Tuesday, July 17, 2012

6 Baby Items for the First 6 Months

6 months. My baby boy was 6 months old yesterday. The saying is old and quite possibly overused, but how true is it that it seems like just a week ago I was walking around (10 days late) hoping to urge the little man into action. The time flies faster than I'd like to sometimes although nights that last as long as last night make it seem the opposite. Crazy thing time is.

His little personality peeks out a bit more each day. Alongside his passive side that I recognized right off when he was in the womb, I am delighting in his extreme curiosity and wonder that he takes in discovering new sights and sounds. He takes after his brother in his will to get whatever he wants, even if that means scooting on his back across two rooms, sometimes ending up with his head stuck, wedged in some uncomfy place. Also like his older bro, he feels the need to vocalize his opinions - these apples don't fall far from the tree.

Now doing this whole "first 6 months" thing a second time around, I think my mentality on what is needed for baby has become even more minimalistic. Our boys share a room, and we live in an apartment on the top floor of a house. It's great space for what it is, but I'd rather not be tripping over every baby gadget that is *a must* on the Checklists pushed upon you when signing up to register. You really don't need 72 bajillion items to successfully get from 0 days to 6 months. In reality, babies don't need much more than the rest of us. I will admit that I do like to have a content and happy baby as much as possible as well as the use of my hands at times, so there are a few things I think help make that happen.

Here are what I would say my Top 6 Newborn Items are:


  • Moby Wrap - This and other similar carriers (see: Mei Tai and Baby K'tan ) are usually my number one recommendation to ALL new, expecting parents. If I had the money, I'd purchase one for everybody pregnant mama I knew. Most especially in the beginning, where Baby thinks 24 hour cuddle time is a right, not a privilege, my Moby came in handy. I needed my arms, and that was that - the Moby gave me back my arms. It is a little Oragami-ish (and can get frustrating) as you decipher the twists and wraps to get it on, but once you have it down pat, I think it's pretty easy (from what I've heard the Mei Tai is easier to get on). Both my sons were perfectly happy taking naps within the Moby cuddle - Blaise at 2 weeks old was already napping 3+ hours tied onto my front. I love baby-wearing - for me it's the perfect way to get in cuddle time and still be a productive mama around the house. Love, love, love it. 

  • aden + anais Cotton Muslin Swaddles - Um, well first off you can see that they're just lovely. The prints carried are adorable as well. If that wasn't reason enough (which if you plan on being a minimalist at all, it can't be) these blankets are perfect for winter + summer and are huge in size - you'll have no problems making fancy burritos out of tiny, flailing appendages. As if and swaddling a squirmy infant wasn't hard enough, the majority of infant blankets are of a measly size. These were so different from anything I had with Dom. Even now when we aren't using these to swaddle, they're still great for a nursing cover and for laying over Blaise on hot summer nights. I received 2 of these fabulous blankets for Blaise, and this is the one thing I most definitely will be purchasing more of before we have another little one. 

  • SwaddleMe - We borrowed these from friends for B, and I cannot say how much easier nighttime sleeping was with these fancy blankets. I generally shy away from velcro on anything but diapers, but this particular style of swaddle wrap worked the best for us. The number of times we found ourselves re-swaddling the baby decreased dramatically. I find that newborns, for all they love the comfort of a good swaddle (note: good swaddle - bad swaddling doesn't help at all!), if they wiggle their arms out, you're back at step 1. And this design is perfect for preventing that.

  • Nosefrida The Snotsucker - Name = gross. I know. And you might need a helper the first time you use this fancy tool. No, not to hold still the squirmy child. Rather you'll need them to plug your ears and hum you a tune, so you completely disconnect your sucking with the whole idea of snot. All that aside, this was another gift I received that still gets lots of use. Infants are terribly stuffed up human beings in terms of the nasal cavities, and this is the first product I've found that is efficient as well as affordable, with no requirement of batteries (really, who wants to go searching for 2 AAs when their child can barely breathe? Not I!). I recommend using Little Noses Saline Spray or another brand of saline drops to loosen boogies first.

  • Baby Swing - Obviously this link does not go to the only kind or brand of baby swing out there. Baby swings vary nearly as much as babies themselves. I vote you buy one used because I think they're overpriced. Also, as they are mostly aimed at the first 6 months of life, you probably want one that folds, so it's easily stored away. I kept this on my top 6 list because for both of my babies as well as for my siblings + kids I nannied in the past, this was a great place for the quick naps, for soothing a colicky little one, or just a place to set baby down, so I could gain full access of my arms again. With Baby #2, it was an off the ground place to set him down, so he could remain in the midst of our family life without possibly getting squashed by his eager, older bro.


  • Burp Cloths - a necessity for any tiny human. You can go pretty much any way with variety in these, but when it comes down to it, you need something to sop up messes - from spit-up to pee to milk to poop explosions. Babies come with an innate need to create disaster as quickly as possible at the most inopportune moments. I had a stack of these burp cloths in each room of the house in reach for any moment. They can also double as a nursing cover up or a splash guard for baby boys who think you need a shower. Two things to note - you can always use towels or rags, but I find having softer cloths nice for when you're wiping faces. Also, make sure if you cloth diaper, they look different, so you don't mistakingly wipe a prefold diaper on your little one's face (well, unless that doesn't bother you...).

This list is fairly short, but I think these items are useful for any situation. Most of them don't take up much space, all of them are used often (at least by me), are perfect to keep for the next little one or pass on to a friend, and they are fairly well priced and can often be purchased consignment or on craigslist. I do realise some of these items are not for everyone, but I love each of them and think you might, too.

Two items that did not quite make the list as they are much more a person by person thing, but that I love just as much as the above and hope you find ones that work just as well for you and your family are:

A Co-sleeper or another way that works for your infant to be in your room, at least in the early months.
A fantastic diaper bag - if you have one you hate, you'll get frustrated with it way too often. Trust me, that's how it was with my first. I picked one I loved the 2nd time around, and it's been WAY easier. Note: I know many friends that have found their perfect "diaper bag" in a large tote bag, purse, or backpack.

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This post 6 Baby Items for the First 6 Months first appeared on Two Os Plus More on 17 July 2012

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