Is a 2 month old a newborn still? What if she weighs 15 lbs already and sleeps in 6-9 month jammies? Regardless, 2 months into this whole parenting gig the second time around and I finally have time to share with you all my Top 10 Newborn Essentials. These are 10 things that make my life with a newborn much easier.
1. iPhone- I didn’t have an iPhone or any kind of smart phone with Kendall in the beginning. Oh, I didn’t know what I was missing! I remember begging Scott to set up a small TV in our bedroom after the first week because I needed *something* to do while I was up all night with him. I can’t even count how many late night infomercials I watched in those early months.
Now? I can read books, reply to emails, chat on Twitter, catch up on Facebook, and even blog all from my iPhone. Many days I don’t have time to crack open my laptop until naptime, but I can check in quickly on my phone throughout the day. Not to mention, I love that I have a camera and video camera with me at all times. Great for capturing those adorable and hilarious moments of life with a newborn and a toddler and sending them to distant family and friends. And the calendar and alerts features have saved me from having to remember all those doctor’s appointments.
2. A good pump- I didn’t pump much with Kendall because all I had was a manual pump, and it just didn’t work out for me. I’m really lucky nothing ever happened that would have made me rely on a freezer stash. This time around I have an AMAZING pump from Hygeia, and as a result, I have an ever-growing freezer stash of breastmilk.
Hygeia sent me the Enjoye electric double pump for free to review, and I started using it just a few days after we brought Leyna home. She refused to latch on to my left nipple after my milk came in, and I was fighting engorgement. Within 2 days I had 10 ounces in the freezer. This pump is SO efficient and SO easy to use, especially compared to the manual I dealt with with Kendall (no wonder I never wanted to use that thing!). I don’t know what I would have done without it. I always bust it out when I feel clogged ducts. So far, no full blown mastitis this time around!
A good pump is a necessity for any working mom who wishes to breastfeed, but even stay at home moms benefit from a pump. It’s always good to have an emergency freezer stash, and wonderful for that morning after the first night your baby sleeps longer than 4 hours and you think your breasts are about to explode.
The Hygeia Enjoye, unlike many other popular electric pumps, is a non-hospital grade breast pump registered with the FDA for multiple users. There is no risk of your milk coming in contact with anything a previous user’s milk touched if you get your own personal accessory set. It’s the “greenest” breast pump because it CAN be used by more than one mother, and when it comes to the end of it’s lifecycle, you can send it back to Hygeia and they will recycle it. As of this year, breast pumps and supplies are now tax deductible and you can use your flex savings account to get reimbursed for your purchase. So go get you a GOOD breast pump!
3. Bouncy Seat- We have quite a few baby apparatuses, and I babywear when I can, but the Fisher Price bouncy seat has seen the most use out of all of them. It’s where Kendall slept for a couple months and where Leyna now sleeps (propped up next to us inside her co-sleeper). It’s also lightweight, easy to move around the house, and a great place to lay baby outside the shower while you clean up, alternating scrubbing your hair and peeking out to check on them.
Plus, we’ve found our babies love to be bounced to sleep. As I type this, Leyna is in her bouncy seat on the floor in front of me napping while I gently bounce her with my feet. There are several designs to choose from. You don’t need anything too fancy, and the lighter, the better.
4. Moby Wrap- A lot of times, babies just want to be held, they want to be close to you. If you want to get anything done (dishes, makeup, going to the bathroom), you’ll have a lot more luck keeping baby close and being semi-productive with one of these. It’s simplicity was intimidating to me at first. It’s just a long piece of fabric you have to learn to wrap and tie a certain way, but once I figured it out, it was a breeze. Both babies loved being snuggled next to me in it. It’s also the only way I can go grocery shopping with both kids. Kendall sits in the front of the cart and Leyna snuggles in the Moby. When Kendall had colic, I could get him to calm many times by putting him in it and going for a bouncy walk outside. Sure, I looked a little silly, but it quieted the screams.
5. Flatfolds as Burp Cloths – All babies spit up, some a lot more than others. We’ve been pretty lucky that neither Kendall nor Leyna have been really messy in this department, but we still use the heck out of these Gerber cloths. They are technically old-fashioned cloth diapers, though I think they work much better as burp cloths and all around baby cleanup cloths. I keep a couple in my diaper bag, and we always have one floating around the living room. They do work as an extra diaper in a pinch, also great for cleaning up blowouts and blowing snotty noses. Down the road, they’ll make great house cleaning rags.
6. White Noise- When I met with Dr. Harvey Karp last week he told me a new study showed that babies who are swaddled and listen to white noise at night sleep on average an extra hour longer. An extra hour of sleep with a newborn is pretty close to winning the lottery. White noise was great for Kendall when colic was at it’s peak. We even kept CDs (similar to this one) of vacuum and hair dryer noises in both cars. But even beyond colic, he still sleeps with white noise every night from his Homemedics Lullaby Sound Spa. Since we still have the monitor on in his room and Leyna sleeps with us, we all end up listening to the same noises all night.
7. Swaddling Blankets- I’m a believer of the 4th trimester theory, that babies aren’t really *ready* for the world when they are born. I learned all about this in Dr. Harvey Karp’s Happiest Baby On The Block book. We found once we started swaddling Kendall, he calmed much quicker and slept longer. We didn’t hesitate to start this with Leyna. We swaddled her in these sweet Aden & Anais muslin blankets at first (love that they are lightweight!), and quickly moved her into the Miracle Blanket when she got a little bigger and stronger. I like to say the Miracle Blanket is woven threads of baby tranquilizers.
8. Primo EuroBath- We went through 4 different containers to bathe Kendall in, never really loving any of them. The first was a baby sling, which made me cringe. Maybe we were using it wrong, but all it seemed to do was hold his naked wet body up and out of the water. Didn’t look comfortable at all, and seemed incredibly cold. This time around a friend got the Primo EuroBath tub for us and I LOVE it. You use one side for tiny babies, then switch it around and sit older babies in the other side. For newborns, you can fill it just enough to let them be slightly submerged, and it keeps them in place in a reclined position. You can use it on a countertop, but we just keep ours in the kid’s tub.
9. Boppy- I use this primarily as a breastfeeding pillow, and while I’ll admit there are more supportive pillows for newborn breastfeeding (like the My Brest Friend), this is still my favorite over all. First of all, the Boppy is easy to use, no straps to deal with. It’s also multi-purpose. It’s great for tummy time, comfy for new moms to sit on when healing after delivery, and it makes an excellent neck pillow while traveling in the car. Make sure you get an extra cover for yours. I find I’m always washing mine.
10. Cloth Diapers- We’re cloth diapering a newborn for a 2nd time, and the love is still there. Again, we’re using Kissaluvs size 0 fitteds with Thirsties covers primarily. I’m sorry to say Sunshine Diapers no longer offers the Kissaluvs Newborn Rental package (epic sad!), but you can buy them used from places like DiaperSwappers, or buy your own new stash and sell them or loan them out when you’re done. I also tried a Fuzzi Bunz XS pocket diaper (sent to me for review at no cost) and quickly fell in love with it. They are more expensive than the fitted diapers, but very convenient and trim. I think they make a great addition to a newborn cloth diaper stash.
Of course, every baby and family is different, and what works great for me and mine may not be a good fit for you. These are just 10 things that make *my* life easier. Do you agree or disagree with any of them? Have any to add? I’d love to make this post a great go-to resource for expecting readers, so feel free to chime in in the comments!
Also, I’ve been working on an Amazon store and all the Amazon product affiliate links above go back to my store. You can find much more than my Newborn Essentials there, so give it a browse. Each product is one I’d feel confident recommending to anyone. I’ll add more to it as I have time. I should note if you purchase through those links, I get a tiny little percent.
Disclosure- Some of the products included in my Newborn Essentials list were sent to me for free to review. They truly earned their spot on this list, and I wasn’t paid to include anything.
Kendall is 2 years, 10 months and Leyna is 2 months old