It’s hard to narrow down essentials for brand-new babies. Everyone is going to have some things that they see and go, “What?! You’re crazy, you don’t need that.” And other things on the list will have moms nodding their head in agreement. So let’s preface my list of new-baby essentials with the note that your-mileage-may-vary, but these were all “can’t live without” items.
Duh. Some people like to stick with only one diaper style. But if you can, I liked to have a variety of diapering options. I always had Chinese prefolds handy, a few different covers (the Flip covers are my favorite, with Econobums in a close second), and a few all-in-one or pocket diapers like BumGenius. And I would DEFINITELY recommend that you have at least one or two specifically newborn sized BumGenius. It makes it super easy when you’re just getting used to parenting and diapering and you run into a moment when you just need something that requires no brain power.
Swaddle blankets are fantastic but as babies get older and more active, it gets harder to keep them from breaking free. That’s why these wearable blankets are so fantastic. You don’t have to worry about loose bedding around the baby but know they will stay warm. As an added bonus, every childless adult that sees your baby in one is going to proclaim that they wish they could have a wearable sleeping bag.
Truth time: I haven’t actually used this next product, specifically. But seriously, it looks amazing. A swing was the only way I was able to eat anything in the first few months with my boys. It was just sent from heaven to give me a few minutes where I knew those babies would be sleeping. And the mamaRoo looks like an amazing one. It’s not just a swing, it has five different motions. Do you think they make one I could sleep in? I’m on board to test it out for them if that’s in product development right now…
I love baby carrying. It makes babies happy and let’s you do almost anything, with baby attached. This past summer I was an assistant director at an overnight summer camp and I wore my youngest son in an Ergo all summer long. Miles of walking, up and down hills, all day long. Other staff members sometimes took him for walks in the Ergo too. It was just so easy to cart him around- he napped in there AND nursed in there. Plus I could always get him to calm down and be happy, all without leaving work undone, because I could work and wear him at the same time.
For certain occasions I prefer a ring sling. I have a gorgeous linen Sakura Bloom ring sling that is pretty enough to wear baby to events were I might be more dressed up- church, baby showers, etc. But it’s also machine washable and small enough to keep balled up in my purse for any time I might need it.
Confession: I used a Belly Bandit. I can’t speak to its ability to slim you down after giving birth, but I will say that it was awesome in those early weeks with baby while your ab muscles are finding their way in the world again. Wearing it made lifting and sitting up easier. It might have been psychological but it also helped me feel like I wasn’t going to pee my pants constantly.
My other must-have for mom is nursing pads! Some people need them for the duration of time in which they nurse their child and others find they are able to leave them behind after a few weeks or months. But almost everyone will leak breastmilk at some point. Even if you don’t breastfeed there will be leakage.
Obviously babies need clothing, food, and a place to sleep too. Those decisions tend to be more personal but my friends and I have had must-haves ranging from nursing pillows to electronic pumps to specific brands of bottles. If you’re bottle feeding, even occasionally, just know that you might have to sample a few different brands before you land on the bottle your baby prefers.
What are your must-haves? Is there one product that you tell moms-to-be that they just HAVE to get before baby arrives?