Tuesday, March 11, 2014

My Favorite Newborn Essentials

10 Essential Newborn Products
The word on the streets is that at 12 weeks, an infant makes the transition from the title of 'newborn' to the title of 'baby.'  That means that in less than 2 weeks, little Essley is no longer a newborn.  Is it weird that that makes me a little sad?  I'm so excited for all of the firsts and milestones that lie ahead, but it's bittersweet to watch her grow so quickly.  Admittedly, the newborn phase has been somewhat of a blur (do you ever get to sleep again?!), but I have definitely learned a lot along the way.  And one of the biggest lessons has been that products you actually need for a newborn are very few.  I think a lot of first time parents naturally feel an urge to get lots of 'stuff' in advance of baby being born (guilty!), but in reality, you don't require much beyond food, minimal clothing, and a place for the baby to sleep.  I have, however, found that there is a handful of items that have proven very useful for us in these first few weeks/months, and I decided to put together this guide to share with you guys.  This is not a sponsored post; these products are ones that I genuinely recommend based on my own experience.  All babies (and parents!) are different of course, but these 10 items worked particularly well for us, and if we ever have another baby, these are the products that we will absolutely be using again.

1. WubbaNub - We picked up the giraffe WubbaNub on a trip last fall because a friend's baby had one and loved it.  It turns out that Essley loves it too - so much that it rarely leaves her side. It's an easy, effective way to soothe, and the attached stuffed animals makes it much harder to lose than regular pacifiers.

2. Boppy - This nursing pillow is like the breastfeeding mother's sidekick.  Seriously.  It makes every position easier, it's easy to carry from place to place, and it's comfortable for both mommy and baby.  It's especially helpful to me for those middle of the night feedings when I'm so exhausted and bleary eyed that I can't think.  I like the organic cotton peapod cover the best - it's soft and the design is simple and sweet.

3. Aden + Anais Swaddle Blankets - These muslin blankets are quite possibly the most versatile blankets in existence.  We use ours to swaddle, to keep Essley warm without overheating her, as a car seat cover for indoors when we're running errands, and even as oversized burp cloths. 

4. ERGObaby Carrier - I didn't use a carrier at all for the first few weeks, but now that she's a little bigger, I'm realizing how invaluable our Ergo is.  It's a great way to be able to work and to get things done around the house but still have baby close. Some people also swear by slings and wraps, and we also have a Moby Wrap for Essley.  But the Ergo is my go-to carrier.  There is also an infant insert you can get for the inside for a perfect fit for newborns.  

5. Arm's Reach Mini Arc Co-Sleeper - This bassinet attaches to the parents' bed so that you're able to safely sleep right next to your newborn.  Being able to have Essley so close to me at night (perfect for night nursing and easy cuddle access) but still in her own space has been invaluable.  It's definitely not the most attractive piece of baby furniture ever, but purpose and practicality won out over visual design for me with this product. 

6. NoseFrida - When I was pregnant, I read somewhere that this crazy contraption from Sweden was the absolute best way to keep babies' noses booger-free.  And it's true.  Combined with saline mist, this thing is a lifesaver.  It puts the bulb style nasal aspirator that the hospital gave us to shame.

7. Boudreaux's Butt Paste - This diaper rash paste works wonders and isn't full of icky chemicals.  It also smells really, really good. 

8. Cloth Diapers as Burp Rags - If you have a puker (we do!), I recommend having lots of burp rags on hand.  We got handed down some really cute, extra soft ones, but cloth diapers are cheap and work just as well.  A friend recommended I grab a pack before Essley was born, and it might just have been the best $9 I've ever spent.

9. Zippered Sleep and Plays - Truth be told, there isn't much I love more than dressing Essley up in pretty outfits for outings or pictures, but when we're home, she lives in these.  They're cute and they're easy.  I like the snapped ones too, but after lots of daily outfit changes (newborns are messy), your fingers will thank you for the zippers.  These are also great because you don't have to pull anything over baby's head. 

10. Dr. Brown's Bottles - Although I am breastfeeding (and exclusively feeding Essley breast milk), I did starting pumping bottles a few times a week a few weeks ago so that others can feed her as well.  Dr. Brown's bottles are designed with a vent that provides vacuum-free feeding (most similar to breastfeeding), and also reduces air bubble oxidation of the milk to help preserve vitamins and lipids.  We actually tried another type of bottle one day and she kept scrunching up her face and unlatching from the nipple.  She loves her Dr. Brown's!

I hope this little guide proves useful for those of you who are pregnant or with new babies.  For those of you with kids (or nieces/nephews, or friends with kids, or grandbabies!), what are your favorite must-haves for newborns? 

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  1. The giraffe pacifier is adorable!
    I didn't know a thing such as a snotsucker existed ;-)

  2. Haha I thought I was the only one who felt a little sad when my son stopped being a "newborn"! (He is now 3.5! what!?)
    And I hear you with the Dr. Brown bottles, we never had a single issue with burping, or colics or any of that stuff, they are lifesavers!

  3. LOVE this! I have EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. of these items and totally agree with you- they are all amazing products. The butt paste stains though! That is my only beef with those. Have you heard of the Windi, from the same manufacturer as the Nosefrida? Hilarious.

    1. It does? I haven't noticed but I'll have to be careful of that! Thanks for the heads up. :)

  4. It's crazy how much a baby really needs. Looking forward to when I may eventually go through this list. Also, butt paste? Fantastic product name, haha!

  5. You pretty much covered everything! I agree that most people assume newborns need a lot but this list is basically it, along with diapers of course. We started off using Honest Company diapers but switched to Pampers Swaddlers which I said I'd never use but were honestly the best.

  6. I'm so glad they have that NoseFrida thing now! We always used saline drops, but I bet that NoseFrida is awesome. The bulbs from the hospital are awful. Excellent list!

  7. I'm impressed that you even find the time to blog. You have picked some really nice, and much needed items for the baby.

  8. my daughter is obsessed with her wubba nub!

  9. I don't have any babies yet but I am saving this for when I do! =)

  10. Our first little one is on the way this Summer, so I'll definitely be saving this! :)
    xx Lexi, Glitter, Inc.

  11. Hey Mel! This was so helpful. Some I knew about, and some I added to my registry! :) Due in July! xoxo, Denise


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