Admittedly, I have never been the type to fill my home with every possible thing a baby could need/want. When it comes to the stuff of babies, I consider myself a minimalist. Which is why I didn't have any of these 3 products with my first two babies. The 3rd time around, I looked beyond the basics and I'm glad I did because I have discovered some super useful, lesser known products. (Disclaimer: There are all honest reviews that are in no way sponsored.)
1. Love to Swaddle by Love to Dream
All 3 of my babies have loved being swaddled for at least 6 months. With my first two, I used the big muslin swaddles and the velcro ones. I found that the big muslin ones would bunch up around their neck which worried me and that they could wiggle their little hands out of the velcro ones thus defeating the purpose of a swaddle. I had heard about sleep sacks but had ever tried one so I went in search of one skeptical that they would be any more effective. What I found was even better. It was the Love to Swaddle, a genius version of a sleep sack that uses a zipper instead of velcro to keep it closed. Instead of keeping the baby's hands down by their sides-something I always thought rather unnatural- they design of this sleep sack allows their hands to come up and be by their head in the wing position newborns prefer. With their hands by their sides but still tight against them, they can suck on their hands to self-sooth without startling awake. My favorite part about this version of a swaddle, aside from how simple it is to use, is the fact that the zipper is double sided so you can zip from the top down or from the bottom up making night time diaper changes super easy. AND, as if all these features weren't enough, these brilliant people decided to put a hole in the back of the swaddle so that you can zip from the bottom up and put a car seat buckle through the hole rather than having to wake your sleeping baby if you need to leave the house before nap time is over! Genius I tell you.
2. Wubbanub Soothie Pacifier
Before having my 3rd baby, I had seen other babies with these and always thought they were a little much. An animal connected to a pacifier? Can't we choose one or the other? Do they need to be connected to eachother? My first two babies were paci babies but I used your average Mam/Avent brands for them. With my 3rd, we were recommended the Wubbanub because we knew he would need surgery right after birth, and were told that these pacis stayed in better in a NICU situation. And they did, but more than that, they stay in better in EVERY situation! One of the most frustrating things about having a baby dependent on a pacifier is A. keeping it in their mouth when they are little and B. finding the blasted thing when you need it! Because the Wubbanub is so big, you never lose it! My son is 7 months old, and we have bought 1 nub and been given 2 and we still have all 3! I can't even count the number of smaller pacis I lost with my first 2 kids. Secondly, once I was able to see these things in action, I realized that, along with the animal being something your baby can snuggle when they're older, the extra weight keeps them in your baby's mouth without you constantly sticking it back in for them. All around win.
3. The First Year's Quick Serve Bottle Warmer
Because my son was in the NICU for the first 3 weeks, I had to pump and bottle feed him. After he was released, we were told that he may not be able to breastfeed because it took more effort than bottle feeding and to fortify bottles instead of putting him to breast. This meant pumping and freezing milk, and then going through the process of dethawing and warming the milk daily. With 2 other little ones, this was the last thing I had time for. I starting putting the milk I would need for the day in the fridge so at least it wasn't frozen when I needed it but was on the lookout for a bottle warmer that wouldn't take forever to warm a couple of ounces. I found that in the First Years Quick Serve Bottle Warmer. When they say quick, they mean it. It uses steam to warm the bottle and can get it to the perfect temperature in about 30 seconds. No waiting around with a screaming baby while your bottle warms painfully slow in a cup of hot water. It also comes with an attachment for sanitizing pacifiers and nipples which I have found to be super convenient. It is small, easy to use and at under $20 very reasonably priced.
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