I feel that after three babies, I have a pretty good handle on what newborn items are needed and which ones are unnecessary or just trendy. With a four year gap between Brody and Ford, lots of new things have come out, so it’s been fun to give some of those a try. We didn’t go crazy buying things this time around, which was pretty refreshing. I knew the basics of what I loved before and based my shopping off of that. We got rid of EVERYTHING after Brody because we were “so sure” that he was our last kiddo. Ha. Ha ha ha ha! So aside from the obvious baby clothes, crib, car seat and diapers, here are my favorite, absolute must-have baby items:
The New Stuff:
Fisher Price Rock ‘n Play Sleeper
You guys. This thing is magical and glorious. We didn’t have one with the bigger boys, and I knew I had to try it out with Ford. So many of our friends told us “you have to get one!” that we were curious about it. We got the automatic version, which rocks itself, and I’d highly recommend springing for that upgrade. Ford sleeps in this thing for hours a day, and the subtle movement is just enough to keep him soothed to sleep if he wakes up mid-nap. I give this sucker an A++, and it’s probably my new favorite baby item ever.
Aden + Anais Muslin Swaddle Blanket
I can’t even with that smirk. See, Ford is also a fan of Aden + Anais.
I know these are expensive for swaddling blankets, but there’s a reason. They are AMAZING. These blankets are the softest things ever- they’re so lightweight and won’t make your baby sweat but keep them tightly swaddled. If you’re in the market for some, keep an eye out at TJ Maxx- I got them there for just $25 instead of the $40 you pay at big box retailers. I had seen them when I first got pregnant and didn’t buy any- I went back a few times before they re-stocked and grabbed a pack immediately! These are also great gifts because everyone having a baby would be able to use these things and love them.
The Solly Baby Wrap
Please excuse my tired, non-make-upped face… but yay for a cute baby in a wrap
I wanted to like baby wearing with Knox and Brody. Really. But every single carrier or wrap I tried made me sweat to death. I am so hot natured, and so are my kids, so nothing was worth using long-term. I knew that with a third baby, baby-wearing would be a huge must, so I set out to find a perfect baby wrap. I kept seeing the Solly Wrap on Instagram and thought it may be the one, then, I saw that my friend Sara had one and she confirmed that it was awesome. It’s incredibly lightweight and soft- reminds me a lot of the Aden + Anais blankets- and easy to tie. Ford passes out when I put him in there, but I do have to give him a pacifier, otherwise he roots around like crazy being so smooshed against his food source! I really can’t recommend this wrap more highly.
Honest Company EVERYTHING
I am super cognizant of chemicals and toxins in everyday products, foods, etc. I care a great deal about food quality, organics and doing things as naturally as possible. The Honest Company wasn’t as prevalent when Knox and Brody were babies, so I never tried their stuff until recently. We use their shampoo, lotion, wipes and diapers for Ford, and everyone in our family uses the very same shampoo, conditioner, soap, lotion, etc. which makes re-ordering and shopping in general so easy! I check all of my personal care products in the Environmental Working Group “Skin Deep” database before purchasing them, and all of the Honest personal care products we use rank “1” which is the best and lowest indicator of unnatural ingredients in a product. The scents are all from essential oils and are so light and natural- I hate strong-smelling products but still like a little fragrance, so this is a plus for me.
We tried their free trial pack first, which you only pay $6 for shipping and get five bottles of sample products. If you like them, you can order a bundle, which is the BEST value for your buck. They’re $35 a month and include five products of your choice. Considering just a bottle of the shampoo is $10 at Target, this is already a great deal. Then, when you consider things like laundry detergent (72 load bottle) can be included in your bundle of five, the savings increases even more. You get a discount on your first bundle, so I bought tons of extras (also at a discount) to try that first month. We have now tried and loved: shampoo, lotion, conditioner, bubble bath, organic body oil (was amazing for my itchy pregnant belly), bathroom cleaner, multipurpose cleaner, laundry detergent, hand sanitizer, wipes, diapers and hand soap. The only thing I have tried and haven’t loved is their dishwasher detergent- it works fine and is the best “natural” cleaner I’ve tried, but I still can’t find a natural option that beats Finish tabs for getting dishes really clean. If you want to try a bundle, click here to try it– you can change your products every month, depending on what you need- and you can change your shipping frequency if you don’t need things as often. I highly recommend it!!
Tried and True Favorites
Medela Pump-in-Style Breast Pump
This pump. It’s awesome. When I go back to work, I’ll be having to pump twice a day, so I knew I would get another Medela pump. I used this same model with both Knox and Brody, and it is effective, easy to use and reliable- all qualities you need in a pump.
Lansinoh Breast Pads
These are the very best, most absorbent breast pads I’ve used. I really hate having to use disposables, but I have oversupply and leak like crazy the entire time I nurse (as in over a year… every day… all the time). I’m jealous of those people who stop leaking after the first few weeks! I’ve tried all of the “amazing” washable pads and end up with a wet shirt in a few hours. I’ve had lots of recommendations for Bamboobies, so that will be my last shot before I give up! But as far as disposables go, these Lansinoh pads WORK. They are less visible than most brands I’ve used, they do not leak and they are soft. Plus, you can find them almost everywhere, even Publix.
Yes, you need one of these. The Boppy pillow is such a convenience before babies can sit up- it helps prop them up and keeps them from rolling away or tipping over. We used ours until it was nearly flat with Knox and Brody- the newer models are “fluffier” than the old ones were, so I foresee this one lasting a long time!
And a Diaper Trial
I’m currently doing an experiment with disposable diapers. I’m trying to find a more natural diaper that 1) doesn’t leak 2) is soft and 3) won’t break the bank. I seriously thought about cloth diapering again, but working full-time, having three kids and endless laundry already, I decided that it really wasn’t an option, even though I LOVED it when I did it before. So. Disposables it is. So far, I have tried: Pampers Swaddlers (no, not the most eco-friendly, but also not the worst out there), Honest Company, Earth’s Best and Bambo Nature. I don’t hate any of them, but I will say, the Bambo Nature are amazingly soft for a disposable because they’re made of bamboo. They’re also the most expensive of the lot and have to be ordered online. I’ll let you guys know what I decided after a bit more experimenting!
So that’s my short list of must-have products for a newborn… I’ll likely do another version when he’s a bit older and we delve into more “stuff.” What’s your favorite/must-have baby item??