My top list for items as a New Mammy Mummy Mum ;-)
So giving a loan to our friends as well of the things that we found just terrific. Here's my list of things that I think were invaluable first 3 -6 months. I'm sure I'll think of more later but this was the my top list.
Infant car seat with two bases - perfect for getting him to places in either car. He's outgrown it now and in his new car seat that says its for all three stages till their 100 pounds. Getting said car seat into car was another story but at least unlike our friends we didn't break the car door. Some noodles made of Styrofoam have worked wonders for getting it into right position. We got that tip from the lovely State Troopers at Highway Patrol. They had a class on car seats and you can go to them with an appointment and get your car seat checked and installed for free!
Snap and Go - this is a frame that holds the car seat so you don't need the big stroller or buggy. As every Mammy soon finds out - the car seat is heavy enough and then you pop a 8 pound baby in it and keep adding a pound every few weeks and you could arm wrestle truck drivers... Those travel systems are also really heavy and pain to get in and out of your car/house/truck...
Soft insert for car seat - Their child may love the car, ours didn't and so the soft insert made it a tad more comfortable and also meant that they occasionally sleep a bit better in car seat on trips or in restaurants.. (Not that it helped one little jot when he cried for a 3 hour road trip but we wont mention that...)
Toy bar for car seat - This toy bar - well I wish I had it month one. It might have saved our tears for the car. And also one of us riding in back feeding wee man trying to stop said tears.
Co-Sleeper - They have one so keeping ours. This wee crib onto side of bed was so handy. Especially after a c-section and breastfeeding. So much easier to check on wee man. The motion baby monitor is also great and is now in his crib. The video camera is handier now as a bigger baby although we keep having to move it as he wanders around the crib trying to reach for it. All you see on the wee tv screen is a hand coming for the camera...
The vibrating crib attachment - this vibrated the crib, also had heartbeat, white noise and wee lullabies. During those wee fussy hours this was a big help for helping him go back to sleep.
Moby Wrap - We're still using ours. He loves it and sleeps no problem in it. Its gone with him in to the movies, to restaurants (where pulled over top so I could eat the ribs over his head), to 10 hour flight to Ireland, 6 hour flight to Florida and so many trips out where he just chilled close to my heart and snuggle warm. I wish they had adult sizes.
Our JJ cole sling - and new native carrier sling - At 7pm-8Pm when many a baby is fussy during first 3 months, popping him in the sling and singing hippy hippy shake he would calm down and snuggle. If you couldn't get him to sleep - this was the best for helping him drop off. Also having two hands free was a such a boon - well one hand as you tend to still hold under them with the other at the start. Still using the new native one - its a good one for Mums who have a chest - those hot sling ones just are too small.
Dr Brown Bottles - our wee man has enough natural gas to rival Alaska as a natural source for world energy. So after trying blandest diet in world for me to see if that would help, we switched to these bottles on recommendation of another Mum Sarah and baby bear. Wow these worked great and still do. He still farts away but being older its more about the 4 containers of food he just inhaled..
Fisher price swing - any kind of cradle swing - or as we called ours neglectomatic... I used to go to bed at 10pm ish and wee man and Dad would stay up with the swing. Dad then gives him a midnight feed and I then would have 4 hours sleep before taking over. The swing was great also for naps during the day at the start.
Microwave Sterilizer - great invention and really helps get those bottles clean. We nursed wee man from me and also the bottle from first few days. Mainly bottle one feed at midnight or out sometimes if it was hard to find a good breast feeding area (although changing rooms are excellent in stores - especially mervyns and the restroom at Nordstrom is outstanding!). Wee man did fine and we didn't have any issues with him not wanting the breast milk and then when he went to daycare or had someone babysit he was fine with bottle. They tell you you have to do one or the other. You don't.
Velcro-Swaddles - So swaddling your baby works. That's why they do it in the hospital. It makes them feel all safe and back in the womb. If you think how great they felt squashed up like a rolled up armadillo inside you then you can see why swaddling works. Only one problem. Unless you practice with trying to swaddle cats you cant get that nice tight swaddle the nurses do. My hubbies first few attempts while in hospital looked like wee man had a run in with a blanket and came out the losing side.
So - easiest thing is the swaddles with Velcro. They work, they are easy to do and swaddled baby is happy baby. (also in happiest baby in block with 5 S's, swaddle, sideways, swing, soothe and shush sounds - which is what Mums have been doing for years and gathered now in books and DVDs since we don't live all together in big families any more).
I remember my Dad thinking that wee man looked like he was being tortured all bound up in a swaddle. That looks cruel he said. My Mum and I disagreed tellinghim was done in Ireland for years and now brought back again after seeing how it works in other countries. Also nurses never stopped the practice in hospitals as they knew it worked well. I smiled and gave him wee man without swaddle - sure you soothe him then Dad. 10 mins later my Dad was shouting for the swaddle.
later things that didn't work..