Monday, November 30, 2015

Top ten baby essentials: newborn edition

Good afternoon! It is wet, cold and rainy in my neck of the woods. Needless to say, we are staying in! As I'm sitting here typing, my precious girl is taking a nap right across from me in a baby swing.

As most of you know, life with a newborn is a tough adjustment sometimes...especially if you waited 4.5 years between children like we did. If you're a first time parent, registering for what your baby needs can be ovewhelming, and chances are, you're going to end up with a lot of things you really don't need. Earlier this year, I wrote a post about keeping baby gear from taking over your home. You may want to revisit that.

Today, I'm going to share ten things that are making our life with a new baby easier. They are in particular order, and of course, this list is based off of our opinions and what's working for us. We're real people with real children- we're not experts, we're just parents. So please, if there are any products that you can't live without, please comment and tell me about them. Who knows? a first time parent may be reading, and may benefit from your suggestions.

As I said before, these are in no particular order.

1. Medela Pump In Style Advanced breast pump

Pump In Style® Advanced
[photograph courtesy of the Medela website]

If you're planning to breastfeed, this pump is where it's at. I had access to a hospital grade pump in my hospital room, but they had it set on a preemie setting, and this engorged mama didn't get any relief until I was at home with my Medela Pump in Style. I also obtained a free one from insurance and now have two pumps. You should contact Aeroflow and see if your insurance qualifies. This promotion didn't exist when I had Emorie, but you should definitely take advantage of it.

2. Graco Pack and Play with changing station and newborn napper
Graco Pack 'N Play with Newborn Napper Elite, Vance
[Photo from]

There are several different models of Pack and Plays you can get. We like this one because it has a bassinet for newborns. It's currently set up in our bedroom, where she'll sleep until we feel she's big enough for her crib. The newborn napper has a feature in which you can play music, use vibration to calm a fussy baby (it works!), play nature sounds, and shine a light to check on your baby. The changing station is nice, too. Our house is one level and her nursery changing table is right across the hall, but when I'm tired, I don't always want to leave the bedroom. It's nice to have two places to change her. Also, when she outgrows the newborn napper and changer, we can remove them and she can sleep in the pack and play itself. Also, we have out of state family and we travel a lot. We can fold up this Pack and Play and she can sleep in it. I've also seen people take them outdoors in the summer and stretch a fitted crib sheet across the top so babies can play safely away from the grass and any biting bugs. I definitely recommend this!!

3. Fisher Price Rock and Play sleeper

I love how portable this is. When Aubrey is asleep, I can just move it to whatever room I am in. It folds up easily and travels easily. The only negative is that it's small and she won't use it long.The incline is nice too- seems to help with the tummy troubles.

4. Dr. Brown's Preemie Bottles with Preemie Nipples
[Photo courtesy of]

Our girl was a little early, and as a result, pretty tiny. She was too small to properly latch and adequately nurse. At the lactation specialists' recommendation, we purchased these bottles. They are two ounce bottles, and we used them and loved them until she reached three weeks and began eating more.

5. Avent Natural

               [photo from Babies R Us]

I used Avent Classic bottles with my oldest, but received several of these through a promotion Motherhood Maternity was doing. When Aubrey started eating larger amounts, I decided to try them. What I discovered is that the latch is almost identical to breastfeeding. Once we started using these bottles during the day, her nursing improved dramatically. We're now back to nursing every other feeding, and bottle feeding pumped milk on the feedings in between. My goal is to exclusively nurse on nights and weekends once I return to work.

6. aden + anais swaddle blankets

[photo from Babies R Us]

First off, let me say that I love the SwaddleMe blankets and the Halo sleep sacks, but our girl isn't big enough for them yet. In the meantime, we are loving this swaddle blanket. Yes, we have swaddled Aubrey with regular receiving blankets, but they are not big enough, and as a result, she ends up "busting out" of the swaddle. These are long enough, plus, they are so soft and cuddly.

7. Pampers Swaddlers

[photo courtesy of Sam's Club]

We actually use both Pampers and Huggies, but Pampers are actually my favorite. I like the fact that they have the wetness indicator and I haven't had any problems with them leaking as long as they aren't too big or too small. Plus, the Pampers reward program is a nice perk, too.

8. Mam newborn pacifiers

[Photo from Bed, Bath and Beyond]
We received one of these pacifiers as a gift. They are small and easier for my baby girl to hold on to. Plus, they come in all sorts of cute designs. We were divided on whether we should get her paci, but these have definitely been good.

9. Boppy feeding pillow

[Photo from Boppy.Com]

This thing is awesome!! Right now we use it for nursing- I've never really been able to get her to the correct height with just regular pillows. It's also great for propping up babies who can't sit independently and for tummy time.

10. DexBaby Mommy Bear
Mommy Bear with Womb Sounds, Tan/Light Brown Teddy Bear
[photo from]

Our baby is something of a light sleeper. We got this bear when we had Emorie- it was a hand-me-down gift from my cousin. Emorie didn't really use it, but Aubrey has. We put the bear near her and turn on the womb sounds and she usually goes right to sleep. DISCLAIMER: Do not put stuffed animals, pillows, or blankets in areas where babies sleep (cribs, cradles, bassinets, pack and plays, rock and plays, etc).

So there you have it! Please feel free to comment and add your newborn necessities. As Aubrey gets older, I'll post more necessities. Thanks for reading!

Linking to StonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate Addict, and French Country Cottage!

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