As I start this post- baby number 3 is three weeks old! Who knows how long it'll be before I actually finish it, but I'll keep a list of our most used and favorite newborn items. Update- he's about to hit two months old and I'm still not done! Update 2- almost 3 months! Still not done! With our first baby we had SO MANY things sitting around collecting dust- the most expensive convertible crib with changing table, diaper pail, wipes warmer, baby swing, so many things that just truly did not get enough use out of them! I planned a little better this time, I only bought clothes we needed (this is our first boy, so all of the clothes we have already are puke pink) and a few other things like blankets (again, all puke pink) and new bottles. I ended up getting a few more things AFTER he was born, especially once I figured out I was going to combo feed -nursing and pumping- rather than exclusively pump as I had originally planned. Babies really do not need much. How did we survive back in the day before $300 swings and $1200 smart bassinets? Just fine. I will also include a section for my most used breastfeeding items!
A note: I am a Certified Breastfeeding Specialist. However, the advice and tips on my pages is not personalized individual medical advice and you should always discuss concerns with your healthcare provider or seek the help of a lactation professional. I do not currently offer consults or counseling, just general information and advice.
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Waffle knit onesies
$18 for the four pack on Amazon (that's about $4.50 a piece)
We got these in 3m, our kids usually come out pretty big and don't fit into newborn for more than a few days. I got a few different colored sets and so far they've been great! I pair these with small baby pants like these. As far as baby socks go- these ones have been my favorite for the last two babies.
Simple Joys baby jammies
I don't spend much on baby clothes. I usually get carter's brand, which are decent quality and often have a double zipper to zip up for diaper changes. Babies grow fast and don't need much.
These are $29 for the thinner tog, and $49 for the thicker. They have a variety of sizes and colors.
These are some of the best swaddles I've had for any of my kids. Halo sacks (or other Velcro sleep sacks) always startle the baby when you rip it off, especially if it's for a diaper change while they're half asleep and you'd like to put them back to sleep after. I find that the halo sacks are also super bulky and these Ergo Pouches are much less "in the way". I have some of the 0.2 tog, the thinnest, and the next warmth level up 1.0 tog. I like that these have snap open arm holes so it can be used as a sleep sack after the baby is too big to swaddle. They also have double zippers to change diapers without unswaddling baby's arms!
Snuggle me Organic Lounger
These are not available on Amazon- however you can get off brand covers for them on Amazon (I have these and they're pretty great). Priced at $109 on their website, but they occasionally run a good sale. I got mine for 30% off. Note: these are NOT intended for SLEEP!
I like this to have a place to set baby down that feels like a "snuggle" for him so he thinks he's still being held. I'll say once more for good measure, these are NOT INTENDED FOR INFANT SLEEP!
These are great for combo fed babies- the gradual slope of the nipple supports a wide latch. I tried the Evenflo Advanced as well (LCs rave about them) but he didn't like them at all. I introduced the bottle on day 3 or 4 to keep him familiar with both bottle and breast.
This is available in multiple places, I would price check and see what coupons you can get on this before ordering. I used our target registry coupon to get it with our second baby. Try their own website, Amazon, and Target. I used to have a valid code for their site, I'm not sure if it's still active. TEACHINGMOTHERHOOD10 but a better deal may be at Amazon or Target (using 15% off baby registry completion coupons!)
What I love about this carrier is that it's not bulky or hard to put on. It's 3 buckles you can easily put on by yourself, lightweight, soft and stretchy but still with that secure structure that buckles offer. You can nurse in it too if thats your jam, I have actually also been able to pump while wearing baby. For reference, I'm 5'3 and this fits on me very well. I tried a few other carriers that were just so cumbersome and restricting, and difficult to get on. I was able to use this one with our second baby until she was over a year old!
Munchkin Sit n' Soak baby bath
This is available on Amazon, Target, and probably a couple other retailers. Remember when you're buying ANYTHING baby related, you want to see if you can use your baby registry completion coupon on it (if it hadn't been purchased by someone else already.) Amazon has a great one, you can use it as many times as you want to until you hit $2000 in total purchases. Target is one time use if I'm not mistaken, and my husband accidentally used ours buying a polly pocket house for our oldest! Whoops.
I have truly bought a new tub with each baby, the first was a 4 in 1 convertible tub which was okay, the second was a reclined kind of seat with a bunch of holes on it that left hole shaped marks on the baby, and this third one seems to be the best one we've tried. It has a tiny spot for a newborn butt to sit perfectly, and my son acts like he's having a spa day and really enjoys himself. Pro tip: use a washcloth or blanket to drape over the baby (especially the tummy) and keep it warm with water to keep baby warm. As soon as they get cold, they tend to cry!
Baby Bjorn Bouncer Chair
This is a more expensive bouncer chair (at over $200!) but we received this as a gift when we had our first baby and it's lasted the entire 4 years and 3 babies beautifully. There are some more inexpensive similar alternatives such as the Bright Starts Bouncer ($30) or Summer Infant Bouncer ($60) which are both very well reviewed on Amazon. If you don't plan to have multiple children using it, I wouldn't drop the money on the baby Bjorn. However- the cover is removable and washable and you can have extras on hand rather than trying to clean out the other bouncers for which I do not know if they have covers.
Sassy Stages STEM Playgym
This play gym is really cute and has high contrast toys (black and white, red, etc) which are supposedly great for babies. This one retails around $70 which isn't a bad price for a play gym! My best friend sent us this one because the other two I had were either missing in action or bright pink (or both). Or missing one of the two rods.. I'm not very organized. Anyways, this is a good one. I like that you can velcro the hanging pieces anywhere on the foam bars rather than clipping into only one set spot like the other two gyms I had.
Philips Avent Bottle Warmer
My baby doesn't take a TON of bottles, but when he does he likes it close to body temp rather than cold. This is a warmer we had with the second baby as well, but I bought a brand new one because I couldn't get all the buildup out of the bottom with the last one. I read you can run it with vinegar water in it and it'll help lift any buildup but I was too pregnant and tired to try.
Diaper stuff- nothin' fancy here!
For diapering I use the following super basic items:
Costco baby wipes
Cheap wash cloths to pat dry after wiping and before pasting. I call them my butt cloths.
Aquaphor diaper paste OR earth mama organic diaper balm but not both. I'm weaning out of earth mama because despite being SO nice and smelling awesome it's just so much more expensive. Aquaphor works great for diapering and other things! I have a lot of the earth mama because it was on my registry and I got a couple jars.
BUTT. SPATULA. This may look like a gimmick but I have long nails and I do not want butt paste under there. I'll be using my $6 butt spatula for as long as I need to. Thank me later.
Floor changing pad that I can wipe off. No need for a full blown changing table in my house. This is also great for on the go.
I keep it all inside of this cheap caddy from Amazon.
Update 3 months old- I have started cloth diapering here and there!
Breastmilk storage - a different container for every use (fridge milk, cold milk on the go, ready to feed milk on the go, frozen milk, etc)
In my fridge I mostly use these 32 oz wide mouth mason jars with pour spouts. I also have a spare jam jar and a couple silicone milk boxes, but far prefer the mason jars.
When taking milk on the go or pumping on the go, I bring whichever size Ceres Chill I'll need for that time period. Usually the smaller version, the Demi, works just fine for that. TEACHINGMOTHERHOOD saves some money from the ceres chill website- or you can buy on Amazon with your registry completion coupon for the same percentage off and prime free shipping.
Ready to feed milk (aka prepped in a bottle) I just toss in one of my Lansinoh bottles and put into an insulated pocket in my bag if I need it.
Breast Pumps - I have a TON of pumps, and these are the ones I have used the very most thus far.
For all pumps that are not wearables, I use a flange setup of Pumpin Pals flanges, Legendairy Milk duckbills with pull tabs, Maymom adapters and back flow protectors, and 180ml bottles from Pumpables (their shape is nice and harder to tip over) and standard tubing from Amazon if the pump didn't come with one that has adapters. Picture below of my Frankenstein style flange setup.
Please note I have an oversupply and this is not typical output, this is also after my baby nursed one side.
Medela Harmony manual pump - this was especially handy in the hospital when I was pumping to bring my milk in more quickly and in a large amount (I feed two kids!)
Unimom Opera - a dual motor, battery powered pump with a punch. My friend Tamari over at one with the pump has got a great discount for this, ONEWITHTHEPUMP50.
Baby Buddha - Surprisingly, this breastfeeding journey I've been able to use this one a ton. I couldn't handle the pulls last time I tried with my last baby, but they redid these and I wonder if they're not as punchy as before. TEACHINGMOTHERHOOD takes a couple bucks off there.
Medela Freestyle - I actually enjoy this pump quite a bit too. One of my friends sent me hers and it's the older version, I enjoy the vibration it has. I use with my flanges, not the new medela cups.
Momcozy s12 Pro and m5 - these two have been the best performing wearable pumps that I've tried yet. I believe the code NAnnaCozy is supposed to save some money on their website and/or Amazon.
There is no "one pump" that's better than the rest. Everyone responds differently to different pumps. I will not tell you ____ is the best pump out there, but I will tell you some are far better than others. Some people can respond very well to any pump, and some only a few, and some only one. Pumping is also very situational- in a stressful situation you may not get as much milk out as you could if you were relaxed. For example, stressing out about how much a pump doesn't work is not gonna yield a great session. Try not to think about it, distract your mind. Cover your pump bottles with socks. (It helps, trust me)
Goin' out and about
Something I truly hate doing with a newborn and toddlers, but sometimes we have to. When we go out I bring the following items:
Clothes for every kid, two outfits (third for baby, they ALWAYS blowout their diapers when you don't bring enough clothes.
Diapers for every kid. All 3 of mine are still in diapers. I pack 2-3 per toddler and more for the newborn. Paired with wipes and paste.
Sippy cups and snacks for toddlers, something small for myself and my husband as well
Pump stuff and bottle for baby in case we need it. I nurse him almost entirely but I do have an oversupply and pump 4x a day for my middle kid, and I bring a bottle in the event I'm unable to feed my baby for some reason. Can you tell I'm a "prepare for anything" mom?
First aid/extras like lotion, nail clippers, Tylenol etc.
That about sums up everything I've been using the first few weeks, I'll add another post after a few more months have passed by!