At two months on the job, you could hardly call me an "expert" at anything baby-related. I mean, with literally any other job, I'd still be in the training phase, so take this whole post with a hundred grains of salt. BUT. I do have a number of favorite baby products, some of which were absolute lifesavers in the first two months, and some of which I just really like and was glad to have on hand. And so in an effort to both list these things for myself because...who knows if/when I'll need a list of the things that helped me most in the newest of newborn months...and to list them in case anyone else is a first time mom in need of a minimalist's list of things to put on a registry, HERE GOES.
1) Solly Baby Wrap: This is hands down my most used, most favorite, and most baby-approved piece of gear. I started using it the day after Elise came home from the hospital and have used it almost every day since. She loves it, and if she's fussy it almost instantly calms her down. It can be used with a newborn without any fancy inserts, and it's soft, cozy, and lightweight, which is great for the summer months. I have the Charcoal Swiss Dot patterned one, but I've been drooling over the Fig and Fern colors as well. I totally need more than one, right? I mean, the thing has to be washed SOMETIME, and what on earth will I do while it's being washed?
Kidding. Sorta. I'm sorely tempted.
2) Dockatot: This was something I didn't know I needed until Chaz's cousin (hi, Kristine!) let us borrow it. We didn't choose the co-sleeping life; the co-sleeping life chose us. In fact, if you'd asked me prior to Elise's arrival if I supported the idea, I probably would have laughed and declared that OUR baby was going to sleep in HER OWN BED, because I said so. Funny how things change once the kid actually arrives on the scene. After several very sleepless nights that resulted in me giving in to Elise sleeping in my arms in bed, we pulled out the Dockatot and have never looked back. Elise slept a thousand times better, which meant we were sleeping a thousand times better, and so better times were had by all. The only downside is that Elise is pretty tall, so she's going to outgrow it fast. We will use it to the hilt until that day arrives. Here's a photo of Elise in the Dockatot getting ready for bed:
3) Hanna Andersson (Non-Footie) Pajamas: Ok, these don't have to be Hanna Andersson. Hanna Andersson items are far too expensive for my liking, but we have an outlet nearby and I never buy anything full price, so I waited until they had a sale. Thus, Elise has a pair of (outlet) Hanna Andersson jammies, and they are theeeeee best. At first I wasn't a fan of the fact that they didn't have feet, but as my tall and lanky baby grew three inches in two months, I quickly realized that not having feet meant that she'll be able to wear them for much longer than her other already-too-short pajamas. If her feet are cold...I just put some socks on her and call it a night. Bonus: who can resist a baby in stripes?
4) Little Unicorn Hooded Towel: We have a couple of hooded towels, and this one is by far the best. It's thick and warm, and it's got a pretty pattern to boot. Elise doesn't always love bath time, but she does love being wrapped up, and while very biased, we think she's adorable when sporting a towel.
5) Little Unicorn Muslin Swaddle Blankets: Same company again. These swaddle blankets are great. We use them all the time, whether it's for wrapping Elise up to get her to sleep, tucking her in her car seat, or draping over her while nursing. They wash and dry well (no fading!), and just get softer over time.
6) Gerber Cloth Diapers (for use as burp cloths): While we use disposable diapers for actual diapering, these make the best burp cloths. They're fairly inexpensive and we don't care if they get spit up or any other inescapable body fluids on them, because they just go straight into the wash. We started with one pack, and then quickly realized we used them for everything, so we went to Amazon and ordered two more packs ASAP.
7) Gap Nursing Nightgown: This is both a maternity nightgown and a nursing nightgown, which means I've gotten a ton of use out of it. Gap almost always has sales as well, so I'd never recommend buying it at full price, but if/when it does go on sale, it's a good thing to have. While pregnant it was also one of the few things that made me feel like I looked nice (even if it was pajamas), which is a valuable thing when feeling like a beached whale!
8) OxiClean: Count this one in the "lifesaver" category. Babies = stains, so a stain remover was absolutely necessary. We've used it on Elise's pajamas, sheets, my clothes, and (happily only once...so far) carpet. We have both the powder version and the liquid version, and we use both on the regular.
I should probably round out this list and add two more things to get to 10, but these are definitely the things that I've loved and/or used the best/most frequently and I don't want to add things that we haven't used as much. I also skipped the obvious things like a car seat, diapers, and wipes, because those are a given. In all honesty, the only items you really NEED for a baby are diapers, wipes, a car seat, a place for him or her to sleep, and a way to keep him or her clean, warm, and clothed, but these are the things that have really helped with making life more comfortable for both Elise and us during her first several weeks. I think this list is also bound to change as she gets older, so I'll probably revisit it down the line and come up with the 6 month or year version to see what's different.
And if none of this applies to you at all...well, at least you got to see a couple pictures of a cute baby?