As a mom-to-be you often get bombarded with information on what you need and it can be overwhelming to try and decide what’s important- especially when you start considering non-essential items (i.e. things that aren’t meeting a direct need for warmth, food, safe sleep and a clean bum let’s say) that cost a lot of money. Here are the 5 “extra” items I wouldn’t want to live without.
This adorable little owl has a ton of features but the white noise has been our go-to. From the minute Oliver was born, we constantly had to have white noise present to get him to sleep whether it was a room full of people, a TV on or this handy little guy plugged in. It’s also a huge lifesaver when you’re trying to drown out the noise of barking dogs, creaky floors or really loud neighbours. *Pro tip: Download a decibel meter app to make sure that you keep the noise at around 50-60 decibels from where babe is sleeping. Any more can be harmful to their ears.
You can’t put a price on peace of mind. When we were forced to move Oliver to his own room at 8 weeks because he outgrew the bassinet, I was so paranoid about going against SIDS prevention recommendations to room share until they’re at least 6 months old that I started looking at options for breathing monitors. After reading all the reviews and comparing costs, the Snuza seemed to be the right fit for us. This tiny monitor clips onto their diaper and has a rubber tip that tracks their belly movements when they breathe. It will vibrate after 15 seconds of no movement to wake the baby up slightly and it will sound an alarm after 20 seconds of no movement. We haven’t looked back since we bought it! It has made the transition SO much easier that I wish I had bought this before he was born to keep me from checking on him every two seconds. I love that it shines a green light every time he breathes so I don’t have to wonder whether it’s picking anything up and that it still works on the days we co-sleep (some breathing monitors won’t work if you co-sleep). A few tips:
- Buy the Snuza Hero ‘SE’ Model because it takes CR2 batteries that you can find just about anywhere (the older model takes special batteries that you can only find online)
- Replace the battery right away. We started having a lot of (terrifying) false alarms a couple of weeks after we got the Snuza but have yet to have a false alarm since we changed the battery two months ago (we use the Energizer CR2)
- Put the diaper on nice and snug and fold the top over before you clip on the Snuza. Make sure the Snuza is far down the diaper enough to scrunch it a little and that it has solid contact with their tummy
3. VTech Safe&Sound Digital Video Baby Monitor (or any video monitor, really)
Video monitors can be both a blessing and a curse but I still wouldn’t trade mine for anything. You might have nights where you spend hours staring at the monitor wide awake because your baby made ONE sound but most of the time it saves you from A LOT of checking in because you can see that baby is just babbling or trying to soothe themselves back to sleep. I also love that it has a temperature gauge (that seems to be pretty accurate compared to most other monitors) because it helps take the guesswork out of dressing the baby for bed (which is a lot harder than it sounds by the way). The pan, tilt and zoom functions are key for having full visibility of the room and I LOVE that you can talk into it to help calm baby down if they have woken up upset.
I’m going to preface this by saying I don’t think this is the most practical option for newborns because the insert is (albeit necessary until they’re about 6 months old) super annoying to put in every time. Next time I may opt for a wrap for those early weeks. Having said that you won’t see me going anywhere without it. I’m lucky that Ollie took to it pretty much right away and so we use it for naps any time we are out of the house or when we get sick of carrying him everywhere. Since he has always been a bigger baby, I loved that the Ergo has a TON of support and I can see us using it a lot as he grows given all the different options for carrying him. The comfort and engineering behind this thing are remarkable and you can really tell that every feature was well thought out.
Every mom I know told me to splurge on one of these and even though the photo on the box alone was enough to make me gag I’m so glad I did. The amount of snot and boogers found in a tiny baby is equal parts impressive and disgusting. Even without a cold, I probably still use this every other day to clear all the bats in the cave and I can’t imagine how crazy things get with a sick baby. We like to use a bit of saline to loosen up all the gunk before we use the NoseFrieda. I do hear it’s possible to overuse the NoseFrieda and that it can cause irritation in the nose, so be sure to use it as sparingly as possible for babe to be comfortable.
Check back in a few weeks for my list of non-essential “essential” items!