Friday, June 01, 2012

My "Must Haves" as a New Mama

I was so lucky to have 2 baby showers thrown for me while I was pregnant.  One in Ohio with my family and one with Ernesto's family in California.   When I started thinking about a baby registry, it was a bit overwhelming.  Soooooo much stuff.  What do I really need?  At the time we were living in a one bedroom apartment and did not want to fill it with unnecessary things.  All of the reviews and forums out there just overload you with opinions.  Who do you trust?  

I reached out to all my friends who were recently new mom's themselves and got a list of their "must haves."  I just went right down the list and registered.   Of course, every mother is different.  Every baby is different, therefore....lists will be different.

Now, 8 months later, I have compiled my own list.  Take it for what you will, my new mom friends. 

My #1 purchase (and splurge) The B.O.B. Revolution SE Stroller.  
No regrets, best money I've spent! This thing rides like a dream.

We bought the car seat adapter (which was an extra $50) so we could use this as our "travel system" until he was big enough to sit in it solo.  It worked out perfectly.  Of course, you must buy the cup holder too (come on B.O.B.!),  but it's a necessity, especially if you are using this thing for running/walking. 

And then you need a carseat!  This Chicco Keyfit got great reviews, and I liked the look.  Done. Easy.
Chicco Keyfit

We bought the Ergo Carrier after a few friends recommended it was [and continues to be] a great alternative to the stroller.  We bought the infant insert and little Matiti snuggled in and slept like a baby while we walked around and had our hands free.  Papi loved wearing baby in this too!  I also have the Moby wrap which I found great for around the house.

Now all you need is the Diaper bag and you are ready to leave the house! 
I found this Skip Hop diaper bag for $2 at a liquidation sale.  But this was not a bag papi would want to carry,  so we got this bag by Diaper Dude.  Its great for both of us!  Roomy with pockets and hooks onto stroller.
Diaper Dude

At my shower in Ohio I was gifted these  Aden + Anais Swaddle Wraps.  (thanks Treff!)
Little did I know how much we would use these.  The are so light and soft, great for covers in car/stoller, cover while breastfeeding. (not that I ever did that, but they would be great for that:)  Little Mateo loved to be swaddled from the beginning and these are big enough to make a nice tight little burrito.  
Aden + Anais Swaddle Wraps

Our little Mexi-can was busting out of these pretty quickly.  The pre-made swaddlers are the best.  They are like a sleeping bag with velcro, no tucking.  You can have baby wraped up in 10 seconds flat....and he's not getting out!  We had a couple made of fleece and one cotton for the warmer nights.  I found a 2 pack of the  Summer Infant SwaddleMe wraps at TJMaxx for $7 and ended up having to buy a large size too since we swaddled for so long.  

SwaddleMe swaddlers

I may have thought it was crazy to have a video monitor, but after hearing my brother and sis-in-law talk about how much they loved it, I bit the bullet and got one too.  No regrets!  Again, this is a splurge worth the money.  If you don't have a picture and you hear noises, you are left to wonder/imagine what baby is doing.  Then you will have to go in to peek and if baby sees/hears you, it's all over.  (for an older baby)  When you have an infant, you'll want to see baby at all times anyway.  You can't imagine how good it feels just to watch them sleep.  It's piece of mind.
Summer infant video monitor
We ended up moving into our house one week after Mateo was born. (yeah.  crazy, I know!)  I had bought a co-sleeper instead of trying to squeeze the crib into our bedroom at the apartment.  But after perusing Craigslist, I found this Kolcraft Bassinet and decided to get it (for just $50!) It was less bulky, rocked and had a pull out moses basket.

It was perfect.  We were able to bring the basket from room to room.  We also took it for a weekend trip.  I pulled the bassinet right up to my bed and when I heard Mateo stir in the middle of the night I rocked him without getting up and he [usually] fell back to sleep. 
Kolcraft Contours Bassinet
Another shower gift I am greatful for was the Leachco Safer Bather.  Genius! No plastic tub here.  Baby lays in the  contour of this padded tub and you know he's comfy.  You could also use this in your sink.  When you are finished, hang it in the shower (by the provided hook) and it is dry in a couple hours.   I had never seen this thing before, so thanks to my cousin Julie for introducing me! (she has 7 kids, I would consider her a professional)
Leachco Safer Bather
Even if you are planning on breastfeeding exclusively, I would recommend getting a good breast pump.  It's nice to have some milk frozen or in the fridge for dear 'ol dad to take a turn feeding at night, or maybe you will just want to leave the house for a while.  I had researched breast pumps a bit, but didn't actually purchase one until after Mateo was born.  I am glad I waited.  My hospital gave my an Ameda hand pump and a bag full of all new attachments for the Ameda electric pump.
Ameda Purely Yours Ultra
Since I had all new parts, I searched for the motor on Craigslist.  I found this Ameda Purely Yours Ultra for $100.  It was used only a few months! What a score.  It sells on Amazon for $240!    It is a serious workhorse.  I could pump 5-7oz in less than 10 minutes.  No complaints.  I highly recommend it!

Breastfeeding was a bit of a challenge, (to say the least) but what made it easier was My Brest Friend (too bad I didn't discover it until 4 months in) Anyway, it is an awesome nursing pillow.  I found it to be waaaaay better than the Boppy.  It helps to position you and baby comfortably.  Saves your back and makes latching on so much easier!! 
My Brest Friend
Since my little Mexi-can was born in September, we did have a couple cold months when he was still tiny.  (Plus we went to Ohio for Christmas.)  I found this JJ Cole BundleMe at TJMaxx for $25 and I loved it.   No layering lots of clothes or having to tuck straps.  The bottom piece stays in the car seat and you just zip the top piece up once the baby is strapped in.

JJ COLE BundleMe
Something else you will probably want is a play mat for "tummy time."  Of course at first a blanket will do, but pretty soon, when baby's eyes start focusing on things, he will appreciate some things hanging over his head for entertainment.   I have this one, and Mateo loved it!  Black & white are supposed to be most stimulating for infants (?)

One more thing I would recommend is a swing of some sort.   I ended up getting the Mamaroo [because I got a STEAL of a deal on it] because I loved the look of it.  When Mateo was really tiny and sleeping all the time, this thing was nice for swaying/vibrating naps.  Not $200 nice though. 
MamaRoo by 4Moms
I really think a swing that has more movement would be a better investment.  Something like the Fisher Price Cradle n Swing.  When we went to San Diego, Ernesto's sister had this and Mateo loved it.  He was kicking around and having a good time.  If he was awake in the Mamaroo, he was bored.

You may want to put music/white noise for your baby.  The Ipod app White Noise Ambience is awesome.  There are 12 sounds you can play...for free.  My favorites are forest dawn (birds), evening twilight (crickets) and restaurant chatter. 

A friend recommended Baby 411 and I have found this book extremely helpful/interesting.  Of course there are many good ones out there. 
Clothes go on the list without saying.  So many cute things, so just have fun with it.  The only thing I might suggest is getting some of the side snap newborn shirts.  They are easier to get on baby vs. going over his head, great for layering and won't rub on umbilical cord. 

Also don't forget about yourself.  All I wore for a few months were these Targets nursing tank tops.  So comfortable.

Hope this helps some of you out there.  Im sure I forgot something, (experienced moms??) but you will figure it out once baby has arrived.  You can't be 100% prepared for why try?!  That's my motto!


  1. Thanks Cindy! This is super helpful for me as I start to think of a registry...oh, did I tell you that I am 18 weeks along? Crazy!

    Rebecca (your realtor)

  2. Yeah Rebecca! Wow, yet another pregnant friend! So happy for you...glad the list will be of some help!


I enjoy reading your comments. Thanks for stopping by Viva Cindy!


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