Weighing up whether that baby monitor is worth the investment?
Balancing your need to stay in budget with all the wonderful gadgets that promise to save you time, frustration, and help you get more sleep?
It’s a hard job. Planning for baby.
What should you buy new? What secondhand?
What do you want to get yourself? What should you put on your registry?
There are quite a few things I wish I’d bought for my first baby, but I didn’t I was trying to save money. I also bought a lot of things secondhand, and to be honest some of those things I should have bought new. (So, if you’re buying secondhand, be really discerning.)
Here’s the top items I wish I’d bought for my baby (and will definitely make sure to get for baby #2):
1. Love to Dream Swaddle UP
A swaddle suit? Pfft! I didn’t need one of those. That’s what those receiving blankets are for… right?
Unfortunately, I failed swaddling class. (Or I just gave birth to a budding escape artist).
My baby managed to wriggle free of the swaddle no matter how well I thought I’d wrapped him. And that meant waking up. Again. And Again. And Again.
I ended up buying a Love to Dream Swaddle Up on a whim… and because my Pilates teacher told me about their awesomeness in passing once but I’d ruled it out because they were a little expensive… (they’re worth it!!!)
I wish I’d had it from birth.
The first night my baby slept for 10 hours. Hello, baby sleep jackpot!
That kind of sleep is priceless and worth its weight in gold.
Another thing I KNOW you’ll love about the Love to Dream (because I do too!) is that they come in a variety of thicknesses (called ‘togs’). I bought the super light kind (0.2 tog). It’s perfect for hot summer weather! They also have warmer versions for winter and versions for older babies where the sleeves zip off so baby can learn to sleep unswaddled… one arm at a time!
2. The Owlet Smart Sock 2
Real talk… I was a very, VERY anxious new mom.
The first few months, I was terrified that the worst was going to happen.
Anytime my baby made a noise in the night, I woke up.
Then I stayed awake to make sure he made another noise.
And then I got up and checked that he was still breathing.
It was so, so hard.
I didn’t buy a baby monitor because I thought they were mostly all video (baby was right beside me in his bassinet… I didn’t need video). I also remember reading that the monitors on the market that measure breathing were so hypersensitive they were inaccurate.
I really regret not doing my research properly – I would’ve found the Owlet Smart Sock 2 and bought it in a heartbeat.
It’s a little pricey but, I would’ve paid ANY money for the peace of mind (and the sleep, oh my, the sleeep.)
I 100% regret not buying this. The Owlet monitors baby’s vitals (including oxygen levels and heart rate) and sounds an alarm in case of emergency. The sock attaches firmly to your baby’s foot (kinda like the ones they have in hospital) so it can’t fall off like other brands do. The data goes to an app on your phone so you can check baby’s details whenever you feel the need.
If I could go back in time I would definitely get one!
And you better believe this is the first thing I’m buying for baby number 2 (whenever he or she decides to come along...)
3. A White Noise Machine
Babies love white noise!
And so do moms, because it means better sleep!
I wish I’d had a white noise machine from birth.
When I was really tired the ‘shooosh shoooosh-ing’ was always the first to go.
It’s really exhausting making that noise, y’all!
I really wanted this particular one because I’d read that it was like baby sleep magic, but I couldn’t find it for sale anywhere at the time.
I eventually bought this soft toy that plays calming music and vibrates. Not exactly white noise but I found it relaxing anyway.
Next time around, I’m going to grab this – it’s an affordable, elegant solution to white noise and it’s perfectly portable so you can use it on the go in any situation. I love it!
4. A New Bassinet
I bought my bassinet secondhand.
From the moment my baby arrived I was stressed out.
Was the mattress okay? Maybe it has dust in it!!
Better get a new mattress!
Wait this mattress doesn’t quite fit?
Ahhh, it’s not safe.
I wish I’d just bought a new bassinet. (I secretly want this one… it’s a little pricey but I love that it sits right against the bed AND you can see through the mesh sides – all bassinets should be made like this!).
5. A Real Pregnancy Sleeping Pillow
I was 26 weeks pregnant.
I hadn’t slept in days.
I felt like the walking dead.
It was so bad I dictated to my husband that we would be making the journey to the baby shop and buying the biggest most supportive pregnancy pillow known to womankind.
The shop didn’t have ANY pregnancy pillows. What?!
Neither did the next one. Ahhh!
Or the next one. You’ve GOT to be KIDDING me?
It was a sad, sad day.
I ended up getting a long straight body pillow with no shaping. It was okay but next time I want to get a real one like this one <<< that’s the one I really wanted.
And I really needed it for the extra support because of my hip pain…
Next time around… I’m ordering it off Amazon as soon as I get a BFP!
6. The Mommy Hook
Babies use so much stuff, they can easily take up most of the storage space in your stroller.
And when it comes to Christmas time and you’re shopping for gifts, you can run out of space super fast.
That’s where the Mommy Hook comes in. It’s just a carabiner, but it’s genius! You can hook it around your pram handle and use it to hold shopping bags, diaper bags, your purse… all kinds of things.
You can even disconnect it when you arrive home, hook it to all your grocery bags and carry the lot inside in one go.
(The next time I see one, I’m so getting it!)
7. Baby food pouches
I didn’t feed my baby purée.
No, I was determined we were going to do baby led weaning.
Did it work? Uh…. nope.
It was pretty much a total failure… and it certainly didn’t lead to us having an amazing child who eats everything from smoked salmon to chili con carne. <~~~~ the plan
No, my toddler is a difficult eater to be sure. At least he’s stopped spitting food out now. *sigh*
Would he be any better if fed purée? Who knows. *shrug*
Still, some of those baby food pouches would come in real handy for carrying custard and yogurt out and about right now.
8. Seat Strap Keepers
There is nothing more annoying than trying to put your baby in the car seat and the straps are twisted.
Not only is it annoying, it also decreases the effectiveness of the restraint (if you buckle them twisted).
I wish I’d had some of these (or these – so affordable!) to keep my baby’s car seat straps from tangling.
9. A Haakaa Manual Breast Pump
Fun fact: in the early days of breastfeeding things can get very… leaky.
While your baby feeds on one side, the other side will often respond as well, and that milk gets wasted… either into a breast pad or all over your shirt.
But, not with a Haakaa!
I wish I’d had a Haakaa to use on the side my baby wasn’t feeding from simply to collect all the leaking milk… for two reasons: 1. to give to baby and 2. to contain the mess! I was a soggy mess while breastfeeding on more than one occasion. Haakaa would’ve helped a lot.
You can also use the Haakaa as a manual breast pump if you need to do some one off pumping. I wouldn’t recommend trying to exclusively pump with this bad boy… but for the occasional night out, it’d work great.
10. BabyBum Diaper Cream Brush
Looking like an oddly shaped mini spatula… this is for putting diaper cream on sore bottoms.
It’s way more hygienic than using fingers to apply diaper cream and it’s so much better for really raw skin.
The only reason I discovered this was because I was given something very similar by a nurse when I took my little one to the doctor about a vicious tummy bug. It worked fantastically well!
You might also like:
My BEST Baby Purchases
Ok, I can’t leave you with just things I wish I’d bought… here are my favorite things that I DID buy and why I loved them:
- Change Table – I know, I know. You don’t *really* need a change table, but I had one and I loved it! I liked having the space and the easy-to-work-at height helped me get used to changing diapers.
- Baby Car Seat Mirror – the worst thing about rear facing car seats is not being able to see baby from the front seats. Solution: this mirror! It’s so helpful for peace of mind and for watching baby in the back seat.
- A Glider – while the exact brand I had isn’t available, this one looks almost exactly like it. My preference was for a chair with an ottoman (for ultimate relaxing!) and I loved that mine reclined almost fully (great for tummy time!). You definitely want to get a glider with a leather/leatherette finish as it’s going to take a lot of punishment – leaking milk, spit ups, blowouts, pumping spills – and you want something that’ll only need a quick wipe down with a wet wipe or a Clorox wipe.
- A convertible crib – babies are only in a bassinet for a short few months, but a crib can last them for years… if you get a convertible one. Most convertibles are good for 3 basic configurations – crib, toddler bed, and day bed – with several different height levels that you can set the mattress to (for example, you can forgo the bassinet and set the mattress height at it’s highest level in the crib. As baby gets older, you can drop the mattress to lower levels so they can’t roll out or escape.)
- The Wonder Weeks book – so accurate it’s almost scary, the Wonder Weeks explains why baby has phases of crankiness before making developmental leap. This is a total MUST READ for new moms!
Now that I’m through the baby stage, I look back and I’m thankful. These things would’ve made life a little easier and a little less stressful. If I could do it again, I would gladly have spent more on things that helped my peace of mind and less on the cute stuff (like pretty bedding, clothes, wall stickers, and toys). But hey, live and learn right?
Over to you…
Got any baby purchases you’re undecided on? Or, have something to add to this list? Let me know in the comments!
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