There’s something sweet to the truth that no matter what else is going on in the world, babies just keep on coming. It’s one of my favorite things about L + D nursing; inside those four walls, it’s just women and their families and caretakers – everyone cheering each other on so those sweet babes can make their grand entrance into the world.
Of course, once we all leave those walls and go back into the world with those babes, there’s a million things we are told we need and a million more we are told we might need. After having two baby girls (less than two years apart), I too have developed some favorites and must-haves that I share with all of my friends. Is this list all-inclusive and perfect? Probably not even close. But for my family and I, these things have become some of the pieces that we have relied on the most.
It’s true that a newborn baby doesn’t need much – but it’s also true that sometimes you don’t know what they need until you try all the things.
My fav items are bolded, capitalized, and linked throughout.
Cheering you on mama.
Let’s talk about infant travel for a minute. I’m not even going to attempt to tell you what stroller or car seat to get. Have I tried them all? No. I’ve tried about half a dozen different ones. Budget, family size, car size – there are so many things that play a role in this choice and I don’t think there is a one size fits all option. Here’s what I will say. If you can, invest in a stroller like THIS ONE if you want to grow your family (this is the one we have). The ability to sit multiple children (or just one), attachments like bassinets and kickboards – all of these things make these strollers so nice for a very long time. I never had a bassinet. I just purchased the carseat adapter and that’s how the newborn came along with us. Also, you can find them on sale, on Ebay, on Craigslist, etc. If you can figure out a way to make one like this financially work for your family, you should.
Can we talk about baby wearing, my absolute favorite type of infant travel? I LOVE baby wearing – and the SOLLY WRAP is hands down the softest, loveliest, baby wearing wrap you can find.
There’s a few little things that we have loved around the house too. THIS lounger was one I actually received and returned, as I just did not want all of the things around the house. And then, someone else gave it to me again, I kept it, and we have now had (probably) hundreds of hours of baby time on there. I recommend it to everyone.
What about feeding, nursing, boob care? I was a mama who was able to breastfeed for quite some time. But I also pumped, froze milk, and bottle fed. THIS piece has been invaluable to us as there are just SO many tiny parts and pieces to wash and dry related to pumps, bottles, and nursing. If you are going to pump, you need a hands free pumping bra like THIS more than anything else. THESE milk storage bags are the only kind I will use (they lay flat for freezing) and THIS nipple cream is the only one my lactation coworkers recommended and the only one I will ever use.
And sleep. Blessed, often impossible, all-consuming, infant sleep. It’s no joke. So when you find those things that help your baby do it, it feels like an absolute miracle. THIS swaddle blanket is everything. Soft, stretchy, a ton of gorgeous colors and patterns. Muslin ones are great for throwing over the car seat, but my babes always busted out of them. So this brand is my go-to – as a swaddle, a car seat cover, a throw blanket, and a nursing cover. There’s a million and one sleep sacks, but we have loved THIS one for both girls. Velcro is a must for those little Houdinis. I also appreciate the ability to move from arms in, to one arm out, to both arms out with only one item. And the last item for sleep bliss (kind of)? The DOCK A TOT. I didn’t have this until my 2nd and she slept like a dream. Bottom line, you have to do your own research and make your own decisions about safe sleep choices (here’s the AAP recommendations). No one else should make them for you.
Really, you just need to love that baby. Let them hear your heartbeat, snuggle a little longer, hold them when you should put them down. Give yourself grace in overwhelming amounts. Have patience with your own mistakes. You are a good mama. You are the right mama for that baby. And you can do this.