Most Useful Baby Items

As a first time mom, these are the things I found most useful during Baby’s First Year. I know the list will vary from Mom to Mom but these are the things which worked well for us. I know there are so many baby items available in the market and it is really tempting to buy everything on your wish list. Do your research and buy only what you need and not what you want.

  1. Nursing Pillow – My friend lent me her nursing pillow and I loved it right away. The brand was “My Breast Friend“. So comfy and gave me the right support I needed to hold my newborn. I used it for 6 months. I thought I could simply use ordinary pillows during the first few weeks but I was so wrong. My back hurt when I used ordinary pillows to nurse.
  2. Baby Crib – We used the Da Vinci Kalani Mini Crib with 4 level mattress support till the baby turned 1. We bought an extra mattress for the crib. I loved the crib as it was a perfect fit for our mid-sized Master Bedroom. Good choice if you are staying in an apartment or a small house.
  3. Baby Bath tub – I loved using “The First Years Infant to Toddler Tub with Sling“. We had a big counter in our Master bath and the tub fit perfectly on it. When the baby turned 10 months, I moved this tub to our bigger tub and our little one would have so much fun playing in it during bath time. Be sure to use an anti-skid Bath Mat when you move it to the bigger bath tub.
  4. Chicco Cortina Stroller – Really useful during the early months when we went for daily strolls in the evening. The stroller seat can be reclined fully and I could use it with my newborn by adding a few extra blankets for support. The stroller is bulky if you plan to use it single-handedly all by yourself and it will occupy majority of your trunk space. My husband was there with me during our grocery trips and outings, and so it didn’t make a difference to me. This stroller was part of our travel system but we used it without the Infant Car Seat most of the time. My baby didn’t like being strapped in the car seat while going for walks. Some Moms prefer using the Infant Car Seat with a stroller frame.
  5. Footed Cotton Sleepers with Zippers – Our baby wore these during bedtime in the summer months. Warning: Do not get the ones with press buttons!
  6. Body Suits or Onesies – Good to have atleast 6-8 pieces. In summer, onesies are all that you will need as playwear.
  7. Baby Bouncer – Useful for putting down baby for a much needed break. We got a basic model from a friend and it was nothing too fancy but served our needs.
  8. Halo Sleep Sack – We used it for naps and bedtime till baby started moving around (8 months approximately). I hated all the other swaddling blankets. This was the only one that or baby couldn’t break through.
  9. Feeding Bottle – We used Evenflo classic bottles for giving water and juice until baby learned to drink from a sippy cup. I guess any brand will work.
  10. Soft tip Sippy Cup – We used the one by NUK when we introduced cow’s milk after the baby turned 1.
  11. Booster Seat – We used the Fisher Price Healthy Care Booster seat for feeding solids. I didn’t want to buy a separate high chair for our small dining room. This booster seat worked well for us as it could be attached to our dining table chair. Baby began sitting on it comfortably around 7 months.
  12. Baby Monitor – Since our Master bedroom was on the upper level, we needed a monitor whenever we were downstairs. My husband bought VTech Safe & Sound Digital Audio Baby Monitor from Amazon. I didn’t know what I had been missing until I began using a baby monitor. It gave me so much peace of mind.
  13. Humidifier – Must have specially for Winter Season. We used it in summer as well.
  14. Pacifier – My baby gladly accepted a pacifier when he turned a month. We have used different brands like Philips Avent, Nuk etc.
  15. Thermometer – A must for every household. We used the digital one we got from the hospital.

This list doesn’t contain basic stuff like Diapers, Wipes, Blankets, Towel etc. as we will know that those are essentials. I will be coming with a List of Things I wish I had during the first year and another list of things which weren’t really needed or all that useful for us.

 

Preparing for Motherhood

Motherhood is a wonderful experience or a journey I should say. When you are expecting your first child, you may think you have nine long months to prepare for the baby. Yes, you have nine months to buy cute baby stuff and all the essentials but you need to prepare your heart and your mind for this wonderful yet challenging journey. Here are a few things which will help you prepare for the first few months with your new baby. I really wish someone had told me that motherhood is both joyful and difficult at the same time. It is hard work and yet it is beautiful work. You need to prepare yourself emotionally to embrace this new journey of a lifetime.

1. Be prepared for sleepless nights

I should say be prepared for sleepless nights as well as days. It is a huge sacrifice you will need to make. It’s no joke when people say that your newborn will wake you up every 2 hours or so like an alarm clock. The first few days and weeks will be especially hard with all the sleep deprivation. It may take months before you find a new routine or schedule with your little one.

2. Breastfeeding isn’t a breeze

Breastfeeding is natural but it isn’t easy. Prepare yourself during your pregnancy. Read about breastfeeding. Take a breastfeeding class if possible. Find a lactation consultant so that you can have help after the baby is born. Get a good breastfeeding pillow and nipple ointment. These are a must. You may also need a breast pump to express milk. Find out if your insurance gives breast pump for free.

3. You will be tired physically

Giving birth is natural but is exhausting. You body needs plenty rest to heal well after labor. Be patient with yourself. Don’t be in a hurry to get up and be going. Rest whenever you can and take it easy with chores. Caring for a newborn is physically tiring. Sleep when the baby sleeps is a good rule for first time moms. Be sure you have help from your husband or family or hire a helper if possible.

4. Ask for help

Let’s face it. We live in a world where we are expected to care for all our needs ourselves. But it’s not true when it comes to caring for a newborn baby. You need a village to raise a child! Mom needs plenty of rest after labor and delivery. Ask for help from family and friends. They can bring a meal or watch the baby while you take a shower and eat something. Even better if your mom can stay with you and take care of you during the first few months.

5. Your body will change

As if I needed to tell this to you. Your body has been growing a new life for nine months and there will be visible changes. Stretch marks, saggy skin are all part of this wonderful journey. Don’t expect to fit into your skinny jeans right after delivery! It will take months and even years to get back into your new, decent shape. Love yourself for becoming a mother. Don’t expect yourself to get back into your perfect pre-pregnancy size. It won’t matter. You are a mother and your baby will love you no matter what.

6. Be prepared to fall in love

Yes, be ready to fall in love head over heels over a tiny human being. You will find yourself gushing with love for your new baby. You thought you could only love your husband. Soon, you will realize your heart is bursting with love for your baby as well. Love never divides but only multiplies.

7. You will need to connect with others

Before becoming a mother, we had so much time to hang out with family and friends. Being bored was never an option. After having our baby, I realized I needed to connect with others more than before. I longed for companionship. I needed to talk to someone other than my husband. I needed good Mommy friends to talk about our joys and sorrows. Be sure to find a Moms group or other Mommy friends to lessen the burden and make the days more easy to handle.

8. Be prepared to have less of ‘Me’ time

We were married for 6 years before a newborn arrived into our lives. During those 6 years, I had lots of time to read books, pursue blogging, cook delicious food and visit wonderful places with hubby. After the baby arrived, I quickly realized  I had to sacrifice my time to care for my precious little one. I had to let go of my selfish wants. I still do a little bit of stuff I like once in a while but I realize it will never be the same. My new ‘Me’ time often involves my sweet baby. We take strolls, go to the library and so on.

Fun Activities to do with your Toddler

As a Mom of a toddler, I am always in search of fun and interesting activities for my little bundle of energy. Here are a few ideas for first time moms!

  1. Bath Time can be lot of fun with bubbles and toys and warm water in a tub. My toddler loves bath time, playing with small plastic cups and bottles, and splashing water everywhere.
  2. Playing Hide & Seek or Peek-a-boo is so much fun at this age. I love hiding while my toddler tries finding Mamma and we laugh so much.
  3. Playing outside in the snow or splashing in puddles after a rainfall. Don’t forget to wear layers of warm clothes when the temperature drops.
  4. Playing with a ball in your yard. My toddler loves to run after the ball.
  5. Building blocks are also good provided you help them out building towers, cars and so on.
  6. Story time at the library is always fun with other toddlers around.
  7. Outdoor picnic in your yard or your community park is wonderful for everyone. All you need is a good blanket, a ball and a few sandwiches.
  8. Going for a stroll is fun and there are so many things for your little one to observe like the bird hopping around, the squirrel playing on the trees and so on.
  9. Blowing bubbles is very interesting for toddlers. They never seem to get bored of bubbles.
  10. Books seem to work like magic on my toddler. We read a lot and never seem to tire of going through beautiful pictures and lifting flaps.
  11. Edible finger painting with yogurt. This can be messy but is worth it. You can use an old table cloth on the floor to contain the mess. Mix a few fruit/veg purees into the yogurt for extra colors.
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