My little nugget is almost 5 months now and our place is slowly piling up. There are so many toys, tools and things you could get for babies, but are they really all necessary?
While living in New York City apartment I have learned that each thing I bring home needs to have a multi-purpose and has to last, otherwise – outie. Most babies don’t require much but there are a few things I would consider as must-have.
For the first 6 weeks my baby lived on it. It was nursing about 15-20h a day and was nursing to sleep so nursing pillow was the one thing I used most. Not only it helps your arms so you don’t have to hold your nugget but it is soft for them to sleep on comfortably. My son slept in my arms until age of 4 months and was constantly nursing all night so I definitely recommend getting the pillow for more relaxed nursing. Choose between this, this or this.
When my son wasn’t nursing, he was in the carrier. There were nights when I walked around my coffee table in circles for hours just to get him to sleep and we both ended up sleeping on the couch with the carrier still on me. Baby carrier was the thing that worked, when nothing else did. During the day I would pop the baby face-forward and do chores, cook dinner, do laundry or anything else I had to get done and when it was time for my son to sleep, I turned him around and off I went. Having your baby close to you is not only beneficial for their growth, support and development but also a great way to practice attachment parenting. It is worth investing in a good quality baby carrier as the cheaper ones can cause back pain from not enough support belts. I love this one for support, this one is budget friendly or this one is great for newborns.
Tummy time is a great way to help your baby strengthen their neck muscles and pediatricians recommend practicing tummy time daily, starting from 10 minutes a day when they’re newborn and for longer periods as they get older. Baby gym is a great place to let your baby practice as it’s colorful and fun for them to develop their skills. This one is my sons favorite piano, and I love this compact one, it’s perfect for small spaces.
Some babies have their first tooth at age of 2 months, some only after their first year. On average they will start teething around 3-4 months and you won’t be able to miss it as everything in their reach will end up in their mouth. I tried lots of teething toys but found that this rattle, mini Sophie, and this cooling teether was the most helpful relieving the pain.
We waited too long to buy this. Honestly, we underrated the swing and didn’t want to overload our home with too many baby items but it turned out it was our son’s favorite place to hang out and sleep. After he stopped sleeping in my arms around age of 3 months, we transitioned him to the swing and it worked perfectly. It is cuddly and soft, and covers him from the sides. I used it during the day and night until my sons legs were hanging over and he no longer fit in it. I love this automatic one.
Onesies and pajamas
When I was pregnant I bought way too many cute baby outfits not considering how easy they would be to put on. Most babies dislike when the outfit goes over their head including my son, so now I use only onesies and pj’s. Babies clothes get dirty often and zip up or button pajamas are the best things to have on hand when you are changing your little one for the 7th time today. Yes, those baby polo shirts and dresses are cute, but consider convenience and keeping your baby happy during diaper changes as most babies dislike getting changed. How cute are these pajamas?
There will be a time when you will have to start sleep training your baby to a crib or off the breast or in the stroller, whichever method you prefer. Having your baby associate a bunny with sleeping will help you get him to sleep, especially if you’re away from the usual environment, like traveling, at grandparents, out and about, etc. How cute are these?
Video monitor is a great investment and will help you monitor your baby while he is sleeping. It comes even more handy if you’re going to sleep train your baby and move him/her to their own room, or during the day when they’re napping in the bedroom. Some of the monitors can be connected to theWi-Fi, some can measure the temperature in the room, some have a camera that can move. There are plenty of options to choose from but I love this one with a long lasting battery or this one with a color screen.
It took us a white to figure this one out but right now it’s the only consistent thing that will get my son to sleep. He can sleep in the swing, crib, in my arms, stroller as long – as there is the noise. And it has to be loud! There are different white noises so you got to try and see what works best for your baby – from rainforest, ocean waves, womb, fan, thunderstorm or even vacuum cleaner (my sons favorite). If you’re still skeptical about getting one, think about the times when it takes you 30 minutes to get your baby to sleep and suddenly the dog barks or the mail man rings at the door. Having white noise will block out all the outside noise so you don’t have to worry about doing chores around the house. What do you think about cute owl?
Stroller toys and bath toys
After the first 2 months your baby will start to see and notice more things, especially with bright colors. Keep some large and infant-safe toys on hand to keep them busy, stimulate their vision and entertain them. I love this rainbow arch, cloth books like this one, and this spiral activity toy is great for stroller rides.
Once your baby can hold their head around 4 months, they will love jumping around. At this young age, make sure your baby gets enough stretching time, before and after each jumping session as their back is not strong enough to spend large amounts of time jumping around. Try this one for the door or a fun zoo jumperoo.
Swaddles & Sleep Sacks
The womb is a pretty tight space for a baby and after they are born they prefer to be in a similar environment. Swaddling might not work for all babies but most of them will love to be swaddled, which later you can transition to a sleep sack. Many parents swear that their babies sleep longer hours when swaddled, so why not try? Also, newborns are unable to control their hands so swaddling them prevents them from scratching their face and accidentally hurting themselves which causes more crying. For the first few months we used this SwaddleMe Pod, around 2 months transitioned to this Love to Dream, after that this Halo sleep sack and now this Merlin suit.
Babies at this age don’t recognize themselves in the mirror but they will for sure have fun with it. Place a soft baby mirror on their play mat while practicing tummy time and they will have a great time looking at it. My son loves this one.
I hope it helps you prepare for your baby and let me know in the comments what you think about this list! You got this mama!