I thought it would be fun to share the 10 things we couldn’t have lived without in Year One in parenthood. While I didn’t include the obvious things like diapers, wipes, bottles, and formula, I chose to include the things that maybe not every parent chooses to use but that were our ride-or-dies. There’s so much conversation and controversy around practically every type of parenting and every item you can purchase, but these are what worked for my family and I. Especially if you’ve been following along on my journey and/or have a preemie, I think these items are absolute musts. Leave a comment on what your must-haves for year one were and if you’ve tried and loved any of these! I’d love for the comments to be a place where moms could return to find favorites of other moms!
1.) Rock-N-Play – Ah, the RNP. This thing was a GODSEND. With Dillon’s serious reflux issues, he slept in this thing for 2 months straight. The incline helped his reflux and the coziness mimicked that of his bed in the NICU. We seriously couldn’t have lived without this. In fact, I gave it to my good friend who had a baby in April and he loves it too! We tried the Mamaroo but Dillon preferred this by and large.
2.) Nose Frida– If you’re not a parent, you may have no idea what this is. I sure didn’t! But this thing is a must if your baby is sick. This bad boy got us through 5 ear infections which caused D to have a ton of mucus. If your baby is ever sick, take them into a steamy bathroom then use this thing and you will have an infinitely happier baby. In fact, at every baby shower I attend from now on, I will throw one of these in the bag.
3.) BabyLove Playmat – This was our favorite to pull out for tummy time in the first few months. The colors and textures were interesting and kept his attention. This was given to me by my sister and then I recommended this to a few mom friends and their babies loved it, too! It is HUGE so it was great for once he started scooting a bit.
4.) Homedics Sound Spa– This has been a constant since the day we brought D home from the NICU. I even throw it in my bag when I’ve traveled with him since it’s so compact. I truly think this helps him sleep through the night [which he’s done since about 4.5months]! I mentioned this in this post and we still use it to this day!
5.) Chicco Bravo Travel System – We absolutely loved having a travel system. With D being a preemie, he was small enough to use this until he was about 10 months. Even though he’s now in a convertible car seat, we still use the stroller because it reclines [so he can nap in it if need be] and it has a huge under-compartment to hold the diaper bag. I know some parents forgo the travel system, but for us it was perfect.
6.) Skip-Hop Seat Cover – This have definitely been a favorite for the last 4 or so months. Once he started sitting unassisted, we use this anytime we’re in a cart or a high chair. It has buckles which keep him secure but also keeps him away from any nasty germs. It’s also great because if he has a snack while sitting in it, the crumbs fall into that and not the public seat. It’s easy to just throw in the wash and perfect for our on-the-go lifestyle.
7.) Ingenuity 3-in-1 High Chair – This high chair is amazing. It grows with baby and the seat can detach from the base, so I’ve taken it travelling. The cushion is super easy to wash and it’s not too bulky. The straps adjust like a car seat so I know he’ll be able to use this for a few years.
8.) Milk Snob Carseat Cover – This was an absolute must in the first few months. Being a preemie born during flu season, we wanted to do everything we could to shield him from the cold and from germs. Anytime I took D anywhere, I would throw this over the seat and felt a sense of security. I think this would be another great baby shower gift that literally any mom, no matter the circumstance, can use.
9.) Mommy’s Bliss Probiotic – As I mentioned before, D has had a ton of tummy issues in his life. We started this probiotic to help with gas and also as an attempt to build immunity. While I can’t say for sure it works, I do definitely notice a difference on the days we forget to give it. I think in the worst case, it is just a nice preventative to give.
10.) DockATot – What can I say about the DockATot? This was our SINGLE best purchase by far. This, in particular, is a controversial item, but we seriously could not have gotten through the first few months without it. We used it to co-sleep for about a month before we transitioned D to his crib and it made things so easy. We also used it for daytime naps downstairs if we were just hanging out. He was able to use it until about 8 months due to his size so it was worth every single penny. In fact, I even included it in this post, and I still stand by what I said.
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