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First of all, congratulations and welcome to the biggest adventure of your life!
If you are anything like me, as a first time mom, I had no idea what I would need, and wouldn't need once baby was home. Some stuff was obvious like: diapers, lots of diapers, and wet wipes and baby clothes... but there were a few not-so-obvious things that in hindsight I wish I would have had on hand from day one.
That is what this list focuses on, those not so obvious items that will make your first days as a new mama a lot easier. This list doesn't include everything that you'll need, but instead, it focuses on must-have items that have personally made my transition into motherhood a lot easier to navigate, and I'm sure they'll help you out too!
Because no one wants to go downstairs multiple times a night to store expressed milk in the fridge! This cooluli mini fridge has been a lifesaver for me. It sits on my bedside table and every night I can easily store whatever milk I collect from my haakaa pump without having to go downstairs to the fridge multiple times a night. If you live in a multiple level home and you plan on breastfeeding, seriously consider getting a mini fridge as breastmilk is only supposed to stay at room temperature for less than 4 hours.
If you're going to be breastfeeding, you might want to consider adding a milk saver to your list. Most commonly referred to as a haakaa pump (brand name), this little handy suction pump collects any milk that leaks from the non-nursing boob. Not everyone leaks, but many mamas do, and it's a shame to let that liquid gold go to waste. Sometimes I can collect 1 to 2 ounces per feed just from my let down! Other mamas collect even more. You can easily build a freezer stash using a haakaa pump (or similar milk saver) and not need to use an electric pump ever (I am building a stash and do not pump)!
The name Haakaa is actually the "brand" name and is much more expensive ($30). You can find cheaper versions that work just as well - mine is by NatureBond. and only costs $13. These can also be called manual pumps or milk savers.
Before buying this swing baby wouldn't nap anywhere. We couldn't put him down without him screaming bloody murder. After buying the swing, baby naps (supervised always!) or joyfully plays in the swing while mama can get stuff done.
I love that this one is small so it does not take up a lot of space, and it is also battery operated which means I can easily move it around the house, take it from room to room, and even to the backyard without having to worry about cables! So far we've used it daily for a month and the battery is still going strong (update: battery has finally died after 6 weeks of daily use.)
I was definitely one of those mamas that was against having too many containment devices but after a few weeks of not being able to put baby down anywhere – I caved and I have no regrets!
Right now this swing is not available on Amazon Prime (only available via third-party sellers that are charging much more for it than what it actually costs) but this is the link if you want to check out the item description. You can also purchase it from target or buy buy baby for a better price.
This is one of the most affordable swings on the market, at just under $70, but the downside is that you do have to replace the batteries every 6 weeks or so and it lacks the bells and whistles of more expensive swings (moveable mobile, music, side to side swinging).
Ha, the wipe warmer, another little gadget I scoffed at when searching for items to put on my baby registry list. I wasn't going to spoil my child with warm wipes, I said. Fast forward to several days of our newborn screaming his little lungs out during diaper changes due to the cold wipes - and I bought one right away. Some people complain that the wipes tend to dry up when using a warmer, however, I haven't had any issues with the wipes drying up with the Hiccapop Wipe Warmer. I do follow the instructions which say to add about a cup of water to the wipes to keep them moist. I also turn it off during the day since the cold wipes don't seem to bother little one during the day, only at night.
Not only are they cute but they serve a purpose! These pacifiers, with the little stuffed animal attached to the end of it, actually stay put most of the time! I've used both, regular pacifiers and these Wubbanubs, and I will tell you.. the Wubbanub kind definitely stays in longer. The cute stuffed animal attached to the end of the paci helps keep it in place. But remember, these aren't safe for unsupervised sleep because the stuffed animal can inadvertently cover the baby's nose - so always supervise when using.
Pre-folded cloth diapers that double as burp/spit up cloths? Yes, please! I plan on cloth diapering, eventually, once I get the hang of this motherhood thing (one thing at a time ya know?). So in the meantime, I am using my cloth diaper inserts as burp cloths. It is recommended that diaper inserts are washed several times before using in cloth diapering anyway so this is a great way to make that happen. I love these inserts because they are organic, cotton and bleach-free, and also super absorbent which is necessary when you have a happy spitter as I do.
If you don't know what cradle cap is, you soon will. Cradle cap is the term used to describe these crusty white or yellow scales that appear on the baby's scalp around the one month mark. About 70% of babies will get cradle cap by 3 months of age - it is extremely common and benign. Once it appears you're going to want to get rid of it though because if left untreated it can cause an allergic skin reaction to baby (as per my pediatrician).
Removing cradle cap is easy with this brush - simply coat baby's head with olive oil (coconut oil is commonly used but our doc said it tends to dry baby's scalp too much), and using the green part of this brush, gently rub the oil into the hair wherever the cradle cap is visible. After a few minutes wash the oil off with soap and finish combing baby's head with the white comb part of the brush until all the scaly crustiness comes off. My baby had a pretty bad case and it cleared up immediately after the first try.
If you live in the south and plan to take baby outside, even if just to your backyard, consider a mosquito net. We live in south Florida and during the summer months after 4 pm, there are mosquitoes everywhere. This net has really saved us. We can take the bubs outside in his rocker or swing and cover him up with the net and not have to worry about any bugs or mosquitoes getting to him.
I love creating memories but I never seem to have the time to actually sit down and do some good old scrap-booking. I love this baby memory book because it is SIMPLE and straight to the point. It has a spot for all of baby's firsts and a space to add a monthly picture of your babe, plus a few other extras. It is perfect for busy moms who want to save these special memories but just don't have the time! If you tend to get overwhelmed with complicated baby books and end up not completing them at all - this one is for you!
My baby came out of the wound with nails that resemble Edward Scissor Hands. But all jokes aside, there was no way in hell I was getting anywhere near my squirmy little newborn with a nail clipper! I've heard of one too many moms that accidentally have clipped a little more than just a nail (ouch). But if your baby is anything like mine, his nails will grow and grow and they will become a lethal weapon.. to himself and to mama (the last thing you want on your sore breastfeeding nipple is a scratch from a claw!) This nail trimmer is fool-proof. It trims baby's nails with ease, and most importantly it does not cause any pain.
If it gets ridiculously hot where you live – get one of these. We live in south Florida – it is literally like 100 degrees outside today. This is perfect for taking baby out for a walk in the stroller, or for hanging outside in your backyard or for a sunny beach day. It keeps baby cool and happy!
I know you've heard of this one before. Get the darn white noise machine. It doesn't have to be a super expensive one. The one I use literally costs $9.99, is battery operated and portable. But it works! It's loud enough, has 4 different sounds, and a timer! What else can I ask for? It helps put baby to sleep and keep him sleeping. I thought I would just use my phone but I much rather have my phone available for other uses. ps. if you refuse to get a white noise machine and just want to use your phone - Spotify has plenty of white noise playlists.
I bought so many different kinds of swaddles I'm almost embarrassed to admit how many. However, this is all part of the game. Baby's are unique individuals and some will like blanket swaddles while others will love velcro swaddles. Some will want to be snuggled up like a burrito and others will want their arms out and free. It's trial and error with swaddles.
However, the halo sleep sack is the one that worked for us after trying blanket swaddles, the SwaddleMe velcro type, and the love to dream swaddle. Baby HATED all of them except the Halo Sleep Sack. The halo sleep sack is great because it allows you to swaddle baby in three different methods – both arms tucked in, one arm tucked in, or both arms out and free. So no matter what method your baby prefers, with the halo sleep sack you will be able to make it happen. Don't buy 13532 different types of swaddles, I say just go straight for the sleep sack!
The oogiebear is a snot removal tool. I didn't know I needed this until bubs had a boogie, and I realized his nostrils were so tiny. I had no idea how I was going to remove it. Insert oogiebear! It has both a "scoop" end for dried boogies and a "loop" end for wet boogies. So far I've been able to remove tons of boogies using the oogiebear but it's also a good idea to have a nose frida handy for those boogies that are way in there and unreachable with the oogiebear.
The boba wrap baby carrier is a soft and stretchy fabric that keeps baby close to mama. This wrap has been one of my favorite and most used items of all. When baby refuses to nap and won't let me put him down anywhere, I wear him and he falls asleep within minutes. This wrap has allowed bubs to get much needed sleep and mama can finally get stuff done around the house. I really like this wrap for newborns because in those first three months of life baby is so soft and squishy and i feel like this soft fabric wrap is more gentle on their bodies vs a more structured carrier like the lillebaby (which i will be using once baby is a little bigger).
That's all mamas.
These are 15 of my favorite (and most used) baby items that I have found to be super helpful in helping me navigate the newborn stage. Make sure to add these items on to your baby registry so that all those friends and family that love you and little one can shower you with helpful gifts!