I know what it’s like to be a first-time mom inundated with a ton of information on how to care for your baby and what products/services to purchase. Trying to sift through the suggestions and ads all while taking care of an infant, can quite easily become overwhelming. Here are my top five resources and products that were most worth the investment during my baby’s first year.
1. “Taking Cara Babies” Sleep Class
No one, not even your baby can function without sleep. I was so desperate around month five when naps for my son were approximately 12 minutes long. This was after holding him and rocking him to sleep for an hour. He was not the lightest peanut either!
I turned to “Taking Cara Babies” and I took her “ABCs of Sleep” class, which is for 5-24 month old’s. Although I would have never anticipated wanting to purchase a course on sleep, the investment proved to be well worth it. My baby went from being a terrible sleeper to an independent sleeping pro in a matter of a few days. My only regret was not finding out about her services sooner. She offers a 0-5 month old class as well, in addition to having a ton of free info on her blog and Instagram account.
2. Baby-Led Weaning Workshop
Just as I figured out sleep, in came another curve ball. How to start solids?! I went the baby-led weaning (BLW) route because I liked that the baby controls what food goes in her mouth, thus promoting independence. I was concerned about the possibility of choking, how to prepare and serve the foods, what to do in case of an allergic reaction, etc.
I began with a free workshop designed and led by registered dietician and mama of SEVEN, Katie Ferraro. She is a very realistic and relatable mama covering all aspects of baby-led weaning. I found the workshop so helpful that I sprung to spend extra money on her course that she discusses at the end of the workshop. She turned my hesitation and worry into confidence and excitement around feeding my child. I continue to follow her insights and recommendations through her website, Instagram account, and podcast.
3. Lovevery Playkits
I fell in love with the Lovevery products, specifically their toy subscription service. This service delivered a play kit once every two months for the first year. Because these toys were being delivered, I wasn’t so tempted to buy other toys. Although it was an investment initially, it ended up saving me money (and storage space).
As a physical therapist, I also appreciated the engineering and thought process behind the making of these products. They recruit a team of experts that design the toys based on a child’s brain development at each stage of growth. Each kit also comes with a little book instructing how to promote all facets of development from sensory, to gross motor, to fine motor skills. Not to mention, the toys themselves are great quality, many of which are made from wood and other baby-safe materials. For this one, I was happy to have the burden of research off my shoulders and leave it to the experts.
4. Tushbaby Carrier
My child constantly wanted to be held which, as cute as it was, made getting things done around the house very difficult. I was constantly trying to sit him on my hip, which made my arms and back hurt. The Tushbaby (hip) Carrier was a life-saver for me! Money I’d spend over and over again to save my back, arms, time, and a clingy baby.
5. Stokke Tripp Trapp High Chair
Here is another product I was initially hesitant to spend the extra money on, but am glad I did. I didn’t realize a high chair would be something I would be using up to five times a day in the first year! I liked that the Stokke Tripp Trapp high chair promotes a proper ergonomic set up for baby when they are eating to minimize choking risk.
Although the initial setup wasn’t easy, the ease and peace of mind using this chair multiple times a day made the cost worth it. It is also intended to grow with your child intended for use up to three years old. I ended up buying the classic cushion, which we used for the first couple months of feeding, as well as the tray. We bought the tray only because our dining table was too high to slide high chair right up to it. Otherwise, I would recommend saving your money on the tray and just sliding baby right up to the table to eat with the family.