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I knew when I got pregnant that my life was about to change DRAMATICALLY. After all, caring for a little human is no easy feat. So, being the nurse that I am, I researched, took notes, researched some more, hit the Pinterest (because Pinterest knows EVERYTHING)…but nothing could prepare me for the day our little one actually arrived. I thought I had everything I needed, and had read every trick in the book. From swaddling, to preventing SIDS, and breastfeeding, to gadgets and tricks, I thought I was equipped with what baby needs . When little Roman made his debut, however, I realized three things: 1) I had a lot of stuff I DIDN’T need, 2) Some things I had would prove to be invaluable lifesavers, and 3) there were things I still needed that I didn’t think I would. For the sake of not turning this post into a graduate thesis, I’ll just focus on the things I could not live without, both things that I had, and things I had to break down and buy. Here are 6 of the most essential things a newborn baby needs that I believe are SO underrated.
1) Little Remedies Gas Drops
Gas drops, or Simethicone/Mylicon drops, are number one on this list for a reason. For any mom who has had a gassy baby you KNOW what it does to your sanity. I had heard of gas drops while pregnant, but did not realize the magic (that’s right, magic) they do until one day I was home alone with Little One and he had an EXTREME bout of gas. You talk about inconsolable crying to the max. And being a new mom, I thought I had done something wrong. I went through all the different things that I could do to help him relieve the gas. I burped, and burped, and BURPED him, to no avail. I did bicycle kicks with his little legs hoping to ease his pain. I put him on his tummy. But nothing helped.
So finally, I called Ivan at work, frantic and crying, myself asking him to stop at the store and get some Gas Drops. He rushed home from work with the drops and I gave them to Roman. And within minutes he stopped crying. Like MAGIC. I will never forget that day, how he was crying, and how helpless I felt not being able to relieve his pain. For this reason, these gas drops go everywhere we do. Now I have tried both the store brand, and name brand, and although I’m usually cheap and prefer to buy the store brand, I did notice a difference in the effectiveness of the two. The store brand just did not seem to work as quickly or as well as the name brand. I personally like the Little Remedies. You can find these at any local grocery store or pharmacy, just about, or order online through the link I have in the picture above. And I love that they are particular about their ingredients (no alcohol or preservatives).
2) Eddie Bauer Backpack Diaper Bag
Now this sounds so trivial, but I cannot even tell you how many times I’ve been carrying Little One in his carseat, my purse, AND his diaper bag, not to mention groceries from time to time, and been thankful that I can just sling his diaper bag onto my back. That way I don’t have to worry about a tote sliding down my shoulder while I’m trying to carry the world into wherever I’m going. It also gives me a free hand (which as you moms know, or new moms will come to know, is priceless). There are several different backpack diaper bags, but this one my mom bought for us and I am so glad she did. The Eddie Bauer Backpack Diaper Bag has a pocket for just about everything you can think of, and was definitely designed with parents in mind. It has bottle holders, a portable changing pad, wipes container, and zip bag to hold dirty clothes should your little one have an accident while you’re out (because they will). We did lose our beloved backpack for a while and had to use a tote, and I definitely missed our backpack. Another perk to the backpack style was dad didn’t feel emasculated carrying it (haha!).
3) Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment
THIS. Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment truly did save our little parent lives when Roman was about 2.5 or 3 weeks old. I had noticed that his diaper area was starting to get a little red when he was around 2 weeks old. So, I started changing his diapers more frequently and using other barrier creams in the hopes of preventing it from getting worse. However, by the time he was 3 weeks old he had a full blown, RAGING case of diaper rash. I’m talking about a diaper rash so ugly it was bleeding, raw, and every diaper change Roman screamed. It was torture for all of us. It got to where I dreaded diaper changes because I knew it was going to hurt him. I tried leaving his diaper off, rinsing him with water with each diaper change, and other barrier creams to defeat this monster.
Finally after 2 or 3 days of no improvement I called the pediatrician who told me to let him soak in a bath with 1 tablespoon of baking soda added three times daily, and to apply this Aquaphor after each diaper change. And within 2 days y’all the rash was gone! Gone!! Roman no longer screamed with every diaper change, and the bleeding redness had disappeared. For about a month or so after we continued to use the Aquaphor with each diaper change just to make sure we didn’t have to endure that again. Then we went to just using it when we know he is going to be in the diaper for an extended period of time (i.e. bedtime, or when we go out), and I am proud to say we have not had a diaper rash since! Also, this stuff is really inexpensive and lasts FOREVER. Using it after every diaper change 1 tube of the 3oz lasted us the whole month. Now using it only as needed and when Little One will be in the diaper for a while, it has lasted us about 2-3 months. I won’t post a link because you can find this little gem anywhere you do your regular shopping!
4) Boppy Lounger and Pillow
Now for the sake of not making this post TOO terribly long, I’ll lump these two similar products together. Yes, I absolutely recommend getting both and I’ll tell you why. The Boppy Lounger, pictured up top, was literally the ONLY THING Roman would let me put him down in. He wasn’t a normal baby. As a newborn he didn’t like bouncers, he didn’t like his swing, and he DEFINITELY didn’t like his crib or playpen. This lounger was literally the only thing I could put him in and get things done around the house, or do things like, oh I don’t know, go to the bathroom. He would even nap for up to two hours in this thing (with supervision of course.) It’s cushy, but supportive even for newborns, who have literally no muscle tone. And you can even machine wash it should nasty things get on it (they will).
The Boppy Nursing Pillow, pictured second, is GREAT for those trying to breastfeed. We started out breastfeeding and it was so helpful for learning how to position Roman (because this IS a skill), and I didn’t have to hold him the entire time. Unfortunately, breastfeeding did not work out for us, but I still found this pillow super useful, lifesaving even. When Roman was about 3.5 months old we flew down to Louisiana to visit family. I brought this pillow on a whim thinking it would be useful, and boy, was I right. Instead of having to hold a squirmy infant the entire flight, Ivan and I just wrapped this pillow around us and Roman was able to nap or lay/sit relaxed on this pillow on our laps. It worked like a charm! The Boppy also works well for extra support while bottle feeding. You can find these at places like Target and Babies R’ Us, or you can follow the hyperlink if you like ordering online.
5) Pampers Overnight Diapers
This is one of my absolute faves. Pampers Overnight Diapers has introduced me to a smoother, better nights sleep. When Roman was about 2-3 months of age he started sleeping for longer stretches at night, which meant less frequent diaper changes. What I noticed was that when he would wake up he didn’t want to eat, but he would just get fussy because he did not like the feeling of being wet due to sleeping longer. He would also leak through the diaper, whether it be through the side of the leg, or just right through the diaper because it was SO saturated. It got to where we would put a towel down for him to sleep on because we were having to wash our sheets every other day because urine would get on them.
We dealt with this for a good 2 months before I had finally had enough, and felt like there had to be something out there to help. When I first started looking at places like WalMart, I noticed that I could not find the overnight diapers in his size. They only had size 5 and up. This was so frustrating because I knew moms with babies who were sleeping through the night, and I could not imagine how their babies’ diapers weren’t leaking! So, I kept looking, thinking there had to be something out there. Finally, I found the Pampers Overnight Diapers in size 3 at Target, which Roman BARELY fit into, but I decided to try them because I had nothing to lose. And I was skeptical at first, because when held side by side to the regular Pampers diaper he was already using the Overnight one didn’t look any different. But after night one, not only did we not have ANY leaks, but Roman only woke up ONE TIME! I was sold. Now, before he goes to bed I make SURE he has his Pampers Overnight Diapers on!
Since posting this, I have had the Pampers Overnight diapers leak much to my dismay. I thought all hope to a dry night was yet again lost. However, I am test-driving the Huggies Overnight Diapers which seem to be MUCH thicker and more absorbent than the Pampers. So far, I think I am preferring the Huggies Overnights. But I will keep y’all updated! Here are the Huggies Overnights I am currently using:
6) Zarbee’s Cough Syrup
So as of right now it’s flu/cold season, and I knew we were going to have to face these monsters eventually. But what I didn’t know, was that there isn’t a whole lot a 5 month old can take for cough. When we went to the pediatrician we were only told to take Tylenol for discomfort, and to let the little one sit in a steamy bathroom for congestion. But, this didn’t help his cough that was now waking him frequently at night. While out on a desperate mission for meds for myself and Ivan, I stumbled upon this at CVS. Zarbee’s Baby Cough Syrup. It’s safe for babies 2+ months, was created by a father and pediatrician, and is all natural! So I tried it, and it worked. Roman was previously waking up almost every hour from coughing, but now slept his normal intervals. And his previously hoarse, congested, persistent cough, became just an occasional dry cough. I was really impressed, being a nurse of western medicine and all. You can order this using the hyperlink in the title, or find it at Target or CVS.
Have baby products that you swear by and feel they are underrated?? Leave them in the comments below!