Being a parent to a young baby means owning and using a lot of baby products to make things easier. Some things you get because it seems like a good idea before the baby comes along, like a baby monitor. And some things become so incredibly useful that it seems impossible to look after your baby without them. This is about five of those things, things that are not only essential in my day to day parenting life but have become the top five baby items I love.
Number 1: My Maclaren Vogue reclining stroller
Being a new parent was tough, and one of the toughest aspects was the isolation. Sure, you have a car and a car set for a young baby, and you can drive around, but what then? And what about just going down for a walk to the corner store, or a park, just to get outside?
And that’s why my Vogue stroller comes in. It reclines, to multiple levels, so regardless if my baby is alert, or needs a sleep this stroller is able to step up. And with a great harness with a head rest thingy, it’s suitable for any child from newborn to almost pre-schooler. In short, it gives what my baby needs.
What I love most, however, is the freedom it can provide. Thanks to its size it is easy to fold up into my small car, can weave around obstacles on a busy sidewalk, fit down the aisle of a corner store with ease, or even nestle between tables in a crowded cafe without too much difficulty. All this means I can go anywhere without having to take my baby in and out all the time, letting me do what I need to without having to wake her. Some strollers are like SUVs, but my stroller fits in with my activities and helps ease that isolation I found so tough.
Number 2: Yoomi self warming milk bottles
With all that relative freedom came some issues. Sure, I could be out longer with my stroller, but what about feed times? Breast feeding is quite flexible in that regard – you’ve already got everything you need. But when I started expressing, so I could return to work, I suddenly needed bottles for the milk, a way to keep the milk cold and fresh and – the trickiest bit – a way to warm the milk. Bottles are easy, and I found little baby bottle cooler bags worked well, but it wasn’t till I found Yoomi bottles that I had fresh expressed milk the right temperature when my baby needed it.
The bottle works by heating the milk as it goes through part of the teat. Inside the special teat is a special compound gel that warms up once you press a button(so it doesn’t warm up accidentally), and once at the right temperature (which is under a minutes) warms the milk to a nice body temperature as its drunk. The teats need only to be washed in hot water to undo the reaction and “reset” the gel. It makes life so easy.
Number 3: My ergo baby carrier
Like the first two, this is about being mobile and out and about without fuss. While I love my super mobile go almost anywhere Maclaren stroller, sometimes even a compact frame stroller is too big, or you need your hands free so you don’t want to push it. That’s where my ergo baby carrier comes in. It’s easy and quick to put on, and comfortable, especially for my baby. She often falls asleep (which is just awesome). Plus I feel like I’m getting a great cardio exercise.
I often use it in tandem with stroller. For example, if I am going on the subway – especially at a busy time – I’ll fold up the stroller and use the Ergo carrier around the station and on the train. Then, once out of the subway I’ll go back to the stroller and place the carrier underneath, in the carrying basket the stroller has.
Number 4: A bassinet on wheels
Back at home now. Sometimes my baby sleeps just fine in her crib in the nursery. But sometimes its just easier to have her in the same room as me. And that’s where a bassinet that’s easy to move around comes in handy.
Sure, bassinets can easy enough to move around, but having mine sit on a frame it can easy attach or detach to has two big benefits. First, it means my baby is not on the ground, making checking her or getting her in and out much easier on my poor back. And secondly, it means I can safely change rooms while taking her with me, no lifting required!
As she grows up, I am also loving my Lotus travel crib even more. I recommend buying a travel crib, rather than the usual bulky portable crib, once you need one. It is so much easier to move between different rooms of the house and to take with us other places.
Number 5: Baby wipes
Really, in many ways this should be top! I think this would be nearly universal; most moms would have this on their lists of favorite things. I don’t know what I’d do without baby wipes. They’re so useful I always make sure I have plenty with me. And they make the worst of times – messy diaper changes – so much easier to deal with. Thank goodness for baby wipes!