The SH!T We Couldn’t Live Without: 0-3 Month Survival Guide

The Absolute Essentials For Your Newborn Baby

 

Whew it’s taken me forever to finally finish this…mom life, amirite?

ANYWAYS…a little awhile ago I was hanging out with my lady squad (who are mostly also new moms but had their babies before me) and we were talking about how the first 3 months is just survival mode (in addition to being wonderful having the little bundle of joy in your arms). I mean, REALLY…it is. I had totally new eyes when it came to the mom thing after we got out of the first 3 months. It felt like we would be in that forever and my life would just be one big act to survive…but alas here we are at almost 6 months and I can say…IT GOT BETTER.

There is no amount of assurance that anyone can give you during that time because every time someone would say “I swear it gets better” or “the first 3 months are just survival mode” I just couldn’t even comprehend because every day felt like a 50 days in New Mom Time. But I do promise…it DOES GET BETTER. It’s just this constant juggling act between this is so awesome/omg I am so tired/this is so hard feelings. But you just have to survive….even when it feels like you can’t take one more cry or one more sleepless night. I felt like I might not at many points and wondered if I made a mistake…but now I look at the first 3 months like OH OKAY so that’s what everyone was talking about…IT DOES GET BETTER. I get to be that annoying person who tells other people that and they will be like YEAH RIGHT just like I did to my friends and then had to admit, afterwards, HEY YOU GUYS WERE RIGHT.

Anyways…I just wanted to share all the things that were part of our survival arsenal — all the crap we couldn’t have lived without during that hard newborn time or the things that just made life plain ol’ easier. Because even if I can just help one new mama by recommending something that works…that would make me so happy because it’s hard enough! See, look, I totally survived and she survived and everything is okay!!

 

 

First things first mamas-to-be…make sure you have an easy to use registry that encompasses a lot of things — it will save you a ton of time. We did the Amazon baby registry which was so freaking easy and great (plus you get some perks and a welcome package!) but we also did the Target registry because I was afraid some my older relatives wouldn’t be down with Amazon and would prefer to shop in store. The Target registry was great too (their welcome package was the best!) but I would have preferred to just stick to one…and honestly most people bought off the Amazon one anyways. BUT if, like me, you knew some people would not want to buy online…definitely add Target to your list! BOTH have an amazing completion discount program of a percentage off things that weren’t bought on your registry so that you can buy them cheaper and LET ME TELL YOU…that was tremendously helpful. We got a bunch of gift cards so honestly we barely paid any money for the remaining stuff.

So let’s really get into the nitty gritty of the stuff that helped us in the trenches of survival mode:

 

The things you can’t buy

 

1. Our village — okay this is something you can’t buy but I need to emphasize it. LET PEOPLE HELP YOU. I loathe asking for help but after my difficult birth/recovery and then with the severe PPD/PPA (you can read about all that here) we leaned on our village so much and I got over the whole refusing to ask for help thing– they brought meals and paper products, they let us sleep, they cleaned, they did laundry, they stayed with me when I was not well, they were available via text to answer my million questions.ย  That was THE MOST CRUCIAL ELEMENT in the newborn days. Lean on the people who love you. Let them help. It will help so much and honestly we wouldn’t have made it through that time without them.

2. A Bedtime Routine: One of the things that was hardest for me as a new mom was how chaotic everything felt in those days. No rhythm, I couldn’t control anything. I’m not really a super scheduled person but it really bothered me how chaotic things seemed. I also read how babies really thrive on routines. I’m not huge on being super scheduled (especially, for me, I wasn’t personally willing to do that with a baby so young) but I WAS totally on board for a bedtime routine so she could know what to expect next and we could have a nice calming time before bed that would relax her and make the witching hours not so bad. We started doing the bedtime routine after a few weeks and it was the best thing we could have done, I think. I will say she’s a pretty easy-going baby as it is but I feel like she loves going through our bedtime routine and over the first couple months we had to do less and less to get her to fall asleep….she just clearly wanted to be put down so she could get comfy and fall asleep. Anyways, our bedtime routine was bottle, bath, pjs/lotion, book (now it looks more like BOOKS as she’s gotten older) and then we swaddled her and did some rocking/sang our little bedtime song and then she was down. Establishing that little routine I think made bedtime get better and better.

3. Learning the concept of wake times: Like I said I wasn’t about doing a schedule so much as I wanted to follow her cues and I found the concept of waketimes which is basically that magical window of time your baby can stay up before they get overtired when awake. So there are a ton of charts out there if you google them that give you an approximate range of what your baby’s awake time should be before they need to be put down for nap. And ya know what? As soon as I started implementing that, with the exception of the witching hour(s) during the evening, things got SO MUCH BETTER. No more overtired baby who couldn’t sleep and got MORE overtired. I would watch her sleepy cues and would think about the time frame for her age and then put her down. Sometimes it takes a bit of tweaking to get it right (watching/learning your baby’s sleepy signs is key) but this was super helpful for me. And again, like above, it gave me some sort of structure to work with for the day without being uber scheduled (which if you like a schedule…do it! You gotta do what works for you and your baby…I’ve learned that she is super chill and I don’t need to be super strict while other babies might need more strict consistency).

 

The Books

Disclaimer: I didn’t always subscribe to every single thing in every single book…I kind of picked and chose the things that 1) seemed to work for Riley and 2) I was comfortable with.

I went through a period where I was so overwhelmed and sleep deprived that I tried to read ALL THE THINGS in books and the internet hoping I’d find the magic that would allow me to sleep. The result was feeling like I was even more confused because for every article/book that has the answers there is another one that completely refutes it. So by the time I was done I felt like I was going to mess up my kid no matter what. Eventually I just realized I needed to get to know my baby and figure out what I’m okay with doing sleepwise. Like, for example, I don’t ever want to have an elaborate rocking/bouncing/circus act to get my baby to go to sleep (been there, done that as a nanny) but I personally wasn’t willing to do CIO either. So I just found what worked for me. I got lucky with a pretty good sleeper who, when given the opportunity later on, would really fall asleep with little to no help. When she needs help sleeping, I help her by rocking or holding or rubbing her back. Even though SO MANY books say DON’T BRING BABY TO BED OR THEY WILL FIGHT THEIR CRIB, I learned that some mornings if she awoke too early and wouldn’t go back to sleep (or nights she was sick or just having a super hard time that no soothing would help) that bringing her to bed and safely co-sleeping was a good plan for both of us and she always went back in her crib just fine the next night. From those co-sleeping experiences I learned that I would honestly never WANT to co-sleep because I don’t sleep as well. It’s all about figuring out YOUR BABY and you…not adhering to what books or people on the internet say. That was freeing to me. I do a lot of things I “shouldn’t” and we are just fine.

 

THAT SAID…there were books I found super helpful and that I learned a lot from so I figured I’d share them.

 

1. The Happiest Baby On The Block: This book was so, so crucial for me. It considers the first 3 months of a baby’s life the 4th trimester! I found a lot of the soothing techniques to really work for Riley (although not always…sometimes there was no amount of ANYTHING that would help during the hours of 6-8). I did find the book to be a little redundant/probably didn’t need to be as long. But I really did like the information and find it helpful.

2. The Wonder Weeks: This was such a life-saver (though I think the price is a little too much for such a short book with some repetitive things). There’s an app (same name) that was also a lifesaver and I think you can be okay with just that but I got the book for free (it was an offer through the Amazon Registry when I was pregnant at least) and I liked the additional info you don’t get from the app. Basically in a baby’s life they go through some major MENTAL/DEVELOPMENTAL growth spurts (like a growth spurt but for their brains) and it can be hard for babies. The book & app tell you when, based on your baby’s due date, those will happen and what they are learning/going through, how you can help and what milestones and cool things to expect when they come OUT of the leap. It’s so funny because every time Riley gets a little “off” I look at the leap and I’m like YEP it’s leap time. Makes sense. She isn’t as cranky and hard as I know others babies to be during the leaps but I can definitely tell we are going through one.

Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child: I learned a lot about baby sleep from this one!

The No-Cry Sleep Solution For Newborns: Another good one I learned a lot from!

 

The Products/Services That Were Crucial

 

2. The Baby K’tan: I wish I would have put this on my registry so I had it from day 1 but I was super not into the wraps because they seemed difficult from the ones my sister had lent me to try out but LET ME TELL YOU….this was a gamechanger. For the first month especially Riley refused to nap anywhere except on me (which was totally fine when I was in the mood to binge watch tv) but when I wanted to do some things like fold laundry or take the dog out or something I needed my hands…but I also needed her to sleep. The K’tan IS SO EASY and she was so snuggled in it and slept like a peaceful little angel baby. It took a couple of times to practice with Will to make sure I had it but then it became so easy for me. Way easier than the other baby wraps I had tried!! The ONLY con to this one is that you have to base it on your t-shirt size (so meaning Will couldn’t use it). I sized down to an x-small and was happy that I did personally but you could try to see if it on if you join any local babywearing groups.

 

3. Structured carriers like the Bjorn & Ergobaby: when she got a little bit bigger (and if it wasn’t a time I wanted her to nap..because these weren’t as snuggly for her as the K’tan) I would put her in the Bjorn or Ergo. If I had to pick one I’d pick the Ergo because I think she looks more comfy in it but the Bjorn was honestly so much easier when it was just me at home to put her in so I did that most of the time when I was solo and just needed to take Finn out or something. The Ergo is a bit more difficult to put on and to figure out…for me at least. We bought the infant insert for the Ergo secondhand but barely used it…I think if we would have had it right away maybe we would have but we didn’t get it until 3 months and by that point we didn’t get much use out of it.

4. Halo Swaddle Sleepsack: Riley LOVED being swaddled and I swear she slept better that way because that Moro reflex always had her flailing about like a Muppet. We tried these swaddles that we really liked (but mostly ended up using for other things) but quickly realized that we SUCKED at swaddling (not even the videos on Youtube could help us burrito our baby perfectly) and it was no fun trying to reswaddle a million times a night. We had the Swaddle-mes which were nice and soft (some of my friends LOVED those) but she always broke free. BUT THE HALO SWADDLE SACK. Absolute game-changer, I tell you. She started sleeping longer and better once we got these ones. AND THEY WERE THE BEST FOR MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT DIAPER CHANGES. You only had to unzip and boom quick and easy diaper change. We had the muslin ones for summer, the cotton ones for in between and then when the weather turned REAL COLD we busted out the fleece ones (she still uses these now to keep her warm but she sleeps with her arms out since around 3 months when homegirl started to roll to her belly in her crib and only in her crib because she was SO determined to be a belly sleeper…which freaked me out at first but then she started sleeping longer SO sleep however your heart desires, baby girl!).

5. Marpac Dohm White Noise Machine // Dohm Portable White Noise Machine: I had read that white noise was great because it imitated the womb so-to-speak and I do think that was true…she was a baby who calmed with it and responding to “shushing” but OH MAN if you live in an apartment or small space or have other kids or a dog that barks or just want to not worry about making too much noise…YOU NEED THIS. We live in a small one bedroom apartment and this has been a LIFESAVER, not just as a calming sleep aid, but it blocks out UPS knocking on the door and us banging around and Finn barking at everything. We originally got the regular Dohm but left it at my sister’s when we had been over there p there so we ran out and got one at Target (the only one they had was the portable) and we like that SO MUCH BETTER because you can adjust the volume more (we don’t like it super loud but we put this one furthest away from her crib next to the door to help block sound coming from out in the living area). Looking back at it now I wish we had just registered for the 2 pack bundle on Amazon which includes BOTH of these!

 

6. Chicco Bravo Travel System: We went back and forth about what to get but I’m super happy we got this especially during the newborn times. I can’t tell you how easy it was to install for the most part and it was SO much easier to be able to put her in that and just click it into the base in the car rather than carrying her out to the car, putting her in the car seat and trying to buckle her in there. And like if she fell asleep in the car on our way to somewhere it was much easier to carefully take out the carseat and snap it right into the stroller. Especially now that it’s cold I appreciate being able to just open the car door and pop her in rather than freeze my butt off wrangling her into the carseat outside. We didn’t get the caddy but our friends did and I love that we will be able to use the stroller for years to come. We just got a convertible car seat (the Graco 4-ever) because it was on SUPER sale (like talking a $400 car seat for $100…thank god Will follows deal sites) and we were like this is so awesome that she could use this forever basically and we were deciding if we should have started with this and nixed the convertible seat but then we talked about just how convenient it was when she was an itty bitty and, though it sucks that they grow out of it, the convenience factor made us realize we would have hated having the convertible seat from the get go.

Graco Playard Pack & Play Nearby Napper: So being that we live in a small one bedroom apartment we really wanted things that could be useful in many ways and we were trying to cut back on the amount of baby gear we had. We knew we would want a pack n’ play anyways but this one came with a bassinet (that could also turn into a rocker also) and had a changing table. It saved so much space to have this. While she definitely grew out of the bassinet quickly (she’s in the 99th percentile for height sooo) we still are using it as a changing table. It was so nice to be able to take the bassinet in and out of the things. As a sidenote, we recently used the actual pack n’ play on her first overnight and she slept 12 hours straight in it (for the first time EVER..go figure!). Highly recommend getting the quilted sheet for it…it seemed to make it so much more comfortable!

Fisher Price Premium Rock N Play: So my aunt generously sent this to us when Riley was itty bitty and not sleeping because she said reviews said babies slept in it great but I wasn’t personally so keen on using it for night sleep (that is zero judgment if you do…gotta do what you gotta do) HOWEVER…it was a lifesaver for naps in the beginning and for the times she would wake up at like 5 or 6 in the morning (when it’s harder for them to get back into deep sleep) and I just wanted her to sleep for a little longer. It’s like baby magic.

Infant Optics Video Monitor: We really didn’t know if we’d use this being that we are in a one bedroom apartment because clearly we are definitely within earshot BUT we figured hey we will hopefully have a house soon anyways. We ended up using this early on because as soon as she started sleeping in her bassinet regularly we liked to be able to see what she was doing because we quickly learned that she would cry out in her sleep and previously we would go rushing in like OMG OMG WE ARE HEEEERE. And then we realized we were actually waking her up sometimes. We still use this at night even being in the same room as her (we have a divider sort of setup) so that we can SEE if she’s actually up or just crying/making noises in her sleep. We just put it on mute and can peek at it without actually getting out of bed to look. I will say the only thing about this is the temperature reader thing is NOT accurate. It’s definitely like 4-5 degrees hotter than our apartment says it is.

Best Baby Monitor With Video

 

Seventh Generation Coconut Care Diaper Cream: Oooh man this stuff is great and I can honestly say I’ve changed a lot of diapers in my life as a nanny and used many different diaper creams. There was a 2-3 week period of HELL when Riley’s digestive system decided that it needed her to poop at EVERY feeding. Every. Single. Feeding. It was terrible…but even worse for her poor little booty. This diaper cream was literally the best. We were slathering it every time and, what started out just beginning to get red, never went any further. No terrible diaper rash for her to scream about! Also super recommend the Seventh Generation Wipes….we’ve tried SO MANY wipe brands but these and the Kirkland brand are our fave.

LED Touch Light: This is weird you might be thinking, I KNOW. But honestly we joke that this might have been the best purchase we made. So, in order to help Riley to learn that day was day and night was night (because their circadian rhythms are like super whacked) we tried to keep the light dim and quiet when we had night wakings…but all of our lights are super bright. We got this and we would put this on super low during diaper changes and feeding and anything else we might need to do at night. So instead of stumbling around in the dark or having it feel like it was the middle of the day in there, this adjusts AND has a switch for a more warm light or a more blue-ish light.

 

 

 

Sleep gowns: Sleep gowns are THE BEST for the middle of the night diaper check or change…especially in you have a night pooper like we did for 2-3 weeks when she was pooping every feeding. I don’t have the time or patience (neither does she) for zipping or snapping. We now will use zipper/snapper pjs because she sleeps mostly through the night and honestly she isn’t too bothered by a pee diaper like she was as a newborn. I don’t know that I would have used the sleep gowns in the winter though because they were a little thinner than the other types of jammies but maybe there are warmer ones than the ones we had. We liked the Carter’s ones and this brand called Luvable Friends that you can get on Zuilily or Amazon. The Cat and Jack and Child of Mine sleep gowns were not as soft and not as stretchy so it was a battle getting them on her and she would scream and flail when normally she was pretty good about getting dressed.

 

Skip Hop Baby bathtub: This is probably something basic that you will want to get anyways but Riley LOVED the bath from day 1 and we quickly realized that it always calmed her so our routine for handling the evening fussy hours were by taking a walk when it was still nice and then we’d come back and give her a bath (on days we didn’t wash her it was just a little water bath). It became part of our bedtime routine because of how much of a calming activity it was for her and made our nights suck less. Will and I went back and forth on what kind to get. I wanted one that would store easy (I looked at a bunch of collapsible ones) and he liked the idea of a sink one but I didn’t because I didn’t feel like either of our sinks would be conducive. We settled on this one because it had different stages of use AND it had a hook so we could hang it for easy storage. Our bathtime essentials: The Honest Company soap/shampoo, these super soft washcloths, hooded towels (so cute!) and this lavender lotion for after bath.

 

 

Ubbi Diaper Pal: I was nervous about a diaper pail smelling up our small one bedroom apartment but this completely seals it in…plus NO SPECIAL PRICEY BAGS. You literally can use normal trash bags which was a plus for me considering how quickly we fill the bags up…especially during the newborn days.

Temporal Thermometer: So rectal thermometers are absolutely the most accurate and best (we have this one which I like) but I don’t want to stick that thing up her butt every time my paranoid new mom self thought maybe she has a fever (she only did once). I definitely use the rectal one when she’s sick or when the temporal shows more elevated than normal but this at least helps ease my mind.

Amazon Prime: LET ME TELL YOU. I have never been more thankful for my Prime subscription than after having Riley. So many random baby things we’ve needed that we just one-day it rather than having to go out and get it. You think you have everything you need and suddenly you are like OH MAN WISH WE HAD THIS or WE NEED TO REPLACE THIS. Plus if you get Prime then you also get Amazon Family which is suuuuper helpful — you can subscribe to baby stuff and get discounts on stuff you buy regularly (diapers!!!). Really good deal and helpful…sometimes we’ve found really great exclusive discounts on stuff through that!

 

Cool Mist Humidifer: Oh man Riley’s first cold around 3 months was not fun. Poor stuffy little thing. This thing was going all night and during naps to help her. Also related: this snot sucker is the most bizarre thing but works amazing though Will says to mention that I only think it’s great because I don’t have to normally be the one to do it…he says he’d prefer electric one. So take that for what it’s worth haha

Goumikids Mittens: Riley as a newborn always looked like she got in a fight with Wolverine because she could not keep her hands off her face. These mits helped so much!

Backpack Diaper Bag: So originally this was Will’s pick for his diaper bag and we have run this thing into the ground already. I have a more traditional diaper blog I will talk about later on but this thing has been clutch. It has so much room and makes going places with her and her ton of crap easier.

 

 

Nursing Things

Soooo I had to stop nursing pretty early on for mostly mental health/recovery reasons (I could probably write a whole post on that) but honestly, even without my issues, nursing is HARD…nobody told me that. I was literally not prepared. I assumed I would just pop her on and that would be that. NOPE. It was not easy. The PPD/anxiety did not help I’m sure but I went to multiple lactation consultants and talked to sooo many friends who came out of the woodworks like OMG I HAD THE HARDEST TIME. So I’m just going to say….it can be hard, my friend. It’s taken me a long time to come to terms with the fact I didn’t get to go through with my plan of breastfeeding her but I will say, during that time that I could, there were some things that were absolutely life-saving.

My Brest Friend nursing pillow: I know people love the Boppy pillow for nursing and I had one but then bought this and found this SOOOO much easier. I wish I had it day 1. So much of my problem at first was positioning (in addition to latching) and this helped so much.

Medela Double Pump: This pump was awesome…I mean, as awesome as pumping can be. Spoiler alert: it’s not fun. But this thing was super efficient and easy to use once we learned how to do it. We got ours free through insurance so definitely check and see if you can as well!

Organic Boob-ease Nipple Balm: OH EM GEE. The pain, oh the pain while you are trying to get the hang of it and a correct latch. I tried the stuff in the hospital but then my sister came bearing this and it changed it. I would slather it on after every nursing session and I really didn’t have much cracking or blistering anymore.

Pumping Bra: Multi-tasking hard core! I could actually eat for once with my hands free while pumping!

 

Tummy Time Life-savers During The First 3 Months

 

Infantino Mirror: The day that we put this mirror out was a game-changer for tummy time because she was FASCINATED by herself. I mean, she still would only tolerate it for a short period of time at first but this helped so much. Now she loves tummy time (although now that she can sit unassisted I see her preferring that)

Best Tummy Time Mirror

Boppy Pillow: So while I really didn’t love the Boppy for nursing I LOVED it for some tummy time sessions. I found a great blog that had some awesome tummy time suggestions (lots of stuff on Pinterest too) and she had some really great tips on how to use it to make tummy time more enjoyable. She said not to use it for every tummy time sesh because the baby needs to experience it without the Boppy but it was a good one to help them be able to reach before they had the strength to push themselves up. Riley definitely got more used to tummy time and would love when I would put a shallow pan of water in front of her (very supervised obviously) so she could move her hands in it.

Other things we thought were really good buys:

 

 

Babyletto crib: Because we are in a one bedroom we couldn’t have a huge crin so we found this one and it’s such a space-saver (regular sized crib sheets don’t fit it but we got these from Babyletto). She transitioned pretty early to the crib since it was in our room like 5 feet away from me (and she’s in the 99th percentile for height so she outgrew the bassinet quickly). If you have a small space, this is the way to go for a baby crib!

Play mat: She used to love looking and batting at the toys on her play mat. I didn’t really want a whole lot ofย  chairs and bouncers and stuff because I personally think limited time in that stuff is the way to go so she did lots of tummy time and play mat time which was such a relief when she started laying there solo for 10-15 minutes I was like OMG WHAT IS THIS THING? Oh yeah it’s called time. I have like 15 whole minutes to myself to drink some tea and watch her play.

Dr. Brown’s Bottles: Riley took to these immediately (I had started with the preemie nipples because I had heard the flow was more like that of the breast for newborns) and we’ve been impressed with them. Ugh can’t wait until we don’t have to use bottles anymore…bottle washing is no fun.

Boon Drying Rack: Love this thing! Pro tip: be sure to clean the underneath weekly so it doesn’t get moldy!

Skip Hop Diaper Bag: I love this thing even though I don’t use it as much as we use the backpack diaper bag above. I typically use this when I’m going out by myself with her for a short period of time because it’s stylish. I didn’t want a diaper bag that was too massive or diaper bag looking if that makes sense?

 

I will say we probably could have lived without a bottle sterlizer (seriously save your money!) and I’m glad we didn’t get a bottle warmer.

 

So there you have it…if you made it through that long list, THANK YOU! I know it can be hard to figure out what you should actually put on your baby registry but these were honestly the things that helped us get through the newborn days which are full of joy and struggle and sleep deprivation and baby snuggles and all sorts of new stuff if its your first. Enjoy it. I used to roll my eyes when people would say that…but it REALLY does go by faster than you can imagine even if some day seem neverending. I’m super happy to answer any questions you might have! And mamas…share your MUST HAVES to survive the newborn days!!

 

 

[Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links which means that if you click on a link and purchase something I’ve talked about or recommended, Iโ€™ll receive a very small percentage of the sale. Please see my disclosure policy for more info.]

Save it for later:

The Essentials To Surviving (and Enjoying) The Newborn Days

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
About Jamie

Jamie is a 32 year old married lady (with a new baby!!) who is in denial that she's actually that old to be a married lady and a mom. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, belting out Hamilton (loud and offkey) and having adventures with her husband, daughter and rescue dog.

Comments

  1. This is so cool of you to put together!! I totally felt like I had to have 999 things when I had Cole, but then really only was IN LOVE with like 10 of the things we thought we NEEDED. But back in 2007 there weren’t all the blogs and social media sharing things to get the advice that there is now. I kind of just had to rely on the few friends that I had that had babies (and that was like 2 of them haha). Anyway, I LOVE the white noise machine idea!! I wished I knew that was a thing because my kid was the LIGHTEST sleeper in the entire world and I would OBSESS about noises.

    One book that I really relied on was Baby 411. It’s sort of like a how-to book for newborns and answered basically every health/feeding question I ever had. It also made me realize that a blister near my son’s diaper area wasn’t because of the diaper rubbing and was actually a staph infection and I rushed him to the hospital before things got bad– so yeah, I believe in that book ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Oh my gosh, THANK YOU! My hubby and I are going to start trying for a baby, and so I’ve been slowly doing some research… this is the most helpful guide I’ve come across. I really appreciate hearing it from a recent new mom. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • YAY I’m so glad it was helpful for you! I found it so hard to wade through reviews and all the lists from all the places and honestly half the stuff they say you “NEED” I didn’t find that we NEEDED. I’m here if you have any questions when that time comes ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Thank you for doing this! I’m totally saving this for when I have kids!

    • YAY! It’s so hard to wade through all the lists of what you “NEED”…we tried to be pretty minimal and did a lot of research and crowdsourcing from our friends but OOF wish I had a list from someone I trusted/knew a bit!

  4. I couldnt agree more with these! all the right gear and definitely having the right people to help is just as important!

  5. I’m in love with this post! I’ve been following your blog for a couple years and I love coming here for book recommendations, list posts, and such. But, I’m expecting my first little one next month (a baby girl around Valentine’s Day!!) and so I couldn’t be more thankful for posts like these. It also helps me remember certain items that might have slipped my mind, like mittens!

  6. Fiona Rodrigo says:

    Wohaaa this must have taken some effort to compile. I Have shared the article on twitter and send it to two of my friends who are expecting a kid. Thank you and an awesome article.

  7. I had the Ka’tan and the ergobaby carriers with my girls and they worked sooo well. I pretty much needed them to live lol

  8. I love your advice on the things you can’t buy – I feel like these are the things I don’t know about!

  9. Thanks for taking the time out of your busy mom life to write this! I’m not a mom, but I have a HUGE amount of respect for those who are…I honestly don’t know how you do it!

  10. This just expanded my “Auntie To-Buy” list for my upcoming niece/nephew!

  11. All of these items is essential with newborns. One thing that I have learn with my sister having children always have a lot of diapers and spare clothes.

  12. Congratulations on surviving, it sounds so hard! I canโ€™t believe how much stuff you need for a tiny baby! So pleased you received you most of them as gifts.

  13. That family photo is just adorable! Great list for new moms! ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. It’s crazy how fast those first few months go by and yet while you’re in them the seem to be so long since there are so many sleepless nights and like you said it’s total survival mode. I didn’t read any of the parenting/baby books but I had many of the same or similar products on my must-list for our son.

    PS your daughter is adorable!!

    xo, Laura
    http://www.have-need-want.com

  15. Yes to so many of these things. Especially the Baby Bjorn and Pack and Play.

  16. Valuable read! I used the wonder weeks app too! Loved it x

  17. We used very similar things, my daughter hated the sleep sack and hated being swaddled lolll. That fisher price rocker was such a life saver, i think it was the best investment ever. I also felt the diaper pale is so amazing, we still use it till now. One thing i got that was a waste was the white noise thing. For some reason it never helped her sleep. We had to play youtube baby sleep music lol

  18. I wish I had this article when my little girl was born. Would of helped me prepare a bit more!

  19. I think this is a very helpful post to new moms. Sometimes the society sets such high unrealistic expectations, but no one ever prepares you for the reality of bringing your little bundle of joy home. Survival mode is real when all of a sudden they become two … ๐Ÿ˜€

  20. Jamie, I LOVED reading this! I’m a little over 6 months pregnant at the moment, and even though I’ve completed my registry, I found some new things that I would love to add (and also some that I already have in there!). I’ve constantly heard how much breastfeeding sucks, and I’m starting to wonder if I want to at all… I may just pump and bottle feed the breast milk, at least that’s what I’m toying with lately. I have the Medela pump already! I’m praying and praying for a good sleeper, because I think that is one of the things I will sorely miss – my sleep!!

    • Oh congrats!! How exciting! Are you having a girl or boy (or did you not want to find out?). Let me know if you have ANY questions about any of this stuff or mama stuff in general. I could not have gotten through it without my mama tribe.

      I think the thing about breastfeeding is that everyone makes it seem like its the most natural thing in the world and then when reality sets in it makes it HARD to deal with. I wonder how things would have been different had I not had the PPD/PPA because I think I would have stuck with it but gone to more session with the lactation consultant. I highly recommend that. I still feel pangs of guilt and sadness when I’m feeding her sometimes because I know she’s happy and healthy but I really wanted to breastfeed. I say try it and then have a plan (like the exclusive pumping) that you are okay with if it isn’t for you. HIGHLY recommend looking into lactation consultants ahead of time and also make sure you have them come to your room int he hospital. The pumping definitely could work (my sister did it for a long time) but (and this could be the PPD/PPA that made it harder for me) I got so flustered by it and it was very time consuming. BUT again…take everything I say with a grain of salt because I clearly wasn’t in my right mind so I probably made everything seem harder. THere are groups on Facebook and good resources online if you do go the exclusive pumping route that seemed really helpful when I was sorting through all that. Hopefully breastfeeding won’t be super hard for you if you give it a go! I know people who really didn’t have a TON of problems after the first couple weeks/going to see a lactation consultant. I just like to be honest because nobody prepared me for how much of a learning curve there is for you and the babe. I wish I would have taken the breastfeeding class that was offered at my hospital beforehand but instead I was like what can they teach me…there’s no real life baby. But now I think maybe having information first instead of winging it might have helped lol. I thought I would just plop her on and that would be it…maybe some sore nips here and there but that’s it. But definitely invest in a good nursing pillow and get that Boobease stuff because that will help so much. And if you go the pumping route (exclusively) you will NEED that bra so you can actually do things while you pump!

      Good luck to you!! Please, seriously, don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions or just want to talk to another mama or ask IS THIS NORMAL kind of questions! Here for you! <3

      • Thank you so much!! We’re having a boy! We just had to find out, as soon as possible, because we’re impatient lol so we went and got a 4D ultrasound at 14 weeks! I can’t believe that, now, I’ve only got 15 weeks to go! It’s becoming so dauntingly real…in the best way possible though!

        I will definitely look into a lactation consultant beforehand – I never would have thought to do that! My boyfriend isn’t real into me breastfeeding, and the more I think about it, the more I may just want to strictly pump, but like I said, I’m going to try it and see what sticks, so to speak! I’m really trying to just do things as they go, and not stress over anything. As long as he’s healthy, that’s all that matters! I know that sometimes I can set myself up for failure by expecting way too much, so with this, I’m trying not to give myself anxiety about just how wrong everything can go if I have a set plan.

        I will for sure reach out if I have any questions! It’s so nice to have a club of moms who have done this before at your disposal! Luckily, a lot of my friends, too, have had babies before me, and I’ve also joined a FB group of mommas who are all due around the same month(s) as me, and most of them have had kiddos before. It’s really awesome to go there with a question and get lots of feedback about pregnancy or babies in general!

        But thank you again!! So exciting to see you and Riley grow and thrive, and I love seeing pictures of her on your instagram! She is truly a gorgeous child! <3<3<3

Comment Policy:

Thank you so much for reaching out to me via comment. Seriously, it makes my day. I appreciate and read EVERY SINGLE comment. I do try real hard to reply to comments but I'm not able to do so daily and sometimes I get very behind because...well..life. You know how it goes sometimes! If I haven't replied back to you, feel free to tweet me so we can chat further as sometimes that is easier for me to get to when I'm on the go!

Speak Your Mind

*