Baby and New Mom Essentials

Not gonna lie, I’ve had this post on my to-do list for about 2 years now.  Putting together a baby registry is overwhelming and exhausting, so I decided to share all of the essentials I have found helpful after having two babies in less than two years.  Most items are for baby, but a couple are for you as a new mom.  Even if you’re not putting together a registry for yourself these items make great baby shower and Christmas gifts!  They’re more on the practical side rather than things that are super pretty, but to be honest, sometimes function is more important than looks anyway, especially when it comes to a baby.  I hope this round-up helps you out, and if there is anything I left out that you think is a great basic necessity please share it in the comments!

Sound Machine:  A sound machine is an absolute essential with babies and young children.  And to be honest, I actually bought this machine for myself back in 2013 when I lived in a tiny apartment in Columbia, SC that had all of the building’s AC units right outside my bedroom window.  They would turn off and on all night and it drove me crazy!  This machine helped drown out the noise and since then I’ve really enjoyed having some white noise when I sleep.  This one is really simple and only makes one white noise (no rain or waves or stuff like that…I hate those noises when I try to sleep) but you can adjust now loud it is.  We now own two of these and they really help my babies stay asleep.

Muslin Swaddle Blankets:  We swaddle Caroline with these during nap time and they’re also great as lightweight nursing covers.  It’s pretty warm here in Hawaii so these deluxe swaddles are my favorite because they’re lighter than the cotton ones (which I love too) and are extremely soft.  Plus you can’t beat pineapples and flamingos ­čÖé

Diaper Genie:  Babies and toddlers poop so much that if you just threw the diaper in the trash can your house would end up really stinky.  We use this countless times a day (having 2 in diapers is no joke) and it helps control the odor.  It’s amazing how many you can fit in there before having to empty it.  We call the full bags poop torpedoes haha

Portable Sound Machine:  We had a regular sound machine for Jack but I bought this portable sound machine before Caroline was born and it has been a lifesaver.  We are out and about pretty often because Jack needs to get his energy out, and I just clip this to the bassinet or carseat and it helps keep Caroline asleep.  It’s charged by USB which is awesome, and if you travel a lot you can actually just keep it plugged in and use it at night.

Uppababy Stroller:  If you’re planning on having two kids pretty close together (or if you’re having twins) I highly recommend this stroller.  We used it for Jack with the bassinet (which comes with the stroller), the Uppababy Mesa car seat and then the toddler seat.  Everything can go forwards or backwards too, which is really nice.  Now that we have an infant and a toddler we have expanded the stroller to carry both of them.  The configuration we use the most often is with the bassinet and the toddler seat at the same time, but I just ordered this insert for Caroline so we will start using the toddler seat and the rumble seat pretty soon.  There is even a little skateboard thing that attaches to it so a toddler can ride on it!  We haven’t bought that accessory yet but think we will in a few months.  We also have the stand that goes with the bassinet so that your newborn can sleep in it next to your bed at night.  We used it for 2 months with Jack and just under 2 months with Caroline, and then transitioned them to their own rooms.

Car Seat Protector
I learned the hard way that these are a necessity.  Jack was about 4 months old and we were staying at a hotel in Richmond, VA for a days.  Jack and I were running a few errands and he had the biggest blowout I have ever experienced.  It was so bad that I had to completely disassemble the car seat and put the plastic/styrofoam base in the shower for 10 minutes in hot running water.  Breast milk poop (bright yellow and very runny, for those of you who have not experienced it yet) was in every single crevice and it was a horrible and time consuming experience getting everything clean.  If I had had a car seat protector all the poop would have been contained.  Needless to say I ordered one the very next day.

RockaRoo:  We didn’t have this for Jack but I’m a huge believer in it with Caroline.  I’ll be honest, she probably naps in it way more than she should (she’s not a great napper but sleeps 13 hours straight at night in her crib).  I like that it plugs into the wall so you don’t have to worry about batteries.  She seriously loves this thing and I’m so thankful we have it because otherwise she would never let me put her down!

Nursing/Carseat Cover:  I never had one of these with Jack but now I have a few and love them!  Honestly I use them more as carseat covers than as nursing covers because I’m not all that shy when it comes to nursing in public.  A friend gave me this one and I seriously get at least 2 compliments every time I use it.  The watercolor floral pattern is so pretty and it’s extremely soft!

Gerber Cloth Diapers (as Burp Cloths):  These cloth diapers make the best burp cloths.  We have many cute burp clothes but these plain ole white ones are hands-down my favorite.

Milkies Breast Milk Collector:  The postpartum body has a mind of it’s own, and when your milk first comes in you often end up overproducing.  Whenever I could feel my milk spontaneously letting down I’d slip two Milkies into my bra to collect the milk that was being expressed.  I also use 1 when I breastfeed on the side that isn’t being used.  Milkies catch all the milk that would otherwise go to waste and then you can freeze it.  Just an FYI though, they come as individuals so if you want 2 you have to buy 2.

Swaddle Wraps:  Newborns really do sleep better when they are swaddled, even if it looks like they fight it at first.  We used these wraps with Jack and used them again with Caroline.  They keep them nice and snug and it’s harder for them to get out of than a blanket is.  I really like that they come in a 3-pack because you definitely need more than 1.

Changing Pad Liners:  Protect your cute changing pad covers with liners.  Baby poop can get everywhere sometimes!  (I forgot to include this in the photo above.)  

Baby Wrap
 or Ring Sling
 I tried the Solly Wrap but my go-to wrap is the Baby K’Tan Breeze.  It’s so much faster to put on and doesn’t drag on the floor like the Solly does.  I wore it all the time with Jack.  I also have two Wild Bird ring slings and really like how quick they are to put on.  Caroline isn’t all the into being worn yet (in anything…she’s pretty high strung) but she’s getting used to it because I’m persistent and really need my mobility since Jack is 2 years old and all over the place.

Bumbo Multi Seat This seat is great because it lasts a lot longer than the regular Bumbo (the insert is removable so they can use it when they’re larger).  We used it as Jack’s first high chair before we upgraded to a stand alone chair.  It comes with a great tray that is stored on the back, and you can attach it to a dining chair so it doesn’t have to be used just on the floor.  We still have the one Jack used so will use it for Caroline once she’s a bit older.

Postpartum Corset:  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this postpartum corset really helped everything in my midsection remember where it was supposed to go.  My tummy was completely flat about 4-5 months after I had Jack and I credit this (and working out and eating well, of course) for helping my body in the early days.  It provides great support, especially if you’ve had a C-section.

Baby Bath Support:  We’ve tried 3 different baby bath tubs and this is my favorite.  Not great for traveling because it doesn’t pack flat, but it’s nice and comfy for the baby and easier to use and keep clean than some other ones.  It works great in the sink if you have a large sink that’s not split in half, and also works well in the tub.

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Katie Vail
Katie Vail

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