As I started out by mentioning these were the item I was most excited about. We wound up with 2 sets of these (thankfully different designs), plus another set from the Swaddle Designs brand. While I do think the Swaddle Designs are softer, I still like the A&A blankets better since they hold a swaddle better and they don't have a gigantic tag. After 3 months we're still going strong using two of these blankets to double swaddle at night. Plus they wind up draped over her car seat in the morning or over her while she's napping in the RockNPlay during the day.
Speaking of the RockNPlay, this is where she's taken all of her naps. It's easy to move around, which means I've been able to drag it to the bathroom to keep an eye on her during a bath or back and forth between when mine and my in-laws house when they watched her for 3 weeks. One aspect I love about it is that when she starts to wake up from a nap and begins moving, her movement will get the RockNPlay going and sometimes she'll rock herself back to sleep. Unfortunately, I'm not sure how much longer she'll fit in it, but once she does outgrow it, it folds up pretty nicely for storage.
While we're on the sleeping topic, I was sure Elley was going to sleep in sleep gowns after hearing how convenient they were. But since we kept her swaddled in two blankets a long gown on top of them felt a little too warm to me. So instead she started sleeping in these side-snap shirts, which had the convenience of keeping her diaper accessible without the excess fabric. We originally had a set of newborn shirts and then bought some in 0-3 months size. Plus I'm guessing pretty soon I'm going to want to add some 3-6 months to her wardrobe as well.
For the last of the baby essentials, we have these Gumdrop Pacifiers, which we discovered on after trying several different options and buying these at Target on a whim. Turns out, these were her favorite. If you go back to my 1 Month Update, you'll see that Elley was pretty upset in the late afternoon before bed. It got to the point that whenever she got too upset we put her to sleep, which left us without knowing what time she'd actually go to bed. But with a pacifier we could actually keep her somewhat happy this time of day, which led to our current consistent bedtime of 7:30.
Washable Breast Pads
The first of the mom essentials, like the rest, these have to do with breast feeding. I got a ton of sample disposable breast pads from registering, and probably would have stuck with them without knowing there were other options. Except after shopping at Destination Maternity and getting on their mailing list, I got an e-mail for 10 free breast pads from BreastPads.com. If you talk to the boy these weren't actually free since I had to pay shipping, but still it came out to $1.50 a pair, practically a steal in my book. I loved these so much that when I received a new coupon when Elley was about 1 month I ordered 10 more.
Hands-Free Pumping Bra
The first few times I pumped I did so without a pumping bra, and while it's possible to do, it isn't worth it in my opinion. Not only do you get so much more production when wearing it, but as the name suggests it leaves your hands are free, which for me meant I was able to read while pumping.
Something else the boy would say is a waste of money, but I think is completely worth it. After all, I need to transport a pump, cooler with ice pack, pump parts, storage bags, burp clothes, and a pumping bra to and from work each day. Of course I may not have needed to spent the extra money on the Medela version, but this way I was guaranteed it would fit my pump. Plus it already came with a small cooler and ice pack to keep my milk cool.
Milk Storage Bags
Going into pumping I wasn't quite sure how I was going to store all the milk I was freezing, but I happily discovered these which you can pump directly in. I did have some issues figuring out how to freeze them at first, and quickly learned you can't lay them flat till their frozen, but so far I've been really happy with them.
Are there any essentials I've left out? Or are some of our essentials things that didn't work for you?