As first time parents, we were flying blind with our baby registry and purchases for our little one. We are slowly learning the things we really need, the things that are really nice to have, and the things that don’t really get used very much. Here is our list of our “favorite things” for the 1st month with a newborn. These are by no means necessities…just the things we found really nice and helpful over the first weeks at home with our little one. We still pretty much have no idea what we are doing, so take this with a grain of salt. Hopefully it will be helpful to someone!
#1: Fisher Price Rock ‘n Play Sleeper
Why it’s great: It is a great place for baby to sleep at first. It’s cozy and enclosed, so it will remind your baby of being back in your belly so that they feel safe. And it vibrates (our Little Miss wasn’t so keen on that feature, but I’m pretty sure most babies like it). Sometimes you just need a safe place to put the baby down, and in the Rock ‘n Play, you know they can’t go anywhere! It is easy to fold & move, so you can carry it with you from room to room, or easily pack it up when you’re leaving the house so your little one has a place to rest while you’re visiting with friends or family. It’s small profile will also come in handy so that you can store it under the bed in between babies!
#2: HALO SleepSack Swaddle
The easiest way to swaddle. At first we thought our little one didn’t like to be swaddled. The truth was, we weren’t doing it tight enough! As soon as we figured this one out, she started sleeping much better. We tried several different types of swaddle blankets and easy swaddles and this is the one that has worked the best for us. It’s great because it is EASY. The swaddle “wings” attach with velcro, and the zipper goes from bottom to top. This is especially handy for all of the middle-of-the-night diaper changes! Our little lady is also a bit tall, so this is the one that gives her legs enough freedom to move about comfortably without feeling like we were squishing her in there.
#3: My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow
TBH…I was really skeptical of this one (it might just be the silly name). But it came highly recommended by a friend, and so I thought “what the heck…I’ll put it on the registry.” I cannot even say how glad I am that I did. I use this every single day. When I’m home, I use it for almost every daytime feeding. The first couple weeks, it really helped me as we struggled with positioning and latching on. And now, it just makes nursing so much more comfortable for both of us. Not to mention, it’s great to have the support when your precious little thing falls asleep in your arms after eating (and you’d rather knaw off your own arm than dare wake them by moving). This nursing pillow has saved me (and my baby!) from much breastfeeding frustration.
#4: The “Snuza”
AKA…Peace of Mind. Ok, ok. All of you experienced parents out there are probably laughing at me right now. But this one has probably been my favorite purchase of all. This tiny little device clips on to your baby’s diaper and monitors their breathing at night. If they stop breathing, it vibrates first to wake them, and after a few seconds sounds a loud alarm. This is pretty much the only thing that allowed me to sleep those first nights home from the hospital. It is WONDERFUL! And it is tiny, so it doesn’t just work when your baby is in their crib – you can use it when they sleep in your room, and when you travel. It’s a bit pricey, but if you can afford it, the peace of mind that it gives is priceless as a new parent.
#5: Waterproof Changing Pad Liners
Buy a set. And then get one more. These things are awesome. Just throw it down on top of your changing pad cover, and you’re ready to be a diaper-changing champ. They save you from having to wash the changing pad cover every time your little one makes a mess. And trust me. It will happen. A lot! We also keep one in the bedroom for middle-of-the-night diaper changes on the bed or in the pack n’ play.
#6: Onesies. Bodysuits.
What baby doesn’t look adorable in a onesie?!? You don’t need a lot of clothes for the first month (you won’t really be going much of anywhere!). You can pretty much skip the newborn “outfits” and socks (they never stay on!). But you will be changing clothes often. So get some onesies! A few with long sleeves, and a few with short. Our little one has pretty much lived in them. During the day – a cute onesie (no real reason…just because it makes me smile), and at night – a plain, soft long sleeve onesie for under her swaddle. Keeping it easy for diaper changes is a must! We also really like the “sleep n’ plays” and the bubble dresses for girls (looks like a dress, functions like a onesie…perfect!).
#7: Burp Cloths
Lots & lots of burp cloths. I had NO idea how many of these we needed. I bought one pack of 3 and thought I was good to go! I was sadly mistaken. They get yucky and smelly really fast if your little one spits up at all, and I’m clumsy, so I drop them on the floor all the time. We pretty much keep one in every room, and one in the diaper bag. I would recommend getting some cheap ones and a couple of nicer ones if you can. We were given an Aden + Anais burpy bib, and it is our absolute favorite! It’s so soft and it works as both a burp cloth and a bib. Plus it’s super cute…it kind of looks like a cape on your baby. Adorable! They come in all kinds of designs. Ours has brightly colored owls in different patterns and our Little Miss really likes to look at them. I keep the Aden + Anais burpy bib in my diaper bag – I’m always looking to make my bag lighter, and items that do double-duty like this are the best! These make great baby shower gifts!
#8: The Sleep Sheep
Ahhhhhh…sleep. Elusive sleep. This has been a wonderful item (another shower gift). I thought it was really cute, but wasn’t sure how much we would use it. The answer: a lot! Whether it’s the sleep sheep or another machine, I would highly recommend some white noise. This came in really handy the first month when we were trying to get any sleep at all with our little one in our room. It took her a while, but she is now used to the ocean sound. We don’t use it all the time any more (almost 3 months), but it is also helping as we are starting to transition her to taking naps, and eventually sleeping in the nursery. I think it provides a sense of familiarity. We really like the noises on the Sleep Sheep – especially the ocean sound. Cadie Grace really likes it, and it provides a bit of serenity for the grown ups who are functioning on very little sleep – kind of like a mini vacation right at home. Note: One of our friends got the giraffe made by the same company. It is SUPER adorable, but it’s sounds aren’t as calming…think jungle sounds (complete with a roaring lion). Maybe not the best to lull your little lamb to sleep!
#9: Burts Bees Bath
There is nothing better than newborn baby smell. But Burts Bees Baby Bath is a close second! I have been addicted to burts bees lipgloss since high school, so when we were shopping for baby goods, I knew I wanted to try out their baby bath products. We really like that they seem to be more natural and less perfumed than many other baby bath products. They don’t contain any sulfates, phthalates, or parabens – so it is gentle and safe for sensitive newborn skin.
#10: Aden + Anais Swaddle Blankets
And the award for most versatile baby item goes to… Aden + Anais muslin swaddle blankets! We received a pack of four of these fabulous blankets at one of our showers. They have so many uses: as a swaddle, a normal blanket (in a great weight for summer, I might add!), an impromptu play mat, a nursing cover (just tie the ends in a knot), a burp cloth, a stroller cover, etc. They are probably one of the most-used (and most washed) of our baby items. And they get softer with every wash! I keep one in my diaper bag at all times.
Photo Op! We have received LOTS of questions about the little banner we are using for our monthly baby photos (see below). Here it is! I love anything by Rifle Paper Co. Seriously – their designs for notebooks & stationery are oh so lovely. So when I saw this banner, I thought it would be a great alternative to the monthly onesie stickers. Plus it matches some of the colors in our nursery. I couldn’t resist! Note: There are no actual numbers included, so you have to spell out the months (one, two, three).
We could really add lots more to this list, but we’ll stop for now. We’ll be posting more of our favorites as our little one gets older!
Of course, this is our favorite little thing from the first month as parents…
Isn’t she the cutest? We aren’t at all biased!
We were incredibly blessed to receive many generous baby gifts from our friends & family. One of our favorite items to receive were gift cards to Amazon. This allowed us to purchase some of the items from our Amazon baby registry that we really needed, but that were either not so much fun (changing pad liners), or more expensive (a crib mattress) – plus a few fun things like toys & books. (In retrospect, I should have saved some of the giftcards to purchase diapers…whoops!) Now for the fun part – we will be giving away a $20 Amazon giftcard to one of our followers so that you can purchase something on your wishlist!
We want to know: What one baby item did you find most helpful during the first month at home with your little one? Or what is one baby shower gift that you would most like to give or receive?
Here’s how to enter…