This weekend I learned that a good friend is pregnant with her first baby! As soon as I heard the news, I started compiling a list of my newborn essentials to share with her–and then decided that I should share them with you, too!
Without further ado (and in no particular order), here are the 10 items I swore by when Levi was born.
1. Summer Infant SwaddleMe
Some friends swore by the popular Miracle Blanket, but JB and I thought this Velcro “straight jacket” was much easier to use, especially during post-diaper change re-wraps while we were half asleep. We also had Aden & Anais muslin blankets for swaddling, but we found we could swaddle Levi tighter and more securely in a SwaddleMe.
2. Sleep Sheep
I remember other bloggers complaining that this white noise machine was ugly yet effective. Of its four options, the sound of “Mother’s calming heartbeat” seemed to truly calm Levi. Eventually, I began to hear in my head the rhythmic beating of the sheep even when it wasn’t on, but Levi benefited from it, so it played.
3. Gerber long-sleeve onesies
These were a gift from another new mom, and I quickly understood why she recommended them. They met three important criteria: practical, inexpensive and cute. I loved that these kimono-style bodysuits didn’t have to go over Levi’s head and that they had built-in mitten cuffs to protect his face from scratchy nails.
4. Medela Tender Care Lanolin
Another friend recommended the Lansinoh version, but I found it to be too thick and difficult to wash off my fingers after applying. Medela’s lanolin went on thinner but worked just as well. (And while you’re in the breast care aisle, pick up a couple boxes of Medela Disposable Nursing Bra Pads — you’ll need ’em!)
5. Changing pad liners
“Open air incidences” are inevitable, especially with baby boys, and swapping just the pad liner is so much easier than replacing the entire changing pad cover. Buy yourself two changing pad covers and a couple of liners to keep in rotation.
6. BabyLegs legwarmers
If you have a warm weather baby, you don’t need to dress a him or her in anything but a simple onesie (see #3). BabyLegs legwarmers keep baby’s legs warm (duh) while allowing easy access to a onesie’s snaps make diaper changes a snap (pun intended). They come in a variety of fashionable patterns and colorways, adding a bit of whimsy to a plain bodysuits.
7. Stella nursing bra
This seamless Basics by Bravado nursing bra offers virtually the same comfort and support as Bravado’s signature line but for almost half the price. I found mine at Target, and they’ve become my favorite bras because of their smooth fit and lightweight construction.
8. Infant gas drops
We learned early on that Levi experienced painful gas, and Mylicon became our magic remedy. After giving him the recommended dosage, we’d quickly put his pacifier back in his mouth so he could suck down the medicine. Some people claim that infant gas drops don’t work, but we found them to be an effective treatment for Levi. Worth a shot, at least.
9. My Brest Friend
I debated between this nursing pillow and the Boppy and ultimately got both, but I quickly found that My Brest Friend offered more support during breastfeeding. Its wrap around design really did help me maintain my posture, especially in bed where I nursed Levi the most. Don’t forget to bring it to the hospital with you!
10. Bassinet for bedroom
A friend loaned us a bassinet so that Levi could sleep next to our bed rather than down the hall in his nursery as we had originally planned. I’m so glad we were able to keep him close to us during those first few weeks. It made middle-of-the-night diaper changes and feedings easier and relieved some of my new mom anxiety about whether Levi was breathing. In those early days, I also think it helped the three of us bond as a new family.
There you have it! My top ten must-have newborn items. I’ll share a couple of close runners-up throughout the week, so stay tuned. In the meantime, if your list of baby essentials looks different than mine or if you think I forgot something major, please leave a comment below!