Nipple Ball

Becoming a parent for the first time, we are inundated with a list of must haves from friends, family and even the media. I wanted to compile a list of things that were life savers for our family with both of our children. These items may or may not be the same hot items you would list as your favorite Mommy picks, but they sure are mine! I’d love to get feedback from other Moms on their fav’s. Please leave a comment and share your favorite baby essentials!

1. A Nursing Pillow. Most women I know that chose to breast-feed their child found this to be so much easier on their back. A good firm nursing pillow allows you to feed your child by bringing him/her close to your body, easily. When you add up the endless hours you devote to this portion of childcare, you’ll be glad to have a couple of these in the house. One on each floor is ideal.

2. A Bouncy Chair. Perfect for those times when you have to pop into the kitchen or bathroom for a couple minutes and need somewhere portable to just “put” baby. Also a great way to settle a fussy little one! Ours has a vibrate function which seems to lull babies to sleep in minutes.

3. A Baby Swing. I found this to be more useful with our son than with our daughter, but none-the-less a must-have item. Liam would sleep in the swing when nothing else worked. In the early days of exhaustion (um, my second child is five months old now, and I am *still* exhausted, but anyhow…) there were times this was a lifesaver.

4. Exersaucer. These great little devices once again allow baby to be independent and upright, but have nifty little toys built right into the tray! A great place for baby to play when they are starting to outgrow the bouncy chair, but not yet able to sit unassisted. We use ours a lot with our daughter, mainly because laying her on the floor when our toddler is running around would surely spell disaster. This way, she can interact with him from a safer place!

5. A “Nipple Ball” (pictured above) We don’t know what this thing is really called, but that is what we call it in our house. It is a little yellow ball that I picked up from our local baby store for about 6 bucks, that is covered in “nipples.” No matter which way a teething baby with limited hand control turns it, they can still get one of the “nipples” into their mouth. I could kiss whoever designed this thing!

6. A Snuggly. We bought the “Baby Bjorn” variety and is it ever great! Stuart is the designated”baby-wearer”over here. I figure that I had to carry our children for 9 months each, so the snuggly is his opportunity to do his share of the carrying! We also bought a back pack for walks, hikes, trips to the Farmer’s Market…etc. and again, it is a simply wonderful invention. I think kids like to be up high so that they can see everything that is going on in their world 🙂

7. Rangehood Fan. Yes folks, you are reading this right. For some reason, the white noise produced by the range hood fan in our kitchen settles fussy babies. Liam had a few months of painful gassy tummy, and the fan worked when nothing else would! The best part is, you already have this in your house! I thought perhaps that I just had weird kids, but we tried this theory out on other people’s children, and the fan always has the same calming affect!

There is nothing *easy* about becoming a parent. The sleep deprivation, lack of spare time, constant feedings, bum changes, crying…the list goes on and on. However, rest assured, these moments will pass so quickly, and you will one day long for this precious time once more.

Here’s hoping that some of the suggestions here help you to transition into the world of parenthood as smoothly as possible!