- BioOil: I have very sensitive skin. I use Aveno products almost exclusively but during pregnancy BioOil was the only thing that would truly sooth my dry and very itchy skin (our cold and very dry Edmonton winters did not help). I still ended up with some pretty good stretch marks so I cannot say it was a successful product in reducing those, but again it did provide some much needed relief.
- Lansinoh Lanolin: My baby is exclusively breastfed. I was lucky - the babe latched on easily and took to it very well. However, a lack of sleep during those first few nights meant I wasn't always as diligent in making sure that she latched on correctly. This led to some pretty sore nipples. Our Public Health Nurse recommended this product and it was amazing.
- Johnson's Nursing Pads: I tried out a number of different types thanks to some friends giving me their leftovers but found that these ones are by far the best. They are soft and smooth (don't look crinkly).
- Cover Boo Couture Nursing Scarf: I love my Cover Boo scarves! I did not want to wear something that looked like an apron or over-sized bib when breastfeeding but did want to use some sort of cover. The Cover Boo scarves definitely satisfied everything I was looking for! They provide excellent privacy when feeding; I love how they cover not just my front but also my sides and back. They are easy to wear and use with baby. I find I can comfortably hold the babe on either side and switch sides with no problems or "slips", and the babe can move her arms and fidget without risk of exposing more than I am comfortable with. Plus they are extremely fashionable and are available in tons of great fabrics, colours, and patterns. A gorgeous one just came out in this year's colour (emerald!) and I'm tempted to buy it! I'll seriously continue to wear mine as just a scarf after I'm done breastfeeding as I get tons of compliments when I wear them. Finally, they are designed and manufactured in Canada (by a local yeg mom extraordinaire)!
- Baby's First Journal: I bought one of these from Glowbaby. It is such a great tool for keeping track of feedings, diaper changes, and naps. I found it was really helpful because you will be asked questions about these at appointments.
- Penaten cream: Many of my mommy friends, my mom, and my mother-in-law all recommended this product and I totally get why. When my poor babe had a diaper rash caused by a bad diaper brand (too perfume-y and plastic-y for her sensitive toosh) I used some penaten and the rash cleared right up. We continue to use it at the first sign of a rash (many use it at each diapering) and will continue to keep it around in the future.
- Kushies Change Pads: We have two deluxe flannel change pads and think they are excellent. They are soft, durable, and easy to wash. Unlike other brands we tried, these did not lose their integrity after many washings (the "waterproof" backing on one brand cracked after just two washes even though we followed the instructions). They are large (20" x 30"); our four month old comfortably fits on one so we do not have to worry about her having an accident while we are changing her. I know we will continue to get good use out of them until she is out of diapers.
- Jacque the Peacock by Lamaze: My babe loves her Jacque! She received it as a gift and it is her "go to" toy. It has so many different colours, patterns, and textures. It is crinkly, rattles, and has a squeeker. She loves to grab onto his wings and chew on his beak. It is super cute to see her "wrestle"with him.
- Fisher Price Discover 'N Grow Kick and Play Piano Gym: This is our babe's other favourite toy. She loves it when we sing along to the songs as she "plays" them and loves grabbing and pulling and sucking on all the dangling objects or just staring at the beautiful girl in the mirror. The mat is easy to wash and durable.
Some general tips:
- Spit up cloths: Buy tons! There is no such thing as too many spit up cloths. I keep them in every room.
- Diaper "station" basket: I filled one of the baskets I brought back from Tanzania with spit up cloths and diapers. This basket goes with me and the babe as we move around the house. I have boxes of wipes and Kushies change pads in the rooms we frequent the most. I find this is really convenient as I can change the babe right then and there rather than having to move her to a change table in another room (or even on another floor).
- Newborn clothes: This is more of a tip than a "must have". We were given a bunch of clothes before the babe was born. I assumed because we had some outfits that were 0-3 months that they would fit my babe at birth; I was wrong. At 6lbs 9oz my babe was too small for all most all of the 0-3 month pieces we had. We ended up having to buy a bunch of newborn (6-8lb) clothing and some of it was pretty big on her. I would highly recommend that you have at least a sleeper or two on hand just in case you have a small babe; make sure you go shopping for this well in advance as we found it pretty hard to track down this small clothing.
I hope you find some of these recommendations useful. Any others I missed?
Please note that all of these recommendations are my own. I did not receive any compensation for them.