Many moons ago, I had a newborn. Now my little baby is all grown up and will be a toddler in a matter of weeks. Excuse me while I start hyperventilating.
Okay, I’m back. Seriously, they grow up so freaking fast. In fact, I made this shortly after she was born, saved it and kept it in my drafts folder, thinking I’d post it later. Then, before I knew it, “later” became now, while I’m here planning her first birthday party. Whoops. But I’m sharing it with you now, which seems like perfect timing based on the amount of pregnancy announcements I’ve seen pop up in the past week or so. Hopefully it’ll help someone as much as these things helped me.
And now, for my top 10 newborn must-haves!
1. Diaper Bag.
You need one to hold allllll the crap stuff a baby needs when you’re not at home. If I could’ve, I probably would’ve tried to pack the kitchen sink in there. During those first few months you aren’t really sure what you’ll need when you’re out, so you’ll probably pack a couple of everything just in case you need it. Technically, I didn’t get a traditional diaper bag, but got this perfect stand-in from Kohl’s.
2. Yoga ball.
(This could possibly be eliminated if you have a one-story house, but if you have two-story home and don’t want to lug the swing/bouncer up/down every night, read on.) This was the only way my husband could eventually get our little one to sleep at night. He would hold her, whisper yell “SSSSHHHHHH” in her ear, and bounce. Bouncy, bouncy, bouncy, alllllll. night. long. It made her feel like she was still in my belly and eventually got her to sleep.
3. A Swing.
Oh, thank heavens our daughter liked the swing. It was sometimes the only way we could get her to nap during those early days. This is similar to the one we had—I loved that the seat turned into a detachable bouncer that vibrated. It also had a built-in white noise machine with multiple sounds.
4. Nipple Cream.
I must’ve tried a half-dozen different nipple creams and I hated all but. Motherlove was my absolute favorite because it wasn’t sticky, didn’t stink, and actually worked. They also have a diaper rash cream that worked like a charm. If you try this brand you won’t be sorry.
5. Pacifier Holders.
It’s amazing how quickly a pacifier can disappear! Buy stock in these if your little one uses a paci.
6. Ziploc bags.
Seriously, don’t leave home without at least one Ziploc in your diaper bag. You never know when a blowout will happen, and unless you want to throw away poopy clothes, you won’t have a place to put them. While you’re at it, make sure you get the kind that actually zips closed, because it’ll help keep things cleaner in the long run. Ziploc bags will be your best friend, promise.
We use this one and love it. When Julia was little she’d only calm down when we’d practically yell “SSSSHHHH” in her little ear. They like loud noises during that “fourth trimester,” so opt for a white noise machine that has consistent noise and doesn’t shut off after a certain amount of time. This one has several noise options, but we always use the “rain” mode. It’s also great, because you can plug it into the wall, or use it with batteries for traveling.
While we’re on the subject of blowouts (see number 6), always keep a spare onesie with you. It doesn’t need to be super cute, it just needs to cover them up. There’s something about a naked baby (while absolutely adorable), makes them seem so much more fragile, not to mention, cold. So if there’s a blowout situation, get some clothes on that baby!
I scoffed when I saw the price of these things and then swooned over them for the first several months. They’re technically blankets, but they make the best swaddles, amazing breastfeeding covers, a handy burp cloth, car seat coverup, and of course, the comfiest blanket around. I’m sure I’m missing several other duties for these guys, so feel free to chime in below. (Heh…I said “dooty”.)
10. A carrier.
This is a tricky one, because you need to find what works for you. My husband’s always loved the Ergo, but I’ve had a love/hate relationship with the Moby. What I do know is that having a carrier is a must-have, so shop around until you find one that works for both of you. (Moby was great when she was little, but as she got older I started using the Ergo more, and that’s the one I like now.)