WORK/LIFE BALANCE FROM A MOM AND NURSE PRACTITIONER

Making room for two: What to toss, keep, and buy

10/26/16
With the first baby I was clueless about what to buy to prepare for our baby. Reading about baby products and talking to other new moms helped, but there is a huge market for baby products that can inundate a new mom . I have not bought anything in preparation for my baby on the way, but I do want to make room for her, and inventory what I have and what I actually need to get. As I started this process I realize there were plenty of items we bought or were gifted last time that were unnecessary, and some items I would have like to have that I never bought last time. This lead me to my list of Toss, Keep, and  Buy.

Toss:

Swaddle blankets-I'm referring to the so-called make it easy to swaddle blankets with Velcro or snaps. My son was able to bust out of these in a couple of minutes, and really were not useful to me at all. I preferred the larger Muslin blankets that can be used for swaddling and also when the baby outgrows the swaddling phase.

Baby Monitor-Let's get real, unless you sleep on another floor than your baby there is no way you are going to sleep through or miss hearing your newborn's cry. There was really no immediate need or use for this other than some false sense of security.

Diaper Genie-We registered for the expensive Tomee Tepee diaper disposal system that supposedly seals off the smell and makes disposal easier. It still ended up smelling like a landfill, and I eventually just moved it out of the house because I couldn't take the stench. The refills of the plastic sealers were super expensive, and honestly it's just a good habit to take out the dirty diapers daily anyhow.

Changing table-We never invested in this, and never had the need for it. A dresser with a changing pad worked fine, although you have to be a little cautious when the baby starts to roll.


Bouncer or vibrating chair-I picked one up at a yard sale, and it had a working music box and vibration setting. My son hated this and would scream the whole time he was in it.

Teething rings-I tried several different brands and shapes, including the infamous Sophie the Giraffe, and they all did nothing for his teething pain. He would just throw these on the floor in a matter of minutes.

Dr. Brown's Bottles- I wrote about these in another post, but they are the most pain in the butt to assemble, disassemble, and clean. The claim on these is they decrease gas pains and colic, but I have my doubts. In terms of efficiency and ease these get a major fail from me.


Humidifier-At about five months my son got RSV and his cough was keeping him up all night. I tried several humidifiers, including the Vicks brand and some weird looking Owl shaped humidifier that supposedly won a parent's choice award. Honestly, they did nothing to help with cough and nasal congestion. Putting my son in a steamy bathroom did more good than any of the humidifiers.

snap-jammies- changing a baby in the middle of the night and then trying to figure out all the snaps on the PJs is beyond frustrating. I am only using zip-up jammies this time.


Keep
Swing-This was a lifesaver! I don't think the brand really matters, but this was the only thing that would calm my son down and let me have a break those first few months.

Umbrella stroller-I didn't invest in this until almost a year after my son was born, but having a small stroller that you can squeeze into restaurants and stores makes life so much easier.

Digital thermometer-As a former ER nurse I know how important it is to monitor the baby's temperature during the first months. A rectal temperature is the most accurate, but who really wants subject their baby to a rectal probe every time they measure the temperature.

Aden and Ansis  47x47 blankets -These are so soft and have so many functions. They are a little expensive, but I think well worth the price. They can be used to swaddle, for burping, for covering the baby in the car seat or stroller, and for a cover-up when breast feeding. I highly recommend these, and will be buying more this time around.

Bassinet-Also as a former ER nurse I was super paranoid about SIDS, and did not co-sleep at all. A bassinet next to my bed worked really well for the first few months before we transitioned my son to the crib.

Baby sunscreen- Infants need a physical sunscreen that is non-irritating to the skin. As we took our son out frequently in the warmer months, this was essential.

zip-up jammies-see above

The Medela hands-free breast pump-I got  the Medela Freestyle Breast Pump top of the line pump covered through my insurance. I loved it, and intend to use it again this time around. Pumping early made my life so much easier when I had to go back to school and work. I bought the microwavable sterilizing bags for the parts, and all the Medela bottles, but these were not necessities. You can sterilize the parts with boiling water, and there are many other brands of bottles that fit onto the Medela pump, including the Dr. Brown bottles. I also bought a lot of the freezer bags for storing breast milk, which were very useful.

Sleep sacks-Again, I am super paranoid about SIDs, so in the first six months I only used sleep sacks when my son was past the swaddling stage

A sturdy crib- We bought this convertible crib from target with a coupon. It was expensive, but has worked very well, and my son at almost 2 and half still uses it and is unable to get out on his own. Eventually we will convert it to a toddler bed. Target currently has a sale on furniture and you can save $75 when spending $300, plus 10% off with the code FALLHOME link here.





Buy:
These are items I did not get last time, and want to get this time. Please leave your comments or suggestions on what products you liked below.

Travel system-I bought convertible cars seats last time around, but I definitely want a travel system this time, plus my son is still using the car seats we bought two years ago. Any suggestions as to what brand or model?

Pack n Play-Also, this would have come in handy the many times we have traveled with our infant son. There are so many, I don't know which one to choose from.

Diaper Bag-I have been through couple cheap ones that didn't have much room for organization and fell apart. Now that I will have two kiddos in diapers I want to invest in a good one that is stylish and functional. Thinking of this one.

The breast friend-My good friend recommended this to me, and claims it is the best for positioning while breast feeding. Thoughts?




The nasal Frieda-I used the bulb syringes to suction my son's snot as a baby, but have since been informed that these harbor loads of bacteria. I'm thinking of trying the nasal frieda this time, although it looks a bit disturbing.





A double stroller-I'm very hesitant to try one of these, simply because they look like they take up so much room, but I definitely see the need in the future.  Any suggestions leave them below.


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