They say the first year of parenthood is the hardest. Long nights make things a little stressful and eventually you will try anything to help stay sane. Here are some things that we quickly learned we couldn’t live without during our first year as parents:
I wasn’t sure this was something we needed until we got one, but honestly a bottle warmer became our best friend. We kept it in our bedroom and really saved us most nights. I would pump hand have a several bottles ready to go in the fridge. At night, I would grab a couple and keep it in the handy cooler that came with it at night. Then if he needed to be fed at 3am, all we had to do is pop it into the warmer and after a couple minutes we were good to go. This is great also because dad can also be the one to get up and feed the baby in the middle night so it’s not always up to mom. Now we got ours two years ago and they’ve only gotten better since then. This one does everything for you.
You know what is the hardest thing in the world? Trying to close a million little snaps on your babies pajamas at 2am! After hours of sleep deprivation this is the LAST thing you want to do! We learned this pretty quick and only would put our little one in zip-up pajamas. While the snaps are cute, they are so not practical. We did get one pair that was little magnets that was great but didn’t feel as secure. Zippers are the way to go!
This also goes out to anyone who is buying pajamas as a gift too – NEVER get the ones with the snaps! Your friends and family with a newborn will thank you!
There were MANY times we were thankful for our baby swing during our first year as parents. Our little one likes movement and sometimes that was the only way he would sleep. The swing came in handy so many times because it gave us a break to cook, clean or just go to the bathroom! It actually made me very sad when he got too big for it and had to give it up because it was SO helpful. There are many different swings with all kinds of bells and whistles. Those work or you can just go basic like this one we got:
This may sound like the dumbest invention ever but is actually GENIUS! All this little machine does is say “shhhhh” over and over again for 30 or 60 minutes. Literally saved us so many nights. AND it’s portable so you can take it anywhere with you! This is a GREAT baby shower gift because most parents won’t think to get it for themselves but will actually love it.
A friend had researched great gifts for parents when she was figuring out what to buy us one Christmas and came up with a sound machine. When we finally moved our little one to his own room this helped replaced the “shhhhh” sound from the Shusher and helped soothed him to sleep. Plus, it acted a sound barrier for him so it could drown out what was going on outside his room. In fact, we still use it to this day and it’s the best thing ever! The ones that also act as a nightlight are great and soothing for baby and later toddler: