A “Must-Haves” List for First-Time Moms
Prior to having my now 15-month-old son, I had literally 0 clues about what a baby needed. Seriously. I was the expecting mom who hid her confusion with a polite smile and nod when parents told me their child’s age in months. Not only am I not a math person, but I had no frame of reference for that kind of terminology. I mean, why didn’t they just say their kid was almost a year old? (I get it now, though. Hence, my 15-month-old comment at the beginning.)
Needless to say, when it came time to create my baby registry, I had to face the facts that I had no idea what I was doing. So, I went straight to my momma friends for advice, and they did a fabulous job of covering all the basics. That being said, once our son was born, it seemed like every other week I was ordering something new because I didn’t realize he’d need it.
If you’re a first-time mom, you may or may not have heard of these things called “developmental leaps”. (I hadn’t.) These leaps, also known as “wonder weeks”, are when you’ll see [seemingly overnight] big jumps in your baby’s mental development and awareness. However, along with these new mental capabilities, come new physical abilities and associated baby gear. Unfortunately, I didn’t know this information, nor any knowledge of pediatric psychology; so, every few weeks, I’d find myself playing catch up to my son’s learning curve and hurrying to buy a plethora of new items in the process!
This became very frustrating until I came across a book called, The Wonder Weeks. As I read, I realized I could easily plan ahead for my son’s upcoming leaps and purchase items early. In my rush, however, I spent way more than necessary. Looking back, I wish I would’ve planned ahead and gone to a Rhea Lana’s event while I was still expecting. After recently attending my first event, I realize how much I could’ve saved!
But just because I can’t go back in time, doesn’t mean I can’t help future mommas have a more productive shopping experience! I’m all about productivity. Therefore, to help you as you prep for your next Rhea Lana’s sale, I’ve constructed my “top 3-4 necessity items for each developmental leap that I didn’t know to put on my registry [divided by months and weeks]” list.
I’m totally kidding…but that’s really what it is! However, to make things a little less confusing, I guess I’ll go with the following:
The Must-Haves List for First Time Moms
1-3 Months - 0-16 weeks
Tummy Time Play Gym – If you’re wondering what Tummy Time and Play Gyms are, let alone what they all mean together, you’re in a safe place. I literally had no idea what tummy time and/or a play gym was prior to reading a book my first week post-partum. (I know, I know. I’m such a procrastinator. I can feel all you A-type personalities shaking your heads at me as you read this. To be fair, I did read all the books on sleep training prior to giving birth. Priorities, people.)
Cushioned Play Mat – You’ll need this to go under the play gym if you have hardwood floors. A few good blankets can also suffice; but as they get older and start rolling, it’s nice to have the mat. Plus, you can continue to use it as they grow!
A good portable bassinet – This item is great if you like to spend time with friends and family, but would like some flexibility as to where that time is spent! My husband and I spend a lot of time with our parents, so we wanted a portable bassinet for naps when cribs and pack-n-plays weren’t a good option yet. Tip: If there is a nicer one available at Rhea Lana’s, get it! We bought a cheap one off amazon, which was a total mistake.
4-5 Months - 17-25 weeks
Sit-me-up chair – During this time period, many babies get tired of lying flat on their back. (I mean, wouldn’t you?) I found that a sit-me-up chair served as a break from back laying and tummy time, as well as an opportunity to start developing muscles needed to sit up. Tip: Babies have to develop muscles for sitting. We started by placing our son in his chair for only a few minutes; then, overtime, let him stay longer as he got stronger.
ExerSaucer and/or Johnny Jumper – We started using these closer to 5 months, or once our son could sit up on his own. At first he just sat and played with the dangling things attached to them, but later he started using his legs to move. These items got really fun during the 6-9-month phase before he could walk!
Jogger Stroller – After a while, the baby stroller wasn’t cutting it. Our son really liked the jogger, and I liked it better for rougher terrain and very sloooow jogs. (Not going to lie. I never mastered running with it, but I’m super impressed by the moms who do!)
Waterproof/Outdoor Blanket – Around this time my husband and I got more comfortable taking our son to outdoor places. We would use our outdoor blanket for picnics at the park, or his play area while we visited with family by the river.
6-8 Months - 26-39 weeks
Wagon with Safety Straps – Such as a “Radio Flyer”. Once your little one can sit up nicely, this item will be great for taking him/her to events where you’ll carry lots of items. We loved having our wagon when we took our son to the pumpkin patch for the first time, as well as when my son started wanting to sit up more than our jogger would allow. I also like that they often come with safety straps for 2 kids and a canopy!
Portable High Chair – Once again, we had to wait until our son could sit up well on his own; but when he finally could, we took [and still take] this everywhere! It’s great for restaurants, picnics, get-togethers, and basically, anywhere your kid needs a seat to eat. There are both short and tall options!
LOTS of Hard Cover Books – My son loved hardcover books because he could turn the pages and, let’s be honest, chew on them. It was an extra bonus if the book included pictures of real people or touchable textures.
Toys that Encourage Crawling - I’d say we are a 75:25 ratio Montessori family. Meaning, most of the toys we bought for our son were wooden, but we also had a few electronic ones here and there. For example, when our son was learning to roll, a wooden toy with a bell was great for leading him to turn on his side; however, when he started trying to crawl, an electronic dog/rolling ball seemed to be more encouraging!
9-12 Months - 40-52 weeks
Walker – Our son loved these so much that both sets of grandparents got one for their homes! They have all different kinds. Some your child can sit in and move with their legs, and others are really just for balancing. Our son still likes to push his around even though he can walk fine on his own!
Activity Table – This was an electronic toy one of my husband’s parents had at their house. While I never got one, I liked having it at their house while he was still learning to stand up on his own. I’m not a doctor, but I think it helped strengthen his leg muscles!
Baby Gate – If you have stairs in your house, this is a must-have! Our son started walking at about 11 months and right away seemed to gravitate towards the stairs on the back porch. Therefore, our baby gate (which I got from a Rhea Lana’s event) has been a lifesaver! Be sure to measure the space where you’ll be putting the gate, though! I almost bought the wrong size!
There’s obviously way more that could be added to this list, but [for the most part] I think this is a good foundation. I hope my list helps as you prepare for you next Rhea Lana’s event, as well as the amazing adventure ahead! You’ve got this, Momma! Praying for you today and always!
Love in Christ,
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