OK. So there is always things people don't tell you about pregnancy or the post-partum phase after you have the baby. I do appreciate the discretion some people give me (as in: "Ignorance is bliss"), because I tend to be overdramatic if I don't have all the information. However, sometimes that backfires.
The truth is, motherhood is a scary adventure where there are lots of opinions and unsolicited advice around every corner and you never know whose advice to heed. In addition, every mom has their favorite baby products and will go to battle with another mom (no, seriously) for their product to come out on top. There are so many unknowns that you just have to figure out by yourself.
I know this is a stretch from my normal photography blogs, but I have put together a list of things that I personally love and make my life easier. Of course, in reference to the paragraph above, this is just my opinion and the stuff that I came to love in my mommyhood journey. I won't cry in a corner if you don't think the same ;)
1. Baby Jogger City Select stroller. Although this is slightly against my nature, I tried to think far out into the future for my stroller buy. When I went into Buy Buy Baby to test drive some strollers, I gave the sales associates the following criteria:
+ Easily collapsible
+ Can hold more than one kid (eventually)
I didn't want to get a double right away, but I didn't want to buy a single stroller and then have to update to a double (costing me an add'l $300 in addition to the single stroller cost). I did research. Watched Youtube videos. Perused Amazon for reviews. I finally came up with the City Select. Not only is it a single, but it can convert to a double when that extra kid comes along. Not only THAT, but you can also buy a glider board for your older toddler to ride behind the handle... coming to the total of being able to carry THREE kids if needed. AND (and!!!) it can convert into 16 different positions (see website above). Holy guacamole. I was sold. It also has a ginormous cargo area where I can grocery shop and it's not a big deal.
Is it expensive? Yes. Is it worth it to not have to spend any more money? Yes. Can you get it cheaper? Probably. The 2011 version is retailing for $500... but I got a 2010 model (brand new) for $380. Soon, the 2011 version will be old and will probably be selling it at the same price. Worth every dollar in my opinion.
2. Aden + Anais blankets. These things are soft, huge, light, and amazing. Probably the best bankets you'll ever find. They're made out of muslin, which is SO light and wonderful for Florida summers. They're so big you can use them as a nursing cover. You can buy these at Babies R Us, Kohls, Buy Buy Baby, Target or online. It's around $30 for a pack of four. A little pricey, but TOTALLY worth it.
Even if you're friend doesn't have this on her registry... just take the plunge and buy it for her. She'll thank you later.
No. Trust me.
3. Little Tummys Gripe Water. This stuff is thebomb.com. One day, Rowan cried for literally 10 hours straight (around 6 weeks old). We couldn't figure out what was wrong with her. She wouldn't sleep, she wasn't hungry - she was just fussy, uncomfortable, and clearly very upset. Out of desperation, we gave this to her (we weren't sure what it did... and we were new parents. So our troubleshooting skillz weren't the greatest.) She passed some gas, fed one more time, then knocked out for TEN (count 'em - TEN) hours straight.
This medicine helps colicky babies and babies with stomach trouble and pops all the little troublesome bubbles floating around in there. Apparently, babies can have bad tummyaches. And there's a remedy for that. Who knew?
4. Baby Einstein Sea Dreams Soother. This is a little aquarium that you attach to the side of your crib, once your little one is finally in there. Once you hit the big blue button at the bottom, it goes for a 25 minute interval of music and starts rotating the fishies inside. It gets quieter and darker as the time goes by, and finally stops. I started using this with Rowan at about 6 weeks old, and it helps her go to bed every night. I bathe her, feed her, stick her in her crib, and turn this on. She watches the fishies and gets drowsy while sucking on her paci. She's usually out in 10 minutes and it's a great distraction.
It retails for about $40 at Target, and it was definitely worth the money to me.
5. Any Infant to Toddler Rocker (or - in my personal words - a portable chair).
I didn't really know how much I needed this. A friend gave me hers for free, so I kept it around and BOY has it helped me a lot. I put Rowan in it when I eat and rock the chair with my foot, I put her in it when we are at the pool or the beach, traveling, at someone else's house, etc. Plainly put, Rowan gets sick of her carseat because it gets hot and boring. This vibrates, has fun colors and toys, and is a LOT cooler on her skin. She falls asleep in it all the time. It is so convenient to bring with me to other people's houses and Rowan always has a place to sit and hang out no matter where she is. Thank you, Kelli, for blessing me with this!
But enough about what I love.
Moms - what products can you absolutely not live without? Share with me!