8 Products to Keep You Sane During Baby's First Year

by - February 02, 2016

For first-time parents, the first year of your baby's life is full of learning curves. You quickly start to build up resources - whether it's having a handful of trusted people you can ask about anything or creating a Pinterest board full of things you might one day need to know. In my almost 10 months of motherhood, I've done both of those things, and Google has become my best friend. I've also discovered several products along the way that have helped to make this first year go by smoothly.

Boogie Wipes - The name pretty much says it all, and I'm kind of ashamed that it took me so long to discover these magical boogie wipes. The cloths are soaked with saline so they're super moisturizing, and they're amazingly soft. Alexis hates having her nose wiped normally but doesn't get nearly as bent out of shape when I use one of these. I've even used them on my own nose! You can pick these up at any drug store for around $5.

Summer Infant SwaddleMe WrapSack - I am not ashamed to admit that I can not swaddle. It's hard, y'all! Thankfully, we were given several of the amazing SwaddleMe's as gifts. The best thing about these? You can use them even if your baby doesn't like having their arms restricted. The Velcro ensures that they stay snug and baby stays warm all night. You obviously won't use these once the baby starts rolling over, but I'm telling you - if you are swaddle-challenged like I was, these things are a life-saver and worth the $20.

Johnson & Johnson Baby Bedtime and Soothing Vapor Baths - Trust me when I say both of these bubble baths do exactly what they say they will. I use the lavender scented bath on a regular basis, along with the actual wash and lotion versions. We recently started using the soothing vapor bath. It smells like a very toned-down version of Vick's vapor rub, and with this constantly changing weather we've been having lately it's worked wonders with keeping Alexis' snot under control.

Dishwasher Baskets - Let's be honest. No one likes washing bottles. And while I hand-wash ours most of the time, there are some days that I just don't feel like it. On those days, I break out my handy-dandy dishwasher baskets, fill 'em up and set the dishwasher on the hour cycle. And these are not only good for bottle parts but also for pacifiers, teethers and the lids and nipples for sippy cups. They come in a variety of brands and colors. All are around the same price range and can be found at places like Toys R Us, Target and Walmart.

Orajel Nighttime Formula Teething Gel - Does this one even need an explanation? If your baby is like mine and has a hard time with teething, Orajel will be your friend. Just make sure you get the nighttime version. (You can read about our struggles with teething here.)

Munchkin Formula Dispenser - This is something I would never have thought I needed, but how wonderful it has been to have! This little guy has three sections; each one can hold up to nine ounces of formula. It's the perfect take-along for a day in town, and I don't have to worry about keeping pre-made bottles cool. You can pick up these formula dispensers at Babies R Us, Target or Walmart among other places for around $5.

Raz Baby Raz-Berry Silicone Teether - We've tried a lot of teethers, and the result is generally the same - disinterest after only a few minutes. But the raz-berry is different. I don't know why, but it is. So if you've tried traditional gel teethers or even the Dr. Brown's version with no luck, give this one a try. We got ours at Walmart for around $3.

Cloud B Gentle Giraffe on the Go - I've saved the best for last. We call this guy the singing giraffe. He has four different settings - sleep, play, relax and calm. When it comes to bedtime, he's a game changer. We went from 20-30 minutes of crying and fighting to 10 or less. This guy also has a Velcro strap on the back so we can hook him onto the carseat for long rides. There are other versions of these soothers available. All cost around $25.

What products would you add to this list?

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