Ok, but back to the point of this post. I thought I'd share Felicity's must haves so far. All babies are different, of course, but these are items we can't live without!
Feed Baby app
This app has saved my sanity. If you're exclusively nursing, it might not help much. But as someone who has mostly bottlefed, and with an underweight infant, it has helped me keep up with her intake. I can also put in there when she nurses, which side, and how long so I've been able to track her progress as far as that goes. There's also tracking for poop, pee, and naps, none of which I use, but I'm sure some people love. I mainly love keeping up with feedings. When we were waking her to feed her, I never could remember when we last fed her (it's such a blur!) so this not only tells you but you can set it to have an alarm go off when it's time to feed again. My favorite part is that I can put in pumps (also with an alarm to remind me) and how much I get, so I always know each day how much milk she gets from me vs donor milk. I like it so much that I upgraded from the free version to the paid one, and I'm a cheapskate ;).
White Noise app
I swore my kid wouldn't use a paci. She's currently an addict. I swore our living room wouldn't be overtaken by baby stuff. It's a baby jungle in here. I swore we wouldn't make her high maintenance by having a sound machine. Enter this app. Basically, don't say ANYthing about what you will or won't do before your baby is here, because your baby will laugh in your face! I still haven't broken down and bought a sound machine, but why spend money when this free app exists? Felicity is a champ at going to sleep at night. We read her a story, say a prayer, swaddle her, and lay her down with her paci. We might have to replace her paci up to 3 times for her and she goes to sleep. But we've noticed that if we use white noise, she passes out almost instantly. And if she's having a rare fussy night, this does the trick then, too. I've just started using it during the day for naps, and it seems to help her nap longer. It's got a ton of options for sounds, but I love 'doppler' and 'car ride' the most. I just turn the app on and set the phone face down a few feet from her. The only downside is you can't use your phone for anything else because it will turn the app off. But it's a small price to pay to get her to sleep in 5 minutes or less! Then the phone is all mine again. I love the app for traveling because there's nothing to pack!
When Felicity was a newborn, we swaddled her in Aden and Anais blankets. I love those for other things, but not for swaddling because our kid has super human arm and leg strength. She would break through them almost instantly and then have blanket surrounding her head death trap style. Plus it was a decent amount of work to actually get her swaddled. So we quit swaddling her for about a month. Then I found 2 halo swaddles I'd gotten for about $5 each at consignment shops and decided to try them. Well, not coincendentally, that's when she started just going to sleep on her own when we would lay her down awake and began sleeping 5+ hours in a row. So now we swaddle nightly. She grew out of the newborn size and I couldn't find a used size small (these things are pricey new!). I panicked until a friend let us borrow hers, so now I'm on the search for medium for when she outgrows this. I <3 the halo swaddle! Its super strong velcro means she very rarely breaks out of it, and it's hip friendly because it doesn't restrict the lower body. She struggles for about 2 minutes when we first put her in, but then sleeps almost the entire night (wakes up once, maybe twice to be fed) so I think she likes it. Before, she'd flail and wake herself up a LOT. I bring her into bed with me between 5 and 6am and I unswaddle her at that point since it's not safe to swaddle and bedshare.
Edit: Well, our Halo days are over before I can even get this posted! The next size up Halo swaddle (which she is in the pound rage for) keeps riding up to her face. I woke up the other day and it was actually up to her forehead. I panicked, of course, and decided no more halo right then and there. So now she's in a Summer Infant Swaddle Me (kiddopotomus or something like that?) which has way less material. I didn't think the velcro would hold since it's little squares instead of the huge Halo strips, but she hasn't broken out of it yet. I'm also investigating the Woombie. So basically, figure out what works for your baby and make sure you check on them when trying out a new swaddle!
There are soooooo many cute sleepers out there, but future-me will resist any that snap rather than zip. The snaps take forever, are hard with a wiggly baby, and really suck in the middle of the night! Zippers are so quick and easy. I think I went sleeper crazy in general, so I might just use the zipper ones with the next baby! (I know some people swear by the elastic bottomed nighties, and we do use them, but they generally end up around Felicity's waist half the time so I actually prefer the zippies if it's the least bit chilly.) Now we use our snap sleepers during the day and zippies at night.
I didn't buy a swing when I was pregnant because they have bouncy chairs, swings, rock n plays.... I just couldn't see myself with all these baby items not knowing what Felicity would like. I heard the best things about the rock n play so I got that and figured I could buy anything else at the giant consignment sale that was happening 2 weeks after she was born. After about 2 nights of rocking Felicity in our arms in a swinging motion, we knew we needed a swing. We picked up one of those super fancy nature's touch cradle swings for $25 (a few years old, but who cares!) and we have used it DAILY since then. The rock n play basically hasn't been touched since she was just a few weeks old. So every baby is definitely different on this one, but she loooooves her swing! She's just gotten to the point where she wants to swing from front to back instead of left to right, and the cradle swing has us covered!
I was silly and bought a ton of baby carriers while I was pregnant. I say silly because, even though they are nice to have and I got them for good prices, I probably should have waited until I could try stuff on with an actual baby! Anyway, the ring sling is hands down my favorite day to day carrier at this point. I could use it from the very beginning and, once I learned and had some practice, it's pretty easy to get on and off, and her in and out of. I also like that it smushes up for portability, and having my hands to do things is so nice! I've put her in it to go for walks, run errands, go to church, and even so I can make lunch when she's not wanting to be put down. I have a mei tai and ergo I'm dying to get her in, but she loves the ring sling and so do I, so it's my go to for the time being.
Felicity getting hugs from her bff, Liam