Before bringing a new baby home from the hospital, parents need a few basics. Unless they plan on co-sleeping, they need some kind of crib, bassinet, or cradle. They need a car seat and a stroller so that they can stay mobile even with a little person in tow. In addition to these basics, though, there are other infant accessories that could make life much easier. The right baby gear can give parents peace of mind, help fussy infants to sleep, and smooth the transition to life with a baby.
1. Nursing Pillow
Nursing Pillow Infants spend a lot of time eating, and it is important to be comfortable while feeding them. Whether planning to breast-feed or bottle-feed, an ergonomically designed pillow can help to maintain a good posture while feeding the baby. The pillow can be taken to the hospital and used right away. Boppy and My Brest Friend are two popular nursing pillow brands.
If the mother plans to breast-feed, she should get a breast pump to give her flexibility and peace of mind. Even if she plans to stay home and breast-feed exclusively, a pump can allow her to have a few hours to herself occasionally or go out on a date night. A working mother absolutely needs a pump. She should opt for an electric breast pump since she should use it several times a day. Someone who plans to pump only occasionally can buy a cheaper, mechanical breast pump.
3. Baby Carrier
Some babies love to be held all day long, and parents may not be able to get anything done around the house. In this case, a baby carrier can be a lifesaver. There are a variety of options on the market, from old-fashioned ring slings to ergonomically designed carriers like the BabyBjörn and the Ergo.
If the new parents have a large house, or are a very sound sleepers, a baby monitor may be helpful. The monitor can be set in the baby’s room during nap time, and the monitor can be carried around throughout the house. For a more high-tech version, video monitors are available. For those who have an older child, a video monitor allows for freedom to keep an eye on both children at once.
5. Swaddling blanket
After being in the womb, babies are used to close quarters, and having their movements restricted is comforting to them. Swaddling helps most infants to sleep more soundly. A good swaddling blanket needs to be fairly large; most of the flannel receiving blankets available at the stores are too small for this purpose. Parents should invest in a good swaddling blanket, such as one made by aden + anais. For those who can’t master the swaddling technique, the SwaddleMe and HALO SleepSack come with handy Velcro wings that keep the baby’s arms in place.
Most babies find movement very soothing, and a battery-powered baby swing may be the perfect solution when no one has a free set of hands to hold the baby. Many swings come with gentle music or attached toys to capture the baby’s interest. Popular swing brands include Fisher-Price and Graco.
Although babies may enjoy swinging on their own, they certainly prefer to be rocked in someone’s arms. Parents could walk the floor with their infant, of course, but for their own comfort, they should invest in a gliding rocking chair instead. A chair with padded arms is ideal, and getting a gliding footstool to go with it should be considered.