One of my good friends is having her first baby! (A girl). (Yay!). She called to ask me what I couldn’t live without when I first had my babies, so I’ve put together a few lists to share with her and decided to share them with you, too! I used so many different products that I either bought or was gifted by our lovely friends and family, so paring it down to just the “essentials” was tough, but here’s what I relied on the most.
- The First Year’s Infant To Toddler Tub with Sling (We bathed our babies at least twice a day every day and couldn’t have done it without the nifty sling in this great tub that fits in your sink. Really saves your back, too!)
- Johnson’s Baby Bath Head To Toe Baby Wash and Johnson’s Baby Wash Moisture Care Enriched with Baby Lotion or try Mustela PhysiObébé No-Rinse Cleansing Fluid and Mustela 2-In-1 Hair & Body Shampoo if you prefer something fancier.
- Skip Hop Dash Deluxe Diaper Bag (I had two different Dante Beatrix bags and now, 2.75 years later, the bag that’s won out as the handiest and lightest is Hubby’s bag).
- Huggies Little Snugglers Diapers (These have a nifty notch cutout to go around your baby’s umbilical stump, plus there’s a wetness indicator line).
- Desitin Clear Multi-Purpose Ointment (All you need is a wetness barrier and this is basically nice smelling Vaseline – no need for any fancy stuff).
- Carters Keep Me Dry Flannel Lap Pads (Get the large and small sizes, which work great for spit up messes, feeding messes and just plain old messes).
- Trumpette Mary Jane Socks (The only socks that will stay on a newborn’s feet).
- Organic Baby Kimono Set (The brand doesn’t matter, but forget anything over the head when your newborn can’t even hold her head up and it’s impossible to dress her without worrying you’ll break her little neck).
- Carter’s Basic Short Sleeve Side Snap T-Shirt (Lots of snaps, but such an easy way to avoid the neck problem and it works as a great layering piece).
- Carter’s Sleep & Play Footie Pajamas (These are great for sleep and play. Hence, the name!)
- HALO SleepSack Micro-Fleece Wearable Blanket (Our turn of the century house couldn’t keep our little ones warm enough and these were perfect. Plus, when they spit up, you don’t have to change their entire outfit – just the sleep sack!)
- HALO SleepSack 100% Cotton Wearable Blanket (If you live in a warmer climate, these are better to avoid the risk of overheating and SIDS).
- Gerber Flannel Burp Cloths (The ones by Swaddle Designs are supercute, but they’re more expensive and really any burp cloth will do).
- Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump (If you’re not investing in an electronic breast bump, this one is super easy).
- Gerber First Essential Clear View BPA Free Plastic Nurser With Latex Nipple (9 Ounce) (Your baby might be entirely breastfed, but mine weren’t! I tried every bottle on the planet and turns out that these basic, cheap ones worked the best – plus they were the easiest to carry and clean).
- Gerber First Essential 3 Pack Clear View BPA Free Plastic Nurser With Latex Nipple (5 Ounce)
- Philips AVENT Microwave Steam Sterilizer (Caveat: I found this to be “essential” with Jane and completely a waste of counterspace with Sam).
- SwaddleDesigns Ultimate Receiving Blanket – Pastel Pink with Brown Mod Circles (These blankets are lightweight enough and large enough to get the perfect swaddle).
- Carter’s Swaddle Blankets (Hubby – aka Master Swaddler – preferred these for their softness and weight).
- Graco Pack ‘N Play Playard with Bassinet (Although everyone does it, I personally wouldn’t leave a brand new baby in it for fear of suffocation, but if you’re keeping a close watch, this is great for your baby to rest or play in).
- Graco Pack ‘N Play Sheet
- Angelcare Baby Movement and Sound Monitor Deluxe Plus (You can monitor your baby’s activity to avoid SIDS with the movement pad and listen in on her gurgles through two different audio monitors. Caveat: I didn’t use the movement pad even though a well-meaning relative gifted it to us, but I did love the monitor).
- BreathableBaby Breathable Safer Bumper (This is great to keep baby’s arms and legs out of the crib slats and protect against suffocation, unlike the softer, cushier bumpers).
- Vulli Sophie the Giraffe Teether (A bigger hit with my son than daughter. Also, label yours since everyone has one).
- Lamaze Celeste Play & Grow (Check out the whole line for your favorite one – we also like Kerry the Fairy).
- Fisher Price Rainforest Peek-A-Boo Leaves Musical Mobile (My daughter still uses the music box on its own every night).
- Tiny Love Move and Play Gymini with Adjustable Arches (The best thing about this gym is the adjustable arches – nothing else like it on the market!)
- Fisher-Price Hoppy Days Bouncer (Great for self-burping and just checking out the scene).
- Chicco Keyfit 30 Infant Car Seat (Gets great safety ratings).
- Chicco Cortina KeyFit 30 Travel System (Just dump the car seat into the stroller and you’re ready to go. It’s bulky – and not uber fashionable – but really convenient and one of the few fully-reclining strollers).
- BABYBJÖRN Baby Carrier Original (Worked better for Hubby).
- Ergo Baby Carrier Black with Camel Lining (Worked better for me).
- ERGObaby Infant Insert Heart2Heart
New Mom Essentials
- Bebe Au Lait Nursing Cover (I love the Yoko pattern).
- Lansinoh Disposable Nursing Pads (Prevent unsightly leakage stains).
- Lansinoh HPA Lanolin (Breastfeeding might be natural and lovely and all that, but it hurts).
- Mom’s The Word Camisole (This is the best stretchy tank ever! I wore them during and for years after my pregnancies).
- Ingrid & Isabel Women’s Maternity Everyday Bellaband (Wear pre-pregnancy and post-pregnancy clothes longer).
- Medela Sleep Bra (Super comfy, but not supportive).
- Medela Seamless Nursing with underwire (Many people advise avoiding underwire, I advise avoiding droop).
- Medela Seamless Soft Cup Nursing Bra (If you insist on avoiding underwire).
- Nathan Stainless Steel 700 mL Flip Straw Bottle (Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate).
- MiraLAX 30-Day Laxative Powder (Safe and necessary).
- Boppy Bare Naked Pillow (I didn’t have a Boppy the first time around because I thought it was a silly accessory that was a waste of money. I was so wrong!)
- Boppy Soothing Slipcovers (The cotton ones aren’t very soft; try the flocked ones).
- Dante Beatrix Diaper Bags (Beautiful, but I’ll admit – some of them (not all!) are less than practical).
- Japanese Weekend 3/4 Sleeve Nursing Wrap Top Pajama Set (You don’t need this brand, but having nursing pajamas or tops is so helpful during late night feedings).
- Aquatopia Deluxe Safety Bath Thermometer Alarm (Hot water is hot. If you haven’t figured that out, you probably shouldn’t be having children).
- Prince Lionheart Ultimate Wipes Warmer (Go ahead, raise a sissy).
- The First Years Babypro Quick Serve Bottle Warmer (We were gifted one and it was so much easier to just use hot water, the microwave or leave the milk/food out).
- Playtex Diaper Genie Elite Diaper Disposal Pail (It’s nice to have, but a pain to change and keep clean. We’ve stopped using ours).
- Playtex Diaper Genie II Refill (Another added expense).
Hospital Packing List
- Dear Johnnies Hospital Gown & Robe (I had 5 gowns over the 2 pregnancies! They make you feel like a million bucks when your body is taking the journey through hell and back).
- Lipgloss (not just because you’ll want to look nice in pictures, but your mouth will dry out).
- Phone + charger
- iPod + iPad + music + DVDs + chargers
- Camera + video camera + chargers
- Laptop + charger
- Pen + paper (you might want to write your baby a letter or take notes)
- Photos of family/friends/things you love (to use as focal points or help you through the process)
- List of friends and relatives to e-mail and call (draft your announcement e-mail well before your due date, including filling in the e-mail addresses, so you don’t have to think about it at the hospital)
- Cord blood kit (if you’re using one)
- Snacks for your partner (labor is loooong and a hypoglycemic partner isn’t very helpful)
- Your birth plan (that is, if you have one … my plan was just to get the baby out!)
- Hair ties + head bands (you’ll be having the workout of your life)
- Toothbrush + toothpaste + breath mints
- Soap + shampoo + conditioner
- Brush + hair dryer + styling aids + styling tools (okay, that last one is just for you primp-y mamas)
- Deodorant + razor
- Creams + lotions
- Makeup (if you’re so inclined … you can guess what camp I’m in)
- Glasses + contact lens case and solution + spare pair of contacts
- Underwear (or better yet, steal a few pairs of the stretchy mesh ones the hospital provides).
- Soft, comfy clothes for your hospital stay (that is, if you didn’t bring your Dear Johnnies gowns!)
- Nursing bra
- Flip flops (your feet will swell after delivery, so even if you were able to wear regular shoes before going in to the hospital, you won’t be able to coming out)
- Socks (your feet may get cold during labor – but keep in mind that after a certain point, there will be fluid running down your legs, so socks might not be the best idea then)
- Cute change of clothes for the day you go home
- Baby’s going home outfit x 2 (there inevitably will be some sort of accident right when you want a nice photo)
- Newborn diapers (although the hospital will provide some)
- Carseat (don’t forget a blanket if it’s cold)
The Outlaw Mom (TM) Seal of Approval: I have owned, tried and tested each and every one of these fabulous products and trust me, they will not let you down!