Newborn Must Haves

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 : )

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Baby Seats

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.

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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).

Nursing Bras

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.

Swaddlers

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.

A Swaddleme

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Water Bottle

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)

Pacifier Soothies and a clip (we introduced them at 3 weeks – so helpful, especially for car rides!)

Motherlove Nipple Cream and Soothies – just in case you need them

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!)

Happy Baby!!

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There are Amazon Affiliate links in this post – thanks for supporting BERF!

37 Weeks: Pay It Forward

Newborns don’t really need that much stuff. A car seat, a place to sleep, clothing, diapers, blankets. But there are lots of things that are very handy to have, and it’s easy to get carried away with all the options for baby gear out there. When you get what you need AND what you want, it can get really expensive, especially with all of the beautiful designer brands, handmade items on Etsy and fancy designs.

I haven’t kept a strict tally of how much we’ve spent on baby stuff, but the bulk of it went to the crib, mattress and IKEA furniture for his room. A bit more into smaller items here and there. We have been blessed with generous friends and family who showered us with much of what we need, and I recently filled in the rest with the last of the purchases.

And then we have gotten some great hand-me-downs from friends and Craigslist. There were a few things that I really wanted new, but then most baby stuff I am happy to inherit from other babies. Most of them I was able to wash and/or clean and they are…not good as new…but pretty darn close!

I found our My Brest Friend pillow on Craigslist for $10. I ordered a new black and white cover for it – still in the mail!

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A local blog reader had a bunch of baby gear he was looking to pass on that he brought over for us to sort through. Included were some great items that I needed – a bouncy seat and a baby bath. (I cut the ears out of the bunny seat – they creep me out!)

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And a boppy, which I outfitted with a smashing new cover from Etsy : )

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I bought our swing from my friend Holly for half price since Finn had outgrown it after just a few months of use.

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Of course I can’t thank Stephanie enough for paying forward her cloth diaper collection!

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My friend Alex gave us some of her little boys’ old clothes – and a swaddle blanket!

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And my friend Katherine gave me a bag of her newborn and 0-3 clothes on loan because she might need them back someday. Cuteness inside : )

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I borrowed many of our nursery items from myself – the lamp from the guest room, the curtains from our Charlotte house that were stored in the attic, my grandmother’s painting from the kitchen. Matt is also making us a canvas for the nursery!

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And perhaps the most exciting is a recent hand-me-down from a friend of a friend: a stroller! My friend Lara emailed me to ask if we needed a stroller because her friend was looking to get rid of hers. It is 6 years old and well loved, but it’s also in surprisingly good condition for its age.

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The stroller frame is Bugaboo (a pretty pricy brand) and it came with both a seat and a bassinet –

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I bought the car seat adaptor so this can be our infant stroller and put the car seat in for these photos.

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We are still planning to eventually getting a BOB because I know we’ll want a really smooth jogging stroller with all the walking we do. But the Bugaboo will be perfect as an infant stroller and smaller car option when the BOB is too big to transport.

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My BOB console fits on the handlebars – although a bit awkwardly. But it will serve its purpose here until we grow into the BOB.

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When we are through with these items, I hope to pay it forward and give them to another family who can share the same excitement and savings during the expensive nesting phase : )

 

PREVIOUS 37 WEEK POSTS

Snapshots

The Hospital Bag

Belly Dancer

Full Term + Full Of Baby

Expecting The Unexpected–Pregnancy

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36 weeks

36 Weeks: Pack n Play Options

There are so many options out there for playards – I have no idea what to choose or even how we will use it!

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Here are some facts about our situation:

  • We won’t be using it for nightime sleeping (we have the rock n play sleeper and a crib nearby our room)
  • We could use it for downstairs napping.
  • We could use it for contained + safe playing – especially when he becomes very mobile and upstairs where there is more danger.
  • My mom and Karen are both getting this one for their homes.
  • I don’t think I’d bring it to the beach, park, etc for playing – I’d probably just bring a blanket and play with him.
  • For newborn travel, we could use the rock n play which is pretty portable. But when he’s bigger, I’m not sure what he’d sleep in if the hotel/house didn’t have a crib or pack n play provided.

So all of that said, do you think we need to buy one?

I love the look of the Joovy Room2 Ultralight and the reviews are good. It’s super lightweight, but also expensive at $200. It’s 9 square feet and weighs 21 pounds all folded up. Since it sits on the floor, I think the weight limit is probably nearly unlimited. I could see this being very useful with a bigger baby. It’s also really easy to fold up in an instant since there is no wooden/plank board for the floor.

 

 

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I don’t like the look of the Graco ones as much, but I like the Pasadena well enough and the price is much, much better at $70. I THINK it comes with a bassinet for napping, although it doesn’t show it in any of the photos. It’s well reviewed and popular on Amazon. Weight limit: 40 lbs. 28 x 40 inches – so quite a bit smaller but the same weight at 22 lbs. I can see him growing out of this more quickly.

 

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Then there are the ones that are kind of inbetween. They have some bells and whistles (which I doubt I would need/use but maybe?) Like this one for $99 that has a napper/changer station, exterior storage, etc. The napper/changer has pretty low weight requirements, and I’ve heard that they are not built too well. Medium sized and heaviest. I also don’t love the design.

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I am tempted not to get one at all – or just wait and see if we need a contained play space or portable crib when he’s older. But I don’t know what I don’t know so please share your thoughts!

Previous 36 week posts

Snapshots

New Additions

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36 Weeks: New Additions

New additions for the new addition!! From family, friends, Etsy and Amazon : ) I wish I could showcase every single gift we have received and every single item I have purchased, but here are snapshots of the range of baby items we have accumulated…

A Duke bib and socks from Matt’s grandmother Bonnie – Go Blue Devils!

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Board books of all kinds!

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A modern Boppy Cover I bought from Kidzcraftz on Etsy!

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Bison Booties!!!! A gift from the Etsy store owner, Erica, who is a BERF reader

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Beach toys for next summer (and the bath until then!) plus soft blocks and a hilarious ball from mom’s friends Judy and Susan! They have started the toy storage under the stairs : )

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A baby monitor from Kirst!

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Our awesome Skip Hop diaper bag from Karen!

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I already put a few things inside : )

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Carousel Designs changing pad (on the L.A. Baby pad that I bought), plus a funky inexpensive lamp from Target and a catch-all container Alex and Eric gave us at our Cville shower from NikJDesigns on Etsy. Can’t believe how well it matches the changing pad!

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This adorable outfit from Baby Olivia

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Fun toys that light up and sing!

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Chevron bibs and burp cloths from my sister from the Posh Pea Boutique and handmade ones by my friend Tiffany!

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And so many cute outfits for 3-6 months that need sorting and folding! You will see these all in time : )

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Previous 36 week posts

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31 Weeks: Stuff

Anyone remember this Diamond Rio song, “Stuff”?  This post has it playing in the background :mrgreen:

I know you’re probably thinking: “Kath this is sooooooo not important right now!”

However, houses, home organization, decluttering and sorting stuff is one of my favorite pastimes. I’m actually looking forward to the challenge of finding ways to organize toys.

I know you’re also thinking: “You can organize them but they will be all over the house 5 minutes later.”

That’s ok – I’m still going to make some effort though! I’ve babysat kids enough in my life to know that putting all the toys back in the bins can be fun.

Here are a selection of my favorites (can you tell I love Land of Nod!?)

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1) Land of Nod Wire Basket
2) Land of Nod Canvas Bin
3) Land of Nod Gingham Cube
4) Land of Nod Grey Bin
5) Land of Nod Zig Zag Baskets
6) Land of Nod Rattan Basket
7) Etsy Fabric Bin

(I’m there are TONS of cool options at stores like Homegoods, TJ Maxx, Target and more too!
These were just my fancy favorites)

So where will all the STUFF go!? Well I have some ideas….and empty corners….and plans for lots of cute baskets and bins.

First the living room….

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It’s on the “stuffy” side (haha) because we don’t really use it that much. Mostly for entertaining and reading. But it’s the closest living space to the kitchen, so I can see it becoming kid play area – although I wouldn’t be able to have my eye on him so safety is a concern. I now understand why all the women on House Hunters want the open kitchen so they can see their kids playing!

I know there is a nice open spot for the swing though1 Can you leave your baby out of eye’s reach in a swing?

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There is room behind this chair for a nice bench or bin for toys

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And an open corner here for something slim

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One thing about our living room rug. I absolutely love the texture and feel….until you put a knee on it. It’s probably the worst surface for baby crawling ever!! I hate to get rid of it, but we will see what happens and where we end up doing most of the playing.

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I can see this area of the entry way becoming something built-in with hooks and a shelf or two for hats n things

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Oh and clearly…the linens can be relocated

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I imagine our downstairs family room will become Play Central. There is less to break and lots and lots of space for toys, pack n play, swing, etc. It’s just so dark down there! But I realistically see myself spending the most time here both once the baby is born and when he is much older too. Plus the rug is plush!

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There are plenty of empty walls for shelves, toy baskets or bins to go

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These shelves are pretty much empty

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This basket just has a blanket in it – nothing more

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This entire corner is empty!

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More skinny space

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Under the stairs – hideout or big toy storage

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And of course..

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Up in the dining room, we have several corners that would work for the high chair – I’m hoping to get a modern green one to match the green lamp shade!

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In the kitchen, we have several spots that can be reorganized for baby/toddler bottles, cups and things.

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The poor wine glasses really could go elsewhere.. and this could become the bottle cabinet!

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We also might play on the porch! I have been debating getting an outdoor rug for the porch, but I just love the rich red floors so much I hate to cover them up. But once the baby crawls…

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And someday…

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PREVIOUS 31 week posts

Snapshots

Previous WEEKS

4 weeks

5 weeks

6 weeks

7 weeks

8 weeks

9 weeks

10 weeks

11 weeks

12 weeks

13 weeks

14 weeks

15 weeks

16 weeks17 weeks

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19 weeks

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26 weeks

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