I was at my Sip and See: sip champagne and see the new baby. Because she is my fourth child, a traditional baby shower complete with games and a gift registry was unnecessary. In fact, I begged for the invitation to read “No Gifts Please,” but was ignored by my gracious hostesses. And so I sat in a chair amidst a pile of gifts and began to add to my already vast collection of baby gear.
At this point in my parenting career, I’m ready to purge. I can’t wait until the baby outgrows the infant car seat, so I can FINALLY give it away. I can’t wait until she’s too big for the swing, so it can cease being part of my family room furniture. As I opened my gifts, I thought, “there can’t possibly be anything this baby needs.” How wrong I was.
So, here in reverse order is my top ten: all new items that I discovered on this, my fourth and final child. How did I ever live without…
10. Aden + Anais Muslin Swaddles
These blankets are fabulous. Lightweight, 100% cotton muslin, breathable, soft. I love the size (47” x 47”) and the fact that they wash so well. They can be used for absolutely everything: blanket, swaddle, stroller or car seat cover and your baby’s new best friend. Cute prints and sold in packs of four, two or individually.
9. The Miracle Blanket
I was never big on the swaddling. After several weeks my babies always broke free of the swaddle and seemed more comfortable. The miracle blanket changed my mind. This blanket is wonderful. Baby slept like a champ and I became a swaddle advocate.
8. Primo Bath Seat
I inherited this seat from a friend. It sits inside your bathtub – perfect for my daughter to share bath time with her siblings. Baby lays back and is ready to be bathed. I’ve wrestled with filling and then spilling the little tubs. Wondered if my baby was actually getting clean lying on a “do not put in the washing machine” bath pillow. The Primo finally got it right.
7. Bebe au Lait hooded bath towel
Like the bath seat, I’ve tried it all in the towel department. This one is my favorite. Soft, perfect size for baby and washes really well. Love the trim.
6. Cute Socks
I always thought these were overrated, but when I see her little ballet slipper feet or pink Mary Janes, I smile.
5. Carter’s sleep sacks
These are like sleeping bags for infants. My baby sleeps in one every night. They are so soft, they keep baby warm and comfortable and they eliminate the need for any sort of heavy blanket. My seven-year-old son asked if he could have one – I laughed at the image as I told him that he might have trouble walking.
4. Layering & Lovies
My girlfriend has a sleep coach (something I never thought I needed, but probably would have helped!). Over the course of several conversations, I’ve accumulated the Cliff’s notes version of the coach’s ideas. Top of the list for a good sleeper are layering and lovies. Layer your baby: a onesie, pajamas and a sleep sack, depending on temperature. And a lovey or some sort of soft toy that baby can play with, snuggle, chew on safely and finally sleep with. My baby wears layers day and night now and loves to see Bun-Bun, her little pink bunny lovey, at nap and nighttime.
3. Built Bag
These neoprene totes are perfect for baby bottles, baby food and even snacks for mom. Easy to clean, they come in bright, bold colors and fun patterns and prints. Beyond the baby years they can be used for school lunches.
2. The Bumbo
A friend gave me her bumbo with play tray. I had seen this when my third child was a baby, but she seemed happy enough in our old bouncy chair, so I skipped it. Not this time around. This seat is great. Made from one piece of foam, it is soft, durable and so easy to clean. Aptly, its full name is the Bumbo Baby Sitter. Just one more place to safely put baby when you need both hands.
1. The Hooter Hider
Number one on my list: the Hooter Hider. This is the only item I actually asked for. I had seen them, but never tried one, and now I can’t believe I waited so long. They are perfect for nursing. I use it as a sun shade with the Baby Bijorn, a lightweight blanket, a cover for the car seat when she’s sleeping, an emergency burp cloth. I’m never without it – and you shouldn’t be either!
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