NEW parents take note: this is the shit you actually need
I'm blessed to have many friends expecting babies for the first time.
As the trailblazer of my friend group into Motherhood, I feel both qualified and obligated to help you out.
So listen up, this is what you actually need for the first weeks with your brand new baby.
This is first on the list because they literally will not let you take your baby home from the hospital without one. All car seats sold in the USA have to meet the same performance standards set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. So when you're debating between the $100 and $400 seats remember you're not getting a "safer" product by paying more for it. Babies tend to outgrow their newborn carseats pretty quickly so I advise saving in this area and spending more later on the toddler carseat which they will spend a lot more time in.
Your postpartum nurse cannot put your baby in the carseat for you. Familiarize yourself with the instructions for your specific model. And know that you are not being judged for struggling with it, those things are tricky. Find out who in your community does car seat safety checks and have them evaluate your installation if you have concerns.
I'm not here to involve myself in the co-sleeping debate. At some point, you will need/want a crib. Cribs are another product that are held to a federal safety standard (as long as you're buying new) so just pick the one you think will look the prettiest on your instagram posts. Shopping for the mattress on the other hand kept me up at night (we got this one). Read about infant sleep safety here.
So yeah, babies need their diapers changed frequently. And sometimes that gets a little icky. A changing pad like this one by Bumbo requires no cover and wipes clean when needed. Throw it on top of a waist-high dresser and boom, changing table + storage.
Have one package of infant diapers on hand at home and one package of size 1. That's it. The hospital will send you home with some too. A lot of people will tell you to stock up on diapers in every size which frankly is stupid advice. There is no way to predict how long your baby will stay in a particular size of diaper and you will find certain brands work really well for your baby while others will have you wondering if you even remembered to put the diaper on. As a new parent you will probably be longing for any reason to leave the house so really don't stock up on anything at all except maybe coffee.
I don't know anyone that has successfully cloth-diapered for longer than a few weeks. Expect that you won't either. Perhaps start with cloth wipes before diving into cloth diapers if you're truly convinced you are the exception to this rule.
Unlike adults, babies look really amazing in tight-fitting clothing. And they haven't even developed any body image issues yet. Buy a bunch of onesies in the 3-6 month size and a handful of dark colored leggings and your baby wardrobe is set.
Our baby hated to be swaddled but these giant muslin blankets serve many purposes: ground cover, scarf for mom when your shirt is dirty, nursing cover, burp cloth, toddler blanket. We purchased aden + anais because you can pick them up at Target but really the internet has exploded with options for cute swaddles.
Wearing your baby feels like your baby is giving you a big, sweet hug. It’s one of the best and easiest ways to maintain connection with your baby while still having your hands free to get things done. A study published in Pediatrics found that wearing your infant 3 hours a day reduces infant crying by 43%! I wore Ezra everywhere, in and out of the house, in his Solly Baby wrap. He was a really easy baby and never had issues with serious gas or reflux.
Unlike other style wraps, the fit of a soft fabric wrap is completely customizable and can be used from birth without any extra inserts or pieces. Solly Baby Wraps provide a womb-like environment for baby that makes them feel secure, safe, and comfortable. These wraps distribute the weight evenly all over your upper body so it won’t tug on your shoulders or back and it naturally distributes baby’s weight correctly as well, without putting extra pressure on baby’s joints and spine like other carriers do.
(assumptions here that you are breastfeeding but full support if you're not, fed is best)
I spent a lot of time in my bathtub prior to my son being born and even more time in it after he was born. After the trauma of a vaginal birth, a bath can be really healing for your body. And in the case of a c-section, even if you can't submerge your tummy you will still benefit from a relaxing soak of your feet and legs.
Extra long phone charging cord
Newborns are really inefficient eaters. We're talking like 40 minutes plus, every few hours, all damn day. And all night. Sure you will spend some of that time staring into their beautiful eyes but you will also want to scroll instagram and see what the rest of the world is up to/how many likes your baby is pulling.
Fabric nipple covers
The disposable ones are awkwardly thick and very scratchy. These nursing pads are soft and slim and perfect.
You can most likely get your electric pump from the hospital before you discharge (call your insurance first if cost is a concern) and then you can pretty much plan to be in a unsatisfying relationship with it for the next year. You can also plan to be caught off guard without your baby and with no place to sit down, plug into an outlet, and pump over the course of your breastfeeding journey. Hand expression or pumping with a manual pump are a really great alternative to engorgement and a drop in your milk supply, just saying. This one from Medela is portable, comfortable, and easy to use. And if you do pump, do it directly into bottles and skip the heartache involved with those plastic bags...yes you can cry over spilled milk.
Motherlove nipple balm
A soothing herbal ointment that promotes healing. Safe for ingestion by the baby, i.e. does not need to be removed before feeding or pumping. Can double as diaper rash cream.
Yes it's tacky but this pillow is better than a Boppy imo because it supports your back instead of promoting you to hunch over. Plus it's cheaper and will continue to serve a function after baby has outgrown breastfeeding.
So you can pretend the reason you're at home in your jammies all day is because you're a lady of leisure.
Water bottle with straw
You will be excessively thirsty and your baby will get pissed if you dribble cold water on them.
A mom friend
I couldn't have said it better myself so just go here to read why.