When preparing for one’s first baby, many women run to the nearest baby store, grab a gun and start tagging items blindly. Well, perhaps not blindly. Maybe you’ve read consumer ratings, asked your friends for help, and talked with the staff at the store. But – the reality is – newborns don’t need a lot. Your grandmother would tell you your baby can sleep in a drawer and she’d likely not recognize the activity mat, vibrating chair, or exersaucer. Our culture of consumerism encourages us to have a plethora of baby gear. My goal is to point out a few less obvious items that are really useful.
– Nursing Tanks from Target! These wonderful tanks cost $15 and are now available in a variety of colors. They can be worn solo — as a tank top — or as an under-layer. They are perfect for breast feeding mamas!
– A Yoga Ball! Not only are yoga balls great for pregnancy (and labor), but they are a wonderful new mom tool. Babies love gentle bouncing and the yoga ball allows for a much more comfortable and rhythmic bounce.
– A good baby wrap carrier! Whether you wear a moby wrap (pictured), bjorn, mayan wrap, hot sling, etc. I suggest you find a carrier that works for you. Babies love to be held; and wearing your baby allows you to have your hands free while “holding” your baby. You can take a walk, eat lunch, write an email, or read a book while your baby cuddles up against you.
– A baby’s calendar or journal! I’ve documented the first year of each of my children and I really enjoy looking back over the milestones. It’s been exceptionally fun to compare notes on the kids…and to remind myself what is just around the corner. Some day this will be a nice keepsake for them!
– Swaddle or Miracle Blanket! Typical receiving blankets, even the ones you find in the hospital, won’t last long. If you plan to swaddle your baby, invest in a good swaddle or buy the miracle blanket.
These items, all relatively low-cost, would also make the perfect new mom gift!
Kristen Kardos, MA Ed., and Kathy McGuigan, MSW, the co-founders of RI New Moms Connection, provide affordable, accessible pregnancy and new mom groups throughout Rhode Island. In “Tips for New Moms” they share their knowledge, resources, and helpful ideas for moms just beginning their journey into parenthood or moms who may need a little refresher.