When I found out I was pregnant, I was completely overwhelmed by the number of baby products out there. I stared at a blank registry for longer than I care to admit, trying to decide what I needed and what I didn’t. Though I had advice flying at me from all sides, all from well-meaning family and friends, I’m a firm believer that you really have no idea what you will use and what will get stuffed in a closet until you actually give birth and learn the angles, quirks, and kinks of being a parent. So while some of the things we bought aren’t getting a lot of use, there are several things that we’re using all the time and I want to share them with you as hopefully a helpful guide, whether you’re a new parent or someone who is trying to decide on what to buy for a friend or family member.
So here they are, seven (because I like odd numbers) newborn products that we actually use:
1. Bouncy Chair
You’re gonna eventually need to put that sweet baby down and a bouncer seat will give you those precious extra minutes to get a few things done. Our favorite one was given to us by a friend, the Fisher Price Rainforest Bouncer. It’s a lifesaver! The toy bar lights up, animates, plays music, or can be removed completely. The chair vibrates and helps keep Jasper, who is a colicky little guy, happy enough to let me grab a hot shower or get dinner started. These chairs are really lightweight so you can carry them from room to room easily. If you have a multi-story house, having two of these puppies is really convenient and saves you from having to carry them up and down the stairs. Or you could always keep the chair on one level and the baby’s carseat, which doubles nicely as a baby container, on the other.
2. Pack and Play
Pack N Plays wear many hats – bed, napper, storage, changing table, and playpen – and it’s one of the most-used baby items that we own. It was one of the first things we added to our registry and my mother and father-in-law gifted it to us at our shower. In our house, the master bedroom is on the main floor and the nursery is upstairs. We didn’t want to be constantly running upstairs for every diaper change, so we have our Pack N Play set up in our bedroom so it’s convenient for being close to the baby overnight or when we are hanging out downstairs. The Graco Pack N Play we chose has a bassinet, called a “newborn napper” as well as a dedicated changing table. As the baby grows, one or both of those things can be removed to reveal an elevated bassinet level that is waterproof and padded. Further still, the suspended bassinet can be removed , turning the Pack N Play into a full-sized playard. It even has vibration controls (works for both the newborn napper and the bassinet), built-in music and nature sounds, and a night light. We don’t really use the light or music, but we do use the vibration! The whole thing folds up and fits into an included carry-bag for traveling. Jasper is still using the newborn napper, but when we stayed with my parents for New Year’s we removed the top changing table and napper for easier travel and set up the Pack N Play in their guest room. We used the elevated bassinet as both a changing table (just removed his sheet for that) and a bed for him while at their house. It was so great. This is totally a must-have item for your baby registry!
3. Boppy Nursing Pillow
The Boppy pillow is something that everyone seems to have but I wasn’t sure if I would get a lot of mileage out of it. Boy was I wrong. My husband and I both use it all the time! Jasper is a frequent nurser (his pediatrician calls him a snacker, ha!) so this pillow helps to keep both hands free while I’m stuck on the couch during those frequent feeds. It’s not only used for nursing though, my husband gets as much use out of it as I do, especially in bed at night when he soothes Jasper to sleep in order to allow me an extra hour or so of shuteye before waking up for the first overnight meal. The pillow itself is machine washable (just toss a couple of tennis balls into the dryer with it to prevent the stuffing from clumping up) and so are the slipcovers, which come in about a billion different colors and patterns. This is another product that we have two of – one for upstairs and one for downstairs.
4. Diaper Pail
Diaper pails are one of those “controversial” products in that some people seem to love them or hate them. I don’t understand all the hate, because we love ours! We use a regular Diaper Genie both upstairs in the nursery and downstairs in our bedroom. We’ve never had a problem with odors leaking out of the pail and we find the bag easy to change when it gets full. We were given one pail at our shower and we picked up a second one at a consignment sale, so both changing stations in our house have a pail right next to them!
5. Nursing Tank Tops
Seriously, I wish I had a dozen nursing tanks, because they are all I want to wear right now. Nursing bras are great and all, but if I’m not wearing a button-up shirt or something with a really stretchy neckline, I don’t exactly want to expose my entire midsection when trying to feed my baby. I like the nursing tanks with built-in bra support so I can layer them right under any shirt I want. That way I stay totally covered! I recommend registering for several of these in a variety of colors, because if you plan on breastfeeding your baby, these will be invaluable!
6. Blooming Bath Flower
If you plan on starting your baby out with sink baths, the Blooming Bath is sooo cool! It’s basically a big plushy flower with flexible petals that will conform to fit any size sink. When bath time is done, you just squeeze it out and toss it into the dryer for next time. Jasper loves bath time and he loves his comfy bath flower. He never comes into contact with the cold sides or hard edges of the sink since he’s totally surrounded by the petals. The only warning I will pass along is to make sure you squeeze out as much of the excess water as you can before removing the flower from the sink, otherwise you may end up dripping water all over your floor and it will take a long time to get completely dry. I let the standing water drain out of the sink and then squeeze all of the petals toward the center, and then I twist and squeeze out each one individually. This product will be another one that people either love or find gimmicky and impractical, but we consider it a worthy purchase!
7. Travel System
It’s no secret that you’ll need a carseat for your baby, and probably some type of stroller. I prefer as little fuss as possible when taking Jasper along during errands, so having those two things work together helps with getting things done faster. My parents gave us the Chicco Cortina Keyfit 30 Travel System and so far I can’t think of any complaints. Everything comes together with an audible click, so you always know that you have things “right” when transferring the carseat from/to the base or stroller. The stroller is lightweight and is easy to fold up or expand, even with one hand, and it’s easy to lift it into the back of our car. I also like how smooth it drives and how easy it is to maneuver. It’s so comfortable pushing Jasper around in this and I never feel in fear of knocking things over in stores (I’m clumsy, so this would be a valid fear!). There’s cup holders and trays for both the baby (well, once they’re big enough and riding in the main part of the stroller instead of the carseat) and parent and there’s some storage underneath as well.
Disclosure: I have no relationship with any specific brands mentioned above – I’m just sharing our personal experiences with these products. This post contains some affiliate links – purchase of any product via one of these links generates a small commission and helps keep Brownie Bites online!
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