bringing home baby: newborn essentials

I remember going into Babies R Us when I was pregnant with my first son to complete my registry. I didn’t know places like this existed, and I walked in to baby stuff everywhere.  Hormones took over, I had a mini meltdown of “oh my gosh, what is all this stuff”, and ultimately decided to google every baby list there ever was. Now as a second time mom and baby nurse, I like to think I’m a bit smarter in narrowing down what we actually have used in these first few months.  So I’ll break it down by section and share with you what we’ve used and why we love it.

*Some of the items in this post were provided to me for free to facilitate a review. All opinions and statements are mine.  Thank you, Owlet and iBaby Labs, for allowing me to try your products! And thank you all for supporting the brands I love!

Feeding:

If you’re breastfeeding, you don’t need much.  This is my favorite nursing pillow by far because it provides a lot of support for baby’s positioning.  Also, my two favorite nursing bras are linked here by Bravado and Medela.  I prefer the soft cup ones without an underwire just for comfort.  In addition, nipple cream and a few washable nursing pads have been crucial.  Oh, also this nursing cover is great for feeding in public (and doubles as a car seat cover to keep the weirdos away). If you’re bottle feeding (or pumping), these bottles work really well to reduce the amount of air baby is swallowing. A few small receiving blankets are good for spit up and leaky boobs while feeding.

Sleeping:

Besides a crib (duh), you may want to have a bassinet or pack and play on hand.  We chose a standard pack and play (which I thought was a mini), but I wish we had gone with this, which is actually a mini and perfect to have beside your bed and for travel.  Another great option, especially for c-section mamas, is this basinet. We also loved loved loved our Snuggle Me sleeper.  I never thought pillows like this were worth the hype, but THEY ARE.  If you love your sleep and your sanity, this is totally worth the money*.  A few of my favorite swaddles are NuRoo and Halo. And I have personally never tried the Ollie swaddle but I hear good things about it all the time.

*And my nurse’s plug, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the ABCs of safe sleep: Alone, on their Back, in the Crib. I used the Snuggle Me lounger during nap times when I was awake and observing sleep.  Please ensure you’re using a safe sleep environment for your babies!

Monitoring:

So my second son figured out how to roll from his back to his belly!  Buuuut he didn’t realize he can get stuck that way and that makes mama nervous when we’re sleeping.  I decided to try the Owlet and it’s honestly given me so much peace of mind. The app tracks sleep quality and sends a notification when heart rate or oxygen levels fall outside of the expected range.  I definitely recommend this for those parents always waking up to check if their kid is breathing still.  And for a baby monitor, we’re using this one by iBaby Labs. My favorite feature is that I can watch my baby sleep while I’m at work!  Literally I can be 15 miles away and I’m able to log in and open the app and see him, just like I would on a traditional baby monitor. It also has sound and motion detection to send you an alert when it senses those things, and can capture images or video associated with those alerts.  Unlike a lot of other smart phone monitors, the app can run in the background and send you alerts (like how a text message would appear) without interrupting what you’re already doing on your phone.  You can play music or speak into baby’s room all from your phone.  Aaaand it tracks temperature and moisture in the room. Seriously, it’s the coolest.

Bathing

Save yourself the trouble and expense of buying a tub with a thermometer built in.  I believe in you guys that if you have skin, you can tell for yourself what the water temperature should be for your baby’s bath. A little bather like this or sponge type like this works perfect when baby is small.  We use Dr. Bronner’s soap, but I think any baby soap is fine.

Lounging:

You guys all know my love for baby wearing by now.  This wrap and this tank are my favorite and have been life savers to keep my hands free for chasing a toddler. I also recommend a swing similar to this.  We also used the Snuggle Me as a lounger to let him lay in while he was awake.

Basics: 

If you know nothing else about babies, hopefully you know they need diapers and clothes.  Diaper cream is great to have on hand, and I also recommend a washable bulb syringe like this to clean out those little noses (I’m sorry, I CANNOT do the nosefrida thing. Just no.)  Most of the baby first aid kits had way more in them than we actually used, so I recommend baby nail clippers, rectal thermometer, and a paci medicine dispenser.  If you have a changing table, I love these wipeable covers!  A car seat and stroller combo should serve you well enough in the early days.  We have a Chicco system, but any one will work. Diaper bags are totally personal, but I definitely prefer a backpack style because I need all the hands I can get.

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That pretty much covered us for the first 3-4 months. What else?! Am I missing anything? Still too much? Let me know what you guys think.

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