MAY 3, 2018
Since May is the month of mother’s, yes I’ve taken Mother’s Day and turned it into a whole month. I think it's pretty deserving. Anyways, I thought it would be fun to shift my focus on the blog to more “momma bear” posts this month. To kick that off I’ve created a “Mom Essentials” list, keeping in mind the essentials I’ve chosen for my list will mostly be for a momma bear with a new babe in the first year of life. By no means does my list include every essential you are going to need, that would be an endless list. As always with my essential list's I have a very special momma and babe essential experience included.
Play Mat - Besides our car seat and bottle sterilizer this is a product we have used daily. At the time we bought it I didn’t see it playing such a huge role in my momma life, but I’ve used this mat since 1 month into motherhood. It was something I could put her down on while I quickly went to the washroom, it’s what I used for tummy time sessions, it taught her how to grab and reach for objects, feel textures and see patterns and colours. It even introduced her to her very first favourite toy. The tiger. We have to bring the tiger with us everywhere now. If we happen to go somewhere overnight or a weekend away the mat comes along with us.
Sleep Sack - A sleep sack is so handy for parents who can’t swaddle, *raises hand*, and for babies who kick all their blankets off *raises hand again*. Prior to getting pregnant I hadn’t even heard of a sleep sack! Every time my babe would kick the blankets off and expose her legs and feet she would wake up. Once we started using the sack regularly her sleep stretches got longer. The sleep sack also now signals bedtime which helps in establishing your routine for nighttime.
A super comfy rocking chair or glider for your nursery. Besides the couch this is the chair your ass will live in most of the first year and possibly beyond. Do not think you don’t need one. You do. You’ll do a ton of cuddles and rocking to sleep in this chair, maybe morning and some afternoon feeds but definitely all your nighttime and middle of the night feeds. I’m surprised there isn’t an ass print in this chair from the amount of time I’ve spent in it with the babe.
Sound Machine - The one thing I would advise as a new momma is to purchase baby products that are multi functional. This is the sound machine I have, which I actually didn’t buy myself. My best friend bought me this! It has 2 nature sounds, a heartbeat sound and 2 white noise sounds. It also plays lullaby’s, has a projection of stars and a nightlight with different brightness levels. In the first few days we used the heartbeat sound for sleeping and the nightlight for those late night feeds and changing’s. It gave just enough light to not bump into furniture but not to much that it would completely wake the babe up. Now we use one of the white noise options that sounds like water running, we realized in the early days she calmed when we ran the tap. This is another item we use to signal bedtime by turning on the white noise while we do our after bath routine.
Boon Pulp Silicone Teething Feeder - Another GREAT multi functional product. I didn’t even know this existed, I got this as a gift at my shower and seriously parents, you need this! This has saved the day on many cranky, teething caused and non teething caused, episodes. Throw in apple chunks and it tastes yummy but is hard enough to help with that teething pain. If it’s a non teething issues and just general crankiness or boredom I throw in her fave, grapes, and she mows down for hours on it. This is honestly my #1 essential you have to get, it helps introduce the kiddo to yummy fruits or even veggies while keeping them busy or helping the dreaded teething pain.
Hydra Sense Nasal Aspirator - I know, you get an aspirator with your baby essential kit. The kit that comes with nail files, nail clippers, thermometer etc. That kit is awesome but the aspirator included in it sucks. Not literally though because it actually doesn’t suck any boogers out of your poor baby’s nose. Get the Hydra Sense one, it’s a parents saviour while being your babes worst nightmare.
A video baby monitor - I 100% was “why do I need a video monitor, they’re more expensive and my parents survived with a non-video monitor”. My husband on the other hand, who loves anything expensive was insistent on a video one. Don’t ever tell him but he was actually right. I can’t imagine not having the video monitor and how much hell life would be without it. My babe will cry during naps or in the middle of the night. Maybe just from a bad dream but all I have to do is look at the monitor and see she’s still asleep and it’s not an actual awake cry. She’s also a cover her face with a blanket chick. With the video monitor I can see when she’s done it and uncover her. Otherwise, again, I’d be worried and going in there every 5 minutes to ensure she hasn’t suffocated. This would possibly disrupt her sleep but most definitely disrupt mine. Don’t be a cheap naive bitch like me, get yourself a video monitor!
Exersaucer - This is our newest item and again another item I didn’t think was necessary because we already had the jolly jumper, but again my husband loves to spend money and was insistent the babe needed one. She has lived in this thing since my husband brought it home and she freakin’ loves it! The jolly jumper is great but the exerciser is hassle free to put her in when I’m making breakfast and honestly I find she gets upset if too much time has passed since she was in it last. It has a ton of gadgets to keep her entertained and it’s helping her strengthen those legs. I’ve witnessed her actually standing flat on her feet to reach for one of the hanging toys attached to it for an extended period of time.
Baby Story App - Unfortunately I think this app is only available for iPhone users, I can’t seem to find it when I search on PlayStore for Android. I use this app to create my babe’s monthly picture. There’s a lot of great free designs for tracking the weeks and months and more for purchase. I highly recommend one of these tracking apps because it’s so fun to see how much the little one has changed in a month, even weeks in those early days! I also send family and friends the monthly updated picture.
Spotify - I’m sure you already have Spotify and if you don’t get it before babe arrives. As we know babies love music and I used Spotify to help keep my babe awake during the day in the first few weeks. To signal morning time I’d play us classical music, during feedings to keep her awake I’d play my regular playlist and she loved Chris Martin’s voice! Now we play all different types of music, my playlist, Disney kids music, classic, jazz, jazz mixed with classical.
Essential Experience - Roots of Empathy
I bet you totally thought my essential experience was going to be baby and mommy yoga, right? Not that it isn’t an essential fun experience with baby, just sometimes I’m not as basic as I claim to be!
I’m not going to go into too much detail of my firsthand experience with Roots of Empathy, that will be a blog post of its own. I can give the bare bones of this very special and unique experience. This program was developed to increase kindness and empathy while decreasing bullying in our schools. The thought by the founder was to teach kindness and empathy to children as they are still developing their social skills. As a Roots of Empathy “family” your babe is the “Tiny Teacher” to these school children (the school children range from kindergarten to grade 8). I can’t recall now, but I believe we go a total of 9 times to visit and each visit covers a different subject. For example last week’s visit was how we keep our babe safe. The students also get to discuss the growth and development of the Tiny Teacher, while also witnessing different emotions from the baby and discussing those emotions and why the baby might be feeling those emotions. I frankly think I’m getting the most out of the experience as I get to watch my babe interact with these young children. If you are a momma or know a momma of a 2 to 4 month old babe you can volunteer your baby to be a Tiny Teacher. It’s a nice way to get yourself out of the house with baby while on maternity leave and it helps introduce baby to the outside world and their first “friends”.
If you’re a new momma I hope my list helps you out in someway and if you aren’t a new momma what are some of your momma essentials you couldn’t have lived with out! I’d also love to hear some momma essentials for babes past a year old as I'll need them sooner then I like!