Hey there! Since you are here, I am going to assume you are preparing for a new baby!! Congratulations!! You are in for the ride of your life, but don’t worry cause the list of must haves below will give you peace of mind in this new chapter.
I now have 2 babies – and yes, even though they are almost 2 and 3 and a half, they will A L W A Y S be my babies! My first list of must haves when there was just one baby is a little different than the products I used with baby number 2, so as I go along I will call out those differences. I will also share the mistakes I made with my first and only learned they were mistakes when I had my second. Woops! We all survived!! 🙂
A huge benefit for the Dr. Brown bottles that I didn’t know when I purchased them is that the opening on them is the same size as the Medela pump bottles. So, I was able to pump directly into the Dr. Brown feeding bottle to have it ready for the next feeding. This drastically reduced the amount of dirty bottles that make most moms hate pumping.
I knew before having my first that I wanted to try breastfeeding, but I also knew that I was going to have to go back to work after some time. I am S O happy that I bought these bottles sooner rather than later because my experience with breastfeeding was not as pleasant as most people make it out to be. Therefore, I ended up exclusively pumping and bottle feeding my first baby. By baby number two, I wasn’t even going to try the mind games. So, I naturally fed in the hospital to induce milk production and immediately started pumping once I returned home.
I could say that the Dr. Brown bottles saved my sanity as a new mom. Ya – that is quite the endorsement!
These two are my favorite and here is why. The wrap is perfect for a newborn. It is much more flexible and honestly mimics them being in the womb, so it is a very comforting environment for the new crying baby. It is also lightweight and easy to throw in the bottom of the diaper bag. The wrap is also something you can use for breastfeeding in public or if you get cold. It is very versatile and definitely a necessity when leaving the house.
The Ergobaby 360 carrier is better after a couple months. This thing allows you to strap that baby to your front, side, back, forward facing, backward facing and everything in between. It is the U L T I M A T E baby carrier and one you can use until you no longer want to strap that baby to your body.
Lessons learned: Use the baby carrier. With our first we registered for a different well-known brand and someone thoughtfully gifted it to us. We used it once. It was not a good design and ultimately hurt my body more than simply putting the baby on my hip and walking around.
What I learned very quickly with baby number 2 though is that life does not stop. With one baby, you can sleep when they sleep and cook dinner with one hand and a baby on your hip. With two, these options do not exist. You will find that the oldest now wants to be carried cause you are carrying the baby everywhere. If the newborn is sleeping, this is the only time you have to play specifically with the oldest. Really life is just a lot different. So, when baby number 2 came along, I asked my mom group and the Ergobaby 360 was far and away a unanimous vote for T H E B E S T baby carrier. And boy were they right. I strapped that newborn on to do chores around the house, go to the grocery store and not carry the big car seat, take walks without a stroller around the neighborhood. I even was able to strap the newborn in and carry my oldest on my hip – in dire need situations.
These carriers also made traveling with a baby a breeze!! More on that in another blog, but trust me when I say, for any number of babies you have, this is a M U S T H A V E !!
PLACE TO REST
As much as you will want to, you really cannot hold your baby all hours of every day. You will at the very least need to use the potty and shower, so you will have to share and put that baby down. These are my favorites!
Even sleeping can be hard for your baby to transition to laying in a crib or bassinet on his own, so these are good options during the daytime naps. It allows you to keep your eyes on your little one while also taking care of yourself and all the other things on your to-do list.
You are doing great and you deserve a break!! So set your baby down and take some time. Even if you are playing with your baby as they lay in one of these, it is teaching your baby to be independent and self soothe, which is key if you ever want them to sleep through the night!
Lessons Learned: We registered for and were gifted a 4moms Mamaroo – the fancy one. Yes – it is just as impressive as they make it out to be, but honestly it didn’t do anything more than the items above. Yes it swings in different patterns and directions and can play music or soothing noises, but so can a number of other things. We simply didn’t need the fancy version. Plus, with the items above, you can move them around the house or throw them in the car and take them with you. The Mamaroo was required to be plugged in and was a bit of a pain to move. I often took my kiddo outside as a newborn and laid him down on the lounger. He loved the outdoors and still does!!
I know I am about to stir up a number of comments and questions on this one, but here I go. Do you really need to watch your baby sleep? For us, the decision started with cost. We simply didn’t want to spend a couple hundred dollars on a video monitor. Plus, at the time, there were such mixed reviews on battery life and distance range. So, we went with a basic model that we couldn’t be more happy with.
This monitor picks up E V E R Y sound. I had to turn it down from the high setting cause I could literally hear my baby roll over in the crib and wasn’t getting any sleep. It also has the capability to talk back into the baby’s room. My husband and I have used this feature on a number of occasions just for ourselves.
“Honey, we need more milk.” – “Heard. Be right there!”
And then as they get older and start challenging you on bedtime and nap time, it is the perfect solution to be able to talk to your kiddos without going back in the room and starting the escape process all over again!
The last and final reason we cannot live without the audio monitor is traveling. My husband and I both love to travel (small trips and large) and both of our parents live in different states from us, so we were bound to pack up the kids in a car or plane and go to many places. The audio monitor is small and light, doesn’t take up much space in the luggage and doesn’t require wifi like most video monitors do. You simply plug it in and you are G O O D T O G O !!
No regrets here!!
This is something we actually recently got, but I wish I bought this from the jump. It is the perfect addition to the nursery that will grow with your kiddo. It is a nightlight, timer/alarm and sound machine – A L L I N O N E !!
Now, we do not use the noise machine. It is something that we just never did with our boys and they have turned out just fine. However, I know too many people who swear by a noise machine. Even adults who use them to soothe themselves to sleep.
What is truly revolutionary for newborns is the light and the fact that it has multiple levels of brightness. And I don’t mean low, medium and high. I mean at least 8 variances of light. As a new mom trying to figure out night feedings I can tell you that I W I S H I had the low dim light from the Hatch Baby Plus when I was feeding in the middle of the night.
Sleep Training experts suggest you do everything in the dark. This is supposed to reduce the disturbance for your baby in hopes that they stay in that groggy sleep state and drift back to sleep after filling their belly. Yes – great theory – so logical – until you are the one breastfeeding in the dark. Trying not to spray your baby in the face with milk cause your new milk boobs have a mind of their own. Let’s not even talk about changing a poop diaper in the dark. At that point, you are just asking for it!!
So, the low level of light that the Hatch Baby Plus gives off with just a single tap of a finger would have been my saving grace as I stumbled (sometimes cursing) into the nursery for middle of the night feedings.
Then, and the reason we just bought one for ourselves, as your kids grow up and start waking up on their own, you will find that “morning” comes earlier and earlier. This magical device allows you to program from your smart phone a wake up time where the light and even music can come on at a certain time to let your kiddo know that he can get out of bed. It has multiple colors and sounds, so you can customize the crap out of it to make it super fun for the kids. My toddler loves waiting for the light in the mornings and we love not waking up to a screaming kid on the weekends!!
There you have it, my short list of must haves for a newborn baby! Yes, there are a number of products out there. Yes, you can buy all of them if you’d like, but the one piece of advice I will give about this topic is to ask yourself – how will this product improve my relationship with my baby or myself? You can stock your house with all the leading baby products and be S U P E R prepared with all of the newest gadgets like baby tubs with thermometers built in or $900 strollers, but will all of that bring you joy? Sometimes you have to simplify to focus on what matters most. In this case, what matters most is your baby and your own self. So take a minute and make sure what you purchase will benefit the life you want and bring you joy.
What could you not live without? Help the rest of use not suffer in silence.