My Personal Newborn Must Haves
As I slowly work my way towards a more minimalist life style I have realized the importance of certain items, and the UN-importance of others. I think back to all the things I had with my first child and which ones of those I chose not to use with my second. So out of curiosity I have compiled a list of items that I would consider to be on my own must haves list and which items I am cool to ditch! These are in no particular order of importance.
I safely co-slept with both of my children when they were infants. It is was worked best for us! We both slept better, my milk supply was great and babies are meant to be skin-skin with their mommas. When I was not in bed or wanted my space I used a bassinet that secured onto a stand so I could easily bring the bed piece into any room I wanted.
#2 Infant carrier
There is a very wide variety of baby carriers out there. The kinds I have owned are woven wraps, ring slings, stretchy wraps and a soft structured carrier (SSC). They are all great and I loved each one that I had, but for newborns my personal favorite was the Panda Pocket (stretchy wrap).
#3 Swing or bouncer
Here is the tricky thing...all babies are different! My first daughter LOVED her simple Fisher Price Dreams Deluxe Bouncer and wasn't a big fan of the swing. On the other hand, my second child was the complete opposite. She LOVED the Fisher Price Open Top Cradle Swing and absolutely despised the bouncer. It can be a bit of a game to find which type of seat those little cuties will like best, but having one can be really helpful for free hands.
#4 Receiving/nursing blankets
So far, I have not a big spitter. This means we really didn't use many receiving blankets. Basically one per day to wipe milk dribbles and soak the milk that would leak from the opposite nipple as I nursed. If you have a baby who generally isn't a spitter you don't many, but I still think they are a must have! With how often I wash laundry I wouldn't have more than 5 for our next child.
#5 Milk catching device
There are three typical options for this; silicone breast pump, manual breast pump, and electric breast pump. With my first two children I had a single electric pump that I loved (Medela Swing), but I found my silicone pump (Haakaa) to be super handy. I could suction it to the side that my baby wasn't on and get a fair amount of milk without having cords and noise. Don't forget to have bags for storing your milk in!
#6 Nursing pads
Sometimes our breasts have a mind of their own...I have seen many new moms with milk leaking through their bra and onto the outside of their shirt. It is surely nothing to be embarrassed about! It happens. I personally prefer reusable nursing pads. Not only are they better for the environment, but they I think they are much more comfortable than the disposable ones.
#7 Nursing bra
I have gone through my fair share of nursing bras. There are so many kinds. My advice to you would be to buy ONE loose comfortable bra near the end of pregnancy and wait until after your milk has come in and semi-regulated before buying more. Breasts change drastically prenatally and postpartum, don't buy too early.
#8 Nipple cream
Breastfeeding in the early days can be quite painful! It takes hard work and dedication to be comfortable breastfeeding and it takes time for the pain to go away. Those cute little munchkins can often leave our nipples sore and chapped.
#9 Tylenol or Advil
For both you and baby. Momma you will experience some pain after the birth of your child, pain medication can ease this. Why is infant Tylenol on my must have list? You don't often need it for your little one in the early months, but when you need it ASAP do you really want to go to the store to get it? I don't.
#10 Water proof mattress cover
Between your water potentially breaking in bed at the end of pregnancy, milk leaking, and postpartum bleeding it is important to protect your mattress. You don't want a yucky mattress!
#11 Diaper cream
Vaseline in the early days can be very helpful with keeping the newborn sticky poo of their bum. I also like to have a diaper cream on hand for when they do get their first diaper rash. Make sure if you use cloth diapers that your cream is safe for that.
#12 Diaper bag
Your bag doesn't have to specifically be a diaper bag, but you will want some sort of bag, larger purse or backpack to carry your baby essentials in when you are out and about.
#13 Diapers and wipes
You will of course need these for your newborn. Try not to buy too many early on as you may not like the kind you get, or your baby may react to certain brands.
#14 Pads for mom
Whether you deliver vaginally or by cesarean you will experience postpartum bleeding. This can last for up to 6 weeks. Ensure that you have a stash of large pads for the initial heavy bleeding and some regular pads for when things slow down a little. DO NOT use tampons! For extra relief you can freeze a few pads soaked in witch hazel and aloe vera.
For very obvious reasons, a car seat that is suitable for your newborn is important. Ensure that the seat you buy fits well in your vehicle and that you are comfortable installing it correctly. Most cities have somewhere that will check the installation of your seat (infant stores, fire/police station). Please ensure that the person doing this is certified to do so.
Some other items you may want to consider and why I wouldn't bother for myself again:
- stroller (I prefer carriers)
- bottles (I don't leave my babies long enough for them to need a bottle in the early months)
- tub (mommy doesn't fit in baby baths)
- nursing cover (personally drives me nuts, I like eye contact and seeing what I am doing)
- formula (surely doesn't hurt to have on hand, but not usually needed if breastfeeding)
- sterilizer (just wash the bottles...)
- change table (Its just as easy to change bums on beds, floors and couches)
- baby soap (I prefer to leave their skin as is, a gentle cloth wipe does plenty)
There is a such an incredibly wide variety of baby products on the market nowadays. You don't need it all! Pick things that you truly think are going to be useful to you or your baby. Ask friends and family what their favorite items are.