It’s not original, but I always found these best baby purchases posts interesting on blogs. Of course, often those people have received products as freebies from the companies so I had no idea if it was 100% truthful or not! This is my list on some of the hits/misses from my first year as a parent, and none of this was a gift from a company. Some, however, were gifted to me as hand-me-downs… which I am really grateful for and I highly encourage the pay-it-forward practice in this area!
Alex spent a lot of time in the swing when she was small… it made it possible for me to be able to prepare or eat a meal! And the fact that it plugs in to the wall is a huge help. We had another swing upstairs that she sat in while I was on the treadmill that was battery-powered. It worked great for those times, but plugs are the way to go!
This is one of the cheaper activity gyms I’ve seen out there. It folds flat so we could take it with us when we traveled at Thanksgiving time. As Alex got older, she started walking around the house with it, using it as a push toy/walker to keep her balance. And now that she’s a full-fledged walker, she sometimes pulls it out and will climb back and forth under it, like an obstacle course. A lot more use than we would have gotten from the more expensive kinds with a built-in mat under it!
Books held no interest to her until she was about 10 months old. But once she took an interest, we read several times a day now. We got a book for free in a box of Cheerios (The Lost (and Found) Balloon), it was just regular paper. Very cute story… but she turned the pages too violently and destroyed it. Her favorite book is Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? – specifically the Slide and Find edition. She likes opening the window to see the next thing in the story. Books with fuzzy textures or interactive elements are fun for her as well.
Alex spent hours and hours in this thing. It was the ONLY way I could ever get anything done. She rode on the front of me clear up until she was about 11 months old… then she started walking and just seemed too big to be in front still. But even last weekend we had her in it on my back while we decorated for Halloween. And she fell asleep on my back, so it still works as a sleep aid!
We bought regular crib sheets at first… and they’re a royal pain in the rear to change, especially when the baby makes a mess in the middle of the night and everyone is tired. Just don’t bother with regular sheets…. BUY zip sheets. Just trust me, they are so much easier.
Washable Nursing Pads
It seems nice to be eco-conscious and not create garbage with the disposable pads… but the disposable ones just worked better. They stayed in place, they absorbed better and they didn’t make me need to do laundry every day just to have enough protection. And I know some women can stop using nursing pads, but I had to use them the whole time I nursed… so that was an entire year! A big box of disposables isn’t that much at Target and it was a whole lot easier to deal with.
There are promo codes handed out to expectant mothers for these things about every 10 minutes. There are several different brands that are exactly like this one I linked to… I ended up with two of them. And they just didn’t work. When Alex was a tiny baby, it held her for a couple of weeks but then she didn’t like being cramped in it (and she liked being swaddled!). When she got bigger and could have supported herself sitting up in it on my hip, she hated it and would twist/turn to try to escape. I got about 4 total hours of use out of this thing… that’s TOTAL, combining every moment I tried to use it over 8 months before I finally wrote it off for good.
Amazingly enough, one of those companies with the coupons for crappy slings also gives out coupons for reusable breast pads that are pretty effing awesome. I got a whole stack (enough to last me to my regular scheduled laundry day, and I also had to wear them all the time, sometimes changing for a fresh pair mid-day) for $10 shipped. I liked them better than all other kinds that I tried, which included multiple disposables and some cloth ones I found on Etsy.
Interesting… I just tried one kind of reusable pads and hated them so much I wrote off the entire category! 🙂