Newborn Essentials

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As promised, here is part two on what you will need when you’re a Momma. It’s actually difficult to come up with a list like this because every one’s needs are so different and there will inevitably be something you’ll regret not getting and something you’ll buy and never use. Here is my feeble attempt to list the newborn baby essentials.

The biggest money waster are baby toys. There are so many gadget and toys which are supposed to keep your baby entertained. Toys you can strap on the high chair, toys you can put in the crib, toys you can put on their car seat. All completely useless. All baby wants is to nurse, to be held, or to play with whatever you’re holding. The desire to be like Mommy and Daddy starts very early and even young babies somehow know when a toy is designed for babies. They lose interest super fast. However, there are lots of almost indispensable items that you should get when you’re expecting.

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White noise app. There are lots of great apps out there, or you could even just hop on YouTube whenever you need it. Either way, babies love white noise and it really helps them to stay asleep.

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On that note, I’d absolutely recommend getting a rocking chair. There’s a reason mothers have had these chairs for hundreds of years…they work. Some people say, “You shouldn’t get a baby used to sleeping to movement because then they’ll always need movement!” To which I say, “So what?” We all sleep better with movement, that’s why people conk out on car trips. I’m all about getting baby to sleep faster and staying asleep, than worrying about whether he’ll be forty and still needing me to rock him to sleep (Guess what, no matter what you do, he wont!)

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Have I mentioned before how much I love wraps? Oh I have? Get one. Boba or Moby are the most popular brands. I will mention though that Boba and Moby only go up to 20lbs before the stretchy-ness becomes too stretchy. That’s around 6 months for most babies. After that you’ll want to invest in a woven wrap if you still plan to carry.

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There will be spit up. Lots of it. Buy plenty of Burp cloths.

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Along with rocking and wraps, Swaddle blankets are great to help a baby get to sleep and stay asleep. Swaddling never really seems to work once the baby has discovered their hands, but before then there is a tremendous difference in the length of time a swaddled baby will sleep compared to an un-swaddled one.

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I totally and completely advocate for co-sleeping, meaning at least having your baby sleep in the same room as you. Aside from the fact that it seems heartless to me to make a tiny baby sleep alone in a room by itself, sharing a bed or bedroom mean that you get a lot more sleep. Imagine those first weeks of waking up at night. Would you rather wait until baby is screaming loudly enough that you can hear it on the baby monitor and you sleepily walk down the hall to nurse or prepare a bottle, put her to sleep, and then go back to your bed before waking up again in an hour….or would you rather hear baby’s gentle moaning that she’s waking, roll over and give her a little snack (baby’s night feedings before they’re fully awake last about one minute) and then you both fall back asleep? Get a Co sleeper or bassinet to get more sleep for both of you (or be a complete rebel and just let baby sleep with you!)

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Soothie pacifier. Newborns love these. Why? I dunno…

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Stroller OR umbrella stroller. You really don’t need both of these, especially if you use a wrap. I’d go for a nice umbrella stroller and forego the large stroller entirely. They’re so large and unwiedly, and essentially do the exact same thing while managing to take up twice as much space. But that’s just my preference.

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One size car seat. Again, if you have a wrap, an infant car seat is really pointless. There has actually been a lot of talk about how dangerous infant car seats are, not because they actually are dangerous but because people do a lot of dangerous things with them, like put them on top of shopping carts or tables, letting baby continue sleeping in them (doing this can cut off baby’s oxygen supply when their breath becomes more shallow during sleep), and by lugging it around causing the handle to break. Plus, car seats are expensive, and having to only buy one makes a lot more sense than buying two within a year. To all those people that say, “But it’s so nice to be able to just let Baby continue sleeping!” I 100percent promise you that if Baby is sleeping and you take him out of the car seat and put him into a wrap, he will fall right back asleep. Seriously, I PROMISE.

I bought this Graco one size from Target.

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Baby food pureer. These are so incredibly useful. It almost completely eliminates the need to buy canned baby food. Just take a little of what you’re eating, before you add spices to it, and turn it into baby mush!

However, the guidelines for infant feeding now say to hold off on solids until 6 months, by which time many babies can handle finger foods. It is absolutely possible to not do slurrpy baby food at all. We didn’t with baby 2 and probably wont with baby 3 either, so this is another optional item.

Also, a regular food processor or blender will do this too…

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High chair. A high chair is really indispensable but don’t feel like you need a big one with bells and whistles. The plain Ikea style ones, or even one that just straps onto a regular chair work just fine.

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Crib. A crib is really an optional item. Most parents admit that their under 2 child sleeps with them often, but they’ll only admit this when asked on an anonymous survey. If you don’t have the room, don’t bother with a crib, but if you REALLY can’t handle the jimmy legs of a young child, buy one. I’d still recommend keeping it in your bedroom instead of a separate room though. Cribs are really only necessary after Baby has learned to pull himself up and could potentially fall out of the bassinet so for the first six months or so don’t worry about having one. If you’re concerned about safety, having a floor bed is actually a really great idea for small children. Ikea also has many low toddler beds that can be used for fairly young children. I only used a crib with my first but it had the side taken off so she could get out herself. The others went from bassinet to our bed to a toddler bed.

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Nursing pillow. This one is mostly optional. I only actually used it for nursing with my first baby but my other two loved it to lounge in before they could sit up. It’s nicer than a pillow because baby can’t roll off of it. I like it, I would buy it again, but if you’re really on a tight budget, don’t feel like it needs to be on your list.

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Baby toys. Don’t buy any of these before your baby is actually here because every baby will like something different. We’ve had a cuddler who liked soft stuffed animals, one who didn’t like toys at all, and one who loves bouncy toys. Wait until your baby is a couple of months old, take her to the store, and just see what she’s interested in. Otherwise you’ll just end up with a bucket of completely useless toys (I speak from experience.)

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Jumpers. If you’ve heard me talk you’ll know I’m all about holding baby, not passively letting baby just sit, etc, etc. But my goodness, baby love jumpers. Don’t feel like you need anything fancy, they really like the jumping more than the lights and toys, but you will always enjoy seeing the happiness on your baby’s face when they are in these miracle toys.

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Clothes. Let’s be honest, you can’t buy enough baby clothes.

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First aid kit. Your first aid kit should include a bulb syringe, infant medicine dispenser, band aids, gauze, neosporin, and hydrogen peroxide, as well as a chart on CPR for infants.

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Books. It’s never too early to start reading to your baby and in fact most babies find it soothing to be read to. They don’t need to be “baby” books, but bright pictures are a plus.

Things you really don’t need: Diaper bin, baby monitor (unless you live in a big house or think you’ll be outside while baby sleeps), fetal monitors, anything that has only one purpose, baby tubs, special drying racks for bottles (I really don’t get this one), bouncy chairs, pack n’ play, changing table, diaper stacker, “baby” blankets, “baby” bowls or spoons, play mats, toilet locks, or “baby” laundry detergent (any sensitive skin kind will work).

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