In a time when you can simply click your mouse to tell the world (or rather, the world according to Facebook) that you "like" something (I still don't know why they changed it; being a "fan" made sense to me), I have been thinking a bit about how much stuff there is to buy when you have a baby. Most of it is probably unnecessary since all a baby really needs is food, diapers, something on its back, and a place to sleep. However, there are many ingenious products out there that truly do make our job as mommy (or daddy) easier. Here I will offer my 2 cents on the subject.
~ Moby Wrap This is seriously one of the smartest things I ever bought! As far as baby carriers go, it is ideal. You can wear the baby facing you, facing out, on your back, on your hip...it fits newborn babies on up to toddlers. And despite what people assume by looking at it, it is really EASY to use. Oh, and it is machine washable--total mommy must-have!
~ Boppy Pillow I keep one upstairs and one downstairs. Extra covers are handy, too. (Both of my kids had reflux and spit up often). This is so helpful with nursing, but also great for tummy time, supporting a new sitter, and holding a sleeping baby (your arm gets less tired and you don't have a sweaty baby head plastered to you).
~ electric breast pump I use the Medela Pump in Style for an entire year with my first child, and it is continuing to serve me well...
~ cloth diapers This is something new to me as a stay-at-home mom. I used disposables with my first, and I really wish I had known about modern cloth diapers sooner. I cannot say enough good things about my son's FuzziBunz. :)
~ wipes Now that I am cloth diapering, I use washcloths as wipes, but I also make my own from Bounty paper towels, water, baby oil, and baby wash. These are the ones that we use for cleaning hands and faces after meals.
~ diaper bag Any bag that fits your needs will work. You can just add a changing pad and you're all set. My main bags are a sort of large tote with inside and outside pockets and magnetic closure and a backpack (which I always use if I know I will be wearing the baby). I got by with the hospital freebies for awhile, but found that they just were not big enough for me.
~ Onesies Self-explanatory. You can never have too many!
~ Crib Obviously, this needs to be safe, but other than that you have many, many options for style, color, price, etc. I found that using the bassinet part of the Pack 'n Play (in our bedroom) was great for the first few weeks until I was ready to move them into their own room.
~ Baby Gates Not needed right away, but there will come a time...
~ Car Seat Again, make sure it is safe. There are so many! We have always purchased Graco, though. No complaints there.
~ Wet Bags They are so handy whether or not you cloth diaper.
Nice But Not Necessary:
~ glider Great for nursing, soothing, and reading bedtime stories.
~ Bouncy Seat The Exersaucer and bouncy seat definitely got more use the second time around just because it is harder to juggle a toddler and a baby.
~ Play Gym
~ Changing Table Since our nursery isn't that large, and to save money, we skipped this. We just use a changing pad on top of the dresser.