As you all know, we had major latching difficulties the first week of Nicholas' life and I had to resort to exclusively pumping (before we ended up having to pump to add cereal to his bottles at 3 weeks due to reflux). The second day we were at home I made this purchase and I would recommend this pump to ANYONE wanting to exclusively pump or that wants to pump at work. It is the Medela Pump In Style Advanced. It only takes 10-15 minutes to get 8-10 oz and I was able to build up a pretty good stash in no time. The only drawback is that it is not handsfree, but there is one that is for about $100 more.
In the same note as having to pump and use bottles (and of course now that we are on formula), I have had fabulous success with Dr. Brown's bottles. I had registered for mainly Avent with a few Dr. Brown's thrown in just in case we had tummy issues since I knew that my pediatrician recommends them for colicky babies. Good thing I got a lot of them because at two and a half weeks we switched to them from the Avent and I could tell a big difference right away in his reflux. Yes they have a lot of parts, seven per bottle to be exact, but after a few days of washing them, you don't even think anything about it anymore. The extra washing is WELL worth it to me to have a happier baby.
Ok, as we all know, I am very OCD, anxious, and a huge worrier. Well, when it comes to making sure Nicholas is safe while he sleeps I registered for the Angelcare Deluxe Movement Monitor. It was worth every penny the two times it has alarmed and sure enough, he wasn't breathing. I don't want to think about what would have happened without it. Then, last week after he started rolling around in his bed and moving around a lot, I thought it would be good to invest in a video monitor as well. Yes, I have two monitors on my nightstand, don't judge! :-) I got it the night before I ended up in the hospital and my parents loved having it the nights I was away. They took it to their house and it was easy to take with him and for them to set up. We refer to it as the Nicholas cam and we know exactly what he is doing in his crib and that he is safe. It has become my favorite baby product because it is so helpful when he wakes up because we can tell if he is really awake and ready to get up or just playing. I got the Summer Infant Secure Sleep Color Video Monitor at Target. Highly recommend!
My honorable mention items were: the Boppy, Rainforest Bathtub, Avent Sterilizer, and Diaper Genie II. We only used the Boppy as a support for feeding/nursing the first day (and that was with a c-section). Nicholas preferred to sleep in it. He loved the support it gave him and he spent a lot of time lounging in it. The Rainforest Bathtub has been great because of the newborn sling. He actually still uses it after trying just the tub for a couple of days, we realized he preferred the sling rather than being submerged in the water. It was also great because we were able to bathe him immediately upon coming home because it kept his belly button out of the water. Much better than bathing a new baby on the vanity or countertop. I got an Avent sterilizer with some gift cards before he was born and it saved a lot of time when I was pumping and trying to keep all the pump parts clean. I highly recommend it! It also works with any brand of bottles so I can still use it with the Dr. Brown's. I think it is my mom's favorite item we have. A lot of you told me not to get a Diaper Genie, but I thought I would try it anyway. It has held on average about two days worth of diapers and it keeps them from stinking up his room now that he is on the smelly pregestimil. The only thing I would do different is register for the Elite rather than just the plain one because it has a foot control and you don't have to actually lift the lid, but that isn't that big of a deal to me.
I plan to do another similar post around the first of the year with the things that got us through the first six months, but I wanted to write this to help any of you having babies within the next few months. Of course every mommy is different and has different needs, but I couldn't have lived without these items.