It seems like more and more families are looking to keep it simple when it comes to what they register for or buy themselves to use with their families. It was the same for my husband and I; we registered for children's books to build our family library and then some essential items like swaddles and cloth diapers, but otherwise we kept it pretty minimal. In fact, some items that we have had around the house for years have been the most useful after our son's birth. Here are five handy items that have done double duty during our first 16 months together as a family:
In the last three months of my pregnancy, I would regularly wake about 3:00 am and my stomach would want tea. It was a sleepy battle some mornings, when my stomach wanted tea, but the rest of me was not interested in crawling out from under the warm down comforter to put on the kettle. At some point during one of my nesting cleaning binges, I rediscovered my old thermos. From then on my predawn tea cravings were tended to while I kept warm under the blankets. Just before tucking in for the night, I would brew some organic chamomile tea to keep next to the bed, then I could take sips of something hot that would also help me fall back asleep. On most mornings it was just the thing I needed, unless my very crowded bladder had plans of its own.
During the first few months of your little's life, when you are changing more nighttime diapers (or other nighttime care item if you are EC-ing) than you can believe possible, a head lamp can be your best friend. My husband and I really wanted to avoid what we called, "the hard wake up," which meant that even when we were dog-tired, we could not fall back to sleep after being woken up. The headlamp let us take quick, stealthy peeks at our son without fully waking him, or ourselves, in the process. And if we did need to change him, we would keep the main lights off in the house and just pop on the headlamp to get the job done. Ever seen a Nascar pit team get to work during a race? Well, we may have not gotten it down to seconds, we did get pretty darn fast with the diaper and then back into bed. If you are in the market for a new headlamp, I recommend something that has a red light on it, and a diffuser is nice too. The red light is bright enough to do the trick and is easy on everyone's barely awake eyes, including the baby's.