Having gone through two pregnancies in the last three years I am well aware of the pressures to succumb to consumerist madness during this transitional time. Overwhelmed by the lists, advice, commercials and books imploring me to buy every imaginable product for myself and my unborn baby, I turned to my mom for help.
“All babies need is a place to sleep, loving parents and food!” she snapped.
Per usual, mom was right. I discovered first hand that many of the items I had invested in or registered for were totally worthless once our baby was on the scene. A minimalist at heart I felt silly for getting carried away with buying every imaginable swaddle blanket, burp cloth and bottle imaginable. My daughter never spit up so the rainbow of adorable printed burp cloths were completely useless. She hated the expensive stroller we had selected and never took a pacifier. My advice is to invest in the basic necessities (a good car seat, a place to sleep, some clothing and blankets) and hold off on the gadgets and gimmicks until you meet your baby and get to know their unique preferences.
All that being said, here are a few things that proved to be quite useful during pregnancy and the first year:
The Pregnancy Wedge – (By Boppy, $15) Those huge pregnancy full body pillows made me crazy and made our queen bed feel too crowded. This felt like just the right support for my back and hips and helped me get some much-needed rest during the final, uncomfortable months.
Coconut Water (Various brands; available at any health food store) Full of potassium and super refreshing, this healthy drink also helped calm my insatiable sweet tooth!
Yoga DVDs – A friend gave me this prenatal yoga DVD and I did it as often as I could.
A Well-Stocked Diaper Bag – In addition to packing for the hospital I found it reassuring to have my diaper bag locked and loaded and ready for baby. I included the following items in mine: Diapers, wipes, changing pad, change of clothing for baby, & hand sanitizer, lip-gloss and lotion for me.
Tip: I also found that the expensive designer diaper bags were a bit of a racket. Any lightweight over-sized bag with compartments will work just fine! My pick for a great bag: Ellington Amelia Convertible Tote