This is will be a short list. Don’t let Babies R Us fool you: there are only a few absolute essentials to have on hand when that precious babe comes home and hooded towels ain’t one of them. Here is a list of things I have actually needed when I had my 5 babies, and one item I didn’t have but certainly wanted (and still do!). Enjoy! xoxo
Put a liberal amount on before and after each breastfeeding, as well as before showering. It does not hurt the baby at all and your nipples will thank you for not making them crack and bleed.
This is an absolute must have for me! I often wear my newborns when they nap, but, for the times I am not holding them, I want to at least see them. There are so many things that can happen to a baby that make no noises: blankets over face, spitting up, etc. With a video monitor, you can be 100% certain your baby is safe and well. The big con to video monitors is, in my experience, they are incredibly fragile. As in, one fall from the kitchen counter and they’re pushing up daisies. This is the one I have now and its, amazingly, astonishingly, survived more than a few falls. Its also on the cheaper side, score!
3. Car seat
This one is obvious, right? I recommend one with a high safety rating (check out this article that lists the 13 car seats which scored above the basic safety guidelines in a report done by Consumer Reports) and light weight. The proper place for an infant car seat is in the middle of the back row, which means you’ll be bending as well as lifting each time you take it out. This is quite a stress on the back. The lighter the seat is, (without compromising on safety, of course) the better.
The 13 car seats listed in the article are:
- Britax B-Safe
- Chicco KeyFit
- Chicco KeyFit 30
- Cybex Aton 2
- Cosco Comfy Carry
- Evenflo Secure Ride 35
- Graco SnugRide 30 (Classic Connect)
- Maxi-Cosi Mico
- Safety 1st Comfy Carry Elite
- Safety 1st Comfy Carry Elite Plus
- Safety 1st onBoard35 Air
- The First Years Contigo
- The First Years Via I470
4. Click In Stroller
Though I prefer to wear newborns rather than put them in strollers, there will be times when baby falls asleep in the car and it just makes more sense to let them snooze undisturbed. This model fits almost any car seat and is super light weight. A jogging stroller it may not be but who goes jogging with a newborn, anyway?
This is the one I have used with my last 2 children. FYI, the car seat does not lock but must be buckled in, like a seat belt.
5. Nursing cover with wire
Emphasis on the “with wire”, people! Oh, if only I’d had one of these with my first baby! It would have saved me from many public toilet nursing sessions. The wire at the top is what sets this nursing cover apart from the rest. It allows a small window so you can see your baby, they can see you, and keeps the material off their face. Turns out, babies don’t like being smothered by fabric. Shocker, right?
6. Baby hammock
Wow, an amazon search for “baby hammock” leads one to some…unusual products. I actually had to search for baby swing to find this but, look at it, it’s a hammock, am I right? Anyway, this is the one I have used for my last 3 babies but really anything portable they can lay in while you shower, cook, or, yes, even pee is a must. I say portable because a newborn should never be left alone, unless, of course, you’re watching them on your handy dandy video monitor. I had a terrifying incident with my firstborn when I had left her in her Pack n’ Play in the bedroom while I took a shower. There was a leaf hidden somewhere in it and she began choking on it. By the time I realized what was happening, she was almost unconscious. True story. If she had been in the bathroom with me, I would have noticed far sooner something was off and it would not have been nearly as close of a call as it was.
Side note: I have also used the Rock n’ Swing version of this product and was very disappointed. It fell apart in less than a month. The one above, however, though it comes with no bells or whistles, has lasted me years and even came to me as a hand-me-down. Also, the fabric is detachable, making it a cinch to clean.
7. Baby Carrier
I have had a million baby carriers (well, 4. but you know what I mean) and the Ergo is my favorite. For a newborn I only recommend the Adapt or the 360, as you do not need an insert. I put my babe in mine nearly every day and even breastfeed in it!
My #2 go to baby carrier is my Boba. At about $40 its much cheaper than an Ergo and is perfect for newborns. If I’m being honest, its kinder to my back as well as my bank account. The cons for the Boba is you can’t breastfeed in it (or, at least, I can’t figure out how to), its a pain to take off and on, and older babies can wriggle around too much in it for my liking.
8. Co Sleeper
Ok, guys, I’ve never actually owned one of these. Dreamed, prayed, yearned for, but never actually owned sob sob. Another thing I’ve never owned with any of my children? A crib. Turns out, you don’t need one! This sweet little pillow fits perfectly between Mom and Dad in bed and keeps baby within Mom’s reach (and breasts). This would also work as a portable baby carrier while baby is still too young to roll over (which usually happens around 3 months). Simply carry it around the house with you and lay baby on it while you cook, vacuum, eat chocolate, drink wine, whatever.
That’s it, Mamas! Did you notice that no play mats, mobiles, pacifiers or baths made it on the list? That’s because this is a list of MUST HAVES and, in my experience with my 5 babies, those don’t qualify. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with any of those things and I’d be lying if I said no fuzzy pink hooded towels had ever graced my home, but if you’re on a budget, or just aiming for a minimalist nursery, you shouldn’t need anymore than the above.
God bless you and your little one! Please leave a comment if there is an absolute must have in your experience that I have left out!
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