Photo provided by Happiest Baby.
Babies require a lot of stuff. There will be many purchases, adding to your household and space, some necessary and some not, to accommodate these darling new additions. With my first baby, I was thrilled to utilize the many generous items gifted to me at baby showers but quickly learned what I liked and what was actually getting utilized. As someone who both over-plans for everything and gets anxious in cluttered spaces, choosing quality goods is important to me. When I found out I was having a second child, there were a few items I knew I wanted to invest in, wished I would have had to begin with and now absolutely can’t live without.
1 – Happiest Baby SNOO Smart Sleeper
A baby bassinet to automatically soothe your baby to sleep.
The joy and elation that comes from having a new baby often times gets muddled with the extreme sleep deprivation associated with caring for a newborn. I cannot give enough praise to the SNOO Smart Sleeper for saving my sleep. SNOO is an entirely new class of infant bassinets because it’s responsive to the needs of the baby. Imitating the calming and familiar sensations of the womb, gentle rocking, soothing and while noise combine with snug swaddling for restful sleep for all. Providing all the benefits of the swaddle, a sleep sack is fastened atop the bassinet for optimum comfort and safety. Several leading tech companies actually offer the SNOO to employees as a maternity/paternity benefit and I could not applaud them more.
In 2016, Dr. Harvey Karp debuted, SNOO Smart Sleeper, which has since won numerous awards and accolades. As a fan of Dr. Harvey Karp, the world-renown pediatrician and children development author of the Happiest Baby/Happiest Toddler books, I knew this was something I wanted on my radar but was hesitate due to the high price tag. After watching the success of Harp’s soothing 5 S’s techniques on my first child and hearing glowing reviews from fellow parent’s who owned SNOO’s I vowed I would make the leap when/if there was a second baby. I was thrilled to take advantage of Happiest Baby’s SNOO rental program for six glorious months for $129 a month. The process was easy and straight forward with great consumer support.
The design of SNOO is beautiful, sleek and aesthetically pleasing. Part of the appeal of the SNOO is the mobile app which allows easy syncing to the bassinet. The app provides all sorts of helpful sleep data from your baby as well as the ability to manually adjust settings. I rarely needed to tinker with settings though since best white noise and rocking automatically begin, based on the baby’s cry.
For me, my SNOO experience could not have been better. Full disclosure, my son is chunky, happy and has an easy temperament. Compared to my daughter (who is also happy and easy tempered,) the sleep situation was night and day with SNOO. My son slept through the night in the SNOO from two weeks on, often for 10-14 hour stretches. In addition to nighttime sleep, we used it for naps and felt peace of mind our little one way on his back, safe and sound. He’s since transitioned out of the SNOO without any trouble, making the entire process a breeze. SNOO is heaven-sent and my number-one recommendation for new parents!
Price: $1495 to purchase or $129 monthly rental
2 –Willow Wearable Breast Pump
Smart breast pump technology is convenient and cordless.
I ordered the Willow Wearable Breast Pump Generation 3 last summer ahead of giving birth and boy, and its been a game-changer. As a nursing mom, a breast pump is something I use daily, for months on end. With my first, I used a pump that required me to be connected to the wall, while holding onto the device with both hands. This gets tricky fast, especially when you’ve got a wiggly baby to care for too. Add a rambunctious toddler to the mix, I knew I needed an update with my second child.
Wearable, cordless, spill-proof and technologically sound, Willow has a lot to offer. For starters its the only wearable pump offering the option to pump directly into milk bags or a reusable container. I loved having the option and found pumping directly into milk bags was quick, with less clean up required but appreciated the reusable containers as well. The Willow syncs to an app which tracks time pumping, amount of milk obtained on each side, pumping history and a lot more. Seven levels of suction offer comfort and control while remaining quiet and discreet. The power is long-lasting, requiring a recharge every 5 pump sessions or so.
There was a learning curve for me at first, though the brand’s instructional videos were extremely helpful. With anything new, it took a couple of weeks to find a grove with the pump, the fit and usage before I was completely comfortable. I loved the ease of pumping while driving, doing dishes or getting ready for the day. I had an oversupply of milk with this hungry baby so pumping was necessary to prevent clogs while I built up a supply of frozen milk to use later. The ability to be able to nurse on one side, while pumping on the other during morning feeds was crucial for my milk making stash.
The price is high starting at $499, though there are options as some insurance companies will cover the cost. It’s worth thinking ahead and planning since HSA and FSA funds can also be used toward this pump purchase.
3 – Best Chairs Custom Bilana Swivel Glider Recliner
Bilana Swivel Glider Recliner, a nursery staple worth the investment.
Like your bed, a nursery chair is a piece of furniture you will spend a lot of time in. Invest accordingly. With my first baby I ordered a glider that did the job and worked alright. It wasn’t until I sat in a friend’s Bilana chair, I realized a recliner could be that good. It was in that moment I knew if/when baby #2 came I would get myself one of these ‘Cadillac of chairs’.Available in a manual and power option, I opted for the later and the ease of the push-button comfort. Reclining my legs after a long day is such a treat, usually resulting in a nap for both me and baby. With total support for caregiver’s head, neck and arms, feeding or rocking your little one can be done in total comfort.
When I purchased my Bilana Recliner, I was able to customize both the fabric and color from hundreds of options to fit my home and lifestyle perfectly. Like the power upgrade, some design choices may cost more. Made in the USA, this chair has a traditional design that would look great in the home for years to come. Built with a wide track arm, there is plenty of room for mobile devices and/or a toddler to join you on the recliner. Lumber support, a deep recline plus both swivel and rock capabilities (power option)make this hot seat a winner!
4 – DockATot Delux+
DockATot Delux + in pristine white.
New babies are used to being snug after nine months contorted in mom’s stomach. DockATot Delux + provides them just the place, a comfortable docking station made from high-quality materials with European flair. Lightweight and portable, DockATot is worth the high price tag and got used every single day. 100% cotton fabrics create an idea micro-climate for your little one, an environment that does not harbor heat and has steady air flow. Hand cut, hand stitched and hand sewed, the craftsmanship taken on this product elevates it to a new level.
Because kids need constant supervision, DockATot is an easy place to keep them by your side wherever you may be. Lounging, playing, cuddling, diaper changes or tummy tine is made easy with this travel-friendly u-shaped lounger.
Available in two sizes, the Delux+ designed for 0-8 months and The Grand for 9-36+ months, DockATot grows with your child, giving them safety and security during each milestone. With stylish covers to choose from, having at least two is highly recommended, since every kind of spill can and will occur.