Expecting a baby? Congratulations and get ready! Because the only thing you will get more of than heartburn, is parenting advice!
Your mother, friends, friends of friends, gym buddies, co-workers, even the woman at the grocery store check-out will all have strong opinions about must-have baby products. Of course it is all well meaning. But the truth is, all that advice can be really confusing and what you hear from one person might be the opposite of what you hear from someone else.
So how do you figure out what is right for you? Our experience raising a small tribe of sons, daughters, nieces, and nephews taught us to start with the basics – sleeping, eating, bathing and grooming.
Here are the 5 best pieces of advice we can give you:
1. Find swaddling blankets that are as good as the hospital ones!
Swaddling helps re-create the security and familiarity of the womb – especially when your baby is a newborn. Wrapping your baby can prevent the startle reflex that can be jarring and wake baby (and you).
One of our go-to’s was the SwaddleMe® from Summer Infant. It is easy to use, reasonably priced, and all cotton. The adorable prints are a total bonus!
Set of three swaddlers, $34.99
2. If you are planning on breastfeeding – get a workhorse of a Breast Pump.
Even if you are not going back to work and can breastfeed throughout the day, pumping your liquid gold and giving your husband, partner, or family member the opportunity to feed your baby is pretty special for them and can provide you with a much needed nap! We loved the Medela Pump-In-Style®. It ain’t cheap, but it is well worth it and depending on your situation, it may be one of those items you decide to prioritize.
Pump In Style® starts at $299.99
3. If you are bottle feeding – make sure you have GREAT bottles.
We love the Comotomo Baby Bottle. They call it “breastfeeding in a bottle” and their design has won them numerous awards. The Como Tomo bottle is designed to promote latching and prevent and reduce colic. It is non-leaking, non-toxic, easy to clean, and made from a squishy silicone material. Bottom line, we are hard-pressed to find a better option so we consider this a smart splurge.
Set of two bottles, $24
4. Enjoy those precious moments – Bathing
Granted, your baby will not be crawling through the mud or sliding into a dusty home plate for a few years, but you will need to bathe your baby regularly to clean the milk in the folds of those juicy and scrumptious neck rolls.
Bathing is also a wonderful way to teach your baby routine and prepare for sleep. There is nothing better than a bath after an evening meal to get anyone to sleep, let alone a newborn. After bath, when you and your baby can gaze into each other’s eyes are some of the most precious times. This is also the perfect time for a baby massage.
There are countless lotions and creams out there that make massage much more enjoyable, but our go-to brand is Mustela®. Mustela® has a wide variety of products for babies and pregnant moms and they have been at it for over 60 years!
5. Take care of those tiny tangles and sharp nails
Massage is also a great way to calm baby down and get ready for some gentle hair and nail care. Have you seen the grooming kits with 37 items? The truth is that those kits have many items you don’t actually need and probably would not buy.
The Rhoost™ Grooming Kit is simple. Four necessity grooming items – a bamboo brush, a bamboo comb, a bamboo and silicone nail clipper, and a washcloth. All made from the best quality renewable bamboo and designed for function by Rhoost co-founders. In our opinion, it is all you need for the perfect relaxing and soothing soak. That’s why we made it.
The all cotton, super plush washcloth gently massages your baby’s delicate skin. The bamboo comb tenderly stimulates the scalp. The bamboo and natural bristle brush is perfect for massaging out cradle cap and is especially good when used with a good cradle cap cream.
Then there’s nail clipping. Besides driving your baby home from the hospital after birth, one of the scariest things you will do as a new parent is TRIM.YOUR.BABY’S.NAILS. One sudden move by either of you can spell disaster! Your baby will cry – but baby’s tears will be a sprinkle compared to the downpour coming from your eyes.
The best way to prevent this is to use a nail clipper specifically designed to make nail clipping a fun habit not a traumatic experience. The Rhoost Nail Clipper features a wide base and squishy silicone thumb grip so no more slips when trimming your baby’s nails, even in the bath!
Rhoost Grooming Kit, $23.99, individual items also sold separately.