I was sitting in our living room tonight, watching my little guy swinging in the baby swing and a blog post came to mind. What baby products do I have that I love? What have been the best investments and things I have used with all three kids? This is not a huge list...I'm sure I could think of a few more things...but these are some of the first things that stood out in my memory.
My inspiration...the baby swing. This is the model that my sister just loaned me, just a little different on the colors. Bless my sister. Without her, I wouldn't have most of the baby stuff I have, clothes for my kids, or clothes for myself. She's a very generous sharer and hand-me-downer. This swing rocks. It's got your different speeds, vibration, and music if you want it. A cute little mobile, too. The tray on it will be great in the future if we want to put toys/snacks in there. It also has straps to be sure he doesn't get out. Right now we don't need those...but might in the future! The seat is adjustable, which is nice. What I love the most about this? You can plug it in!! Yes! You will go through SO MANY batteries on the different baby stuff, it's crazy. Even if you don't get this model...definitely go for one that has a plug-in option!
The boppy pillow. Thanks again to my sis. We've been passing it back and forth as we've had babies. Whoever invented this is a genius. I use it when I feed the baby, Joe uses it when he holds the baby, and we use it pretty much every night to prop the baby up to sleep because he's got some fussy tummy/spit up issues. You could even use this thing to put your laptop on. The possibilities are endless. I even took it with me to the hospital with baby #2 and was so glad. When we unexpectedly had baby #3 a little early, my "get this stuff from home" list had the boppy at the top! They make other versions of this that are cheaper and I'm sure they're just as good. If you're crafty you could probably make one yourself. With having c-sections this really helped! First time moms...get a boppy! : )
The pack 'n play. My ex-sister in law gave me this. Thanks! This is definitely the fancy version (I wanted to say "tricked out" version...but I wasn't sure if that sounded appropriate?! : )). Pretty nice. Mine is very basic...just the main rectangular part and a mat that you can raise for a basinet and lower to the bottom when they get bigger. Have I missed all the special features? Not really. But they look really nice. You will use this thing until your kids are like 2 years old...maybe even older. We've taken ours on vacations and overnights, used it as a baby gate : ), and I've put my toddlers in it with toys and let them play so I could take a shower. It's great to have in those first months if you want the baby in your room but not in your bed. This is what we're using now. We change him in there, he sleeps during the day/night in there, etc. It folds up pretty compactly, considering how large it is, and has a canvas-type cover with a handle so it's easy to pack away for vacay. This is a Graco, but there are lots of brands that make versions of this and you can find them cheap/used. My only advice with a cheaper one is make sure that the basinet "platform" has some kind of netting or something that prevents the baby from falling down underneath it. This may not make sense, but I'll say that once when baby #2 was little, he was laying in it and somehow wedged himself between the edge of the platform and the side of the pack n play. He ended up falling through down to the bottom of it where there was no padding. Scared me half to death! He was crying, too. Then I couldn't find him but could hear him crying. It was rough. That could be dangerous, so be aware. This was a cheaper brand that this happened with and may be improved by now.
A baby sling. This one's mine : ). But my friend gave me a light green one like this as a baby gift. Thank you, Laura! Anyway, this version is called "The Peanut Shell" and you can buy them on their website or through Target (I registered for mine through Target, so I think they're still there). I LOVE this thing. Especially having two other children that still need me to hold their hand or have a hand free to hold bags and other things. Sure, you could lug the carseat with the baby in it around if you'd like, but doing the sling is lighter, less awkward, and almost every time I've put my babies in it has soothed them right to sleep. I have put them in to do housework, cook, etc when they've been fussy. There are tons of other types of slings made by different companies...and I'm sure they're all good. You can even make your own. There are tutorials and patterns online. I'd definitely recommend getting one!
Last, but not least, is the nursing tank top. If you plan to try and nurse your baby, these things are awesome! I have three and rotate them to sleep in every night. It makes nursing easier and the material they're made of is stretchy but comfortable. I packed these to take to the hospital when having my babies.
I hope this is helpful! Please pass on any other must-haves. There may be something I'm missing here that I'd love to have this last time around!