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If you need gift ideas for a new or expecting mom, here are my top essential items for the first year.
1. The Ollie Swaddle: I cannot say enough how life-changing this item is. We learned all about swaddling and the best products on the market at the Will I Ever Sleep Again Class by Taking Cara Babies about a year ago. At the time we were clueless and simultaneously desperate to learn about baby sleep.
The Ollie Swaddle is a must, and I have the results to show for it. Our 3 month old is consistently sleeping through the night and our 18 month old sleeps 12 hours a night. I attribute all their good sleep habits to that class and The Ollie Swaddle! Swaddling helps babies to have more restful sleep, mimics the secure feeling of the womb, and helps to keep them sleeping on their backs.
2. Nested Bean Zen Sack: I was reluctant to transition from swaddling when the time came for Claire. At about 5 months, we made the transition with a the Nested Bean Zen Sack, which is a weighted sleep sack. We didn’t use this for long, but it gave me the confidence that we weren’t going to lose all the progress we had made. The weight mimics your touch, which is soothing and helps them with sleep.
3. Skip Hop Owl Sound Machine and Night Light: A good sound machine is another essential for baby sleep. I had put this one on my baby registry and received it as a baby shower gift, but I had no clue how to use it effectively. When Claire was a newborn, I was playing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star at 2 a.m. in hopes that it would soothe her to sleep. I can’t believe how wrong I was!
This sound machine is great because you can leave it on all night. I leave it on a white noise setting at the loudest volume during nighttime and naps. It does have a light but I leave that off. I like it because it’s cute and effective. We bought a second one for Emma and it’s in our room while she still sleeps there.
4. Ergobaby: If you can get one carrier, this is the one to get! We were lucky to receive this as a gift when I was pregnant with Claire and it was by far one of the best gifts we received! I use this carrier every day. I don’t like it for the first weeks when the baby is too small, but as soon as their legs are long enough to hang out, this is the best carrier for holding them in a good position. It also is ergonomically designed to provide proper back support.
5. Baby Wrap Carrier: I didn’t have a wrap carrier with Claire, but I wish I had. I got my wrap carrier right after Emma’s birth. This was essential because she still wasn’t big enough for the ErgoBaby, but I needed a way to carry her around. It’s also nice to have a back-up carrier when it’s time for the Ergobaby to go in the wash.
6. My Brest Friend Pillow: I have had so many people ask me what this pillow is fastened around my waist when I am breastfeeding. I am so glad I found out about it from a YouTube video when I was pregnant with Claire. I am using it as we speak while I nurse Emma!
It has 2 pillows for the baby’s head on each side, a pocket for your phone or other small items you want to have handy, and a removable cover you can wash. Most importantly, it encourages proper posture while breastfeeding and keeps the baby in position.
What essential items do you recommend for the first year with a baby?