At a baby shower I recently attended, I found myself reminded of those newborn days. I also found myself considering what things I used most as a first-time mom versus what baby registry checklists will tell you to buy.
I don’t know about you, but before our baby girl arrived I basically spent the whole 9 months trying to prepare for this incredibly life-changing event called motherhood, that you can’t fully be prepared for anyways!
I scoured Pinterest and scanned every baby registry checklist and “must-have.”
I was determined to have my ducks in a row as much as possible.
But, regardless of your level of preparation, being a first-time mom isn’t easy. Simply because what someone tells you that you’ll need isn’t always what you’ll actually use.
So, if you’re scouring the internet for some first-time mom advice, here is my list of top 10 things I used most as a first-time mom.
Diapers and wipes are not included. 😉
10 Things I Used Most as a New Mom
The Brest Friend breastfeeding pillow really will be your brest friend. Bahaha! 😉
But really, it was a life-saver! I highly recommend it. Here are the reasons why:
- The pillow stays on you so you can focus on the baby in case he/she unexpectedly spits up, throws up (there is a difference), or has a diaper explosion during a feeding session – all of which can or will happen.
- The wrap-around design offers back support to facilitate good breastfeeding posture (a feature that has lactation consultants singing its praise).
- The firm and flat cushion gives the baby a solid, yet soft, platform to lay on while feeding.
2| Glider Rocker
Where did all these feeding sessions with the handy-dandy Brest Friend take place? The Glider Rocker.
Basically, if I wasn’t sleeping or eating, you could find me in, that’s right, the glider rocker.
Check out this Eames Style Rocking Chair. Looks like a practical yet stylish option as well, no?
Until I had a child I never knew the difference between spit up versus throw up.
The 6-week growth spurt caught me by surprise when I found myself covered in not just spit up, but throw up as well. Evidently, it’s around this time that a baby’s digestive system develops and can cause minor amounts of throw up, yet it’s completely normal reflux. It was during that time that I was grateful for the Gerber Pre-fold Cloth diapers.
Yes, cloth diapers make great burp cloths. They’re very absorbent and can be re-purposed later as rags (potty training messes, anyone?). Double-win.
For the first 3 months, the baby slept in a bassinet next to our bed. Depending on your preferred sleep arrangement, there are numerous options on the market.
Besides a bassinet, you can choose a co-sleeper, or a regular ‘ol Pack ‘n Play.
When it comes to travel, I’ve also heard great things about the Fisher-Price Ultra-Lite Day and Night Playard and the Lotus Travel Crib.
Newborns sleep a lot, so having a few Halo Sleepsack Swaddles around was a newborn must-have.
Being a new mom, I found it to be a much faster way to swaddle them safely when you’re sleep-deprived at 3am.
No folding or tucking, just velcro and a zipper. Doesn’t the baby in the picture look so happy and content all bundled up like a burrito?!
The Love to Dream swaddle is also a great swaddle for newborns!
I saw muslin swaddles on every registry checklist, but I didn’t actually find them as useful as others had. I didn’t use it as often for swaddling and it didn’t really double as a nursing cover for me – my daughter was way too wiggly and would often yank on it.
Instead, I LOVED the Covered Goods nursing cover!!! It’s a nursing cover, car seat cover, grocery cart cover, and scarf all in one! Plus a mama of 4 created it when there wasn’t anything else on the market like it.
The Milk Snob nursing cover is very similar as well.
Should you choose to breastfeed, Lansinoh Disposable Nursing Pads are a necessity in those first few months. I switched to the washable fabric kind once my milk supply stabilized, but the disposable kind was fabulous during the newborn days because you don’t have to do a load of laundry just to have clean breast pads.
After the newborn days, the reusable breast pads are much more worthwhile.
I remember seeing this on a list of items you won’t need for baby, because many seasoned moms say it’s not a necessity. It makes sense if you have more than 1 child because you’ll be following the older child around more. I get where they’re coming from. It’s not a necessity for baby, but it was for my back!
I was so glad that I not only put a changing table on my baby registry but that someone actually bought it for us.
I used my baby changing table All. The. Time.
Call me a noobie, but where else would I have changed my baby’s diaper? Newborns can randomly squirt poop so I would prefer to change my baby somewhere other than my bed.
There are plenty of creative changing table ideas on Pinterest, but we didn’t have any existing furniture to convert like a dresser. The floor didn’t seem like an option since it wouldn’t be nice on the lower back.
In my opinion, changing tables still have their place.
For our next baby, I’d like to choose an all-in-one option like this Graco Pack ‘n Play:
A travel system is efficient, economical, and convenient since the stroller, car seat, and car seat base can be bought as a package deal.
Our daughter is 3 now and looking back I’m still glad that I went with a stroller/car seat travel system so the car seat could easily click into the stroller for stability.
We used the Britax B-Agile Travel System. I traveled solo on the airplane with my baby at least twice before she turned 14 months and found this system simple, lightweight, and easy for travel.
GOOD TO KNOW: The Britax B-Agile stroller and the City Mini Stroller are some of the only single strollers that I’d found that can hold a child up to 50 pounds. Other strollers, like umbrella strollers and lightweight foldable travel strollers (like the GB Qbit or the City Tour) stop at 40 or 45 pounds weight limit. The GB Pockit is an exception, holding up to 55 pounds of child and 11 pounds of storage!
9| White Noise
I absolutely love our white noise machine! Having a little background noise really helped our daughter sleep. Plus, it’s small enough to pack in a suitcase for a trip.
Then, after 3 months of using one, my husband and I realized it helped us to catch some shut-eye too, so we bought our own sound machine as well.
Don’t want to buy a white noise machine? Just download a few songs from a rain or ocean nature sounds CD on iTunes and kept it playing on repeat.
As a first-time mom, I found it useful to read several different resources on baby sleep and advice for creating a routine. It’s helpful to be prepared with ideas to try out and see which works best for your baby and your lifestyle.
And of course, there’s no shortage of unsolicited advice you’ll receive.
That said, the wisdom and advice that Dr. Karp offers in The Happiest Baby on the Block from his years of experience as a Pediatrician was wonderful. Watching this DVD with my husband was invaluable and we used the 5 S’s often!
Of course, his suggestions might not work for every baby, so I also liked On Becoming Babywise for routine suggestions (wake, eat, play, sleep). I also frequently consulted The Baby Sleep Site during those late night/early morning feedings.
Now it’s your turn!
Those were my personal must-haves.
What were the items you couldn’t do without in the first few months with your new bundle of joy? Please share in the comments below!