Thursday, January 17, 2013

Newborn Essentials

Jackie baby, all 9 pounds 7 ounces of him
A handful of my friends are about to have their first baby.  Some have asked me questions about what items are absolutely necessary to have for the first week or two, so I thought I'd do a blog post in case even more of you want some recommendations.  I can make this list pretty minimal given that I've only really decorated one nursery for the three babies I've brought home, sorry Chase, Lili and tbd!!...With Jack I went all out and basically took a month off work before his arrival to "get things ready" for him.  With the others, here's what I did:

Diapers: Pampers Brand, "Swaddlers."  I buy one big box of size N (newborn).  These are the best for leak protection, just make sure that you fasten the diaper snug!

Diapering Gear:
-If I'm having a boy I make sure to have Vaseline and soft gauze at home for when you have to tend to their circumcision.
-I love Costco's Kirkland baby wipes.
-And I make sure to have Desitin diaper rash cream ready to go.

-I like dressing newborns in the sleep "gowns."  The ones that don't have buttons or zippers or legs/feet.  They look like a dress with elastic at the bottom.  **BEST TIP EVER: When dressing/undressing your baby, don't put shirts, onesies, gowns, etc. over the baby's head.  Mine have always hated it and it's just hard to do with a "delicate newborn."  Instead, start at their feet and go feet first through the neckline.**
-Socks because their feet get cold.
-Swaddling Blankets! I've probably tried them all, but I love the Woombie the best because it zippers closed!  No crazy acrobatics necessary--husband & babysitter tested and approved :)  I also love the Miracle Blanket and the velcrow tab ones, but nobody ever gets those as tight as mama.  And you want to swaddle tight!!

-Have a few basic bottles ready (you won't need fancy Dr. Browns or Born Free bottles in the first few weeks) in case you need to give baby a bottle.
-Have a can of formula (I would recommend Earth's Best Organic) in case you need to give formula.

-Two nursing SLEEP bras.  Those are by far the most comfortable in the first week when your milk arrives and you're just lounging around the hospital and house anyway.  You can go out to Target later and find some that are more attractive.
-Lotion (nursing lotion) but the hospital will usually give you a few small tubes to take home.
-Nursing clean-up wipes for yourself.  Use them as often as you can manage to prevent infection!
-Nursing pads: I love the Johnson & Johnson brand but I think every mom has their favorite depending on a few different factors.  The hospital sends you home with enough to get you through a few days though.
-Bibs to put under baby's chin for the milk that will be drip.  Keep baby's neck rolls clean and crust free.  Sounds gross but trust me, use a cloth or something.  Feel free to sponge bathe his face and neck as often as you want so that milk doesn't stay trapped in the creases.
-Breastfriend Nursing Pillow.  This is super helpful if you have a c-section and/or if you are an A or B cup before baby comes.  It just helps lift them up which gives some relief to your arms and back.
-Itzbeen App on your iPhone to keep track of how often you nurse.

Baby Gear:
-Somewhere for baby to sleep other than the crib like a pack-n-play or bassinet (and bedding with a few extra crib sheets).
-Somewhere for the baby to lay/sit/sleep after nursing sessions.  An infant chair like this:
-Changing Pad, you don't really need to bother putting your nice new cover on it until you become a diapering pro, because it will just live in the washing machine the first few weeks.  Instead, just snag all the baby hospital blankets (that you've paid for anyway) on your way out and use those as your "changing pad cover" in the beginning.  Seriously, take everything in the room on your way out because when you look at your bill a month later, you realize that you've paid for it all anyway.
-The hospital gives you the blue snot-sucker bulb thing.
-The hospital gives you pacifiers. You can buy more on your first Target run (freedommmm)!  if your baby (and you) are lucky enough to take one.
-Make sure you have fingernail clippers. Those suckers grow crazy fast and newborns can't find their hands to suck on with those mitten things on.  Just take a deep breath and clip them or rip them (gently of course).
-Car seat and stroller.  The car seat I've used with all my babies is the Graco Snugride.  And I can't say enough amazing things about my beloved BOB stroller.  Yes, it's heavy, but babies make you grow muscles :)

Bathing Gear:
-Infant tub with a reclining sling.  Put it near (or in) a sink and use a washcloth and Burts Bees (my favorite) baby wash to sponge bathe the baby until the cord falls off.  I always just keep a dry towel over the baby after I'm done washing one section so he doesn't freeze while I work on the rest of him.  And when you're done, get the diaper back on FAST!
-I love Burt's Bees baby lotion.  But like I said, first put the diaper on, then worry about lotion.
-Mustela's No-Rinse Cleaning Solution.  This makes your baby smell like a baby for those visitors who arrive before you had time to bathe little junior.  Pump this onto a washcloth or paper towel, wipe him down with it and he'll smell how he's "supposed" to smell :)

Usually my babies start having gas pain around 2 weeks.  I make sure to have my stock of Mylicon drops ready for when that fun period starts.  You can't overdose on Mylicon so grab a bunch of those too.  

SO, if you don't take an entire month off of work before your first baby arrives, just make sure that you have what I talked about above and you'll be fine for a week or two (or longer).  Experienced mamas, feel free to add or subtract things in the comments section!  And here's a look at my first baby's nursery.  Somehow Chase and Lili have grown into happy toddlers in spite of their un-finished (and un-started) baby rooms though :)

Pin It!


  1. Thank you soooooooooooooo much for this amazing quick punch list that sums it all up for soon to be mommies. I will be going through it line by line. You are definitely a Super Mom so your recommendations are not to be overlooked.

  2. Erin! Love your new blog! I already forwarded this to several "moms to be"!

  3. Great advice from an expert!! I will make sure to pass this link along. :)

  4. Glad you guys like it and want to share :)