Monday, August 19, 2013

First Baby Items - Newborn

Before I forget, I wanted to make a list of all the baby items that we have loved for the first couple months of babyhood. I particularly wanted to point out what things I loved and "needed" immediately for when the baby was born (I use "need" loosely because all you need is diapers, a blanket, and food for newborns :)). I was overwhelmed by all the products when I was preparing for Kate's arrival and it was helpful to be able to ask my mom and sister what things I really "needed" for her for the first few weeks.

So here are the must-haves on my list for what I would suggest for the first few weeks of having a newborn (in no particular order):

1. A finished nursery - I know that a lot of people say you don't need to have the nursery ready before the baby is born because it's not like they sleep in there for the first couple weeks anyway. BUT for me, it was such a relief to have it finished. I had an unscheduled C-section so my recovery was a little bit longer and I was not able to do much of anything at all. Also we had a constant string of visitors the first couple weeks - and I loved having the nursery finished and clean. Plus, when she was ready to sleep in her crib, we didn't have to do anything to get it ready - which, again, was great for me because of the C-section recovery.

2. Swing/bouncy seat - I think it's really helpful to have a swing and/or a bouncy seat. Luckily, we found one that was a two-in-one at Target for a very reasonable price (plus a baby sale plus gift cards = we got it for dirt cheap) - Graco Swing/bouncy seat. I didn't care very much about having a fancy shmancy swing but I was hoping to find a two-in-one (even though I didn't know if they existed) just to save space on having two different pieces of equipment. I was thrilled to find this one. We've had no issues with it! Kate was obsessed with constant motion so the bouncy seat feature while she's swinging has been crucial. It also plays music and/or white noise which is an awesome bonus. And as she's gotten older, she has LOVED the little bears hanging above her. The bouncy seat easily detaches which was great for her to sleep in during the first couple weeks. Also the seat adjusts based on her age so it can lay really flat or be elevated to help her sit up.
Cons - it's kinda big so it's not easy to move and it's definitely not portable (can't take it to my parents' house). And the swing only goes side to side and not front to back. At first Kate didn't love the swing but she LOVES it now.

3. Swaddle - Swaddling is really important for newborns (it mimics the feeling of being in the womb). The nurses are great at swaddling the baby while you are in the hospital so you can watch them to learn how to do it with just a blanket. We also use swaddle blankets - a Miracle Blanket and a cute Summer Infant Swaddle Pod that my sister lent us. We use the purple Swaddle Pod for naps and the Miracle Blanket for night time. Both are great and I would highly recommend either! Also for swaddling - Rob is the master swaddler in our house. He can swaddle her way tighter than me :)



4. Soft blankets - Obviously you can use any blankets :) We use this one and also the Aiden & Anais blankets. Newborns need to be constantly wrapped up and warm. We love the big plush pink one for extra padding on the floor when we lay her down or if we need extra warmth. We use the Aiden & Anais light swaddle blankets all the time, every day. They are awesome!

5. Burp cloths - Babies spit up a lot. I have found that I like the flannel burp cloths like these.

6. Breast pump - If you plan on pumping, it's good to introduce a bottle early. I would recommend having a pump within the first two weeks (we introduced a bottle at 2 weeks - but it totally depends on how your baby takes to nursing initially). We used the Medela Breast pump thanks to a sweet friend lending us theirs! I eventually got my free one from the insurance company, but it came after two months because it was back-ordered. It's the same model as this one, just without the travel case. 

7. Newborn diapers - Any small size diapers work for newborns but the newborn specific ones are awesome because they have a cut out for the umbilical cord, so you don't have to worry about the top of the diaper rubbing and irritating the belly button before the cord falls off. The hospital had these for us, which was awesome, and then we also had some for when we went home. We used the Pampers Swaddler diapers (diaper on the right in picture below).

8. Sleeping gowns - My mom told me I would love these and boy was she right! :) They just kept Kate so warm and the built in mits that go over her hands are so awesome. Plus they are stinkin' adorable.

9. Wipes - The hospital provides nicer, brand name wipes which was nice but we just used the Target brand at home. :)

10. Pacis - Probably a lot of you would disagree with me on using a paci in the first couple weeks but we took one to the hospital and used it even there because she took to nursing so easily, and she constantly wanted to be sucking on something. We use the Avent Soothie because that's what she liked best and is supposed to be the best for avoiding confusion.

11. Carseat - She needed a way to get home from the hospital! :) We registered for the Graco Alano Classic Connect Travel System, which includes a stroller. Very easy to use and fold-up with one hand. Love it so far! As with most of our big gear, we went for gender neutral colors so we could use it for future kiddos.

Tomorrow I'll be back with some more recommended items that were either great for convenience, or that you'll want to have for after the first couple weeks. 

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