- Family and Parenting
My Top 5 Baby Must-Haves
Top 5 Baby Items
If you're looking for a list of obvious must-haves for baby, like a crib, bouncy seat, diapers, ten billion onesies, and such, don't read on. Yes, we all need those necessities, but this is a list of some somewhat more obscure must-haves that we absolutely LOVE in this household. I have four children, the oldest of whom is 15 and the youngest of whom is now 17 months, so I figure by now I know a thing or two about what works and what doesn't work for babies. Of course, your favorite items may not match mine because every baby and parent are different, but I thought I'd share five very wonderful baby items that we simply cannot live without! Any one of these would be a perfect gift for a new mom because they make the tough job of parenting a little easier. These are in no particular order since I can't pick which ones I love the most!
Photo credit: Meridith Zelaya *For other image credits, roll over image*
Diaper sacks are indispensable! These are super handy for when you are out and about and you don't want to throw a disgusting dirty diaper and wipes into a trash can where they will stink up the place. They are also great if you're somewhere where you change your baby in the car. It happens sometimes, like on a car trip or when you're sitting at an older kid's baseball practice. It helps to just throw the dirty diaper and wipes into a bag and tie it up as opposed to taking a handful of nastiness over to the trash can. Also, what if you can't get to a trash can? Tying up the dirty and stinky stuff in a bag helps to not stink up the car too bad if you have to wait to find a trash can. These types of situations don't happen often, but when they do, diaper sacks are so handy to have at the ready.
I have included pictures of the types I have. One is actually a bag dispenser that you attach to the straps of your diaper bag - how convenient is that?
Cloth Diapers for Burp Cloths
One thing I always recommend to every new mom is this: Be sure to have at least 20 cloth diapers around for use as burp cloths! The "burp cloths" they sell at baby stores are cute and everything, but they are WAY too small and they do NOT soak up anything. I have four children, and this is probably my number one "can't live without" item. We have them in the baby's room, downstairs, in the diaper bag, in our room - everywhere. You never know when a baby's meal is going to pay another visit. Trust me, any household with a baby needs about 20 cloth diapers.
Fresh Food Feeder
We have five fresh food feeders. Yes, five. Part of the reason we have so many is because I'm a germaphobe and wash them constantly, but the other reason is that my baby absolutely loves these things. They are a way to provide fresh fruits and vegetables to your baby without having to worry about him or her choking. They are a life-saver when baby is fussy, like at a restaurant or just around the house. Simply place a piece of fresh banana, mango, apple, or other food into the feeder and hand it to your baby. He or she will be a happy camper. This is a great way to provide nutritious foods to baby as well. They reap all the benefits of the food without getting chunks of it that they can choke on.
Lately I've been putting ice into the feeders and my baby loves it. I think it feels good on his teething gums. This is a great way to give your baby something scientific (melting ice!) and interesting to stay busy with. Plus, it's just water, so clean up is easy.
I have written a lens specifically on the Munchkin Fresh Food Feeder that you may want to check out for more information.
UPDATE 8/20/13: These are even great for young toddlers who still can't eat certain things yet, like apples, oranges, or even ice (I'm so afraid Ian will choke on a piece of ice that slides down his throat).
Now you'll only need this item if you are using powdered formula for your baby. The formula dispenser is incredibly handy because it allows you to pre-measure the dry formula to take along with you in the diaper bag. Otherwise, you'd have to either carry the whole container of formula or pre-mix the formula in the bottles. Pre-mixing the formula is not a good idea because it is not usable after two hours. I always mixed my baby's formula fresh and fed it to him immediately to rule out any risk of contamination. The formula dispenser has three compartments, so you have enough for three bottles. This is handy on-the-go, especially for a long car trip.
The Moby Wrap is a great way to carry your baby and to strengthen the bond you have with him or her. The closeness that is felt with this super-comfy wrap is priceless, and it allows you to be essentially hands-free. Babies get heavy, even tiny ones. A carrier is an arm-saver! I have another type of carrier that I use sometimes, but the Moby Wrap is my favorite because it has no rough edges and clips and buckles. Plus, your baby presses up directly against your body so he or she can feel the warmness of your body and hear your comforting heartbeat.
The Moby Wrap is not for everyone, although I and many people I know love it. Some people feel it is complicated to wrap around yourself and your baby. It also can be difficult to get the baby in and out of the wrap. With practice, all of this becomes very easy. At first, it does seem a bit much (it's a LOT of fabric to wrap around!), but it is worth it to take some time to learn how to use it.
Update: I just had to sell my Moby wrap and was so sad about it! Ian doesn't fit in it anymore. He's a big baby now! I'm glad the carrier found a great home with a baby and momma who will love it as much as we did.