Friday, April 11, 2014

5 Fun Non-Essentials for the New Mom

My little sister, Christina is having her first little babe this July,  I got to attend her baby shower during our trip home last weekend and I am so super excited for her. When I was expecting #1, things were so radically different than when I was pregnant with 2, 3 and now 4. I did so many things that I just don't do now, and while lots of people told me what I should do (or buy) I was really not interested in listening. I was so excited and wanted to have as much fun with that first pregnancy as I could, and in the end I am really glad I did because I will never have the time to do that again nor will it ever be as new and different as it was with number one (although always just as exciting). There are tons of great lists out there for what-to-get when you're expecting (I know Grace has done a few really awesome ones lately that are way more practical and had me nodding in total agreement about every item. Check them out).

These are just non-essentials, a few fun gift ideas for a new mom-to-be.

1) A Pregnancy Journal. My mom bought me this when when I was pregnant with Naomi and I wrote in it at least every week. It has a little description of what is going on each day with your baby's development and little spaces to track how you're feeling and other fun pregnancy facts along the way. I still bust it out a lot to compare weight gain at various points and to see what baby is doing in there around a certain time. It is a great little resource and was one of my favorite gifts with Naomi.

2) Baby Books. I read Baby Wise(don't throw the first stone. I ended up chucking it to the back of my closet in a sleepless fit of rage when it didn't just work for Naomi like they said it would),  Husband-Coached Childbirth(and proceeded to use roughly none of the techniques during Naomi's birth but rather screamed and was asked to shut up multiple times but nurses), The Baby Whisperer(and laughed A LOT), and several others. I definitely read too may books while pregnant, and while tons of people told me not to read anything, but again, I was not going to listen to them. I really do feel like each  book provided its own beneficial information that really helped me out later, especially when it came to any nursing difficulties I was to face. As long as a new mom doesn't take everything in the book as gospel, and gleans what is helpful for her from it, it is not a waste in my opinion. 

3) Belly Buds. When I was not working (other than some light nannying) while pregnant with Naomi, I had copious amounts of time to sit on the couch and play classical music to her via awkwardly placed headphones on my belly. Who knows if this did anything, but it was super fun and she would often move around a lot while I did it. I saw this product during one of mine and Mike's obsessive Shark Tank viewings and thought it looked amazing and when they offered to let me try out a pair to tell you about it, I jumped on that quick. The little "buds" adhere to your tummy so you can move around with them on and your ipod in your pocket. I really like them and while I am sure I will not use them as much as I would have while pregnant with Naomi, just due to being 1000 times busier, but they would be the perfect non-essential fun gift for a first time mamma.

4) Cute Bedding. Everyone said this was a useless purchase when I was pregnant the first time. Did I listen? No! I never would have. This was one of the funnest things to shop for and in the end, I still use most of the bedding that I purchased with Naomi. My sister stands firmly by Pottery Barn's quality, and if I had the cash flow to jump all over this one right now I would, because it would be fun.

5) Wipes Warmer. I know, I know. Everyone says these are not worth it, but with baby #1, I loved it. I think we gave it away by the time Lucy came, but we definitely used it for Bernadette as well and there is something really great about not wiping your baby's bum with a cold wipe in the middle of the night. There was definitely less crying during diaper changes with the wipes warmer in those early newborn days than without it. Even if you put it in storage after your first and never look at it again, it is a nice non-essential item to have when your fist little baby is as tiny as he/she will ever be.

So that's that. I am sure some serious eyes will roll at this list, but I am really not insisting that anyone needs these items, they are just for the fun of it.

How about you? Favorite fun baby non-essentials, and....  Go!


  1. Thanks for being a champion of the unnecessary, Ana! Just because it's unnecessary doesn't mean it's not a nifty thing to have on hand, right? My favorite unnecessary is a video monitor. It's definitely not a need and definitely expensive, but boy is it a really handy thing to have, especially now that my daughter is a toddler! It reinforces that natural childhood instinct of Mom being able to see you and your shenanigans at all times!

    1. Thanks, Ellen! I think a video monitor sounds like the most entertaining thing ever. Mike and I would probably never watch TV again, just the monitor. I am keeping my eyes peeled at thrift stores and yard sales from now on for one, it just sounds too fun.

    2. Yes! I love our video monitor, even though it keeps getting knocked down and not pointing at any children at all... But it was key to helping us get babies to sleep through the night, because with our first I would hear him whimper and immediately run and nurse him. And when I could see our second ON VIDEO sleeping in the crib and whimpering WHILE STILL TOTALLY ASLEEP???

      Life. Changing.

      Also, music nerd here, babies can hear music just as well when it's playing in their general vicinity as when you put those ear buds to your stomach. Possibly better :P But they're adorable!

    3. So true, Rosie! It's so handy in the middle of the night for those whimpers or full on random cries that you would ordinarily jump out of bed and into the nursery for.

  2. You're brave to risk the rock-throwing :) I read Babywise and Baby Whisperer too and used both (well, not all of Baby Whisperer because, um, my arm would fall off with that much patting and shhhing, lol!) for all 3 babies.

    I love cute baby bedding too! I know it's unnecessary but I've never regretted it :) And that pottery barn one is adorable! You could totally sew that if you wanted, it looks pretty doable.

    I think my favorite unnecessary baby purchase is the sling. I mean, yes, baby and I would technically live without it and I didn't have one with my first, but it sure is useful when I'm chasing multiple kids around and need baby safe and close and happy!

  3. We have a one-bedroom apartment for now, so we skipped a crib and just got a Pack 'N Play, but I love baby bedding, too! Only the little chump hasn't slept out of our bed since the night we brought him home…I suspect his future crib will be immaculate from lack of use. The best non-essential I got was a Kindle. I used to be on such a high horse about only reading real books, but that was before I found out hours of breastfeeding and rocking a baby require both my hands--I purposely got a reader-only one, not the tablet kind, and that thing has saved me from so much phone idleness!

  4. A non essential, but certainly appreciated gift we got with our first child was a large box of disposable bibs. They were great to have on hand at restaurants during those first food days!:)

  5. I don't know. I'm not trying to throw stones, but in my case, I regret every second that I spent trying to do Babywise. I wonder if we would have struggled less, or if my son would have fewer developmental delays if we hadn't tried to force schedules and naps and make life run as they suggested. I wish that I had been as AP as I was with my daughter, and wonder if things would have been easier. I will say that until we switched to Dr. Popcak's book, Parenting with Grace, I thought he was just being bad. The minute we went more AP was when I realized that something was wrong. I agree that you can leave the bad and use the good, but after our awful experience, I struggle to decide what the good is in Babywise. Not a judgment, just a warning that moms think long and hard about that method. I really regret the years we tried to use parts of it. (And the American Pediatric Association really does not recommend it, especially for breastfeeding families. ) Good luck! (And ditto on the video monitor. )

  6. Those headphones are adorable haha. We got a video monitor and wipe warmer at our baby shower and even though I know they're not necessary, I've heard a lot of moms say that they loved both of them. I really wish that I would have bought a pregnancy journal, next pregnancy :)

  7. Hi, I'm visiting from 7QT and I just enjoyed reading your 7 takes, nice suggestions! Another fun nonessential: find out where to get foot prints of your new baby's feet! One of my friends got these and they are the cutest, dearest display and memory as the child grows up. Best wishes for a blessed Easter!

  8. As soon as I saw the pic of the earbuds, I was wondering if they were the same ones we saw on Shark Tank. :) I think there's some good to be had in reading those books (I have a few) but I mostly use them as a resource if it's needed (not as much anymore). Every kid is so different, it's hard to stick to just one way of parenting them all.