Just 10 short weeks ago (I can’t believe it has gone so fast!), I welcomed my beautiful baby girl into our family.  We have been ooo-ing and ahh-ing over her since she arrived!  Her older sister can’t get enough of her and we are just so happy to be a family of four!  Things have most definitely changed in the last 5 years since having our first, though there are certain “Must-Haves” that make caring for number 2 a whole lot easier!  As a Music Therapist and Developmental Therapist, I am often recommending these things to my clients to help make their lives easier with baby!

1. A Go To Song

Of course this would be my number one.  My job and life are interchangeable and what kind of music therapist would I be if I didn’t practice what I preach!  In all honesty though, a familiar song is a great way to calm baby.  She’s been hearing your voice from the inside since very early on, so she will know your sounds anywhere, AND because of the natural rhythm of the familiar music, she will calm more quickly.  In our house, we use “Twinkle Twinkle”, mostly because that was what I was singing with so many of my clients, so I know that Simona is already familiar with the tune. As we drove cross-country over the last few weeks for vacation, we were able to sing this song (my older daughter belting it at the top of her lungs) on repeat and she remained more calm as we got through the last few miles before rest stop.

2. Swaddle Blanket

No, not a music therapy thing, though most definitely a helpful mommy thing.  I hear so often from clients about how their baby has difficulty sleeping.  My first question is “Did you swaddle him?”.  Too often, the answer is “No, my baby doesn’t like to be swaddled”.  If your baby didn’t like to be swaddled, why would he have spent 40 weeks in your belly, unable to move???  In all honesty, babies have been in a tight space, unable to move their limbs very easily for a very long time.  When babies come out and have all of this space, their reflexes go into high gear, especially the moro reflex.  This is when your baby flinches as if he feels like he is falling.  This can be minimized when a baby is swaddled.  In addition to helping baby sleep and minimize his moro reflex, baby is comforted by having this wrap.  Your baby may be a Houdini and get out of the swaddle, but I promise, he is better for having it.  We are at a point now that when we bust out the blanket, we are almost instantly calmed and within minutes, baby is asleep!

3. White Noise

Another thing that your baby misses once out of the womb, is the wishing sounds of the fluid surrounding them.  White noise not only blocks out many other sounds (loud cars, crying cats and noisy neighbors), but it also allows your baby to feel that she is inside.  This also helps baby to sleep better.

4. Carrier

Don’t have enough hands?  Babies like LOVE to be held, especially when they are brand spanking new.  If you are anything like me, then you MUST be constantly doing something to make your day go (computer, cleaning, dishes, laundry, etc).  Strap on that baby with some carrier or sling and have two hands free to do WHATEVER you need done (except nap).   Your baby does not need to be put down at all for the first few weeks. In fact, it’s probably better for you and your baby if you don’t!  I promise, you are not spoiling your newborn. In fact, wearing your baby can decrease reflux, aid in neck strength development, and due to the closeness, make for a much happier baby!

5. Good Walking Shoes

Going along with that wearing thing… if you have a baby that likes to be held, or needs to be worn for naps initially, or you just love having your baby close, you will be walking… A LOT.  Invest in some good, supportive sneakers so that your legs, knees and feet stay in good shape and don’t hurt you!

What are some of your favorite Must Haves for baby?  Leave a comment below and tell us all about it!