My Top 12 List for New Parents

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A friend from college is having her first baby and asked a couple of us who already been initiated into the parenting tribe for suggestions on baby products. There are so many baby options out there— some are a waste of money, and some are totally worth the money. Here are my top 12 sanity-savers for new mommies and daddies.

  1. Bob Revolution stroller: Hands down best stroller for active parents. I have hiked over mountains in this, trained for marathons, stocked up on produce at the farmer’s market, and walked 1 1/2 miles to the park and Starbucks in this daily. Its steering is amazing and the ride is smooth for your little one. (And dads look forward to pushing a BOB.)
  2. Happiest Baby on the Block: Ryan and I weren’t around any babies until we had our own— so it was foreign territory. This book helped explain baby cries and how to calm them with the 5 S’s: swaddle, side position, shushing sounds, swinging, sucking.
  3. Ergo: Great carrier for moms and dads to wear (might be the only carrier a dad can pull off without losing their manhood). It’s easy to put on and great for running errands. There is even a zippered pouch for your cell phone and wallet in the front— so no need for a purse!
  4. Baby Center: I was fascinated with this website throughout my pregnancy and even more once I had kids. You can track your child’s development and also read articles relating to each stage of growth, like: “When to introduce solid foods?” And “How to tell if you baby is teething.”
  5. Starbucks: I know that sounds ridiculous, but there were times when I didn’t sleep a wink and had a full day ahead of me (or sometimes weeks when Ryan was out of town). Starbucks was what got me through those days. So find your local Starbucks (or another great coffee shop) so when you have those really long days you have a place to go to refuel and relax. I had two amazing mommy friends that would join me on my “Starbuck walks” and we had some great discussions while we refueled for the day. Starbucks is where Jackson and his sweet friend Molly learned to drink from a straw when they were babies. Yes, we hit milestones at Starbucks.
  6. Moby: This is the comfiest baby carrier! Honestly, it is a quite daunting to wear at first (it’s about 20 feet of fabric), but once you master the technique it will be your best friend. The weight is completely balanced (no shoulder pain) and the baby is completely snug and comfortable. Many naps were taken in the Moby while I would clean the house or take a walk. This is my favorite carrier.
  7. Meetup.com: This online networking site is how I met the most incredible moms in the world (including Jadah!). We had babies on blankets park dates, went to each other’s houses on rainy days, shared recipes, explored the LA zoo, hiked Fryman Canyon, dealt with some tough stuff, discussed preschool options and laughed a lot. Sadly, moving to Florida put a damper on the play dates, but the friendship and support are still here. We do an annual Moms Weekend Out, where the dad’s stay home with the kids for 1-2 nights and the moms relax and have some girl time. Palm Springs, Santa Barbara and Glen Ivy Hot Springs are the previous destinations. So please join a mom’s club— they are wonderful!
  8. Muslim Cotton Swaddling Blankets: The adorable patterns and quality fabric make swaddling a baby much easier and comfier. The material is a very light cotton and stretches to perfection. I also used these as nursing covers, summer blankets and extra large sunshades on the stroller. They are great!
  9. Canon S95: This camera takes vivid pics and also shoots HD video. It’s small, easy to fit in your diaper bag and simple to use. You will take hundreds of pics of your baby, why not have them be good pics? Spend the money and love every picture and video you take.
  10. Sophie the Giraffe: Teething is inevitable and most teething toys are ugly and made from plastic in China. This adorable giraffe is 100% all natural rubber (derived from a Hevea Tree) and made in the French Alps. And did I mention she is adorable… or is that a given?
  11. Video Monitor: I never had one but if I could do it again I would have gotten one. It just saves you so many worried moments when you wonder if they are asleep, or suffocating (seriously, I know that sounds wild…. but you will wonder that a lot). And you don’t want to go in the nursery and wake them. Just get the video monitor and save you and your husband a lot of “what if….” moments.
  12. Cuisinart Smart Stick Hand Blender: You don’t need an expensive baby food contraption to make your own baby food. You just need this Smart Stick Blender— it is so easy to use! And you can use it afterwards in your kitchen. I use mine at least once a week for mashed potatoes, whipping frosting, pureeing soup, smashing beans, etc. It’s been my go-to kitchen appliance since day one.

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