If you've had children before, you know how that perfect bassinet becomes a cat bed, the endless toys get tripped over more than played with, and the high-dollar convertible high chair only gets used for a month. So here's some of the things I found useful for the 4th trimester, either to get yourself or to give as a gift!
1) Fruit Basket My mother sent one of these to us and I munched on it for days! It was much more useful than sending flowers, and healthier than takeout. There's also a few mail order meal services like Vegan Garden that you can ship directly to the new mother's door.
2) Sleep Sacks Forget the swaddles, and just get a bunch of sleep sacks! Baby's hands are free for breastfeeding and self soothing. It's a lot easier to change diapers with the zippers. Plus they're soft and eliminate the need for blankets.
3) Pillows Now I don't mean breastfeeding pillows... Just pillows in general! The cat pillow below is one of the many pillows I made before having Astrid - this one is a neck roll. It can be tough to get comfortable when breastfeeding, and that baby is going to fall asleep on you more often than not. You want a pile of differently shaped pillows where ever you might breastfeed.
4) Convertible Carseat This is one of the best things I've bought! It has lasted 2.5 years and will last several more. You can use most convertible car seats from 7 pounds and up. The biggest reason people go with the infant car seats instead of convertible is because they don't want to wake the baby up when they get to their destination! But it's coming to light that babies shouldn't be left to sleep in car seats unless they are installed in the car. Plus it will save you money! No need to buy a new car seat in baby's first year, you can use the same one.
5) Babywearing Here I am getting a lesson on using our Maya sling at Biggest Little Baby. We loved babywearing and still occasionally do it with our toddler - though at this age it's mostly for our benefit, not hers. Here's some benefits of babywearing.
6) Safety 1st sleepy baby nail clippers These were a lifesaver when clipping those little baby nails. They allow you to do it while baby is sleeping! The light on them is really bright!
7) Pacifiers Now I know some of you are against pacifiers... But they are fairly inexpensive and can really save the day if you end up needing them. Sometimes it's hard to find them locally, so it's nice to get a few different brands and have them on hand.
8) Dresses This was the first nursing dress I made, and just look at that smile! It's amazing how good it feels to be "dressed up" after having the baby. It gives you a few hours to feel human again.
9) Washable bed pads These are something that you never see in the must-have lists, but they absolutely top mine. We tried the disposable puppy pads and they aren't big enough, they move around the floor, and they stick to your feet and the baby. You can buy washable bed pads that are 3ft square and up! It made naked tummy time more comfortable for baby, and less stressful for us.
10) Grow-with-me clothes We went through baby clothes soooooo fast! I had no idea grow-with-me clothes were a thing... They have long cuffs that you can fold over while baby is small, then extend when they're older. Most items can be worn for at least a year, and sometimes longer!