite is now the Dohm White Noise Sound Machine. We also have the Rohm for when we travel, are in the car, or are just out and about. It’s helped car naps be as long as we needed them to be (2+ hours).
Three. Fisher Price Kick and Play.
We have quite a few activity mats and things like that, but this one has been the most transitional for her. She loved looking at the piano play when she was itty bitty, and then loved kicking and playing with the dangling toys as she grew. She’s been sold on “playing” the piano on it for the last couple of months. It’s occupied her time more than just about any toy (and provided me the much needed opportunity to shower in the early days!) Like most Fisher Price toys, it has leveled stages to grow with babies. They have a gender neutral version and a pink version. You guys, I played the music from stage one so much when she was itty bitty, that sometimes I’ll turn it to that stage and listen just because I miss her being so small😂🙈.
I know, this is silly to include. But y’all, rugs have flat out been such a huge help for us. In Scarlett’s nursery, we have a pink shag rug (this exact one – comes in multiple colors) that takes up a good chunk of the floor. This was instrumental in helping her learn to crawl. She could grasp the rug with her fingers and scoot across the floor. I really believe it helped her advance. We also have a Lorena Canals rug in our living room, and that has been and still is the main place we play downstairs since Scarlett started rolling around, participating more in tummy time, etc. This one is machine washable (check out the post dedicated to it here) and that’s been so great for messy spit-up incidents or just life with a baby in general. It also folds up super easily when I want to use the hard wood for her walker. They make tons of rugs specifically with babies and nurseries in mind!
Five. Baby K’tan.
I swear by my Baby K’tan, y’all. Instead of gushing about it here, just check out the post I wrote a couple months back. My husband and I both have one (I have two), and we love it. Don’t know what I would have done without it when she was little or over the holidays. I still carry it with us everywhere we go, and have from the very first week. I’m sure other wraps are great, but I’ve tried three types of carriers (Ergo, Moby, and Baby K’tan) and the Baby K’tan remains my favorite.
Six. The book: The Happy Sleeper.
Again, something I dedicated a whole post to (and gave an overview of our entire sleep training process and outcome!). This changed the name of the game for us. It gave us our peace and sanity back, and gave Scarlett the gift of solid, restorative sleep. Complete life. saver. (I’ve also linked other sleep training/coaching books, but The Happy Sleeper is the one we chose after weighing the pros/cons! I’ve heard positive things about other styles as well! I read and used bits and pieces from Moms on Call and Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child.)
Honorable Mentions: Baby swing, stroller fans (perfect for those warm summer walks, even in a town like Boone!), a Yeti or tumbler for carrying warm water with us everywhere we went (to-go bottle warmer!), Diaper Genie, Milkbarn swaddles.
Mamas, share with me your top must haves, too! I’d love to hear what other mothers have loved most. There are definitely some products I already plan to lean on more with a second baby… which is down the road, don’t get any ideas😉.