While I’m the first to admit I’m still very much a newbie at this whole mom thing, there are a few things I’ve already learned in the almost 8 months of being a mom. Many have to do with breast feeding, which was a nightmare for me at first (and perhaps merits it’s own post) but many have to do with gear.
Lately expecting friends have asked me for baby gear recommendations so I thought I’d put together a post about it. I’m calling this my “what I really should have registered for” list. While there are several things I did put on my registry that were incredibly useful, there are other things that I didn’t that I purchased after June was born that I wish I had!
So here’s my list of newborn essentials that you should register for!*
*My disclaimer is that every baby is sooooo different and what worked for June might not work for your baby. Again, not an expert but I hope you find this helpful!
Coming Home blanket from Monica & Andy. You’ll likely be gifted a ton of swaddles in every fabric known to man. These were the only ones I liked and used every. single. day. Super soft organic cotton knit that stretches so you can easily get a snug wrap. What I loved about these is that they aren’t gigantic like most traditional muslin swaddles so you could easily place it down on the couch or in the crib and swaddle your baby. While we stopped swaddling June around 3 months, I still use these as mini blankets in the stroller and when we’re out an about.
Halo Sleepsack Swaddle. When June started escaping from the swaddles, we used these. We loved the cotton knit ones for the LA summer (since we don’t have ac and would just put her in them in a diaper only) but they make heavier ones for cooler seasons. Since the first time June was swaddled in the hospital she had her arms up and outside the swaddle so these allowed us to keep her snug with her arms out. If you baby prefers being swaddled with their arms down, you can also do that with these. Many friends loved these for transitioning their babies out of swaddle, one arm up at a time. They wash really well too.
Dockatot Deluxe+. It’s pricey and I was on the fence but I can’t recommend this enough. June slept in this from her first day home until she would slide out of it in her sleep (around 4 months). It keeps them nice and snug and we even took it with us on our first trip to the east coast so she had a place to sleep at my parent’s house. Definitely get an extra cover because you will wash it a lot. I had the white one because they didn’t come out with all the fun prints until right after I threw away all the packing for ours. Would definitely prefer a pattern over a white or light solid color because it will get dirty!
Halo Swivel Sleeper. We actually went all out and got the Snoo when they had a big sale last spring. So many friends recommended it so I thought it was a must. But turns out June absolutely hated it! Like screaming and crying like never before when in it kind of hating it. While that’s certainly not the case as so many people say it’s amazing we ended up selling ours and I purchased the Halo bassinet from a neighbor via Nextdoor. We placed the Dockatot inside it and kept it right next to the bed. I love how it swivels on top of your bed so you can easily grab (and nurse) your baby from bed.
Bath & Baby Care
Monica & Andy Burp cloths. I never knew I could have a favorite burp cloth but I absolutely do. We were gifted several different brands and these are the ones I want to use every time. The muslin ones are thick and super absorbent, great for cleaning lots of spit up and I love the cotton ones for covering up when nursing out and about. Just tuck the short end in your bra strap and drape the cloth over your boob.
Angelcare Baby Bath. We got a folding travel tub but ended up getting this one after tons of friends recommenced it to us. Still using it and it’s great! We hang it in the back of the shower using a 3M command hook when we’re not using it.
Organic Bamboo Washcloths. Super soft and cheap! Enough said.
Baby Nail Files. Because those little nails are like razors! And this is so much easier (and less nerve-racking) then using clippers.
Hatch Baby Rest. A fancy night light that basically has a Hue color changing bulb in it. You can schedule when it will turn on and off, what sounds/music to play and the color/brightness of the night light. We have it come on an hour before bedtime to play twinkle twinkle little star and then it plays ocean waves with a warm glow throughout the night.
Hatch Baby Grow. One of my friends recommending not getting a traditional changing pad with a cover—because that would mean you just have to wash the cover a ton. Such good advice! We went with this one and I love how it’s easy to clean. The “smart” feature makes it a scale which is helpful if you’re breastfeeding and you want to know exactly how much your baby is getting at each feeding.
Ubbi diaper pail. Comes in a ton of different colors and doesn’t need to use special bags. Plus it’s metal so it doesn’t absorb orders like other plastic diaper pails.
Ubbi Baby Wipes Dispenser. Skip the wipe warmer so your baby is ok with using cold wipes when you’re out and about. This dispenser is simple but has a good seal and you can refill it using any wipes.
BabyBjorn Bouncer. Since we live in a small house, we opted for this bouncer over plug-in ones or swings. This one is pricey, but can be found second hand. June isn’t a great napper and this was the only way we could get her to nap in the afternoons for a while. I used to put her in it in the kitchen while I cooked dinner too. It easily folds up and can be stored under the couch or crib.
Boppy Newborn Lounger. A small cushion that is so helpful when you just need a place to stick your baby (before they start to roll). Small enough to bring them in the bathroom with you when you just need to brush your teeth or shower.
On the Go
Tula Free to Grow Carrier. Use this every single day! I spent an absurd amount of time researching baby carriers and even going to a baby wearing meet up to try out more. I was gifted an Ergo 360 but ended up selling it and buy this one. I’m only 5’3″ and the Ergo just hit me in the wrong places and made it super uncomfortable on my stomach. This one is so comfy and the least bulky carrier on the market (IMO). You don’t need an infant insert when they are little and it grow with your baby, up to 45 lbs. It doesn’t allow for front facing, which a lot of people love, but our pediatrician suggested we not use a front-facing carrier so we didn’t miss that feature. We opted for the Coast version, which has a mesh front, perfect for summers and warm climates.
Baby wrap. There are a ton of different brands on the market. I was gifted a gently used Solly and I actually preferred the Cuddle Bug one. The cotton jersey it a lot thick and felt more secure to me. But it’s personally preference! I used this the most when June was just born and I still put it on around the house. When we’re on the go, I prefer the Tula, as it’s much quicker to put on and take off (especially when you’re by yourself with the baby).
Milk Snob cover. Perfect multi-use cover. It’s most commonly used for covering up while nursing, but I think I only used it once like that. I love it for covering up the car seat/stroller when June was asleep and we were out an about. It helped keep her asleep while we were at restaurants and in stores. It can also be used as a restaurant high chair cover once they are sitting up.
Lassig Diaper Backpack. Like baby carriers, I also spent a crazy amount of time looking at diaper bags. I opted for this one and I love it so so much. It’s pretty, doesn’t look like a diaper bag, and has tons of pockets so you stay organized. It can be worn as a backpack or on your shoulder. It’s so good half the moms in my mommy and me classed ditched their other bags and got this one after seeing mine. The only negative thing about it is that you can’t zip it closed with one hand.
Changing Pad Clutch. The one I have is no longer available, but there are a ton of similar options out there. This is a must when traveling on airplanes. Pack wipes, a couple diapers and an extra onesie and it’s all you need to take with you when you need to change a diaper.
I might do another post about things I found helpful when first breastfeeding, but here are my two favorite things in this category for infants.
Boon Lawn bottle drying rack. Seems unnessecary until you have one then it’s a must! You do so much hand washing of bottles and pump parts that it’s helpful to have a place on the counter to let them dry.
Comotomo bottles. a favorite for lots of breastfeed babies. Super easy to clean compared to other bottles.