As an expectant first-time mom, I researched everything. From diapers to daycare, I sought articles and advice from friends, books and the internet. We were ready to meet our little girl, but looking back I can tell you that there was no way to be entirely prepared for what the weeks and months brought us. Everyone’s journey is different, so naturally we found some tips and tools that worked for us along the way.
I’m sharing a few of our favorite things – some common and some unexpected – but I hope they will work for you or that special mama in your life!
- The Fisher-Price Rock n Play sleeper is a light, portable option for baby. For the first weeks, we kept it next to our bed while we “slept,” and moved it into the living space for
daytime. Eventually we moved it into her nursery until we transitioned to her crib for nighttime sleep.
- During the “fourth trimester,” white noise can be soothing for newborns. It can reduce distractions and help set a routine for sleep as babies get older. We still use our HoMedics Sound Machine every night. (Ocean sound is our pick, if you’re curious)
- Light, breathable muslin blankets are perfect for swaddling. They can also be used to shield strollers and carseats – either for shade or privacy – or as summer blankets babies over one year old. I found that they worked better than nursing covers as well. My favorite brand is Aden + Anais
- My Brest Friend pillow: The ultimate nursing pillow. The great thing about this is that it’s sturdier than the boppy, and because of the adjustable strap you can easily change the height and position of your nursing baby, without crouching! This ended up being a favorite napping spot for Morgan, and we would often even transfer the pillow so she could nap on daddy for a bit as well.
- Dr. Brown’s wide neck bottles: We rarely gave Morgan a bottle for the first few months, but whenever we did we used Dr. Brown’s. While they do have extra parts to clean, they did seem to help with Morgan’s gas and spit-up.
- Pumping and bottle pieces can take over your kitchen. I love the look of the Boon grass drying rack – and it keeps everything in one place!
- A baby gym is a necessity for the first few months. I like one that does doubles as a good place for tummy time as well. This one from Baby Einstein has a removeable, washable bottom mat (can you say spit up?) and plenty of extra hooks to add additional toys. We often clipped the detachable toys on the carseat or stroller for on-the-go play.
- Mirrors are great toys for babies of any age. We used this one for tummy time, and I love that it can stand up on the floor or be attached to the side of a crib or other surface.
- We opted for cloth diapers for the first few months. The great thing about the newborn phase is that All-in-One (AIO) diapers are easy to use. Our favorite was BumGenius.
- Save time and energy on laundry with Boppy changing pad liners. If there’s a mess (and there will be) you can throw one of these waterproof liners in the washing machine instead
of changing the pad cover every time. They are also great to put under baby during tummy time (again, spit up!).
- The combo of side-snap or “kimono” style tops and pants was our go-to everyday outfit. These tops help prevent irritation of the umbilical cord. It’s also less intimidating to get these on a tiny newborn, since you don’t have to pull anything over their heads. These get bonus points for attached hand mitts, and these are made of soft, organic cotton.
- Sleep and plays, AKA footed onesies, one-piece or pajamas absolutely essential. With an average of 10-15 diaper changes and infinity spit ups in one day, you often won’t want to mess with socks, pants and tops. And save yourself some sanity – go for zippers and skip the snaps.
- Socks – see above. I gave up on trying to find ones that would stay on. Bonus points to Carters and Gap options for sometimes doing the job!
- Babywearing worked well for our family. It was great exercise for me in the early weeks, and the skin-to-skin contact was soothing for Morgan. I almost did a happy dance the first day Morgan napped while I was wearing her and running errands. I used the Moby wrap up until she was about 7 months old. It’s safe for up to 35 pounds and made of breathable cotton, so it can be used year-round. (Pro-tip – head to Nicki’s diapers to test which wrap or sling works best for you.)
- In my opinion, the BabyTrend Snap N Go is the only stroller you’ll need for 0-3 months. Most brands of infant car seats snap right into the lightweight base, which can be managed easily with one hand. There is a cup tray for your coffee drinks and a fair amount of storage in the bottom basket.
These are just a few of my favorites. Comment below to let us know what worked for you!