Here are the products that I've found to be absolutely necessary:
- Exercise ball- I don't know what it is about these balls that almost every infant I've known loves! They are a life saver to help them calm down, get to sleep, have fun bouncy time, they just love bouncing on those balls. Absolutely necessary! (I don't actually exercise on it, but it is better than just sitting in a chair right? ;)
- Boppy- Everyone has one so it's nothing new to hear, but I hate having to breastfeed without it. My arms get so tired! The pillow allows for hands free breastfeeding, very nice.
- Double Electric Breast Pump- I am not a working mom, nor do I leave James with a babysitter hardly ever, but I still think this is necessary. If you are exclusively breastfeeding, you'll need some backup milk just in case. The whole pumping process and learning how to involve that in your schedule still confuses me, but I have a small amount of milk stocked in case. And at the very least, it takes the worry away if anything comes up.
- Swaddlers- Any kind of swaddler is great. Using a blanket is just not as good if you have a very squirmy one. I've used many different kinds.
- Swing- I think that any type of swing works. You don't need the best. I kind of wish we had gotten a simpler one. He doesn't use it all the time, but when nothing else works, sometimes that does.
- Excersaucer- I don't know how to spell that. But what I mean is those big chunky seats with toys all around. James loves his! He loves standing and jumping so sitting is not his thing. That's why these are so great for him.
- A Good Nursing Bra- Definately a must! It took me buying 4 different bras and none of them worked. I think I was trying to be cheap, but I had to bite the bullet and it made all the difference. I wish I hadn't messed with the cheap ones. Along with that, toga pants are great and completely fine during the first 6 months... and more :)
- Nipple Sheild and Lanolin Cream- Some people don't like the shields but for me, they saved me! I was crying all night until I got the shield. It helped with the pain and after a month I was able to wean off it just fine! ....Well, with some discomfort but that's just how it goes. It's somewhat painful. :/
I feel like you really don't need a lot.
Here are some things I want to do differently next time:
- A better excersaucer. We have a hand-me-down that is just huge and bulky and I just don't like it. I'll search for a better one next time.
- A better tub. That was also a hand-me-down and it's just complicated. I'll look for a good one next time.
- An Ergo carrier. I have some good carriers, but I've just heard sooo many good things about the Ergo. So I want to try that.
- Woombie. None of the cheap swaddlers I have have worked great. They were ok, but I have a woombie in the mail, yay, and I can't wait to try it! Plus, they are not very expensive, so I'll have to get one in every size next time.
- Next time I'll get less clothes 3 months and under. For the first 3 months James was wearing just a onsie and that's about it. Haha. Maybe I was just lazy but he didn't need fancy clothes. Same with blankets, he has a ton and hasn't used some of them.
- Lastly, no changing table. We bought a cheap changing table from Ikea, and thank goodness we did because we never use it! I change his diapers on the ground or on his bed. Changing tables are expensive and not necessary, unless they are also a dresser.
I am starting to feel like I can do this again. :D Yay!