So, Tash started her list of baby essentials so I thought I would add to it or emphasize which ones are really important.
1. Swaddlers are definitely essentials for a new baby. I particularly like the miracle blanket as it makes swaddling tightly much easier and harder for baby to get out. At first, I thought it was kind of cruel to be wrapping the baby so tightly, but as Dr. Harvey Karp talks about in his book and DVD, titled, “The Happiest Baby on the Block”, swaddling helps baby settle and is important in that “fourth trimester” which is the first few months after birth. It really worked for us and it allowed the new baby to sleep much longer at a time. There are a few new items called the woombie or the ergo cocoon that is supposed to work similarly and lets baby move a little, but we didn’t know about them with my first and with my second, he ripped through the zipper of the ergo cocoon and we didn’t end up using it much even after I fixed it myself. I wrote to the company and they never responded when I told them their quality was poor with the baby ripping through after the first time.
2. Baby carriers – we had quite a few. Not as many as Tash’s friend, but we had our share. I got the Baby Buddha carrier, which is 2 tubes and then a stabilizer fabric. This was great for the first 5 months. I used the 2 tubes a lot and it acted as a sling for me. Then we moved onto the Sleepywrap which is now called the Bobawrap I believe. This was super comfortable up to the first 6-7 months depending on the weight of your baby. I also got the Pikkolo baby carrier which I used when both babies were more comfortable in the upright position. Then we finally got the Ergobaby Carrier (sport version) and that was a huge improvement as baby got even heavier. I also tried the Babasling which I never did get comfortable with…bought it used and then sold it again and also a sling to use in the pool or at the beach which was really helpful when we went on holidays so I could keep baby close to me in the water.
3. Nuk teats and bottles – with my first, we used a few different bottles. We tried medela which was great at the beginning but as baby needed more, we moved on to the Nuk brand as they had latex teats which helped transition from breastfeeding to bottle feeding. I went back to work when S turned 4 months so we had to feed her expressed milk a few times a day.
4. Medela Freestyle pump – this was handy for me when I went back to work as it was easily transportable and small and wasn’t too noisy. I didn’t use it as much with my second but it was pretty essential for when I was working. I could also travel with it anywhere when we went on trips. I was also able to sell as you can buy new parts for it.
5. Bouncy Chair – we received the Baby Bjorn bouncy chair and that was great. We actually had 2. One fisher price that we used more with S and then with A, we used the BB one and that was a lifesaver like Tash mentioned–when you just wanted to take a shower before hubby got home.
6. Lansinoh ointment – especially for the early days of breastfeeding. I tell all of my new mom friends to bring it with them to the hospital.
7. Mommy Support – It was really helpful to have moms around going through the same thing. Also those that you can call for help. There’s LLL (La Leche League) that is international and I paid for postnatal visits for a place called Annerley here in Hong Kong where a midwife came to weigh baby, help with breastfeeding and any other concerns. I would have given up on breastfeeding if it weren’t for a woman named Hulda from Annerley who helped S latch when she got used to the bottle in special care at the hospital. It also helped having a super supportive partner that believed in me and supported me during those first challenging months.
8. My Brest Friend Support Pillow – I didn’t have this for my first, but it was really handy with my second. I got the inflatable one so that we could travel with it.
9. Nursing tops – I lived in my nursing tank tops in the beginning especially when I didn’t get out of my pjs some days.
10. Muslins – We had them in all different sizes. Great for wiping baby’s soft and sensitive skin and for spit ups. The bigs ones are great for shading the stroller/carseat and also as a light blanket when it’s hot out especially in Asia.
Hope this list is helpful to those reading.