As a Type A, having the perfect baby gear planned out was high on my to-do list during pregnancy. You may remember our Baby Essentials Guide from a few months ago. Having now survived the first month of motherhood, my list has changed a bit (think function rather than aesthetics this time around). Here's a round-up of all of the gear that has helped us survive life with a newborn.
Snuza Baby Monitor The first few sleep deprived nights of motherhood were made more difficult by my inability to relax and trust that my baby was sleeping sound. I would wake up dozens of times throughout the night to put my hand on his little chest to make sure he was breathing. By week two, I realized that we needed another solution if I ever expected to have a peaceful night of sleep again. We ended up ordering a Snuza Hero baby monitor and it has made a world of difference. This little gadget clips onto your baby's diaper. It tracks the movement of your little one's belly as he or she breaths in and out. If there is no movement for 15 seconds, it vibrates to try to remind your child to breath and if there is still no movement, an alarm sounds. So far, it has given us a lot of piece of mind and our little guy doesn't seem to mind it clipped to his diaper at night. Anything to help us sleep more soundly has been money well spent.
Maxi Cosi Micro Car Seat When it comes to baby gear, we have been taking a minimalist approach. We debated between starting out with an all-in-one car seat that would last us for a few years or opting for an infant car seat and transitioning to an all-in-one later on. I am so glad we decided to go for the infant car seat. The Maxi Cosi Micro car seat seems to be cozy for baby and is one of the lightest weight options on the market. Lugging around a newborn in any car seat is heavy enough.
Stokke Xplory Stroller There were so many features we loved about the Stokke Xplory when test driving strollers during pregnancy. The height of the baby in the seat was what ultimately led us to purchase this stroller over others. In addition, the handle adjusts to be the perfect height for taller parents. We also purchased the bassinet option with the stroller, which I would not spend the money on in the future. The seat it comes with lays nearly flat, making the perfect position for a newborn.
Before I forget, I wrote up a checklist of over 70+ baby gear items to add to your registry. Download the FREE list below.
Dreft Detergent One thing that came as a surprise during this past month has been the amount of laundry we would be doing. Somedays Brody will go through up to 5 different outfits before dinner. That doesn't include the sheets, towels, blankets, car seats, and parent's clothes that become adorned with spit-up, pee, poop, breast milk and anything else you can imagine. Load up on the detergent because your laundry loads are about to triple.
Circo Hooded Bath Towels These towels are not only super soft, but a great deal! Most pediatricians don't recommend bathing your newborn everyday, so one package of these should be plenty to last you the first few months. The matching Newborn Washcloth Set is also made out of the same soft material. We bought 2 packages of washcloths since we end up using multiple washcloth during baths.
Burt's Bees Onesies The first few weeks Brody lived in onesies. All of the sweet newborn outfits are adorable, but not practical with constant diaper changes and outfit changes. The Burt's Bees onesies have been our favorites. They're organic cotton (very soft!) and easy to snap and unsnap. The 0-3 month size has fit perfectly since the beginning.
Newborn Socks One thing we learned quickly was that baby socks are hard to keep on! We had originally stocked up on cute socks from Baby Gap, but Brody's feet were swimming in them and they slipped off immediately. These rolled newborn socks from Target seem to fit well and stay on the longest out of all of the socks we have tried.
MAM Pacifier We've been experimenting with different pacifiers to see if any will help calm Brody when he is upset. So far, the MAM pacifiers are the only ones he will tolerate. They're small, so they fit nicely in a newborn mouth. We bought multiple Avent Soothie based on recommendations from others, but our little guy does not like the shape of the nipple. My advice would be to not buy very many pacifiers before the baby arrives since he or she may not be the pacifier type or may be picky on the nipple shape.
ErgoBaby Swaddlers During birthing classes, in parenting books, at the hospital -- everyone talks about swaddling. I'll be the first to admit that I never had the patience to figure out how to do it properly. Somehow and arm or a leg would always pop out. The Ergobaby swaddlers have been a lifesaver. They are easy to take on and off in the middle of the night for diaper changes and they are ergonomic to help prevent hip displasia from swaddling.
Boudreaux's Butt Paste We have had one small episode of diaper rash and Boudreaux's Butt Paste healed it right up.
Wee Gallery Art Cards Since newborns are still gaining eye sight and learning to touch and grasp, most toys offer little to no distraction. The one toy that has caught Brody's eye are these art cards. He loves staring at the bold black and white prints. We have the sea life set and the black and white set so far.
Matchbook Nail Files My very first mom fail came just hours after Brody was born. I had packed the Safety 1st Baby Nail Clippers to trim his nails at the hospital (newborns have sharp nails and love to scratch their faces). On the very first finger I tried to trim, I clipped too close and snipped the top of his tiny pinky. I think it was more traumatizing for this momma than him. I found an old package of matchbook nail files in my make-up drawer. They are the perfect size for tiny fingernails. I've been filing down his sharp nails while he naps once a week. I've also heard great things about the ZoLi Buzz B. Nail Trimmer (update: we now have the Buzz B. and use it exclusively. It rocks!)
Little Remedies Saline Drops We've been battling with congestion at night and in the mornings since week 1. Our pediatrician suggested saline drops to help clear things up. The Little Remedies brand are easy to use and fit in newborn nostrils.
Johnson's Head to Toe Body Wash There is nothing sweeter than the smell of a newborn. The scent of Johnson's Head to Toe Body Wash will always be what I associate with babies since it is what the hospital used for his first bath. We stocked up on Honest Body Wash pre-baby, but I keep finding myself reaching for the Johnson's Head to Toe Body Wash instead.
Angelcare Bathtub The Angelcare bath support system is the perfect angle and size for newborns. I like that it is perforated so if your baby pees during the bath he or she is not sitting in dirty water the whole time your are bathing him or her.
Babybjorn Cradle This is one item I go back and forth between loving and hating. I love the clean look of the cradle and the breathable mesh sides, but I hate how it rocks on its own. Whenever Brody moves in the cradle it moves and startles him awake. We eventually ended up weighting down the legs with heavy books and Brody now seems to sleep comfortably in it each night.
Aspirator Bulb During the first few days at home we relied heavily on our aspirator bulb to suck out lingering amniotic fluid and mucus from Brody's mouth. It's one of those item we didn't have on hand as first time parents, but certainly something to keep in the medicine cabinet.
Diaper Genie We originally added an Ubbi Diaper Pail to our registry. It had great reviews and looked sleek. Towards the end of my pregnancy I started rethinking the trash can situation. The Diaper Genie now had a similar sleek look, promised to hold in odors, had a foot pedal to open and close the lid and was very affordable. So far, it has completely lived up to our expectations. The only negative is the cost of the bag refills. When my husband takes out the trash, we always get a good laugh out of the massive diaper sausage it creates.
Swaddle Blankets Swaddle blankets are one of the most versatile pieces of baby gear. The Aden + Anais swaddles are great to use as blankets, nursing covers or sunshade covers for the car seat. We have about 6-8 swaddles, which has been plenty! I always keep one in the car and one in my diaper bag.
Diaper Changing Mat The SoftGear Diaper Changing Mat has been our most used piece of equipment. It is very similar to the Keekaroo Changing Pad (but 1/2 of the price!). Brody enjoys laying on the squishy foam exterior. When those mid-change accidents happen this mat makes it simple to wipe down with a baby wipe and clean up. I would highly recommend adding this to your baby list!
It's amazing how many additions you make to your home with a little one on the way. We've learned that you can only be so prepared. It is up to your baby whether on not he or she will like the gear you pick out.
What baby gear did you use during the first month? Is there anything you bought that your baby hated?
PS: Have you checked out our guide for all of the postpartum gear mom will need?