Whether you have a child coming or have a shower to attend, here is a list of non-clothing/blanket items for baby (mostly from 0-9 months) that I love and recommend. Covering a spread of price options, here they are:
1) Mesh bag thingies (under $5): Ok, so I don’t know what they are actually called but they’re great. This item is fabulous for children who aren’t ready to chew and swallow without choking. The mesh bag lets out the flavour but without letting baby get pieces of food. Q is teething right now so I fill it with frozen peas and give it to her for instant relief. But you could also put in blueberries, apple, whatever can fit really.
2) Mommy clip (about $5): Very useful! It clips on the handle of the stroller and allows you to carry extra bags or keep your keys handy-whatever you need. I’ve also used it on the handle of a shopping cart to carry bags in and out.
4) Sophie Le Giraffe (around $20): Yes, everyone has one but my kids really did love her. It is great for chewing and holding. We actually just lost Sophie the 2nd. Sophie the 3rd will soon be joining our family.
5) Sleep sheep (seems to range from $30–60): I have the smaller size that attaches to a crib but there are bigger ones too. They play a variety of white noise options. Our favourite is the rain setting. We play it as they fall asleep to drown out other noises in our home.
6) Bottle steamer (seems to range from $30-75): You might think, oh just boil some water in a pot on the stove. However, add in fatigue and it is sooo much simpler (and safer in case you fall asleep) to pop the bottles in the steamer and it automatically turns off when done. I prefer the one that plugs in over the microwave option but perhaps that one is just as good…
7) Soft Blocks by Clementoni (possibly around $35 – 45): At first these are just chew toys but my 2 ½ year old still loves to build with them. He started building with them before he was a year (before he could build with the hard, big lego).
8) Mobile (huge range from about $30 upwards to $100 and I’m sure more): I wasn’t sure about mobiles at first and suspected they were more for show than use but I was wrong. When Q is having trouble falling asleep I put it on and it really does help.
9) Bumbo and tray (about $60 together): Q is now sitting up independently but before she could this was so useful. She would get frustrated lying down all the time and wanted to sit up. I would then put toys on the tray and she would be content long enough for me to shower, comb my hair, etc.
10) Ergo baby carrier ($125-ish): I love this carrier. The weight is carried around your hips which I find works well for my back. There is an insert for newborns but it can be used until they are much bigger. In fact, I use it in the piggy back setting and still carry C that way when needed.
11) Kitchen set ($150+, though we got ours for $60 off Craig’s list): Both C and Q love this. C makes us tea or coffee and Q just sucks the toys she can access. It has provided hours of entertainment.
12) Summer Video monitor (varies, but we are looking at hundreds): When I nannied there were only audio monitors – oh my gosh, I love the video monitors!! It is so much better. We watched C sleep for hours on it and it is reassuring to see what position they are in when they are small. Now that C is big, well, we still watch him sleep at times, but the video monitor helps us know if our little escape artist is still actually in his crib. This is a big ticket gift but could be a great work place/group gift:) I really do recommend the Summer brand over other video monitors. We started off with a different brand and the picture quality was horrible. Then when we had trouble with our monitor (2 years after we bought it), Summer totally stood behind their product and gave us a replacement monitor and camera without any hassle at all.
What were/are your top essentials for baby?