Catie is working on becoming a new mother. She is learning how to take care of the newest addition to her family and is not afraid to share.
If you were not gifted with the items on this list, you should seriously consider purchasing them. Not one of these items is outrageous, but I did think there were a lot of them; I use every single one of these items daily. This list is in no particular order of importance, but I did save the best for last!
1. Dexterous Toes
I started the list with this just so everyone knows exactly the tone of this article (and all articles from me ever). You really do need dexterity to make your life easier. I am rather clumsy, so this has been a learning curve. If you have not figured it out already from being hugely pregnant, you are going to be picking up stuff off the ground with your toes, like, all the time.
2. Bouncer (Baby Launcher)
If you did not receive one from a baby shower, buy it. Just buy it. Ours is easy to carry around, and I can set the baby in it and pump, take a shower, clean the kitchen, etc.—all while she is comfortable in her bouncer. Sometimes she sleeps, sometimes she plays with the junk that hangs above her on it. The bouncer (I have been known to call it a baby launcher) has been a must for our baby.
This is not as popular for our baby as the bouncer is, but she still spends a good bit of time in it. You can park this sucker right in the living room and let your baby swing away while you get tasks done around the house. Ours takes D batteries so it could be mobile if we wanted it to be, but we let the bouncer be the thing that moves around the house with us. I purchased ours while on sale at Target with gift cards from our baby showers.
Not that stupid petal thing. A proper bathtub for small children. I absolutely love the Fisher-Price one that we received at a baby shower. It came with the plastic bathtub, a seat to convert for a newborn or a small child, a toy, and a “watering can thing". The bathtub is small enough to fit on our counter right next to the sink in the kitchen. It has a drain plug but is light enough that you could just tip it over. This bathtub could fit in any big people bathtub easily.
(This item is the only item that I do not use every single day. Usually every two to three days.)
5. Soap and Lotion
We have been using Aveeno’s shampoo and body wash as well as Johnson & Johnson’s nighttime lotion. These are both gentle on the skin and smell fantastic. Neither of these brands is vegan, and they do test on animals. I chose to use these items because they were gifted to us.
A bedside bassinet is just so convenient. You sleep safely and separately from your baby (that makes it sound like your baby is a danger to you in your sleep . . . you never know), but you do not feel like your newborn is miles away from you. I cannot just roll over and offer my baby a boobie in the middle of the night; that would violate the safe part of this product. I can, however, keep a hand on her if I want to, check that she is breathing if I feel the need (which is often), offer a pacifier easily, and I do not have to leave my bed even for a diaper change.
7. Breast Pump
Get it. It is most likely free with your insurance. I was able to get the Spectra s2 for free, and it is awesome. It has multiple settings and programs for your ultimate comfort level and best results. I am going to write a full review in the future. If you are going to be pumping for any reason, I highly recommend Spectra’s brand.
Follow this link to see if your insurance will cover a brand new breast pump for you:
- Breast Pumps through Insurance | Aeroflow Breastpumps
See if you qualify for a breast pump through insurance – fill out our quick form to get started! | Aeroflow Breastpumps
8. Breast Milk Storage Bottles and Bags
Storage bottles that come with a nipple are great so you can just warm the bottles up and not have to pour into anything. Lansinoh’s breast milk storage bags are the best deal per bag that I can find. They are easy to use, and I have seen some hacks on YouTube on how to attach Lansinoh’s bags to any breast pump in order to pump directly into the bag. I can see this being useful if you have a model of breast pump with bottles that are not easily cleaned. My bottles are easily cleaned, so I do not have a problem with just pouring the milk into the bag.
9. Bottle Warmer
This is just faster than using a container and warm water. Sometimes getting a bottle ready is a straight-up emergency. A word of caution: It is very easy to overheat milk using an electric bottle warmer. Always test any milk’s temperature before giving it to your baby. I use my wrist.
10. Bottle Brush
Total must. Especially if you are using bottles to feed breast milk. There is a ton of fat in hindmilk, and it does not wash off the inside of the bottles easily, even in the dishwasher. Latch’s brand of bottle brush comes with a silicone nipple brush that is stored in the handle of the large brush.
11. Silicone Breast Pump
Again, if you are collecting and storing breast milk, I highly recommend getting one of these, or even a hand pump if you choose. I purchased both from Bella Baby. When I am nursing the baby, I stick the silicone “pump” onto my opposite breast, and it will collect whatever milk was going to just drip out of me anyways. I use this milk to freeze in my ice tray for long-term storage. I do use the hand pump if I do not feel like performing the song and dance that is necessary for my electric pump.
12. Silicone Ice Tray
I purchased a pair of silicone ice trays to freeze breast milk in and store long-term in breast milk storage bags. I chose a hexagonal shape just because it was cheap, but these trays are pretty sweet. They come with a lid and can be tossed into the dishwasher.
13. Car Seat
There really is not anything like the Chicco Keyfit 30. It is SUPER safe, my baby is comfortable while buckled in (once we start driving), and it comes with a little storage compartment, an excellent place to put an emergency Wubbanub. The hospital will not let you leave the parking lot unless a medical staff member hears the *click click* of your car seat. The Keyfit 30 is easy to carry, and there is a stroller conversion available as well.
14. Diaper Bag aka The Blow Out Bag
The backpack diaper bag is totally trendy this year. I love ours not only because it is unisex and has a sleek design, but because the storage factor is incredible. I have so much stuff in there! The LAND brand of backpack has insulated pockets for warm or cold milk. SUPER convenient. I use our diaper bag as a purse when I go anywhere with it.
15. Diapers and Wipes
Do not skimp on the diapers or wipes, man. A quality brand goes a long way here. The brands that my baby and I like the best are HuggiesSnugglers newborn diapers and Water Wipes. The Snugglers have an umbilicus cut out and an indicator line, and the baby just seems to be more comfortable in them. Water Wipes are luxurious feeling and are gentle on my baby’s bum.
We plan to transition to cloth diapers as soon as they do not swallow the baby whole when she has them on. There are newborn cloth diapers out there, but I recommend using newborn disposables for a big reason. At least for my first baby, I am still learning how to be a mom and take care of a tiny human; integrating the challenge of cloth diapers right from the start was daunting to me and made me a little anxious.
For right now, it is convenient to just toss the diapers in the trash and move on to whatever I am trying to do next. I fully intend to get the baby into cloth diapers once she grows into them.
16. Desitin and Butt Spatula
I coat my baby in Desitin almost every time I change her diaper as a preventative. No diaper rash yet. I use the butt spatula now. I was originally against it because I thought that it was stupid—just use your hand, right? Well, yeah, but then your hand is covered in Desitin, and now you are down a hand while you are trying to put the new diaper on the baby which needs to happen right now or she will pee on you and the couch.
With the butt spatula, I smear that Desitin on, suction cup the spatula to the table next to us, and finish the diaper change. Clean up is a breeze with a wipe that I use on my hands afterward anyways.
The Butt Spatula
17. Blankets and Burpers
You cannot really have enough of either. They get spit up on, pooped and peed on, and I often use them to clean up my daughter's milky hands and mouth. If you have enough blankets and burpers and your laundry gets backed up, it is no big deal.
Check out another article of mine:
- How to Make Burping Cloths for Your Newborn, Infant or Baby
How to sew a very nice burping cloth for your baby to vomit on instead of you.
18. Sleepers and Onesies
I thought that we had way too many newborn clothes. I was wrong. We have enough that I do not need to go purchase more, but if we were one sleeper short, I would. There is no room for me to slack on the laundry at all.
I really like the sleepers that have buttons and the ones that have a zipper beginning at the neckline. Zippers that start at the neckline end with the zipper puller away from the face and will not poke your baby.
19. Boppy Pillow
This one is easy. I keep mine by the bassinet in our room for easy access in the middle of the night. It is stellar at helping position the baby to breastfeed. Boppy pillows also have super cute covers that you can buy or patterns to sew.
20. Nursing Clothes
I LOVE my nursing tanks tops. They make breastfeeding and pumping so easy. I do not have to awkwardly hold my shirt while breastfeeding at home or in public. Basically, it is easy to whip out a boobie and feed my daughter. I recommend any nursing clothes; I just happen to like the tank tops.
21. Dreft Products
This is a personal preference. The way that Dreft smells is so nostalgic for me, I could bathe in that stuff. Not only does it smell so wonderful, but the products are also effective. The laundry detergent is great, of course, but the stain remover spray is a slam dunk. Let me tell you it WORKS! I have white onesies that have endured blowouts that still look like new. I use the all-purpose wipes on everything. All I want is a Dreft-scented candle, Dreft-scented body wash, lotion, body spray, and scented tree to hang from my rear view mirror.
Oh yeah, these are awesome and so cute! We were gifted the lamb and the reindeer (which we call the moose). I am not above collecting all of these someday. Although she may not realize what she is doing, I can position my daughter’s hands over the plushie, and the pacifier stays in her mouth easily. I personally think that these are a little overpriced, costing around $15.00 a pop. I do not have any experience with them, but I am sure that there are off brands that are more affordable.
23. Boba Wrap
These are so cool! This wrap will keep your baby close and comfy while leaving you hands-free. I use it at home while walking around the house, if we are going for a walk or outside, I take our 4-in-1 baby carrier that is a little sturdier. I can sweep, do laundry or any other household chore while still comforting my baby. When I use my Boba wrap, my daughter usually falls straight to sleep.
24. Baby Carrier
We were gifted a 4-in-1 baby carrier that is super rad. I can go on a walk with my dog without any worries while my daughter is strapped to me. It is extremely comfortable to wear, easy to use and my baby loves it. She either falls asleep or she just chills in there while we are out and about. Our carrier can be changed into four different ways to carry a baby as it grows, so it lasts a long time.
25. Singing Elephant
Every baby in this whole wide world should have one of these singing elephants. It is so uncontrollably cute! It sings “Do Your Ears Hang Low” and talks to your baby all while waggling its ears around. This will forever be my baby shower gift to everyone forever and ever.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Catherine Berry
Catherine Berry (author) from Belgrade on September 15, 2019:
Dianna, yes the butt spatula is very handy and easily cleanable. Such an obvious million dollar idea!!
Dianna on September 15, 2019:
A butt spatula? Well what will they think of next! Makes so much sense.