Unexpected Baby Must Haves: 1 to 3 months

We registered for over 100 items for baby but 5 of the items I use the most didn't even make it on the list!  Some items were described as frivolous on Internet baby forums, others didn't fit the kind I parent I thought I would be.  

Turns out, no one knows what's needed until you're living with a newborn.   Your own newborn, in your own life. Especially a crying one. But for what it's worth, here's my list of must-haves that I didn't know would be so valuable.

1. Infantino Activity Gym. Between tummy time and developing baby senses, having an activity gym is critical.  This Infantino version is inexpensive and includes the key things I was looking for: a mirror, detachable plush toys, easy fold and compact size for storing.  The cute patterns and quilt like mat are a plus.  $35.87 - Amazon.com. 

2. Munchkin Wipe Warmer. This was one of the items that people repeatedly told me was a waste. "The baby doesn't care," people said.  "It's a waste of money," they said.   You know what BB said? "WAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!" at the top of his lungs whenever a cold wipe hit his bottom during changing.  When we started using the wipe warmer, diaper changes (10-15 times a day) became infinitely quieter. $22.56 - Amazon.com. 

3. Munchkin Arm & Hammer Diaper Pail. I thought we were going to cloth diaper from the beginning but it turns out that dealing with a crying newborn doesn't lend itself to doing a lot of laundry.  DH and I agreed we would put off cloth diapering until we got the hang of breastfeeding and night time sleep routine.  Until then, we had a smelly diaper in the nursery problem which was quickly resolved by this diaper pail.  DH says it was his best baby purchase and even instagrammed it.  I call that Husband Approved. $34.99 - Amazon.com. 

4. Contoured Changing Pad. My mom told me I would be changing the baby all over the house from the bed to the couch and whatever flat surface would be nearby.  People said that changing tables were a waste of money.  So I figured a folding changing pad would be portable and more effective.  This was until I realized how much I wanted my little one to be as comfortable as possible.  We picked up this mattress like changing pad with a waterproof surface.  Thankfully we did because BB quickly showed us how far he could pee and the awesomeness of projectile poop.  Changes have been relegated to the nursery with this changing pad on top of an IKEA dresser that easily wipes down.  $18 - Amazon.com.

5. Graco Gliding Swing. I said earlier no one knows what you need but it turns out my mom knew what we needed.  For some reason I thought I swing was an unnecessary luxury.  WRONG. We quickly realized that this gliding swing my mom bought us was one of the best purchases anyone ever made for us in the history of our lives.  Sound dramatic? This swing was critical in getting BB to sleep and a recommended part of sleep training per Dr. Harvey Karp, the smartest parenting book author in my book. $179.99 - Babies R Us. 

What items did you end up using that you didn't know you couldn't live without?

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