As I'm nearing the end of my pregnancy with baby #2, the "nesting" bug has finally kicked in (hello there week 37!). Although I've been buying new things for the nursery, I've also been going through all the baby items we put away as Mia outgrew them to see what we're keeping and what we're throwing away.
While the majority of these items are definintely baby clothes (in every conceivable 3 month increment...), there are a few larger items that served us really well that I definitely plan to reuse for baby #2. For any first time moms reading this, these are some of the items that worked really well for us, (although as you can imagine, no two babies are the same) and hope you find them helpful as well:
While it looks very similar to DocATot, what drew me to the Snuggle Me over the DocATot was its "huggable" design. Because of it’s center sling design, when you place a baby in the Snuggle Me, the sides come in slightly to give baby a secure, hugging feeling. The DocATot does not do this. I loved using this with Mia between 0-6 months for back lounging/sleeping. It was super convenient to place her on my bed in the mornings, on the couch or anywhere really. She also napped really well in this during the day thanks to this huggable design (while supervised). It just made me wish there was an adult version of this..!
Note, that neither this nor the DocATot should be used for co-sleeping and many health advisories warn against unsupervised sleep and the increased risk of suffocation to baby (which is why you should also probably not use these beyond 6 months when baby is able to roll over).
When we bought this bassinet, it was long before SNOO became a thing (and I may or may have not have been tempted to splurge on one knowing all the features it comes with that I know most parents brag about). The Halo swivel is a great alternative for so many reasons (one being the price), but also because its construction allows you to place the bassinet right by your bedside with its legs fitting comfortably under the bed. Your baby is not only right by you (so you can obsessively check his or her breathing 100 times a night), but the built in mesh gives you peace of mind against any suffocation hazard. I liked that I could swivel the bassinet easily without waking the baby, and the retractable wall came down easily when it was time for a feeding or a change, especially in the middle of the night (or recovery from birth). I didn't use all the extra features or buttons it came with but maybe I will this time around.
Although I have ordered all new parts (you can also sterilize your old parts but I didn't want to take that chance), the pump itself has been amazing and served me really well. I got both versions (one version is simply mobile) through insurance and I recommend all new moms to take advantage of that since these machines are not cheap. While the hospital was trying to get me to use the Madella, I ultimately purchased the Spectra and never looked back. It helped all my sessions go by quickly, it was much quieter than the other pumps and the closed circuit system allowed me to easily clean all the parts. I highly recommend it.
(4) Baby Scale
So unlike the above picture, I'm pretty sure the scale we used was likely a produce scale (I wish I was joking..), but it was gifted to us from another mama and ended up being our saving grace as we dived into our breastfeeding journey. Ever since then, I highly recommend a baby scale for any mamas that are breastfeeding exclusively for some peace of mind. We wanted to be sure Mia was taking in milk but was also gaining weight and without the accuracy of bottle feeding, a scale made things so much easier. We were very meticulous and even kept a journal to track her weight before and after every feeding. It was not easy but it ensured that Mia was getting her meals and we were easily able to place her on a feeding schedule which in turn resulted in a very good sleeper (to this day, this child never gives up a nap and stays in her bed from 8pm-8am no fail). We will definitely be trying this with baby #2, let's just cross our fingers she's as easy going as Mia.
I definitely think there's a reason Amazon has over 2,000 reviews for this little toy machine. While it seems most parents purchase this product to soothe their little one during bedtime, we actually found it to be extremely helpful with tummy time. Something about the music, colors, and movement really peaked the interest of our infant and helped her with her neck and back muscles. We will definitely be re-using it this time around.
Here are a few items we did *not* love and would not recommend re-using:
(1) Say NO to button onesies! As you become an expert diaper changing machine, there is just nothing comfortable or convenient about unbuttoning 100 little buttons to get your little one undressed, especially when you're sleep deprived and its the middle of the night (no matter how cute the design may look!). I very quickly learned that zipper onesies are where its at and replaced our wardrobe with all zippies.
(2) You should 100% replace all your old pacifiers and bottle nipples. No matter how well you think you sterilized those items, invest some money into replacing these items for the safety of the new baby.
(3) Ergo Baby Carrier: We really tried to give this carrier a chance, multiple times, but overall did not find it comfortable for either us or the baby (and trust me when I say we watched all the videos and tried all the positions). I'm still on the hunt for a new baby carrier, and may even try some of the sling carriers out there, so we'll see.
(4) Infant Optics DXR-8: with over 40k reviews on Amazon, you can't help but assume this is a class A product. Unfortunately, not too long after use, this monitor started breaking down. The quality of the picture, battery life and everything in between was just... crappy to put it mildly. It was funny to discover that all my girlfriends who purchased this same exact monitor had the same exact experience. Since then I've tried a few new monitors, our most recent being the VAVA baby monitor, and so far... I'm obsessed. Great picture quality, battery life and 360 degree views. Will report after a few months' use.