7 Must have Items for new parents
This post goes out to all the new parents out there and if you think back, you’ll remember that in an earlier post I made the statement to “get to reading, now”. Yeah well, when I was busy reading and educating myself I missed a few things. I was so overwhelmed. Thinking about what to expect while we were expecting that I didn’t have time to think about all the little things that would come up along the way.
Now, what I’ve done is put them all in a list for you that includes some of the products that got us through those early stages. These products helped us through night feeds, clean-up, and bottle prep as well as helped us find some balance while giving us time back during the chaos that is parenting babies. I’ve done this to make things easier and save you lots of tears, beating your head against the wall and thinking to yourself, “whose idea was this anyway?”
Here are 7 things my wife and I couldn’t do without as new parents. I’ll add that this is not a sponsored post. All the opinions and memories associated with these things are very real and based on our personal experiences as new parents. I just want to share some of the knowledge and give some advice to new parents out there. In the immortal words of Derek Zoolander “without much more further ado” I bring to you my list of 7 things we couldn’t do without as new parents.
One thing you cannot afford is for the internet to go down or to have Netflix start buffering right in the middle of one of Captain Ray Holt’s hilarious one liners.
1. HoMedics Sound Spa (White noise machine)
If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times so it should go without saying that babies feel most comfortable with what they know. During the birthing process, they are removed from the only comfort they have ever known. The feeling of being in the womb. The warmth they are constantly surrounded by and most importantly, the sound. What a fetus hears in the womb can easily be recognized as white or pink noise. If you’ve never heard it before, just think back to that static you hear when you turn your TV to channel 1. Yeah, that’s white noise. This noise is a source of comfort for them and is the reason why often “shooshing” a baby will calm them down. Pick yourself up a white noise machine.
We used a HoMedics Sound Spa. No, that’s a lie. For the first 5 months, we used an iPad running a noise maker app. Then we realized how stupid it was to use a $329 computer as a sound machine. You can use any white noise machine you want but we found this one worked well. So well, in fact, that we still use it 14 months later.
2. Baby Brezza Formula pro
This thing was seriously a life changer. LIFE CHANGER. One of my least favourite nighttime chores was getting all the bottles ready for the overnight feedings. At this point in the post whether we breastfed or not is irrelevant. All you need to know is that bottle prep, whether it breast milk or formula, is considered a form of torture in parts of the world. The washing and soaping, the drying, scooping out just enough powder. Filling to the line with water, shaking it like you’re Taylor Swift and then migrating them to the fridge only to warm them up a few short hours later gets old really fast.
We found out about the Baby Brezza (like Pizza but with a B-R) about 4 months in and it LITCHRELLY (parks and rec reference for all the super fans out there) changed our lives. Here’s how it works: stock the dry reservoir on top with your desired formula, tell the unit whether it’s dispensing Good Start or Similac formula (or whatever formula you choose), pick your desired amount (60 ml, 120 ml etc) and press start. The result is perfectly warmed water and formula mixed together in the mixing chamber and dispensed INTO YOUR BOTTLE. The correct amount of formula is ready for baby to consume. They call it the Keurig of baby formula. Suddenly I didn’t mind getting up 5-6 times a night because this little guy made the nighttime feeds just that much easier. (Hahahahaha! That last part was a joke).
3. 4moms Bounceroo/ MamaRoo
I’ll start out by saying that we didn’t get the MamaRoo until the boys were a bit bigger. By the time we got to it they had outgrown it. Not physically but like they were bored by it and it didn’t do the job. The way the Bounceroo works is you can strap them in and have the machine vibrate on either high or low and it will eventually lull the baby to sleep. We (I) took it a step further and would use my foot to rock it back and forth and get them to lala land just a little bit faster. After a while, my foot would start to hurt and my calf would cramp up from the rocking hence the reason why we picked up the MamaRoo.
The MamaRoo is the souped up Bounceroo and does all the bouncing, singing, vibrating and roller coaster like movements you can imagine. Their tagline is that “It moves like you do”. Like I said before though we got this one a little later and the boys had already gotten used to how intensely I would bounce the unit with my foot. The MamaRoo had met its match. If we did it all over again I would have picked up two MamaRoos or just put them on the baby registry and smiled as both my boys were rocked tenderly to sleep.
4. Ultra Fast Internet Connection
Though you’ll hear people say that you should sleep while your baby sleeps (I’ve even said that), sometimes you don’t want to sleep. You want to watch Netflix and catch up on your stories. For us, it was Brooklyn Nine-Nine and The Office. These two shows got us through many a sleepless nights, sleepless days and the “in betweens” when our little guys slept. One thing you cannot afford is for the internet to go down or to have Netflix start buffering right in the middle of one of Captain Ray Holt’s hilarious one-liners. If your house is larger and you experience dropouts or lag get a wifi range extender (Google it). You’ll be happy you did.
5. Munchkin Steam Guard Electric Sterilizer (Bottle Sterilizer)
If bottle feeding is a part of your regiment, then in the first few weeks of bottle feeding it is important to sterilize all bottles and parts including soothers to help fight off germs and bacteria. Before we were gifted this time saver we were boiling pots of water on the stove at 3:30 am so that we could boil and refill the used bottles for the next round of feedings. If you’ve ever boiled a pot of water you know just how long this can take. No fun especially when it’s cutting into your beauty sleep. Enter the Munchkin Steam Guard Electric Sterilizer (Bottle Sterilizer). These guys make all sorts of products but this was probably the most well-used tool we had in our arsenal in the beginning. The day we made the switch, things started to get a little more manageable.
There are two layers in which you can stack bottles, nipples, inserts and soothers. We used the Dr. Brown “Anti-Colic” bottles so we had a few extra parts to add in but it took all of these with ease. We were also able to fit all the breast pump parts in here as well. The great thing is this guy takes glass objects as well. The way it works is you pour a small amount of water (about 6 ml) into the bottom of the unit. Next, close the lid and press the button and in about 6 minutes all your bottle parts are sterilized and ready to go. You still have to wash the bottles before putting them in here, it’s not a dishwasher. Sorry, guys!
Do I need to say anymore? Moving on.
7. Munchkin Speed (Bottle Warmer)
If you ignore everything else on my list please just do yourself a favour and pick one of these up. The “Speed” is made by the same people that make the bottle sanitizer and like the name says the “Speed” will take minutes off of your nighttime feed routine. If you’re not yet a parent then sure, you’re reading this and you’re thinking, “take minutes…” that’s not so bad. Trust me and ask any other new parent, minutes can feel like an eternity when you have a screaming baby on your hands. Especially when you’re waiting for the water to slowly warm up with any other warmer.
Long story short, this guy does what it says it will. Similar to the sterilizer it only takes 4-6 ml of water in the bottom of the unit. After that, you press one button and within 30-60 seconds (depending on the quantity of milk or formula) your bottle is ready. What makes this better than boiling the bottle on the stove or using the microwave is that it not only works faster but it also preserves the necessary nutrients in the formula or milk (if you are pumping). It also gets the liquid to the perfect temperature for your baby to drink right away. No need to taste it or drip some on your skin. You can trust this one every time!
And there you have it! One thing I want to add is, don’t cheap out on this stuff. Yeah, you can spend 9.95 on another bottle warmer but at 2:38 am you’re going to wish you had listened to me as you’re waiting for the water to get warm. You’re going to get plenty of use out of all of these items so don’t be afraid to invest in your future. Besides, if the Good Lord blesses you with another child down the road you’ll be glad you coughed up the extra money for that MamaRoo 😉
If there is anything I missed please comment below! The more you know…
The Unfit Dad