When it comes to being a mom these days it really is fantastic that we have so many different things to help make things a little easier. Although there’s a bajillion things you could buy to make your life easier, on a budget you have got to get to the necessities. Although all of these things aren’t absolute necessities, they are used daily in my home and I am very appreciative I have them. However I must say that even though all these great inventions are spectacular, I try to never just leave my baby for long periods of time in anything because while he is awake I want to enjoy him and not worry about the pile of dishes and just pinch his chubby cheeks and enjoy his giggles. He also probably wouldn’t let me leave him to play anywhere longer then 10 minutes anyways!
I added links to everything I posted in the title of the item. I tried to link it to the cheapest I could find it online but I didn’t spend too much time searching so it could be cheaper elsewhere.
Let me know what your favorite mommy life necessities are in the comments!
1) The Pack n Play
Like I mentioned before I was on a budget so when I looked up the cost of a changing table, a crib, a bassinet..the pack and play was a no brainer. It’s all of those things in one and so much cheaper then your basic crib. Not to mention I kind of feel like a crib is like a mini baby jail but that’s just me being hyper sensitive to my baby’s feelings. Regardless of how I feel about cribs and how they are constantly being recalled….. the pack and play has been the best product I have bought for mommyhood. I bought the one pictured below but there are other great versions.
1) Changing Table.
I know a lot of moms don’t care for a changing table but for me it is so nice because I dont’ feel scattered about ok where did I last put the diapers ok where is a blanket I can throw him on ok where are the wipes..it’s all in one spot all the time.
My complaint with the changing table is that it is a plastic cold feel to it. I just drape a large blanket over the changing table which is easy for cleaning. My son also likes it because he likes to look at the patterns on the blanket while I change him.
2) The Napper
My kid seriously couldn’t live without this napper. He refuses to sleep anywhere but his napper. (Which is good and bad) It hangs loose underneath so it’s not a firm surface which he really likes and I have a toy dangled beside him to keep him company and to play with while he falls asleep I’ve attached to the side. It’s also great because I don’t have to worry about him rolling over and getting stuck. The napper is a pretty snug fit.
My complaints on the napper is that it isn’t easy to wash. To take it out is very difficult! I have looked at other versions and the napper snaps out and in easier so I would buy those versions instead of hte one I have. To keep me from having to cleaning it a lot I cover it with a receiving blanket and wash that every few days.
3) Future Uses
WHen he gets older he will grow out of the napper so I will then lay him flat on the mat underneath for him to sleep in. It can also be used as a play yard area and of course is portable. Although it’s probably not the easiest thing to do, I will find that out when we move. For now it just stays in his room like a crib.
This is the pack and play I looked up that I would buy over hte one I have now. You can take hte napper or changing table out and click it into this cradle below.
This thing would be a lifesaver if my son actually liked to be in it longer than 5 minutes. He doesn’t like to be anywhere longer than 5 minutes so that’s nothing new. But it is really nice when I have to throw in the laundry or I’m cleaning up the house for me to lay him in and press the music and hand him a toy. It doesn’t have the straps by the neck so you don’t have to worry about him strangling and he loves the stars that shine from the light above. I got mine used so it didn’t come with the dangling toys or the plastic tray but we just hang different toys above his head. I think for most babies they would love this thing starting as an infant my son is just not content anywhere which is fine, it means more mommy and Pete time!
Make sure if you buy one these things is that can plug into the wall! If not you will go through batteries hourly. This swing also is adjustable so you can change the positions to laying down or siting up or swinging left right or straight ahead.
3) Floor Mat
After he was just a few weeks old he started to enjoy his floor mat. We got ours used so it’s not nearly as fancy as the one pictured below. But I like this idea because even as an infant they can start to use thier hand eye coordination touching the toys above their head and using their feet to play as well. Ours has a ball dangling for him to kick which he really loves. I think he would probably enjoy the piano to kick also.
My son he now is trying to roll over so he gets all lopsided and can’t reach the toys because he is just twirling all over the floor. It’s not really a problem it’s just kind of funny that when we lay him there he now just uses the poles to turn over.
Most people such as myself just get the bumbo. But while over at my cousin’s house and put my son in the mamas and papas. He really like it beside it has a leaned back position instead of the straight up and down 90 degree angle of the bumbo. My son really didn’t enjoy the bumbo too much because he would fall over because the bumbo was so striaght up and down. The mama and papa one he was able to sit comfortably. I also like the mama one better because it is far more stable then the bumbo. ALthough the bumbo is lighter and probably easier to transport it makes me feel more secure to put my son in the mama and papa one because I’m not afraid of it falling over. It also comes with the tray as with the bumbo one you have to buy the tray additionally and it is kind of annoying to put on and off but my son likes to yank it off and eat it. The new bumbo is more stationary but still looks like it has the 90 degree angle which si fine once they are able to sit up better but I think the mama and papa one would still be more comfortable for them.
This is what I researched the most when I was pregnant. I thought I wanted a jogger stroller with big wheels to go over rough terrain but then I realized I didn’t go out jogging before I was pregnant why would I do it after I had a baby? Especially since they are usually more costly and I wasn’t hard core enough, maybe later. Anyways according to safety tests I have heard and read from several sources the chicco is the safest carseat. One nurse told me every year she goes to a huge car seat conference and the chicco is one of hte safer ones. That and the Britax but I chose the Chicco because it was slightly cheaper and because the Britax was too plain for me. I know it doesn’t really matter.
While researching I tried to find the lightest car seat I could but they just don’t exist. They are all 20-30 pounds. They are a pain to carry around and you also have to be careful of how you carry them. My mom got really bad tennis elbow putting the handle up on her elbow as she carried it. Don’t do that. I carry mine with both hands in front of me. It seems to be easier to carry that way and better on my back and elbows. I of course lift it with a squat and use my legs to lift it. Over time it’s important to carry it the right way or you’ll regret it later. Some car seats have a triangle handle which I’ve heard makes carrying easier.
Lastly the stroller I have I am pleased with. It’s nothing too glamorous but it does well for our walks and to little trips like to the zoo. The instructions were crazy confusing and I was glad I had my husband to figure it out. It also didn’t really tell you how to hopen and close the whole thing very clearly. It took 5 moms at the park to help me figure out how to open and close that sucker but now that I know how it’s fairly easy. I usually have to do that with one hand too because I’m holding my son and it’s doable.
If you’re like me and wish you car seat was cuter or stroller than check out Cosatto. Everything is really cute and modern looking but a tad pricey.
Lastly for the carseats is that you don’t have to buy the typical car seat. My son had really bad acid reflux and hated his car seat. It hurt his stomach and it was a miserable experience for me as well. There are new innovative infant car seats that make it less strenuous for them and are also safer. They lay down more and aren’t scrunched up which makes it harder for them to breathe.
Keep in mind that if the baby is in the car seat they should always be buckled. If not they can choke on the straps! If your baby fell asleep in their car seat do not unbuckle them and leave them in the car seat.
6) Spare Bed (Or a Blowup Mattress)
This is probably not what you expected but I swear this thing has saved my life and sanity as a new mom. See we can’t really afford a spare bed so we borrowed my Mother in Law’s blow up mattress. It’s surprisingly comfortable and blows up on it’s own! But the reason I love it so much is in the night I go into my son’s room to feed him and can just lay down and he eats and I sleep. When he’s done I wake up, put him in his napper and go back to my room. I don’t dread waking up to feed him because it’s not a big deal! Now I know people say not to co-sleep because it’s so dangerous and stuff but I’m such a light sleeper that if my son makes a noise I wake up so it’s really not dangerous and it’s a great bonding time for us. I love being with him. I was having him sleep in our room with us but I can hear him down the hall so easily that I’m able to sleep better in separate rooms so I’m not waking up for every little whimper. It’s also great on the blow up mattress because we have this whole bed that I’m not worried about him rolling off or my husband rolling over. It’s great because my husband gets good sleep so he can work all day and I sleep more soundly as well.
I originally wanted a big nice recliner but I found that this works so much better. I don’t have to be wide awake, I don’t have to lean over to feed him or anything. Lying down is completely comfortable for both of us and my sons’ favorite way to eat is to be half asleep so he can eat a little and sleep. His feedings take forever at night because of it but I don’t mind because I’m half asleep as well and I’m able to get back to bed faster.
My only wish now is that I had a mini fridge by my bed because breast feeding plummets my blood sugar. If I just had some cheese by my bed and night and ice cold milk..ah that would be the life. No way can I walk all the way into the kitchen are you crazy? 🙂
We don’t have one like this but it’s similar but closer to the ground so it was cheaper. Ours isn’t kinked int he middle it lays more flat. I like it because I can easily carry it around room to room with me when I’m doing chores and had my son a toy and he can watch me and we can talk and him feel like he’s hanging out with mom. It’s nice because it’s lightweight and I don’t have to worry about plugs. I also like it because I don’t have to worry about him rolling off of something or grabbing something he shouldn’t while I am slightly distracted cleaning the house.
I couldn’t live without my boppy! Breastfeeding I originally used the hospital’s boppy in the NICU with my son and it wasn’t firm and I found myself bending over too much which hurt my back. Once I was home I used the one my mother got me so it was nice and firm and plump so it holds my son up higher and it works great for us. It’s also great for tummy time so he’s not flat on his face. It works well to lay him in sitting up a bit on the couch or on the bed just hanging out. It has a lot of uses and it’s a must in this house.
9) Baby Bath Tub vs Deluxe Baby Tub vs Sink Baby Bath Mat vs Magic Cabin
There are so many different ways you can wash that baby of yours! We use the one on the far left. It was a gift and it works just fine. The only things I don’t like about it is that he falls and slumps down easily and then has this thick plastic part in his back that can’t be too comfortable. Anyone know what the little puddle in the front is for? Just out of curiosity. I liked it a lot when he was an infant because it has that mesh top that you lay the baby in for a sponge bath but keep their bum warm in the water. Now that he’s older it’s less comfortable for him but he still loves his bath time. It’s also a pretty cheap one that you can find at walmart.
The second photo I put in because the baby looks so comfy! I think my son would love to lay on a soft squishy firm pillow instead of his plastic tub. I have never seen it in person so I could be wrong.
The picture on the far right is what my sister used her for daughter. They bathed her in the sink and it just lays in the sink and she seemed to really like it. I’m sure bathing in the sink is great too so you aren’t bending over as much.
The last one I added because I am so curious about it! At first I laughed because I thought it was a joke to bath your baby in a bucket like that. But after reading more about it, it sounds really neat! My son HATED baths at first. I mean screamed like he was being murdered. The cool thing about this tub is that it is supposed to make them feel like they are back int eh womb and more secure in the that plastic tub. Pretty cool I’m sure my son would have liked that better but we just added candles, lavender oil, a space heater and his favorite music so it was no hassle getting him to like baths at all. (that was a joke it was awful)
10) Baby Monitor
I love my baby monitor! I have heard from several moms they wish they had a camera monitor so they weren’t going in for false alarms. I have loved this from the beginning because I could just check on my son without disturbing him which made me feel better but also the one that i have doesn’t hook up to the internet therefore there aren’t creeps that can hack into the camera and watch you and yelled at your baby. (yes it has happened) Also mine tells me the temperature in their room and you can set an alarm if it gets too hot. I like it because my house temperature is so finicky and I can know if I need to take off his socks or add a blanket etc.
11) Space Heater
So we bought this before we had Peter but it has come in handy so many times that I am glad we had it. I set mine to 70 F because I read that 72 is the best temperature for babies. Depending on what I have him sleeping in I change the temperature. It makes me feel better about not worrying about him getting too hot or cold although it still does happen, I’m a learning mom! It was great for when he would take baths and putting him in clothes because he would freeze when we took him out of hte bath so it helped a lot. It also helped when we didn’t want to turn our house heater on because we were fine but we just heated his room.
Make sure you do not put it near ANYTHING. Fires easily happen with these things with clothes, bed spreads etc. I give mine a good 2 foot radius.
What I don’t like about our space heater is how there’s no handle! There’s a dent where you can scoop in your hand but I drop it every time I do that so I have to pick it up and carry it. If it’s hot already it’s kind of scary to carry it. IT has a remote but if you can’t find it then it has buttons on it but I can’t figure out how to make them buttons not make a noise which is annoying if your baby is sleeping and you are pressing buttons.
Things I didn’t buy
A Diaper Pail
I know this may sound weird. But my son is 4 months old and we still don’t have a diaper pail. We went to the store to buy one but couldn’t decide on one and heard bad things about one and another was so expensive and so were the bags and I realized that my infant son’s diapers didn’t even smell that bad so we would buy one later. So I went to the dollar store, bought a plastic basket and used a grocery bag to hold the diapers and throw them away. It’s cheap, easy to dispose of and I don’t have to worry about running to the store for refills or confusing diaper bags.
Now that my son’s diapers are a bit more pungent I just throw out the bag after one smelly diaper and so it doesn’t stink up the room. We might change it in the future when he starts crawling but for now I am really happy we didn’t waste a lot of money when this has worked out perfectly.
A Diaper Bag
So I know some Moms spend $200 on a diaper bag. That’s totally fine. But for me I got a bag for free from WIC and that’s what I use. It’s light weight, it has a small pocket and it works well for us now. My son isn’t old enough that I need to carry around snacks and such so it suits me because the last thing I want is another heavy bag to carry around. I need my purse and I don’t want to mix it with baby things so I like having separate bags. Most of the time I just leave his diaper bag in the car because I’ve got his food with me and I don’t cover up when I breastfeed. So as for now we are set with our basic black bag and maybe when he’s older I’ll look into a serious diaper bag.