The following is a guest post by my husband, David, in partnership with buybuy BABY.
In terms of my newborn or young infant, when I'm looking at whether something might be considered "essential" or not, I'm really only asking a couple of general questions. First, is it going to contribute to my little guy's health or safety? And second, does it sacrifice or enable mobility?
When I'm thinking about health and safety, I'm including basic cleanliness, exercise and development, protection from the elements, and general comfort and happiness.
Air is the first and most basic necessity for life, so it's the first thing on my mind when I'm considering my baby's health and well-being. This is one of the reasons I've always been big on plants in the house. They clean the air in so many different ways and continually pump out oxygen to enrich the space. They really make a difference when you go out of town for a little while and come back. They make the air fresh, and clean-smelling instead of stale- especially in older apartments. The only thing they can't do that well is filter out dust, and other particulates, like maybe pet hair. So a high efficiency table top air purifier like this one can come in very handy.
My pick: GermGuardian Tabletop Air Purifier
Next up is food. This is mostly mommy's job, but sometimes she either can't be there, or just needs a break. In that case, a good set of wide neck slow-flow bottles that are easy to clean and sterilize should be on hand and ready to use.
My Picks: Chicco® NaturalFit® 5-Piece 0M + Wide Neck Slow Flow Bottle Gift Set in Blue Deco & Babyganics® 16 oz. Fragrance-Free Foaming Dish & Bottle Soap (great for cleaning breast pumps too!)
After food comes shelter and clothing. His little hands and feet need special covering, especially in the first weeks, when his nails are inexplicably sharp- must be a sort of survival feature or something. Unfortunately. nowadays, they only end up slicing themselves. Aside from that, anything that covers quickly and easily, like hooded towels, onesies and receiving blankets are a must. With our first two boys, we could never have enough receiving blankets or swaddles. Those things are absolute gold.
My picks: Sterling Baby Booties, Sterling Baby Mitts, SkipHop 3-Pack Star Struck Bodysuits, SpaSilk Hooded Bathrobe and Booties, Gerber Receiving Blankets, Swaddle 3-pack XO adjustable infant wrap set.
Then of course, you have to keep everything clean. Babies are very sensitive right out of the gate, so you have to have something that is hypoallergenic, dye and fragrance free.
My Pick: Babyganics Detergent
Mobility is up next. You obviously need something to carry it all around in, and it has to be something that is light, easy to use, and makes everything easily accessible. If it's just a little bit stylish, that's cool too. Personally, I'm usually only focused on utility and sometimes style doesn't even come into play. But that's what I have my lovely lady for: she helps keep me from looking like a total slob.
At this point, you're probably really in need of some exploring, or at least a walk. In that case, There are a couple of choices. The Baby Bjorn is a really fantastic option, because it's hands-free and your little one gets to be right up there, face in the action. A lot of babies love to be floating up there in space, going through the world like it's their own little virtual reality game. The only thing with this option is that they can only use it for so long because they get too big. After that, you have to graduate to the stroller. Even before the baby's size plays a factor, though, sometimes it's actually more convenient to use the stroller. Anytime you might need to do some recent lifting or bending over, times like that. One more consideration: if you're going to use the stroller and the weather isn't terribly friendly, the addition of a stroller muff for your comfort, and a weather shield for the baby will make a huge difference.
My picks: BabyBjorn Baby Carrier Miracle in Black, Chicco Urban Stroller, SkipHop On-The-Go Muff, Nuby All Weather Stroller Shield
Lastly, mobility is not just about you moving the baby around, it's also about helping to create an environment where they can learn to move themselves around. They need the right support to feel comfortable lifting and moving their heads, space to learn to roll around, and opportunities to learn hand eye coordination.
This post is sponsored by buybuy BABY. As always all opinions are my own.