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A Year in Review – The Must-Haves That Really Helped…

My daughter just turned 1 last month. It’s been quite busy. She’s walking and talking. There aren’t too many free moments with her now, but as I clean out her already full closet and the attic filled with contraptions she doesn’t use any more I feel quite nostalgic. It is with that nostalgia that I am creating a list for those parents about to embark on this fun journey of the first year:

FIRST THREE MONTHS – MUST HAVES:

– An infant swing  (that thing has to wind up, buckle them in and rock slowly. It’s a blessing at 4 a.m. agitations, but get one handed down or in a consignment store as it’s about $100 for a 3 month use cycle. Not worth it).

– A play mat with fun toys attached for texture and pulling. (Again, good gift or consignment store purchase as it is a 3 to 6 month purchase. Once they crawl, it is of no use).

– Taggies – blankets, toys, etc. The brand is filled with great textures and colors that my daughter loves still at 1 year.

– Breathable bumper – I poo-pooed this, but when my daughter nicked her head against the crib while sleeping. The breathable bumper went on. Bright green color is cute. The other colors feel like medicine colors to me. It is ugly and doctors tell you try not to do it. Breathable bumper is okay by my pediatrician though.

– Universal stroller that clicks your baby’s car seat right in. Don’t get any other stroller until your child is at least 6 months old. This is a huge investment that you want to really fit your child’s needs. The Universal stroller is easy to click in and fold up to store in car. Unless you live in a very urban area where you’ll walk a lot with your baby, wait. I wished I would’ve.  I use my $29.99 umbrella stroller more than my $300 stroller I had to have because the umbrella stroller is easier to get her up and down stairs while still inside.

– Dr. Andrew Weil bottles (They click so you know the nipple is on right).

– Munchkin brand dryer rack is really good with the larger hooks for bottles and smaller nearby hooks for nipples. Someone does have to improve the offerings though to provide more hooks AND a companion rack for plates, forks and spoons to click on when the baby starts on solids at 6 months and then another with less deep hooks for sippy cups at 9 months, etc. (I’ll be happy to help any manufacturer develop this. My mom friends all think this is a great idea).

– Infant formula single “to-go” packs. (Even when breast feeding, I’d use these from Simulac for those “hard to go public” moments and mix it with a bottle of spring water. It was really easy.  They keep really well. Better than those pre-measured containers you can get for infant formula).

– 3 month, 6 month, 9 month and 12 month white onesies (long and short-sleeved from Carter’s or Osh Kosh B’Gosh because they are thicker cotton and wash well. Onesies are good “protection” from the bad leaks).

– A BACKPACK diaper bag from Land’s End with side mesh bags for bottles and accessible rattle toys.

– Zip lock baggies to hold diapers with diaper wipes for those “Oh my” moments in the public bathrooms.

– Deodorant baggies to throw diapers in the public bathrooms.

SECOND SIX MONTHS:

– Lots of fun colorful bins to put toys, books and stuffed animals in for baby to easily pick and choose on her own.

– Pop-up toys with any characters make her laugh and occupy hours of her time teaching her motor skills of pushing up and down the shapes.

– Sorting toys with shapes and colors to stuff inside boxes are hysterical time occupiers.

– Musical toys such as egg shakers, maracas, drums (without sticks) and bells are wonderful teachers of rhythm and receive screams of joy from my daughter.

– walking push toys of any sort, but ideally a walking toy that can push up with a handle bar for those trying to walk and also offer a seat to others who are ready to ride.

– pull toys are fun too!

– The umbrella stroller is great at 6 months and older because it is portable enough for you to carry the baby up and down stairs and folds easily at a restaurant to become inconspicuous. Those bigger strollers are easier to undo, but really down fold up as tight — especially in a restaurant, subway or tight public spot.

– The shopping cart cover is a great invention that fits easily inside the front part of a shopping cart to give her a lovely padded area with strings and loops that occupy her for hours and keep her strapped in safely, as well as hasten the spread of germs.

– a high chair that has a washable, wipeable seat. It isn’t enough that you can wash it in a clothing washer, but you really should be able to wipe it down easily after her meals. It gets messy.

– Moistened hand wipes are really great! I personally love the Aloe Vera soft hand wipes from Babies R Us or the Nice N’ Clean hand wipes you can get there too. Diaper wipes dry out her skin. These hand wipes — even Sani Clean brand or Wet Wipes in those canisters are really good at getting everything off her. Eating is a messy time, but there are other times too. These moistened hand wipes do a great job, but also seem to have moisturizer in them. It’s not alcohol smelling either.

– Sippy cups from Munchkin have silicone nipples that really work well for my daughter. I started her with the 6 ounce cups that have handles and graduated her to one without. She also uses Advent sippy cups.  Tommy Tippee from England also look good, but she’s already in possession of more than enough sippy cups.

– Sassy brand plates with plastic tops are sectioned for easy meals and very bright, happy colors. They are dishwasher safe too (or I’ve had no problems in the dishwasher).

12 MONTHS:

– She’s now 12 months and I’m finding that she is loving to imitate me. Have purchased an old fashioned Fisher Price dial phone and various plastic cell phones to keep in places throughout our house, car and the diaper bag so she can “stay in touch” while she uses any bag as a pocketbook/purse to begin her hours of being mommy.

– Got a great plastic small trike for her with no pedals that she sits and pushes herself around our patio.

– Her big red wagon with safety straps and a pocket for her sippy cup of ice water has been great fun.

– Her blow up pool has yet to be blown up this summer, but this is a nice gift too.

– My sister-in-law bought her a plastic beach bucket with shovel and hoe that is also a favored toy.

– She plays with funny sunglasses and is just starting to enjoy smaller dolls.

– I’ve tried to get her into the Little People bus I just purchased, but she’s not ready for it yet.

– Another mommy-pushing the envelope thing I just purchased is art supplies like the 24-month Crayola crayons and markers. She loves them!  She mostly sucks on the non-toxic crayons and washable markers, but also draws – spending hours at her mini table and chairs with either her daddy or me — making pictures for everyone. Hope this is the start of a Picasso!

So, these are my daughter’s beginning must-haves. It’s been a fun first year. I miss her little cuddly baby self, but am truly enjoying the walking-talking maniac of a girl she is becoming. She plays with me as we point to our nose or belly button, read books together and cuddle. My daughter is really an engaging and fun girl who is blossoming before my eyes. And what a bonus, she’s a kid I like to hang out with, too.

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August 10, 2010 Posted by | kids marketing, marketing to new moms, New Moms, Uncategorized, What to buy for new mothers | Leave a comment