15 First Time Mom Essentials

15-first-time-mom-essential

A lot of my friends or co-workers are pregnant or just had babies.

Another group of my friends are single and going to baby showers and have no idea what to buy for the moms-to be.

Therefore, I have decided to compile a list of what I think were MUST-HAVES during those crazy months of being a new mom. I know that some of these items are not truly must-haves in the sense that you can raise a child without them. However, why make life harder than it needs to be? This is what I would spend my money on.

  1. Crib, dresser, changing table

    crib

    • These are kinda a given. Your baby needs somewhere to sleep. Ours did not like his crib AT ALL until about 4 months. Some babies like it right away and if your baby does be thankful, you’re one of the lucky ones.
    • We bought a changing table/dresser combo. We actually found our set at Costco for a really good price and are very pleased with the quality. It is a Cafe Kids set that converts into a toddler bed, and then a full size bed when they are bigger. You can find the it here.
    • When getting a crib, get a few fitted sheets. You will need extra for accidents and when you can’t wash right away. You DO NOT need a comforter or bumper. You can see a bumper and comforter in the picture but our son has never had either in his crib. It is just not worth the risk.
  2. Diapers

    diapers

    • You need diapers in multiple sizes. Remember some babies skip the newborn stage all together and while your baby is in the hospital, the hospital will provide diapers and wipes.
    • For our little one he stayed in the size 3 and 4 size diapers the longest. They grow really quickly in the beginning so you may not want to go too crazy with the value packs because you don’t want to end up with diapers you can’t use. However, when they are really little you will feel like you are changing them nonstop so a value pack is a wise buy. Just don’t buy several of the same value pack at once until you have a good idea of how fast your little one is growing.
    • Also, in the beginning save yourself the trouble of wondering if your baby is wet and get the diapers with the wetness indicator. DO IT! When babies are tiny, the amount of urine produced is tiny. This means it can be hard to tell if they are wet or not. In the beginning their skin is sensitive and you do not want even a tiny bit of urine sitting on their precious little skin.
  3. Wipes

    • I recommend starting with sensitive wipes, so if your baby skin is rash-prone, you wont have to worry about fragrances or additives irritating his/her skin.
    • I used Pampers Sensitive and then eventually switched to Kirklands wipes from Costco because they do the job and are cost-friendly.
  4. A Portable Sleepersnugglebunnysleeper

    • We used the Fisher Price Snug-a-Bunny sleeper. You can find it at Target or Babies R Us. This is great for when they are really tiny. It is small enough to carry from room to room or take on the go. We used it in the beginning when we wanted him in our room at night. Later, we made the transition to the crib (in the nursery). Here Landon is not strapped in, but it does come with a strap so you can rest easy your baby will not wiggle out.
  5. A bouncy/vibrating chairbouncy-chair

    • Trust me, you want this. This will help keep your baby happy in the days that they aren’t really able to do much. I want to say we used this for at least the first four months. It helped so much because your arms WILL NEED A BREAK. I used to talk, sing, and play with him while he was in his little seat. He loved it!
    • There are some really fancy chairs, you really just need one that vibrates and is safe. The flashing lights and sounds are great but your baby will respond more to the vibration then anything else. The vibration helped soothe Landon when he was colicky.
  6. A baby carriermobywrapbabybjorn

    • When I say this, I mean a Moby wrap or Baby Bjorn. This makes trips so much easier. Having your hands free is so nice when you are at the grocery store. When at a department store, it is also nice to go between isles without worrying about a stroller (its amazing how tight some isles are in department stores; you never notice untill you can’t go down one with a stroller).
    • Infants love to be worn. It makes them feel safe and gives them comfort being so close to mom or dad.
    • If I had to chose one I would chose the Baby Bjorn, hands down. It was just easy. I have been told recently, however, that it may not be good for hip development. So I will have to look into that.
  7. A car seatcar-seat

    • Most important thing is that it is safe. Do not buy a used car seat. You do not know if it has been in an accident or not. If a car seat has been in an accident it may be (and should be considered) defective. If you are ever in an accident (even a fender bender), you should file a claim with insurance and they will replace your car seat. DO NOT GAMBLE with your baby’s safety. We chose to get a travel system, this includes stroller, carrier, and base for the carrier (car seat).
    • When you install your car seat you can take your car to a local fire department and they will verify that it has been installed correctly.
    • The hospital will not let you leave with your baby unless you have a car seat installed.
    • A side note: Children are to be rear-facing until 2 years of age.
  8. A toy for the car

    • This made a huge difference in our travels. We got a simple toy that strapped across the handle to the carrier (that hooked into the base of our car seat). Landon could bat away at the toys and forget that he was by himself in the backseat. You can purchase the one we got here.
  9. A SwaddlePodswaddlepod

    • Our baby would ONLY sleep swaddled. If he got out of his swaddle, he would wake up. Our best, best, best friend EVER in the beginning was the Swaddle Pod. It is so easy and your baby cant wiggle its arms out. They sleep better and you will actually get some sleep. I think Landon loved this because it reminded him of the way he felt in my belly. We were all so sad when he out grew it. They only come in a small sizes. If your swaddling skills are sub-par, buy one of these. They are AWESOME!!
  10. Swaddling/Receiving blankets

    • These are multipurpose. Use them for swaddling, for covering up baby in the car seat, to lay down on a cold changing table, etc.
  11. Baby Einstein Baby Mozart DVD

    • We inherited several Baby Einstein DVDs from another mom and OMG did my baby love the Baby Mozart one. They are actually really good for your baby. They get their minds going and truly fascinate them. This particular one plays classical musical while looping through images of animals, puppets, trains, and all kinds of interesting things for baby to discover. Read more about it here.
  12. Baby bath tubfirstbath

    • For me this was a necessity. I know some people may use a sink to wash their babies, but at my house my sink stays full of dishes. Having a little tub with a sling made the first baths so easy. My little man always loved bath time and I think that part of it was he was so comfy in his tub.
  13. Hooded baby towels & baby wash clothshooded-towels

    • It’s so nice to take your baby out of the tub and have that perfect hooded baby-sized towel to wrap him/her up in. Little baby wash clothes are also so practical and take up such little space to store.
  14. No tears baby shampoo & Mustela

    • This is a given but I had to list it. I love the bedtime bath body wash and lotion. It smells so good. I love lavender and I swear it helps my little man sleep. I use Mustela shampoo because it works great for cradle cap and doesn’t smell bad. It foams up nicely too.
  15. Infant Medications

  • You never know when your little one may get sick but it’s good to be prepared. I suggest keeping a bottle of infant Tylenol, ibuprofen, and gas drops or gripe water on hand. You don’t want your baby to suffer any longer than needed so have medicine on hand to give when needed. Your pediatrician can tell you the correct doses for your babies weight and age. Most often they will have a chart on their website that is easy to access.

Mom’s out there, what are you must-haves when caring for your baby? What products have you found to make life easier?

Want to learn more about what to expect during your pregnancy?  Click here.

A beach trip with baby

sandsoccer

Recently, my husband played a soccer tournament in Virginia Beach. This meant bringing out little one to the beach with us. Traveling to the beach, with a baby, is SUPER DIFFERENT than when it was just you and your significant other. Prepare yourself and you will have a FABULOUS weekend like we did! And don’t worry, there will be more pictures at the end!

Here are some tips I learned alone the way…

  • Re-evaluate what your expectations are for the trip. If you expect to sun bathe and read book while listening to the ocean, you’re gonna be miserable. Your baby is gonna need you attention ALL DAY LONG. This isn’t a bad thing, it just may not be what you are used to. He may or may not like the sand. He may love water at home but then think the ocean water is too cold. You have to just roll with. He may try to eat sand or seashells. My little one absolutely WOULD NOT put his feet on the sand, even though he can walk. He would crawl in it but if you tried to walk him over to the sand, holding onto his hands, he would pull both feet up and just hang like a monkey from a branch of a tree. He also frequently changed his mind on if he wanted to play in the sand, water, or on mommy’s lap. But it was amazing to sit back and watch him take everything in.
  • Baby powder helps get rid of the wet sand that’s hard to brush off, but don’t let your baby inhale it!
  • Remember your baby will need a nap! You may want to cool off to in the room so it isn’t a bad time to take a break.
  • Lather on your sunscreen! No one like being sun burnt. And it is SO MUCH HARDER to take care of a little one when you’re not 100%. I used California Baby sunscreen since it doesn’t contain chemicals for Landon and applied in 30 minutes before we went out if the sun.  We were lucky and no one got burnt!
  • Figure out shade for your baby! We got a shaded pool that he cool splash around in. At nap time we even tried pouring the water out and laying down towels so he could take a nap there. Unfortunately, he never falls asleep in anything other than a crib, pack n play, or car seat. He squirms around like crazy when its nap time. A umbrella would work to. For our set up, we had a battery powered pump to inflate and deflate our pool. We would use a sand bucket to get water from the ocean for him to splash in and let him pour it into the pool at his own pace. This worked wonderfully and he played all day (for the most part)
  • Come to terms that your nights may end much earlier. We had my sister come with us to help, but felt guilty leaving her by herself in the room (while Landon slept)…so our nights out ended around 8pm. Such a big change!
  • Stay at a hotel or place ON THE BEACH.  You will be packing so much stuff with you, you are gonna want to be close.  Some of our essentials swim diapers, wipes, snacks, bath toys, large sand bucket, sippy cup, sunscreen, our baby pool (to provide fun and shade), towels, neat sheet, bottled water, and our inflater/deflater.
  • When in doubt of how to entertain your baby, DIG A HOLE.  Yeah, it’s that simple.  Bring a bucket of water up.  Instant entertainment for the young ones!
  • Get a beach bag and make your husband carry a backpack.  You are going to need help to carry all your baby essentials.
  • Consider water shoes.  Think about being the parent, you may have gradually stroll across HOT, HOT, HOT sand.
  • If your baby has never been in sand, maybe try a sand box out before you go to the beach.  You’ll know what to expect then.

That’s all the tips, I have!  What do you guys do to make things easier?

Here’s the photos I promised:

The ocean and all the Fields
The ocean and all the Fields
My twin sister looking GOOD :)
My twin sister looking GOOD 🙂
Finding Shade in the Hot Sun
Finding Shade in the Hot Sun

ss4

Playing while daddy was scoring soccer goals.
Playing while daddy was scoring soccer goals.
When at the beach why not get twin tattoos that only last a week....
When at the beach why not get twin tattoos that only last a week….

 

Our family at dinner
Our little family at dinner
Twin Love

 

After a nap
After a nap
Hanging with Dad
Hanging with Dad
My Sand Soccer Champion
My Sand Soccer Champion
Co-ed winners
Co-ed winners

 

 

You Know You’re a Mom When

You know you're a mom when

  • You can’t read Love You Forever by Robert Munsch without crying-and I mean REALLY crying. (I couldn’t do this when pregnant either)

    I’ll love you forever,

    I’ll like you for always,

    As long as I’m living

    my baby you’ll be.

  • The date of the next Disney movie release is a BIG deal.
  • Your brain turns to mush, more times then you’ll ever admit. What happens to it during pregnancy? There is no way I was this forgetful before baby! To do lists and grocery lists are now a must.
  • Earrings have to be much more practical, unless you like having your ears pulled liked a horse’s reigns.
  • You can speed: Eat, Clean, Shower, Pee, etc.
  • You spend more time looking at diaper bags than purses.
  • Shopping for shoes, comfort starts being a priority.
  • Even innocent things like pillows can scare you silly. Who knows when my little one will sleep with a pillow, maybe when he is 5?
  • Sitting in silence for 5 minutes is like a mini vacation.
  • You cannot go into a Babies R Us without spending $200 (you went there for a sippy cup).
  • Waking up at 8am feels like Christmas morning.