So you want to get all of your baby things together in advance of your sweet little one arriving? Or perhaps you’re a month into the whole baby thing (God’s peace and blessings to you) and you’re trying to find baby items that might make it all a bit easier for you.
Preborn or newborn, this list is for you!
Here are those baby shower gifts / newborn baby things that we REALLY love:
If there’s one thing I’ve learned as a mama of two, it’s that babies can have VASTLY unique temperaments and sleeping arrangement preferences. My first, Abigail, was a clinger and fought me for 5 MONTHS on sleeping in her own space. (Finally after that I caved in and followed the safe sleep 7 and we were both far happier campers).
My second, Elizabeth, is the exact opposite of her sister. I’m pretty sure she’s melancholic like me. When we swaddle her up tight (more on those in a second!) she happily lays down to sleep in her bassinet. I genuinely thought mom blogs were joking when they said they could lay their babies down ‘drowsy but awake until I had Elizabeth.
Abigail in the swing loving life.
She truly enjoys the swing during the day as well, so overall it’s been a win x2!
Swaddles / Sleep Sacks / Footed PJs
There can be a ton of anxiety about where your baby sleeps. And the internet fearmongers also make it clear that it must be the *perfect* temperature or your babies might overheat.
I sometimes heed the advice of fearmongers (especially when my pediatrician recommends something similar like just making sure she’s not in too many layers).
Therefore! With Abigail, we stopped full swaddling too soon because she ‘rolled over’ from front to back at 2 weeks. She could’ve been swaddled for so much longer but alas, I was afraid.
But Elizabeth is still going strong at 3 weeks!! Did I mention her sleeping abilities are a Godsend?
We LOVE the SwaddleMe swaddles for quick night diaper changes (the newer models even have zippered tiny butt access!)
After she rolled over, for my peace of mind we switched Abigail to the Love to Dream Swaddle aka the cactus swaddle.
A tiny sweet saguaro cactus baby in one of our favorite baby gadgets, the swaddle.
Once Abigail was out of swaddles, we transitioned to footie pajamas. Not only are they ADORABLE but they also keep baby warm without a blanket.
Changing table & pad
This is one thing (for some reason!) Caleb and I thought we’d skip to save money. And you can if you want to. But having a designated place to accidentally get poop all over and a small sheet that needs to be washed instead of your carpet or entire comforter is worth it in my opinion.
We got ours from Amazon! (You don’t actually ever strap your babies into it while changing them–you just keep a hand on them at all times.)
With my first as a tiny baby, I mostly just used this as a chair. Abigail preferred the robot swing to rock her to sleep!
But as Abigail got older and with Elizabeth now, we get miles and miles on our rocking chair.
Bamboobies are great! Having some disposable ones on hand when you don’t want to risk being out in public and your bamboobie being oversaturated and causing you to leak is prudent.
I loooooove baby wearing! Not enough to get good at wrapping one myself (yet). But enough to bring my Ergobaby wherever we got and strap on the Tiny one! I have the navy knit Ergobaby Embrace and it’s absolutely perfect for around the house or on-the-go.
Especially when baby can’t rest on your hip while you’re carrying her (which is a game changer for mama mobility), going ahead and strapping her into a baby carrier is an excellent way to maintain both hands for wrangling your toddler.
This one isn’t a must-have but I’d buy it again! Instead of the plastic bathtub inserts (which I’m not sure where one stores), we were gifted the soft plush flower with petals upon which your baby lays or sits for bathtime. In the beginning, we washed Abigail in the sink. So having this we could place in there for comfort and for a bit of stability was perfect!
Abigail liked to sit on the petal all the way into the big girl bathtub (so she didn’t slip around on the tub floor).
I didn’t know that we needed this thing. But it suuuure came in handy when I needed to set Abigail down for a while. Plus she LOVED bouncing in it! The model we have even converts into a little toddler table. It’s fun to see the little keyboard she used to step on now as buttons on a table with music she insists to dance along to.
(honestly, I’ll write an entire post about this! With Abigail, I had no idea what I was doing with breastfeeding AND she had a hard time latching. With Elizabeth, I immediately gave my insurance-funded second pump away.)
We never full-timed Abigail on these like we planned because they caused her bottom to rash. In fact, every low-tox brand of diapers we tried on her caused her to rash! So Huggies it is for her.
Elizabeth (as with everything else) isn’t as sensitive, so we might try cloth full-time with her!
Bradley Method classes (and I’ll definitely write an entire post about this)
If you or your loved one is pregnant for the first time and has absolutely no clue what’s going on, do yourself / them a favor and get enrolled in Bradley Method courses.
Another option that wasn’t around for my first is Beata Birth (a Catholic birth series of classes taught by Michaela Darr who is a WEALTH of wisdom).
Here are some baby items that you might want to skip out on.
Some were baby shower gifts, others were things I genuinely thought I’d need, but didn’t end up using!
(just use a trash can lol–no further explanation needed).
Their booties can handle the chill. My babies don’t even mind anyway.
Bottle Warmer (they’ll drink it cold!)
For this one, if you’re exclusively bottle-feeding it *might* help with digestion if it’s warmer? But I don’t actually know that because neither of my babies take a bottle.
DEPENDING on the type you buy and your baby’s temperament you can skip the bassinet. For Abigail, we bought a cheap one from Target and let me tell you, it was uncomfortable for her. Barely any padding in there (I’m talking maybe 1/2″.)
Our new Design Duo bassinet (I know, I splurged) is beautiful AND comfy! And Elizabeth sleeps wonderfully in it. So don’t be a cheapo the first time around like I was.
Depending on your smart device situation, you can download a free app that works just as well as a standalone sound machine. We use the white noise on-the-go as well as at night, and I always have my phone on me anyway!
Quick tip: Doctor Google recommends ensuring your white noise isn’t too loud for your baby. To avoid hearing damage, you can also download a decibel checker app and stay below the recommended number.
I loved this to start breastfeeding…but a pillow would’ve worked too.
I didn’t need this. I found that my own breastmilk was a soothing salve for any sort of discomfort (but I didn’t have any severe cracking or bleeding!) Many of the synthetic ones seem so yuck. I’d recommend trying natural things (like coconut oil or Earthley’s Breast Balm) first since your baby will be ingesting a little bit of it!
Owlet Baby Monitor
This lovely monitor was given to us as a gift. We LOVE the monitor and the app works pretty well. It’s comforting to know the temperature of the room your baby is sleeping in and the app is smart enough to notify you if there’s a loud noise (aka baby crying or something else you need to know about!)
What we *didn’t* use or need was the heartbeat monitoring sock. Frankly, Abigail would’ve kicked it right off if we had tried to put it on her. Not to mention, in order to get any sleep, I had to give my fears of baby not breathing in the night up to Our Lady. All parents can do is ensure their babies are fed, changed, and in a safe place to sleep.
Go ahead and opt for whatever monitor has the functions you want like notifications, temperature readings, or a live feed.
Mittens or socks
Hahahah does any baby actually allow their mom to put mittens on them for an extended period of time? If her nails were especially long or ragged, I would file them with a tiiiiiiny nail file. Other than that, I just tried to keep her hands away from her face. Baby scratches happen!
Alrighty friends! If you know somebody creating a registry or having a baby, please share this! I hope it was informative and easy to read 🙂
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