Our little girl is over 8 months old! Already! Wow! She's now standing and trying to climb things. She's laughing, and baby-talking more every day.
I wanted to post a list of some things that we've found useful after having a baby - but weren't on the standard baby shopping checklists. We figured out these out from friends, family, and by ourselves along the way.
So here's 8 ideas after our 8 month old. Some of these things are useful to have before the mama goes into labour. Others might be specific to me as a breastfeeding mama, but probably useful to all mamas.
(1) Puppy pads - for disposable changing pads.
Yeah, we know this sounds odd. But extremely useful:
- During labour, to help prevent mess if your water breaks or if you are giving birth at home. Have 2 in the car or your purse just in case.
- A disposable changing pad for travel.
- A change table cover... until you figure out the timing of when your baby is going to pee, poop, or wiggle all over while you are changing a diaper.
We also tried one brand of disposable changing pads intended for babies, but they were far less absorbent, smaller, and more expensive. Something like $5+ for 5 instead of <$20 for 50. The only advantage is they were less likely to leave a slight damp spot underneath if you let them sit.
You can buy a large pack of puppy pads at CostCo, and you're set for a while. I would stay away from the type that has a scent-release to attract dogs, just in case, but otherwise they are the same as what hospitals use.
Once our daughter was past 4 months or so, we graduated to using a pair of waterproof & washable change pads. I put one under the other on the change table. If there's an accident, I can quickly clean up and have a new one ready.
(2) Coconut oil (or olive oil).
Actually this one might be on your list from your prenatal class or fav baby blog. I love that coconut oil is a multitasker! Can you tell I like multi-tasker items? Hurray!
- A baby skin moisturizer. I love that it's 1 ingredient.
- A gentle diaper cream that acts as a moisture barrier. (We used petroleum jelly for the early meconium poops, and have a zinc oxide cream if we think baby needs a thicker layer of defence.)
- A gentle, non-sticky nipple cream. I'm slightly allergic to lanolin, so lanolin-based nipple creams are NOT fun. A lactation consultant recommended it when I needed a softening nipple cream for a milk blister or bleb.
- A scalp moisturizer for minor cradle cap. Put it on for a while then gently massage it out in the bath. Both our midwife and doctor suggested it.
You'll probably find a lot more potential uses on baby blogs. Not to mention you can cook with it!
I found it handy to separate a large tub into a few smaller containers, so I could keep the "diaper cream" container separate from containers used for baby lotion or nipple cream.
(3) Microwavable hot pack, or electric heating pad.
This one was brought up in our prenatal class as a great way to relieve pain during pregnancy aches and labour.
You can also use it to prewarm the baby's crib, to avoid transferring her from your warm cuddly arms to a cold sheet. Or, to prewarm the car seat or stroller. CAUTION: Just note the hot pack should be removed before you put the baby in, as it's a suffocation risk (heavy bag) and strangulation risk (the cord).
We have both. Pros for electric heating pad: they stay warm longer, cover a larger area, and you can control the temperature a bit easier. Usually they're washable and they aren't as heavy as a heat pack. Cons: they aren't portable, and the cord is an extra baby strangulation risk.
(4) TV tray(s) &
(5) Large water bottle(s) that you can open with one hand
Our little girl was hungry often. If you have a hungry and unhappy little lady or gent, it's nice to have a little table already set up nearby with everything you might need while nursing or feeding a young baby.
We picked up a pair of TV trays, one each for upstairs & downstairs. I'd have a big bottle of water, my laptop or maybe a book, a snack like a nuts or granola bar, maybe some lip balm or moisturizer, and a receiving blanket on each, ready to go.
Water is very important for keeping up your milk supply while breastfeeding. And wow I am still constantly thirsty!
(6) Emery board (foam or cardboard nail file)
Unless you don't mind attempting it while baby is sleeping, there just doesn't seem to be a way to have our baby sit still for a safe nail trimming. Baby fingers are so small, part of their skin fits through the little nail trimmer gap, so it's easy to trim their fingers too. I found that using a foam emery board was a fast & safe way to file baby nails (which quickly grow into razor claws).
(7) Comfy cardigans, long sleeve or short sleeve
- Slipping over a hospital gown for extra warmth and, if it's long enough, to prevent your backside from being exposed.
- Wearing over a tanktop or nursing bra for easy breastfeeding.
- Wearing as a PJ top to allow for easy breastfeeding and extra warmth.
(8) Slow cooker
After we ate through our stockpiled food, the slow cooker became our most frequently used kitchen appliance - because you can prep your meal at any time of the day, and make a large amount.
Especially when our little girl has a clingy phase where she wants to be always near me, it's difficult to make anything on the stove or in the oven. Typically what I'll do is unthaw any meat during the day (and maybe chop some vegetables with baby in the carrier) and we'll finish assembling the ingredients when she's in bed for the night. Then just refridgerate the pot overnight and turn it on in the morning.
Well there's my list. I hope it was helpful. Any other suggestions for atypical baby items?