With baby Number 3 almost a decade after my first, a lot of baby products and ideas have changed, but many are also the same; here is a list of 20 things that I wish I had known for my first 2 babies!
1. Sleep n Plays with zippers – that zip from the foot!!!
This was just a recent epiphany that I have only just figured out!
Baby Sleep n Plays that zip from the foot up!!! This is a game changer for diaper changes! So much easier- no more fumbling with snaps, or waking baby right up with struggling to find the zipper at the neck … you can zip up the way and wiggle those wee legs out with ease and then just slip them back in!
I love these Cloud Island ones that we found in Target! How cute are the lemons?!
2. Non- Toxic Stain Removers that WORK on stubborn baby stains!
That mustard yellow gets right in there and when dealing with a poopsplosion or poonamis your infant’s clothes can become destroyed! I found these two stain removers do the absolute trick and they are also non-toxic – that’s a win, win for me! I always rinse a stain with COLD water, then spray it with some of this remover, let it sit for 15 minutes then pop it in the wash as normal. That usually does the trick. Right now I am using the Purancy, and it works great, but with my last daughter I used Biokleen and it was equally as fantastic.
3. Baby Onesies – They Roll Down the way!
Staying in the realm of the poonami’s, I was faced with a lot of diaper changing disasters before I figured this one out! The flaps on the shoulders of baby onesies are designed so that you can pull a onesie down when faced with a diaper blow out or a pee-tastrophy. This way you don’t get the mess all over the babies face and head. What I usually will do also is to take a baby wipe and place it along babies back when I lie them back down on the mat, preventing more poop from spreading all over the changing pad, the ceiling… your face?!? Because we know it gets EVERYWHERE!!!
4. Pacifier Clips.
We have been losing pacifiers left, right and center so I purchased this awesome and super cute pacifier clip from @bambika.shop – no more run away binkies and even makes a cute accessory to go with many outfits
pacifier clip – www.bambikashop.com
Here is another one that I purchased that is a teether in itself – again something I would only use when baby is supervised.
5. Multiple Changing Stations.
This is something that we have done with all three of our babies, even when we lived in one story apartments. We always take the Pack n Play and use it as a changing and napping station in our living room for during the day. This just makes life easier, we don’t have to go up and down stairs all day to change her or check on her during her naps. We have her changing table upstairs that we use usually for morning and night, then we have the changing table on the pack n play with as change of clothes, diapers and wipes.
The baby stays in our room till she is 6 months old, so I refurbished this changing table donated to me, by a friend for upstairs in our bedroom. Just for those first few months.
Our pack n play which we use for naps and changing throughout the day.
6. Diapers and Blow Outs.
So if your baby’s diaper is on firmly and secured properly yet you still find poop keeps flying up their back… then I usually take this as a sign that it is time to upgrade to the next size up. Again this took me a really long time and a lot of onesies to figure this one out, but now I use it as a good “rule of thumb”.
7. Diaper Subscriptions.
The amount of times we have run out of diapers and had to run out in a panic, was just ridiculous. We always seemed to go through them faster than we expected. Luckily we lived above a pharmacy and a supermarket so we were usually okay, but I just really like having a diaper subscription. It takes the pressure off of having to remember and you get enough to last you each month.
We personally like the Honest brand, but there are many other disposable diaper companies out there. Also with Amazon subscribe its easy to place your subscription through them.
Because we use a specific brand on my girls, as their skin was really sensitive, we found that the honest brand was not always available in everyday stores, so the subscription suited us well.
8. Changing table Cover, Cover.
First off you usually need 2-3 changing table covers, one for use, one for the wash and one on standby. (Same goes for bed sheets) To avoid a little extra laundry, I also often place a towel on the changing table, usually one that was used for the bath the night or two before. This just catches any spit up, pee and poop that comes flying out unexpectedly, once the diaper comes off. Saoirse got us good on one of her first nights home and made Chris and I feel like absolute Rookie Dookie Parents again.
9. Baby Wearing.
I don’t know why, but I was always really nervous about baby wearing a newborn or smaller infant. I used the Ergo 360 with Sienna and Loved it, but I didn’t start using that till she was 3 months old. A Tuck and Bundle ad came up on my facebook when I was pregnant and curiosity got the better out of me and I purchased a wrap.
I must have been having a premonition that I was going to have a baby that did not like to be put down. This baby wrap has been amazing for us both. It allows me to be able to do things and keeps her happy when she just needs to be held, which at first was a lot! It also seemed to relive her colic in those earlier days. I quickly got over my anxiety of the baby wearing and it has become an every day thing for us. She’s happy and I get to do the things I need to do at the same time.
Here is the tutorial I used for learning to wrap…. It took a few attempts but then I got it.
10. Haakaa Pump.
Now this product is incredible and you can not beat the price. I was recommended this by my Lactation Consultant and its been an absolute breast milk storing game changer. Usually when I would wake up in the morning and nurse, the other side would start leaking down my shirt, uncomfortable and wasteful. This product solves all of that as it latches on and sucks out all of your let down. Watch this video and you will be amazed. I purchased mine on Amazon.
11. Cradle Cap Solution.
All 3 of my babies have suffered from cradle cap, when their wee heads get all dry and flakey. It can become quite horrible looking, almost like a plaque. With Savannah and Sienna I used olive oil and a brush, but I never seemed to get a handle on it. With Saoirse-Skye I tried a different approach and it has completely removed and prevented it. I bought this organic Bella Bee Shampoo and FridaBaby DermaFrida “Flakefixer” on Amazon and the combination of them both have worked immensely. I just simply followed the instructions on the box and the cradle cap was gone within the day.
12. Baby Massage.
Savannah had physical therapy with Early Intervention from 3 months of age, and her therapist taught me all about baby massage and how to do it right. I have used it with all of my babies and it usually happens right after a bath before getting them into their pajamas. I use organic lotion usually with a lavender fragrance and massage it in. I will have calming music playing and it is a great time for us to bond and for baby to wind down before bed. ***Tip – Have diaper on them – just in case!***
Here are some hints and tips for massaging your own baby : Baby Massage
13. Newborn Baby Sleep Sacks, Halo.
We are in love with the Halo Sleep Sack Swaddle for Newborns (I love the organic cotton and the muslin versions) – our 2nd daughter, Sienna, had hip dysplasia and needed hip surgery at 3 years old to fix it. I have always worried that I caused it by swaddling her too tight as a newborn so for baby number 3 we wanted to make sure we found a swaddle that was hip healthy!
This swaddle is comforting at the top but leaves enough room for the legs at the bottom and therefore is approved as a Hip Healthy Product and since it’s a sleep sack it is also SIDS safe – which is super important to us.
14. The Baby Shusher.
Any type of white noise machine is a good idea to have with a baby. These days you can even ask Alexa to play heartbeat and whale song noises to lull your little one to sleep. However this next item has been an absolute game changer for us. My Mother (The baby whisperer) once taught me that when you have a baby that is hard to console, if you gently “Shusssh” into their ear they usually become distracted by the sound and will forget why they are upset and will be soothed by it. We have quite the cranky baby, when she is mad, she gets really mad, especially when she was suffering from colic and she hated being put down in her crib. Our Newborn photographer brought along “The Shusher” and I was amazed at how well it worked. I added on into my cart immediately and we haven’t looked back since. WE LOVE THE BABY SHUSHER! we use it every night.
Does your baby REALLY need this? You could always just “SHUSSH” yourself!?
15. Baby Food.
With baby food I started off by introducing individual foods and flavors, starting with grains then greens, veggies then on to sweet fruits and then meats. Once I had introduced each food for a couple of months I would start introducing meals. (I’m a chokeaphobe – baby led weaning just wasn’t for me. I respect and love the idea behind it it, I just cant do it… LOL I still cut my 9 year old’s hot dogs!!!)
Anyhoo…. So with Savannah (my first) I made her individual meals and it took a whole lot of meal prep that I am only good for, a few weeks tops. We eventually moved on to store bought jars (expensive!) By Sienna I figured out that if I omitted the salt and other certain ingredients that I could just blend our family dinners into meals for her and this was one hundred times easier and worked with our busy lives far better! It was simple I would cook a family dinner, put her food to the side before I added the salt etc, pop it in a blender and hey presto a healthy, nutritious meal for baby.
Here she is enjoying Thanksgiving dinner ….
I have a few more months before introducing food to Saoirse-Skye, maybe I’ll try Baby Led Weaning with her -…. I’ll have to blog about it if I do.
16. Nap When Baby Naps? (Or at least rest and find time for you!)
Never feel guilty about taking a nap during the day or lounging out watching your fave trashy TV when baby sleeps. You have two priorities right now taking care of baby and taking care of you… and you cant take care of baby properly, if you don’t take care of you. Lets face it “Sleeping when baby sleeps” is unrealistic advice, but at least try and find downtime during one of their daytime naps. I used to stress so badly about the housework I was “supposed” to be catching up on while the baby slept but that was becoming a fast track path to “burn out status” The best advice I got was from one of my mother’s friends – “The dishes in the sink can wait, you only get this short amount of time while your babies are little and need you.” Becoming a mother does not mean you have to sacrifice yourself entirely… you need to hold onto who you are and you can only do that by making yourself, your wellness and your happiness also a priority in your own life. If your partner complains about the housework not being done, tell them to hire you a cleaner! That’s what I did, just for those few months when I really needed the help. No Shame, self care is important.
17. Tummy Time on Mommy, Daddy or one of your other favorites!
If your baby is not a fan of tummy time on a mat, a good way to get that daily tummy time in as they strengthen those neck muscles is to let baby do Tummy time on you, they feel comforted and can usually get a good push up on you. Plus it is also just excellent for bonding time and is super cute!!!
18 Baby Photo Apps.
I LOVE taking photos of my family and I am an absolute sucker for a Photoshop. I recently found the photo app “Precious” and have been going to town with it…. I mean how cute are these…. I take a photo on my phone, sometimes with baby in cute lil costumes and the app does the rest.. Pretty sure these speak for themselves <3
19. Baskets and Organization.
Last year I Kon-Marie’d our home and for the most part, I have kept up with it. I am obsessed with baskets for storage and organization and have them all over our house. We lived in small NY apartments for 6 years of our marriage so we have learned how to make life work in smaller spaces. Every basket in our home has a specific use and I have found it immensely helpful in motherhood for toys and now for baby supplies. We haven’t decorated the nursery yet and the changing table in currently in our bedroom so I filled out changing table up with a diaper basket, a onesie basket, a pajama basket, a bath time basket, a sock, bows and hats basket and a bedding basket and it has kept life amazingly organized. In Saoirse’s closet each basket has its own purpose, the wicker ones are divided up by months and the upper gold baskets are for storage – extra diapers, blankets etc. The playroom baskets are for toys, for example: A shopkins basket, a LOL basket, Lego, Puppets, Barbies etc. I LOVE BASKETS!!!!
20. Trust Your Mama/Papa Bear Gut.
Something I have learned the hard way is to learn as a mother to trust your own gut. If you are worried about your baby; never be afraid to call your pediatrician even if it is the middle of the night. If you suspect a medical issue with your child, never be afraid to at least bring it up during appointments. Doctors see your child in small 15 minute increments, you are your child’s best advocate so don’t be shy in raising any concerns. Sometimes they will be validated, sometimes you will be reassured, sometimes you will be brushed off and in those instances – get that second opinion. I have anxiety so it is often difficult to tell when I am being irrational or not, I am open and honest about that with my child’s pediatrician and we have developed a good way of communicating during my children’s appointments. But sometimes things get missed… Sienna’s Hip Dysplasia was missed for 2.5 years. Saoirse-Skye’s tongue and lip ties were thought to be “Okay” but she wasn’t gaining weight and the dentist recommended they should be fixed, once they were fixed the weight gaining problem was solved. On the flip side, Savannah’s school said she was to finish up with services, while her neurologist said she needed more…. Like I said; you are your baby’s best advocate… never be afraid to let your mama bear or papa bear instinct kick in…at the Doctors, In School, in life….
I hope you enjoyed my list, let me know if there is anything you would add to it!
*My tips are merely opinion. I do not monetize or benefit from any of these products and do not replace the information of a healthcare professional.