Well, we survived Teddy’s first six months. That clearly makes us seasoned, been-there-done-that parents, right? I wish! However, I do have a few tried and true products that I would definitely recommend to new mommas.
I did leave a few things off of this list that are essential. First, if you are breastfeeding, you need a breast pump. I used the Medela Pump In Style but I hear great things about the Spectra S2. For our next baby, I will likely purchase the Spectra S2 as it is more mobile than the PISA since it is battery powered.
If you are a working mom, then you likely will need a pumping bag to cart around all of your pumping supplies and work essentials. I use to try to cramp everything in to one bag and then tried to carry two different bags. Pete bought me the Sarah Wells “Abby” breast pump bag for Christmas and I LOVE it! It has enough room to hold all of my pumping supplies (including the pump) as well as papers and other things necessary for work. It has two pockets on the inside that I believe are for bottles but work well for my coffee and water! There are also insulated compartments on the bottom so that you don’t have to carry an additional cooler for milk.
The other item that you clearly need is a car seat. You can’t leave the hospital without one. We purchased the Uppababy Mesa due to the compatibility with our stroller (see below) and the high safety ratings. It has idiot proof installation, that is of course after you locate the anchors in the backseat of your car, and is fairly easy to use. It is a little on the heavier side at 10 lbs but has added protection around the head. Overall, I think it is a great car seat. Whichever car seat you decide to go with, my biggest piece of advice would be that it easily snaps into and out of your stroller. Now onto the tried and true products that I love!
- A nursing nightgown and/or tank: I lived in my nursing nightgown for the first few weeks after Teddy was born. In fact, I left the hospital in the nightgown and just threw a robe over it. I thought it looked like a dress and I stand by my decision. The ruching on this one is incredibly flattering and perfect post-partum moms.
- Pack n play: When Teddy outgrew his bassinet, we moved him into his pack n play to keep him in the room with us. Since the AAP recommends keeping your baby in the same room (but not in the same bed) with you for the first six months, this was a lifesaver. It has a “bassinet” that basically keeps the baby up higher so that you aren’t picking them up off the floor in the middle of the night. We got one with a changing table and smaller bassinet but didn’t use those parts as much. We also still use this when we travel as his mobile crib!
- Solly baby wrap: I adore this baby wrap. Teddy was born in July in the south so I didn’t want to have a heavy wrap. The material for the Solly wrap is lightweight and stretchy. It was essential in getting things done around the house when he was a newborn. They have excellent videos online to help you figure out how to tie them. There is also a separate newborn tie for when they are itty bitty.
- Comotomo bottles: I did a ton of research before selecting baby bottles. Though these are a little more expensive, we ultimately ended up registering for and receiving these. They are designed for breastfed babies and Teddy easily went back and forth between the breast and these bottles. I personally liked that they had fewer parts to wash!
- Gowns: No one has time to snap up a baby onesie in the middle of the night! Or roughly a dozen times during the day. We had several gowns that we used the first few weeks that Teddy was home. They aren’t practical once you are out and about since babies need to be transported in a car seat but perfect for the first month when you are mainly at home.
- Water bottle with straw: For some reason, when Teddy starts nursing, I feel as though I have been stranded in the desert. This isn’t just me, right? I like the venti Starbucks tumblers since they keep drinks cold and have a straw. Really, any resilient water bottle will do.
- Footed zip pajamas: See #5. Avoid the snaps at all cost! I really like the Kickee Pants brand since they are soft and stretchy. We usually put Teddy in them when we travel so that he stays comfortable. I still buy zip pajamas whenever I see them on sale!
- Triple paste diaper cream: This is Pete’s contribution to the list! This is the diaper cream that he recommends to his patients. We also use this whenever we travel to prevent a diaper rash. Buy the jar, not the tube…
- Rock n play: This is where Teddy napped (and sometimes slept overnight) for the first three months of his life. This is easy to move around the house and also folds up for storage. It also has a small recline for babies with reflux. And it vibrates! What more could you want?
- Olababy spoons: One of my friends recommended these spoons and we love them! We gave them to Teddy around 4 months when he was teething and to get him use to it. We now use it to feed him and it works well.
- Uppababy Vista stroller: This was the largest purchase we made for Teddy. We got the “Henry” color, which is a light blue-grey color with brown leather accents. Its a little extra but we love it! It comes with a bassinet, which is what we used at night until Teddy started rolling over and we had to switch to his Pack n Play. Uppababy makes a bassinet stand that converts to a laundry hamper once you are done using it for the baby. The company really thought of everything when they designed this stroller! It rides well and is easy to get Teddy in and out of. Most importantly, the car seat literally clicks in and out of it. As if that wasn’t enough, it folds with little effort and stays standing once it has been folded. Okay, I’ll stop gushing over a stroller. But seriously, best baby purchase we made!
These are my essentials! We tried so many products but these have been the best! Do you have products that aren’t on this list that you can’t live without? Let me know!