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One of the scariest moments of parenthood is when you get discharged from the hospital. The hospital feels safe. There are plenty of doctors and nurses around to help you take care of your baby. However, once you go home you’ll be on your own. The amazing pager you had that brought nurses rushing to your side when you had a question is gone. It is now solely your job to keep your little baby alive and happy. That is pretty overwhelming.
The moment you leave the hospital kicks off the newborn phase. The first 3 months of your child’s life will be difficult, scary, and overwhelming. You’ll have a million questions. In fact, you’ll probably be call your pediatrician more than anyone else during those first few months. This phase may be difficult, but it will also become one of your favorites. One day you will look back and cherish the middle of the night feedings because of all the extra snuggles they brought. You just have to survive them first.
The newborn phase is all about survival. Your number one goal is keeping your baby alive, healthy, and happy all while keeping yourself somewhat sane. Having the right products in your corner can make the newborn phase significantly easier for you. However, there are a ton of baby products on the market right now. It’s difficult to know which products will be a waste of money and which will be truly helpful. That’s why I’m sharing my top 10 newborn baby products with you. These products were lifesaver for me during my daughter’s newborn phase. I know they will help you too!
Carseat – A carseat is the most important baby product that you will buy for your newborn. Make sure you have it properly installed a few weeks before your due date. It’s crucial that you have a proper install for your child’s safety. So, this is not something you want to be scrambling around doing at the last minute. Give yourself plenty of time to thoroughly read the instruction manual and install the seat. If you having trouble getting a safe installation I recommend visiting the Car Seats for the Littles Facebook Page. Here you can find experienced and helpful carseat technicians to assist you with any questions you may have.
My recommendation: I used the Chicco Keyfit 30 infant seat with my daughter. I can’t recommend this carseat enough! It is extremely easy to install, especially if you use it with the base. It also provides an excellent fit for newborns. This seat fits babies as small as 4 lbs. when using the infant insert and goes all the way up to 30 lbs. It is a great safe, easy, comfortable, and reliable seat to use with your newborn.
Swaddle Blankets – Newborn babies greatly miss the comfort of their mother’s womb after birth. After all, it’s all they knew for the first 9 months of their life. A great way to try to replace some of that comfort is by swaddling them. A proper swaddle will leave them feeling secure and safe. However, additional comfort is not the only benefit of swaddling. Swaddling also helps reduce the startle reflex which leads to better sleep. It also is a great way to keep your baby warm and cozy during those first few months. Make sure to add a swaddle blanket to your hospital bag so you can start swaddling right after birth.
My recommendation: My favorite swaddle blankets are Aden + Anais’ Muslin Swaddle Blankets. They are extremely soft and only get softer as time goes on. Plus, they are also very large. This gives you plenty of fabric to ensure a proper and secure swaddle. The extra fabric is great because it allows you to comfortably swaddle larger or older babies as well. Not only are these blankets great for swaddling, but they also make great nursing covers, stroller covers, tummy time blankets, and burp rags.
Nursing Pillow – A breastfeeding pillow is an essential nursing product. It will be a life saver during the first few weeks of breastfeeding and beyond. However, it’s not only useful for breastfeeding moms. I always recommend nursing pillows for formula feeding mothers as well! It helps parents get a comfortable hold during feedings by providing relief for tired arms and backs. The ergonomic position that it provides makes a nursing pillow also essential for nap times. This will help tired parents stay comfortable during their baby’s long nap times.
My recommendation: The Boppy Nursing Pillow is my top choice for nursing pillows. It is comfortable, easy to use, and provides great support. I used it for both breast and bottle feeding my daughter. The Boppy Pillow can be used for more than just feeding. It is great for propping babies up, tummy time, and supported sitting.
Baby Wrap – For the first nine months of your child’s life they were inside of you. It just doesn’t get much closer than that. Now they are out in a bright, scary world away from the comfort of their mom. It can be a tough transition for them. That’s why during those first few months it helps to use a baby wrap. This allows you to still do your daily activities while holding your baby. You can do the dishes, fold some laundry, or even go for a walk. A wrap will allow you to have both hands free while providing your child the comfort and closeness of mom they need.
My recommendation: There are a lot of great baby wraps out on the market now. However, my favorite is the Baby K’Tan Original Wrap. I love how user friendly this carrier is. This wrap comes ready to wear. That means there is absolutely no wrapping involved! You simply select your proper size and slip it on like a t-shirt. The K’Tan offers 5 different wrap positions and you can switch between all of them without removing the wrap. It fits babies from birth up to 35 lbs.
Burp Cloths – You are going to experience quite a bit of spit up during your baby’s first few months. Luckily for them they are so darn cute, so it doesn’t bother you too much. You will want to make sure to keep a stockpile of burp rags in multiple rooms of the house. I recommend a pile in the nursery, living room, and bedroom to start. You’ll also want to make sure to have a good stash in the car and the diaper bag. It would be nice if babies only spit up after feedings, but the timing is actually a little unpredictable at first. It’s always better to be over prepared with babies than underprepared.
My recommendation: Instead of buying burp rags I recommend using cloth diapers. Yes, the designs on the burp rags are adorable and quite tempting to buy as a first time parent. However, they aren’t the most absorbent and quite honestly they’re overpriced. Cloth diapers are much more absorbent. Plus, it’s always important to save where you can with babies and cloth diapers are relatively inexpensive.
Sound Machine – Despite what the saying “sleep like a baby” implies getting little ones to sleep just isn’t easy. It can be extremely frustrating to finally get a baby to sleep only to have them be startled awake by a loud noise minutes later. A white noise sound machine can help prevent against frustrations like those. Using white noise during nap times and bedtime can help your baby fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. White noise is extremely calming for babies. They are used to being inside the womb where it is loud all the time. The constant whooshing sound reminds them of their home. It also helps block out outside noises like siblings playing or car horns which would startle a baby awake. White noise is a tool you should be utilizing for all sleep times up to at least a year old.
My recommendation: I love the Brookstone Tranquil Moments Sound Machine. We used this speaker for quite some time in our room before our daughter was born. It was a great sleep tool for us as it features 12 different sound options. So, we were always able to find a noise that was calming. When we set up our daughter’s nursery we moved it to her room. This sound machine was the only thing that could calm our colicky newborn and get her to sleep. It was a huge asset and I plan on using it with all my children.
Infant Tub – Investing in an infant bathtub isn’t necessary, but it will make bath time with a newborn substantially easier. Newborn babies get pretty slippery when they are wet, so it’s nice to have a secure space to lay them during bath time. This way you don’t have to worry about them slipping and getting hurt. It also makes them feel more secure and safe which tends to make bath time more enjoyable for everyone. Another benefit to using an infant tub is that you are able to surround them with more water. This helps keep them warm and comfortable.
My recommendation: My go to infant tub is the Aquascale 3 in 1 tub. This is one of the few products that I feel is worth splurging on. It provides such a secure hold. You are actually able to sit and play with your child during bath time without constantly worrying about them slipping under the water. The Aquascale also has a few great features that make this tub unique. This tub has a built in thermometer and scale. As a new parent I found these features extremely comforting.
Bouncer/Swing – It’s easy to go overboard on baby gear, especially if it’s your first child. Marketing companies are great at playing on a mother’s emotions to make her think everything is a necessity. There are a lot of baby gear items that you can do without. However, one item that I always recommend having is a bouncer OR a swing. They are a great asset to new, tired parents. A bouncer or swing makes a safe space for you to lay your new baby down if you need to get a few things done. They can also be very useful in calming a fussy baby. The soft swaying motion tends to lull babies into a calm and peaceful state. It reminds them of when they were in utero and the bouncing sensation they felt when mom moved around.
My recommendation: I swear by the Fischer Price Rock ‘n Play. Using this product was one of the only ways we could calm our colicky, fussy baby. The Rock ‘n Play features an automatic 2 speed gentle rocking motion. This seat sits at a slight incline which is wonderful for any babies suffering from acid reflux. The shape of this bouncer snuggles babies in tightly making them feel comfortable and secure. It easily folds making it perfect for travel.
Pacifiers – Many babies are born with a strong sucking reflex. Babies use this sucking reflex as a way to eat, but it also serves another purpose. Sucking is actually very soothing and calming for babies. That’s why pacifiers can be a parent’s greatest asset. A pacifier can help soothe a baby in between feedings, during vaccinations, on flights, and more. Many babies also use pacifiers to soothe themselves to sleep. If you are breastfeeding be sure to wait until your feeds are established. This typically occurs within 3-4 weeks.
My recommendation: Our hospital provided us with the Advent Soothie Pacifiers and we’ve used them ever since. This pacifier is the choice of hospitals and doctors nationwide. The Soothie pacifier is made of silicone and features a durable one piece design. The two piece designs that use plastic can be a choking hazard, so this was a huge plus for me.
Onesies – It’s tempting to buy all the sweet outfits for your little one. After all, they are almost too cute to pass up. However, it’s more practical to stock up on comfortable onesies rather than fancy outfits. During the newborn phase your priority will be keeping your baby warm and comfortable. That’s why a cotton onesie is the most practical option. Plus, babies go through clothes so quickly that you won’t want to spend a ton of money in the early months. You’ll be lucky if they wear an outfit even once. You should make sure you have a good stockpile of short and long sleeved onesies in their closet.
My recommendation: I have a few different brands of onesies that I like for different reasons. If you are have a smaller baby I recommend purchasing Gerber onesies. These tend to be a bit more narrow and provide a snugger fit. If your baby is a bit larger like mine I recommend using Cloud Island onesies. These tend to be a bit wider than most onesies and have a good amount of stretch.