I have discovered that babies are a great excuse for a messy house! I can't ever get everything clean and most of the things around the house belong to the smallest member of our family. There are so many great things that make caring for a baby more convenient and I have compiled a list of my favorite things so far. These are definitely not needs, mostly wants, but I enjoy having them nonetheless!
1. Chicco Lullaby Play Yard. Quite possible the most wonderful baby invention for families who travel. Since we don't live in the same state as my family, this has been a fabulous addition to our baby gear. It is super easy to pack up, portable, and most important of all very convenient. It grows with your child since it has both a bassinet and crib option. Not only do we take this on trips with us, but we also use it at home. We have this in our bedroom and we use it for Faegan's crib at night. (Blair still uses hers too! She knows they bring "that bed" to Aunt Linnie's when they come!)
2. Swaddle Designs Swaddle Blanket. LOVE this blanket. Faegan has always loved to be swaddled and I received one of these blankets in some hand me downs from my sister-in-law. When I realized how wonderful it was, I ordered two more and I am so happy I did. It is so soft and it stays swaddled really well. I think one of my favorite things about it is the size. It is a pretty large blanket and it makes for a great car seat cover when you are out in public and don't want people touching your baby. (I didn't know it until I was searching for them, but Blair has one of these too. She obviously isn't swaddled, but she covers up with this blanket every night!)
3. Bob Revolution SE. I am not a jogger, but this beauty makes farm living with a stroller fun. I have already used it around the farm and it goes wherever you want it to. You can literally push it with one finger and it turns on a dime. It is easy to fold up and is not heavy. Ben loves this one too. When he pushed Faegan in it for the first time he said "Man, this thing will go!". Yet another recommendation from my sister and Blair!
4. Nursing Tank. Built in bra makes nighttime feedings so easy. My mother-in-law found mine at Wal-Mart but I am sure they have them at other stores. I am now the proud owner of every color and I could not be happier.
5. GumDrop Pacifiers. These are a fairly new purchase for us. We started out with Dr. Brown's orthodontic pacifiers and Faegan liked them, but we started having some latch issues after I introduced them. Faegan loves a paci and I was desperate for a solution that allowed her to continue to have one. After lots of research I found these and I am so happy that we are using them. It took a little time for her to learn how to keep it in, but the latch problems are gone and she loves her new pacis as much as her mama. They are soft and don't make marks on her face like the plastic pacifiers did and you can boil them to sanitize them. They are also made in the USA!
6. Wipe Warmer. Ben made fun of me when I was setting up the wipe warmer saying that I was already spoiling our child and she wasn't even born yet. That was until he changed Faegan in the hospital and she screamed at the top of her lungs when you put the cold wipe on her. When we got home to our warm wipes, changing diapers was a much calmer event and now Ben is thanking me for our frivolous item. Definitely not a necessity, but Faegan sure does appreciate her warm wipes! We did have to tape a card over the front of the warmer because the light on it is pretty bright at night!
7. Diaper Champ. There is nothing worse than finding you left a dirty diaper in your kitchen trash for a little too long! This does a great job of containing the smell and your dirty diapers and you don't have to buy special refills for it - it uses a regular kitchen trash bag.
8. ERGObaby Carrier. This is also a new purchase for us, but I already love it. I wished so many times throughout the first weeks that I had a baby carrier when I needed to do something that required both hands and Faegan wanted to be held. I have had this for a week and I have used it so much already. Faegan enjoys being in it and it is comfortable for me too. I chose the organic style because I can't buy anything without reading a million reviews and the consensus was that the organic was definitely much softer. I also got a cute print instead of plain jane black or brown because Ben said he wasn't going to use it. However, now that he has seen it in action, I think he might be sporting the print sometime very soon! *Note: You do have to have an insert for using it with an infant.
9. Boppy. When I was in the hospital, I didn't think I was going to like my Boppy, but now I use it for every feeding. It is nice to have support for your elbows and wrists during feedings and we also stick a blanket under the opening and use it to prop Faegan when she wants to see what is going on without being held.
10. I don't have a picture for this, but the thing I use the most BY FAR is my iBaby app on my phone. It keeps up with feeding times, dirty diapers, growth, sleep times, and anything else you want to keep track of. I only use the feeding times now, but this was a huge lifesaver during those first sleepless days and a great recommendation from the lactation consultant at the hospital. It cuts down on me watching the clock and allows me to have a record of every feeding since she was born.
Hopefully my list will help someone out if they research everything to death before making a decision. Like I said before, they are not necessities, but they sure do make life easier!