I’m still a brand new parent, so I don’t (and never will) claim to be to an expert on the subject. In fact, as I mentioned recently, I’m currently living in a season of “firsts.” Learning on the fly. Asking my friends with three and four kids, “What do I do when this and that happens ?” Veteran parents, does the “learning on the fly” mentality every really go away?
Speaking of learning on the fly, I recently sat down and put together a list of the top 4 things we use in my house, daily, that we definitely would not have made it this far without. Here they are:
4.) Bottle Brush: This first one might have you thinking “Duh!” but I’m just being real. I mean, who knew they made special brushes to wash out bottles with? The answer: my wife. Quite honestly, if it wasn’t for her figuring out most of the preparation type stuff before having Ollie, I’d be doing stuff like cleaning out bottles and tops with the same sponge I clean my coffee mug out with. So here’s the consensus: Get one of these! Also, it may or may not have taken two months into fatherhood for me to learn that the bottom screws off and turns into a smaller brush to clean the tops with.
3.) Door Jumper: Now, this isn’t something you’ll need or be able to use right away, but as soon as those little legs beef up and your baby is jumping on your bladder non-stop, you’re going to want to make a trip to Target or Babies R Us to pick one of these up. Door jumpers hang from essentially every doorway, and babies (at least mine does) love to lounge around and pretend to walk in them. These are especially helpful for stay-at-home parents since you can safely plop your baby down in one and get a little work done while still keeping a close eye on him or her. It’s a win, win, WIN!
2.) Two Changing Tables: Yes, I knew we would need a changing table, but the fact that we ended up with TWO was an unexpected blessing! We ended up purchasing the essential changing table for Ollie’s nursery first, only to discover that one came with our Pack-n-Play too. Honestly, it just seemed like an accessory at first, something we’d store away in the basement, but after attaching it to the Pack-in-Play once, I don’t think we’d ever consider taking it off again. If you’re like us and have a house with an upstairs, this is a MUST. The convenience of having a changing table a few feet away when you’re up to your knees in poop is priceless. So don’t do like I did and think you can try and get by using the floor or couch just to save money.
1.) High Chair with 4 Wheels: This last one , I confess, is an amenity, but if it’s in the budget, I highly recommend splurging on it. I tend to fall into the “let’s get everything used and as cheap as possible” camp, but there was something about getting a lot of the bigger stuff “new” that just helped us feel more prepared heading into parenthood for the first time. Prices on high chairs vary a lot, but I’m so glad we went with one with 4 wheels. Honestly, the selling point was that it came with an extra booster seat so that, Lord willing, when baby number two comes around, we’ve already got our dinner table (in our case, coffee table) places accounted for. So, it wasn’t an all out splurge!
In addition to the extra seating, the wheels also double as entertainment for our little guy. If we strap him into it in one room and then wheel him over to where we want to feed him, feeding time can easily become roller-coaster or train time! This is especially helpful when he’s already on the verge of throwing a hunger fit. Now, a lot of high chairs come with two wheels and/or are much more compact and easier to store, but I’d definitely say that if it’s in the budget, you won’t regret purchasing one of these!