Ahhh, the first year of parenthood. All the new experiences, joys, frustrations and overall insanity that comes along with the most precious gift you will ever be given. As first time parents we not only get to experience these emotions, but also the confusion and exhilaration of finding out what accessories actually are worth their weight in gold to preserve your sanity during this first year.
First let me start off with some of my background. I am the proud mother of an adorable 11 month old girl who found herself immersed in a sea of baby accessories. Please also understand that my background in baby stuff is very limited. You probably recognize me. I was the women who didn’t have children while all of her friends did. The one who would smile noncommittally while being shown the latest batch of baby pictures and make the appropriate cooing noises all the while thinking about what to make for dinner that night or if the dry cleaning was ready to pick up 4g kids smartwatch. I was the one who stopped you in the baby store with a glazed look in my eye pointing at your child and asking you how old they are and what size to buy for a two year old. Yes, I am the one who always showed up last for the baby shower, didn’t win any of the prizes, gave the gift certificate and made the excuse to leave early. “Sorry, have to take the cat into the vet to get de-wormed”. Yes, I was that lady.” But here I am now, an expert in my own mind about what really works during the first year. So if you are looking for a chuckle and some sound advice on what to get, please read on.
The combination stroller/car seat. Not only does this item grow with your child which makes it financially wonderful, it is great to have when your kid has fallen asleep in the car and you would rather have a bikini wax than wake her up. Simply lift the seat carrier out of the car and transfer it to the crib. She sleeps on, you get a few minutes to put away the groceries before they melt.
The baby swing: This contraption was the second most valuable piece in our baby inventory. It was a papasan type chair that swung two ways. For the first six months of her life, our daughter slept in it. And I mean always. For naps, at night, when she was cranky and when we moved, we took this huge piece of furniture with us in the car so that she would have a place to sleep on the drive. Only when she got too big for the safety requirements did we transition her to the crib.
The inflatable tub. When our daughter was about 7 months old, she discovered that by throwing herself forward in her baby tub, it would flip up and she along with the water would go flying across the tub. Great fun for her, heart attack for Mom. Solution, the inflatable tub. It sits securely in the tub and she thinks she is in a swimming pool. It is non-tippable and drains easy. Also, by putting bath toys in there, baby is distracted enough, most of the time, to try and not climb out of the tub.
And finally, Sweat pants. Yes, I know, there are all sorts of cute clothing out there for kids. Lots of bows and ruffles and skirts that make her look oh so cute. But for the reality of the situation, pants are by far my favorites. They keep your baby warm throughout the year, are easier to manage when putting your child in the car seat or bouncer, you don’t have to worry about the skirt riding up and showing off the diaper and when your bundle of joy discovers crawling, it will save their little knees. Nothing is more pathetic then seeing little rug burns on your 9 month olds knees.