As a new mom, walking into any baby store can be overwhelming. Shelves upon shelves of baby products reaching to the ceiling. Thing-a-ma-jigs that you never knew existed, let alone how to use them. And thousands of ways to spend money that you’re no longer earning now that you’re on maternity leave.
When I was a first-time mom, I bought a number of items I regretted. (My next post is 10 baby products you don’t need to buy.) There were also those items I couldn’t have survived without. Make your life easier with these top 10 baby products every new mom should have.
- A breast pump. You can decide whether you want the hand-held manual pump or electric pump. Doesn’t matter. This allows you to pump in the evening and have your partner take one feeding for you. Just think: four to six hours of uninterrupted sleep!
- A sleep sack. This little zippered number makes bedtime more restful, both for baby and for you. Swaddling has fallen out of favour with experts, so the sleep sack allows little arms and legs the freedom to fly around without kicking off the covers. And you can rest easy that the blankets aren’t smothering your child.
- Teensy-weensy nail clippers. You’ll be surprised how fast your baby’s nails grow and how sharp they are from Day 1. In fact, you’ll want to pick up a pair on the way to the maternity ward.
- My Breast Friend. Despite its corny name, this breastfeeding support pillow is amazingly helpful. It straps around your waist with a clip, providing a dense foam platform for your baby to rest on while you’re breastfeeding. It allows you to support the baby with one arm, and still have full use of the other arm – allowing you to hold a cup of tea, open a cupboard, grab a baby wipe or answer the phone.
- Sleep sheep. OK, I didn’t actually buy this one. I’m not sure I would have, considering the price tag, but I was glad my in-laws gifted it to us. The little sheep straps to the crib and hides a small box that produces a number of soothing sounds to baby – including the sound of your heartbeat, which the baby has heard in utero for months.
- A change table with a railing. The sleek designer change tables may look great, but it’s the 1980s version with the less-than-attractive ornate railing that you’ll fall in love with. The railing – no surprise – keeps baby from rolling off the change table. While you’d never dream of leaving your baby unattended on a change table, you’d be surprised by how many things you need to dart across the room to get. That railing is like having a third arm to keep baby safe.
- A Bumbo. This oddly-shaped foam chair can be a bit expensive and hard to find at retailers or second-hand, but what a great find. Baby can sit upright on their own as soon as their neck muscles can keep their head from bobbling. They can play sitting up, giving them more freedom with their hands, with the side benefit of keeping them in one place. You’ll appreciate that more once they start crawling.
- A baby carrier. Strap them on the front and go anywhere. They’re especially great for the second child, so you can hold the hand of your toddler, and still have one hand free.
- A baby harness. Not to be confused with a leash – and I resent those judging glances. The harness is a great way to keep your toddler close by and connected, yet give them the feeling of freedom.
- Jolly Jumper. Not the contraption that stands alone and takes up precious floor space, but the kind that clips to molding around an interior doorway. This beauty will give you 20 minutes of free time and great home videos that will keep you giggling for years.
And you can sell most of these baby products on Craigslist or on a Facebook swap group when you’re done with them. For items you’ve purchased used, the resale value is almost as high as what you paid for them.
What are some of your essential baby products? Share this post and add your favourites to the list.