My little baby is closer to toddlerhood than ever, and many of my friends are welcoming their first or second little ones and has me feeling all reflective (and a bit nostalgic) about the newborn days and what baby things were my favorite. Many of these things are super helpful in the early days but can be used throughout all the fun baby stages (many of them we still use now at 13 months).
The List (for you skimmers out there):
- Boppy Nursing Pillow
- Rock n’ Play Sleeper
- Aden and Anais Swaddle Blankets
- Honest Diapers
- Honest Healing Balm
- Medela Hand Pump
- Snap N Go Stroller
- Covered Goods
- Baby K*Tan/Moby Wrap
The Elaboration (for you super nice people that read the words I write):
Boppy Nursing Pillow – Some women are super opinionated on nursing pillows and try them all, but luckily (?) with a private lesson from the lactation consultant at our pediatrician office we were able to make this one work for us, which was great because someone gave it to me (although I bought a second one later on to have one upstairs and downstairs). Especially in the newborn days you need lots of hands when nursing, positioning the baby’s head, adjusting the latch if needed, or in our case keeping your sleepy newborn awake long enough to eat. This pillow also came in handy for tummy time, propping on the floor for playtime and great for once baby is old enough to practice sitting. It proved to be useful once we were bottle feeding full time in the late infant days, we’d prop Lincoln and hand him his bottle. It is also super snuggly for nights when you fall asleep on the floor of baby’s room (how does that happen? It happened so often), and provides lots of neck support.
Rock n’ Play – Everybody and their mom recommended this to me when I asked for advice while registering. It was great. Lincoln slept in it immediately once we came home from the hospital and slept in our room for about 9 weeks in it and then we moved to his crib. I love that it was easily collapsable and totable, I’d move it around the house if needed (to the bathroom while I showered, downstairs to hang out, kitchen to cook, etc) and a few times I took it to my sister’s for him to nap in. The only downside is that it is elevated (also an upside, great for reflux babies) and so I was super paranoid about him sleeping flat after we transitioned. In hindsight I think I would have liked a flat co-sleeper basinet thing for our room but still would have used this a ton.
Aden Anais swaddle blankets – These things are super soft breathable linen, and were super awesome for pretty much anything. I used them to swaddle occasionally, used them when rocking L to sleep before naps (he fell asleep so fast when covered in a blanket) and used them often as nursing covers. I never really took to the traditional nursing cover, and these provided a ton of coverage and were breathable so little dude didn’t sweat a ton while nursing in the summer months (or also, winter months here in North Carolina).
Baby K*Tan/Moby Wrap – This is a must-have for the newborn days. There are a ton of wraps, pseudo-wraps and slings out there and I love them. I love how they look, I love how it feels tying a baby on me, and I love carrying my little dude around like a kangaroo mama. The Moby was what we had, per recommendation of lots of people that we know, and it was great! It was, however, a total pain to tie (especially in public places, it was so long it would touch the floor which weirded me out) and 9 times out of 10 I just didn’t tie it right and L was too low, or crooked, or a foot stuck out… just general weirdness. It is however, super sturdy, so once baby is in there you don’t have to worry about him falling out (?). Marshall loved to use the Moby, too. I could also never really figure out how to tie the Moby in other positions besides the newborn one and once he was bigger I wanted to hip carry, etc. and so now, at 13 months old we use the Baby K*Tan and I love it. It has the same look as a wrap, but you buy your shirt size and just slip it over your shoulders, tuck baby in, tie the sash around and voilà you’re wearing a baby burrito. This would have been way easier than tying the Moby in the Target parking lot, just saying. This was great for wearing baby around at home during those fussy evenings for skin-to-skin, and for later on when I actually wanted to be productive or make myself something to eat and needed my hands. I also never liked to put Lincoln down ever (and I still like to snuggle all day if he lets me…) so this was super helpful for me, and is now even at over a year old.
Honest Diapers – Surprise! Actually, not a surprise, but my son has sensitive skin. He didn’t really break out in eczema until after 6 months, but had a really bad diaper rash in his first few months of life from the Pampers Swaddlers and Huggies wipes that we got at the hospital. So, I just sucked it up, went to Target and bought a pack of size 1 Honest Diapers and within twenty four hours the rash was completely gone. Helped in part by, the Honest Company Healing Balm. See below. The Honest Bundles from the website are the best deal (especially if you time it with a coupon code which they send out periodically), but occasionally Target does a super deal on all brands of diapers and you get giftcards or crazy discounts with Cartwheel and another coupon they do. Totally worth the price, in my opinion.
Honest Healing Balm – This stuff is pure magic. It cleared up his diaper rash (that a trip to the pediatrician, a prescription cream and all the zinc in the world couldn’t clear up) in less than a day and any time he has any bumps on his hands, or a scratch on his face from those baby claws I just dab some of this on there and it disappears. It has not been helpful in making our eczema disappear unfortunately, but I still love it.
Hand Pump – My boobs didn’t let me sleep, even if Lincoln did. A few nights I’d get up and pump for real to relieve the pressure, but after a while that was just way too much effort for the middle of the night (or 10pm when you go to bed at 7pm) so I started using the Medela Hand Pump and it was amazing. You can just reach over and stick it back on your nightstand and go right back to sleep. Breast milk keeps at room temp for 6-8 hours (depending on who you talk to) so I’d stick it in the fridge at the next feeding or when I woke up. Just be careful if you put your phone on your nightstand too. Knocking over a bottle of freshly pumped milk would be a terrible way to wake up.
Snap n Go stroller – Getting a squishy newborn in and out of the carseat, especially if they are sleeping (and you want them to stay asleep) is no easy feat. I registered for a big ole’ Graco jogger stroller (which, you’ll notice is missing from this list) that our carseat snapped into and I’d legitimately break that thing out every time I went to Target. It was ridiculous. My wonderful sister let me use their Snap N Go and it changed everything. It is super collapsible and can be assembled with one hand and is super lightweight for quick errands. Perfect for running into the grocery store for one thing and you don’t want to take the baby out of their seat. It also was easy to push when your baby had enough of the carseat and you are carrying baby and pushing it.
Covered Goods – I didn’t actually get one of these until I was done breastfeeding, but I wish I had gotten it before Lincoln was born so we could have used it at the hospital for skin to skin! It is the most brilliant of all the baby things. It is a nursing cover (provides 360º coverage!), covers the infant carseat and can be used as a highchair or shopping cart seat cover. It’s the material of a t-shirt, super lightweight and stretchy and takes up virtually no space in your diaper bag. Unlike the time when I literally had a nursing cover, a highchair cover and an actual carseat cover on the carseat. So. Many. Covers. This is just ONE and supposedly you can wear it like a scarf, but mine always has food stuck to it and I’d rather just wear that on my clothes.
There you have it, folks! My favorite baby things for the newborn days and beyond. I’ll be posting favorites for the 6+ month age too, solids and mobility change everything!