Wipe warmers, snot suckers, and baby beds, oh my! We’ve all read the lists of must-haves for new moms, the Amazon reviews, social media posts from fellow moms, all of which tell us either what we have to have for survival or don’t need at all. Well, here’s one more list, and it contains my personal opinions on some of the top items you see listed on all the baby sites.
Baby number one was born four years ago, and now baby number two is on the way. It’s really amazing how things can change even in that short amount of time — and some things stay the same! Often, baby recommendations can change based on safety recalls or new medical data. For evidence of this, just ask your mom or grandmother what the important things were when they had kids, just one or two generations ago! And while you’re at it, ask them for their best advice, even though several things have changed, they usually have some useful guidance that will save us a lot of time and trouble.
Here are the top things I felt were useful based on my own experiences:
This is probably the top item I see controversy over when I read through discussions on my pregnancy app or social media: THE WIPE WARMER. And it’s pretty funny that people are so opinionated, because they’re only $20 or $30 on Amazon. Like, who cares that much? But I will say that as a first-time expecting mom, I had one opinion on them, and shortly after the baby came, I did a complete 180 and changed my mind. At the time, our house was pretty limited on storage space, so I tried to keep our baby items to essentials. I’m also pretty practical by nature, and usually the lists say a wipe warmer is not necessary, so I didn’t register for one. Well, let me tell you: within a week or two of nighttime diaper changes, I had ordered one! It may have also just been cooler in the house since we were entering the warmer months and had the air conditioning on, but those wipes were icy cold. I didn’t even like touching them! You’re trying to be so careful to disturb the baby as little as possible so they’ll go back to sleep, and the freezing wipe seemed like an easy one to fix.
The NoseFrida is another often discussed baby product, and it’s pretty popular! But I just couldn’t handle it. And guys, I love getting all the snot out of my baby’s nose just as much as the next mama (seriously though, why is it so satisfying?!), but I couldn’t handle the thought of my mouth being on the other end of that thing. I read every review and asked other moms, but just couldn’t bring myself to do it. We used the good old fashioned, free bulb syringes from the hospital the whole time.
Here’s another one that I think is pretty standard on the old registry: the Diaper Genie. This is one that seemed like overkill to me, with the specialty replacement bags, and it seemed like they were prone to getting smelly after a while. We ended up using a small step trash can with a lid and grocery bags fit in it perfectly. We had to change it every other day or so, so it didn’t have time to get stinky, and it wasn’t a prominent feature in the nursery that we couldn’t use after the baby was out of diapers. If there’s something I’m missing here about what makes the Diaper Genie magical, I would love to know!
I don’t know if this one is actually controversial with parents, but I think baby furniture makers want us to think it is. We didn’t find it necessary to use a separate piece of furniture for a changing table. Instead, we just set up the top of a low dresser as the changing station, and then packed all that stuff away when our diaper days were over. This may not work for everyone depending on what your furniture looks like, but it worked pretty well for us!
Ok moms, this one I actually need help with! For our first, we used the Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play sleeper for the first three months before he outgrew it and it was awesome. Then, a few months later, it was basically declared a death trap (see, I told you things can change quickly!) and I haven’t figured out what I’ll be using this time around. I would love some recommendations, and bonus points if it’s easy to move from downstairs to upstairs, or cheap enough that I can buy two.
You know what, I don’t think there is actually any controversy on this one. But if you are an expecting mom you need to know this: zip up sleepers are superior! Snaps are fine for daytime, but in the middle of the night when you can’t really see what you’re doing, and you’re running on two sketchy hours of sleep, that zipper makes all the difference. We actually weren’t prepared for just how many newborn size basic sleepers we would need — babies pee through them like it’s an Olympic sport in that first month. If my grandmother hadn’t gifted us some, we wouldn’t have had any and I’ll never forget my husband making that first WalMart run after we brought the baby home to buy several more zip up sleepers.