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New Mom Must Haves, Have Maybes or Have Nots?

The Bump recently ran an article titled 11 New-Mom Must-Haves No One Tells You About.  Sure I’m no longer a “new mom” but I was curious as to what the article had to say.  I’d like to add my opinion as I think some were off base.

  1. Buy a specific teething toy called Sophie.
    Sophie Giraffe happens to cost $25.00 and while I can’t say anything bad about Sophie, I can tell you that my child’s teething preferences changed day to day and neither one of them loved just one teether.  This is expense and one you can probably cut back on.
  2. You need a car seat and stroller travel system.
    The recommendation here is the Britax B-Agile travel system at $340.  I’m not going to lie, I am a big fan of Britax and would happily spend top dollar on their car seats.  But the need to buy a travel system?  My suggestion – buy the best possible car seat and purchase the stroller that meets your needs.  Make sure works with the car seat you choose.  My Inglesina Zippy stroller worked with my Britax (plus it has the fantastic one-hand closing system).  Don’t believe you have to buy a specific stroller travel system, it’s just not true.
  3. You should have 2 strollers.
    Specifically they suggest a heavy stroller and a lightweight stroller.  I made it with just one stroller for my first (the Zippy mentioned earlier).  But and more importantly, I ended up back at the drawing board when my second came along.  I bought the Phil & Ted’s Dash, as I needed a double stroller.  The Zippy has been retired ever since.  In hindsight, I wish I saved myself a couple hundred dollars and bought the Phil & Ted’s with my first child.  If you plan to have more children, you may want to consider buying ahead of schedule and buy a stroller that can convert into a double stroller later.  Consider your double stroller carefully.  I went with the Tandem making it easier to navigate the sidewalk and throughout stores.  Up until recently my kids actually fought over the back seat.  Now my 5 ½ year old is a little too big for the back and no longer has a choice.
  4. You need a swing that is tricked out.
    The Bump recommends the 4Moms mamaRoo at the tune of $240.00.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for the swing but I know friends whose kids never liked the swing and for us, neither child made it longer than 3 months in the swing so I’m not sure it’s worth the hefty $240.00 price tag.
  5. Get a diaper bag that you don’t mind calling your purse
    Here they recommend the Skip Hop at $70.00.  I’ve never used the Skip Hop, but do agree that you want something a little stylish.  You’ll be carrying it around for at least 20+ months for each child so splurge a little on this and retire your purse for a bit.  I also used it as an opportunity to change my style a bit.  I went from my Coach bag to a fun and stylish Vineyard Vines tote in the barefoot print.
  6. Try on your baby carrier before you buy it.
    Sure, this makes sense, but you may also want to consider borrowing one instead.  Neither of my kids liked the baby carrier.  (I had the one The Bump recommended which is the Baby Bjorn).  I think I used it maybe 2 times during both their infancies.  Thank goodness I borrowed this to test it out first.
  7. You will need a travel boppy
    Really?  I survived a combined 27 months of nursing without a travel boppy.  When I went to others homes, I just used a pillow.  Buy a boppy that is comfortable for you.  Don’t worry about whether or not it “travels”.
  8. A top notch breast pump
    I absolutely support this, particularly if you are determined to breastfeed and definitely if you plan to return to work.  I own the Medela Pump In style that was suggested in the article and love it.  However, I used it over 1000 times between pumping for my 2 children.  If I were like some of my friends, who attempted to breastfed but never got the hang of it, it would have been a lot of money wasted.  My suggestion is to wait and buy the pump a few weeks post birth, since you likely won’t need it right away and you can spend some time mastering the skill of nursing.  If you decide you will stick with it, get the pump.  If not, you’ve lost nothing.
  9. Get a travel chair instead of a high chair
    They recommend the $80 Phil & Ted’s.  What they fail to mention is that it only fits on certain table tops.  I’m also not convinced I would be willing to put my 6 month old in this chair, but I’ve not seen it in person so I can’t really give an objective review.  What I can share is that I loved Fisher Price Healthy Care Deluxe Booster.  It wasn’t my primary high chair until my child started to transition to the main table, but it was great for traveling and even using at restaurants (yeah, I was that mom).
  10. Buy swaddling blankets that are easy to swaddle.
    The first blankets they recommend are $32.00 for 2.  Seriously?  My favorite swaddling blankets were the ones I received from the hospital for free!!  (They also gave the best hats!!) For something a little cuter, the Swaddle Me is all you need.  Just remember to fasten the Velcro during washes to increase their life.
  11. Get a safe car seat that hasn’t been recalled
    No one tells moms this because you shouldn’t have to but perhaps you do…

As for my must have…   The book Baby Bargains really did save us money and helped us make informed decisions.  Good luck finding your must haves and please share them here for other moms!

5 comments

  1. Profile photo of Kate

    Kate July 12, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    Everyone is different so I think this list totally depends on your lifestyle, budget, etc. The stroller travel system is absolutely not a necessity but I was lucky enough to be gifted a very nice one and have LOVED it. Also, I’m obsessed with Aden and Anais blankets. They are big, super soft, lightweight and wash well. We still use them all the time.

  2. ProgressiveMom July 12, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    The most recent parent webinar we just conducted might be helpful when trying to decide on breast pumps: http://www.brighthorizons.com/growing/parent-webinar/breastfeeding/.

    I guess the best advice I’d offer is just choose things you feel like you’ll need. So many people told me there were things I HAD to have when I was pregnant with my first and those things went to waste (I’m looking at you Bumbo seat). If you’re not sure, skip it at first, then borrow from a friend or check out consignment shops (not for teethers or carseats but items that are ok secondhand).

  3. lisa July 12, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    Yeah, some of those I don’t really agree with. I thought the boppy was the best invention ever (and I still use it 10+ months later) but I don’t think you need a travel one.
    The travel high chair has been really helpful if you don’t have a lot of space in your kitchen. I don’t see why you;d really need to take one with you in your car unless you tend to go to other people’s houses a lot.
    The fancy swing isn’t always a must. I have a lot of friends that loved theirs, but my son hardly used it at all. I’d suggest borrowing one at least to see if you like it before buying if possible.
    I agree with you on the swaddling. Why use blankets when you can use a Swaddle me or miracle blanket? Best things ever!

  4. Gabrielle September 29, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    I loved the swaddle blankets from that they gave my little guy at the Hospital for free. About a month later I bought him a Sleeping Baby swaddle blanket and he loved it! He was double swaddled for naps and nighttime sleep until he was six months old. Got the zipadeezip when we transitioned him from being swaddled in the rock n play to sleeping in his crib. It was a life saver! I thought this kid was going to be swaddled forever. I just stopped using it today and put him in a sleep sack with arms. I highly recommend it!

  5. JohnnyB November 13, 2014 at 8:49 pm

    Thanks for the recommendation on the Zippy! I saw them on Shark Tank a while ago and was fascinated about the great results in getting babies to sleep better. Sure enough, my son is sleeping an average of two more hours per night. My wife and I are super grateful for the Zipadee-Zip from Sleeping Baby.

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