Looking to make life easier with a new baby? Check out these baby must haves: products and tools to save time and add convenience to your parenting days.
It seemed like every time I brought a baby home, there was always something else besides the baby to make life harder.
For my eldest, it was the ants. We got a slew of ants in our home the first few days he came back from the hospital. It also didn’t help that I was breastfeeding, because apparently ants love pumping parts and breastfeeding supplies. Gross.
With the twins, our dishwasher conked out. Just when we felt so outnumbered with two newborns and a three-year-old, an essential kitchen appliance went bust and made life harder than it needed to be.
Hassles aside, bringing home a baby is already a challenge in itself. You may find yourself stuck under a sleeping newborn for an hour, wishing you could clone a copy of yourself to fold the pile of laundry sitting in front of you. You’re sleep deprived, from being up eight times last night. Life with a baby may be much harder than you anticipated.
The newborn months get crazy and downright exhausting. What helps to make them less exhausting are the tools and baby gear that make your days easier. Through a lot of trial and error, I found the best items that, hands down, I wish I had known about from Day One. Check them out below:
Baby must haves to make life easier
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After three kids, these are my most-recommended newborn baby must haves I tell all new moms to get:
My husband and I bought a lot of bottles. From glass bottles to bottles with tons of parts to different-sized bottles. The winner? Playtex Vent-Aire bottles.
Start off with the wide bottles and nipples. Our pediatrician said newborns like the brown-colored nipples (latex) over the clear ones (silicon). Playtex has both versions, so start with the brown one first just in case.
Once your baby is drinking more than five ounces, switch to the taller and narrower eight ounce bottle.
Why are these bottles the best? It’s designed let the air flow out so that your baby doesn’t suck it in (which causes more gas). I like these over the Dr. Brown’s bottles because those have a zillion parts you have to clean. Parts no sleep-deprived parent should have to deal with!
Again, we tried several versions of cream to help prevent and soothe diaper rash. Triple Paste (the one in the tub) is the only one that works quickly and prevents rashes well. And it goes a long way! I don’t think we’ve had to replace a tub for each child yet.
A swing or a baby wrap
Newborns like to sleep in your arms. Great for snuggles, but not so great when you need a break. You’ll need something else to hold your baby so you can have your arms back.
A swing works well if your baby likes to sleep with motion. We used the same swing for all three kids (and for the twins, I wished we had an extra one sometimes!).
Another hands-free gear we bought was a baby wrap (we got the Moby wrap). Baby carriers and wraps are also fantastic ways to bond with the baby, be more mobile and have your arms back.
Swaddling prevents your child from smacking her face with her flailing arms. Velcro swaddles make swaddling much easier. No need to fold your blanket or tuck the edges anywhere. You just slip your baby in and keep her snug using the velcro straps. The velcro swaddles are less likely to get untangled than regular blankets. And in the middle of the night, it’s much easier to re-swaddle.
The swaddles we bought feature different textures and thicknesses. Choose a lightweight swaddle during warmer months and thicker layers for the cooler ones.
A white noise machine (or a fan)
Newborns aren’t used to complete silence. They’ve grown accustomed to your loud womb and steady heart beat. So in light sleep, any little sound and they’ll startle themselves awake. White noise sounds comforting compared to the stark silence of the outside world as well. A regular fan works as well, especially if you don’t mind cooling the room. Another option we tried was downloading an mp3 of nothing but static that we looped over and over on our iPods.
With a baby monitor, you don’t have to open the door to their room to see if your baby is awake. You can see whether she’s still fast asleep or has already woken up. Even more useful, a baby monitor lets you see if your baby is in an awkward position. You’ll see things like an untangled swaddle or an arm sticking through the crib slats.
Even until now, a baby monitor has been so useful for my toddlers. I can see if they’re still asleep or if they’ve woken up. And I can even speak through the monitor to tell them to lie down or get back in bed if they’re starting to roam.
You can always wash your fitted crib sheets, but you can’t wash your mattress. This is why a waterproof crib mattress is a must. Accidents will happen. You don’t want to ruin your mattress with pee, poop, sweat or vomit (because they will all happen!).
Another good item when your child graduates to a twin bed: waterproof fitted sheets. These fitted sheets slip right over the mattress like a regular sheet. Then you fit another regular sheet over that and you’re set!
Feeding and diaper tracking app
I didn’t have a smart phone when I had my eldest, so we tracked his feeding and diaper changes in a notebook. With the twins, I finally got a smart phone and installed iBabyLog. You can track things like when your baby last ate and from which breast. Or when he last peed or pooped. Tracking stats on a phone you’ll likely have with you is easier than carrying a notebook and pen.
You’ll feel tired after the baby is born, no doubt. But with these tools and products, you’ll go through the newborn stage smoother. Learn from my own mistakes and stick to the tried and true baby must haves that will make your life easier.
Want a printable checklist of these baby must-haves for your registry? Download my FREE 31-page Baby Prep Workbook for tips and worksheets (including the registry checklist) to help you prepare for your baby’s arrival:
Get more tips as you prepare for your baby:
- 9 Things to Do Before Baby Is Born
- Come Prepared: Your Hospital Bag Essentials with a Free Printable!
- Preparing for Baby: How to Avoid the Clutter
- How to Deal with Gender Disappointment During Your Pregnancy
- The Ultimate Mom to Be Guide: Everything I Wish Someone Had Told Me when I Was Pregnant
Your turn: What are your baby must haves that made your life easier? Let me know in the comments!
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