Back in April, I gave birth to my little girl. As a first time mom, I wasn’t sure exactly what I needed for my little one and have been learning along the way. With this pandemic ruining and cancelling our baby shower, pregnancy classes, and newborn classes, I was left to my own resources with some input from family and friends along the way. We’re lucky enough to live in the world of online shopping as well or I don’t know how we would have gotten anything done, especially with people clearing out the shelves in stores! I did my research when putting together my registry, but every baby is different of course, and you don’t truly know what you need until your little one has made the debut. Here are some of the items that I have found to be the most useful!
1. The Chico Viaro Travel System has been a lifesaver! It’s a car seat and stroller combo and I couldn’t be happier with it. It came with the base for the car seat so that you can properly set it up in the car and it’s easy in easy out. You can either set it up with the seat belt or with the latch if your car has it, and newer models should have them. We also got the Leo&Ella Baby Car Mirror which makes keeping on eye on her while we’re driving super easy. Very easy to install as you just strap it to the headrest of the back seat. The stroller is great because it will grow with her. Currently, because she’s only two months old and still tiny, we have her in the car seat which then clicks into the stroller. So far, we haven’t had any problems with the car seat or the stroller. We go for walks daily and the terrain varies from gravel, grass, uneven sidewalks, and smooth roads – all of which the stroller has no problems navigating. It’s a three wheeler, so it also turns easily. I already feel like she’ll be in the main part of the stroller before I know it!
2. I absolutely love the Ergobaby Embrace Carrier for NewBorns! I was confused at first on how to put it on, but after the second time, I got it! I wanted a carrier that was sturdy, but also soft and comfortable for baby. She loves being so close to whoever is carrying her (whether it be myself or my husband) it calms her down. It’s adjustable so you don’t need to get two different carriers (both my husband and I fit into it. I’m about 5’5″ and have a small figure and he’s about 5’10” and slim to average build. As I said, she gets very comfortable in it, so if you need to get some stuff done around the house or you’re going for a walk and want baby to be secure but don’t want anything overly bulky, this is the carrier for you 🙂 I’m happy that it will grow with her as well since it’s good up to 25lbs and she’s only about 9lbs right now.
3. One of my favorite findings is the Haakaa! Breastfeeding mommies, I honestly don’t know what I would do without this. It’s super simple to use, and is one of the main reasons that I’m able to have some extra stored in the freezer without having to breakout the electric pump. All mommas are different, but I know not everyone responds well to the electric pump, myself included for one of my breasts. I’m not sure why, but I guess because it suctions on, the constant pull helps the milk come out. I can usually get between 1 – 3 oz from one breast while my little is on the other breast. Greatest invention ever and has saved so much milk from being wasted in pads.
4. I have a few different bottles at home, but my favorite (or, rather, my daughter’s favorite) is the nanobebe bottle. My little will easy take the nipple, and the bottle is unique in that it’s round like a breast. The design is supposed to allow for quicker warming of breast milk and because of the shape the nutrients are better preserved when the milk is warmed up. When washing, the bottle completely comes apart so that you can easily clean all the nooks and crannies, just be sure the firmly put the bottles back together to avoid leaks or spills. The set is great because along with four bottles and slow and medium flow nipples it comes with the drying rack, two pacifiers, microwaveable sanitizer, travel covers, storage caps for the bottles, breast pump adapters, and a bottle warmer. I also suggest using their bags that hold up to 5 oz of milk. They’re thick and and seal well; I suggest lying them flat to freeze to take up less space.
5. I wouldn’t be able to nurse without a Boppy! I love it! It helped me out a great deal especially because I had an unexpected c-section and couldn’t put weight or her wiggly self on my abdomen. I’ve tried using regular pillows when my Boppy is out of reach, but it’s just not the same and doesn’t give the same support. My favorite spot to nurse her is on the couch and sometimes in the bed at night before we go to sleep. Because it wraps around, I have the freedom to nurse her in different positions which I like as I tend to nurse in varied positions depending on where I’m sitting and how she can get the best latch. It’s also probably a good idea to get the water-resistant cover for the Boppy as babies spit up and mommies spill things for than you know. I have one under the main Boppy pillow case.
6. One thing that I didn’t realize I needed, but I’m glad I had some samples of were nursing pads! Mommas, until your milk flow is regulated, you are probably going to leak, especially at night. I’ve tried a couple different ones, but my favorite are the Lansinoh Stay Dry Disposable Nursing Pads. They’re a shirt and sheet saver. You use two at a time (one for each breast of course), and you’ll probably change them in the morning and at night, depending on your flow. It’s possible that you’ll change them more. I’m just glad that you can get them in bulk. I prefer these to the fabric ones, because the fabric ones seem to leak through and don’t hold much.
7. Unless you’re planning to wash your baby in the sink, which probably won’t last long and can sometimes be inconvenient if you have dishes in the sink or it needs to be cleaned (especially if you have a diaper blow-out… happens more than you think!) I suggest that you get yourself a baby tub! I really like the Skip Hop Baby Tub that we have. It’s adjustable, so you can use it in different stages. I still have it set for newborn because my little is a peanut! Unless you plan on taking your baby in the tub with you, a baby tub is a wise investment.
8. To go along with the tub and to save you a lot of knee and elbow pain, I suggest that you get a Cushion Bath Kneeler and Elbow Rest. Baths might be short and sweet in the beginning, but as baby gets older bath time typically gets longer because she’ll want to play. Or, if she’s anything like my little, she’ll just want to stay in the tub forever even though she’s only two months old (this chick is in love with bath time and it calms her down so much).
I did not realize how great swaddles would be. Babies have this thing called a startle reflex. Any sound or movement can make them wake themselves up. Think of how you jump when you get scared… that’s how babies react to any sound or movement that they aren’t familiar with yet. It can be super frustrating when you’re running on an hour of sleep, you finally get her down to sleep, you move ever so slightly, and she then startles herself awake. The swaddle can help with that reflex by keeping them wrapped nice and tight so that they don’t move or scare themselves awake. Here are a few of my favorite swaddles.
9. The embe Swaddle is great for babies like my daughter who hate have their arms totally constricted. She’s a bit of an escape artist when it comes to swaddles, but she doesn’t mind this one. You can either keep both arms out (it still puts a gentle pressure around the abdomen to help them feel secure), one arm in and one arm out, or you can wrap it with both arms in. The velcro is strong so baby can’t wiggle her way out. It also grows with baby too as it has snaps that you can adjust as baby grows.
10. Another great swaddle is the Love to Dream Swaddle Up swaddle. It’s great for babies who like to sleep with their arms up, but it still holds their arms tight so that they don’t startle themselves awake. It’s also nice and light unlike many other swaddles, so if you’re a momma who lives in a warmer climate this is a great choice for you and your little. I love it because she doesn’t overheat in it, and she loves it because she gets to sleep with her arms up like she likes.
11. The Nested Bean Swaddle is great for those babies who can only stay asleep if there is a hand on them. Think of it as a mini weighted blanket for babies. If you’ve ever slept with a weighted blanket, you know how secure and comfortable it makes you feel. It’s the same for this swaddle. Not only does it have the velcro to swaddle up your infant, but on top of that it has a little weighted area (as well as on the sides) to help you little feel safe and secure. This is also another one that will grow with her as she gets bigger (up to six months) as it has a smaller pouch to put her legs for when she’s a newborn and a bigger pouch for her legs as she grows.
As my little one continues to grow, I will keep you posted on items that I’ve found to be essential in keeping the both of us happy. Please let me know if you have any questions on the items that I’ve discussed today!
What items have you found to be essential with your newborns?
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