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It's so tough sorting through registry lists and trying to decide what things are essentials and what you'll never end up using. Every baby is obviously different in what they'll like and respond to, but these 10 items helped us get through the newborn phase with (almost) ease.
1. Halo Bassinest Swivel Sleeper
I’m fairly certain I first heard about this product from some Bravo reality television star’s Instagram account. (Don’t judge me.) It was a little more expensive than some other bassinets I was considering, but it had so many great features I wanted that I went ahead and bought it. Worth every penny. It was important to me that my baby sleep in my bedroom and this bassinet literally allowed him to sleep right next to me but in his own safe space. The side drops on this (or you can lock it) so you can reach right over to pull the baby out to feed and then place right back in easily. Confession, we bought the Premiere Series that has some extra features, but the Essentia would have been fine. (We never use the extra features.)
2. Halo Bassinest Newborn Insert
I thought this was one of those "extras" I definitely wouldn’t need. It was then ordered in the middle of the night while trying to get a baby to sleep and was one of the best purchases I ever made.This gives a baby that more “tucked in” feeling but since the baby is still sleeping on a totally flat surface surrounded by breathable mesh, you can sleep easy. My son outgrew this at around 10 weeks (he’s really tall), but it was great while we used it.
4. Halo SleepSack Swaddles
If I were to choose a favorite baby product of all time? It’s probably the Halo SleepSack Swaddle. Just zip and close the Velcro and baby is comfy and cozy all night. It’s so fast and easy and we used these every night until the baby outgrew them.
5. BabyBum Diaper Cream Brush
Another one of those things I saw in stores and thought was kind of silly. Who uses a diaper cream brush? Me, apparently! This spatula allows you to keep your hands free of cream and we keep it right on the changing table with a dollop of diaper cream already on it. This has made diaper changes so much faster and less messy.
6. IKEA Leka Play Gym
If I had to choose one non-sleep product that my son has used the most it would have to be this play gym from IKEA. This was bought on a whim and it’s had SO much use. I liked that it was simple, without tons of toys to look at and my baby boy LOVES it. He has spent hours and hours AND HOURS kicking the bars and grabbing at the toys, and we’re pretty sure he has some sort of friendship with the cat on top.
7. Angelcare Baby Bath Support
The sinks in our house aren’t made for one of those cute baby bath inserts so we needed an option that would work for the tub. Our baby never had a problem with bath time and this made it fast and easy.
8. Video Monitor
I know video monitors sometimes made the lists of baby items you don’t actually need, but I would have to disagree. This monitor has saved me from hundreds (thousands?) of trips to check on my sleeping baby. This particular model also has temperature gauge, talk-back feature, and it’s super easy to set up. (Just plug it in and turn on the monitor.)
9. Angel Love Baby Nail Files
I was terrified at the idea of clipping my baby’s nails so when I heard these files were great I purchased them immediately. It’s all we’ve used so far.
10. NoseFrida Nasal Aspirator
There’s a reason every person tells you to get this. And yes, the idea is gross (my husband and I had a friendly argument over who had to use it first.), but honestly, once you do it you realize it’s not bad at all. In fact, it’s a rather gratifying experience to clear your baby’s stuffy nose. Get one.
I really can’t recommend these items enough, all of them have made our first few months into parenthood substantially easier.
Opinions expressed by parent contributors are their own.