Since having Ezra there has been several new products that make life with newborns much easier. I’ve decided to update my list of favorite items because maybe it can help anyone who is about to have baby, whether for the first time or third time.
So for this post I want to focus on the things for feeding, sleeping, and diapering/bathing. The things you spend most of your day doing with a newborn!
I recommend waiting to have baby before you pick a bottle. I’ve heard of so many babies who end up picking their bottle instead of the parent. Luckily, that wasn’t our case, but we did find issues with some bottles and had a few preferences come baby number two. I also recommend waiting because you don’t know if you will be exclusively breastfeeding or not. I thought I would be, but it turns out I’ve needed bottles for babies now. So here’s my favorites:
For our first we went with Dr. Browns because he was having so much trouble with acid reflux gas. The Dr. Brown bottles helped reduce the gas so we stuck with it. But washing plastic bottles in Africa became a CHORE! The bottles turn foggy and basically I’m trying to cut out all plastics. Luckily, Dr. Brown now has a glass option! And if you don’t want the vent straw it lets you use the bottle without it.
Things I look for:
Glass or Silicon (bye bye plastic)
Nipple that mimics mom
Some sort of vent system to reduce colic/air bubbles
8 oz plus bottles because after a few months baby will need more than 4 oz per feeding and it’s super annoying to have to make and clean two bottles each feeding
I exclusively pumped with my first baby so trust me when I say I’ve had my share of pump problems/opinions. I used the Medela pump in Style with Ezra and while it was a great pump, it meant I was tied down to a chair for 20-40 minutes 6-8 times a day. Something that is NOT possible with your second. So I was pretty against any kind of pumping with my second, but sadly I’ve had to pump with her as well. Luckily it’s not exclusive, but still a lot. That said, I went through insurance and got the Freemie Hands Free Pump for free. I LOVE it! It just pops in your bra and the pump is charged by a mini USB cable. So you can stick it in your pocket and do the dishes, feed baby, chase a toddler, all while pumping. Makes life way easier. I also don’t have to change into a hands free bra for pumping, it works with whatever I already have one. Super simple for car rides.
If I had the budget I’d invest in the Willow Pump, but I wouldn’t do it until you knew how much you’d be pumping. For example, if you will be going back to work and needing to pump at work or if you are exclusively pumping then I would recommend saving up for the Willow Pump. It’s basically like the Freemie pump but with added features. You don’t have to worry about bending over or laying down because it’s spill proof and it syncs with your phone to let you know how much you’ve pumped. Completely worth the price tag of $430-$500!
Haakaa - this little thing is amazing! While you breastfeed you just squeeze it to place on the other side and let it do the rest. It basically sucks out the milk and let down while you feed your baby and in the end you can have anywhere from 1-4 ounces! I’ve had a ton of moms tell me they don’t even pump anymore. They just use this guy each time to store up their stash of breastmilk.
Also, get some pump wipes so when you pump outside of the house (or at night) you can just wipe the parts clean and don’t have to worry about hot water and soap and drying.
Take a breastfeeding class. Now with my second I’m learning how valuable this would have been. I know I could still take one, but sadly my budget is spent, but that’s another story. That said, I recommend registering for the cost of on on a registry or if you get to have a shower and have a lot of items gifted to you then you can have some extra money or save up to take a class. I would think there are free ones out there, but I never found any…though not sure how hard I tried, because I didn’t realize breastfeeding wasn’t something that just came natural to both momma and baby. It takes practice, tools, and help…lots of help. And you don’t really get all that help while you’re recovering in the hospital, so if you can try and do it before then hopefully you’ll be more successful. Here’s an online one you can take if you can’t find something else: https://lactationlink.com/
Gripe Water - This stuff is amazing and we used it with Ezra for at least the first year. It’s a beautiful tool when sleep training or trying to calm a fussy baby! We don’t go anywhere without it and most of the time we barely use any at all or just dip the syringe in it. Baby sucks on it a little, calms down and takes the paci! (note, when looking at different brands to check ingredients, b/c a lot of brands will put HFCS or sugar in there!)
Gas Drops - We are trying anything to help with gas at this point, so we give these to our babe as directed.
Probiotic Drops - We are using these with our second because she has terrible gas. Our first did too and after doing a lot of research it seems that gas can be really common with c-section babies because they aren’t passed some of the things they need from momma when delivered that way. Not sure how many people agree with that, but it makes sense to me since that’s a common question asked by doctors when determining if someone has candida later in life. Also, feeding via bottle in the early days creates more gas in newborns. So I’ve read several articles about how probiotics can help heal the gut and help little ones with gas, and since they are safe to give, we are trying anything, because the waking up crying with gas is just too much for both baby and momma! However, I will note that these are expensive, so I’d wait and see if you think you need them before you buy them.
Nipple Butter - take this with you to the hospital! I really like this brand and was recommended by the lactation consultant because it has candela in it for healing tissue (very helpful if you have cracking or bleeding like I did with my second)
Burp Rags - Invest in these! We used them like crazy with Ezra because of his acid reflux and constant spitting up. We don’t use them as much with our second, but it’s super helpful because she seems to not swallow all the time and it just drips everywhere! I love the Aden + Anais ones because they can also snap around like a bib. But I like the Burt’s Bees ones for my diaper bag. I received one for free in a baby kit and it’s the perfect size for travel.
Breastfeeding Pillow - I’ve tried the Boppy and the Brestfriend Pillow and I really like the Brestfiend much better, especially if you have a c-section because it puts the baby above your incision. I do recommend the velcro strap over the buckle strap if you have any sort of curves, because it’s hard to get it to fit at the right places and the velcro one can be adjusted to larger sizes.
LACTATION CLASS | 2. GRIPE WATER | 3. GAS RELIEF DROPS | 4. PROBIOTIC DROPS | 5. NIPPLE CREAM | 6. BURP RAGS | 7. BRESTFRIEND PILLOW
First off, let’s just get the hard stuff out of the way. Register/take this newborn sleeping class! I wish I had the budget to take it, but since it’s our second we have some experience in all of this so I’m not freaking out just yet, but would have been WAY helpful for the first! Plus follow her on Instagram to get some great tips as well!
This book. You could also just keep taking Cara’s classes, but since we followed this book with Ezra and it worked, we are going to try it again with Kennedy.
Pro Tip: Get two swaddles, because when massive spit ups happens you don’t want to be left without a swaddle while you wait for it to wash and dry! I actually only use the swaddle blankets for lightweight blankets or for photos. I highly recommend the viscose bamboo ones from Aden + Anais.
Pacifiers. Another tool for getting babies to sleep. However, I do know of several moms who have said their baby either didn’t take pacis or became super picky on which one they would take. So it might be best to wait and see how baby responds? The hospital gave us some pacis, they were actually the same as the wubanub ones, but I ended up switching to Dr. Browns because that was the same bottle my first was using. However, with our second I really wanted to try Ryan & Rose. I had heard so much about them, plus they are super cute and a small company. So far, it’s been a hit! I ended up buying their paci clips too, because there’s nothing more frustrating than dropping a paci on the floor! Which speaking of, get some paci wipes to keep in your diaper bag.
Pro Tip: Buy two pacifiers so you have one a clip in the car seat or diaper bag and the other one for using at home that pretty much stays in the bassinet.
Dock a Tot - We wished we would have had this sooner with our first. When Ezra started sleeping longer stretches at night he would still wake up around 5-6 am, so after a quick feeding we would try to put him back to sleep, but he wasn’t always having it. We found if he was wrapped tightly in between us with pillows he would calm right down and fall asleep. this was also more common when he was older and able to crawl over, meaning he wasn’t in the bassinet next to our bed anymore and we had to get up to soothe him. Having the Dock-a-Tot means baby can be safely in between us on the bed and we don’t have to get up every five seconds while sleep training. Plus it helped a ton for naps! And now that he’s older it’s really helpful when we travel a lot. It gives him a sense of security and familiarity no matter where he is. And we plan to use it for his toddler bed, but of course we are using the Grand for Ezra and the Deluxe for Kennedy until 9 months.
Sound Machine - We didn’t invest in one of these until our first was over 1 year old, BIG mistake. I’m not even sure why we waited. The sound machine is super helpful in the newborn stage because it mimics the heartbeat of mom. It’s not so much for blocking out noise at this age as it for creating a soothing sound. Once they get older and tend to wake up easier the sound machine is helpful for blocking out noise. We have two. One for Ezra to use each night that has a little light on it and also has the option for the light to go off when it’s time for your toddler to leave the bed. It supposed to help them with not getting up before it’s time…we haven’t transitioned out of the crib yet, so not sure how well this will work for us! And of course this one works with an app on your phone because that’s how all the things seem to work nowadays! Hatch Sound Machine
The other sound machine we use is a small one that clips anywhere. It charges via USB cable and has an app that works with it where family members can record things and it can play on the speaker. It has a bluetooth so it works with your phone. I haven’t tested that part of it out yet, but we picked this one because it was the only portable one I could find that didn’t turn off after a set amount of time and also didn’t rely on batteries, just charing.
Gowns (I recommend zippers, magnets, or open ended gowns) These are the easiest for those late night diaper changes, because snaps are annoying and should be banned from all pajamas.
Magnet (look for these are upscale resale shops!)
Lovey/Blanket - You don’t want your infant sleeping with this, but it’s a great thing to get one for putting over them when it’s cold and you’re holding them and it’s also good for you to start sleeping with it so it gets your scent on it. Then when they are older it helps soothe them. We did this with Ezra and he still has his blanket from birth, however, I want to throw it away because y’all it’s naaaasty! This also makes a great gift because people love getting them and then having their name put on it. I don’t really have a specific one in mind, but I’ve usually found my favorites at TJ MAXX.
newborn sleeping class | 2. sleep book | 3a. nested bean swaddle |
3b. bamboo swaddle blankets | 3c. ollie swaddle | 4. pacifier & paci clips | 4b. paci wipes | 5. dock a tot | 6a. hatch sound machine |
6b. travel sound machine | 7. magnetic gowns | 8. baby blanket
I love Honest Diapers and wipes. I have heard of a lot of babies who can have sensitivities to diapers because of all the chemicals so I really wanted something that offered a more natural solution. There are several on the market, but we went with Honest because they will have a lot of deals on their bundles, they offer cute prints, and they hold liquids like crazy! We’ve even been able to find them at discounted prices at TJ MAXX and Marshalls.
Diaper Cream - We use two different types of diaper creams, one is just a basic coconut oil product from Honest Co. and the other is an actual diaper cream with the zinc in it to help clear rashes. We use the basic coconut oil one more with our older son and on boys after circumcision, but I use the diaper cream more with girls since they tend to be more sensitive down there. I am loving the Young Living diaper cream. Not only is it void of all the nasty chemicals (which is hard to do in diaper creams) but it has lavender essential oil in it which is great for calming. And it’s not a messy smelly mess all over your hands like other diaper creams.
Linen Spray from Young Living - just spray it on the bassinet a few minutes before laying baby down. Helps calm them (and you!)
Lotion - Young Living Seedling Lotion - Again it has lavender in it and helps calm baby, plus you don’t need very much and this will seriously last forever, just like the diaper cream. Before Young Living came out with their baby products we used Honest lotion and bath wash, but after trying Young Living’s products I’m hooked! If you have a membership to YL then this would be a great gift for a new mom!
Splurge - Bloom Bath. It’s super cute and makes for great photos, but not sure how well it works on newborns?
Puj Tub - we got this with Ezra only because we needed something that could fit in a suitcase to take back to Africa. Works well in a sink, but not in a tub as the magnets will unsnap for a heavy baby.
I really only recommend the high end ones if you plan on traveling a lot and need to take the tub with you, like to grandma’s for a week or if you spend time vacationing a lot.
Save - First Years Tub - This one is nice because it works really well with a newborn, but you will need a big sink to make it fit otherwise you’ll have to use the tub. Using the tub isn’t the end of the world except in those early days (at least with the c-section) bending down is NOT happening for the first several weeks.
Angelcare Bath - I’ve never used this one, but I like it’s sleek design
Wash Clothes/Hooded Towels - Something I totally didn’t think to register for, but luckily people got them for us with our first baby. Here are a few of my favorites: Washcloth/Towel Set, Washcloths, Towels
CHECK OUT ALL THE PRODUCTS ON MY AMAZON IDEA LIST: http://a.co/7prcWJS