Charlie is 7 1/2 months old (how did that happen?), and I’ve been thinking about the items I’ve found invaluable since he was born. There are tons of great products that filled some need for a few weeks or months, but these have been the constants.
Note: I am not affiliated with any of these companies in any way because they are probably not impressed with the eight of you who read this blog. But I love you so much!
1. Angelcare Baby Monitor. My absolute Number One item. This purchase was recommended by BFF Ashleigh, whose daughter was born premature. The monitor not only lets you listen in on the nursery, it makes sure YOUR CHILD IS BREATHING.
This is the perfect item for an anxiety-riddled mother like me. In the middle of the night, I can look for the swinging pendulum on the handset and see that he’s OK. An alarm sounds if the sensor doesn’t feel movement for 20 seconds. Nothing will wake up you faster than this alarm (which goes off maybe once a month), and I find myself flying up the stairs and into his nursery when it does. Always, he has scooted into some corner of the crib and away from the sensor.
I recognize that nothing is fail-safe, but it keeps me from running into his nursery every five minutes, and I manage to sleep at night. A pricey purchase at $120, but so so so so worth it for someone neurotic like me.
2. Kiddopotamus. We still use this every night and for every nap. As a newborn, Charlie was just one of those babies that needed to feel bundled up in order to sleep (but oddly enough hated nursing. WHAT’S THAT ABOUT, CHARLIE?!).
Swaddling became part of his sleeping routine, and now it’s a subconscious signal that it’s bedtime. We no longer swaddle his arms, but we’re not ready to go cold turkey.
3. Exercise Ball. I couldn’t tell you when we got this ball, or what brand it is. All I can say is that it saved us. For the first few months, bouncing on the ball was the only way to get Charlie to sleep at night, and it always calmed him down during unexplained crying fits. He hated the swing, so this was our only option outside of driving him around the neighborhood.
We still use the ball on occasion when he’s having a rough time going down for that nap we know he desperately needs. And it makes a convenient chair to place next to the crib when we soothe him at night, or when friends come over and we need an extra chair in the living room.
Now, the ball is also a toy for Charlie. He likes to push it around the room, to smack it and listen to the sound. Sometimes we’ll do tummy time on it. That’s about the only time the ball actually sees exercise.
4. Pikkolo. For an inquisitive baby like Charlie, front-facing carriers are a must. I very much wanted to be a baby-wearing mom (I feel bad for babies who seemingly live in their strollers), and had all of these sweet daydreams of Charlie nestled up against me in a Moby Wrap. I quickly learned that if he’s awake, he must be able to look around. The pikkolo lets him do that and still allows me to cuddle with him.
Plus, it’s way more convenient than the Moby Wrap, which kept dragging on the ground and getting dirty when I tried to put it on. And I could never figure out how to get it on while holding Charlie.
We’ve carried him in the pikkolo for short neighborhood walks and for big Zoo days. Grandma B used it throughout the school day when Charlie first began her Montessori program at three months. It’s also magic for a quick run into the grocery store.
It’s pricey ($129), but worth it. I know our family will use it for a long time.