I have been thinking about this list for a while. I brought home my baby in November of 2020. These are the items that after the first 8 weeks have passed, I am 100% grateful I had. They are things I believe mom’s should invest in and that would make great baby shower gifts!
The headings of each section have links – they are not sponsored. They just take you to the products I am discussing.
- Haakaa (+ milk storage bags)
- Lou Lou swaddle set and gown
- Ollie Swaddle + www.takingcarababies.com education course
- Places to set the baby – Seat + Boppy pillow lounger
- Hatch sound machine
- Hello Bello diapers subscription
- Carseat cover (oh yeah, and a carseat)
- Newborn Portrait session
Okay, to me this is a miracle product. I found out about this product deep down in some dark corner of the comments of some random Facebook post in a mom group. If you are breastfeeding, you NEED this product. When my milk came in, I had no engorgement because I used this during every feeding. Now I just use this once a day.
Basically is collects the milk on the other breast while you’re feeding your newborn baby on the other. I collect about 2 oz with no effort, just while my baby nurses. I seriously collected 10 4-5oz bags of milk in the first few weeks of my baby being born just by using this. I have not pumped once (in the 8 weeks my baby has been born) and I have 15 bottles of milk stored because of this product. It has served me well many times already when I left by myself and my husband fed the baby. *
I don’t obsess of a lot of products. Really. Only boots, maybe. So when I say that the Lou Lou swaddle blanket is THE BEST swaddle blanket, I mean it. I am obsessed. It’s the perfect size and stretchiness if you’re someone like who likes to take the old fashioned route and hand swaddle your baby (like they do in this video!) After being obsessed with swaddling for all three of my babies, I believe this is the best swaddle to have.
I also LOVE the newborn swaddle set. When I was at the hospital, I used the mittens and hat (which are both long gone shortly after the hospital). Many of the nurses mentioned to me they were impressed with THESE mittens because all mittens are not created equal. Much like newborn socks, they generally don’t stay on very well. These ones do and are very comfortable for your baby.
And last – the Lou Lou gown. I bought one (because they are pricey!) and it’s the best nightgown to put my little one to sleep in. And I honestly feel that my baby loves this nightgown too. She really does seem to be put into a better mood when she has it on. It’s the softest most comfortable material. I have her wear it as much as I can in-between washes and am going to buy two of the next size up ASAP!
So, if you’re not like me, who is obsessed with swaddling, and would like to make this process easier – I recommend the Ollie swaddle. This one is velcro and does the main job well. The purpose of swaddling your baby is to prevent the startle reflex from waking your baby up. Your baby can do the startle reflex in their sleep with no outside cause whatsoever. It’s simply because of their newer baby nervous system. And when babies are on their back, they do the startle reflex all the time and this will cause them to wake up for no reason. So we swaddle! Even if you think you’re baby doesn’t like swaddling and wants their arms out, it’s likely not the case after you have gotten then into a calmer swaddled state. BUT don’t take my word for it because my next point about the Ollie swaddle is that it’s the main swaddle that Cara with www.takingcarababies.com recommends. I purchased this course and I highly highly recommend you do the same. It teaches you how to calm your baby and how to get them to sleep through the night. These things sound intuitive, but once you’ve been up for way too long with your fussy baby night after night, you know.
This one is one of the most important things. It’s recommended that babies sleep in their own bassinet next to their parents as the safest place to sleep. You can choose any bassinet you like, mostly it just needs to be sturdy, flat and fit your room’s needs. We love this one, my husband picked it out because he loved the base of it compared to others that have a x-shaped base.
You don’t just want one kind of pacifier, you want all the pacifiers. This is because whatever style you decide you like (for aesthetic purposes of course) your baby is going to decide that is probably NOT the one they want to use.. I bought several different brands and shapes, and she still only likes the one that the hospital gave us to take home with. We didn’t use the pacifier at the hospital but use it as often as we can at home. Our third baby doesn’t love or hate the pacifier. She sometimes takes it, sometimes doesn’t. Research shows that pacifiers actually support breastfeeding and that nipple confusion isn’t really a thing. They also prevent against SIDS.
Believe it or not, you will want to put your baby down during the day : ) If there is no one near by to pass the baby off too, it’s really great to have a baby seat to safely set your baby in while you go make your coffee or use the restroom! I use a seat that attaches to my swing, making it double useful. I also love the Boppy pillow as the baby has gotten a bit older and sits comfortably in it without being able to rollover.
The Hatch machine was one of those things I knew a lot of people got but didn’t know if we would use. We ended up buying another one after we came to love the first one so much. My other children started using it before the baby was born and then said, “this is mine now,” so we ended up buying another one. Our older children really love falling asleep to the different white-noise sounds. And now it runs almost 24-7 next to our bassinet. Our baby has noticeably woken up more often when our room has been quiet without the sounds machine on. We now have a rain shower in our room all the time.
If there is ever a time to have a subscription for some product to be shipped to your home, now is the time, and this is the product. I have used subscription diapers and am so grateful on not every running out of diapers or having to buy and carry boxes of diapers out of the store. I am sure there are many ways to save on diapers, including re-usable diapers. I personally have loved the Hello Bello one’s for my baby and they do 20% military and EMS discount so that worked for us. I pay about $65 on diapers per month as of now for my size two infant.
Carseat cover (oh yeah, and a carseat)
A carseat cover kind of works as a mask for today’s purposes. When I left the hospital I didn’t have a carseat cover so the nurse tied up a swaddle blanket from the carseat handle and it hung down as a shade for the baby. This also keeps your baby a little warmer in the Winter months when traveling. I really like this carseat cover because my daughter can see the baby while I’m driving when we unzip the opening while we are in the car.
Okay shameless plug on my own blog. I must say that photographing this moment is so important! I photographed my hospital session and then had another photographer photograph a family session for me two weeks later.
More things to have for bringing home a newborn
I bought this set to use as props for my newborn photography but in the end, I used the hand-woven bassinet for in the living room when we kept the baby with us in the evenings but she was sleeping. It was so nice to have her close to us when in those first days they seem to be in and out of sleep every other minute.
Baby bath + baby soap
I’ve used this same bath for my last baby current one. You have to have one of these to help you have something to lay the baby in and wash them. I use a folded body towel in the bath to set the baby on something soft and then fill up the water around her. She loves it!
On the occasion when I left my baby with my husband, I would need to make up for that bottle that she drank when I was gone. When I returned home I just used an inexpensive hand pump to pump out the amount that she drank in the bottle and this kept my supply stable and in alignment with my babies needs.
If you’re breastfeeding then you just need 1-3 bottles for the occasional bottle feed. If you are bottle feeding, then you will need a lot more.
Pretty nice to have in those first couple of weeks.
Nursing bra + comfortable underwear.
More swaddles and more blankets – I can’t over emphasize how much babies love being swaddled, once they have settled into relaxing after initially swaddling them. My babies were born in Winter and I would layer a warmer layer over the stretchy swaddle to keep them nice and cozy.
*One more great note about the Haakaa. During the earliest days of breastfeeding my newborn, I developed a blister on one nipple. While that healed, I used the Haakaa and a breast pump soley on that breast. That way it could heal and not be irritated by the baby suckling. It really made me feel so much better.