Now that we have our hands full with taking care of our firstborn, we really appreciate certain items we received (or bought!) for the baby. Truth is, when asked for gift ideas to put on your first ever baby shower registry, you’ve absolutely no idea how many facecloths or sheet sets you’ll need. We thought about the things we did not want before we added a single item to the registry. Now that Baby Dragon has arrived, we’re slowly learning which items have been most useful to us. Of course, every baby is different (as is every couple), but here’s OUR shortlist of must-haves for new parents (strollers, baby monitors and breastfeeding bras, aside…)

1- Nneka nursing pillow

Probably my favourite cushion of life. It’s sort of like a bean bag; providing lots of support while still being very adjustable. The pillow keep my hands free while my baby sleeps on it, either on the dining room table or on my lap! You can even use it on your bed as a safety barrier for your baby… magic! My first pillow came as a gift from friends (thank you Émilie & Edouard!) and I liked it so much that I bought myself a second one.

Pro tip #1 – the pillowcase can be removed and safely tossed in the washer and dryer… should any bodily fluids land on it.

Pro tip #2 – you can, by the same token, change the pillowcase for one that coordinates with your decor, should you wish to.

2- Aden + Anais swaddle (baby blankets)

Baby blankets come in a variety of fabrics, colours, and sizes; however, my favourite BY FAR is the one I have from Aden + Anais.  The soft breathable fabric is very pretty and the length of the blanket itself makes it easy to wrap or swaddle your baby to keep him warm. I received an Aden + Anais baby blanket as a gift at my baby shower (thank you Véro and Alex!) by friends who assured me that it was the very best – and I couldn’t agree more! Bonus: it looks great in pics!

3- A good rocking chair

No matter what baby gear you might have, be it a vibrating chair, swing, or mamaroo (if you’re not familiar with the mamaroo chair, let me just say that it’s terrific!), nothing beats a good old fashioned rocking chair. Mine originally belonged to my mother’s mother. My parents stripped and repainted it before gifting the chair to me – isn’t that cool!

4-  No touch thermometer

When my midwife said that she had to take Baby Dragon’s temperature during a checkup visit, I figured that my little man would soon need comforting, but I was wrong! She had a magic thermometer that takes a baby’s temperature without contact! I was doubly impressed when I learned that the thermometer could also take the temperature of a room (which is handy because we don’t have digital readers in every room), as well as liquids such as bathwater or the contents of a baby bottle, (or your coffee! Hahaha!). You could also run around the house pointing the thermometer at everything and shouting PEW PEW (after all, it looks just like a Star Trek phaser…)!

5- A nightlight

I never realized how handy a nightlight can be until there was one in my hospital room. Mind you, you don’t want one that will blind you or leave you blind in the dark and it needs to be small enough to plug in wherever you need it. We have two nightlights – one in the baby’s room for diaper changes and the other in our bedroom near the baby’s cradle. It comes in handy when you want to check on your baby’s breathing, every five minutes, without waking Papa Dragon.

6- Washable cloth diapers

Oh how I love them! I’ll tell you all about them in another article… but for now, let me just say that they are practical and every bit as “complicated” a disposable diapers. Instead of asking yourself if you have enough diapers for the night or if you’ll have to rush to the drugstore to buy some before it closing time, you’ll be asking yourself if you have enough clean diapers for the night or if you’ll have to do a load of laundry. The advantage, in this instance, is that you won’t have to make a last minute run!

Bonus: washable cloth diapers look cute in pics!

7 – Washable baby changing pads

There’s going to be a time in your newborn’s life when he regurgitates (sometimes in projectile fashion), or he drools like crazy, or fills his diaper to overflowing… There will also be times when you bleed, or your nipples leak, or you drool. Instead of changing your bed sheets (and mattress cover) every night, place a changing pad on your side of the bed. Your bed sheets will thank you!

8 – Baby carriers

Baby carriers keep your hands free to do other things while baby sleeps snuggled warmly against you. We haven’t used our baby stroller yet because we love the convenience of a baby sling when we want to take a breath of fresh air. Slings are every bit as handy for walks as they are for grocery shopping. There’s a whole vocabulary and numerous techniques “involved” in the baby carrier world. We have a Ring Sling at the moment. It’s basically a short woven wrap with a pair of rings for adjustability. Papa Dragon gets a kick out of the looks he receives when he carries Baby Dragon in it…

Et vous? Quels sont vos indispensables ?!?

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Marie-Jules Morris Bourgouin

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