I remember when Little Man was first born my sister in law said to me about my nephew “I don’t even remember the newborn stage.”
At the time, I remember thinking, “this is crazy, life is so crazy, everything is so new, how could you ever forget this?”
And now looking back, it’s hard to remember last week much less the first week we brought him home.
So, I want to share all the things we loved in the newborn phase before I totally forget about them. I know many of you are building registries or are looking for baby shower gifts so hopefully, this helps with that! Baby registries are a beast to tackle and I know that recommendations from my favorite bloggers definitely helped me get ours done with at least some confidence.
In this roundup, I really only recommended the things we absolutely loved. I tried hard to explain why we loved them so much and why they may or may not be right for you. So whether you are looking for things to purchase because you are up at 2 am with pregnancy insomnia or breastfeeding, hopefully, this helps!
This sound machine is our all-star baby MVP baby sleep item and still is. I learned early on that if you put the sound machine on his little eyes would drift closed pretty quickly. Their awake windows are so small during the first few months they almost always need to sleep when you are out. We took this thing with us EVERYWHERE the first few months. I also used the night light feature more times than I can count.
Oh, the Swaddle. If you think your baby hates the swaddle, you need to take Taking Cara Babies newborn class, she will teach you what a gold mine you are missing out on. We had the Swaddle Me swaddles, which were fine but they are narrow and when he would kick his legs up he would flip over and wake up. The halo swaddle had a wider base but he could easily pull the two sides up over his face and break out of it (it was fine if we only swaddled one arm in though). Next time I’m going to spend the money on an Ollie Swaddleor two. However, it will be nice to have the other ones as back up.
I love the Snuza Go. After reading TERRIBLE SCARY reviews about false readings on the owlet (go read them on Amazon, they are horrifying) I chose the cheaper Snuza option. I chose the Snuza Go over the Hero model because it does NOT vibrate. The reviews I read about the vibrating said that people would get freaked out when their cell phone would vibrate thinking it was the Snuza. I loved the Snuza when he was sleeping 6-7 hours at around 8 weeks old (again – Taking Cara Babies Newborn Class is awesome) because I could see the light flashing under his swaddle. The light flashing meant I knew he was breathing without going over to touch him and risk waking him up. However, caution if you have a boy, because the Snuza clips on to their diaper so if you have a boy you risk diaper leaks, which we had a TON of until we started using two diapers. One normal diaper and then a bigger one over the top to hook the Snuza on. Also, last month we had to put a piece of black tape over the light because it was keeping him up (it didn’t when he was a newborn though.) Also, now that he can roll over I know utilizing this product will be short lived because he will either kick it off when he moves or have to sleep on it which wouldn’t be comfortable.
We loved this so much we bought another one! We have one in the babies room and one we are keeping in our room for the summer when it gets super hot! It’s super easy to install and we haven’t had any issues with it falling down. For a suction-based portable product, I was relatively surprised. Trust me, you want blackout shades because unless you get a naturally great napper (lucky you) otherwise you’ll want blackout shades for the early morning and nap time!
Baby Care Basics
Now that I’ve tried a bunch of baby soaps I say the Puracy brand wins for best smelling and gentlest. Unfortunately, I did not enjoy the smell of most of the Burts Bees products which is unfortunate because I registered for a ton of them. My suggestion is to test out the smell of the ones you register for at the store before registering for them!
Luckily we have a dimmer in our room that made it pretty convenient for nursing. However, we put this Himalayan Salt Lamp in his room for middle of the night changing sessions and for the nighttime routine. I also use it pretty frequently for nursing before naptime since he now naps in his own room which is pitch black with the blackout shades we have up! It’s soft red glow is the perfect calming amount of light that won’t interfere with sleep.
Love this monitor so much! When we were having him nap in his room and sleep in our room we had two cameras one in each room (I bought the second camera separate). So if you have multiple kidos, or plan to have multiple kids this monitor is a win. It’s got a pretty good battery life as well and uses a mini USB charger. I haven’t played around with the extra lens they give you but I know this is a feature a lot of people love. Also, personally, I like having a separate monitor than on my phone. That way I can hand off the monitor to Mr. Hungry, family members helping out, or the babsitter when I’m not “in charge.”
I love that the Keekaroo Peanut Changer wipes clean! I also kind of had some buyers remorse after I found this version that is similar price and function but has a scale included. Overall I still love this changer because it’s long enough for him and wipes clean! I wasn’t about to go through a million potty training pads or add more laundry in the form of liners. Well worth the money to have one that wipes clean in my opinion.
Little Man has always loved his Fisher Price 4 in 1 Sling ‘n Seat Tub and we love it too. I love that it transitions through newborn, infant, and sitting up so it can be used for a really long time. It also has a hook so you can hang it to dry, but we usually just leave it turned over in the tub. Little Man LOVES the orange whale that came with it! If you have a long newborn they may transition out of the sling faster (little man’s feet were overhanging it at about 2.5 months) but the second stage of support still works even for young babies.
Do you know what is so great about the WubbaNub? They can’t spit it out or if they do it doesn’t go very far. When they are super little you can set it on top of their little swaddled body and the pacifier will stay in their mouth! It’s also great for the car seat, stroller, and swing too! Now we use it as a “lovie” item in his crib at night.
UPDATE: Wubbanubs are only supposed to be used until they are 6 months or have teeth. We ended up switching to the nookums which are great because you can separate the binky and toy to clean separately.
Ingredients in these WaterWipes are water and grapefruit seed extract, that’s it! I think that anywhere I can reduce the number of chemicals being used around the baby, the better and these definitely help with that! I also found out when we had thrush that grapefruit seed extract helps fight yeast so I would use the wipes on my breasts as well. Even with all Little Mans excess poop issues (triggered by his food allergies) we still have barely made it through one box so they last a long time!
If you have a small baby I can’t say enough good things about honest diapers which are super fitted around the legs. We had so many diaper leaks day and night until a reader suggested we switch to honest diapers. Yes, they are more expensive but at least you aren’t covered in pee leaks all day. Win in my book!
Places to Put the Baby
So you can get sh!t done like shower and eat….
At first, I wasn’t so sure about this Baby Bjorn Bouncer (aka if it was worth the money) but then it quickly became a staple in our house. Little man LOVES to bounce as opposed to being rocked. I would bounce him with my foot in the bathroom while I got ready or while I worked on the computer, sometimes he would sit there happily and sometimes he would fall asleep. We recently bought this attachmentfor him which he loves and last week he learned how to bounce himself which is hysterical to watch. It’s definitely one of the pricier bouncers but it is really well made and I can tell it will last a long time. Plus, I like that it it’s an item that grow with your baby and doesn’t look like a “baby item.”
This playmat is another STAR MVP baby item. We brought this out when he was 6 weeks old and he has loved it since he first laid eyes on it. There isn’t a day that goes by that he doesn’t spend some time playing on his matt. The light up function has always kept him super entertained. The real bonus is all the pieces are removable including the tucan. This helps keep him more engaged/distracted during tummy time.
I was NOT a fan of the Moby Wrap I purchased from Target, ugh, so hard to use. I loved using the Ergobaby with the infant insert, it just felt so much more secure and less of a hassle. I wish I could figure out the wrap but my tired newborn parent brain could never get it right despite how may YouTube videos I watched. Some of you are pros at those wraps, god bless you because I am not. I also recently discovered that there is a sun visor piece you can pull out of the top to cover their head from the sun!
Initially, I used this shopping cart hammock just to carry his car seat. I only recently (now that flu season is over) started placing him in the hammock. He really likes it and I always get comments when we are out about what an awesome idea it is. The huge bonus is whether you place the car seat on top of it or you put the baby in it, it’s a huge space saver in your cart versus placing the car seat in the basket. You know, so you can actually put things INSIDE the cart.
I laugh every time I look at that swing because I told my mom NOT to buy this. I told her I didn’t want a swing because so many of my friends told me their kid never used it. She bought it anyway and I am eternally grateful. We’ve got a billion hours of entertainment and naps out of the cradle n’ swing. My only complaint is it’s got a pretty big footprint so it takes up a ton of space, but for a while, it was really the only the baby thing we had in the living room.
Post Partum Supplies
I’d take these adult diapers any days over those huge pads the hospital gives you. I used these at the hospital and at home. I loved not having to peel anything and stick it to my underwear! So much less messy! After these, I transitioned to smaller and smaller pads. Other than that, I really just used the stuff the hospital supplied me (peri bottle and numbing spray) with and that worked just fine for me!
I bought the Haakaa not knowing what it was (off some blogger recommendation) but then someone in my breastfeeding group recommended trying it out and I remembered I had one! It works great, especially in earlier days to catch extra letdown in the middle of the night. I don’t use it much anymore because I only letdown on one side at a time nowadays (which I think is kind of rare?) but I used it a lot before!
These are great and I use my convertible nursing cover ALL THE TIME. That being said, I wish I got mine in BLACK. Get yours in black so it blocks out sunlight and helps your baby sleep when in the car seat or even when you are holding him after nursing. Plus you’ll be more likely to actually use it as a scarf in black than in chevron teal (insert hand to face emoji).
I almost returned my boppy after I got the Brest friend (see below) but I’m glad I didn’t. It’s great for propping baby up and some days he would sleep in it because of the U shape kind of hugs him (with me watching VERY closely right next to him because that is not a safe sleeping environment unattended.) The brest friend pillow is better for breastfeeding initially, but once he got a little bigger and a little better at nursing I found myself using the Boppy more often. I also find the Boppy to be a bit more portable than the Brestfriend.
The Brest Friend nursing pillow is seriously amazing for nursing in the early days. It hooks right around your breast so you can comfortably bring the baby to the best position. I’m not gonna lie I used to walk him around in the house while he laid on the Brest Friend nursing. Not all the time, but I definitely did it sometimes! It definitely helps you keep a better posture and I believe it’s the reason I didn’t have any real neck or back pain from nursing.
I ended up using a ton of coconut oil as my preferred nursing/nipple cream. It is WAY less expensive than some of the fancy creams out there and is naturally antibacterial. Next time I’ll skip the fancy creams I registered for and just stick with coconut oil. My only piece of advice is to get a wide shallow jar that your hand comfortably fits into versus a tall narrow jar for cooking.
- Gel soothers
I tried both the Lansinoh soothiesand the Medela Soothing Gel Pads but I liked the Medela best. They were reusuable longer and felt better, but that was just my opinion! These things saved me when my nipples were still tender from being new to nursing and when we had thrush.
I prefer the bamboobies disposable nursing pads to the reusable versions, especially because early on we had thrush. I just think they are more sanitary but if you are soaking through them every hour you might want to get reusable ones as well. Luckily I had both on hand and I go back and forth. I don’t really use them in the house because I don’t leak all that much (few drops here and there), but I always wear them when I go out, just in case.
Pumping & Bottle Supplies
Every baby and every woman is different, so here is a list of my favorite pumping and bottle supplies.
- Comotomo Baby Bottle, Green, 8 Ounce (2 Count)
- Breve Home Goods BPA-Free Baby Bottle Countertop Drying Rack, 3-Piece Design
- The First Years Breastflow Milk Storage Organizer
- Medela Steam Sterilizer Bags
- Oxo Tot Baby Bottle Brush – yes it’s a thing, yes you need one so you don’t wonder why despite you washing them thoroughly the bottles still have milk powder on the sides of them (both breastfeeding bottles and formula.) Or, so your MIL doesn’t ask where your bottle brush is and your response is a glazed over stare (while thinking wtf is that?) That may or may not have happened to me.
- For a pump, I purchased mine through insurance using Aeroflow, which I HIGHLY recommend. However, I ended up renting a medical grade pump when we thought the issue with Little Mans weight gain was my milk supply (it was actually because of food allergies). I do get slightly more yield in less time using the medical grade pump, it’s also much quieter, but not travel-friendly.
Questions & Comments!
Feel free to ask any questions about items or comment with your favorite items so other moms can see!
Also, a side note, we made it through the newborn stage without a Rock N’ Play, Dock-A-Tot, or bassinet (we used the bassinet portion of the pack and play) so I can’t speak to those items but I’m definitely eyeing the Dock-A-Tot if we are blessed with any more children!
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