After I found out I was pregnant, one of the very first things I did was start to plan for what we were going to need. And it was overwhelming. Very overwhelming.
I think I broke registering for my baby shower into three separate shopping trips and many, many hours of adding and deleting items from list online. I can’t tell you how many nights I laid awake thinking about whether we registered for the right things or if I registered for the “best” or “right” things. So I wanted to make a list of the things that I found useful when I first had my baby.
I didn’t really know that much about babies or what it takes to care for them before I had Logan and I’m positive you can raise a baby perfectly fine without any of these things, but they sure do help!
1. Swaddles – Logan hated being swaddled right from the beginning… Or so we thought. During his one month appointment we told his pediatrician that he didn’t stay asleep for very long no matter what we did.
“Are you swaddling?” she asked us.
“No, he hates it,” I replied.
“No, he doesn’t,” she said. “Swaddle him. Even if he fights at the beginning.”
So we did.
And guess what? He slept for five hours. FIVE HOURS. He definitely fought us just about every time we wrapped him, but then he fell asleep instantly. If we left him unswaddled, he constantly had his hands in his face. This lead to him thinking he was going to eat because there was something near his mouth or he scratched himself. Sure, you can swaddle with a blanket, but the wraps with Velcro are MUCH easier and you can make them tight without much effort. The SwaddleMe wraps are my favorite. It did take a little bit of practice to get used to them, but I recommend these to any new mom and are on my list for baby shower gifts. I also liked the Halo SleepSack, but there is a lot of fabric and it takes more work to get it on which isn’t great when you are sleep deprived.
2. Boppy – Logan is five months old now, but I still use my Boppy every day. When he was a newborn, it was perfect for nursing him or letting him sleep on my (and my husband’s) lap. Now we use it for tummy time and propping to sit up. I’ll be honest, for my next baby, I may try a different product for nursing. The boppy tends to slide out from under the baby quite easily and sometimes I need to prop the ends up with pillows to be comfortable. I have heard great things about My Breast Friend Pillow which is probably what I will try next time. However, I still recommend a Boppy and will continue to use it.
3. Earth Mama Lotions – I was so concerned about my newborn’s skin. There are so many “bad things” and chemicals in a lot of baby lotions and soap and I have extremely sensitive skin, so I wanted to make sure I took great care of my newborn’s precious skin. If you’ve read any of my other baby or pregnancy posts, you know how much I love Earth Mama! All of their products are amazing and I know I’m putting safe ingredients (that smell awesome) on my baby. We still use the lotion, soap and bottom balm every day. It is expensive though, so recently I picked up a different baby lotion from the store and we hated it! It just didn’t smell like “our baby” anymore. So we quickly placed an order for Earth Mama!
I did receive Babyganics shampoo and body wash at my baby shower and have continued to use this product for bathing. It doesn’t dry out Logan’s skin, can be found at my local stores, and smells great!
4. Muslin Blankets – When I was doing research, I really didn’t believe that these Aden and Anais blankets were as great as everyone said they were, but I added them to my registry anyway and I’m so glad I did! They are so light weight, perfect size for swaddling or covering a car seat and super cute! There is always one in our diaper bag!
5. Baby Wrap – I had no idea how much a newborn would want to be held. I don’t know how I would have survived without my K’tan when he was a newborn. It was so easy to put on and I was easily able to change how I wore him depending on his age. However, it did get very warm! I did also get a Lillebaby which I love, love, love! It is perfect for both my husband and I to wear and is made of mesh so it is much cooler than the K’tan. It also doesn’t need a newborn insert so you can use it right from the start which is different than many other carriers.
6. Thermometer – THIS. NEED. And you need a quality one for sure. Test it. Make sure you know how to use it. Right before Logan turned a month old, he suddenly wouldn’t stop crying. No matter what we did, nothing could console him. He didn’t feel warm and our thermometer said he didn’t have a fever. We had no idea what was wrong. Eventually we ended up in the ER and he did have a 103 degree fever! It is very dangerous for a newborn to have such a high temp and if we had a thermometer that worked, maybe we could have caught his fever earlier. We immediately invested in a better thermometer that can go under his arm which is the most accurate place besides rectal.
7. Rock ‘n Play – I registered for this because so many other people had great things to say about it and I couldn’t have survived without it. I didn’t buy a bassinet. I had planned on him sleeping in his crib right away, but Logan had other plans. He slept in the Rock ‘n Play (even though sleep is not recommended) for about the first three months. It was the only place he would sleep. Plus, it is so easy to fold up and take in the car if we were going to be visiting somewhere for hours.
8. Swing – I didn’t register for a swing. We had a tiny house at the time and I decided I didn’t need a bunch of baby things. HOWEVER, when he was about a month old, he was admitted to the hospital for a fever and the nurses brought us a baby swing to use in our hospital room. Logan loved it! He slept in it while we were in the hospital and was content just to swing in it even though he wasn’t feeling well. We ordered one before we even left the hospital and it was a dream to have at home! At home, he often napped in his swing or was comfortable with just swinging and watching me make dinner.
9. Bath Tub – I had never really handled a newborn before I gave birth, let alone bathed one! Logan seemed so fragile when we brought him home, I am so thankful we had a sling in our baby tub to wash him because it is nearly impossible to hold a wet newborn! And we are still using the same tub five months later.
10. Nosefrida – This contraption is weird. Pretty gross even, but have you ever tried to get boogers out of a newborn’s nose? It is ridiculously hard and I didn’t really like using the suction bulb they sent home from the hospital. The Nosefrida is much easier to use and you can determine how much “suction” is used.
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