I can't believe it has already been one month of newborn snuggles and sleepless nights with baby Ford. It's funny how you end up blocking this time out in your mind. If we didn't there would be a world filled with 'only child' families. That being said I also blocked out what we actually used during that first month home after the first time around. I'm making sure to put it in writing this time. I'm only listing our most used products and products that make my life significantly easier. All products are linked at the end of the blog post.
The criteria they have to meet:
We use them everyday
I could not live without them
I would overpay significantly for this product if I needed to
1) Noisemaker: Noise makers are at the top of my list. We use them both during sleep time and during periods of fussiness. There are many times I just can not get our baby to settle down and the only thing that works is either white noise or the sound of a running shower. Always try and start with the volume low only raising it when you have to. White noise is a special type of sound signal which is used to mask background noises that can regularly wake up your baby. To get technical, Dr. Ralph Pascualy is the medical director of Northwest Hospital Sleep Center in Seattle. He explained that the brain naturally craves sensory input. That's why people in sensory depravation tanks hallucinate; robbed of any stimulus, the brain creates its own. During sleep in a quiet night, any random noise, whether a passing truck or a creaking floorboard, is likely to activate the restless brain, waking you up. He said, " white noise gives the brain a tonic signal that dampens its own internal systems."
The white noise sound can be very soothing especially in the "4th trimester" because these sounds can remind your baby of their time in the womb. Another thing to point out is when inside the womb all babies are exposed to the sound of whooshing through the arteries which is louder than a vacuum cleaner. When a baby cries, increase sound level for a few minutes to the level of a vacuum cleaner. And, for naps and all night sleeping keep the sound at about the level of a soft shower. You never want to increase the volume too loud, this will prevent any potential harmful damage to your baby's hearing.
Sound machine- We have a regular sound machine and a portable sound machine for on the go use. Both of our children sleep with white noise every night and I highly recommend starting during the first day home with your baby. Our 19 month old son is an excellent sleeper and goes down easily at 7p.m. every night and sleeps until 7 a.m. I doubt this would be possible without his sound machine.
FREE: Running the shower- Sometimes the sound machine is just not enough. During really tough times with a newborn I recommend running a cold shower and putting your baby in the rock n' play in the bathroom, NOT in the shower. NEVER leave your baby alone so bring in a computer and get comfortable as the sound of the running water soothes your baby. I always recommend a cold shower so the room does not get too hot.
FREE: iDream app- This app has saved us many times on the go. When our baby starts getting cranky in the car or out and about we use this free app. I would recommend putting your phone on airplane mode when using it. I just place the phone right in the stroller with our baby.
2) The Ollie Swaddle:
This is a tough one to plan ahead for. Babies have preferences, and those preferences include swaddles. At first it might seem like they hate them all, but after they get comfortable with them, the benefits are endless. This time around my top swaddle pick is the Ollie swaddle, it has been working wonders with our infant. He has been able to break out of every other swaddle. This swaddle has been the only one to keep him both comforted and secure without being able to break out of it.
DockATot® is a multi-functional lounging, playing, chilling, resting and snuggling dock you can take anywhere. If I had to pick ONE yes ONE must have baby item for the first 0-8 months, it would be the Dockatot. No question. At first glance, it’s just a docking station for your baby, it docks your tot. It’s so much more. Your baby has been living and growing in such a cozy tight space for the last 10 months, and they are thrust into our world, gravity and all. The 4th trimester can be tough on everyone, but the Dockatot makes this time period that much easier. The Dockatot creates a womb like space for your baby to lounge, sleep, get his/her diaper changed and even do tummy time! It’s one of the most versatile products on the market. We use it during the day for lounging and our infant sleeps in it every night.
4) Fisher-Price Deluxe Newborn Rock ‘n Play: The Rock 'n Play is tried and true and has been around forever because it does what it needs to do. It comforts your baby to give you time to get things done. The Rock 'n Play rocks back and forth and there is also an option to play soothing music. You can fold it up with a push of a button and it can easily fit in the car. If your baby has reflux this can be an especially useful product because it keeps your baby at the perfect angle to deal with reflux. I also love how it doesn’t scream "baby" with great color selections for the modern mom. I have the model below.
5) Halo Bassinest Swivel Sleeper: This makes middle of the night feedings much easier and I would imagine is especially important for women who are having C-sections. The Halo pulls up partially over your mattress and the side even drops down for easy baby lifting. This is as close to co-sleeping as you will get without actually co-sleeping. If you plan on following the American Academy of Pediatrics new sleep guidelines recommending that babies sleep in their parents’ rooms for at least six months but ideally…wait for it….a FULL year then, this would be a smart investment. Charlie slept in our room for six months. I really loved having him close for those early months, but if you are only planning on keeping your baby that close for the first few weeks, then this product is not for you. The Bassinest seems very large for such a small little person, so I would highly recommend an insert. We placed our Dockatot right into the Halo. It fit perfectly and did the trick. Using the Dockatot also made sleeping in other locations a breeze because our baby was already so familiar with the DockAtot. Halo came out with the Halo Bassinest Newborn insert after Charlie was born which is another good option, but only can be used until the baby is 15 pounds.
To see my full DockAtot review with photos, click HERE
To see my full registry guide for 0-3 months, click HERE
Baby products & Month one