With so many friends either having due dates fast approaching, or just recently announcing that they are expecting I keep getting the same questions. What are your favourite newborn items? What are your favourite mommy items? So I decided to put together a bit of a list of some of my favourite items that were wonderful to have for our little one when she was a newborn, or for myself as a new mommy.
Newborn Diapers: We did disposables for a few days, but sadly our little lovie got a bad diaper rash from them. We quickly switched her to cloth diapers. I love the newborn Tini Tushies diapers from Tender Tushies. There is just something overwhelmingly cute about these little diapers. We went with cloth because we liked the fact that we could save money using them. Cloth diapers also helped clear up our daughter’s diaper rash very quickly. You definitely need to make sure you have a good number of them if you go with cloth, or be ready to do laundry every day. We have a stash of about 30 newborn diapers. Which got us through 2 and a half days and laundry would need to be done. Little ones fill their diapers lots, so be ready! With either cloth, or lots and lots of disposables. When we used disposables for the first few days, we actually had to run out and buy more that is how fast those little ones go through them. Be prepared… have lots of wipes too. If you are looking into cloth, check out Tender Tushies, they have incredible customer service and can answer all of your questions, we love the fun prints they carry for their one size pocket diapers. (*side note* we also love our Diaper Genie for putting the wipes in [and disposable diapers when we use them]. It helps keep the room from smelling.)
A Good Swaddle: I wish we had purchased a good swaddle before our daughter was born so that we could have used it since day 1. We bough one when she was about a week old, and tried a few brands in the days to follow. For a newborn I highly recommend the Woombie Swaddle or the ErgoCocoon and Sleep Bag. Both of these help keep a newborn feeling nice and snug and you don’t have to worry about a blanket coming undone and going up over their face. These made a huge difference in us being able to put our daughter down in the bassinet to sleep, she would feel like she was snug in our arms still thanks to these swaddles. It made a huge difference in how long she slept for too.
Sleepers With Zippers: Our daughter was in sleepers a lot of the time, we found them to be so much easier than trying to get little limbs through different outfits. We realized very early on that sleepers with zippers were the best for quick changes. There was no fussing over buttons and getting them lined up properly. Just get your little one into the sleeper and zip. These made a huge difference with the middle of the night diaper changes when you are half asleep and fumbling around in the dark. We also recommend continuing to get sleepers with zippers for older munchkins. Once they start moving you need to to have the ability to change them at warp speed mastered.
Receiving Blankets/Muslin Blankets: Have some fleece receiving blankets, as these are great for cleaning up spit up from burping your little one, or those random tummy bubble spit up moments. Muslin blankets are also handy for cleanups too. We LOVE our Aden&Anais swaddles. They were so helpful in so many ways. We used ours as a cover-up in the sun to stretch over the infant car seat or stroller, this was great because our little one needed the extra layer of protection as she is so fair skinned. It works as a nursing cover when you forget the fancy one you bought, that really you didn’t need, because these work great! They are nice and large and cover up so well, but are a great breathable fabric. Keep it in the diaper bag to use as a swaddle wrap, burp cloth, or tummy time blanket. These blankets often become lovies to little ones, as they become something they see often and is a comfort item to them.
Wet Bags: These are more common in the cloth diapering world, but we were very glad to have had one of these in our diaper bag on several occasions. Wet bags are normally used to hold dirty cloth diapers. These are super handy for those “explosive” diaper moments where the whole outfit gets covered, or when your little one spits up all over their outfit and yours. Put the dirty items into the bag, and don’t worry, the bag is waterproof. We have also used these little bags for swimming, we put our swimsuits in them for going to, and from the pool. I have also heard of families using them to put dirty sports gear and shoes in. You can find several print options for wet bags from Tender Tushies.
Sound Machine: We started using a sound machine very early on. My mother gave us a little monkey that played white noise and could be attached to the infant car seat. This was a saving grace for car rides, once we turned it on, our daughter would relax and go to sleep. We also have a sound machine in her room that can play different relaxing sounds. The one we got is nice because we can set a timer or leave it to play constantly throughout the night. We just leave it to play all night long. We have found hearing the white noise over the baby monitor to be very relaxing for ourselves and helps us to sleep too! If you live on a very noisy street like we do, make sure to get one that can be turned up pretty loud. It helps to tune out the outside noise. We’ve had our daughter sleep through fire works, car accidents, honking horns, the bass noise of loud music playing in cars, etc… At a year old, we are still using it in her room.
Nursing Garments: Get yourself some very comfy nursing bras. Find one or two before your little one arrives so you have something right away. I went with some that were more of a sport bra/sleep bra style so that there was a lot of stretch because there was no telling what size I would really need. After everything settles, get yourself some nice nursing bras. There are lots of great options out there and they do not have to be ugly, the same goes for nursing pajamas. One company I really love is Hotmilk. My other huge recommendation is get some nursing tanks. My favourites are from Undercover Mama. They keep your tummy covered while nursing so you don’t feel as exposed, and are wonderful for keeping modest in shirts. They easily connect and detach for nursing.
Nursing Pads: If you plan on nursing, or have to commit to pumping like I did, get Bamboobies. I used disposables for a bit, and had several explode in the wash because I forgot to take them out. When you are in a haze from new mommy brain, things like this can happen. Cleaning the gel out from the washer is the last thing you want to do. Bamboobies nursing pads are amazing, so comfortable and very absorbent. There are day time, and night time options. The day time ones are in the shape of a heart. This shapes helps keep the nursing pads more discreet in tops. The night time ones are a big larger circle. These just may become a new go to baby shower gift. I would suggest getting the multi-pack, that way you get 3 day time, and 1 overnight set. There is even a set of 3 day time and 3 overnight. That way you are set to go. Just put them in with your normally laundry to clean them.
Diaper Bag: Find a diaper bag that you love. Try many of them if you need to. When you are in the store ask if you can stuff the diaper bag with items you may end up carrying. This helps you get a feel for what it will be like with some weight in it, and how you can organize items in it. Get a diaper bag that you do not mind becoming your new purse. You will be putting everything in it! You can find a diaper bag that is stylish, and functional. I got the JJ Cole Satchel. It has lots of great pockets on the inside, and outside, and could hold everything from bottles, diapers and wipes to a change of outfits, multiple receiving blankets, my wallet, and a travel mug full of tea. There would still be lots of room left in it. Make sure your diaper bag is something you really like, its going to be something you accessories with for awhile.
Breast Pump: I was gifted the Medela Swing Pump after my daughter was born, and I am so thankful for it. If you plan on nursing, or pumping find a pump that works for your needs. There are lots of great options out there for manual and electric pumps. Be sure to look into portability and durability. I’ve been using the Medela Swing Pump for a year + and it is still working great, I also have the Medela Manula Pump, its great for camping, or other places where electricity is not available. (The Swing Pump can run on batteries) Keep an eye out for sales on breast pumps too, or buy online you shouldn’t have to pay full price when getting one of these. Oh, and get some Lanolin, you’ll be glad you had it during the first few weeks.
Bouncer or Swing: We got both a bouncer and a swing, our daughter ended up hating the swing. I wish we had tried her in a swing after she was born before purchasing one. You just never know what your baby will and will not like. The one thing that is seems most babies like is a nice bouncer chair. We have had two different once at opposite ends of the price spectrum. The Babysitter Balance bounces so easily when a little one is in it. You can just tap it with your toe and your little one can be lulled to sleep. Bouncers and swings are again things that you should look into what exactly you want in the product. Some run on batteries or plus in, and others are manual. Some play music, others are just a chair. Some can even collapse flat for easy transportation. One thing is for certain, it is nice to have a safe place to put your little one down when you are in the living room or kitchen.
Baby Monitor: We switched our daughter to her own room very early, so a baby monitor was a must for us. Even when she was in our room we used the Angelcare baby monitor and sensor pad. You do have to make sure the cable for the sensor pad is not accessible to your little one for safety reasons. For us we are so glad we had this as we had the alarm go off a handful of times, and 2 of those were not false warnings we did have to rouse her to get her breathing again. I dare not think about what would have happened without that monitor. Baby monitors are again a product that you need to think about and decide what you are wanting in one. Sound only? Ability to talk to them over the monitors? A video monitor so you can see them?
Baby Carrier: I am very lucky because my older sister was a huge fan of baby carriers so I have several different styles that I have been able to use. My favourites were wraps, such as the Moby Wrap, and carriers like the Ergo. The fabric wraps are so wonderful for with newborns, you can keep them nice and near to you, and are handy for skin to skin contact. There is definitely a weight limit to the wraps, once your child is past that point you will want to switch to something with more structure to it. Carriers like the Ergo are much more structured, and have better support for yourself and your little one. I found it to be much better for longer wear, or if I was doing lots of walking while carrying her. I was able to use it from newborn, with the newborn insert. We are still using it now and our daughter is a year old. Both styles have a bit of a learning curve.
Stroller: Try them all! Seriously, go to the store, or multiple stores and try them all. Very quickly you will get a feel for what you do and do not like. Decide if you want a jogging stroller, or a regular stroller. Do you want solid wheels that are filled with foam and covered in rubber, or do you want tired you have to inflate with air? There is lots to consider when picking a stroller, so take your time. We knew we wanted a stroller that had a handle bar that would go up higher than most normally did. We wanted a stroller that could easily transition from newborn to a child, that would last some time because it was built well too. We also looked at what sort of warranties were provided. I’d also suggest finding a stroller that works with the infant car seat you select. This made going from the car to the stroller so easy, especially when our daughter fell asleep in the car. All we had to do was plunk her little infant car seat onto the stroller and it snapped into place so we could get going. Also, make sure your stroller can steer very easily. Will it go where you want it to with one hand? What about just a push of a few fingers? We love our UPPAbaby Vista. It is considered to be a convertible stroller, where it can be used from a newborn in a bassinet to two seats for children with a piggyback board too so you can transport 3 children if need be. The customer service from this company is incredible! We love our stroller, its one piece we are very glad we invested in. We used the bassinet for our daughter to sleep in at night, and for when we went out on walks, and the child seat is great with its full recline, but structured seat so that she does not feel like she is leaning too far back and cannot see the world around her. Take your time when looking for a stroller. You should be able to find one that will last you some time.
These are just a few of my favourite newborn and new-mommy items. Are your favourite items on my list? Would you include some other items? If so, what would you include or change?