Ten baby essentials you didn't know you needed

Ten baby essentials you didn't know you needed

I've subscribed to all the baby newsletters. I've read countless forums, blogs, and am on WebMD frequently in the middle of the night trying to diagnose baby's various ailments. I've read the Mayo Clinic Guide to Your Baby's First Year from cover to cover. I even took careful inventory of all the baby clothes that were handed down or gifted to us, trying to keep up with this list of undershirts, pants, and socks that my baby has never worn. (New exhausted parents won't be interested in pulling that cute little shirt over your baby's head just to change it a minute later when he spits up on it!)

As a result, I've put together a different list of mom & baby essentials that I didn't know I needed  the less commonly mentioned things that have made life easier.

I have been using these items with the advice from my own medical professionals, but please consult with your own doctors and nurses!

1. Snap footie outfits. Lots and lots of them.

Search online for "snap footie," "zip footie", " or "sleep and play."
These are seriously ALL that my baby has worn in the first two months and counting.
They are so easy to put on (and take off after baby pees on it immediately after). Opt for breathable cotton footies for spring and summer, or fleece footies if you have an autumn or winter newborn and live in a cooler climate.

If your baby is under 8 pounds or 21ish inches, you will definitely want newborn things; ignore all those people who advise you to only buy things for him to grow into. It is important that his clothes aren't so big that they bunch up around the mouth, or make it hard to find her legs in the carseat.

2. Soft little blanket with an allover print.
We have many, MANY blankets, but my favorite is the Extra Soft blankets by Circo. They are so soft and snuggly and we like them for tummy time, and for draping over mom and dad's legs for feeding time. Plus, they make excellent photo backdrops!

3. Rocker seat or swing.
Noah LOVES the Fisher Price Auto Rock and Play, and the angle of the seat helps his reflux and prevents spitups after a feeding. You can choose from a variety of nature sounds or songs with a simple push of a button, or set an optional timer to 6 hours or 30 minutes. It rocks him to sleep during daytime naps, and entertains him during his alert hours -- he seems to be looking around for the animals, so we tell him that he's going on a safari cruise :)

It's also a safe place to set baby down while you wash your hands, make a phone call, or get a bottle ready. (Because that is basically all I do right now.) I wish I had one for every room in the house, but it is lightweight and compact enough to move it around easily.

4. Clear nasal aspirators.
The ones they give you at the hospital have such a small opening, so even if you wash them out regularly with hot soapy water, they will eventually begin to harbor mold and bacteria. Throw those out and opt for the NoseFrida; it's easy to use and when your baby's nose really needs work. For easier and on-the-go clearing, these translucent Nasabulbs allow you to remove the tip for cleaning and boiling, and you can see inside so you'll know when it's time to replace them.

5. Baby Move / prune juice.
After 4 days without so much as a smear in his diaper, we added 1/4 teaspoon of prune juice to his bottle to help things get moving. BabyMove is a specially formulated prune juice, and it is not a gripe water. (I am totally against sugary gripe waters that contain weird, herbal ingredients: at worst, they can be hard for your baby to swallow straight, and at best, they'll calm your baby to the point that she seems drugged out). When your baby doesn't poop, he doesn't want to eat, and when he doesn't eat, he gets hydrated. Consult your pediatrician first.

6. Washcloths to keep baby warm during bathtime.
Lay soft washcloths over your baby and pour warm water over them while bathing.

7. Dr. Brown's bottles and insulated wide container.
I opted to skip the electric bottle warmer in favor of a more versatile and transportable wide-mouthed Thermos. It's wide enough to accommodate my Dr. Brown's bottles, which are designed to help to prevent baby from sucking in too much air, which therefore prevents gassy, colicky babies, and exhausted parents.

8. Velcro swaddles.
My little guy is really strong, and at 2 months old, he's already breaking out of my swaddle attempts and waking himself up at night. These swaddles have extra strong velcro that helps to keep him nice and cozy.

9. Instant read thermometer.
Your squirmy baby doesn't want to wait around for that thermometer to finish reading (especially if you need to take a rectal temperature). BabyCenter has a great guide on when to seek medical attention.

10. Sound spa.
White noise is soothing and mimics the sounds that baby hears in the womb.
I play the ocean sounds at night, just loud enough so that I can still hear baby crying or spitting up. I've always wanted to live by the beach, so thanks for making that (sort of) happen, Mr. Baby!

*Edited to include:
11. Diaper pail.
I spent $40 on a fancy trashcan, thinking that I could save on expensive custom diaper pail bags. I should've just bought the diaper pail in the first place, because that big lid closing down just wafts out all the, um, aromas, that you're trying to contain. I really love the Munchkin Step Diaper Pail Powered by Arm & Hammer. The inner seal prevents the unnecessary air displacement, and the bags aren't as complicated as I thought.