With baby showers, registry, hand-me-downs, and such, it’s easy to be quickly drowning in a sea of baby things. And the savvy shoppers will also buy you larger size clothes, which are great with the baby growing so fast but aren’t essential from the get-go. And there’s always the fun toys, books, all that, which the baby just does not pay attention to at first.
And while we’re starting now to get some use out of these more advanced items with the Geek Baby, there were several items which stood out as really excellent at first, and it seems like a good time to reflect back on them. I was presenting last week at a “Just for Dads” class for expecting dads, and was asked what sorts of stuff I recommended having, and that got me thinking about it.
This list isn’t completely geeky… but it is somewhat. Certainly several of these are items for “parents these days” and are probably not things that would have made a list like this in the past! So in no particular order, five baby things that got a ton of use right from the start with our Geek Baby!
The Boppy PillowJust seeing it, this seemed like a good idea. It’s a C-shaped pillow that rests comfortably across the legs and around the stomach. Its obvious use is as an ergonomic pillow for use breastfeeding. However, we found other reasons we liked it.
For one thing, it does a lot to remove the weight of the baby from the rest of your body. For a tired mom (or dad!) this is great. That also means that, when you have a fussy or needy or clingy baby and are getting tired walking or swaying or doing whatever with them, sitting down and resting them with the Boppy is a good way to rest for a moment.
The Boppy also can apparently be used as the baby grows, to lean on, to sit back against, these sorts of things. They plan for you to be able to use it for years. But we were using it from the start, and it sure beats just using some random pillow for doing the same thing!
We got a second slip cover (since that’s washable!) but haven’t really needed it yet. As to that – your mileage may vary!
The Kimono/Jedi Sleeper
See, here’s some geekiness right here! We got a few pajama sleepers that are kimono style. They’re soft, they’re open at the bottom, and they button down the side. Lots of good stuff there. The open has been great for summer – it’s been a warm one here! Buttoning down the side is great at first, so that it’s not rubbing the umbilical cord.
And we got some brown ones, which look a whole lot like Jedi robes.It was these which came to the hospital with us, and it was a good choice.
The Boba WrapAnother branded name, the Boba wrap could also be considered to be a gigantic scarf. It’s just a big long soft piece of fabric, fairly wide… the real value added is the instruction on how to tie it. Deftly wrapped around the body, it becomes a perfect baby carrier!
The obvious reason that it’s nice to attach the baby to you like this is that it gives you use of your hands – something you don’t realize how much you need until you don’t have them! So this is great even around the house, just for being able to go around and do things while still having the baby near.That said, having a carrier like this also meant that we were out of the house with the Geek Baby from really early on, keeping snuggled, keeping safe. People have been amazed to see Holly out of the house, in public – but we were doing so from early on, and things like this wrap made that possible.
We also have a straps carrier, more heavy duty, also from Boba. The biggest difference we’ve found is that the carrier is way harder to put on by yourself, while the wrap you can! That’s an important difference for when you would use each product.
The Baby Connect App
Here we go, back to a fully modern, geeky product. Our brain these past months. The Baby Connect App.This app will keep track of diapers, feedings, measurements, sleep, all kinds of things! We’re not using as much of the features anymore, but at first we were tracking all kinds of things, especially when the Geek Baby was seeing doctors every few days! Then it turns all that data into handy graphs, and gives you different ways to look at the information and trends.
The best part though has to be the syncing between devices, which works quickly and seamlessly, and allowed Holly and I to both track things on our phones. Which also means in the early chaos, it didn’t matter which phone was handy or charged – we could track. And in our sleep-deprived states, this really has been our brain.
We would definitely recommend having an app like this, and we’ve been very satisfied with this app in particular!
All the Things! to go with the Car Seat
Once we had our car seat, we started finding things we could do with it… and more and more things…
The car seat is a pretty hefty investment on its own. Getting a second could put you back a good chunk. But meanwhile, the base it sits on is so much safer than just buckling it into a car… the base now clips into the frame of the car itself, and is way safer. But that would mean moving the base from car to car at times…
Or, it’s way cheaper to buy a second base. So that happened.
And then there’s strollers… but a lot of those are set up for when the child can sit up. So really, the car seat is the best seat for that… and so we got the adapter appropriate for our brand of car seat, and have that for the stroller we got at our baby shower.
But that’s a big outdoor stroller (so the Geek Baby has been out in all sorts of nature, and has been pretty close to a bear cub…), but what about indoors? Well, we found a “car seat caddy” which locks in our car seat, and then is basically straight down – so it takes up a pretty small space footprint, and is really light and maneuverable.
All those accessories for about the cost of a second car seat. So, that’s been waaaaaaay more efficient!
Our Car Seat Fu has been improving over time… like at first we were always bringing the car seat into the house with us, and taking our time strapping in and out. We’ve added accessories over time. But just taking our time with this, finding the best ways to use the car seat to the point now where it’s the single thing that attaches to something and goes with us everywhere – that started from the beginning.
If it seems like we haven’t seen or played a lot of new things lately… reading library books… using subscriptions services to watch shows… yeah, the mentions above of all the baby products to buy might give some insight into that!