I guess it is time to get back into the groove but I figured I'd start off with something fun- registry advice! Registrying for a baby can be a lot of fun but many couples find it incredibly overwhelming and frustrating. If you haven't been to a baby superstore lately, check one out. It is a wonder anyone can decide what they need or want. In fact when you go to set up a registry they warn you not to even attempt to complete it in one day! It really is insane how many baby products are on the market and even more crazy how fast they are changing- who could possibly keep up! Well, I don't claim to be a product expert by any means, but I can make some suggestions about what products you may need and more importantly what ones you don't need. Of course everyone's lifestyle is different, but there are a few products that I believe are absolute musts for any new parent. We all know there are obvious things you will need like a car seat, crib, or stroller but below is a list of the top five must- haves that are beyond the basics.
This is hands down one of the best baby products you can buy! The swaddle blanket is essential for soothing a fussy baby and helping babies sleep longer. Yes, I said sleep longer! Swaddling a baby helps them feel secure and prevents them from startling themselves awake. In fact, swaddling is considered the cornerstone of the five S's from Dr. Harvey Karp's best-selling book The Happiest Baby on the Block. There are so many swaddle blankets on the market, but my personal favorite is the SwaddleMe by Summer Infant which I lovingly refer to as the swaddle blanket for dummies- it really is that easy!
So we all know that breastfeeding is best, but it is not always easy and does not always come naturally. Having a great pillow to help you position your baby and support you while you and your baby are learning to breastfeed is so important. And trust me, not all breastfeeding pillows are created equal! Why can't you just use pillows? I promise that if you use My Brest Friend just once you will never ask that question again. This pillow stays where you need it to be so you can perfectly position your baby (or babies!) and provides back support so you can be as comfortable as possible. Yes, it has a funny name and it costs a little more than other pillows, but I promise it is so worth it!
Even if you don't plan on adopting a baby wearing lifestyle or following attachment parenting, an infant carrier can be indispensable. Babies love to be held but most parents don't have the luxury of being able to sit on the couch and hold their little one for hours every day. Having a carrier allows you to hold your baby while getting housework done, running errands, or going on walks. More importantly carriers help soothe babies, increase their sleep, facilitate breastfeeding, and increase the infant-parent bond. There are a ton of carriers on the market and they are all very different. Some smaller baby stores will allow you to try the different carriers and slings with your baby so you can see which one works the best for you. There are also classes to learn how to safely 'wear' your baby.
Fragrance Free Skin Products
Baby skin is very sensitive but unfortunately many of the skin products for babies are loaded with fragrances that can irritate them. These products smell so nice and some of them even claim they will help a baby fall asleep (don't know how true that is!), but all those smell-good chemicals are not good for newborn skin. The truth is newborns don't need frequent bathing, they don't need soap, and they don't really need lotion. But, if and when you do use soap and lotion you should look for fragrance-free, hypoallergenic products. Again, the market is loaded with great baby skin products so register for a few different brands and see which ones you love the most.
Ok, so my last recommendation is less than glamorous! But a rectal thermometer is essential for at least the first year of your baby's life. When it comes to taking your baby's temperature you have to go old school. Nevermind all the new high-tech gadgets on the market for temperature taking. They will never be as accurate or reliable as a good old fashioned rectal thermometer. Now many parents are scared of taking a rectal temperature- they don't want to hurt their baby! But rest assured that the rectal thermometers on the market these days have safety features to make sure they can't be inserted too far.
Obviously there are many other great products that can help new parents but these are some that are I find useful and essential. As a baby planner I can help expectant parents navigate the world of baby gear to help you develop a registry that is perfect for your family and lifestyle. Check in next week and I will feature a local baby store that specializes in personalized registry design. Later in the month I will have my top five list of the must-have-nots! What are your favorite baby products?