I've been hesitant to write this post because, with my first child only 4 months old, I hardly feel qualified to deem this or that product worth the money over time.
But, since I have a couple of (darling, precious) preggy friends who have asked me such questions, I'm just going to answer. A first time mom's early impression is as valid as a veteran momma in the trenches. For different reasons.
I will admit that this post and its comments spurred me along: The Things You Don't Need (But They Say You Do) For A New Baby from Simple Mom.
You don't NEED this stuff. I could survive without any of it, or with other versions of it. These are just the things that have become our favorites. Things that, in the case of baby #2, we won't leave in the garage under, "Eh. Don't bother."
*My Favorite Things for Pigtail thus far:
1. The MeloBaby. It took me only a couple of trips out with the baby to realize that I was heave-hoing a diaper bag around for nothin'. At this stage, you don't need much: a couple of diapers, wipes, an extra onesie in case of disaster, and possibly a bottle. The Melobaby has space for all of it except for the bottle. It's also all magnetic, so I could fold and unfold with one hand. Since I tend to carry a rather large purse, I throw the Melobaby and the bottle in and I'm done. Heaven.
(And at the $50 price point, the Melobaby would be a real splurge for a new momma, but would make an excellent gift.)
2. My navy blue Moby wrap. I love baby-wearing. I am on board with anything that is comfy and simplifies my life. The Moby wrap is both. I have carried Pigtail in the wrap on multiple airplanes, and then around the house when she went through her Fussy-At-5pm phase. It is so much easier, cuter, and comfier (not to mention much cheaper) than the other types of carriers. Another site that makes wraps similar to the Moby, but with more patterns to choose from, is LoveyDuds.
3. The Fisher-Price Lamb swing. The Gorilla dubs this the "Miracle Worker," and I back his words. We put Pigtail in that darn swing all.the.time when she was a newborn. It soothed her immediately. She napped in the swing, hung out in the swing, it was her place. Now that she's a little older, we don't use the swing as much. I probably still use it at least once a day, though. There's a picture of Pigtail in her swing here. Warning: I raved on and on to a friend about Pigtail's swing, but then her newborn fella didn't take to it as well. Each baby is different.
4. Cotton Flannel Multi-Use Pads. Maybe this is a every mother's staple, but I had never heard of them until my mom went right out and purchased several for different rooms in the house. We use this white pad every single day when changing Pigtail's diaper. We put it on top of a blanket when Pigtail is on the couch, so her spit up won't stain the couch or the blanket. They're fairly large, so you can cut them up and stash one in your car, in the stroller, etc. So handy!
5. Our Orbit travel system. A travel system is exactly what many sites will tell you that you don't need. But you have to evaluate your day-to-day to find what works for you, and the Orbit fills all of our transportation needs for now.
Orbit's gimmick is that the seat can swivel on the stroller 360 degrees. We first saw an Orbit stroller at a crowded restaurant and loved how the stroller could sit one way (to make room for people to pass by), but the seat could face a different way. I especially like how you can throw it on the base in the car at any old angle, and then twist it in place. Convenient when you're in a hurry or have other things in your hand. The stroller also folds and unfolds with one hand.
The Orbit is expensive. There is no way to sugarcoat it. But we haven't had a need for another stroller, and we use it every single day, sometimes several times a day. It's ease of use and daily function made it an acceptable splurge for us.
I'm still learning what I need or don't need, so help me out: What are your favorite baby things? What will I need as Pigtail gets older?