J and I made a couple of trips to baby shops before Littlest of Men arrived, with the major one happening late June. It was truly overwhelming and we did it before my childbirth classes which were quite useful for ruling out useless or out-of-date items that are for some reason still sold. The midwife told us either to not get or not bother with a number of things: bottle sterilizers, bottle warmers, and crib liners being the ones I remember.
Here are the things we are actually happy we got (or got as gifts), or that I wish I’d gotten earlier:
- Good nursing bras. Now this is not really my fault since no one was able to tell me where to get any of these things until after Littlest was here. Turns out the best shops for this stuff in France are the Les Halles/Kiabi-type places. Don’t bother with lingerie stores!
- A newborn pacifier. We grabbed a set of two normal pacifiers without really thinking about it—I mean, I didn’t know they could be so different! Littlest of Men hated it and sucked hard on our pinky fingers for a couple weeks before I grabbed a Mam newborn pacifier at the pharmacy just to try out. We got our pinky fingers back. Not every baby needs a pacifier of course, but Littlest was a bigtime sucker and really needed to suck to be reassured.
- Ikea rocking chair. It’s not really a rocking chair, it’s the model that just rocks a little bit, but the back support and light rocking are perfect for nursing or for just calming down the baby in our arms. And Ikea makes them at all different prices depending on which cushion you choose. (Ours is blue fabric but if you have luxury taste you could go for leather.)
- A little baby blanket. This was actually a handmade gift from my friend Maggie but it goes everywhere with him. It kept him warm at the maternity ward and now lives in his car seat.
- Up and down bouncer. Littlest of Men is getting better at being put down and watching for longer periods of time, and J’s mom and sister gave us this adjustable bouncer that allows him to be next to us when we eat dinner or are on the couch, at different heights. Most importantly it also comes into the bathroom with me when I’m showering and drying my hair.
- White noise machine. These are not sold in France yet and I made the mistake of ordering one from Amazon.fr that was actually shipped from the States. So I way overpaid and wish I had just ordered one from Amazon.com and had it sent to my parents. But I in no way regret buying it—newborns are incapable of calming themselves down and hate quiet rooms for sleeping, so though we can’t really know how much difference this machine makes, it certainly reassures me.
All of these pictures are dated now, with the pacifier one being the most recent. In all the others he looks SO TINY.