Obviously as a first time Mom, I’m not an expert in childcare, but I do think that first time moms have a slightly different perspective and can relate better with other first time moms about what they really need – and really don’t need.
I was in this strange in-between position where I wanted to buy as little as possible, but I also wanted to have everything I needed without having to run out to the store in the few weeks after birth. If you are the kind of person who wants to buy every cool new baby thing out there, then this isn’t the post for you. I didn’t want anything unnecessary.
Of course, there are things on this list that you’ll need that are obvious and I don’t have listed… like carseat, crib, bed linens and blankets, and changing table. This list is comprised of the things that we got a lot of use out of in the first three months and really couldn’t have lived without.
TOILETRIES – I really go light in the area of toiletries. You have to keep your baby clean and diaper changed and that is about it. There are a few special circumstances that let to me having particular favorites.
Diapers: In the first three months, I had the opportunity to use all of the major diaper brands – Pampers, Huggies, Luvs, Parasol, and Honest co. My absolute favorite was The Honest Co. They didn’t leak nearly as much as the others, seemed to fit better around the legs, hold more, and are cute! Maeve’s legs are really tiny and she has a skinny waist, so the tighter fit around the legs was very nice. Pampers fit so loose around the legs that basically everything fell out. Speaking of things escaping the diaper…
Puppy Pads: This was the best piece of advice I received. Someone recommended that I lay down a puppy pad before changing the baby to catch any bodily fluids and it was a lifesaver. When poo shot out (like it will) I just held up the edge of the pad so that it caught the flying poo. Also if you have a baby who likes to pee every time they’re changed, this is be a godsend.
Bath: Originally, I registered for this infant bath, but it didn’t work. It didn’t offer nearly as much support in our giant farmhouse sink and was way too bulky for our small bathroom sink. I ended up buying the Boon 3-in-1 bath that is pictured above and it works wonderfully. It sits overtop of my kitchen sink, or sits in the tub. It takes up more space when not in use, but makes the bathing process great, so I overlook the size issue.
Bath Products: I LOVE Shea Moisture products for myself, and was excited to use their baby line. It’s as amazing as I was hoping. It smells fabulous, is really moisturizing, is all natural, and organic. It also rates super low on Skin Deep.
Calendula Cream: Maeve had some pretty bad baby acne and cradle cap on her head and in her eyebrows. Although the doctor said the acne would go away, it just kept getting worse and irritated. The California Baby Calendula Cream claims to be safe enough for baby’s face and so I gave it a go. It improved her face and head overnight. It smells a little strange, but worked so well.
CLOTHING – when it comes to clothes, you really do not need much. I know it’s fun to buy pretty things for the babe, but when they sleep 18 hours a day, it doesn’t make sense to change them in and out of a real ‘outfit’ at each nap. I bought a few things that I found myself using over and over and over (and over) again and that I prefer over anything else.
Sleepers – The L’ovedbaby sleepers are so so so soft and really cozy. She wears one of these basically every day. They are a little thick, so for the warmer weather, I preferred the Nordstrom Baby sleepers, like this leopard one. I have several patterns and they’re priced right ($19) and cute. I have three of the L’ovedbaby sleepers and two of the Nordstrom sleepers and I just wash and re-wear every day.
Gowns – Basically like sleepers, but with the easy access to the diaper. I love the L’ovedbaby gowns for ease-of-use in the middle of the night, but they do expose their legs to cold and obviously won’t work for the carseat (because the seat harness can’t go between the legs).
Sherpa Suit – It is 10x easier to put a baby in a suit than to put them in multiple layers of separates (jackets and warm pants). Since it’s been cold, I have put Maeve in this bear suit every time we leave the house. It’s so snuggly and so cute!
SLEEPING: Sleeping was my biggest fear before having Maeve. I didn’t want to create sleep associations, I wanted her to sleep in her crib, and I didn’t want to have too much non-useful things. Although so so so many people told me that the Rock’n Play was a lifesaver for them, it just isn’t my favorite. Not only does the baby not like it, but I’ve heard of people whose babies get so used to the Rock’n Play that they’ll ONLY sleep there… not something I wanted to encourage. Obviously if your baby has reflux and needs to be on an incline to sleep, the Rock’n Play comes in pretty handy. That wasn’t us. So, here is what ended up working very well for me.
Bassinet: I put Maeve in her crib to sleep from the beginning, but did have a bassinet in the living room for naps. I used the bassinet that came with my Uppababy Vista and I loved that she was able to lay flat, stretch out, and it was very versatile. Not only did we use it in the house, but it was awesome to have a lay-flat option with the stroller. I just didn’t like the idea of her being scrunched up in the infant car seat for a nap during a long walk, so I used the bassinet for anything longer than to just run in somewhere. I went on multi-hour walks and she slept so soundly. When I’d get home, I would just put the bassinet into the bassinet frame and she’d continue her nap indoors. I felt like I should mention that I was very hesitant about this set up before I had her because it was so pricey. If I didn’t use the bassinet, it wasn’t really worth the price tag. BUT, I ended up using the bassinet attachment for the stroller almost everyday. I’m so happy with it.
Monitor: There are so many really high tech monitors out there. I went with a Levana monitor that was inexpensive and it still has all of the perks I want. It turned out being wonderful and we love it. I also like that it has a light that lights up when she’s crying so that I can turn the sound down for sanity purposes, but still see the light flashing if there is noise. I also like that the resolution is really great and I can zoom in on her chest to make sure she’s breathing… because you know, first time mom over here.
Miracle Blanket Swaddle: This is the number one best thing I have used. I cannot say enough good things about the Miracle Blanket swaddle. My sister bought it for me and it’s the ONLY swaddle that she hasn’t been able to bust out of and it keeps her tightly contained and sleeping for long stretches. I like that there is no velcro or zips or anything scratchy or hard too.
Nursery Glider/Recliner – I have recommended this modern shaped recliner/glider to so many people in the last three months. I love that can recline in the middle of the night while I’m nursing, but can also just rock. Plus it’s the most non-ugly recliner I could find.
Infant Seat – Maeve didn’t like the swing, the bouncer, the rock’n play, or the mama roo. She loves this Baby Bjorn chair and I love that it folds flat and is super light and moves from room to room easily. When she flings her feet, she bounces. I think she likes that she can see what’s going on and isn’t laying down (although you can lay it down pretty flat if you’d like. It works for kids up to 2 yrs too. It’s my go-to for whenever I have to sit her down while I’m working or making dinner.
Although there are a few more things you’re probably going to want, these were my favorite and most used products! I hope you find this helpful!