Over the last month, my most requested blog post topic has been newborn essentials, so here we are!
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I’ll start by saying that if we’ve learned anything in our (almost) three years of parenthood, it’s that infants actually need very little. On the “stuff” front, we were arguably over-prepared for Emma’s arrival and underprepared for Lucy’s… and both experiences were/have been wonderful.
So if you’re an overwhelmed mom-to-be, worried about what you don’t have or wondering whether you made the right decisions on the stuff you do have, just remember that figuring out the true essentials is somewhat straightforward, and you’ll acquire what you need and learn what makes life easier (for you) as you go. In the beginning, babies really only need food, diapers/wipes, somewhere to sleep, and basic clothing. For everything else, there’s Amazon Prime Shipping, haha, which’ll get it to you sometimes even the day of!
But here are a few things, off the top of my head, that Mitch and I personally love.
20+ Most-Used Infant Products
The changing situation struggle while out an about is real. I just want things as simple as possible; no huge bag that’s falling all over the place while I try to get the baby onto the changing table–if there even is one–or that I have to rummage through to find everything. Or that eventually ends up on the floor. YUCK.
This changing pad, undoubtedly the preppiest in the world ☺️, is everything I need. It’s long and padded, which means cleanliness and comfort for Baby, and it holds all the essentials: “wipes and dipes,” as Mitch and I call ’em, and a change of clothing just in case. It tucks right into my tote bag, too, so I don’t actually have to carry an actual baby bag. (Though if you’re a fan of the traditional baby bag, Mark & Graham does carry a matching one! It’s really cute!)
I kind of feel that most velcro swaddles are created equal, but yeah: they’re great, because the baby is less likely to kick out of them at night, which means more sleep for everyone. I bought these because they were pretty, haha, but we love them! They work wonderfully, and because so many people reach out to ask me about them so frequently, I researched the company and ziggybaby gets GREAT reviews. Woo! Ha.
There are SO many different options here, and the difference in price can be astonishing! I’ve noticed that the nicer-looking bouncers tend to be astronomically more expensive than the rainbow-colored ones, but just remember that your kid simply needs a place to sit. They all get the job done; you don’t need to spend a ton! With Emma, we had $25-$50 seats, and she turned out great. ;)
Splurge: Stokke Bouncer, also available via Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf’s or Bed Bath & Beyond. This was a gift (not from the brand), and we LOVE it but it’s pricey. (It doesn’t bounce or vibrate on its own, btw, but we like that because we don’t want Lucy becoming dependent on a device to be soothed or to fall or stay asleep.)
4Moms also sent us the Mamaroo 4 to try out late last week, and while we’ve only used it for a few days, we’re big fans so far! This seat does move, but we’ve been using it sparingly, and I have to say that it’s kind of been a godsend. When I really need to hand Lucy off to someone but no one is around, the Mamaroo does the trick. I can now go to the bathroom or make lunch for Emma, for example. Because it mimics the movements of a mother rocking her child, Lucy is comfy in it and doesn’t cry. Very nice. You can also find it at Target!
Save: Safari Rocker and Bear Bouncer, both from Fisher-Price. These are the two seats we had at the old house for Emma–one upstairs and one downstairs, and both were fantastic. No, they weren’t anything fancy and they weren’t much to look at, but they did everything we needed them to, and they certainly entertained Emma! The Safari Rocker was awesome when she got a little older. Very entertaining!
I was a lunatic before I had Emma and was insistent that she was going to sleep in her beautiful crib in her beautiful nursery that I nearly killed myself to complete before she arrived. And guess what?! She slept in our room, in the pack n’ play, for the first three months because it was so much easier and I was a nervous first-time mom. 😂 This thing is fabulous, though. It’s cheap, and once the baby moves to the nursery, you’ll still use it for travel. I know there are a lot of fancier ones, but I don’t think they’re worth spending the extra $ on. Just live with the ugly patterns; no travel crib is going to look nice anyway, haha.
The infant attachment is imperative, though. In the middle of the night, the last thing I want to be doing is struggling to pick up the newborn. (It’s not easy, especially since I’m vertically impaired.) Having her up higher has been so much easier (and safer!) for me.
Maxi-Cosi sent us the Lila Modular Stroller (which converts to a double stroller) a few months before Lucy’s arrival, and wow. I’m in love. It’s certainly a splurge, but considering how much we use it, I would definitely spend this much. It’s VERY nice. We really liked our old stroller, but we just can’t get over how much smoother the Lila’s ride is, and how intuitive it is. It’s also so much lighter than you’d expect it to be… and it’s beautiful. The leather handles and bars; the sand color that goes with everything; the more substantial wheels. Again, I’m in love. I didn’t want to do a full review until I’d used the stroller for a long time, but I’ll be sure to get it up on the blog soon.
This is the carrier/car seat we have for Lucy, and it snaps right into the Lila stroller. The great thing about this setup is that you don’t have to wake the sleeping baby when moving her, regardless of whether you’re carrying the carrier, popping it into the car, or snapping it into the stroller. This makes ALL the difference in life. ;)
Boon sent us these dishwasher-safe bottles and I love them! First of all, they’re adorable, haha. Second, the silicone pouch collapses as the baby drinks, which minimizes the amount air she sucks down and, in turn, reduces gas and reflux. Other bottles that claim to do this require vents and valves which we always lost. HUGE FAN. I love them so much that I recently ordered more.
I’ll be honest here and say that I didn’t do a ton of research on pumps. I walked into Target and bought this one because my old one had broken. But I’ve been pleasantly surprised by it! It does what it says it does and it’s not $500. Not painful and relatively easy to wash, too.
I love the netting on this thing. It makes it so easy to bathe Lucy. (We put it right in the kitchen sink!) Looking for something less girly? We had this whale tub with Emma, and it now currently lives at my in-laws so we don’t have to travel with a bathtub when we go to visit them.
We’ve used these for years and they’re our go-to. We’re BIG pacifier people, haha. Luckily, our doctor approved them for newborn use, too, saying that if the baby isn’t showing any signs of confusion when it comes to latching during nursing, they’re fine. Thank goodness! This clip is essential, btw.
LOVE. THIS. THING. Super affordable and they guarantee sleep, even when you live in a noisy city and have a crazy dog who barks her head off on the reg. We’ve stashed them at our parents’ houses, too. Highly recommend! (I’d stay away from the fancy ones that connect to wifi or whatever since they tend to turn off when the internet goes out. NO BUENO. Also, you need to up your game in Chicago, Comcast. Thanks for nothing.)
Mitch says this is not necessary, but I say it is, haha. My #1 baby gear gripe is that ONE MILLION WIPES COME OUT AT THE SAME TIME. Who has more than one hand to grab a single wipe?! No one. Because everyone is desperately trying not to get poop everywhere. And so you frustratingly just go with it, saving yourself and your surroundings but at the expense of massive waste. (And I’ve tried a LOT of different brands. So far, I haven’t found packaging that prevents it.) This dispenser, though, fixes the problem… when you’re home, at least. Below is the travel solution.
Travel solution! It obviously doesn’t hold as many wipes as the at-home version, but it gets the job done and it’s slim and sleek and doesn’t take up much room in your bag.
Danielle and Conor gave us this, and it’s the BEST! It’s sturdy, non-offensive in appearance (great if you’re going to have it front and center in your home), and provides Lucy with a ton to look at and listen to. (So much crinkliness to crinkle!) We love the little stand-up velcro attachment that allows you to show the baby photos, mirrors and pictures. Emma adores swapping them out for Lucy; it’s great bonding time for the girls!
Baby Gap is my favorite place for onesies, though ANY onesie works. But good to have a lot of these; we go through ’em quickly. I buy three or four of the true newborn size, but babies tend to grow out of those in a few short weeks, so 0-3 months is usually where to invest the money.
Again, any old bib will do. But bibs save infant clothing from awful stains.
So does this stuff! I only discovered it this year–randomly picked it up at HomeDepot while buying plants–and I’m not sure how I lived without it for so long. It’s SO much better than Shout, and truly hasn’t failed to handle a single blowout diaper stain yet. It’s incredible. You’re welcome. (Guys, I’ve had a glass of wine at this point in the writing process.)
Diaper rash cream is well known for being impossible to get off your hands, but this stuff comes in spray form, meaning way less mess. It’s great for travel, too.
While I no longer swaddle in receiving blankets because I find velcro swaddles to be so much more effective, I LOVE receiving blankets for burping and cuddling. They’re fantastic spit-up catchers.
I freak out if this thing isn’t in place. I need to be able to see the baby and know that she’s alive and well, and this calms me down. It also takes two seconds to install.
We’ve tried out a bunch of fancy monitors with video screens, and they’ve all broken on us. We much prefer the old school ones! We rely mostly on this $18 one, but this one is great for long distances or old brick houses so I thought I’d highlight it. (Worked extremely well in our last home, which apparently used to be a bunker. 🙄)
I either use this tote or my Louis Vuitton Neverfull as my baby bag. The MZ Wallace one also comes in a bunch of solid colors, including navy (which is actually the one that I have). You can see it here. Highly recommend; it’s squishy so it fits in tight spaces and it’s machine-washable, even though the company doesn’t advertise that. (I wash mine ALL the time and it comes out looking perfect!)
This is what I put in my Louis Vuitton to turn it into a functioning baby bag.
…kind of. 😂