I've been really excited to write this post and share all these things that have been so incredibly helpful to me these past few months. I know that with the gazillion baby products out there, it helps to have a starting point and recommendation when deciding what to try. Obviously I think my baby would still be healthy and happy without these products. And what works for us may not work for everyone. Hence the (My) part of this post title. As an example, I bought a used Rock N Play after trying just about everything else to help sweet girl nap. Everyone told me it was pretty much the best thing ever in helping babies sleep, and yet my daughter still hated it. So take these recommendations as what they are…my must-haves, and try what you feel comfortable with! When I was preparing for Adalyn's arrival I always thought it was kind of fun to read about what other new moms were loving….because you know, we're all bound to find something that has that magic. :)
My Baby Must-Haves:
1.) Snuza Go
I'm putting this first, because, well…it's just awesome. This would be the one product that I can pretty confidently say ALL moms would love. I had never heard of it before Adalyn was born, and a local mom was selling one on a Buy/Sell/Trade Facebook page. Some other moms chimed in with how much they loved theirs and how much peace of mind it gave them about their baby's sleep safety. At this point I still had no clue how it worked, but she was selling it for about half the retail price and I thought it was definitely worth a try.
And I love this thing so much I would happily pay double or triple for it.
Here's why: it is basically a movement sensor/monitor; similar in concept to the Angel Care sensor pad that detects movement and sounds an alarm if none is detected after 20 seconds. But, Adalyn has been sleeping in a playard/bassinet in our room, and since the Angel Care pad requires a hard surface (like a crib board), we haven't been able to use it yet. Enter, Snuza Go, and therefore, my sanity. I am a super anxious person, and worry constantly about her safety while sleeping. This little bitty thing has been such a godsend, and I don't know why it is not more publicized. The Snuza Go is about 2 inches in size and just clips on to her diaper. It has a little rubber tip that lays against her belly and detects movement. Now, at this point when I started reading about it after I bought I was pretty skeptical. I have to put something on her diaper? While she sleeps? No way she'll go for that. No way it will stay on. But I'm telling you…she is a sensitive baby and this has never bothered her. And it's never fallen off.
The sensor has slipped to the side once or twice when the band of her diaper gets loose (and the manual does say an extra full diaper can cause this to happen). If it slips too far to the side and the rubber tip loses contact with her skin the alarm will sound, and this has happened 2-3 times for us. But with how much we use it, I am totally ok with that number.
We use this thing for every nap, every bedtime. We take it with us when we travel. I even put it on her if I am going to nurse her and think she might fall asleep. I SO wish I would have had this from the get-go. There were nights when she was a newborn when I would fall asleep while nursing, and I would wake up with her asleep in my arms, often nestled down in the crook of my elbow. They're so unbelievably squishy at that age, with ZERO head control, and all I could think of when I would wake up were the "what-ifs…." What if she had slipped down further, underneath a pillow, blanket, my arm, etc. Makes me panicky just remembering.
So if you couldnt tell by the thousand-plus words I just wrote up there about this little thing, I highly, highly recommend it. Go buy it. You won't regret it.
As I mentioned earlier, baby girl is super sensitive. Especially when sleeping. Yes, I know, you're supposed to vacuum around them and all that, but when you want your baby to sleep you will do whatever it takes to avoid waking her. Or at least I will.
I swear, Adalyn can detect when someone walks in the room while she's sleeping. My moving from sitting to standing will jar her awake. She will wake to the sound of my sheets rustling. She will wake when her Sleep Sheep turns off.
So yea, I'm not about to throw doorknob noises into the mix. Before finding this I would spend a good 30 seconds carefully and slowly turning the doorknob so as to not make any noise. And it would still make noise.
You could of course make these, and I've seen them all over Pinterest, but we all know there's not a whole lot of time to sew with a baby. This was definitely worth my $9. Now I just need one for every door in my house.
3.) doTERRA Lavender
I grew up with a pretty "crunchy" mom, and I've always known that A.) essential oils are good, and B.) lavender helps you sleep. But I have never used oils until recently, and I have never really enjoyed the smell of lavender.
But I'm a big fan now. While pregnant I used a lot of peppermint (for headaches), terra shield (to keep those West Nile mosquitos away) and lavender (because sleeping with a big belly is really difficult).
Now, I use this on my wrists before each of Adalyn's naps and before I feed her at bedtime. If she's cranky while I'm getting her ready for bed I sometimes even just put the open bottle near her nose and she pretty instantly calms down. I'm sure the smell is simply a sleep association to her now. But whatever works! The fact that it is an oil shown to aid in sleep can't hurt right?
Thank you Mama :)
4.) Zipadee Zip
This little family-owned-and-developed product has exploded in popularity as of late due to an appearance on Shark Tank, but it was my mom again who suggested this to me (who has time to watch TV with a newborn anyways??) ;) It is a sleep sack/wearable blanket-whatever you'd like to call it-that is designed to help babies ease the transition from the swaddle.
And thank goodness my mom bought her one of these when she did, because this tiny girl started kicking out of her swaddle at two and half months. I was kind of surprised, because she always loved being swaddled and it was the only way she would sleep at night. But once that blanket started becoming loose, I started becoming panicky mom again, fearing that somehow the fabric would end up over her face. I was a little concerned about effectiveness, because the website says 5-6 mos is the average age to transition, but fears over loose blankets in her bassinet won out and I made the move.
Adalyn has always woke several times during the night to eat, but the swaddle would help her go back to sleep when waking in between feedings. When she started kicking out of it, she wasn't able to go back to sleep as easily. This thing was like magic the first few nights. I really thought there was some kind of sedative in the fabric…she would just pass out when I laid her down in it. Because she was so small though, it did begin to lose its effectiveness after a week or so, as she was still able to move and kick in it quite a bit.
Fortunately, we kept on, and put her in it religiously every single night. Now she loves it, and wears it every night, and for every nap. I read on their site that it was designed to help babies "feel their edges," similar to the feeling they had in the womb. They are completely enclosed, so they never feel too "loose," which I've heard can make them feel like they are falling.
Whatever it is, it has been great for her, and it is something that she clearly associates with sleep. Every time I put it on her she curls her arms up towards her face and begins sucking on her hands. (She would never take a pacifier, so this is how she soothes herself.)
If you follow them on their Facebook page youll see there are a number of reasons moms love these…they are warm, they are safe, they are easy to transition from carseat to crib (not an issue with us because Adalyn would never stay asleep anyways), great for doctors visits, etc.
We have two in each size, and though I do have to wash one pretty much every day, it is worth it. She is comfortable and soothed, and I know she is safely dressed. :)
Whew...I will be back with Part II tomorrow…I didn't realize how much I could talk (write) about four little products, so I don't want to overwhelm you with even more today! I would love to hear if any of you have tried, or plan to try, using any of these and what your experience has been!