The Ultimate "Kinda Nice to Have" List for Year 1
There are literally hundreds of lists out there of “must haves” for new moms which I personally found to be overwhelming and as I look back, weren’t all musts. That being said, as mom friends and I chat about different products and items it’s easy to see that its not a one size fits all situation. Depending on your lifestyle, baby, budget, etc.. etc.. “must haves” are pretty subjective.
But as Mila turned one I looked back at her first year and there were 5 things that maybe aren’t MUST haves, but they sure were nice to have:
1. Kina Infant Booties by Nui Organics (CND $59.99 from Westcoast Kids) My baby lived in these. They are so incredibly soft lambskin booties with lambswool inners and suede outters made in New Zealand. They never came off and they were incredibly toasty warm but allowed her feet to breathe. They were an investment but they were so valuable that I bought the next size up when she grew out of the newborn size. She almost never wore socks in her first 6 months of life as she wore these instead. I really, really love Nui Organics products. My sister-in-law gave me a merino wool oneise from Nui Organics that was the only thing that fit Mila properly when bringing her home from the hospital.
2. Sleepsack – Mila did not like to be swaddled and we really struggled to figure out how to put her down at night. By the 3rd night at home she was sleeping in her own crib in her room but it wasn’t until we discovered sleepsacks that I feel like she started to have really, really good sleeps. And naps. The sleepsack was key to getting the naptime routine sorted. I have not recommended a sleepsack in particular because, to be honest, I haven’t found one that I am happy with and am in the process of designing one myself. The ones that are quilted, that I like, are all stuffed with synthetic fibers and are made from non-organic materials. I tried a bamboo one that I really don’t like it. So I am working on designing an organic cotton one with organic/natural fill.
3. Aden & Anais Bamboo Musy Mate Lovey (CND $29.95 from Westcoast Kids) When it became clear that Mila needed something to snuggle in her crib and comfort her I struggled with the idea of anything in the crib with her. I firmly advocate that nothing (read that as ABSOLUTELY NOTHING) be placed in a crib with a child until they are over the age of 10 months old (side note: the lovey is the ONLY thing in her crib with her now. No bumpers. No blankets. No stuffies.) So I shopped to find something that I’d feel comfortable with her being up against – organic fabric, breathable, light and small enough for her to easily maneuver. The Aden & Anais Bamboo Musy Mate is all of those things.
4. Omaiki All In One Cloth Diapers ($33.99 - $26.00 from Babes in Arms) – I was firm on doing cloth diapers (even though I knew nothing about them and I was scared to death) and took a great class at a store here in Calgary called Babes in Arms that taught me the ins and outs. Then when I thought I had it all figured out, a friend gave me great advice and told me to stick with the all-in-ones. These cloth diapers could not be easier and the absorbency pads are made from organic cotton and bamboo viscose. The whole thing goes in the wash as one, the whole thing comes out of the wash as one. Easy peasy. I have never had to strip them with harsh chemicals only twice have I used some extra vinegar and natural whitener just to freshen them up a little. I bought 12 of the newborn size and 20 of the regular size. I throw a load in every night after bedtime. It honestly couldn’t be simpler and I don’t have to deal with stinky, gross, disposable diapers. Additionally, I’ve had minimal diaper rashes (except during teething… that’s completely unavoidable) and therefor have only ever used coconut oil and my own homemade diaper wipe spray. No chemicals. No waste. Also, made in Canada. Hooray!
5. A Great Stroller Blanket – I was fortunate enough to have my best friend give me a handmade stroller blanket for Mila when she was first born and it is the perfect size for everything. It was great in the stroller, car seat, as a blanket at the park, you name it. A lot of blankets are too big and end up getting pushed out of the stroller. I do not have one, but I do love the blankets from Modern Baby (www.modernbaby.co). If Moira had not made one for Mila, that would have been my purchase.