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Before having Avary, I watched so many YouTube videos and read so many blogs trying to figure out what I would need for my baby girl when we brought her home. What can I say, I like to be prepared! And let’s be real, buying baby stuff is oh so fun! So I decided to compile a list of my own essentials for the newborn phase. These are just the things that I found myself using quite a bit in those first couple of weeks. Check back on the blog, because I will be doing a series of Favorites each month for what I am loving for Avary!
Bringing home a new baby can be a little overwhelming, but these products made my life so much easier!
Boppy pillow. A boppy pillow was definitely one of my must-haves for the newborn phase! Since I breastfed Avary, the boppy really did come in handy for nursing sessions to help prop her up so she was more on my level to latch her. Also, when Avary was really little, she didn’t like to lay down flat so I would use the boppy for naptimes. I know this isn’t recommended, but it worked for us and helped her feel safe and enclosed. Now that she is older, the boppy is great for tummy time, as well as around her body when she is sitting up. Definitely a necessity for me! You can find the adorable cover shown in the picture on Etsy at Iviebaby.
Gripe water. I don’t know if this is common for all babies, but Avary was so gassy as a newborn. She hiccuped all the time and had a gassy belly, too. The Mommy’s Bliss gripe water worked like magic! If she got hiccups, I could just give her a squirt of that and they would be gone. I also loved that it was safe, natural, and made of organic products.
Skip Hop diaper bag. Probably one of my favorite newborn essentials was my diaper bag! When I was looking for one, I knew I wanted one that was attractive, stylish and didn’t “look” like a diaper bag. I love the Skip Hop products and when I saw their Chelsea downtown chic satchel in black, I had to have it. It is made of a sturdy, wipeable material with faux leather and gold accents. Honestly, it looks like a high-end bag. I can fit everything I need for Avary and me in all the compartments, while not being big and bulky.
Aden + Anais swaddle blankets. I originally purchased these organic swaddle blankets thinking I was actually going to swaddle Avary up in them, but I could never quite get the swaddling thing down! Instead, I found these to be great for using as burp rags–because you can fold them several times over and they are thick, soft, and absorbent. I also love using these for covering Avary up if we go on a walk in the stroller but it is still hot out. The muslin is so breathable that I know she won’t get hot but it still blocks the sun and wind from hitting her. These blankets have also become one of Avary’s favorite comfort items. I don’t know if it is the feel of them, but she loves holding onto them when she gets sleepy.
Soothie pacifiers. I was definitely that parent who said, “I am not giving my baby a pacifier for at least the whole first month of her life!” But then, as we were getting ready to leave the hospital, Avary just kept crying and crying and rooting around–even though I had just been breastfeeding her. I knew she just wanted to suck on something, and I felt terrible letting her cry the whole way home. So I stuck a pacifier in her mouth and she was so happy! She is not a big fan of her pacifier now, and only takes it right when she is falling asleep and then spits it out.
Halo sleep sacks. As I said above, I never really got the hang of swaddling the baby with blankets, so we ended up using the Halo sleep sacks. The newborn size sacks fit until she was about 3 months old. I loved that her little legs were covered and the velrco made it so easy to get a perfect fit! Avary loved being swaddled, but we just transitioned her to being unswaddled since she was rolling over. Now, we still use the Halo sacks as her blanket and just keep her arms out. I definitely think Avary feels safe and comfortable in her sleep sacks, and it signals bedtime.
Arm’s Reach Mini co-sleeper. Mamas, I cannot tell you how much of a life-saver, sleep-giver, sanity-saver this co-sleeper was! Before I had Avary, I researched pack n plays, bassinets, and co-sleepers to figure out what I would want her to sleep in when she was in our room. I loved the idea of the Arm’s reach because it attaches securely right next to your bed and it keeps the baby right on your level so you can see them. It made me feel like she was right next to me in the bed, but was safe in her own space. Also, I got so much more sleep having her right there; I didn’t have to get out of bed, I just could reach over, pick her up, nurse her, and fall right back asleep. LOVE LOVE LOVE our co-sleeper!
Moses basket. When Avary was in that newborn phase where she slept nearly all day long, I wanted something I could put her in and move around the house with me. I didn’t want to mess with moving vibrating seats or swings, so I would swaddle her up and lay her in her Moses basket. It was the perfect mobile sleeping station, and she just looked oh so cute swaddled up in a basket! The beautiful basket pictured is from Plum + Sparrow, a company that is part of the Fair Trade Federation, who gives back to the Africans who make these baskets (link is above, EIGHT).
Moby wrap. Ever wonder how mamas can wash dishes, do laundry, vacuum, or get anything done around the house with a newborn?? They babywear! I am a big advocate of babywearing; I love it, Avary loves it, and I think it is great for her development! In those early days, I had Avary in the Moby wrap at least 10 times a day. I loved cuddling her and snuggling her, but sometimes my arms would get tired or I needed to get something done, so I wrapped her up in the Moby and she would fall fast asleep. Trust me, Mamas, you definitely want some kind of wrap, sling, or carrier for your little newborn–it will give you so much more freedom, and you can keep your babe close!
These were my essentials for when Avary was a newborn. I know this list is subjective, and it just depends on your baby, but I hope it helps you new, expecting mamas when you are trying to figure out what you need. Leave a comment below letting everyone know what your favorite newborn essentials were!