People seem to disappear when they have babies. It made sense before our little guy was born, but now that I’ve survived the first three months, I understand why. I do not intend for my blog to become a mommy/baby blog but I do want to make three posts that outline the baby “stuff” we found most useful. One every four months or so for his first year. I found these posts immensely helpful when deciding which baby things to buy before he arrived. I also strongly encourage you to consider buying second hand. Baby stuff gets outgrown so quickly it’s easy to find it in great shape at thrift stores and garage sales. We got the majority of our stuff from garage sales, friends, and 2nd hand shops.
1. Badger Diaper Cream
This stuff is a lifesaver. Our little guy has not had one case of diaper rash UNTIL the moment we used a diaper cream other than Badger.
2. Ergo Baby Carrier with infant insert
While recovering and adjusting at home I made it my goal to get out of the house EVERY day. Even if it was just walking for 10 minutes. I forced myself to get comfortable with the Ergo and the infant insert when he was barely two weeks old and we started walking just a little bit every day. It was so good for us. (I had an emergency c-section so recovery was a bit rough)
3. Ikea night light. Breastfeeding at night in the beginning can be tricky. You want to be able to see what you’re doing but not so much light that you’ll wake baby up fully. This little light has been so helpful. Click it once to turn it on and it cycles through all the colors, click it again and hold, and it will maintain that color and level of brightness.
4. Miracle Blanket swaddler. We tried so many swaddles. We tried the basic blanket swaddle, the lightweight summer version, the velcro kind, the Woombie. You name it, we probably tried it. This one worked the best. Our little guy could not Houdini his way out of it. It is soft and comfortable, not too warm and never seemed to bunch up around his face or choke him. We found it a bit too late though as he sleeps with us, unswaddled every night.
5. Bouncer. Do not buy these new. They are at garage sales everywhere. We have two bouncers and they have been a lifesaver for me while home alone. We keep one in the bathroom 100% of the time so I can shower easily. We keep another in the living room/kitchen so I can have my hands free as needed. He also goes in a swing sometimes. I try not to leave him in it longer than 30 minutes at a time.
A few other essentials for baby and mom:
-100% cotton cloth diapers for use as burp cloths. We have 10, 15-20 would probably be more useful but we keep forgetting to get more
-Carter’s and Gerber brand short-sleeve onesies. We used SO many of these. If it had been summer when he was born, we probably would have used more. He outgrew his newborn sized onesies fast so having them up to 6 month size has been helpful
-A hand pump. We bought a Medela brand hand pump and it was so helpful when my milk came and and I was engorged. I was able to pump off some milk easily. Also it took nearly three weeks for my insurance-covered electric pump to arrive and I used the hand pump in the meantime.
-Nipple cream. I used Motherlove brand nipple cream, which is 100% safe for baby. I don’t really use/need nipple cream anymore but if I had to do it all again I’d just use coconut oil.
-Contigo water bottle. If you’re going to breastfeed, you’re going to be very thirsty. Especially in the beginning. You’ll want a good, BPA-free, leakproof water bottle. The Contigo bottle is so great. Never leaks, holds a lot of water, doesn’t sweat. I went through 3-5 fills of this bottle/day in the beginning. I still go through 2-3 fills. If you have a hospital birth they’ll likely give you a very large bottle in the hospital. I brought mine home with me and used that for the first couple weeks.
-Bamboobies reusable nipple pads. These are SO comfortable, reusable and worth every penny. I prefer the nighttime pads because they are the most absorbent. I tend to leak a lot. For disposable pads I love Johnson’s brand. They are very soft. The J&J are not individually wrapped which was something that irritated me about other disposable brands. When you’ve got a newborn anything that takes extra time is annoying. The J&J pads can look a little wonky under clothes, so beware of that.
- A freezer full of easy to heat and eat meals. As well as lactation cookies. I ate a ton of Amy’s brand dairy-free burritos. It turned out dairy is a major cause of colic for out little guy. Burritos were especially helpful because they took about 2 minutes to heat and I could eat them with one hand while holding the baby. Also helpful was a ton of fresh fruit and chopped veggies on hand. Crackers and veggies dipped into hummus or edamame hummus was a good quick snack.
-Nursing tank tops. Target’s Gilligan and O’Malley nursing tank tops are the most affordable and comfortable of all the ones I tried. They are $20 each and hold up great. I used them as a bra under other shirts and wore them at night. I lived in them the first 8 weeks at home. The Target tanks run a bit on the long side and also fit me during pregnancy. The support is surprisingly good and I do not have a small chest.