Thursday, October 11, 2012

Five Things I Couldn't Live Without: The Newborn Edition

Quite a few people have asked me for advice about which products to register for, or buy for themselves or as a gift, when a new baby is on the way.  Since I've got a whopping two+ months of motherhood under my belt now, I figured I could share my take on a handful of products that have made my life easier during the newborn phase.  Of the hundreds of items I've used every day for the last ten weeks, these are my top five I wanted to share with the world.  None of these 'endorsements' are sponsored, I just really really like these things.

1. The Five S's by Dr. Harvey Karp
The Product: The Happiest Baby on the Block book or DVD 
Where we got it: We watched the DVD in our birth class but you can get the book or DVD online or in stores. You can get the jist by watching Dr. Karp featured in tons of YouTube videos, but to master the technique, get your hands on the DVD.
What it does: Teaches you to use the "fourth trimester" concept to simulate the womb for your fussy infant, calming him/her almost instantly. The five S's are Swaddling, Side/Stomach position, Shushing, Sucking and Swinging.
Why we love it: It works like magic on a fussy Penny. Dan has become a pro at calming her, which is wonderful for Daddy/baby bonding and what a relief for Mommy that the boob isn't the only thing to sooth her.

2. The App That Keeps Me Sane
The Product: Baby Connect smartphone app
Where I got it: app store. best $4.99 I ever spent.
What it does: very simple app for tracking the fundamental baby stuff. no notepads necessary. no need to rely on mommy-brain-memory.
Why I love it: I don't ever have to try to remember how long she's been asleep, when she last ate, how many diapers she's had today. Also can be used to track growth, doc visits, milestones. Stores all the info and even produces charts and graphs so you can identify trends.  Syncs up with any computer (online) or can be accessed by multiple devices, so other care providers can plug in information too and it goes right to your phone.  I would seriously lose my mind without this app.

3. Ultimate Sleep Swaddle Blankets
The Product: Swaddle Designs Ultimate Receiving Blanket
Where we got it: Nordstrom
What it does: A swaddle blanket that we use exclusively for bedtime swaddling
Why it's our favorite: Material is thick and stiff enough to hold a tight swaddle that baby will rarely squirm out of, but flimsy enough to still feel like a blanket and not feel starched.  It's cozy but not too hot (like some other thick swaddle blankets).  Perfect size.  And the tag even has easy 1-2-3 instructions for swaddling... in case you forget how.  Apparently the founder of Swaddle Designs also worked with Dr. Karp.

4. Penny's Nest
Where we got it: Buy Buy Baby. I've seen other models on Amazon and Target as well.
What it does: Provides a convenient place for Penny to sleep safely on any flat surface, including our bed.
Why I love it: She's able to sleep in our bed, so I don't even have to get up to check on her or nurse her, but we have no worries about her safety.  The light feature enables me to look at her in the middle of the night without turning any lamps on.  The womb-sound noise feature puts her to sleep every time.  Its fold-up design makes it super portable for naps on the couch, table, bedtime at someone else's house, or trips to the cabin.  I am so glad we didn't invest in a bassinet or co-sleeper furniture.

5. My Favorite Bra
The Product: "Emma" by Bravado
Where I got it: Target
What it is: A sports-bra-like nursing bra, in the sleep bra category
Why I love it: of the dozens of nursing bras I've tried on or purchased, it's simply the most comfortable and definitely most effective at holding the girls in. I can wear it to bed or under a t-shirt during the day.

And in the Honorable Mention Category
Some other favorites of mine...

Baby Sleepwear: Side Snap Mitten Cuff Shirts from Gerber (and a diaper and under a swaddle) -- perfect for newborns needing multiple diaper changes in the middle of the night.

Non-sleep nursing bra: Padded Cup Wireless Full Coverage Bra from Motherhood Maternity

Softest Sweetest Blankets: Aden + Anais Bamboo Collection

Change Diapers Anywhere: WaterproofChanging Pad Liners by Boppy -- I always have one with me.

Babywearing: She basically lived in my Baby K'Tan Wrap for a month and a half (*Note: I found the K'Tan to be the best fit for Penny as a newborn and wore it almost every day for about a month and a half, but now that she is a little older and stretching her legs, I find myself wearing my Moby more than the K'Tan. And Dan loves wearing her in the Ergo.)

Feel free to contact me about any of the products I've listed above, or for any other product recommendations.  I love baby stuff!!


There's more where this came from... Five Things I Can't Live Without:

Nobody paid me or gave me anything for free... I wrote about this stuff on my own volition because I couldn't live without it!

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