When preparing for bringing home our first baby, I knew that the key to not letting material things get out of control would be to not buy more than we’d even use; if it was not absolutely necessary, or multi-purpose, I wasn’t about to spend money on it, or let it take up space. But, as soon as I got home from the hospital, I saw that some things just make life easier. As a first time mom, you’ll want to consider the following:
1. Baby Calendar And Book
It’s sometimes overlooked, as things can be so busy, especially the first few months of your baby’s life – but you’ll want to look back and eventually share with your baby those special first moments. Whether you pick one with a special, matching box, or pockets for keepsakes, or just a book and calendar, you will be glad you have this keepsake. You’ll never have as much time as you do with your first child, right?
2. Video Camera Monitor
It may be timeless to tiptoe out of baby’s room, but not having to risk waking them back up at each and every little noise – or lack of noise – that they make, can give a new mom some peace. Picking a video camera monitor potentially means having the ability to zoom, pan, and see your baby in the dark, as well as start and stop music, monitor the room temperature, and take pictures of your sleeping beauty (or crazy, cranky crib kid).
Editor’s Choice: We highly recommend the Fujikam FI-361 HD wireless camera for it’s price, simple install, clarity and good performace reliability.
3. Nursing Covers
Assuming you may breastfeed for any length of time – you’ll want at least two. Why? Because one will inevitably be in the washer when you need to go sit at the doctor’s office for the tenth time this month. (It can happen!) If you make one, consider implementing boning into the top to secure your privacy. You may get coupons for brand name ones in the mail at times, depending on what samples and magazines you sign up to receive.
4. Swaddle Blankets
Your baby will be growing fast, but having blankets that work for swaddling for the first three months – or even longer – may be the only way you get to sleep for any length of time. (Again – more than one is helpful, because your baby will spit up, have diaper leaks, etc.) Newborn babies like to feel secure and warm, but not every blanket is swaddle worthy – some are too short, and some are too thick. Buying a few that are specifically made for swaddling, and learning how to swaddle, will be worth your time and investment.
Watch the video below on how to swaddle your baby with a few do’s and don’t while swaddling.
I happened to live in a historic home, and that meant the rooms were smaller; back in the early 1900’s, when this house was built, the “open concept” was not trending, and there was precious little space for baby gear if you still wanted to be able to walk around. But when my godparents sent me a swing, and told me it would be a life saver – I gave it a try. Now, my baby had to be swaddled, the music had to be on, the vibrator had to be on, and the swing had to be going for her to go to sleep, but, she’d nap for hours in there when nothing else worked. Baby swings that plug in may be a better option, as I almost went broke on the 3 “D” batteries that have to be changed almost weekly, but then again, there are only so many outlets in a historic home… so whatever works for your house!
Again, I’m assuming you may breastfeed for a time, but the last thing you want to do is run out of lanolin in those first few weeks – or even to have left it in your diaper bag in the car, and be upstairs. Lanolin is one of the few products considered safe to use, as your baby may ingest small amounts. You’ve never known how sore you can be until you feed through the first growth spurt around 10-14 days.
7. A Good Breast Pump
If you’re serious about breast milk, you’ll probably want a good pump – don’t go for manual if you know you’ll want to spend those 20-30 minute sessions doing something else with your hands – even just caring for your baby simultaneously (a bustier may be helpful, as well). You will also want to make sure you have the appropriate “shield” or cup sizes, and acquire two full sets of extra parts, so that one can be in the dishwasher while you use the other. By the way, most of the time, all parts are sold separately.
Whether you plan on going shopping, walking, or just getting things done around the house, getting a carrier or wraps of some kind can come in handy. Different wraps are good for different activities, ages, and honestly, the different people who will be wearing them. For those who aren’t as gifted in wrapping, structured carriers may be preferable (either soft or hard). And as long as you aren’t terrified of being labeled, some areas have baby wearing clubs where you can go to a meeting and try on different wraps and carriers. Don’t be surprised if you receive some tips and tricks, as a new mom, too!
9. Travel System Stroller
I said I didn’t want one. I asked good first time mom questions, like, “Doesn’t taking it in and out make it less effective?” And then I conceded to get one for my husband’s vehicle. But the first time we clicked that car seat in straight from the stroller to the car, and especially by the first time I took our baby to a doctor’s appointment by myself – I was really glad we had a travel system stroller. It’s the best when she’s asleep, or when the weather’s not so good.
10. Postpartum Outfits
With the rise of super cute maternity clothes comes the decision – will you risk being asked if you’re currently pregnant by wearing your maternity clothes after the fact? Most likely, not! Or will you fall to the stereotypical yoga pants attire? Whatever you do, you should have several loose fitting, but cute outfits that you can wear in the months it takes for your body to readjust. It’s hard enough to keep up with the laundry normally, but even harder if you only have one pair of pants that fit right! Many first time moms think they’ll be right back to normal, or are afraid to buy clothes that are bigger than their normal because they’re afraid they will be stuck.
There’s a lot to think about when you’re bringing home a newborn baby. You may debate about what you’ll need, and it’s true that you won’t know everything beforehand, and be perfectly prepared, no matter how hard you try – but considering these 10 items will help you be as prepared as possible!