The first month with a new baby is hard. It’s beautiful and amazing and you should cherish it…but it’s also really hard. That’s why people bring you casserole after you have a baby because cheese + carbs makes everything better. 😉 But the good news is things (normally) get easier and as I’ve added babies to my little brood I’ve found my newborn essentials, the things that make my life with a newborn easier and better.
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Newborn Essentials For Baby…
Aden & Anais Swaddle Blankets – I love these blankets. I brought two with me to the hospital because I’m a snob and I want to wrap my babies up in MY blankets that are soft and pretty and smell like home. We are still in the swaddle stage with these, but I also love them for a light blanket, burp cloth, and nursing cover.
Auto Rock ‘n’ Play – A sweet friend gifted a rock ‘n’ play to us for Griffin and it’s something I wish we had for every kid! He sleeps great in it, I think because it makes him feel all snuggled and safe. I love that it folds up and doesn’t need batteries either! Also, because I’m a paranoid mom I asked my pediatrician if sleeping in it would make him have a flat head and have to wear a helmet. She said no, but to just make sure they are alternating positions throughout the day (tummy time, babywearing, being held, laying on his back, infant seat, pack ‘n’ play/bassinet, and rock ‘n’play).
Cradle Cap Brush – Both Layla and Barrett had cradle cap and a friend recommended this for Barrett and I’m telling you I used it twice (with a coconut oil) and the cradle cap was gone and didn’t come back! Check out the reviews on Amazon, but I’m telling you it’s amazing and kind of addictively therapeutic to use.
Burts Bees Shampoo and Lotion – I love both of these for all the kids, but especially in the baby days. They both smell soo good, are gentle and free of “yuck”. I’ve been known to steal a bit of the lotion for myself from time to time.
Sleep and Plays – Griffin has been living in little sleepers. They are cute, soft, easy for diaper changes, comfy, and don’t have to be pulled over his head which makes getting dressed easier. The real question is why aren’t we all wearing these? My favorite brand is Carters for these guys and while I like the zipper version, I don’t hate snaps either.
Bonus: We use these pacifiers, have this diaper bag, still love our Phil & Ted stroller, this has been a great crib, and we’re fans of this sleep sack. I mostly babywear in an Ergo. Also, I haven’t used it for either of the boys, but the my breast friend pillow made all the difference in nursing Layla! Even if you plan to breastfeed have bottles and formula on hand, just for your peace of mind.
Essentials For Mom…
Soft Robe – This robe is everything. It is soo soft and basically feels like wearing a sweater. It’s warm, but not overly bulky and I just love it. It was awesome to have in the hospital and is great for late-night nursing sessions. Even if you haven’t had a baby recently, just buy this robe.
Sweatpants – Others may share cute coming home outfits a la Princess Kate, but that’s not me. I care about you and I’m here to tell you if you are expecting a baby or just had a baby… buy some sweatpants and a cozy robe. (Actually this is good advice for everyone). But really you need comfort and an elastic waistband right now. I’m currently wearing these sweats and life in them is good.
DVDs, Amazon prime, or Netflix subscription – Before each baby I pick out a show to watch while breastfeeding, rocking, and generally being up at all hours with the baby. I found that if I wasn’t watching something I would just stare at the clock as the minutes turned to hours and get totally stressed out! Which I feel like my little one could sense and then they would be stressed and stay awake even longer. Bad cycle. So with each baby I picked out a show to be something I only watched during those hard times. Layla was Nashville/Friends, Barrett was Gilmore Girls and Griffin is Parks and Rec. I choose something lighthearted (this is not a time to watch Law & Order SVU), and it also has to be interesting enough to keep me awake! Forget about the dishes or vacuuming your floors, this is a time when it is totally acceptable to let it all go, binge-watch and baby snuggle.
Bonus: I used this postpartum support band the first few weeks after Griffin was born. I hated wearing it with Barrett (maybe did twice), but this time around I really liked having the abdominal and back support. So I wouldn’t call it an essential but for $16 maybe worth seeing if you like it.
One other thing I consider an essential is getting some meals in the freezer before baby comes. It seriously makes life so much easier when you don’t have to think about cooking or what’s for dinner! Check out my post Freezer Food for New Moms for more of my process and some recipes. I also use this freezer cookbook and it’s a great resource! Along with freezer meals setting up a meal train or other way for people to bring by meals is huge! Most people want to help out a family with a new baby they just don’t always know what you need.
The newborn stage isn’t effortless, but these newborn essentials make it easier. So keep calm and snuggle on, mamas of littles!
Weigh in mamas! What do you think of my newborn essentials?
What would you consider your newborn or “fourth trimester” essentials?
Photography (except for first image) by Jamie Cole Photography.