When you’re preparing for a baby for the very first time, there are many things you don’t know and a few things you do. Friends and family hopefully will shower you with gifts to help ready your home to care for your baby, but there are a few things you’re bound to miss when you create your baby registry on your own. Some things you just have to live through to figure out.
There are a number of products I found to rely on to make life better with baby, and I want to share them with you! No, these may not be essential things you need to survive with baby, but they sure make life nicer. Shop and enjoy.
1 Bumkins bibs
Starter bibs for when your baby first begins eating solids, SuperBibs as they grow, and junior bibs for full coverage. Those cotton bibs everyone gifts at your baby shower are no match for pureed peas. Until your little one is eating solids, those cotton bibs will work just fine to catch milk, formula and drool.
When your baby starts eating, don’t mess around, and just have these bibs on hand ready to catch all the food and keep baby dry. They are the best. My son is almost two years old, and he still uses these every day.
I hit the mother-in-law jackpot, and that’s a fact. I can tell you more about that later, but I mention it now to say that she sewed up the gray and white striped seersucker fabric that I bought to make curtains for my son’s room in the months before he was born when I was taking on far too many projects at the last minute.
The curtains lasted for about two seconds after we brought our boy home from the hospital. Hello…seersucker fabric is lovely for warm weather sport jackets and for letting sunlight through the windows…which is exactly what you don’t need when you are trying to get a baby to sleep at certain hours when the sun is still shining outside his bedroom!
So we moved into the ever-fetching blankets-over-the-curtain-rods look, and then eventually my mother rescued us with incredibly effective blackout curtain liners like these. The “room darkening curtains” sold at stores don’t compare. Trust me, I tried four other pairs on the windows before settling on a combination of room darkening panels with these blackout liners. Ah, a dark room in the middle of the day. Just what my easily stimulated baby needed to help him get to sleep for his naps.
3 Changing pad liners
These waterproof changing pad liners will save you from having to wash your changing pad cover five times a day. You didn’t know that was a thing. No, two changing pad covers are not enough to handle what’s coming, you need to get the liners. Now you don’t have to change your baby on the coverless plastic pad for a week until you get that laundry done. You’re welcome.
4 Sound machine that plays all night long
I started out using the sleep sheep, which I never quite understood. After a matter of minutes (I think the longest setting is about 45 minutes), the sound turns off. All the baby whisperer books and articles I’ve ever read recommend keeping the white noise going all night long.
I am no baby whisperer, and my boy does not sleep through the night. However, I think that having a sound machine sure beats relying on an app on the phone, which is bound to crash. That is the second thing I tried after the sheep. Finally, I laid out about $12 cash and got this machine. You should just start out this way.
5 Itzy Ritzy wet bags
I stocked up on a couple of these awesome wet bags while I was pregnant and having visions of cloth diapering my son. It seems that subconsciously pregnant me knew I would never get around to the cloth diapers, since I only bought two of them (to “try them out”) before my son was born.
At any rate, I am so glad I bought the wet bags, because I have used them just about every day since he started eating solid foods. Turns out, wet bags are the perfect thing for traveling with baby food and snacks. I put his food into the wet bag, add a lunchbox ice pack if needed, and pop it into my diaper bag. No food or crumbs or wetness ever gets into my diaper bag, because it stays inside that wet bag (just as designed, imagine that).
This is also great for wet cloth swim diapers and other wet clothes that you might end up with needing to throw back into your bag while you are out. I have two wet bags; one is always clean.
In addition to being the cutest things ever (my son did inadvertently end up being photographed in one at his only professional photo shoot to date), these are the perfect solution to the teething-baby-drooling-through-his-shirt-in-15-seconds situation. This day will come for you. You should have these bandana bibs, and laugh in the face of drool! Your baby will stay dry and so will you (well, drier).
7 Huge, soft burp cloths
These organic cotton burp cloths are everything you didn’t know you needed in a piece of fabric to catch your baby’s spit up and drool. They come in all while and sets of colors. We have all white, and they are great. At first I tried to be super thrifty and use cloth diapers (you know, the old style ones your dad uses for rags…oh, is that just my dad?), but they were too rough for my baby’s face. Most of the burp cloths I see in the store are just too small to do the job and stay on your shoulder with a squirming babe.
I know, you read a bunch of blog posts that said a wipes warmer is a waste of money, and you thought you could just use those packs of wipes with the pop up lids and you’d be good to go. I’m telling you you’d rather pull out wipe after wipe with ease using this dispenser.
It’s not a warmer, it just saves you from getting a bunch of wipes stuck pulling them out of the package and taking a little piece of potential frustration out of the diaper change equation. 1,000,000,000,001 diaper changes into it, I’m just saying you’re going to appreciate a “perfect pull.”
What tools make your life easier with baby?