BOB Revolution Jogging Stoller:
This stroller is such a smooth ride over even the biggest of bumps. I have used it a ton while walking around the neighborhood and it is so helpful when I am desperate to put Palmer to sleep. Palmer gets in the stroller and is quickly soothed by the outdoor sounds and rolling ride. I laugh that he usually falls asleep within three houses of ours.
Seven Sling:I've already bragged about this thing in a previous post. It's such a life saver for being able to hold Palmer and have hands free to do other things.
Baby Bjorn Air:
Along the same lines as above, the Baby Bjorn is great, too. I got the Air in anticipation for the Texas heat because it breathes better than the regular version.
These are a must for the early days. My favorite brands are the Miracle Blanket with all of the flaps to really ensure a tight swaddle and the Summer Infant Swaddling Blanket with its sure-to-stay velcro tabs. (Our little baby Houdini does still manage to get his arms out of both, but it takes him several hours in the night to accomplish the feat!)
Aiden and Anais Muslin Blankets:
These are great for swaddling, too, but I really like them as a light-weight muslin blanket for the Texas heat. I always have one in the diaper bag and use it for everything from covering up when nursing in public to covering the carseat from curious stranger hands.
Infant Timer iPhone App:
This timer is brilliant for the early days when you are timing everything from the last feeding to how long a nap is to the last poo. I use it often (especially when sleep deprivation makes it hard to remember even the simplest of things!)
Cloud B Gentle Giraffe Sound Machine:
Palmer's giraffe is an essential part of his bedtime routine. I love the white noise setting or the night-time setting to signal for Palmer to get serious and go to sleep. He also has a similar lamb that we will use when he goes to school this fall.
I like the Infantino Square Twist and Fold Gym (because it looks less "baby" than most toys and therefore not as awful in the living room), but any play mat will do. It's sometimes hard to figure out how to play with an infant for hours each day. The play mat keeps Palmer captivated with the little animals that hang over his head. It's been fun to see him develop from not even noticing the overhead toys to now batting and grabbing for them.
The following things can't be bought, but are also some new lifesavers.
I never appreciated how easy it was to be able to get in and out of the car until I had a 20 lb carseat with me at all times. Now, I'm always thinking in terms of where I might be able to drive thru to run an errand (ie the bank, the pharmacy, Starbucks, etc.)
And since I mentioned Starbucks above...thank goodness for your sweet caffeine to get me thru the day after many many sleepless nights. And even better, a DRIVE THRU STARBUCKS. There is one a few miles from my house and I will go out of my way to hit this up instead of the closer walk-in options.
I've never been a fan of American Idol until I had Palmer. I don't know if it's because I am now more home-confined in the evenings or if I like the calming effect the music has on Palmer. But regardless, I am excited for Wednesday nights when I didn't even know what night Idol was on a mere month ago. :)
PS In the first picture of this post, Palmer is wearing an outfit that Rick wore as a child. Rick's mother was great about saving a lot of his cute little outfits!