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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Newborn Essentials

I have several dear friends who are currently pregnant with their first sweet baby and are due around the time I am. I love hearing their enthusiasm over fun things like painting the nursery and their dismay over not-so-fun things like finding the first stretch mark. It brings back fond, not so distant memories of when I was a wide-eyed, somewhat (ok totally) naive mama-to-be.

I'm heading to a shower for one of these wonderful girls this weekend and so of course I'm checking out her gift registry and trying to decide what to gift her. There is so much crap out there y'all. I'm not talking about her registry, but just in general, the choices for new mamas today are overwhelming and often ridiculous. Wipe warmers. Grocery cart covers. Baby food blenders. $200 rocker/swing contraptions. What!?

It made me wonder, what are the newborn products that I now believe I would not be able to survive motherhood without? So here in no particular order are my own must-have new baby items with extraneous explanation of course. (This list assumes you have something for the bebe to sleep in and an infant carseat. Getting some sleep and leaving the house are two things I highly recommend to all new mommies.)

1. J&J baby shampoo Classics are classics for a reason, right? I think one bottle of this stuff lasted us the Squirt's entire first year of life. It smells amazing and No More Tears is no joke.  

2. Cloth diapers Not the fancy new Bum Genius kind. Nope I'm not that green. I used the stew out of these old-school bad boys as burp cloths. They are SUPER thick and absorbent and wash up like a dream. 
3. Aden & Anais swaddles I didn't discover these until Sweet B was born, but they are awesome and oh-so-soft. I'm a sucker for soft when it comes to babies. I used them as swaddles, lightweight blankets, nursing covers and more. The designs are precious and they are eco-friendly. See? I'm kinda green. 

4. Ultimate Crib Sheet OMG. Go buy one now. Preferably two. These will change your life. Again, we didn't discover these amazing-sent-from-heaven crib sheets until Sweet B rolled into our lives. Also known as the child who once did this. You snap one of these amazing do-hickeys over your normal crib sheet. Then, when your tiny angel vomits profusely all over themselves at 4am, you simply pop the Ultimate Crib Sheet off and a fresh, un-vomited-upon sheet is ready underneath. Anyone who has ever changed a regular crib sheet in the middle of the night knows what a life-saver this is. Changing crib sheets is one of the few things in life that make me curse, sweat and cry simultaneously. Doing it while sleep-deprived and covered in puke is simply not an option. If not for the presence of these magnificent sheets, B Daddy and I might have divorced at 2am one winter night while changing the sheets on our darling daughter's bed for the 3rd time in an hour. Seriously. Cannot say enough good things. I love you Ultimate Crib Sheet. 
5. Rectal thermometer Ear thermometers and those ridiculously inaccurate swipe across the forehead thermometers do not cut it. If I'm going to go to all the trouble to take my kid to the doctor for a temperature, it better be accurate. 

6. Infant acetametophin and ibuprofen My children's favorite time to get sick is between 11pm and 5am. The worst thing ever is groggily opening the medicine cabinet to find not a single teaspoon of relief-giving drugs in the middle of the night. And those tiny little bottles? So freaking expensive! If I could do it over again I'd trade every cute outfit I got for bottles of Tylenol and Advil. 
7. Medela breast pump If you're a breastfeeding mom that is. This pump is a workhorse and got me through many a day at the office. Back in the days when I worked that was. After kid #1 it was what enabled me to leave all of my children for days at a time while they were still nursing. God bless you Medela. 
8. Boppy One of the most seemingly unnecessary products I registered for and yet so incredibly versatile. I loved using it to support nursing, to support a child I was bottle-feeding, to prop up a kiddo who was holding their own bottle, to support "tummy-time" and finally to safeguard a wobbly sitter. If we had stairs in our house I'd probably have owned two. 

Veteran Moms - what is products are on your "must-have" list? New Moms - what item on your registry are you most excited about getting??


  1. Great post and topic for new mommys-to-be! My recommendations are:

    - I would not have continued breastfeeding for so long without my pump and the HANDS FREE pumping bra! Seriously amazing and necessary if you want to do anything (read blogs on your iphone counts) while pumping.

    - A SMALL bouncy seat that you can carry with one hand and move from room to room. One that vibrates and plays music is a bonus. (note: bigger is NOT better in this instance). I see these all the time at consignment stores! I'd go for something like this:

    - An Exersaucer. We have the Baby Einstein one and both my kids have LOVED it! Ours is an old model, but similar to this:{keyword} - look for one used on craigslist or at a consignment shop!

    - Car seat handle pad - The infant carrier get heavy FAST! I found this Padalily pad and love it!

    - I also love the wubbanub paci - - it's a pacifier/stuffed animal combo. I love it because it can't get lost in the car seat so if the baby is crying while you're driving you can just reach back and grab it - it won't get wedged under them like a regular pacifier!

    I'm sure I have others, but those are a few of my favorite baby things!

    1. Love your recs Ryan. Definitely agree on the portable (one hand liftable) bouncer seat. And such a smart point about the Wubbanub paci! My kids never took a paci, but I love those adorable things.

  2. My new love this time around is "My Breast Friend." It enables me to nurse Sam and do other things (like feed the others, put on makeup, brush teeth) at the same time. I would also recommend the Moby and/or Ergo. And Playtex bottles with the drop-in liners. And one of those big sponge-shaped animal things for newborn bathtime. :)

    1. You and Michelle Duggar. The Breast Friends biggest fans. :) Also love the big sponges for bath time as opposed to the ginormously awkward plastic baby tubs.

  3. I agree with the bouncy chair. Ellie actually slept in that for many-a-nap, and it allowed me to get a shower in (of course, that was back when I only had one baby and didn't have to worry about what the older sibling was doing).

    There are a couple of things that truly made my life a lot easier, but I think #1 on my list is the Moby wrap. Yes, it's tons of fabric, and looks confusing to wrap at first, but once you learn, it takes 15 seconds to get on and there are plenty of YouTube videos that show you how to get it on, not to mention the step-by-step pictured instructions that come with it. Seriously, Charlotte is 11 months today, weighs 21 lbs and I STILL use it with her at the grocery store, out in the back yard, going for walks, and especially at the airport (LIFESAVER!). Of course, these days she faces front so she can see out, but it was great when she was younger and facing me too. She loves the mommy time, and I have both hands available for...whatever!

    1. Anne Marie I love my Moby Wrap!! We didn't get one til #3 came around but I quickly became a big fan. It is confusing at first, but one you learn to tie it, it's a cinch and super handy. We had a lot of meals that only got cooked and a lot of laundry that only got folded because of the Moby Wrap.

  4. You need to add a Rock N Play to your list. I absolutely LOVE mine. Rowe slept in it for the first few weeks so I didn't have to worry about him having acid reflux. He is 14 months old now and he still sits in the rock n play to drink his bottle 3 times a day. Best new baby item out there!!


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