When the time came to create a baby registry, I freaked out a little. I asked for advice from every woman I knew who had had a baby in the last 10 years. It's really amazing and heartwarming the way moms help each other out -- the way they're willing to write detailed emails with the why's, how's and where's of their favorite baby items. Because they've all been through it, and when you find that one item that changes the game completely, that somehow magically transforms your baby from wailing monster to peaceful angel, well, you want to shout it from the rooftops.
So, here I am, on a rooftop. These are my top favorite baby things that we use/have used on a nearly daily basis.
Solly Baby Wrap.
If Little Murdo and I were stranded on a deserted island and I could only have one item, this would be it, kids. First off, it gets him to nap nearly every time, sometimes for up to four hours. I wouldn't say I get tons of stuff done around the house when I'm wearing him, but I have prepped/cooked simple dinners, and done laundry, and paid bills. What I really love about this wrap, though, is that Murdo will nap in it wherever we go. So when we went to a birthday party a couple of weekends ago and had to bring the baby, I was able to just throw him in the wrap. He got the sleep he needed and I was able to eat, drink and be merry with friends. I also love that it's super thin, breathable material. A friend let me borrow her Moby, which wraps the same way, but I thought it was too thick and bulky. The Solly is kinda pricey but for me, totally worth it.
Sprout Baby app.
I've been tracking M's feedings and my pumping sessions in this app since we brought him home in February. I've become kind of ridiculous about it -- I time each feed, I log the ones that I missed while I'm at work, I rely on it to tell me the last time M ate or which side I left off on. I pretty much can't live without it. Having a record of all his feedings helps me track his sleep schedule, and see how everything is progressing each month. And there's a super helpful overview section that keeps all the totals together -- perfect for answering all those questions the doctor asks at each wellness visit. And! It syncs across devices, so Murdo can track on his phone, too. It's $5 but again, worth it.
Fisher Price Deluxe Bouncer.
It seems like most babies are into either swings or bouncy chairs. We tried both, and M is in the bouncy chair camp. I registered for this one because it was affordable and got good reviews on Amazon, and it has become the best way to get M to wind down after play time and get ready for his nap. I usually just set him down in the chair facing me, give him his favorite toy or his lovey, and bounce the chair with my foot while I have my hands free to eat, or check emails, or write a blog post (he's in his bouncy chair as I type this!). He'll typically doze off after 15 minutes or so, and then I'll take him to his room for a nap, or just let him snooze in the chair. This bouncy chair is how Murdo and I are able to eat dinner together while watching almost an entire episode of Game of Thrones. You guys, you can't put a price tag on that. However, this item has also been dubbed "the toe stubber," because even when you know it's there, you're gonna whack your toe on the thing, every. single. time.
This is one that I could probably live without, but I am glad we got it and wish we had gotten it sooner. We didn't really start swaddling M consistently until he transitioned from the Rock 'n Play to the crib at around 10 weeks. At that point, we were using the Halo Swaddle, binding his arms to his side so he couldn't move them at all. He hated it, and fought it, but he'd eventually fall asleep for long stretches in his crib, so we kept swaddling. I bought the Ergobaby swaddle on a whim at Target, and I liked how it was a stretchier material that bound his arms to his chest. So he was still able to move his arms, but any sudden flails or Moro reflexes wouldn't keep him up. He started escaping the swaddle more and more, and we stopped swaddling around 15 weeks, when we caught him rolling over to his tummy in the crib and he learned how to suck his thumb to self soothe. Now he sleeps arms out in a Halo SleepSack.