These last few items will conclude the list!
1. Rocking Chair/Exercise Ball
I am lumping these two together because their purpose is the same…to get that baby to sleep. And full disclosure I don’t have either of these items. I know a few moms who bought exercise balls when they were pregnant…they supposedly help ease strained muscles and when Baby C wasn’t engaged at 39 weeks someone told me to get one and use it to sway my hips back and forth to shake him on down…I went with acupuncture instead but that is another post entirely! Anyway, if you already have one then it makes sense to just keep using it…swaying or bouncing on it can help settle your baby and ease them to sleep. Rocking chairs are more expensive than exercise balls but some moms swear by them…my own mother was a rocking chair mother. I suppose it depends on how your nursery is set up and where you plan to do most of your breastfeeding…because we had Baby C in our room with us I just did his night feeds in bed and during the day I was glued to the couch. I can’t speak to the effectiveness of a rocking chair but I can see how it would be really nice to have a designated feeding…and rocking…chair. With either the exercise ball or the rocking chair, if you can get your baby to sleep while you are sitting down you have it made! Baby C wanted us to rock him standing up or even walking around and let me tell you by the end of the day I was desperate to get off my feet. So I think either a exercise ball or a rocking chair might be a sound investment. Either that or get some really supportive shoes!
Anyway, like prams there are a zillion types of baby carriers and it is best to think about how you are going to use it.
First there are slings…I didn’t get one of these but I would imagine the plus would be that they are very easy to get on and off and that the minuses would be that the baby is not super secure and that since all the baby’s weight is placed on one shoulder it would cause back pain.
I have heard that the Baby Bjorn is also really easy to get on and off but I have also heard that it causes shoulder and lower back pain. But if you are planning on using your carrier for quick trips then the ease of loading the baby in might outweigh the discomfort factor.
The Ergo gets great marks because it is easy to take on and off and because it is comfortable. It’s negatives include the fact that it cannot be used for newborns without purchasing a special insert and if you wear it on the front your baby can only face inwards.
I ended up with the Beco Butterfly 2. It is the same basic idea as the Ergo…you carry the baby’s weight on your hips instead of on your shoulders like you do with the Baby Bjorn…but the Butterfly comes with the newborn insert so there is no need to but anything extra. In fact it even comes with a little detachable hooded shade to protect your baby from the sun’s rays. The one negative we found was that Baby C can’t be facing forward if we want to carry him on our front. Around four months this became a problem because he wanted to see everything but wasn’t tall enough to see over our shoulders. I think now he would be fine…except he is so big I would likely topple forward if I carried him on my front. I am looking forward to trying to carry him on my back. Note to self: try Baby C in the carrier on my back when I walk the dog tomorrow.
If possible try before you buy. If you know someone with a carrier ask to try theirs…stick a bag of flour or something in there to get an idea of how the baby’s weight will be distributed. Also some stores have demonstration carriers that you can try out. And once you decide which one is for you practice getting it on and off so you have it down before your baby comes to town!
I am not really sure what to call this but Baby C likes to bounce in it so we will call it a bouncer chair. Sometimes you just want to put your baby somewhere where you don’t have to worry about them so you can have the use of both your hands for five minutes…so you can do really exciting things like laundry and washing the dishes. Enter the bouncer chair. They make fancy versions of this that vibrate and sing songs but Baby C is fine with this simple version…let’s be honest…he doesn’t know any better. We started using this chair when he was about a month old and at first he would just recline in it and stare at the dangling toys…at the very least it provided him with a more upright perspective on the world and it allowed him to do things like sit in the kitchen with us when we were having dinner. He also gets to sit in it in the bathroom and watch me have a shower…lucky boy! This is one huge plus for the simple bouncer chair…it is so light it makes it extremely portable…you can carry your baby with one arm and the chair in your other. Anyway, these days Baby C definitely bounces in the chair…he really rocks out in there. He is happy to bounce away and that gives me a few moments to do things like write this blog!
And I think that is it! That is all you need! Please feel free to ask any questions or post any other ideas in the comments sections!
Good luck crossing things off your list!