A couple of years ago, way back when Essley was only a couple of months old, I shared some of my favorite newborn products with you guys. Now that I have another newborn, I decided to revisit this subject. We kept everything we loved from Essley's first few months, in case we did eventually have another baby - and I am so glad we did, because we're getting great use out of these items again. And when it comes to smaller items, we're purchasing a lot of the same brands and products we used the first time around. So there are definite repeats in this round-up, but there are some new items as well that we've discovered and fallen in love with since having Emmett.
I learned pretty quickly with Essley that you ultimately need very, very little for a newborn. Really, you could get by just fine with food (boobs, pumped milk, or formula), a few outfits, diapers, and somewhere for the baby to sleep. But the reality is that most of us are lured by the excitement of new baby goodies and end up going overboard. The list I've put together is a happy medium - all of the products have genuinely been useful to us, but some are just for fun as well. And just like last time around, this is not a sponsored post. I truly do recommend every item here based on our own experience. Every baby is different of course, but these have proven to be invaluable in our house. (Note: I have not included diapers or wipes here because 1. they're a given and 2. I don't have one specific brand I recommend of either. I've tried every type of diaper, from cloth to biodegradable eco-conscious to regular old disposable, and honestly, there isn't one that stands out to me as being above and beyond the others in terms of quality. The same goes for wipes, although I do prefer to use natural, fragrance-free varieties.)
1. Aden + Anais Swaddle Blankets - Almost every parent of babies I've talked to owns and loves these blankets. We use ours to swaddle Emmett, as a car seat covers for indoors, as oversized burp clothes, and as regular old blankets. Essley is two and still loves them.
2. ERGObaby Carrier - Essley never got into wraps or slings, and while Emmett seems to be taking to them better, the Ergo is still our go-to carrier. It's one of my saviors in terms of being able to actually get stuff done around the house. Right now he's using the infant insert which is perfect for newborns.
3. SwaddleMe Swaddlers - Although we do use blankets to swaddle (see #1 above), these swaddlers are fool-proof for the swaddling challenged like me. You essentially just wrap and close via easy velcro closures. Emmett earned his nickname "Burrito Baby" while wearing one of these.
4. WubbaNub - This was recommended to us by a friend when I was pregnant with Essley, and she loved hers (she had the giraffe). My mom bought Emmett the adorable fox version for Christmas and he loves it as well. It's an easy, effective way to soothe, and the attached stuffed animal makes it much harder to lose than regular pacifiers.
5. Arm's Reach Mini Arc Co-Sleeper - We used this with Essley, and I'm so glad Emmett loves it too. It's a bassinet style sleeper that attaches to the parents' bed so that you're able to safely sleep right next to your newborn. While there are admittedly other bassinets that are more up my alley in terms of aesthetics, in terms of function, the Mini Arc can't be beat.
6. Burts Bees Baby Bee Tear Free Shampoo and Wash - This is our favorite baby wash. The ingredients are 96.08% natural, it's super gentle, and it smells really good. It's also a shampoo - trust me - you do not need a separate body wash/shampoo/conditioner for a baby. I also use and love the calming lotion.
7. NoseFrida - This Swedish contraption is hands down the absolute best way to keep babies' noses booger-free. We use it along side saline mist and it makes all the difference.
8. Boppy - This nursing pillow rarely leaves my side. I used it so much with Essley and I knew I would again this time around - it was one of the few items I packed in my hospital bag. It makes every nursing position easier, it's comfy for both mom and baby, and it's super portable. Emmett also likes to lean on it like a little baby chair. (Love this organic cotton slip cover. You can see all of their slip covers here.)
9. Cloth Diapers as Burp Rags - You can't beat the price, and they work like a charm for burp rags and spit-up spills.
10. Boudreaux's Butt Paste - We tried every diaper rash paste with Essley and this was the best, so now we use it for Emmett too. I love the way it smells, and it's free from unnecessary chemicals.
11. Medela Breast Pumps - Tying in with the bottle recommendation above, Medela pumps are, in my opinion, the best for extracting breastmilk for bottles or freezing. I've used mine (I have this one) for 18 months with Essley and it's still in great shape. I admittedly using only pump one side at a time, but it's nice to have the option to pump both at once when you're pressed for time. (Obviously this is only an "essential" if you're nursing/feeding breastmilk.)
12. Dr. Brown's Bottles - I'm breastfeeding Emmett but I also pump bottles for him for days I'm working or when we leave him with a sitter. Dr. Brown's bottles are the gold standard in my opinion - they're 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. They're the best! My formula feeding friends agree as well.
13. Zippered Sleep and Plays - Just like with Essley, I love dressing Emmett up for photos and outings, but when we're at home, he lives in these. They make some cute snapped versions too, but after a zillion daily outfit changes (thanks pee, poop, and vomit!), you're fingers will thank you for the zippers.
14. Braun Forehead Thermometer - We got this when I was pregnant with Essley and have used it countless times (both on the kids, and on ourselves). It is infinitely easier to take a newborn's temperature on his/her forehead than rectally (or in the ear), and this model has a professional level of accuracy. We love it.
For those of you with kids (or nieces/nephews, or friends with kids, or grandbabies), are any of these items on your must-have list as well? Any other items you recommend that I'm missing?
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