|Not My Baby|
1. Baby Carrier
There are tons of different baby carriers out there but they all have the same goal: Letting you go about life with both hands free while also keeping baby close. I've found that using a baby carrier is significantly easier than having to maneuver a stroller onto public transit or having to control both a stroller and a dog. And while fortunately this isn't my situation, baby wearing can be the only way that the parents of some fussy babies can get anything done. What carrier is best really depends on you and your baby; a baby wearing group can often help you figure out what model is right for you
2. Swaddling SolutionOK, not all babies love to be swaddled but most do. While you can swaddle using any good sized blanket, there are various products out there that make swaddling a squirming infant easier and, depending on who you listen to, safer. We opted for the Australian-made Love To... Swaddle Up, which we purchased at Parkdale's This Little Piggy. It still allows Baby access to her hands, which is important as she loves to chew on them. This model is made of a soft, stretchy fabric that washes easily and doesn't stain and has a two-way zipper, something all zippered baby clothes should have. I truly believe that this product is part of the reason why Baby would regularly sleep for five hours or more by six weeks old.
My wrists and arms are thankful that I have this item that helps to properly position Baby for feeding. I use the My Breast Friend pillow and while $50 might seem like a lot for an ugly pillow, it's cheaper than physiotherapy.
4. Lots Of Baby Cloths & Muslin Blankets
We actually had to go out and buy more of these items because we are using them so often. I've placed them around the house as well as in the diaper bag and the car seat in case baby spits up, is cold or needs to be placed on a hard surface. We also have a stack of cloths by our change stations for butt drying while a muslin blanket always accompanies the breast feeding pillow in order to provide a layer of protection to it and, when it comes time to burp, to us. I've found that Aden + Anais makes the nicest muslin blankets, with Koala Baby being a close second. The former brand can be pricey but is regularly available at Winners/Marshalls, two stores that also sell good quality baby clothes for cheap.
5. Pack And Play With Built-In Changer
If you live in a small, one or two bedroom apartment, you could likely do without this item but if like me your house has multiple floors, you need it. We have a Graco Pack 'N Play Playard with Portable Lounger & Changer set up in our living room so that we don't need to carry a screaming, poopy-diapered infant up the stairs (our dog means that changing on the floor isn't happening and no, I'm not changing my kid on any surface where I eat). As Baby gets more mobile, the playard part of this item will be more useful, liking giving me a safe place to park Baby while I use the bathroom; right now it serves as a space to store diapering supplies and toys.