It was Oct. 29, the night we came home from the hospital with our baby girl, and the scene was utterly ridiculous.
Approaching bedtime we were faced with the terrifying question of where to put our baby down to sleep. Having taken several birthing classes and reading up on infant care, I was painfully aware of the dangers of an unsafe sleeping environment. We had prepared, or so I thought. We had a co-sleeper strapped to our bed, we had a “Snuggle Nest” infant sleeper to put in our bed, and we had my big pregnancy pillow. We had no room for ourselves but all the things (that eventually ended up in the co-sleeper as I stayed awake holding our baby that first night).
In the months leading up our daughter’s arrival, I obsessively cross-referenced the suggestions from the consumer reports website Wirecutter with reviews online and advice from new parents. Slowly a baby registry took shape, hand-me-downs were collected, and what we didn’t receive, we bought.
Now that we are a few months into parenting we have amassed so many newborn products — some of which we will never use. I get it, the baby industry markets on our vulnerability and desire to be prepared, but preparation is not always met through purchases.
Chances are someone you know will be expecting in 2019. This brief baby product and local services roundup might be of assistance for finding the ideal gift. As a disclaimer, parenting and babies are so uniquely personal so what worked for us might not work for others. The items below were invaluable during my pregnancy and the first two months and are available at most major retailers and infant stores.
Pillows: The Boppy Pregnancy Body Pillow facilitated extremely comfortable sleep during my second and third trimester. The design was ideal for supporting my ever-growing belly and I am still using it for nursing. Additionally, the Boppy Newborn Lounger has been very useful as a safe place to lay down our babe for playtime.
Swaddles: This is so personal and dependent on your “baby-burrito” folding skills. We lacked those skills and tried several different styles of swaddles; we found the SwaddleMe brand to be the most effective and affordable for our little escape artist.
Breastfeeding: The My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow is by far the most recommended and functional nursing pillow. We tried several and this one is sturdy and comfortable for mama and babe.
Luxury Item: The Lovevery Play Gym is a brilliantly designed play zone that supports the cognitive and sensory development of a baby for one year. It has several components that evolve and enhance play for various stages.
Carriers: The extensive options when it comes to carriers are overwhelming. I have seven carriers (some hand-me-downs and some purchases), and my babe likes only one. My recommendation is to hold off and borrow them before purchasing. A local group, The Eugene Babywearing Network, will come to you with an array of carriers and help you try them out and choose the right one for you. Find TheBabywearingNetwork on Facebook.
Local Practitioners and Resources
Jennifer Jamison’s Prenatal Yoga at Eugene Yoga Southtown. This is so much more than a yoga class. Jennifer honors and holds space for the ups and downs of pregnancy by cultivating community, connections and solidarity. I made several friends in this class and recommend it for any week of pregnancy. EugeneYoga.us.
Eugene Family Chiropractic specializes in pre- and post-natal chiropractic and massage, Dr. Beth is a masterful body worker. I received adjustments through the week of my due date and gained helpful insights about labor that were not mentioned in any of the baby classes I attended. Dr. Beth is a phenomenal resource for all things baby. EugeneFamilyChiro.com.
Liberation Lactation: An in-home session with a lactation consultant is an incredibly valuable resource for new moms. This will be my go-to baby shower gift forever. There is so much to learn about breastfeeding, pumping and bottle-feeding that is unique to each baby and their environment. Danica Zapata Stiles, RN IBCLC, offers private in-home lactation consulting, prenatal breastfeeding classes and electric pump rentals. Having Stiles (who once upon a time worked at EW) come to our home and offer advice based that was specific to the chair I was sitting in, the pump I had and the pillow I was using was invaluable. I gained much-needed confidence and knowledge through her guidance. 541-221-3388. Find Liberation Lactation on Facebook.