#10 - Nuk Pacifier
I always assumed a baby would prefer whatever pacifier you started them on. They gave us a Soothie at the hospital and Rorasaurus seemed perfectly content with it so that's what we stuck with at first.
After a few days, he didn't show much interest in the pacifier, so we just figured that he didn't want/need one and stopped offering it. One day when I was alone with a screaming baby who wouldn't calm down I tried the Soothie and (as usual) he spit it right out. Out of desperation I reached for a Nuk that a friend had given me and badabing soothed baby. Now he requires his pacifier for every nap and bedtime, but I don't really care since when he has it, 95% of the time it takes less than 5 minutes for him to fall asleep.
#9 - Charlie Banana Cloth Diapers
#8 Baby Oatmeal
I don't know the exact reason for this, but I'm going to give the credit to oatmeal. Rory has had HORRIBLE reflux since he was about 3.5 months old. We dealt with 6 weeks of him screaming if he was in any position besides completely upright, or asleep on an incline. It could be his age, medication, or increased solids in general, but ever since he started eating oatmeal regularly, his reflux has hardly bothered him at all (he still spits up more than the average kid, but he isn't in pain because of it). Oatmeal has also been his favorite solid so far and he can't get enough of it!
#7 - Rhino Toys Oball
When Rory was about 3 months old he saw an Oball at a friends house. He had shown little to no interest in any toys so far and he was fascinated by the ball. It was really easy for him to pick up and he enjoyed the bright color and rattle. 3 months later its still one of his favorite toy, only now he spends his time picking it up with his toes and trying to fit it in his mouth.
#6 - Infantino Twist and Fold Activity Gym
I absolutely LOVE this play mat. The fabrics are so pretty and Rory would rather spend time on here
than in my arms.
This turned out to be a very good thing with how much time I had to spend with my pump and Rory got to play by himself on the floor.
#5 - Flannel Blankets
You know the kind I'm talking about. The blankets that the ever-talented ladies at your work or church give you, and it seems before the baby comes that you have more than you know what to do with. I've found now, after baby, that I can't get enough of these blankets.
We even have one that is double layered, it's the bomb. These blankets are thick enough to set on a hard ground under the baby, absorbent enough to mop up baby messes that are too much for a burp cloth, make a very nice toga in the instance of a blowout, can be folded up for a makeshift pillow, and can even be used by Mama to keep warm while watching TV after baby has gone to bed.
#4 - Swaddle Me
On Rory's second day home from the hospital he had a major freak-out. He had recently been fed and changed. We knew he was tired, but he just couldn't fall asleep. Dalan was 'in charge' at the time (I am one of the luckiest Mom's ever, I got my husband home for a whole month to help with the baby, so we would take turns with the baby) and he finally tagged me in once his patience was wearing thin. I didn't know what to do either, but in an act of desperation, I finally just stripped Rory down to his diaper and set him on the bed completely sprawled out. It was like a dream. he stretched as far as he could, and immediately fell asleep with his limbs stretched out in every direction. At that point, we decided that Rory didn't like being swaddled, and we promptly gave up on that idea. For the next few months, he would just fall asleep in the middle of playtime, and we let him nap on the floor.
3 months later, Rory promptly stopped taking naps on his own during playtime. I was at a complete loss with how to get him to nap. I was an absolute mess and read all kinds of literature to help me, but I only figured out that Rory wasn't going to get into college one day, if I couldn't get him to nap now (postpartum hormones sure are fun, aren't they?). I finally tried swaddling him with a Swaddle Me that was still in the package from before he was born. It was a pretty tight fit for my 98th percentile height boy, but we made it work. And he actually fell asleep. The whole nap epiphany for us is a completely different story, but we still use the Swaddle Me to this day (in a much bigger size, imagine my embarrassment when after I cut holes in the feet of his newborn one and squished him in, I found out they actually come in different sizes).
#3 - Burpy Bibs
Burpy Bibs are by Aden and Anais and they are AMAZING. They are so absorbent. They can be used as a burp cloth, but also have a snap to become a bib. It's basically like a cape, and makes lunchtime so much easier to clean up. I actually need to purchase a few more of these, now that Rory is eating solids regularly, we can dirty a few of these every day.
#2 - Infantino Flip Front or Rear Facing Baby Carrier
I purchased a trendy, patterned infant carrier shortly after Rory was born. I used it a couple times, but it only worked well when he was very small and could fall asleep in it. One day, when I was on a 'get me out of the house and away from the baby right now' Target trip, I saw the Infantino carrier and bought it on a whim since it was cheap. This was one of the best decisions of my entire life. Rory and I both love this carrier. He loves that its outward facing and he gets a really good view of everything that is going on. During the 6 weeks that his reflux was virtually unbearable, I spent hours every day going for walks/hikes with Rory in the carrier. Being upright was the only position he felt comfortable in, and getting out of the house was the only way I didn't end up completely batty from all of the screaming. He'll let me stretch and massage his neck for physical therapy when he is in it. He never gets upset or cries when he is in the carrier. I use it with him at least once every day, and usually more. I could really go on for pages about how much I love this thing.
#1 - Rock and Play Sleeper
We received this for a baby shower gift, and it has been a lifesaver. Since we were living with my parents at the time, and his crib was in WA we had him sleep in the sleeper. From day one (well if you want to get technical, I guess it was day two) he has loved it.
I think the shape of it snuggles him enough that it makes him feel secure to fall asleep. When Rory was about 2 months old, we switched him to sleeping in the Pack 'n Play to get him ready to transition to his crib when he moved into his old room. His Plagiocephaly (flat head) became much worse from sleeping in the Pack 'n Play. Once his reflux kicked in full force, we reverted back to the sleeper and kicked ourselves for ever switching in the first place. While Rory was sleeping in our room, I just had the sleeper next to my side of the bed, if he ever fussed or woke up, I could easily reach over and rock him a few times to soothe him back to sleep. I even got coordinated enough so I could feed him, then pump and rock him back to sleep at the same time. This saved me so much time in the middle of the night!
Rory now sleeps in a custom-made wedge for his reflux, but is still more than happy in his sleeper. If we have company he sleeps in the sleeper in our room. We recently made a trip back home, and I was really worried about his sleeping situation. I was scared to take his wedge on the plane, especially since he and I would be flying alone. Luckily enough, my friend had a Rock and Play Sleeper for her baby that she let us borrow. He slept just as well as if he were at home, and it made our vacation so much nicer to have a well-rested baby!
So, there you have it. The top 10 baby items that I couldn't live without!