Monday, August 4, 2014

My Six Best, Non-Essential Baby Buys

I already documented in this post my quest to get as many baby items as I could for free or really cheap, and I am so glad I took the time to find so many bargains before my baby came! Now that Sour Patch is over 4 months old, here's my retrospective list of the best baby items that I believe are worth buying if you have money. You don't need them in the same way you need onesies or wipes, but they certainly have made motherhood a whole lot easier for me!

1. SwaddleMe Infant Wrap: Okay, keep in mind that I worked the better part of a year as a nurse in Newborn Intensive Care. Therefore, I consider myself fairly adept as far as swaddling babies goes (and I definitely believe in swaddling! In my experience, it helps babies sleep so much better, particularly until that troublesome startle reflex goes away after a few months). So though I knew that these wraps existed, I continued to wrap our wiggly son old-school-style until my friend Marie gave me an extra SwaddleMe she didn't need. Boy howdy, these things are the best! So easy to use, much less fuss, and my sweet baby slept like a, well, baby in them. There was no going back, and although we had to stop swaddling Sour Patch fairly early (he learned to roll back-to-front before he hit 3 months old), it was completely worth investing in a few of these wonders. A 2 pack from costs $16.22.

2. Summer Infant Deluxe Baby Bather: Again, my nursing experience taught me how to bathe a baby in those giant plastic tubs you put over the sink. They were great in the hospital... granted I generally used 5 baby blankets as padding and several towels which were then thrown into the hospital hamper for someone else to wash. Plus, the gigantic thing was stored at the hospital and not in my tiny apartment. So imagine my delight when my mother's good friend Marsha gave me this wonder at my baby shower. It fits great in our kitchen sink and folds up small when not in use. I was worried that Sour Patch might feel cold since he is never immersed in water, but he loves it! And after a 10 day vacation without it, so do I; it is not easy to bathe a baby who can't sit up on his own in a sink. I know it can be done, but this sling makes it so much easier. $17.99 from Target.

3. D-Link Day/Night Surveillance Camera: Knowing that a video monitor is a luxury and that we are poor graduate students, Jeffrey and I weren't going to splurge on one of these. Yet when our now swaddle-free baby started rolling all over his crib and getting limbs stuck in the bars, I really did want one. So I was tickled when this camera was on sale for $40 on amazon. I love the convenience! We just access the camera feed on either our phones or laptops. It is also password protected so neighbors can't look in on our little one. How wonderful to be able to quietly check on Patches without trying to sneak unseen into his room.

4. Aden+Anais Swaddle Blankets: Yes, I realize I just admitted that I prefer the velcro swaddlers to real swaddle blankets. Yet these blankets are wonderful staples nonetheless. They do make great swaddle blankets, especially if you need something light for warm summer nights. Yet they're also great to throw over your baby on a walk to protect him from the sun, to use as a car seat cover, or to keep rolled up in the diaper baby bag for any unforeseen blanket need (Jeffrey forbade the use of "diaper bag" in our house, by the way). I actually feel a little silly putting them on my list since apparently every other mother on the planet knew about them except for me; I see them everywhere! They have a 5-star rating on, and a 4 pack costs $34.95.

5. Nursing Tops: First, I ought to apologize to everyone who has had to endure my diatribes about how the world needs to make it more convenient to be a breastfeeding mother. I'll try to resist protesting for more mother's lounges and more inexpensive, diverse clothing options by instead saying how much I like the two nursing shirts I ordered from Milan Maternity. After using my first-time ordering discount code, they weren't too expensive, and they make it much easier when I need to breastfeed in public. I always use a nursing cover, but with such a precocious baby, I appreciate that shirts help make nursing more convenient and discreet.

6. Paperwhite Kindle: Alright, this last one really was quite the splurge. For my birthday, Jeffrey bought me a Kindle so I could  read during my late-night feeding sessions with Sour Patch. At the time, I didn't appreciate how brilliant this idea is. I love my kindle; it has the wonderful side-lighting that allows me to read in the dark with one hand without straining my eyes. It was an inspired gift, and really helped me get through those 45 minute nursing sessions. $119 on

Here's my list! If you have any other great gems for the first four months of motherhood, you should share!


  1. Awesome Post Laurel! I second the video monitor, swaddle blankets, and would add the Fisher-Price Rock'n'PLay Sleeper.

  2. Ooh, I've never seen the Rock'n'Play and had to Google it. It gets such great reviews; I'll want to log it away for baby #2! I'm super excited for your third, by the way!!