By the time I left the hospital with Sloan, I felt pretty confident in our ability to care for a newborn. But once we secured her into her car seat (after only about oh, 20 minutes), I realized how little we knew. Babies don't come with an instruction manual and though I felt like we were flailing for the first few weeks, we eventually settled into a comfortable routine and discovered a lot of great products along the way. I've rounded up fifteen of my favorites, and hope you'll find them just as helpful!
1. Boon Bottle Warmer - I love the small, simple design of this appliance, which can heat everything from bottles, to jars of food.
2. My Brest Friend - I originally used a different pillow, but this version provided better support for both my arms and Sloan's body. It's not as travel friendly, but my back and neck appreciated the update.
3. Medela Pumping Bra - This bra frees up my hands, so I can work while pumping. You definitely resemble a fembot from Austin Powers, but it's essential for being able to multitask throughout the day.
4. 4Moms Mamaroo - This powered bouncer was the only thing Sloan would sleep in, for more than an hour, during the first month. The five movement settings, along with Bluetooth connectivity, lets you change the motion from your phone, which became my favorite feature.
5. Sleep Sheep - I assumed we'd need complete silence for Sloan to sleep, but she prefers low, consistent sounds (i.e. the vacuum cleaner, washing machine, dishwasher). This cute toy puts out several white noise options (her faves are the heart beat and whales), and always soothes her.
6. Medela Quick Clean Bags - Sterilizing certain pieces of equipment often requires boiling them in water for 5-10 minutes, but these reusable bags let you steam everything in a microwave in just three minutes.
7. Honest Company Bundle Subscription - Disposable diapers create a huge amount of landfill waste and while we tried several ecologically friendly brands, the price point and quality of these products were simply the best. Plus, seeing Sloan in a cute strawberry print diaper kills me every time.
8. Bugaboo Cameleon 3 Stroller - There are a ton of stroller options and you need to get the one that works best for you, but for us, this model is perfect. It's so versatile and well designed and love that it will grow with her. Plus rolls so easily, it makes me wish my car was as smooth.
9. Summer Infant Swaddle Me - This swaddle changed our lives, because it's what helped Sloan start sleeping through the night. Best. Purchase. Ever.
10. BABYBJORN Carrier One - Just like strollers, there are several carriers that most people use, but this model works well for us. It distributes the weight perfectly around your hips and shoulders, to relieve any strain and the mesh fabric creates a little air flow, so you and the baby don't overheat.
11. Soothe Probiotics - Thankfully Sloan wasn't a very colicky baby, but our doctor recommended adding these probiotics to her bottles, to provide some help with digestion. They work exactly as advertised and supply additional benefits she doesn't get from breastmilk alone.
12. Dr. Brown's BPA Free Bottles with Preemie Nipples - Sloan is a voracious eater and can power through a bottle in a few minutes, which used to result in hiccups and gas. A lactation consult had us change to these bottles and a premie nipple, to reduce the air flow and slow down the amount of food she could pull. The end result was better feedings and a lot of restful naps.
13. Burt's Bees Burp Cloths - All burp cloths are pretty much the same, but these organic cotton versions are super absorbent, which is the most important feature.
14. 4moms Infant Tub - This is definitely G's favorite device, since he usually gives Sloan her bath. The digital thermometer ensures your water is the perfect temperature and the design provides a comfortable and safe seat for the baby to lean against. It fits in most sinks and has side drains, so the baby doesn't have to sit in dirty water.
15. Happiest Baby On The Block DVD - Most new parents hear about this video before giving birth, but the five tips that are showcased really do help calm a baby. I was skeptical at first, but watching Sloan go from crying hysterically to falling asleep within seconds made me a believer.