One of the questions I get asked the most from those who are becoming first time moms is, “What do I need for my newborn?” I will start off saying that every baby is different and you will hear that all the time so unfortunately there is no formula telling you what will work for you and your new baby. However, there are some items we purchased for William that have been tried and true with my friends and family that I would highly recommend to anyone who is about to have a baby. These were his favorites and my hope is that baby number two will love them all just as much (we aren’t pregnant, just thinking into the future 🙂 )
The dock a tot is by far my favorite newborn item. I finally bought one when William was 3 months old and my only regret was not purchasing it sooner. William slept upright in his rock n play (another amazing product) until he was about 5 months old and I really started to get concerned that transitioning him to a crib was going to be a huge challenge because he was very unhappy on his back. The dock a tot saved us. We used it in his Halo bassinet for two months until we moved him into his own crib in his own room and then used it in there as well. It helped him sleep through the night and I felt comfortable with him stationary and snug. I think he also loved it since he felt cuddled and secure. The deluxe typically fits a baby until 8 months (we kept William in his until 10) and then the grand size works for kids up to 3 years old. We have passed our deluxe on to families with new babies to borrow and 9 times out of 10 they have purchased their own. It is the best.
We had two rock n plays. One downstairs in our living space and then one in our bedroom. William loved his so much he slept in it until he was 5 months old. This is one of the best products we had especially for the price. You can typically find them 10-20% off and depending on all the bells and whistles (vibration vs. rocker), we found them for $40-$50. One of ours rocked itself for 6 hours which was in our bedroom and the other one just vibrated. William loved both.
This may seem obvious but William lived in his infant car seat. We were lucky because he really loved being in there and often times if he was fussy I could rock him in his car seat and he would calm down right away. We purchased the nuna pipa with the nuna tavo travel system as one big purchase and we LOVED it. The one downside I didn’t realize was how heavy they are – for the most part, they all are rather heavy but a friend of mine has this britax one and said it is so light and easy to carry her babes in. I’m also obsessed with this uppababy stroller and may attempt to talk Alex into getting it for baby number two.
This was not on my registry but a friend purchased it for me and it is something we used all. the. time. Whether it was laying him on top of our island in the kitchen or using it on the ground while we got some stuff done, it was so great to have on hand. We used this 10 times more than we used our half moon boppy pillow and often William would fall asleep lying wherever we had him.
William actually did not take a pacifier very well. Often times we could get him to take one and then once he realized it wasn’t a bottle he moved on. I actually really wish we could have gotten him to take one as it would have been a lifesaver in fussy situations but at the end of the day, I’m thankful he isn’t attached to it now as a toddler. The one type that seemed to work for us were these MAM pacifiers. As much as I wanted him to be, he wasn’t a fan of the wubbanub or the hospital ones because I don’t think they formed to his mouth like these MAM ones do.
We had to formula feed William from day one and I had no idea how important the bottle would be. William still only uses a “1” nipple because if the milk flows too fast, he will throw it all up immediately. We tried a couple of different types, but Dr. Brown’s worked the best and he loved them. I will say that the many parts were so annoying to clean. So much so, I want to try something different for baby number two. I’ve heard great things about these comotomo bottles but I’m hesitant given how well Dr. Brown’s worked for us.
I loved these swaddles and broke down and bought them along with 25 other items in the hopes of getting William to sleep better. During a time where I swear he was up every hour on the hour, I was desperate to try anything and if he slept longer than two hours at a time I assumed whatever new thing I tried actually worked. These are slightly weighted (not in a dangerous way) and I think made him feel more snug at night. We switched to the sleep sack pretty quickly and loved that just as much. The material is so soft and you have an option to pick between what temperature is right for your babe and the season.
The shusher and the white noise sound machine saved us when William was really fussy. I also have an app on my phone that I’m pretty sure I paid $5 for because I was desperate. It’s amazing how much it calms him and how quickly it happens. It’s also nice because it blocks out other noises that could wake him up. He was always a baby who did better with noise, sleeping in a crowded bar was no problem and normal for him.
Because William was in our room until about 7 months and then in his rock n play or with me when he napped (probably a big mistake on my part), we didn’t use our video monitor until he was fully in his room. Now we use it all the time. We have the motorola that we bought for a very good price (less than $100). I am thinking about upgrading once another baby comes into the mix because I can’t imagine looking at two babes on this small of a screen. One of my friends has this one from Levana and I loved it. It’s so clear and you can see everything so well. I’ve also heard great things about the Summer brand as well.
The price of these baby carriers were hard to finally pull the trigger on but I will say that having one has been so great. We can wear William at festivals, out at parks, on hikes, in restaurants, etc. The list goes on. We had a cheap one from Target that we bought for $40 and finally bit the bullet on this one because it was so much easier and held up better. We did finally purchase this Ospry bag as well for longer hikes and William and Alex are obsessed with it. The other day he fell asleep while we were out for a hike and we just came home and set it down with him still upright and I swear he slept like that for an hour. The price point is a little high but we will have this forever and it will hold up for a long time.
These items are what helped us survive the first year of William’s life. I will do another post about my favorite toddler items that have saved us from age one – two in the near future as well 🙂