Monday, July 14, 2014

Newborn Must-Haves

I have received so many questions from other mamas and mamas-to-be about what newborn items are must-haves.  Since I told you about what mama needs to have ready for when she returns home from the hospital on Friday, today I have compiled a list of things that we are using on a daily basis right now with our newborn.  Retail stores and even baby blogs list a million ways you can go broke shopping for baby, but here are the top items that we are using that haven't broke the bank and are used on a daily basis.Newborn Must Haves
  1. WubbaNub- These infant pacifiers are super cute and come in many different animals.  We like these because Dutch can wrap his arms around the animal and hold the pacifier in place.  I recommend having at least 2 of these.  I keep one on the changing table for diaper changes and dressing Dutch since he isn’t a fan of getting naked.
  2. Gas Drops- Nothing is sadder than a newborn crying from gas. These drops have been great in relieving gas pressure in my little boy’s tummy.
  3. Tub- Your baby wont be lounging for hours in the tub so you really don’t need anything fancy for bath time.  This is a great tub that fits perfectly in the kitchen sink and has a hole with a plug that can be drained at the bottom.  The swing supports a newborn perfectly so they wont be submerged in water before their umbilical cord stump falls off.  This will last you a while because the swing is removable for when baby grows.
  4. Babyganics Foam Hand Sanitizer- I keep this hand sanitizer at the changing station.  I love this hand sanitizer because it’s alcohol-free and gentle on the skin.
  5. Swaddle Blankets- Not all babies like to be swaddled but Dutch loves it!  He prefers to be all snuggled up in a swaddle all day long.  It’s his favorite past time ;-) Our favorite swaddles are the aden +anais swaddles.  When I was preparing for Dutch everyone said these muslin swaddles were the best, & honestly they were all right!  I didn’t want to get these because they were a little on the pricier side for me, but honestly they are worth every penny.  They are large (great for our long baby) and light.  We have 8 of these and I wish we had more!  These are worth the investment!
  6. Sound Machine- There are a ton of expensive sound machines specifically for babies.  I found this one on Amazon and we love it so much that I bought another one for our room.  This sound machine has 6 great options, many volume settings, and the option of automatic shut-off.
  7. Mommy Hook- This hook was recommended to me and it’s a staple I keep in my diaper bag.  This LARGE & strong carabineer is great for holding my diaper bag on my stroller or the grocery cart.
  8. Nosefrida & Accessories- This is another product that everyone (even my pediatrician) recommended.  We have used this several times already.  Even when newborns aren’t sick they tend to have extra mucus from the womb & the Nosefrida is a super efficient nasal aspirator.  I was petrified to use it the first time, but it was so effective that I’m officially a believer now.  There are some accessories that I would recommend you get with the snot sucker though: filters (Since the filters are what prevent you from consuming your kid's snot, you want to replace those) & saline drops (Administering a few drops before you use the Nosefrida helps to loosen things up so that you can aspirate more effectively).
  9. Wipes Warmer- I know there is a divide between moms & merchants on this one.  Is this a “must-have” or a marketing scheme targeted at vulnerable new moms?!  Here is my opinion: Everyone told me not to register for a wipe warmer, so I didn’t, but I was gifted one.  When we were at the hospital Mr. Dutch hated having his diaper changed and would scream through each changing.  When we returned home & started using the wipe warmer everything changed.  His poor little bum bum was soothed by the warmer wipes.  So is this a must-have? In the middle of the night after I’ve nursed my newborn back to sleep and realize he has a new dirty diaper I gladly use the warmer wipes to keep from upsetting him.  We don’t have issues with screaming fits out in public when I use room temperature wipes, and we have the soothing warmer wipes at home.  For us, this is a lovely must-have  luxury that helps us all sleep at night.
  10. Boppy & Covers- I feel like there are a ton of options & opinions for nursing pillows.  For various reasons I chose the Boppy and we love it.  Pick whatever nursing pillow you want, but make sure that you get at least 2 covers.  Remember that milk leaks and sprays, and babies spit-up so one cover will inevitably always be in the wash.
  11. Burp Cloths- Uh…… babies spit-up a lot lol We go through a couple burp cloths a day.  I really like the aden + anais burpy bib because the organic material from bamboo is SO soft.  The burp cloth also has snaps and will double as a bib when Dutch gets older.
  12. Breast Pump- I exclusively breast-feed my newborn (No, this is not a statement/attack on anyone else’s choices for how to feed their infant, this is simply where we are right now).  When we first returned from the hospital I used my pump to help encourage my milk to come in.  I also use my pump to help my supply remain high and to help produce a stock of breast milk for when I return to work.  This is a must-have item that helps us ensure I have enough milk for Dutch.   I use a double electric pump, but there are many breast pump options; here is a breast pump review so that you can select the best one for you. If you’re worried about the cost of a breast pump, remember that because of the Affordable Care Act most insurances will give you a pump for free, so call them before you purchase anything.
  13. Pacifier & Clip- The Philips Soothie pacifier is awesome.  We were going to wait a month before introducing a pacifier to Dutch.  Well we caved…….and we caved really fast!  Dutch loves this pacifier for soothing and I love it because it’s a great shape for his mouth that is very similar to the nipple (preventing nipple confusion).  I recommend having at least 2 clips so that you can use one while the other is in the wash.  There are two brands of clips that I really like: Bella Tunno & Booginhead.
  14. Stroller Net- After birth there are 6 weeks where exercise isn’t permitted.  Since I still wanted to take walks with Dutch but was worried about my sweet boy getting attacked by mosquitos, a friend recommended this net to me.  This net is perfect in preventing bugs from getting to my baby, fits any stroller, and comes with 2 nets (one for an infant carrier & a longer one for a full stroller).  This helps me to get out of the house for some fresh air and exercise.  FYI- We have the Graco Modes Click Connect Travel System Stroller in Antiquity and we LOVE it!
  15. Portable Infant Swing- Like most new mams I registered for the jumbo stationary swing.  I’m so glad no one bought it for us!  Those things are HUGE!  Since I don’t live in a mansion, where would I put that?! When Dutch was 3 weeks old, & all of the visitors (read “baby holders”) left, I realized that I needed help holding him during the day.  Since he loved motion we decided to go ahead & purchase a swing.  Not only is a portable swing much cheaper and smaller, but I can move it anywhere in the house by myself.  This helps me tremendously throughout the day so Dutch has a place in the bathroom when I’m showering, a place in the kitchen when I’m cooking meals or folding laundry, and in the office when I’m working, and I always have an eye on him.
  16. Huggies- Again, I am going against the grain here.  I know that popular opinion says to get Pampers Newborn Diapers…..and even I did that.  However when we were in the hospital they gave us 4 packs of Huggies Newborn Diapers, so of course I used them (who throws away those expensive poo catchers?!).  Being a new mama I loved the Huggies more because they have an exaggerated dip on the front of the diaper where the umbilical cord was.  I was so nervous about accidentally bumping into the umbilical cord stump or having the diaper rub up against it, & the Huggies diapers were the perfect solution to calming my new mama anxieties.
  17. Multi-Use Pads- If you’re like me you probably got some cute changing pad covers.  Well let me tell you, you go through those really fast!  They get dirty very quickly.  I have purchased 6 of these pads and I have one on top of the changing pad, in the swing, rocker, and bouncer.  When accidents happen this has limited the amount of laundry I have.  These absorbent pads are easy to fold up and replace while keeping your baby gear clean from spit-up and another accidents.  This is so convenient because you don’t have to take everything apart and wait to use your baby equipment while it is laundered.
  18. Baby Carrier- I feel like there are a bazillion opinions for baby carriers.  I’m not going to tell you that you HAVE to have a specific carrier though, but I will recommend that you get some kind of baby carrier.  Find a carrier that works for you.  You will love snuggling with your newborn but eventually you will have to do something where you need at least 2 hands (everything from going to the bathroom to grocery shopping lol), and a baby carrier is extremely helpful.   I use the Moby because it’s light weight, has various positions to carry Dutch in, affordable and feels very natural.  I love having Dutch close to me and it’s extremely helpful around the house when I’m trying to work (I’m actually wearing him right now), clean, cook, eat, or grocery shop.  A lot of people say that it’s difficult to put on, but I haven't found that to be the case.  There are a million tutorial videos on you tube that you can learn from.  I feel safe with Dutch in the wrap, and he loves being in it.  Bottom line, get some kind of carrier.
  19. Comotomo Baby Bottle- I did a lot of research on bottles before Dutch was born.  I found that these had great reviews and were great in preventing gas.  Also, because of the shape and the material, they do not promote nipple confusion.  I love the feel of these bottles because they feel very breast-like and we have not had any issues with nipple confusion.
  20. Infant Mittens- My son has talons on the ends of his fingers ;-)  We file his nails, but they grow back SO fast (thank you breastmilk!).  I have received many critical & condescending comments from others who have seen pictures of Dutch and said “well he wont learn to self-sooth with those mittens”.  Dutch wears infant mittens because I’m more concerned about him scratching his cornea than learning to self-sooth right now.  We haven't had any issues with him being soothed and this prevents him from clawing at his face and eyes.  I really like the Gerber brand and the American Red Cross brand because the elastic around the wrist is tight enough where the mittens stay on but not so tight that they leave a mark on him.  Also the elastic doesn’t loose its elasticity in the wash.
  21. Vitamin D Supplement- I thought I had researched everything I needed for Dutch before he was born, but I never came across anything about a vitamin D supplement.  I was completely blown away when his pediatrician mentioned it at his 1 week appointment because I had never heard of this!  Apparently our society is extremely sedentary & doesn’t spend enough time in the sun (shocking? no!) .  What vitamin D that I do have isn’t sufficient to pass through my breast milk to Dutch.  This is the supplement that our pediatrician recommended to us and we use for days when Dutch gets less than 15 minutes of time outside
There are tons of newborn baby “must-have” lists at baby stores, on mom blogs, and all over Pinterest.  These are the products that are working for us that we wanted to share with you.  These products aren’t breaking the bank or turning our home into a Babies R Us show room (yet), and we use all of these products on a regular basis.
If you have any suggestions on products that weren’t mentioned here that you would recommend, please share with me!
xoxo Darby


mdotson said...

That sound machine is the best! We own FIVE of them, LOL. One in each of our rooms and an extra for travel or just back up! Make sure to put batteries in it so if your electricity goes out, the battery power can kick in. We learned that the hard way one night when our lights went out and all the sound machines turned off. Within seconds, all the kids were awake and crying LOL!

Mrs. Pancakes said...

I wish i had discovered the sound machine when my little one was would have made sleeping so much more better. Definitely have a sleeping routine as soon as possible!

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