The newborn stage is rough! It's so new and exciting and exhausting and overwhelming, all at the very same time. Most days I wonder how I'm even functioning haha Still, it's a whirlwind of excitement and wonder. But the truth is simple: I don't think I'd be singing the same tune if not for a few handy gadgets.
This "newborn essentials" list is pretty comprehensive, and it includes some things that only worked for us for a little while (like the breast pump). Even still, each and every item on here has been a heaven send at some point or another. I thought it'd be worth sharing in case it helps any other mamas-to-be! What worked for us might not work for you, but then again it could be exactly what you're looking for!
o1. 4MOMS mamaRoo + rockaRoo swings: We are lucky enough to own both of these, and they each have their benefits. We had the mamaRoo first, and it has been a miracle solution to Linden's reflux. We spent the first 7.5 weeks sleeping in the living room, trying to adjust to a new way of life, and he slept most nights curled up in his swing. It helped keep him elevated so the acid didn't burn his throat. We noticed a huge shift in him after the first night. The rockaRoo is a recent addition and he is in love! The rockaRoo swings back and forth like a traditional swing and Linden is happy to hang out there for a half hour or so after each feed. Again, this helps keep everything down in his belly, and it keeps him happy. I'll do a more thorough comparison of the two models in the future if anyone is interested!
o2. 4MOMS infant tub: Another 4moms magic maker! Linden loves water. He loves baths, he loves showers. The infant tub fits in our kitchen sink perfectly and it allows for a constant flow of water to help keep the baby warm. It also allows clean water to flow in while the dirty water drains on the side. Another handy feature? The built in thermometer! An alarm signals with a flashing light if the water is too hot or too cold. If you're a first time mom and nervous about everything, this is money well spent! (If your kiddo is older or bathes in the bath tub, this faucet cover is the perfect answer! I used this a lot while I was pregnant to ensure I didn't get the water too hot!)
o3. Boon bottle warmer: Whether your baby is breast or formula fed, a lot of parents opt to feed their baby via bottles at least partially. We bought the warmer and first used it to warm up expressed breast milk, but now that Linden is on formula we are able to prepare a full day's worth of bottles ahead of time and heat on demand. The warmer uses steam to evenly disperse the heat and it doesn't hurt that it's super modern looking!
o4. Ergobaby swaddlers: Linden is a little contortionist and can wiggle his way out of almost any swaddling blanket or swaddle wrap. These are another story! The arms slide into little sleeves and velcro across the baby's body, then a sleep sack slides over the bottom half of the baby to allow them to still kick and move around. This was the perfect answer for L. They're like tiny little baby straightjackets, but in the best way haha
o5. Aden + Anais swaddling blankets: These muslin blankets are so lightweight and nice to have around. We have half a dozen of them floating through our house and they're good for so many things. We don't swaddle Linden in them, but we use them as regular blankets, spit up cloths, you name it. They're worth the price in my opinion.
o6. Bottle drying rack: Our friend Merissa passed this along to us after her little guy grew up a bit. I didn't know if we'd really need it since I had planned on breastfeeding, but of course nature has a sense of humor. This contraption is one of the most used things in our house. Linden had a gnarly case of thrush for the first 9 weeks of life (we just beat it!) so we had to boil his bottles and pacifiers every single day. Now that we're in the habit we still do it to make sure they're extra sterilized, but this rack helps keep our counters tidy and dry.
o7. Gas drops + gripe water: Linden is a gassy little dude and if we don't give him gas drops after every feed, he's screaming in pain just a few hours later. Finding the brand that works for your little one is the hard part though. We use the Little Remedies gripe water, but I swear by the Kroger generic brand gas drops. No one around here sells them right now so we've moved on to Comforts for Baby and they work okay. Every baby is different though so you might need to try a few to see. Seriously Linden turned into a completely different baby ten minutes after his first dose of the gas drops. If he's randomly fussy during the day we'll give him a 1/4 dose of gripe water and he's a happy camper. (I think a lot of it has to do with the sweet taste and not so much the natural properties haha)
o8. Baby Feed iOS app: I touched base on this app in my Nights with a Newborn post, and I'll sing it's praises forever! I track every feed, every medicine dose, every dirty diaper, and every pediatric visit. This app gives me his daily, weekly and monthly averages for feeds, time in between feeds, etc. You can track breastfeeding and/or formula feeding, and you can track their sleep, too. You can even sync it across multiple devices so no matter who has the baby, everything gets recorded properly.
o9. Boppy nursing pillow: While I used the Boppy originally as a nursing pillow, now it's a great little prop pillow for Linden when we play together or when he feeds. It helps keep him upright, allows him to control his head, and ensures we can sit across from each other.
1o. Avent bottles: We've tried a ton of different bottles over the course of the past 10 weeks. At first I totally swore by Dr. Brown's, and while I'm still a fan, Linden started having trouble with the long, thin nipple on them. We tried a LATCH bottle and it worked well for a little while, but the nipple kept collapsing in the middle of his feeds and he'd get upset. We finally settled on the Avent bottles with the wide nipples which mimic breastfeeding. They are perfect! Linden can eat with them like a champ and they clean up really easily as well. Every baby will have their own set of preferences, but I definitely recommend you try these! (Target usually gives one in the "new baby" registry gift they give you at sign up! A great way to test the waters without spending the dough!)
11. Breast pump: I used the Ameda Purely Yours Double Electric pump for the first several weeks and I really liked it. I was frustrated that it wasn't hands free, but luckily I found a super easy solution. (More on that in a bit!) The pump itself was compact and easy to carry around, and it was super simple in terms of set up, usage and cleaning.
12. Stroller with bassinet attachment: This was the first major purchase we made for Linden, and the most expensive. I fell in love with the Quinny Moodd stroller when I saw it, and I had a huge Kaelah's Closet clean out in order to fund (and justify) the insane purchase. No baby needs an expensive/luxury stroller, but I really had my heart set on it. But since we wanted to use it from birth, we also needed a bassinet to go along with it. This bassinet was perfect because it collapses down and becomes super economical in terms of space. Linden loves to lay in his bassinet and be pushed around. I can't say enough good stuff about this set up, and I love that the large wheels allow us to cart him around on varied terrain.
13. Ergobaby wrap: I love babywearing! It has been a saving grace not only for my sanity and productivity, but also for my bonding with Linden. I made my own wrap originally, and it served me well for so long. Eventually after loads of washing it wore a bit thin and I opted to use my Ergo wraps. They're soft and lightweight, and they provide the perfect amount of stretch, support, and convenience for babywearing. I wear one from the minute I wake up in the morning until the minute I crawl into bed. And the best part? Wrapping your baby serves as tummy time too since they're constantly supporting/moving/lifting their head and pushing away from your body. Linden has amazing head control already because he's worn so much!
14. Simple Wishes nursing bra: This bra is super super comfortable and it breathes so well. At first I thought it was just a nursing bra, but after investigating it more I realized it also served as a breast pump bra! It allowed me to slip the flanges of my Ameda pump into the bra and have it become both hands free and modest. Two thumbs way up for this because I was able to pump on one side while holding or nursing L on the other.
15. NoseFrida snot sucker: Yes, you read that right... snot sucker! This is by far the grossest and most amazing contraption ever! I refuse to use it (barf!) but Mike is a Nose Frida pro. L caught a cold from me and Toby at 4 weeks and this thing was so so handy at helping him breathe. Don't worry, it has a little filter on it so nothing shoots into your mouth haha It's still disgusting, but SO effective! Best $15 we've spent I think.
16. Bibdanas: Since Linden spits up so much thanks to his reflux, we always have to have bibs handy. Normal bibs are too thin and wispy to actually catch any of the spit up if he's sitting up on his own or in his carseat. These bibdanas are perfect becasue they're adorably stylish while being super effective. Sophie made a couple and sent them to me a few months before Linden was born and I had no idea how handy they'd be. I want every single pattern she has! (She's over in Europe so that's why you see the prices like you do!)
I know this post was outrageously long, but hopefully you've found a thing or two useful for your future little one! These are great options for baby shower gifts, too! If you're a mama or a nanny, let me know what you'd consider your newborn essentials! Maybe there's something out there that I'm totally unaware of that could change our world! haha