These are some of our absolute favorite baby products. Most of these have allowed me sleep, eat, shower, etc. without which I would have been a smelly, sleep-deprived zombie.
Swaddles: We had to really work to get Baby Boy to sleep on his own. Until he was a week old or so, someone had to be holding him for him to sleep. Fortunately we were able to take shifts. John and my dad would stay up with him until midnight or so, I would stay up with him until around 5 am, then my mom would take over at 5 am so I could go back to sleep. The second week John would stay up until 11 pm, then I would have the 11pm-5am shift, then my mom would again take over at 5 am. During the day we would let him “practice” sleeping in his crib. The day he made it an hour on his own we did a little happy dance. At the end of the second week I dug out the swaddle blankets again. I had tried one on him soon after we brought him home, and he hated it. At 2 weeks old though, the swaddle was like magic. He started sleeping longer stretches by himself. I did try co-sleeping, but he slept and I did not. As he started to outgrow the swaddles, I stopped wrapping him up quite as snug so he could get his arms out on his own. He hasn’t needed the swaddle since he was about 3 months old, but oh I am so thankful we had the halo sleep sack and the summer infant swaddle me.
Play mat: He LOVES his play mat! A lot of the pictures I have of him are ones where he is on his mat. His absolute favorite thing on the play mat is the star that lights up and plays music. John was commenting the other day about how great that star is and what in the world are we going to do if it breaks. He then started humming the star’s little songs. THAT is what we would do if it breaks. Get out a flashlight and hum the songs ourselves and hope and pray we can get another one ASAP!
La-Z-Boy Rocking Recliner: Our rocking chair, or rather, the baby’s rocking chair, is our most used and best loved baby item. We have spent hours rocking and sleeping in this chair. I am so thankful it is comfortable and is leather. I wipe it down with a damp cloth every couple of days because of milk dribbles and spit-up. If this chair had been covered in fabric, it would reek by now.
Kushies Deluxe Flannel Change Pads: The top side is soft flannel, the bottom is a waterproof plastic material. These were very handy the first month. We would change Baby Boy on the floor or the ottoman or the changing table, and between the “explosive” newborn poop and pee, these were so much easy to toss in the washing machine to clean. We would also put them in his crib for him to sleep on in case of diaper leaks or spit-up. These were so much easier to pull off his bed and replace with a fresh one than changing the sheets at midnight, 3am, and again at 6am. Now that he is older, I still use them on his changing tables and keep one in his diaper bag.
Bath thermometer: Guessing the right temperature for Baby Boy’s bathwater is, for me at least, hard to do. We have a floating bath thermometer that beeps if the water is too hot (101° or higher) or too cold. I like that I can get the bath water close to 98-99° each time which is just how the little prince likes it. Once it starts to dip below 92° he wants out of the tub.
Sleep sheep: Any white noise machine would probably have worked just fine, but we have the Cloud B Sleep Sheep. The first 3 months we would set it to the heartbeat sound. That noise could get me an extra hour of sleep. If he started stirring a bit and woke me up, I would turn on the sleep sheep, and he would fall back into a deeper sleep. Now I turn on the whale sounds when I put him in his bed for naps and bedtime. Being put in his bed tends to wake him a bit, but the whale sounds seem to be helping him fall back to sleep immediately.
I’m looking forward to the next few months to see what new favorites we find.