Anywhere you look, you can find a thorough list of "registry must-have's" that lists a thousand+ items you're told you just have to have. I am a big believer that the only things you really need for baby are diapers and boobs. However, there are certainly items out there that will make your life a heck of a lot easier. I originally was going to make a Top 10 list, but I could only come up with 8 things I felt were complete life changers for me. Most of these things were recommended to me by people who wanted to give their two cents, and I thought I wouldn't need them as much as I was told I would, but boy, was I mistaken! I would have gone crazy without these "essentials," so, without further ado, here's "My Top 10 List of Baby Items I'm Most Grateful for Except there's only 8 Because that's All I could Think Of:"
I never knew I could love a laundry product so much. Levi would seriously have NO clothes left if it wasn't for OxiClean. Between blowouts and spit ups and learning to feed himself, the crisp, bright, clean outfits I longed to put my sweet baby in would quickly turn into the yucky clothes left on the table after a garage sale that no one wanted if it wasn't for this stuff. I add it to every load of laundry of his, as well as soak stains in the laundry room sink for a few hours/overnight before washing it the next day. I decided early on that if I'm going to invest in clothes for my baby as well as possible future babies, I was going to care for them well and get my money's worth out of each item. OxiClean made that possible. Also, the blue and yellow tub makes for a great drum for Levi when he joins me in the laundry room :)
2) Rock 'N' Play
I will be the first to admit I thought this was overrated. It seemed silly to me that it was a "Rock" 'n' Play but yet it didn't rock on it's own. However, I came to LOVE this and highly recommend every mom to have one! Within a few weeks we had him sleeping in this next to my side of the bed! After a midnight feeding I'd lay him back down, and whenever he'd start to cry or squirm, I would just reach over and rock him back and forth. More often than not, it put him right back to sleep. Plus, it's super light weight and portable. It went everywhere with me: the living room, the kitchen, the bathroom when I showered, the back patio, vacations, friend's houses, etc. I got a little teary eyed the day he became too big for it. I bought ours used and cleaned it according to package directions. Everytime I go to the store I see new fabrics for them and they just keep getting cuter and cuter! My current fav if you're looking to buy or register for a new one can be found here :)
And let me be clear: not just any excersaucer. Our original only had about 3 or 4 gadgets to entertain baby. After 10 minutes, Levi would be bored. We borrowed this Baby Einstein Excersaucer from a friend and we LOVE it. Starting from about 4 months, this has entertained Levi for hours upon hours (and has allowed us to clean, cook, pay bills, and I won't lie, even take a quick nap here and there in the process!) Three different height settings allow it to grow with baby, plus even when he's not in it, Levi pulls himself up next to it and plays as well. This has come with us to a variety of places once Levi outgrew the Rock 'N' Play. I can't say enough good things about it!
4) Receiving blankets
Perfect for swaddling in the beginning! However, in our house these have been used as burp clothes more often than not, due to sweet Mr. Burpy Levi. But now that that phase has passed (YAY!), we use these for security blankets when he naps! He loves rubbing them against his face before he falls asleep. For the first 6 months, we kept a few of these in every room at all times. I think we had about 12 total, but would have gladly accepted more! Plus, we got a lot of gender neutral blankets like these so that we can use again if we ever have a girl!
5) Hyland's Teething Tablets
Around 3 months old, Levi started getting extremely fussy, especially around nap time. We tried so many different things. We finally concluded that he must be teething. Let me tell you, these babies are LIFESAVERS! I call them magic pills! One or two under the tongue followed by his paci and a screaming, crazy, crying Levi will take a deep breath, close his eyes, and fall asleep! Even now at 8 months old with two teeth, we never leave the house without them. We keep a package in his diaper bag and another in his room at all times for those middle of the night emergencies. Great addition to any baby shower gift for a friend!
There are so many different kinds, like a white noise machine or this Sleep Sheep Sound Machine. We've used a sound box that came with Levi's Pack N Play , as well as Leap Frog Scout's lullaby setting. People have different views on this, but in my opinion, the only thing that's important is that it's a consistent sound that's associated with sleep. This is especially nice for us on nights we put Levi to bed then go downstairs to play cards with friends. The noise reminds him that it's time to sleep and drowns out the laughter from the living room!
7) Johnny Jump Up
The Johnny Jump Up is currently the only reason I'm able to take a shower daily. We have it in between our bedroom and bathroom and Levi loves "walking" around in it, as well as bouncing up and down! I can usually shower, get dressed, and get my make up done before he gets a little restless. It helps to put the t.v. on the baby channel or turn on Baby Einstein on youtube for a bit. Gets some energy out and keeps him in one place for quite some time, which in and of itself is a miracle, these days! The only big bummer is that it hooks on crown molding in your house, and we only have molding around our doorways, leaving us pretty limited as to where we put it. Ideally I'd love to have it in our dining room or living room, but for now our room will have to do :)
8) Breast Pump Travel Adapter
Depending on the type of breast pump you use, you may have the option to purchase an additional adapter to use in your car, like this one. For $25, it has allowed me to pump in private wherever I am. The occasional times I've been away from Levi for the day and haven't wanted to haul a pump around with me, I could leave it in my car and stop in to use a couple of times a day. I used this more than I thought that I would and I can say with confidence that it was worth every penny and more.
I'm sure the older Levi gets, the more this list will grow! But for now, these 8 items have made the last 8 months go much smoother than I would have ever dreamed! And that's my two cents :)