Newborn Essentials: Vol. 2

newbornessesntialsvol2I’m back with the second part of my newborn essentials. The items from your registry that you need to take care of your newborn for the first four weeks. Feeding your newborn and changing diapers seem to take up most of your time so for tips & essential items needed for those moments be sure to read the previous post (HERE).

Bath Time:
Once that baby’s umbilical cord falls off (takes 7 up to 21 days) you are free to finally give them a bath in a tub. Until that happens you can give them a sponge bath on a towel and make sure you just keep that belly dry!First time mom? Great list on essential items from your registry to care for your newborn for the first 4 weeks. A pin worth saving!
Bath Tub. Because your baby will drown if you place them in a regular bathtub you need an infant safe bathtub. I suggest an infant tub that comes with a sling (or a built in one) that holds them safely away from water and with their heads elevated. There are so many kinds on the market but we have the Summer Infant Soothing Spa & Shower that we used with Lily and now with Chloe. The tub allows me to give Chloe a bath on the kitchen counter or in my bathroom. It comes with a sling that is unattached that I would actually bring with me to hotels when I traveled with Mike and Lily. The best part is the motorized shower that sprinkles enough water to wash the soap off my babies but also light enough for their sensitive skin. The shower brings a calming sensation that both of my girls love! Plus it detaches so you can still use the shower in the regular bath tub when they get older.

Body Wash & Lotion. Until both of my babies lost their umbilical stumps I used Mustela facial cleansing wipes to clean their faces and bodies. The alcohol free wipes are perfect for cleaning & soothing their sensitive skin in between sponge baths. The smell is heavenly and they are perfect to quickly clean their face and neck when they spit up (such a strong horrible smell!). I still keep the wipes in my diaper bag in case Chloe spits up in public and needs to be cleaned up. In order to give the baby a bath you obviously need soap, this is a no brainer. There are so many kinds of baby shampoos and this is all up to you. With my sensitive skin I use Aveeno Baby Wash & Shampoo (their calming lavender option is great too!) and I’m a big fan of BabyGanics fragrance free shampoo (Target always has great sales on them). For lotion I recently switched from Aveeno to BabyGanics’s lotion simply because I found a better deal at Target one day!

Bath Time Accessories. Of course you need a towel to keep you baby dry and a washcloth to help you clean them during the bath. You can always use your own to save money, but I’m a sucker for Pottery Barn Kid’s Critter Wraps. The towel’s hood looks like an animal with eyes and ears like a pig, frog or bunny (plus you can personalize it with their name too!). Other items needed are Q-tips to dry the ears, I suggest you get the Q-tips made especially for babies & kids that prevent the tip going too deep inside their ear (try Johnson & Johnson Safety Swabs). Most babies don’t have too much hair, but both my kids were born with a full head of precious locks. Due to their sensitive skin and soft spot you need an infant hairbrush. Get The First Years American Red Cross Deluxe Healthcare & Grooming kit where you can get a great brush along with a comb, nail clipper, scissors, nasal bulb and other great items. FYI the scissors that come with this are my favorite when it comes to trimming your baby’s nails. The other accessory needed is a baby thermometer in case your little one gets a fever. I love the Advanced Solutions Easy Read 4-in-1 thermometer from Safety 1st. This one only takes 5 seconds to record readings when taking it by oral or rectal. Tip: Since we take temps via the rectum I place a big “R” in black sharpie on the outside container of this thermometer to remind mike & me that it is the “butt thermometer”. For some reason I have three thermometers and the last one I want in my mouth is the one I stick up the kids bum even if I clean it after each use!

First time mom? Great list on essential items from your registry to care for your newborn for the first 4 weeks. A pin worth saving!Baby Gear:
Holding and snuggling with my newborn babies are some of the most special moments that I will hold on to. Their tiny feet and legs pulled into their bodies while a tiny fist lays against their face as they sleep like a log on my chest…{insert ahhhhhhh}. But you need to go the restroom, brush your teeth, take a shower and still do everyday tasks and holding that newborn makes those tasks difficult or impossible. Not only do some of the following items make it easier to brush your teeth, a few are great for stimulating your wee one!

Swing. Oh my swing is my biggest lifesaver as a mom. Both my girls (like most babies) need movement to fall asleep. A swing will help give you a break and rock your baby to sleep for you! Especially if you have a toddler and need to make their breakfast or lunch, just place your baby in the swing while you get some stuff done. True story: both of my girls take THE best naps while in the swing so I leave them in it instead of placing them in the bassinet or crib. There are all kinds of swings on the market so get whatever one works in your price range. Tip: Get a swing that plugs into the wall and doesn’t depend solely on batteries. The batteries will burn out so quickly with all the use, so save the $$$ and just get one that plugs in. We have the Fisher-Price My little Snugabunny cradle swing and love it!

Bounce Chair. The bounce chair also allows me to get stuff done around the house. The chair is easier to take from room to room where the swing is too much of a hassle move around your house. I bring the bouncer in my bathroom so I can take a quick shower. We place the chair next to the table when Chloe is awake so we can quickly eat a meal while simultaneously make funny faces and cooing sounds to pacify her. We love our Fisher-Price My Little lamb Bouncer.

Play Mirror. You can use a floor mat like Infantino’s activity gym to stimulate your new baby, but it’s not an essential item for the first 4 weeks. You can get through the first four weeks without one along with a play mirror, BUT our play mirror has saved me on numerous times. I will place the Sassy Crib and Floor Mirror next to Chloe while I change her diaper if she is crying to help entertain her. I also place it in her crib to entertain her while I’m putting laundry away.

Bassinet.  If you read my post about the essential items for nighttime feedings you will understand why having a bassinet next to your bed at night is so important for the first few weeks. Fact: I’m that mom that kept her baby sleeping next to her for 5 months before I made the transition to the crib, so this is an item I got my money’s worth! Tip: If you have the room you can always use a pack-in-play instead of a bassinet. We have The First Years Carry Me Near sleep system, where the top bassinet can detach and you can carry the top anywhere in your home to stow your sleeping babe.

Swaddle with Velcro. Again read the post about essential items for nighttime feedings for my reasons needing swaddles and ones with Velcro! I also list my top three favorite swaddles.

Binky & Binky Clip. Oh binkies can help make your baby stop crying and help soothe them to sleep. Do you need another reason why they are essential? Check out the nighttime feedings post to learn more along with why you need a binky clip too!

Blankets. Swaddling your baby helps soothe them and keep them sleeping. A favorite blanket moms all love are the muslin blankets from Aden + Anais.  The light material helps keep a baby from overheating and you can use them to swaddle them, cover your self when nursing, cover the car seat from the sun while out or as a floor mat!

First time mom? Great list on essential items from your registry to care for your newborn for the first 4 weeks. A pin worth saving!Noise Soothers.  A lot of babies need some kind of noise to lull them to sleep or calm them down when they’re crying. I didn’t need my sound machine until the second week. We have The First Years Sounds for Silence sound machine. There are 6 different kinds of white noises, 6 Mozart songs and a volume control to make it really loud or super soft. Another favorite soother is the Cloud b Sleep Sheep. Get the smaller ‘on the go’ size that you can attach to your baby’s car seat to help soothe them in public. There are great apps for your smart phones that have all kinds of white noises and check out my nighttime essential post for a few great ones to download!

Clothes. Unless you are a nudist you need clothes for your baby! Depending on their birth weight most babies will grow out of the newborn size pretty quickly, but it is the size you will use the most during the first four weeks. Check out Babycenter’s checklist for a good idea on what clothes are needed for newborns! I found the zip up body suits were helpful during the newborn stage since I was changing so many diapers! Check the post on nighttime essentials on why gowns are crucial for newborns and your sanity!

Car Seat and Stroller. You can’t even leave the hospital without a car seat so this is obviously an essential item for a newborn! Unless you plan on carrying your baby and the car seat everywhere you will want a stroller too! There are so many different kinds of car seats and strollers out on the market so this is up to what functions you want and what price range you are comfortable with. Tip: Make sure that your car seat is compatible with your stroller if you are getting different brands.

Baby Carrier. I didn’t use a baby carrier with my first baby during the first 4 weeks. I stayed inside mostly to recover and when I left the house for doctor’s appointments I used the car seat and stroller to carry her around. With Chloe I used my baby carrier the second week when Lily was crying to go on a walk around the neighborhood. I love our ERGObaby carrier. Note to use this carrier with a newborn you will need to get the infant insert to support your newborn baby within the carrier.  I know a lot of moms love carriers like the Moby Wrap, but I found the thing to be too difficult to figure out. Plus with a toddler running around I don’t have the time needed to wrap myself with the thing. To each their own! ERGO has recently released their ‘Four Position 360‘ carrier that allows babies to hang their legs down more similar to the BabyBjorn so they can face forward. I have gottem a lot of use out of my ERGO with the infant insert so far, but now that Chloe is older and wants to face out I went out and purchased the BabyBjorn in shear desperation. I wish ERGO had released the 360 when Lily was born because it has the best of both carriers in one!

Diaper Bag. You will not be able to place all the items needed for your baby in your clutch. Diaper bag come in all kinds of sizes, fabrics, colors and price ranges so it is all up to you on what you want! Tip: try filling your diaper bag up with items when you get home and walk around your house. I returns my first diaper bag because I thought the handle was cutting into my arm once I finally filled it. Some important items to have in your diaper bag at all times: diapers, wipes, burp cloths, extra baby outfit, disposable boobs pads & small disposable diaper trash bags.

Any item you thing is an essential item for the first 4 weeks?? Be sure to read the first volume HERE and the items needed for the crazy nighttime feedings HERE!

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Newborn Essentials: Vol. 1

Fabulous post on all the essential items you need from your registry for the first 4 weeks with your newborn, including some great tips! Great pin for all soon-to-be-moms!{photo cred: Niki Schmidt Photography}

Registering for your baby can be overwhelming especially for first time mommas. When you register for your engagement you are signing up for items you would like for your home. When you register for a baby you are asking for items to basically help take care of another human being. Add first time mom anxiety over how to take care of a baby plus the huge registry checklist and it can make the calmest of soon to be mommas a nervous wreck. Good news is you won’t use or need all the registry items with a newborn. Will the first four weeks be tough…yep.

True all your baby does is pee, poop, sleep and cry when they have a dirty diaper, they’re tired or if they’re hungry. Sound simple? Well while you’re trying to physically recover from birth you can/will be an emotional wreck trying to find your way as a new parent as your body deals with the influx of hormones (heard of the baby blues?). Toss in a crying baby that you can’t figure out how to calm after three hours of sleep and you can understand the craziness that takes place that first month. Add another kid to the mix (like a sassy toddler in the throws of the terrible twos ahem ahem) and it is anything but simple. To bring some comfort to any of you nervous mommas I thought I would share the items of the registry you will use to take care of your babe for the first four weeks.

Since nighttime feedings are brutal during the first four weeks I already posted the essential items needed and suggest you read that post first (post HERE). Since most of those items are needed during the daytime as well I won’t go into repetitive detail. Remember I have a free printable checklist for anything and everything you could want when registering for your baby, check out that post HERE.

First time mom? Great list on essential items from your registry to care for your newborn for the first 4 weeks. A pin worth saving!
Changing Time:

Diapers & Wipes. Do I need to really explain why these are needed?? Tip: Because you will not know how big your baby will be at birth and how fast he/she will gain after born it is a good idea to have both newborn and size 1 diapers stocked and ready! Be sure to check out this tip on diaper wipe cases for your changing table! {optional is a diaper caddy, check out the nighttime essential list to find out why!}

Hand Sanitizer. I always keep a sanitizer pump next to the changing table in case I get sprayed with pee or poo. Golden showers fountains will occur and (this is TMI) your baby’s poop will be liquid until you introduce solids so beware of liquid poop squirts. So keep sanitizer near by to help clean your hands before you can get to an actual sink. I also keep a small pump bottle on my kitchen counter for all visitors to sanitize their hands before they touch the newborn. And because I’m OCD I keep a small bottle in my diaper caddy (more on that later) for nighttime feedings and a mini bottle in my diaper bag. The brand I buy is Target’s Up & Up and the one with aloe because it doesn’t dry up my hands, I like the smell and it’s cheaper!

Butt Paste (diaper cream). Babies can get diaper rashes so it is better to be prepared just in case. The diaper cream I’m obsessed with is Boudreaux’s Butt Paste (the all natural one with green label) because of natural ingredients, it doesn’t have such a strong smell like Desitin, and it easily wipes off the irritated bum. Note that the natural version I prefer over the original because it wipes off easier.

Alcohol Wipes. To help the umbilical cord stump dry up you can rub the area with rubbing alcohol. All pediatricians are different, but mine suggested to wipe the stump once to twice a day. You can dip a Q-tip in rubbing alcohol or use a small alcohol wipe. I suggest using the wipe because it is easier and the wipes don’t take up a lot of room. You can place a few at the changing table and in the diaper caddy to be used at night. The hospital usually has some free ones on hand next to the diapers they supply. Make sure you take home some extra ones home with you or you can buy the wipes from any drugstore. Tip: I use my extra wipes to help remove sticky store labels from items like plates or Tupperware!

Changing Pad. As I mentioned above you will run into golden fountains and “the squirts” so you need a changing pad to save your changing table or your bed during 3 am diaper changes. You can also roll a changing pad up for your diaper bag for on the go diaper changes. There are all kinds of waterproof changing pads on the market, check out the Munchkin waterproof changing liners. The best changing pads are the ones you can snatch up from the hospital! Check out the essential items for nighttime feedings to read all about it HERE.

Disposable Bags/Diaper Genie. A Diaper Genie is necessary to keep the smell of nasty diapers from stinking up the nursery and to keep any pets away. True story: Bentley destroyed a few dirty diapers that I left in a small trashcan next to our bed when Lily was born. They were number two diapers and it was everywhere! I was dry heaving while yelling for Mike to come to the rescue. So to make sure Bentley didn’t attack any more dirty diapers I placed them in disposable trash bags. In the morning I would just tie off the bag and toss it in a trashcan. Place a few of the disposable trash bags in your diaper bag as well to store any nasty explosions you encounter when a trashcan isn’t around while you’re out! For $12.99 you can get a box of 250 from Babies R Us.

First time mom? Great list on essential items from your registry to care for your newborn for the first 4 weeks. A pin worth saving!Feeding Time:
I’m exclusively breastfeeding baby number two and I breastfed Lily until she was seven months. For this post I’m listing items needed to help breastfeeding mommas for the first month, but most items are still needed for bottle fed babes too!

Boppy Pillow. Holding up your baby with your arms while breastfeeding is a workout. So give those arms a break (especially at 3 am) and use a Boppy nursing pillow. Of course you can use any couch or pillow on your bed to help prop up the baby and your arm while feeding, but it’s so much easier to use a nursing pillow. When using a Boppy you don’t have to worry about moving and propping pillows when you switch to the next boob. You can easily wash the pillow if/when your baby spits up on it. Best part…this pillow can be used as your newborn grows to help support them to sit up and for tummy time.

Burp Cloths. Spit up will happen so you will need a burp cloth when feeding your newborn. Of course I love super cute monogrammed burp cloths, but most of the time I use cheap white cloth diapers as my burp rags. One, they are cheap. Two, because they are cheap I don’t care if I loose one or if it gets stained. Three, babies can puke a lot and you can get a pack of 10 for $12.99 from Target…so you get a lot for the cheap price! Tip: Get the flat fold cloth diapers (NOT pre folded, they are too thick) and you can re-use them to dust your house when your baby grows up…win and win.{I use the ones from Gerber}

Paper & Pen. For the first week you will keep track of your babies feedings not only for the nursing staff at the hospital, but for your baby’s pediatrician on that first doctor’s visit. It doesn’t have to be a fancy document, just grab some paper and keep track of the time you started feeding and for how long. Tip: Make sure you right an “L” or “R” next to each feeding to remind yourself if you started that feeding on the left or the right boob! Tip: The hospital provides a form for you to record feedings/pees/poops for the nurses, so ask them for an extra(s) for you to use when you get home.

Nursing Bra & Pads. Is there any real need to go into why you need a nursing bra? My absolute favorite nursing bra is the Bravado Body Silk Seamless nursing bra. It comes in multiple colors, has no underwire, removable cups (but I use disposable pads), it’s seamless and SUPER comfy. For a cheaper alternative (but just as good) try Basics Stella maternity & nursing bra from Target.  Your boobs will leak milk…so to prevent an embarrassing leak moment or from waking up in a soaked nightgown place disposable boob pads in your bra. You don’t have to worry about washing them and their slim size is perfect for your diaper bag or clutch for date night! I love the disposable pads from both Lansinoh and Medela.

Nipple Cream. When I nursed Lily my nipples took a beating the first two weeks until she and I adjusted to nursing. Lily didn’t latch right and I got blisters for the first few days…yes blisters on my boobs how awesome! To help soothe my sore nips I applied Medela Tender Care Lanolin and it worked wonders. This cream is safe for me and my baby, comes in an easy to use tube, easy to apply and doesn’t have some crazy organic “soothing” smell that will annoy me in 20 minutes. I like organic products, but I don’t need my boobs to smell like lavender or mint folks!

Milk Pumping. If you want to have some saved milk for those just in case moments (date night, want to enjoy a bottle of wine or for working moms) you can pump those boobs! I’m not going to go into details on how/why or when because I only pump periodically (usually in the mornings), but I will suggest the items I use to make it easier for you! I use the Medela Pump In Style advanced breast pump (the backpack version). The backpack can hold all needed accessories while being portable & discreet! I highly recommend a double pump because it is faster. To keep it simple get the Medela storage bags that you can pump directly into, scribble the date on it and pop it straight into the fridge or freezer! Pumping is just awkward and always makes me feel like a cow being milked. Make your life easier and free up your hands while pumping and get the Medela easy expression bustier that will hold the pumps in place so you can talk on the phone, change a diaper or Instagram pictures of that adorable babe. No need to explain why you would need bottles if you are pumping as your newborn can’t chug straight from the freezer bags! There are so many kinds of bottles that is is really up to you, but I’m a big fan of Dr. Brown’s bottles. Tip: To save money contact your local hospital and speak with the lactation consultants about renting a pump directly through the hospital. You will still have to purchase some of the accessories for sanitary reasons, but you will save money if you only plan to pump for just a few weeks or months.

So this is half of my list of essential items needed for your newborn. With my Chloe and almost three year old it is a miracle I was able to get this post up! Look for volume 2 soon!

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