Our oldest “baby” is now 10. Ten. I don’t know how this happened but it did and I am in complete denial. If there’s one thing I remember about the early days, the sleep deprived baby years, is that when you’re a new parent, the amount of products out there for your baby can be really overwhelming.
So when Best Buy asked me to share what got me through those years, particularly the first year, I instantly thought of several products that were my must have items. But I also started to go over family photos and in those photos, it became really obvious to me what saved my sanity that I probably took for granted at the time.
In order to help you with your shopping needs in honour of Best Buy’s Baby Sale event (which is on right now!), here are my baby products that I couldn’t live without, that got me through the first year with both of my babies.
1) The Fisher Price Jumperoo.
Yes it’s big. Yes it’s bright. It will be one of your favourite items in your home because your child will think it is one of the greatest toys on the planet. Which will allow you to take videos that go viral when your little one is jumping up and down in it like they’re training for the Olympics. They’ve changed the style since we owned ours but this lasted us through 2 babies. It’s one of the best investments for little ones.
Our oldest daughter in the Jumperoo.
And our younger daughter in the same one.
2) A baby monitor. Such this one from Levana.
We weren’t lucky enough to have a video monitor at the time but had we had the chance at having this, we would have gotten it. There is no greater peace of mind than being able to listen in and see your baby when you’re doing laundry, cleaning or just waking up in the middle of the night to check on them. That is, before they wake you up crying.
3) A baby bathtub.
There are a lot of baby bathtubs out there. Some with fancy holders and extra gadgets. But the one we loved the best was a simple one like this one from Boon. The colour of the mat changes colour to ensure your water isn’t too hot. It lasts you through the different stages your baby will go through from laying down as a newborn to sitting up. Bathing a newborn can be daunting for parents and that last thing you need is to worry about is them falling or slipping. This is peace of mind during bath time.
4) A touch thermometer.
This is one of those items that you don’t think about until your baby catches their first cold and you’re standing there going “How can I take their temperature with an adult thermometer?” and then you start to panic. Our girls are 10 and almost 7 and we still use this to this day. You press it on their forehead and it gives you an accurate reading in seconds. No under the tongue, no squirming and holding your fussy baby. Just touch and go.
5) A bouncer chair.
If there is one product I have envy over for today’s parents of new babies, is that your selection of bouncers is so much nicer than ours was. Back then, only the super expensive bouncers fit in with your surroundings and decor. Now? Now you get modern colours and prints and they’re so much more affordable.
When you have an item that will pretty much live in your living room next to the Jumperoo, you kind of want it to look, well, nice-er. Easily the best baby/give Mom and Dad a break invention of the modern parenting years. Think of it as a portable Jumperoo. Our little ones loved ours!
6) A sleep sack like this one from Juddlies Cottage Collection.
There will come a point where your little one will master the ninja kick and free themselves from their infant swaddle blanket. What does this mean? It means your baby will wake you up screaming because they’re cold in the middle of the night. Or their nap. And if you live in Canada, winter alone will have you running to the store to buy a sleep sack. It keeps them cozy, warm and most importantly, safe. There won’t be a blanket for you to worry about and they (and you) will get a better nights sleep.
They come in a variety of sizes and colours and even temperature ratings for different seasons.
7) A travel lightweight stroller.
This is the Summer Infant 3D Lightweight stroller which gets excellent reviews on Best Buy.
One of my biggest regret purchases was buying a travel stroller system (aka car seat + stroller all in one). I never used the big stroller. This was due in part to us living in the city at the time and I walked everywhere using a baby carrier (a point I will get to in #10 of this list) and it was huge and bulky and we had a small compact car. By the time we moved to the suburbs, we donated it. What I would have done instead, is purchased a lightweight travel stroller that reclines back so your baby can nap, that is portable, easy to close and not the size of a Moose.
I then would have invested good money into a long term infant to little kid convertible car seat. I won’t get into car seats on here because car seats on their own could require a power point presentation. I used my lightweight stroller way more than the big one. Lesson learned. PS – if you have twins, obviously you know this does not apply to you. You are my unsung parenting heroes.
8) The famous Bumbo.
When your bouncer chair starts to be “not enough” and yet your little one still needs help sitting, if there was one item that repeatedly showed up in our family photos, it was this. It comes in different colours. It’s great when you want to read with them, let them play with their toys or even have a snack . There’s a version that comes with a tray that you can attach to your kitchen table chairs vs having a separate high chair. Which is great for small space living.
9) The Munchkin Snack Catcher
Parents of the world, rejoice. There will no longer be you walking around vacuumi…wait, no I can’t lie. You will still be vacuuming and cleaning up spills and messes. But these little gems, will decrease the quantity that you’re cleaning up. Snack goes out when little fingers reach in and snack stays in when cup is turned upside down. I had one in every colour. When they started on solids, these were game changing.
10) A Baby Carrier
If there is one item to this day that I emphatically state as my absolute baby must have item, it was my Boba baby carrier. I used it every single day for a year and a half and then some. It was to me easily the best baby product I purchased, hands down. Literally because you’re hands free, which is liberating. Best Buy has a lot of different baby carriers available and while the Boba was best for me for a variety of reasons (including my height and my babies heights), buying a carrier is a very personal decision and it should be made to fit your body. Some women like slings. Others prefer wraps. Find one that works for your needs.
And why was this my favourite baby item? Because I can still remember this day from the photo of us in the pumpkin patch years ago.
We walked everywhere that day. The animal feeding area. The pumpkin patches. The playgrounds. And so many parents were walking around struggling with their giant strollers, getting stuck everywhere and I heard countless parents say “We need one of those,” or “We should have brought the carrier.” At school pick for our older daughter, I didn’t have to lug out the car seat and stroller. Walking through a mall. Walking anywhere. No more waiting for elevators with your stroller. It got to a point where Mom’s would start asking me about it while they were there with their strollers, looking immensely frustrated. I could go on.
It’s one of the reasons I personally loved this combo and the light weight stroller versus the bigger one. It gave me a freedom that I really took for granted. Plus, baby wearing = love and cuddles!
In honour of Best Buy’s Baby Event sale, they want to give one lucky reader a chance to Win a $200 Gift Card to spend at Best Buy! Maybe you’re expecting or know someone who is and you can give them a head start a product that will make their lives easier.
Enter in the Rafflecopter below and Good Luck!
Contest open to Canadian Residents over the age of 18 only. Contest closes midnight EST Friday Sept 15th, 2017.
Disclosure: This post was brought to you in collaboration with Best Buy as I am a part of the Best Buy Brand Ambassador team. Opinions as always are my own.