Some thoughts and discussions from me.

Hi friends! This post is specifically for those who have an interest in new mom-ness, whether you’re a new mom, trying to conceive, or know someone who is a new mama.

During pregnancy, you’re bombarded with the pressure to make your registry — and include everything on it. In fact, in order to get Amazon’s free new mom gift, you have to choose at least one product from every single category, and I swear, there are like 27 different categories.

In an effort not to accumulate tons of stuff, I didn’t register for too much, and I did some research on what new moms actually needed. However, I didn’t come across a blog post that truly differentiated “need” from “nice-to-have,” so that’s what I hope to accomplish in this post.

As I’m writing this, Aria is 5 weeks 5 days old (scratch that — as I’m FINISHING this, Aria is 6 Weeks, 4 Days old #momlife #evergrowingtodolist #wheredoesthetimego #whatislife.) I don’t know WHERE the past 6 weeks have gone, but they sure have gone by quickly.

We’ve gone through about a floppity billion diapers and wipes, and have found out what’s critical, what’s convenient, and what’s collecting dust in terms of “stuff” needed to care for a newborn.

What’s Necessary

*note: this is stuff that’s been a game changer in our experience. Obviously, the only things a baby truly needs is food, shelter, diapers, and love.

#1. DIAPERS (and wipes)

Obviously, but I didn’t realize just how many diapers you’d go through with a newborn. Unfortunately, if you want to increase your carbon footprint, have a baby.

We went through several boxes of newborn diapers before Aria outgrew them in about week 4. Now we’re on to blasting through boxes of size 1’s.

In the beginning, we probably went through 15-20 diapers a day at least. Now we’re down to about 10-12.

We tried several brands in the beginning, including Pampers, Kirkland, Honest, and Up & up, and we prefer these Pampers Swaddlers the best! We also tested a few wipes, including Honest brand and Water Wipes, and love the Water Wipes!

#2. Bassinet

We decided early on that Aria would sleep in a bassinet next to our bed for the first couple months. We ended up choosing the Baby Bjorn cradle since it’s SIDs-friendly, modern looking, and rocks a bit. It also got high reviews on Amazon.

I will say that Aria has acid reflux, and at night when we don’t have any awake time in between feeding and sleeping (we are following the EASY sleep schedule/Baby Whisperer method,) laying flat in the bassinet makes her spit up pretty badly. We tried elevating the mattress with a phone book, but have since decided the rock n play right next to our bed in a better option (without turning it on) since it is at an incline.

#3. Munchkin changing table liners

Unless you want to be washing that pretty changing pad cover multiple times a week, these munchkin liners are money! Especially in those first few weeks when things are more unpredictable, they help to catch mid-diaper changing pees and poos without dirtying the actual changing pad cover.

#4. A breastpump

Even if you’re going to exclusively breastfeed, if you have an over supply like I do, using the breast pump can help give you some relief, and fend off mastitis. Aria has been EBF up until week 5, when we started giving her 1 bottle a day of pumped milk, so that when I go back to training clients (or have a girls night and drink too much wine,) she’ll be ok with taking a bottle.

Now that said, the type of breast pump varies. You could get by with a manual hand pump, but if you have an oversupply, I’m not sure I could get by without my electric pump. Thank goodness insurance paid for ours!

#5. Swaddles!

There are so many different options when it comes to swaddles. To prevent SIDs, you’re not supposed to have any loose blankets in the crib. Furthermore, infants swing their arms as a reflex, which can wake them up accidentally. Swaddling solves both of these problems.

We’ve found that, while a typical swaddling blanket will do, we prefer the Halo Sleep Sack, with her arms swaddled. This also prevents her from swatting away her pacifier (when she needs it to self-soothe for a nap) as well. We also just picked up a SwaddleUP swaddle, so we will see how she likes that.

#6. Onesies with footie pajamas

Here’s a tip: newborns spit up a lot, which means you’ll be changing their clothes a lot. You also likely won’t leave the house too much those first few weeks. This all means that all of those cute newborn outfits? Kind of a waste. Aria has spent 95% of her time in (super cute) onesies with footies. Our favorite pricey brand is Kickee Pants, but we also love Burts Bees and Carter’s.

#7. BIG Water Bottles

If you’re breastfeeding, you will be THIRSTY. I keep a 30 ounce hydroflask in the living room, a 30 ounce yeti in the nursery, and a 20 ounce hospital jug in the bedroom filled at all times.

#8. Bars

You’ll also be hungry ALL the time. There hasn’t been one night where I haven’t eaten a bar in the middle of the night while feeding my baby. Right next to my rocker, I have KIND bars and Oatmega bars.

Convenient and Nice-to-Haves

#1. A breastfeeding pillow

This isn’t a necessity, because I’ve used a regular pillow to nurse Aria plenty of times and have been just fine. But if I’m in the comfort of my own home, my Breast Friend pillow makes it SO much easier.

#2. Diaper garbage

Yes, you could just toss diapers in a regular garbage can, but this really condenses them down, and it doesn’t smell at ALL. Shane has to change the bag about every other day. We have this one.

#3. A swing/rocker

We use our rock n play quite often for night sleep since Aria has acid reflux, and she can sleep at an incline. However, I wouldn’t say having one is necessary at all. She sleeps in her bassinet the majority of the time, and when she’s awake, we’re either doing tummy time or holding her (sometimes I do put her in a swing when I’m pumping if Shane’s in a meeting, though.)

We have this Rock n Play, and I highly recommend this one, if you choose to go with a RNP

#4. Baby monitor

Honestly, this is probably more of a necessity for us, but you can totally get by without one. Either Shane or I always have ours on while she’s napping. We got the iBaby monitor, which you can view from anywhere with wifi. The picture quality is awesome, and we really like it.

#5. Carrier

looove our carrier – the Ergo Baby 360. We also have the K’tan, which I’m not as crazy about, but I love taking her for walks — and running errands with her in the Ergo Baby. It feels good for me to wear it, and she just loves it. Within minutes, she’s snuggled up and snoozing.

#6. Pacifier

I had no idea why people gave their babies pacifiers before having one. It wasn’t a judgment call — I just didn’t know why you’d use one. Then I gave Aria her wubbanub, and realized it’s because it’s a miracle worker. But…it’s also a nightmare. Imagine a fussy baby in the cradle turned quiet and calm with the pop of a pacifier…and then having to return to the crib every 15 minutes because of your baby wailing that it fell out.

What’s NOT Necessary

#1. Any and all toys

Infants don’t respond to toys yet, and I’ve actually read that shaking a rattle at a newborn can overstimulate them. We do have this play mat, that’s AWESOME, but I think it will be more appropriate in a few weeks when she can respond better to the bells and whistles.

#2. Nursery Furniture (aside from changing table)

Personally, I wanted to finish Aria’s nursery before her arrival, but I did it more for me than for her. I was so excited to decorate a baby girl’s nursery, and I’m SO happy with how it turned out. However — none of it was really needed for the first 6 weeks (and probably even 12.)

Yes, I use the rocker all the time, but I could just as easily use the couch. She’s napped in her crib maybe twice, but won’t sleep there for another 6 weeks or so. I will say the changing table is necessary, as it’s a safe place to change the baby’s diapers. However, you could always just lay a blanket on the floor and do the same, I suppose.

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