There are many must have lists for first time moms and sometimes the products are obvious, but with good reason. I also think some recommendations can depend on where you live- big city, suburb, rural, inland or coastal. What’s certainly true is that the first year of motherhood can especially throw you for a loop and any gadget or hack that allows you and your baby(ies) to sleep more or simplifies life is worth it! Here is a random list of 7 new mom must haves and why.
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1. Breastfeeding App-Sprout. My son is 19 months now and I’m still nursing him, so I’m a pro. But for the first six months and definitely the first three I was a total newbie and I needed to track his feedings. What I found particularly helpful was the ability to record whether I needed to start a nursing session on the right or left breast, which in my sleep deprived haze I could barely remember which side was which. This app includes a host of other useful features too, like memories/milestones, medical, tools and more.
2. Obersee 4 Piece Diaper Bag Conversion Kit, Black. A diaper kit is a no-brainer, everyone needs one and I found this one to be the one of the best options. This set is great because it allows you to make any bag a diaper bag, it has a changing mat and separate storage bags so that you can choose any configuration and pop them into any bag you want. All of the pieces coordinate and are machine washable. Being a New Yorker my favorite color is black, so this was perfect.
3. Dr. Brown’s Glow in the Dark Pacifier, 2-Pack. If you want to keep your baby asleep for as long as possible you will avoid disturbing him or her by making unnecessary noise, turning on lights etc. So when I discovered glow in the dark pacifiers I was delighted. They are awesome! When I needed to go into the room at night and check if he was still breathing I would look for the blue glow so I could see where his head was. If he lobbed it out of the bassinet I could also easily find it on the floor. I love the Dr Bronner’s brand in particular because it has a handle so you can easily attach it to different types of holders.
4. Good Old Fashion Cloth Diapers. Even if you’re a Pampers die-hard and will never use cloth diapers for diapering I’d still recommend a pack of cloth diapers for general purpose. Yes, there are speciality burp cloths but they are often fancy with cute designs and it’s a bummer to mess them up. But cloth diapers are true work horses and can handle anything without apology and you don’t feel guilty messing them up. They can withstand 100’s of washes too.
5. Summer Infant Rayshade (Single, Black). This sun blocking shade is excellent because it’s lightweight and easy to stow. It’s different to most sunshades that come with the stroller; this one is expansive and you can stretch it out and down so your baby is nearly completely ensconced in his or her own little cocoon or you can keep it raised if the sun is high in the sky. Of course it blocks the sun, but it also helps block the wind and some light precipitation.
6. AQUATOPIA Safety Bath Time Comfy Cushioned Easy Kneeler with Skid Resistant Base, Detachable Elbow Rest and Organizer, Blue.I’ve been active all my life, I’ve been a dancer, a gymnast, an athlete and am now a yoga and fitness instructor and my knees are bad. My knees are tender and delicate and so this kneeling mat has been a great help, but it would be comfortable and useful for anyone because it also protects your floor and keeps everything at arm’s reach. It’s cushiony and it’s easy to stow away because it folds up neatly.
7. Sharpie 32707 Retractable Permanent Markers, Fine Point, Assorted Colors, 12 Count. These might not be on anyone’s registry, but they should be! Sharpies are the best! You can use them for everything because they’re permanent and you will want to use them al the time, from labeling leftover baby food jars, to Ziploc bags of dirty baby laundry, to jotting down notes and writing “If found, please return to ______” on your baby’s favorite toys. The retractable Sharpies are a newer style and I’m totally in love with them because there are no caps to lose or for baby to swallow and they’re quick to click open when you’re on the go. I’d also suggest even buying different colors and thicknesses because you can never have too many Sharpies.
Monique Marco is an Ashtanga-based vinyasa yoga teacher who loves urban life and etas dark chocolate every day. She’s also a certified make-up artist and image consultant specializing in natural skin-care, beauty and eco-fashion.
This post was first published on The Mom Forum.