I can’t believe baby Miles has been here for an entire month, but I’m also having a hard time remembing what the heck life was like without him. Before Miles arrived I spent COUNTLESS hours scouring the internet for the best best best baby items. I wanted things that would make my life easier as a new mom but did NOT want more than I needed. I have a small-ish house with limited storage. Each purchase needed to be intentional.
So, to help other new moms or expecting moms out there, I want to share the TOP baby items we used for Miles’ first month home with us. These are the HANDS DOWN the number one items we couldn’t have lived without for these first 4 weeks.
HALO Bassinest Swivel Sleeper Bassinet
We knew we wanted Miles to sleep in a bassinet next to us in our bedroom. When I saw The Halo Bassinest, I thought it was a really smart design. Now that we’ve had Miles home, I can’t imagine using another bassinet.
Why is it so great?
Well, first things first the sides are all mesh. The one thing about mesh is that it’s very safe because it’s breathable if Miles ends up up against the wall of the bassinet (which he does pretty much every night cause my dude is a mover and a shaker). This little extra level of safety is amazing for new parents like us who worry about every little thing. The other perk of the mesh is I can see Miles while laying in bed meaning I don’t have to get up to check on him every time I hear something. One thing about babies, they make a lot of noise while they sleep. These noises are mostly just them self-soothing and falling asleep, but as a new parent you kind of worry if it’s them spitting up or struggling with something. I can’t imagine having to get up every time Miles made a little noise. I love that I can easily see him right from bed.
This bassinet also has a swivel stand. You can swivel the bassinet 360° so you can position it however you want on the edge of the bed and always have easy access to your baby. It also makes it easier to get in and out of bed. Finally, the short side of the bassinet pushes down which makes taking your babe out of the bassinet from bed a cinch.
Munchkin Changing Pad Liners
A friend of mine who also has a baby boy suggested these to us. The truth is, baby boys LOVE to pee when getting changed. I’ve gotten a little better as dodging, avoiding, and preventing this, but it’s bound to happen. These liners just go right on your changing table and are waterproof. If they get wet or messy just throw them in the laundry hamper and put down a new one. It saves you from having to constantly change your pad cover. If you’re having a boy, I suggest you get a set of AT LEAST 6.
Zip-up (or button-up) footie bodysuits are the best. Of course, Miles was born at the end of October so the same might not go for a baby born in August. But Miles lives in these whenever we need to go anywhere. They are way better than trying to put on a onesie and some pants, are super easy to get on and off, have easy access to the diaper, and are car seat friendly. My favorites are the ones from Old Navy as well as the Carter’s ones.
I got the Hushh Portable Sound Machine. I knew from some reading I did how soothing the sound of white noise is to newborns. In the womb, they hear a constant, loud WHOOSHING sound 24/7. The real world is oddly quiet to them. Our hush sound machine helps soothe Miles to sleep. It also helps to soothe him when he’s being fussy. While there are many sound machines you can get for the nursery, I like this one because it’s portable. I use it all over the place. I can hang it on his bassinet, throw it in our diaper bag, use it when he’s getting fussy in the car seat, place it next to his Rock n Play, etc. This was a definite must-have item for me.
Loopy Cellphone Case
Ok, so a cellphone case might seem like a silly “baby” purchase but hear me out. The loopy cases have a rubber loop on the back of the case. The idea is it makes holding the phone easier. As a new mom, however, it has some other added perks. First, you’re going to take like, a million pictures of your baby. Maybe 2 million, I don’t know this is just a rough estimate. A lot of these pictures will be taken from above, meaning you’re holding the phone over your little babe’s face. Yep, you guessed it, eventually, you’re going to drop your phone on your baby’s face. Well, with the loopy case, little baby’s face is safe!
The other perk is the loop makes carrying the case a lot easier. You’re going to have one less hand available most of the time when you have your new one home. I love that I can easily grab my phone with just my pinkie finger if I need to.
Sleepea Sleep Sack Swaddle
Swaddling your baby is magic. Seriously, it is. Not only does the swaddle make them feel held and safe, which mimics the womb, it does more than just that. Swaddling your baby helps to keep their arms down at their sides away from their face. All babies are born with something called the Moro reflex. This reflex can best be described as the sensation of falling for your baby. You can probably easily identify this because the baby reacts by jolting their arms up. If you’ve ever been around of newborn for a period of time you’ve seen this. The problem is, babies fall asleep and then the Moro reflex kicks in making them throw their arms up which, in turn, wakes them up from their sound sleep. When a baby is swaddled, it prevents this from happening and allows them to sleep better and for longer stretches. (NOTE: Many people think their baby HATES to be swaddled, because many babies cry when initially swaddled. But, if followed up with other soothing techniques, a swaddle is KEY to helping your baby self-soothe and sleep. If you haven’t read it already, I highly suggest reading about Dr. Karp’s Five S’s. You can read a brief overview here, but I really suggest reading the whole book!. Miles always acts like he doesn’t want to be swaddled with his arms down, but once soothed, he sleeps at least twice as long when swaddled this way.)
Ok, now that that’s out of the way. Why do I LOVE the Sleepea Sleep Sack swaddle? Because it’s SUPER easy to contain Mile’s arms and I love the simple zip up the front. It takes less than 5 seconds to swaddle Miles in this and he never breaks his arms out.
Swaddle runner-up: I also really like the SwaddleMe swaddles. They aren’t quite as easy as the Sleepea. There are also more velcro pieces which are pretty loud and sometimes startle Miles when swaddling. But, you can get a 3 pack for about $30, which is a great deal. While I prefer the Sleepea, I use the SwaddleMe swaddles all the time, too.
If you haven’t heard of Nose Frida, it’s a nasal aspirator that basically allows you to suck out your baby’s snot. Sounds gross but trust me, it’s totally sanitary and clean. They give you an aspirator at the hospital but this thing works way better. I registered for one because after teaching preschool for 4 years and seeing how hard it was for little ones to blow their noses, I knew I’d need it. I just didn’t think I’d be using it so soon. Miles got some mucus in his nose around week 2. He was able to sneeze some of it out himself but the rest stayed in there and made it hard for him to sleep and eat. Nose Frida to the rescue! I was able to suck out the snots and clear him up. I know it sounds kind of gross but it’s also oddly satisfying to get the snot out. Is that weird…?
The DockATot is one of those mom cult favorites that I feel like gets mixed reviews. People either love it or don’t see the hype. Personally, I think it comes down to your baby and how you use it. So, what is the DockATot? It’s basically a baby lounger where the baby can sleep, lay, rest, etc. Because we live in a two story house, I thought the DockATot would be a great thing to keep in the living room so Miles could nap while still being in the main living area of the house with us. We’ve used it since day one and haven’t gone a day without Miles taking at least one of his naps in it. I use it on the sofa as a safe place for Miles to lay after I nurse him, or to go down for a nap while I work. I also use it in his crib for his morning nap while I fold laundry or clean up the nursery. What I love is how versatile it is. It can go on the sofa, on a bed, in his crib, or even on the floor. Miles naps great in it as well.
As a side note, I’ve bought the DockATot for a handful of friends for their babies in the past and they always tell me how useful it is and how much they love it.
Baby wearing is great with newborns. As a new mom you might be a little hesitant to try it because you can worry if they are in it correctly. Some babies also fuss in it at first until they settle down. But in this first month, some of the only ways I could get anything done (like brush my teeth or clean bottles) was to wear Miles.
We have two carriers. I have the Boba Baby Wrap as well as the LÍLLÉbaby Complete baby carrier. I like them both for different reasons. The Boba Baby Wrap is overall more comfortable because it’s just a soft, super stretchy material. And, for newborns, I feel like it holds and secures them better. I also love that your baby can nurse IN the wrap! That’ll be awesome when Miles is a little older and more efficient at nursing. The LÍLLÉbaby Complete baby carrier is more versatile. You can use it 6 different ways including front and back wearing. It’s also, overall, a little more sturdy. I like using the LÍLLÉbaby because it has good neck support to hold him in while he’s looking around. Sometimes he pops his head out of the Boba Baby Wrap when he’s too active. Overall, I’m glad we have both because they both have their uses.
Here are a few more items we loved, but weren’t necessarily “gotta-have-em” items. They just made newborn life a little easier.
Car Seat Cover: I bought a 5-in-one car seat cover which I plan to use as a nursing cover as well. But, right now we’ve just been using it as a car seat cover. A car seat cover is great because not only can you keep your baby covered from the elements while you go in and out of stores/doctor’s appointments (it’s been cold and windy in Connecticut lately). But, since the first few weeks baby is most vulnerable and has a lower immune system, I like the added protection it gives him from any germs that may be flying around as we go out and about. It also keeps him covered up from strangers’ eyes and hands. Not to be an overprotective parent but people LOVE babies. Listen, I can’t blame them, babies are adorable. When people see a baby their natural reaction is to move in close, ooh and ahh, touch his hands, etc. Of course, I love for people to oogle my little bundle of joy, but it is cold and flu season and you don’t always know what strangers may be carrying.
Huggies Diapers with Wetness Indicator: We were gifted a ton of Huggies diapers when Miles was born. They have a little yellow line that turns blue on them when the diaper is wet. They also have great stretch around the legs and good coverage in the back. When I ran out, I ordered some of the Honest diapers. Truthfully, I ordered Honest diapers because they come in adorable patterns and I couldn’t resist. But, they just aren’t as practical. They didn’t fit as well and they don’t have a wetness indicator. I’ll be sticking with Huggies for now.
Baby Swing/Seat: I have the Rock n’ Play** as well as the Infant to Toddler Rocker. We have a two story house, so I use the Rock n’ Play downstairs since it’s a little larger. The Infant to Toddler Rocker we keep upstairs and use in the morning when I’m getting ready or taking a shower. (The Infant to Toddler Rocker doesn’t fold down but it’s super lightweight so also easy to carry to the kitchen or other places you might need to place your child while you get something done.)
**NOTE: The Rock n Play has been recalled. I suggest this as a alternative.
Now, I totally think one of these is a must-have item. You need a spot to be able to put your baby when you’re cooking, cleaning, getting ready, or just need an extra hand. The reason it’s only an honorable mention is because it’s not just ONE of these that’s a stand–out. While I think you should get some type of swing or seat, there are a lot of options and I think most are pretty much the same. I like the Rock n’ Play because of the gentle swaying and the white noise option. I like the Infant to Toddler Rocker because of the toy bar and the fact that it’s super lightweight.