These are my favorite posts to read by other bloggers. Whenever I read posts like this, I found myself going straight to Amazon to buy what they recommend : )
These are all items I would recommend having at home before you give birth. So much of the other stuff you can wait and see what you need. So without further ado, there are the things I couldn’t imagine the first month without:
Baby Connect app – I’ve mentioned this app before, but it’s been invaluable to track feedings, sleep and more. I’m letting Maze tell me when he’s hungry, but it’s great to still have a timer going from the last time he ate and which side it was on. Sure, you could use pen and paper, but then you wouldn’t have all the data available in the nice charts and things! I haven’t been 100% consistent with it (naps are hard to track if they’re very short) but it’s still a good estimate. And although it doesn’t really mean I get more sleep, I like waking up and seeing “You’ve been sleeping for 3 hours and 10 minutes” and knowing that was a good long stretch. I no longer track diapers (because it’s clear we are making lots of them over here!) but now I have added pumping, so I imagine we will evolve with the app as he gets older and we might want to track activities, solid foods, potty use and more. The app was totally worth the $4.99 I paid for it.
Wrap/carrier – Whether it’s the Boba, Ergo, Moby or a homemade sling, I could not imagine these past few weeks without some kind of baby wearing device. We have gotten lots of use out of both the wrap and the carrier, but if I had to just get one, I’d get the carrier. The Boba has the ability to convert for newborn side, and I know the Ergo has newborn inserts (and I have friends that just propped their babies up with a swaddle blanket). This first month, baby wearing was one if the only things I could count on: he would almost always be calm when I wore him. Naps only happened against me, and having my hands free was invaluable.
Nursing cover – I would never have ventured into public with a newborn without some kind of breastfeeding privacy. Using the cover isn’t ideal, but it is liberating to think that when you’re out, if the baby cries you just have to feed them. Having a cover made me comfortable feeding him in restaurants, on park benches and when I had visitors in my home. You could just use a swaddle blanket, but getting Mazen latched under one was pretty hard without being able to see him. I received a cover from Bebe Au Lait to review and love it.
My Brest Friend
It really is!! Sure, you could just use a few standard pillows for nursing, but the reason My Brest Friend is great is because it’s firm, straps around you and has little pillows to support the baby’s head. The Boppy is nice, but sometimes I end up having to get in a weird position to get it high enough. Since you should always bring the baby to your breast and not your breast to the baby, it’s important to have them parallel to your breast, and My Brest Friend does this better than the Boppy. I like having two nursing pillows, though, because I use one downstairs and one upstairs.
We have a number of baby seats scattered around the house that are great for plopping the baby in when you need to run to the bathroom and wash your hands or take a shower. Some we bought; some were given to us. We have a swing, a Snugabunny bouncer, the iFeel Rocker and the Boppy Lounger. All have their perks and uses, but really, just having ANY seat is great. So get whichever you like! The important part is knowing you have a safe place for your baby to rest while you slip away for a moment.
Disposable Breast Pads and a Milkie
If I hadn’t had disposable breast pads on hand when I came home from the hospital, I literally would have put a menstrual pad in my bra because I needed something to catch the milk! The cotton ones were just not that absorbent (or rather, I had more let down than they could hold) and I learned this the hard way – with a soaked shirt! I have been SHOCKED at how well the disposable pads absorb – ounces upon ounces. They are quite annoying to have to wear, but they do their job well. I like the Lansinoh brand the best!
I didn’t learn about Milkies until about 4 weeks in, but this let-down catcher is QUITE amazing! It’s made of BPA-free plastic and fits in your bra while you nurse. It’s quite large, so I don’t think you could actually wear it around (and if you bent over you might spill it all out!) but I just slip it in before I start each feeing. I have discovered that I let down about 0.5-1 ounce of milk on the non-nursing breast at each feeding. That means I’m collecting 4-6 ounces a day effortlessly! The one thing I haven’t figured out yet is if this is mostly fore milk and shouldn’t exclusively be used for a bottle but rather mixed with pumped milk that might include hind milk. I’m going to ask some lactation experts about this! (Please weigh in if you are one).
On the topic of nursing, nursing bras are a must. I didn’t realize how much breastfeeding would rule the newborn stage! But you really have to be able to nurse comfortably and quickly all.the.time. I bought a couple of sleep bras (which are a must for the nursing pads) from Motherhood Maternity that I sleep in every night and this post includes the real bras that I like so far. A few nursing tanks are great too so you can layer and pulling up your shirt to nurse doesn’t reveal your whole stomach.
Sure, you can just use a blanket to swaddle your baby, but the problem lies at 3 in the morning when you’re exhausted and don’t have the energy to put into a tight swaddle. The velcro ones are so great for this. We have 3 kinds of swaddlers: the Miracle Blanket, Swaddleme’s, and the Halo Sleep Sack.
The Miracle Blanket works by far the best. Mazen has yet to break out of it. The downsides are that it is expensive ($31 for one) and also a bit difficult to do when sleepy, but not too hard. It’s worth it for the good wrap. The Swaddlemes are the quickest and easiest to put on and are lightweight for summer, but they are also the easiest for him to get out of! The Sleep Sacks are medium putting-on level and medium getting-out-of level. I would get one or two of each because they all sort of serve different purposes.
I’m sure almost all of you have a water bottle already, but since you will be spending as much time with it as you do your baby, make sure it’s a good one. I think there must be something about latching on that makes the brain say “THIRSTY” because the thirst I feel right when he latches on is so intense! I bought this Camelbak Eddy because it’s 1L, sipable through a straw and doesn’t spill if you knock it over. Love it! I actually just bought a second one so I can have an upstairs and a downstairs water bottle.
Other Items That Are Not Total Must Haves But We Love
Video monitor (They are expensive and I had said it was silly of me to “need” to see him and hear him but I totally did! I bought this Motorola one the first week we were home which I love because the camera can pan and zoom)
The White Noise Lite app – for calming. Use on airplane mode!
Chicco Car Seat Caddy Stroller for your car
Oxo Wipes Dispenser (opens with one hand and looks great on our changing table!)
These vitamin D drops so when your doctor gives you the gross cough syrup kind you don’t have to make your baby taste it while you wait for a tasteless, natural kind to come in the mail!
aden & anais blankets (for the 1,000 other things you can do with them other than swaddle like keep the baby warm or block the sun in the stroller – we get so many compliments on our bee + owl ones!)
There are Amazon Affiliate links in this post – thanks for supporting BERF!