*** I wanted to post photos of Georgia having fun with each of the items I've listed (except the last one, of course), but Blogger and Picasa are giving me such problems today that I only posted a couple. It took an hour to get these to post.***
She's so big and active now, it's hard for me to believe she was ever this tiny!
We have a small house and didn't want to end up with lots of baby gear that we don't use. I'm happy to say that we managed to survive without a swing and Pack & Play just fine!
Georgia also only has a few toys. Friends and grandparents bought quite a few dolls and stuffed animals, and we have a few things stored in the attic that she won't use for six months or more. David and I bought a few little age-appropriate learning toys, and of course she has tons of books. She's not extremely interested in toys right now, she is happy to listen to us talk and watch us do things around the house. Lately I've been getting up early enough to take her for a walk in the morning (before it's too hot) and she loves watching the trees and feeling the breeze when we're lucky enough to have one.
These items are the things we definitely want to have on hand if we ever have a newborn again.
Aden + Anais Swaddle Blankets - We absolutely love these and so does Georgia. They are light enough for Houston heat but can be folded up double and wrapped around her this winter. We use them for sleeping at night, playtime during the day and a light cover in the carseat and stroller. Target and Babies R Us sell a version that's probably just as good but they are a bit smaller, I'm not sure if we'd be able to use them this winter since Georgia is pretty tall. I would say get two packs (eight blankets), but I do baby laundry often enough that we always have at least two clean ones.
SwaddleMe Wraps - or the "SwaddleWaddle" as we call them. We have six of these. We use them every single night. They are much easier for diaper changing than a blanket swaddle, and Georgia is so hot-natured that I hate having her in a sleeper and blanket. They have organic cotton and such cute designs! We also got a Swaddlepod, which was awesome! It has a zipper rather than velcro; two zippers, actually. One zips from the top and one from the bottom. She could sleep right through a diaper change. Sadly, she recently grew out of it, and I'm not going to buy another since we don't plan on swaddling too much longer.
Fisher Price Deluxe Musical Mobile Activity Mat - This is one of the toys Georgia really likes. It's much more entertaining for her than her bouncy seat. Early on, she was content to just look at the butterflies, then we added toys, music and lights. Now she loves grabbing and pulling the toys.
UppaBaby Vista Stroller - Hands down, momma's favorite purchase. Besides the fact that it's so easy to push on different terrains, lightweight and easy to fold up (I can lift it into my tall SUV with no problem, and I'm only 5'2"), it's the only stroller we will need unless we purchase a jogging stroller. We've used the infant basinette attachment so much - for walks, naps around the house, and she sleeps in it when we travel. I guess it's why we didn't need a Pack & Play. It has a carseat attachment for when we're on the go, and it can turn into a double stroller if we need in a few years.
Wee Gallery Art Cards for Baby - These hold Georgia's attention better than anything! They're excellent for keeping her entertained during tummy time. We hold a card in front of her and talk, then let her follow it with her eyes. Then, we turn the card over so she can see the opposite pattern. She gets mad and fusses when we put them away!
Medela Pump In Style Advanced - My milk didn't come in for a week (most people take only 3-5 days). After five days, the pediatrician and lactation consultant had me pump for five minutes before trying to feed Georgia to help things along. I know it wouldn't have been as easy without this pump. It's so "powerful" without being uncomfortable. Now that she's sleeping through the night and eating fewer times per day, I pump to build up a milk supply in the freezer. Don't laugh, but I just got the ultra sexy hands free pumping bra, so now I can really multitask - breakfast, catching up on TV, reading a book, making milk...all at once! I swore they were stupid and I'd never buy one, but it's been one of the best purchases.