Author Topic: What's the one thing as a first-time Mom that you couldn't live without?  (Read 3905 times)

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2littlemonkeys

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Re: What's the one thing as a first-time Mom that you couldn't live without?
« Reply #15 on: September 11, 2012, 03:47:38 PM »
Things I couldn't live without:

swaddler
Boppy pillow (I found it good for nursing as well as bottle feeding, as I could just recline the baby comfortably)
Wubbanub   



Things I didn't know I couldn't live without until I had my second:
electric snot sucker
sling.  Slings come in eleventy million different varieties and they're not for everyone, so they don't make good surprise gifts. But if the new mom is interested, perhaps a gift certificate or shopping trip to get one would be good.

Edited to add: how could I forget the Halo sleep sacks!  When YDD was a baby, they introduced the swaddler version and it was wonderful.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2012, 03:51:01 PM by 2littlemonkeys »

Frog24

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Re: What's the one thing as a first-time Mom that you couldn't live without?
« Reply #16 on: September 11, 2012, 04:31:04 PM »
Looking back on my time with my little one, here are my suggestions:

Jolly jumper stroller cover: covered the bassinet or stroller, or play pen so baby can sleep outside in the summer.  It keeps the bugs and the sunlight off.  http://www.toysrus.ca/product/index.jsp?productId=2683392

Meals that I didn't have to cook.  When my coworker would come by with a casserole, it was a great, great thing. 

Movie tickets to mom & baby movies (if they're available in your area).  It's a fun way to get out during the day and see a first run movie.  The volume is turned down low, the lights are up, and there's even a change table provided. 

Simple, cheap, and they work: A number of sites online will have printable black & white images.  Very little babies can't see very far, and the contrast of black on white is fascinating to them.  Your friend can tape these to the back of the couch.  The baby has something to look at while leaning up against your friend's shoulder.  An example of such a site: http://baby.zorger.com/

"The 90 minute baby sleep system".  A book that nearly saved my sanity re: baby sleeping.  I was using "The Baby Whisperer" and it nearly drove me to tears.  I was sure I wasn't doing things "right" because the baby's sleep pattern was so strange to me.  The "90 minute" book was awesome because it showed me how to recognize my baby's natural sleep patterns and work with them.  Instant success and better days/nights for everyone in the house. 

A cheap clock radio to provide white noise while the baby sleeps.  Set it to the end of the AM band width to provide all the white noise baby needs.

POD on the swaddler... my kiddo didn't figure out how to escape her Miracle Blanket until she was over 4 months old. POD on the sharp pair of scissors for cutting baby nails.

Wash cloths.  You can never have too many for washing hands, faces, bums, etc. 

This metal frame with mesh fabric pulled over it.  It's for laying the baby down in the bath tub, but keeping his/her head above water.  I could only find it as part of a kit on the web site, but it'll give you a visual (it's the blue thing with duckies on it).  I found it at the store for about $6. http://www.toysrus.ca/product/index.jsp?productId=2849314

A bottle of sweet almond oil for massaging baby. It's unscented, absorbs quickly, and leaves baby soft without being perfumed.  Of course, if someone has a nut allergy, go with another fragrance-free oil.

Frog

Sophia

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Re: What's the one thing as a first-time Mom that you couldn't live without?
« Reply #17 on: September 11, 2012, 04:46:49 PM »
My babywearing sling was absolutely essential. 

I also loved the Bumbo seat.  I think they are out of favor at the moment, but I thought it was great.  I never left my daughter in it when I wasn't within arm's reach.  But, she was a happy camper while I loaded the dishwasher, or ate while standing in front of the dishwasher.  Sitting upright when you are one month old is heady stuff to a baby. 

Trouble is that one thing that is essential to one mother is useless to another.   One of my first purchases, a baby jail aka Pack N Play has never ever been used.  I breastfed but I used the Boppy pillow precisely once after I discovered the OnSideInBed position.  My daughter also rejected pacifiers.  My best friend has probably bought 3 dozen.

Oh, I just thought of two small things that I loved.  They sell something called a "Mommy Hook" for a stroller.  You can hang a lot of bags from the handle of the stroller.  I also loved the piddle pad for the infant car seat.  So easy to wash. 

Oh, and a dozen white baby socks from OldNavy or BabyGap.  They are high quality, don't leave marks, go with everything and you can always find a pair. 

Talley

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Re: What's the one thing as a first-time Mom that you couldn't live without?
« Reply #18 on: September 11, 2012, 04:49:59 PM »
When DD was a baby, the things I never left the house without were
- a spacious diaper bag with a padded diaper changing pad
- muslin cloths (you can never have too many of those - they served to wipe up various spills, light blanket and, on one memorable occasion even as a makeshift diaper - and they durable, as I still have a few of them floating about seven years later...)

For at home I loved
- sleep sack with buttons at the shoulders (which made it a lot easier to get DD into the sleep sack)
- nursing pillow (one of those U-shaped ones).

We also had a second sleep sack, which was brilliant for going out as it had a slit to pull the harness of the stroller or the carseat through.


Sirius

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Re: What's the one thing as a first-time Mom that you couldn't live without?
« Reply #19 on: September 11, 2012, 05:07:17 PM »
I don't have children but I'm an old hand at baby showers, and one thing I always give is a package of disposable diapers in the next size up from newborn.  I've been told several times that those diapers came in very handy, as apparently babies grow like weeds, and the diapers that fit Junior at 7 a.m. are too small for him at 11 p.m. 

KaraokeMom

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Re: What's the one thing as a first-time Mom that you couldn't live without?
« Reply #20 on: September 11, 2012, 05:12:38 PM »
And these are hard to find but may be one of my favorite products of all time--I put them in cribs, I put them on changing tables, I tuck them in diaper bags for an on the go pad...heck, I've used them under the dog :-[http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3601329
They're a 'soft' flannel covered waterproof mat--washable.  They're not as 'pretty' as some of the other products like this but they work better, IMO.

I TOTALLY agree with these! I got a 2-pack when my son was born. He's now 5 and I've washed them innumerable times and they're still soft and work well. I still use them on his "big boy" bed (in case of accidents. I also keep one in the car to cover the car seat - makes cleaning up spills, etc. much easier.

I also recommend the unfolded diapers (you can get the thin cotton plain white ones or the thicker ones) that come in packs of 10 or so.
http://www.walmart.com/ip/Gerber-Flat-Fold-Birdseye-Cloth-Diaper-10-Pack/19237248
I used them for everything but diapering - burp cloths, clean up, drying, etc. My son still uses the thicker ones as blankets for his stuffed animals. And I use the thinner ones for cleaning glasses.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2012, 05:14:11 PM by KaraokeMom »

deety

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Re: What's the one thing as a first-time Mom that you couldn't live without?
« Reply #21 on: September 11, 2012, 05:17:39 PM »
Proper rectangular blankets for swaddling.  With our first, we swaddled her until she was 17 months old.  She still accepted it, it helped her fall asleep, kept us sane, it was great.

Sophia

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Re: What's the one thing as a first-time Mom that you couldn't live without?
« Reply #22 on: September 11, 2012, 05:45:50 PM »
I wish I could swaddle my 26 month old.  To delay bedtime, she loves to pop up in the crib when I am reading her the pre-sleep books.  I told my husband just a couple of days ago that I wished I could still "burrito" her.  When she was an infant, we used the large white flour-sack-cloth dishcloths.  The other 3 dozen possibilities we had were either too small to be secure, or too warm for a July baby in Texas.  The sleep sacks gave her enough foot kicking room to get upset

Oh Joy

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Re: What's the one thing as a first-time Mom that you couldn't live without?
« Reply #23 on: September 11, 2012, 05:50:04 PM »
I'm not really answering your question - which was a thing I couldn't live without - but I do have a 19-month-old at home and another peanut arriving any week now so I'll share my perspective.

Having the right things on hand wasn't really an issue.  We had the basics covered, there are 24-hour pharmacies and WalMarts nearby, and Amazon can deliver almost anything in a day or two.  No one item for us was the difference between sanity and tears, and frankly we had way too much 'just in case' or 'you might like this instead' stuff on hand...I'm glad we didn't get more.

What I really needed/need was time and help keeping the house running.  The right thing to give as a gift depends on the family and how close you are to them, but the lawn still needs to be mowed and raked (gift certificate?), groceries still need to be obtained (gift card to a place that delivers or has online shopping with drive-up pickup), healthy dinner still needs to be on the table (Asian delivery, nearby restaurant with Carside To Go pickup), house still needs cleaning and such.  Maybe there's something that you know would be a perfect fit for that family?

It was also somehow less stressful to take the baby to Target for a couple of one-stop essentials when I had a little gift card from there...somehow that $10 towards my $50 total made it OK to buy something premade for dinner or not worry about choosing between the $6 baby item or the $5 item.

Of course, to each their own...  :-)

Hijinks

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Re: What's the one thing as a first-time Mom that you couldn't live without?
« Reply #24 on: October 04, 2012, 05:25:52 PM »
We didn't find this out until our 2nd, but there's a burn cream called Resinol.  You can buy it behind the pharmacy counter.  It works so great on diaper rash, it's not even funny.

Sophia

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Re: What's the one thing as a first-time Mom that you couldn't live without?
« Reply #25 on: October 04, 2012, 05:58:15 PM »
One gift I thoroughly enjoyed was a BabiesRUs gift card.  That $150 gift card lasted until she was almost 2 years old.  (I am very frugal)  But, I had trouble finding bottles that would work for my breastfeeding baby, and when I discovered that Tommy Tippy worked, I was able to buy plenty even though we were poor. 


Arrynne

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Re: What's the one thing as a first-time Mom that you couldn't live without?
« Reply #26 on: October 04, 2012, 10:43:17 PM »
And these are hard to find but may be one of my favorite products of all time--I put them in cribs, I put them on changing tables, I tuck them in diaper bags for an on the go pad...heck, I've used them under the dog :-[http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3601329
They're a 'soft' flannel covered waterproof mat--washable.  They're not as 'pretty' as some of the other products like this but they work better, IMO.

I TOTALLY agree with these! I got a 2-pack when my son was born. He's now 5 and I've washed them innumerable times and they're still soft and work well. I still use them on his "big boy" bed (in case of accidents. I also keep one in the car to cover the car seat - makes cleaning up spills, etc. much easier.

I also recommend the unfolded diapers (you can get the thin cotton plain white ones or the thicker ones) that come in packs of 10 or so.
http://www.walmart.com/ip/Gerber-Flat-Fold-Birdseye-Cloth-Diaper-10-Pack/19237248
I used them for everything but diapering - burp cloths, clean up, drying, etc. My son still uses the thicker ones as blankets for his stuffed animals. And I use the thinner ones for cleaning glasses.

I love these mats too. I love cloth prefolds for burp cloths. The gerber Birdseye ones aren't very absorbent. I like twill better, either Bummis or Indian cotton DSQ prefolds.

MrsJWine

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Re: What's the one thing as a first-time Mom that you couldn't live without?
« Reply #27 on: October 04, 2012, 10:49:31 PM »
Miracle Blanket. I'm a really good swaddler (I learned by the method in Happiest Baby on the Block, practicing over and over on a doll at first, and then on my own kid), but my second child completely confounded me. She had the legs of an ox and the stubbornness of a donkey. However, she constantly startled herself awake when she wasn't swaddled; she needed it, however much she raged while the whole process was going down. I ordered one when she was about a month old and thank goodness. She became an excellent sleeper after that. If you do get one, don't be afraid to cinch it down super tight.


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Arrynne

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Re: What's the one thing as a first-time Mom that you couldn't live without?
« Reply #28 on: October 04, 2012, 10:50:29 PM »
We didn't find this out until our 2nd, but there's a burn cream called Resinol.  You can buy it behind the pharmacy counter.  It works so great on diaper rash, it's not even funny.

I love ILEX paste for bad diaper rashes. It works on weepy skin. Makes bums look better within a few hours. It's non-prescription, but behind the counter.  It's a special form of petroleum jelly that forms a good seal to block out moisture.

I also really appreciated the "happiest baby on the block" DVD. I learned how to swaddle in the NICU, but this DVD covers the basics and gives some good tools for calming a baby.

stkatie00

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Re: What's the one thing as a first-time Mom that you couldn't live without?
« Reply #29 on: October 04, 2012, 11:39:12 PM »
Oxi Clean-both the spray and the powder you add to boost the regular detergent. I have 10 month old twins who had reflux as newborns, and even with the constant spitting up, no stains remained on their clothes-even if it was a couple of days later that I was able to spray their outfit and wash it! They do make a baby version (I think of both), but I have no idea what the difference is, if any, other than the baby version being more expensive-I've just used the regular and haven't had any issues with it.