There are just some things a mama can't live without. If you have children, you know how much stuff you can accumulate. If you don't have children, you would not believe the amount of gear a baby needs. There are the essentials like diapers and wipes, bedding and clothes, toys and feeding supplies, etc, etc, etc. Then there are the things that us mama's just love and that make our lives a little more pleasant. As a young, first time mama, there is one essential tool that really gets me through the day. I did not fully appreciate the brilliance of baby carrying until Jamesie's Nana introduced me to the magic. I have since fallen in love with two baby carriers - each for different uses and stages of the babies life. When your little one wants nothing but to be held and cuddled - the wrap is where it's at.
My wrap by Solly Baby is my new favorite thing. I was girlishly excited when it arrived in the mail. I did not discover it until my babe was a little older, so while I really missed out on the newborn carry, I still get the full benefits of the classic carry. Its so easy to "wear" Jamesie while I am running around the house. It's nice for him, especially when he is sleepy and just wants to be cuddled, but it is even nicer for me! I haven't found a carrier that melts my heart quite as much as my Solly Baby.
The second carrier that has become a prized possession of mine is the Eurobaby 360. This is the mother of all strap on baby carriers. It's particularly wonderful when your baby is older and heavier. The part I enjoy the most is the back support and overall comfort of wearing it. The flexibility of positioning is what sets this carrier apart from others. I can keep Jamesie safe and contained when I want him to be, or he can be enjoying the view on my hip, or my back or in the front facing outwards. This is the best carrier for going places and for exploring.
Another business whose products have quickly became some of my favorites is Aden + Anais. Their swaddles are the best - they are cozy and soft, but still warm and breathable, and they are BIG (I don't know if this matters as much to other mothers, but I had a 9 pound baby so...). Another nice thing about these swaddles is that they can be used for other purposes - a nursing cover, a sun protector for the car seat, a clean space on the floor for your little one to wiggle around on, etc. More recently I have come to appreciate the soft muslin feel of the Aden + Anais bedding. They have really adorable crib sheets and blankets that your little one will adore (not to mention the "musy mate lovey" addiction).
Bath time is a special ritual, and one that I and Jamesie enjoy immensely. From the time he was a 2 week old newborn, he has always loved his bath. Although he was born a Leo, he is definitely a water baby. There are all sorts of baby bath tubs out there, so choosing a tub that I wanted was a little overwhelming. Part of me wishes I had tried a newborn sink insert tub like the Puj, but even as a newborn Jamesie just seemed too big for it. I eventually decided on the Primo EuroBath because of how long it can be used (0-24 months!). After having used the bathtub, I marveled at its great design for both baby and mother. The inner structure of the tub secures your baby, while still allowing him to kick around (which Jamesie does a lot of) and sit up when he is old enough. It is a big tub, which is not convenient for traveling, but it has been great for us in every other way so far.
There are so many children's books out there, but the ones that we have found most enjoyable at this point in Jamesie's life are Sandra Boynton's board books. Jamesie mostly enjoys them because he like to eat them, but they are really sweet and funny books for their rapidly developing little minds. My personal favorite of the moment is "But not the Hippopotamus." It makes me smile.
When days are hectic - which they so often are as a young mother - the things that make life a little easier, or just make us feel good, can sometimes be a saving grace. Every mother is different. Some things that don't work at all in my life, might be the one thing that another mother can not live without. It's about learning from each other as much as it's about finding what works for you. If any of you other mamas out there want to share your loves and stress relievers, I'd really enjoy hearing about them!
I was not compensated for this post in any way. All opinions are my own.