There are items we have found very useful. Some are still useful but many were useful for such a short time. I would have preferred to borrow or purchase them used so that I could then give back, give away or resell them. Instead our garage has become more of a storage unit while we decide if there are any other kiddos in our future. If you knew for a fact you wanted more kids this probably wouldn’t be as much of a consideration. (Noting this for others, but mostly for myself because I’ve already forgetten so much.)
USEFUL FOR A SHORT TIME: (maybe worth purchasing used or borrowing)
Stroller/Car Seat Set
We purchased this set on Craiglist. It worked out perfectly for about the first 6 months. Being able to get out of the car and run errands without disturbing a sleeping baby is a great convenience. But the car seat quickly gets too heavy to be pulling it in and out of the car on a regular basis. We ended up purchasing a second car seat on Craiglist so that we could leave a car seat in each car, save our backs and just remove the baby. The stroller is also huge and heavy, even when folded up. When we traveled we could only fit it with one large suitcase in the back of my Escape.
This was where Aiden slept at night for the first 2 months of his life in our room. He slept longest here and it allowed us to get quality sleep in between feedings every 2 or 3 hours. Once we weren’t using it at night we moved it to the living room. He would nap there and it vibrated which he liked. The other nice thing about this specific swing was our Graco car seat fit into it.
This was a great convenience. I could slide it up right next to the bed and it gave us the option of baby’s room or our room at night without moving anything. Once baby can sit up, it can’t be used anymore which for us was around 4 months. A friend had a good suggestion, which was just to use a pack n’ play (which is functional for longer) and not have a separate bassinet.
We used this from month 2 to 5. Once baby was sitting up and crawling, it didn’t hold his attention long.
Bouncer to Rocker
Again great for a small amount of time, especially the vibrating feature but once our little guy could sit up, he was not interested in being reclined and strapped in. This specific version is supposed to be convertible to a toddler rocker later so hopefully it will be functional again in the near future.
Our first jumper was just too big for our house. It wouldn’t fit through a doorway without being disassembled and we don’t have a ton of space to waste. Luckily a friend had given it to us so we just passed it along to some other friends. We ended up buying a door jumper which was a huge hit. But only for about a 2 month window. Once our little guy was crawling and pulling himself up he just did not want to be contained.
We loved swaddling. It seemed to work well for us but from talking to other parents it really just depends on the baby. We used the miracle blanket recommended by our doula and the woombie. They are a little pricey considering they are a glorified blanket but we got by with 2 or 3. Once he was rolling over around 4 months we had to stop swaddling.
I have the My Breast Friend and the Boppy. I didn’t end up using either much for nursing, but I very much think it’s a personal preference for a mom. I would prefer the Boppy because it provides more function, propping baby up to sit or for tummy time.
We love this stroller and it’s useful for a long time. Lightweight, compact, great price with the only downside being lack of storage. I solved this by purchasing this very inexpensive stroller caddy. A very happy medium we found that was still relatively compact but with the features of the bigger stroller was a Peg Perego, and by finding it used on craigslist we avoided the large price tag.
Pack N’ Play
This has been super useful. When he was first born it was in our living room for naps and a changing table. I don’t think the bassinet attachment is necessary with the raised pad. It’s his crib and changing table when we travel. Now, it’s in our room for him if he’s waking up a lot at night. I purchased this off Craigslist as well. But knowing now how useful it’s been, I would have purchased it new.
Useful in so many places, cars, restaurants, stroller, etc., and saves us from playing the “pickup” game over and over and over.
We used a book bag as our diaper bag which was an idea I got from my cousin. I’ve have not once missed having a shoulder bag. It’s not gender specific so we only need one. Having it strapped on my back frees up both hands and I don’t worry about it constantly slipping of my shoulder. This was extremely important while traveling. I was already pushing a stroller, sometimes carrying him in a sling or trying to get situated in our seats.
Room Darkening Shades
Our little guy was born at the end of October so the sun coming up bright and early to wake him was not a concern. As spring came we noticed he was slowly but surely getting up earlier and earlier. We hung up a room darkening shade and the next morning he slept an hour longer than he had been. Well worth it and he still sleeps until about 8 or 9am which we love.
We used this from the very beginning. We had a sheep and giraffe that would play white noise for up to 45 minutes. Then once Aiden was sleeping in his room longer we had white noise playing constantly. We recently purchased a white noise machine for his room which I wish we’d done sooner. We were using my iPod which makes for a pretty expensive noise machine. When we travel we have free apps on the iPad, iPod and our phones. Since our main floor is the second floor I think this helps drown out the uspstairs racket while he sleeps. We don’t tip-toe around, we do dishes, laundry, walk around and he in not bothered.
We got this free from a friend. It was good to have while he was learning to sit up, and we bought the tray attachment so now he regularly eats in it. I think it’s worth noting, he’s a pretty lean baby and will probably grow out of it very soon. I don’t think most babies his age would still fit.