Here Are The Real Baby Must Haves
As a mom, there are things you come to realize later that you should have done differently. Having some regrets and consequences of bad decisions is when motherhood becomes a little harder than expected. There are a lot of choices that you need to make when buying things for your baby and I wouldn’t want you to make the same mistakes I made. This is why I decided to make this list of lifesavers that I haven’t bought for my first baby but did purchase for my second child without thinking twice!
Here are the 7 things that I regret not buying for my baby that would have made my life much easier.
1. Swaddle suit
I thought that I didn’t need a swaddle suit because I didn’t understand how they would help. I discovered the benefits of swaddling newborns too late when my first son was already six months old. So I promised myself to try it with my second child. Unfortunately, failing in the swaddling class taught me the need for the swaddling suit. Sometimes, my baby would just wriggle free of the swaddle no matter how well I thought I had wrapped him. I had to wake up over and over again. You can read the full list of benefits of swaddling newborns here, but if you want to keep it short, here is a quick summary of the most important benefits that every mom should know.
The benefits of swaddling a newborn
Swaddling is a practice that has been used around the world for centuries. There are many benefits of swaddling a newborn.
Here is a list of them:
- It helps prevent the Startle/Moro reflex – the Moro reflex is often called a startle reflex, which refers to an involuntary protective motor response that presents in infants shortly after birth. This reflex develops between 28-32 weeks of gestation and begins to disappear by 12 weeks with complete disappearance by six months.
When something triggers the startle reflex, a baby will make a sudden body movement, extend their arms, and throw their head back. It helps them respond to frightening sounds and other stimuli. You may notice your baby’s startle reflex when you’re trying to put them down to sleep. This is because leaning over to lay them down may give your baby the sensation of falling. These sudden movements can sometimes even wake them from sleeping.
There is no way to prevent the Moro reflex from occurring completely but, you can swaddle your baby and help reduce the sudden movements during sleeping.
- It can make them sleep longer – swaddling your baby will help them feel safe and secure. Swaddling is a technique that mimics the close, cozy quarters of the womb. And therefore, it can also help your baby sleep longer.
- Swaddling mimics a mommy’s soothing touch – touch triggers the self-shooting response in babies and swaddling mimics mom’s shooting touch.
- Swaddling helps alleviate colic – the pressure on their tummy can help relieve uncomfortable gas.
- Swaddling reduces SIDS and suffocation risk as long as they sleep on their back – babies start to roll over between four to six months, and that point is the best time to stop swaddling.
Here is my baby before and after I swaddled him and covered him with a blanket. The swaddling suit (like this one from Amazon) made it much easier for me to swaddle my baby, it didn’t get loose and I didn’t need to wrap my baby over and over again. Once you swaddle your baby, you can add another blanket to keep your baby warm and let him sleep better and longer.
Check out this swaddling suit that makes the whole swaddle process much easier. I really like HALO’s swaddle suit from Amazon because it is made from fleece – a fabric that helps to keep the baby warm and also holds tight when swaddling a baby. You can use this suit in 3 different ways to swaddle your baby – presented in the image below:
- Arms in – to prevent the startle reflex just like my baby had (in the photo).
- Hands-to-Face – for self-soothing.
- 1 or 2 Arms Out – for an easy transition from swaddling – also helps babies with colic or gas by making pressure on their tummy.
You can get Halo’s practical swaddle suit on Amazon. It comes in 20 different beautiful colors which you can choose from.
Another great swaddle suit is this suit from Amazon. It comes as a set of 3 and they are made from 100% high-quality cotton. Cotton is a breathable fabric that makes these suits perfect for the summer to keep your baby comfortable at all times.
This is the swaddling suit that I used to swaddle my baby on hot summer days.
If you want to keep your baby’s arms away from his face (some babies scratch themselves), then Love To Dream’s Swaddle UP suit from Amazon is a great option for your baby. It gives more freedom to your newborn’s arms but still, limits the sudden movements and keeps their hands away from their face.
2. White noise machine
In case you didn’t know, a white noise machine like this #1 Best Seller from Amazon is really good for sleep. As a mom, I struggled with getting some sleep AND putting my baby to sleep. Newborns are usually up at odd hours and sleepy when they need to be awake. Their sleep schedule can definitely keep you from enjoying some good sleep.
To help your baby sleep better pediatricians often recommend relaxing activities, such as a warm bath or a massage. But sometimes, when nothing seems to work, a white noise machine comes in handy for both you and your baby.
What is a white noise machine?
A white noise machine is a device that produces a noise that calms the listener, which in many cases sounds like a rushing waterfall, wind blowing through trees, soothing beach sounds, fan, or other sounds that might occur naturally in an environment.
There are even machines specifically designed for use with infants that are equipped with instrumental lullabies or even a heartbeat noise that is used to mimic that of the mother.
When I first heard about the white noise machine I thought, hah… here is another gadget that companies created to sell to parents and earn money, I didn’t take it seriously. But, I changed my mind when I noticed my best friend trying to put her baby to sleep with a hairdryer.
She actually turned on her hairdryer, placed it on the table next to her newborn baby, who fall asleep just a few minutes later, and then she turned it off. This was truly impressive.
This is exactly what the white machine does.
What’s funny is that we got the Cloud b soothing sound machine for my son’s birthday, yet I didn’t seriously try to use it because I thought it just won’t work. Once I saw my friend’s hairdryer hack, I thought why not give it a try?!
Here is the Cloud b sheep that I had for my baby:
If you haven’t heard about Cloud b sleep sheep, it’s a cute, cuddly, and very popular sleep sheep with a hidden sound machine that plays white noise to soothe your child into a restful, relaxing sleep.
There are four soothing sound options: gentle stream, spring showers, ocean surf, and whale with a timer, set either to 22 minutes or 45 minutes. This little lamb worked perfectly for our little son. He (and I) really liked the ocean and whale sounds that were literally calming my baby. It works with batteries, you can control the sound level, and you can easily hang it on the crib.
But before you go and purchase your white noise machine, you should learn how to use it the right way.
Here are a few safety tips:
- Make sure the sounds aren’t too loud – white noise machines may exceed recommended noise limits (which is set at 50 decibels) that can increase the chances of having hearing problems and cause language and speech problems later in life.
- Don’t use it too often – babies might become reliant on white noise. Therefore, you should teach your baby how to fall asleep also by themselves without white noise.
White noise can be the perfect solution for putting your baby to sleep faster and it’s good to have such a machine at home. As a first-time mom, I spend so much time (!) trying to put my baby to sleep. Holding him, breastfeeding him, walking outside for a walk with the stroller, sitting next to him for hours – believe me, I’ve tried everything you can think of – just name it. So this sheep was definitely a lifesaver!
And yes, it’s not recommended for consistent use because if you overuse it – your baby will get used to it (which very much makes sense), so it is better to combine it with other methods and use it from time to time. It can be used safely and be beneficial for you and your baby.
Another great option that many parents use is a classic white noise machine like this one from Amazon.
Check out this white noise machine that is Amazon’s #1 best-seller:
3. A new bassinet
Most moms buy secondhand or rent bassinets including me. It was a totally bad idea because I kept stressing out about whether the mattress was okay for the baby or whether it had dust in it. It was quite pricey which made me get a second-hand one but a new bassinet is exactly what I needed. Eventually, I regretted not buying a new bassinet in the first place because I bought a new one for my second child. So my first baby could have enjoyed this bassinet and a new mattress too. I have learned that sometimes as a parent you should plan also for the future and not only look at your today’s needs. I could have bought a new bassinet, not being stressed, and also save money. Check out this article about the 5 best bassinets for your baby.
4. Breastfeeding pillow
If you are breastfeeding your baby as I did, you’ll need a breastfeeding pillow. It helps you position your baby so that get the best out of it. The breastfeeding pillow makes breastfeeding so much easier. First, it can free your hands! Breastfeeding babies are breastfeeding on demand. This means that they can breastfeed every 2-4 hours for at least 20 minutes each session which sums up to many long “holding a baby” hours during your day and night. By using a good breastfeeding pillow like the one that I bought, with a little practice, you can easily place your baby safely on the pillow and free your hands to do other things, like holding a book, sewing, or just scrolling your favorite social media platform while breastfeeding your child!
How does it work?
A nursing pillow sits in your lap and wraps around your body, providing a stable and comfy surface to position your newborn at the breast. It also reduces neck, arm, and back strain for you, which can help make nursing more enjoyable. As a mom who breastfed two of her children, I know how hard and stressful it can be to breastfeed your baby and to make sure it goes well. After using the sofa’s pillow underneath my breastfed baby for two months, I decided to purchase Boppy’s lifesaving nursing pillow. And it was so much easier and amazingly comfortable. Definitely worth buying one!
5. Mommy hook for the stroller
Since babies use so much stuff, they take up most of the space in your stroller. This can be irritating especially when you are going for shopping and you have lots of things to buy. So the mommy hook can be hooked around your pram handle and you can use it to hold shopping bags, diaper bags and anything else you need. 100% you will use this!
6. Baby car seat mirror
If you are like me, then you have had a time when you were worried about your baby in the back seat. Are they okay? Are they safe? Such anxiety keeps you distracted even while driving. The baby car seat mirror puts your mind at ease, so you don’t have to keep worrying about him. Here is the number 1 Best Seller on Amazon – A baby car mirror. If you checked Amazon’s best seller and it is marked as “currently not available”, then check this great option for a mirror from BuyBuyBaby.
7. Baby camera
There are times when I was doing something and my baby was not within my reach and I would be worried sick. I had to get a baby camera to keep watch of my little one and got one that could monitor the room’s temperature and baby’s vitals.
At a later stage, when my son grew up to be around 15 months old, he started to try climbing his way out of his crib. The problem was that it was too early to transition him to a toddler bed, he wasn’t even two years old but he was big enough to climb! One time he even managed to fall out of the crib, which was extremely stressful! Luckily we already had the camera at this point, so I didn’t have to sit next to his crib until he falls asleep. I was putting him inside the crib and watching him through the camera until he fell asleep to make sure he didn’t climb. Here are a few pictures of my son in his crib using the monitor night vision;
After he fell from the crib, he was acting like he is going to climb again, but he didn’t really do it, I guess because he learned (the hard way) that it is painful. I watched him anyway just to make we won’t do it again!
I have another couple of close friends who often used this camera when they were on a vacation with their kids and wanted to go down to sit in the lobby while the kids were sleeping in the rooms. This way they could hear and see their kids when they cried and go back fast to take care of them. While some parents say it is not something they would do, I didn’t try it but hey, I think this is genius (as long as you stay close to make sure nothing happens)!
I found this camera very useful and it made my life so much easier for many reasons.
Here are more benefits of the baby camera you can’t ignore
- Easy to see what your baby is doing all the time
- You can check if your baby is really sleeping (there is a night vision that allows you to see your baby when there is no light)
- Helps you check if your baby is safe when you’re not around (when there are with a babysitter)
- Helps monitor a child with health issues
- It is very helpful for sleep training
- It is good for monitoring a shared room
- You can talk to your kid through most of the cameras
- It is very useful during traveling
8. Table corner protector for baby
Ohhh this one is a lifesaver! As a mom of 2 boys, I can tell you that running around the house, jumping, and fighting are their favorite activities. One time we even ended up visiting the emergency room for gluing and stitching my younger son’s left eyebrow because he fell and hit his eyebrow over the corner of our coffee table! This stressful situation could have been avoided if we had these table corner protectors. They are made from softish plastic and they are super easy to apply. Don’t think twice and get these bumpers from Amazon to keep your kids safe from sharp edges around the house, especially if your baby is learning to walk or you have boys as I do haha.
I hope this article will help you and make your life easier. Some of these items can be costly but believe me, you better get them before you regret as I did!