I spent the weekend getting our bedroom ready for the baby. It was so satisfying to prepare these spaces that—while empty now—will soon be filled with our little love. As I’ve prepared, I’ve tried to remember what things I used the most with Valentine and what things got left in the drawer. Here’s my own personal list of newborn essentials ::
For those first few months, the clothing I really loved were kimono onesies and zippered sleepers. Both of these were so easy to put on and take off and I loved how cozy they are for a tiny baby. Other essentials: socks and beanies/bonnets (for colder months).
The Puj tub was a lifesaver for those newborn months. A newborn’s little body is so wobbly and fragile that I felt stressed trying to both hold the baby stable and wash her body at the same time. A Puj tub cradles the baby’s body perfectly and fits into almost any sink so that you have two hands free to wash the baby. Other essentials: a grooming kit, a mild soap for washing, coconut or olive oil for moisturizing, this eczema lotion for any breakouts and the smallest bottle of dandruff shampoo to get rid of any cradle cap that might show up.
Pampers were my favorite, but Luv’s were my favorite cheap option. At about six weeks, I switched to cloth diapers and preferred prefolds, covers and Snappis. Also, I used flannel wipes (washcloths, essentially) with a homemade solution in a spray bottle and I’m convinced this is the reason Valentine never had diaper rash a day in her life. Such a gentle option if your baby has sensitive skin! Other essentials (for cloth diapering): reusable trash can liner that can be thrown in the wash with the diapers, diaper wet bag for on the go.
A small bassinet that you can pull up to the side of your bed makes life about a billion times easier in the newborn phase. Whether it’s during the long hours of the night or just for a short nap, having your baby close beside you while you sleep does wonders for your state of mine. Also, when she’s ready to eat, you barely have to move a muscle in order to give her some food. Other essentials: swaddling blankets (these double as nursing covers and are soooooo worth the money) and baby monitor.
I don’t know what I would’ve done without the Boppy. It made nursing so much more comfortable and easy to do (FYI: nursing is hard at first), but I didn’t realize how versatile it was! While I was recovering during the first two weeks, I would sit on the Boppy because my bottom was so sore. Later, I used it as a pillow because it just seemed to cradle my head and shoulder in the perfect way. I have a serious attachment to this thing. Other essentials: Boppy cover, nursing pads (I hated the disposable nursing pads—it felt like wearing a pad on my breasts!), breast pump, nursing cover, water bottle (you get so parched when you’re nursing!) and a Kindle/Kindle app (it was nice to have something to read during all the hours I spent nursing—that much time on social media would’ve left me feeling depressed, I think).
Not essential for everyone, but definitely an essential for us! I still remember the day I first gave Valentine a pacifier: we had decided not to be paci people, but one afternoon when she was fussy and wasn’t sleeping for the fourteenth day in a row, I had a moment of weakness and found a pacifier at the bottom of one of her drawers of gifts. She instantly stopped crying and fell asleep. I never looked back. Other essentials: pacifier clip.
On the Go
Wearing Valentine in a carrier was such a win/win for us. She liked being held and slept well, even when I was grocery shopping or hiking with friends, and I liked being able to stay mobile and active. Also, I can’t imagine being able to do household tasks like cooking and laundry without a baby carrier. My favorites were the Moby (for the newborn stage) and the Ergo (because it was easiest on my back). Other essentials: car seat, stroller and diaper bag.
That’s honestly everything I can think of that I would deem an essential. What about you? What was essential for you during the newborn stage? Anything you’d add to the list? Anything you’d take away? Any questions or comments? Let me know!
(Top photo via Rummy Bears)