1. A good breast pump. I could do another page on why I (sadly) decided to start pumping solely rather than breastfeeding, but this page is not the place. A good pump is necessary, though, if you want to feed your baby expressed breastmilk. Only a baby can get all the milk out, so a pump has to work really well to do a good job and make your body think it’s a baby latched on and not a cold plastic breast shield!
2. Baby-wearing contraption. They’re all confusing at first, but the baby-wearing things are great. Your baby feels close to you, will probably fall asleep, and you can get housework done. When she was super tiny, Lucy preferred to be in the Mei Tei Freehand carrier over her stroller any day. When she turned around 4 months, we started using an Ergo Sport, and we have been rocking that ever since. It is pricey, but so worth it. She rides facing me and straddling my torso (hips are splayed out, a healthy pose for development, apparently). It is definitely her favorite carrier so far. When she gets a little older, she can ride in it on my back. They also make an Ergo infant insert so folks can use this from newborn on. Seriously, it’s a game-changer. I can take an hour walk or more with her and she’s happy as a lark in there! Not to mention the convenience of a carrier. Who wants to lug a big stroller around?
3. Summer Swaddle Me Swaddle wraps. These things look like a baby straight jacket, but they do the job! Lucy is a strong little girl and can work out of a typical swaddle with Houdini-like moves! The Summer is the only one that can keep those arms contained, and prevent her from waking up when they go flailing in her sleep.
4. Wubbanub pacifiers. These paci’s work hard to stay in baby’s mouth. You use the little stuffed animal’s legs to prop up the paci, keeping it more secure and less likely to fall to the floor.
5. A space heater. We are no longer using ours (tear! Lucy’s growing up!) but since I have so many mom-to-be friends right now, I thought I’d add this. Crank up that guy in the bathroom during bath time for a much more pleasant experience when it’s time for sweet baby to get out of the warm tub.
6. A video monitor. I know, I know. They’re expensive! But in our opinion, they are worth every penny. Imagine…it’s 4 AM. Lucy is yelling for me (this just happened last night…and she has taken to yelling rather than crying at times…it actually sounds like “Mo-ommmmm!”). I can check the monitor and see that she is SO close to going back to sleep. If I go in there, Lucy knows where her bread is buttered (and where the milk is). At this point in her 6-month-old life, I typically end up disturbing her more by going in to intervene. This way, I can check to be sure she is safe from the comfort of my bed and my pillow!