Well we officially have a one month old! Tatum turned one month old a few days ago and the time has gone by so fast. I feel like she is changing every day and it's been so fun watching her grow in this short amount of time. Before she arrived, I did SO much research about what to buy/what to register for to ensure we had everything we needed once she got here (due to the coronavirus and being quarantined, I had WAY too much time on my hands).
Now I am by no means a baby expert (I've only been doing this a month) and everyone is going to have their own preferences/find products that work best for them and their baby. Also since there are SO many baby products out there, it can get overwhelming at times. It's going to take a little trial and error until you find what's best for you and your baby. With that being said, there are definitely items that Duke and I find ourselves reaching for more often than others. So today I want to talk about our favorite newborn items. I know this list will change/evolve as Tatum continues to grow but these are the items we feel have really helped us over the past month and that we will continue to use on a regular basis. I made sure not to use the phrase "newborn essentials" because really for a newborn, the essentials are milk/formula, diapers, something to wear and a place to sleep. So I am not saying you HAVE to have these items, they are just the products we feel have made our lives easier. There are also a lot of similar items on the market with varying price points so I tried to include some additional options.
If you have any questions about the items mentioned below, please don't hesitate to reach out! Again, I am not a baby expert and have relied so much on research and my mama friends but I'm always more than happy to answer questions or share my personal experience.
Thanks for reading!
All my love,
1. Snuggle Me Organic Baby Lounger: I would highly recommend some sort of baby lounger. Yes, I hold Tatum a lot and I'm trying to get in as many baby snuggles as I can but there will be times where you need/want to put your baby down. Tatum uses the Snuggle Me every day during supervised naps and general lounging. I like that it's really portable and easy to move around the house - I put her in it while I'm getting ready, making dinner, etc. Also when you put your baby into the Snuggle Me, the sides kind of come in and squeeze your baby on the sides so they feel nice and comforted. The cover is very easy to get on and off when it needs washing and it comes in a variety of colors. We love the Snuggle Me so much and will continue to use it well into the future.
Other options (we do not personally own these options):
-Dock-a-tot: retails for about $175 so it has a higher price point but I believe it's bigger than the Snuggle Me so babies don't outgrow it as quickly. Has great reviews and people swear by it. I have heard/read the cover is very hard to get off and get back on for washing. The Snuggle Me cover is super easy to take on and off for washing.
-Boppy Lounger: retails between $33-$45 so it's a great option from a cost standpoint. I know a lot of my friends have the Boppy lounger and love it!
2. Easy Swaddles: While I did register for regular swaddles like these, I also registered for a variety of swaddles that include a zipper and/or velcro and I'm so happy I did. Duke and I tried are darndest to perfect swaddling while we were in the hospital, we had the nurses show us every time. We even watched YouTube tutorials once we got home. Tatum, however, has magical arms and hands that always find a way out of our swaddles. While we do get use out of our regular swaddles in other ways, we always use the easier swaddles for sleep. I registered for a variety of swaddles in order to see what Tatum would like the most and these are the two she seems to sleep the best in - Love to Dream Swaddle Up and Nested Bean Zen Swaddle.
Love to Dream Swaddle Up: After testing out a bunch of different swaddles, this one was a game changer for us! Tatum loves having her hands by her face and this swaddle allows her to do that. The two-way zipper makes it really easy for diaper changes in the middle of the night which I love. We have two so we have one available when the other is being washed. It comes in a variety of sizes and colors. We decided to go with the small instead of the newborn size (recommended weight of 8-13lbs) since I had a feeling she was going to be a larger baby and she had no trouble fitting in it from day one. We plan on purchasing the transition sack in a size medium when the time comes. The transition sleeping sack allows you to unzip the wings once baby starts to roll over.
Nested Bean Zen Swaddle: This was actually gifted to me by one of my oldest friends and I am so thankful for that because she loves this swaddle. This swaddle is unique because it is lightly weighted on the chest and sides to help mimic being held. It's also cool because you can use it from 0-6 months with the inner pocket and outer pocket design. Once baby outgrows the inner pocket (around 6 weeks) you can transition to the outer pocket which means you're not having to buy two different sizes. This swaddle also comes in a variety of colors and designs.
-SwaddleMe: we also have these swaddles and have used them several times. Tatum does great in them for the first half of the night but we find that by the early morning hours she gets a little restless and we can see her really struggling to get her arms out. Also a very affordable option as a pack of three retails for about $21.
3. Baby Bjorn Mini Carrier: I actually didn't register for a carrier and opted to register for a wrap (more on that below), but when Tatum arrived I decided I really wanted a carrier that accommodated a newborn so I could wear her hands free when I needed to get things done around the house. I am familiar with the Baby Bjorn brand because we have their bouncer so when I saw they made a mini carrier, I looked into it. It had great reviews so I decided to purchase it and try it out. Well let me just say, Tatum and I both love this carrier. She seems very comfortable when she's in it and 9 times out of 10 she's asleep within a few minutes of being in it. She's going through a clingy phase right now so this thing has been a lifesaver. I also love it because it's comfortable and super easy to get her in and out of it. I opted to get the mesh material as it's a little more breathable which is perfect for the hot summer months we're having right now. The one downside to the mini is she will outgrow it at about one year old but I definitely think we will use it so much and get our money's worth before that time comes.
-Wrap style carrier: I have the Boba wrap and I do really like it, it's just not quite as secure/supportive as the Baby Bjorn carrier so I'm not AS comfortable when I wear it. While I feel like she's pretty secure, I still feel like I have to keep both hands on her to make sure she doesn't slide down too much. I did think I was going to be intimidated on how to correctly tie the wrap but that part is actually very easy!
-Ergo Omni 360: we do not personally own this option but it has great reviews and seems similar to the Baby Bjorn as it has good structure and you're able to carry a newborn in it. The Ergo is a little more expensive than our Baby Bjorn, however you are able to carry your baby a lot longer than our mini carrier. The Baby Bjorn recommends the age range of newborn to one year while the Ergo can accommodate up to 45 lbs.
4. Kiinde Bottle System: I registered for this item after seeing the great reviews. To start, I registered for the starter kit so we could see if we liked it before taking the plunge and buying more. So far we love it and plan to continue using it. The "bottles" are actually pouches that you discard after a single use. All you have to wash after each feeding is the nipple. After about three weeks of breastfeeding, I switched to pumping. Due to latch issues and my letdown it was just easiest for baby and me. (Side note: in my opinion, happy baby and happy mom are most important when it comes to feeding so do what's best for you and don't let others make you feel guilty or bad about your decision. Fed is best!). This system is great for pumping because it comes with an adapter for my pump so I'm able to pump directly into the pouch and not have to transfer milk. After I pump, I write how many ounces and the date and store it in the fridge or freezer until it's needed. The starter kit comes with a slow, medium, and fast flow nipple. We have purchased additional slow flow nipples so we aren't constantly washing one over and over again. This pouch system can also be used for formula if you are formula feeding. I highly recommend purchasing the starter kit first to ensure you like it and make sure your baby takes the Kiinde bottle as well. Tatum has had no issues with going from breast to this bottle.
5. Boon Cactus Brush Set: When I first registered for this brush set, I had every intention of using it to wash bottles. However, since we use the Kiinde pouches we really don't have many bottles to wash. I still wanted to add this to our list because 1. I know a lot of people will use/need to wash bottles and 2. we use this brush set multiple times per day to wash my pump parts. We have gotten so much use out of this brush set, albeit a different use than I thought, and they've held up nicely. Plus I like how it looks sitting up on our counter. It's reasonably priced and you can purchase replacement brushes if/when needed.
6. Sidesnap/zipper Onesies: I strongly dislike having to put onesies over Tatum's head right now. I also bought all these cute dresses and outfits for her to wear and haven't put her in any. She's essentially worn the same 10 side snap and zipper onesies the entire time because they're just so easy and convenient. Lesson learned - save the cute outfits for when they're a little bit older. These side snap onesies and these zipper onesies are our favorites.
7. Diaper Caddy: You will need a diaper changing station downstairs. I repeat, you will need a diaper changing station downstairs. Now if you're fortunate enough to live in a one story home you might get away with changing all diapers in the nursery but for us, that's just not plausible. We change the majority of Tatum's diapers downstairs, so we keep this diaper caddy stocked with all the supplies we need (diapers, diaper rash cream, diaper cream brush, changing pad, wipes, extra onesies). It's made diaper changing very convenient. Whenever we're getting low on supplies, I'll carry the caddy upstairs and restock it so we're always good to go. There are SO many options for diaper caddies on Amazon so you should be able to find one big/small enough to fit your needs.
8. Portable Changing Pad: Just like the diaper caddy, we keep this changing pad downstairs and it's been a lifesaver. We don't have an actual changing table downstairs, just a designated area where we do diaper changes and it's so easy to pop down this pad and change her. This is also a great purchase for your diaper bag if your diaper bag doesn't come with a pad.
9. Ubbi Diaper Pail: Let me start by saying I was on the fence with whether or not we even needed a diaper pail. I had read some registry checklist blogs that said they really weren't needed. Well I am so glad we have one, in particular the Ubbi one. It is a little pricier than other diaper pails out there however you do not need specialty bags you can just use tall kitchen trash bags which makes it really convenient. It also has a stainless steel design which I think helps prevent any smells from lingering. It comes in several color options to easily blend in with your space. Currently, we have it downstairs since most diaper changes are taking place there and I have yet to smell it (knock on wood).
Other option (we do not personally own):
-Munchkin Diaper pail: This diaper pail comes in at a lower price point and has great reviews. It comes with Arm & Hammer odor control and self-sealing lid to lock smells inside.
10. BabyBum Diaper Cream Brush: I originally got this for Duke because I suspected he wouldn't want to put on diaper rash cream with his fingers. However, now that we have it, we both use it every single time we have to put cream on. I like it not only from a sanitary perspective but it also makes diaper changes a lot easier. You don't have to pause to wipe your hands off during the middle of a change.
11. Boudreaux's Butt Paste: Tatum developed a diaper rash very early on. We first used Aquaphor but didn't really see any improvement. We ended up switching to Butt Paste and immediately saw results. Right now her rash is completely healed however if she ever gets another one, we'll definitely reach for the Butt Paste (why did they have to name it that LOL).
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