It’s like an inescapable trigger but as soon as you mention to anyone that you’re pregnant – grandmas, seasoned moms, dads and even the friendly stranger in the elevator will try giving you unsolicited advice and telling you what you must absolutely buy for your newborn. We certainly had no shortage of recommendations from friends and family on the things we just simply couldn’t live without – and whilst some of them were great, some haven’t quite worked for Jacob.
We’ve survived the first month somehow and I have Chris to thank for this because he certainly has transitioned into fatherhood seamlessly. Myself on the other hand, still panics when Jacob screams himself purple and nothing I do can settle him. In the weeks leading up to the birth we made regular trips to our local Baby Bunting store and what started innocently as a trip to “just pick up a few swaddles,” turns into an all out shopping spree where everything in the store becomes a necessity. I’ve decided not to add up out how much we’ve spent in that store. I’ll just sum it up in two simple words– sh*t tonnes.
I think it’s that novelty that drives new parents to blowing thousands of dollars in baby stores and believe me; we certainly were not immune to it. Exercising control was hard when everything is just so damn cute when it’s 100 times smaller and has giraffes and elephants all over. Some of our buys were great and some were duds but I decided to put together a post on the things we’ve purchased that have been the most worthwhile.
Chris and I have both agreed that these little items have made a world of difference to our newborn experience in these first few weeks. So read on if you want to know the newborn essentials every new mom needs to survive the first few weeks. The best thing is that these items won’t break your bank!
Newborn Essentials Every New Mom Needs
They’re cheap, easy to assemble and portable when it comes to moving freely around the house. I’ll admit – I wanted a fancy baby bassinet that was pretty, lined with fancy trimmings and big. After an hour, Chris convinced me that the Moses basket was all that we needed for the first few months and the positive is that it’s inexpensive.
Most will come with a stand but we’ve hardly used it ourselves – in fact, I don’t even know where ours is. The best thing we’ve found is that whilst it’s not advised that you sleep with a newborn in your bed – it’s totally fine to have the Moses basket in between you and your partner. When you need to do chores around the house you can simply settle your newborn into the Moses and bring the basket with you.
This came as a recommendation from a friend but it’s easily the best $150 we’ve spent – or in our case $50 because Chris found a brand new one on Gumtree by chance. After a sleepless first night of worrying whether or not our baby was breathing and being too scared to sleep, the Snuza Hero was a lifesaver.
Essentially this thing just clips onto your newborns nappy (don’t worry they don’t care or find it uncomfortable) and detects movements of the tummy and if there is no movement after 15 seconds; it will vibrate to wake your baby. An alarm will sound after another 5 seconds to wake you if there is no movement. Nifty huh?
The solution for beginners and moms with newborns that can rival Cris Angel for their magical ways of freeing themselves from swaddles. If you use this swaddle right, your newborn won’t be able to wriggle their way out of it. I watched in awe at the hospital those first few days postpartum when midwives could swaddle newborns so quickly and there would never be any issues of them wriggling out.
This is one of those things that will depend on your baby because I have heard that some babies don’t like to be so tightly swaddled and prefer their arms to be free. If you find that your baby does settle better when they’re wrapped in a baby burrito then consider getting one of these for the evening. Jacob has slept so much better when we’ve swaddled him in one of these at night – provided it isn’t too hot in the room as the fabric is considerably thicker than your typical muslin wrap.
Pacifiers & Pacifier Holder
The former seems a pretty obvious purchase because sometimes you’ll find that your baby likes to comfort suck and even if you stick a bottle or a nipple in there – they’re not actually feeding. Enter the pacifier. The latter is the thing that you forget to buy because babies won’t give you any warning when they decide they don’t like their dummy anymore. They will drop it so fast that you’ll be picking up after them constantly and if you have the holder (which clips onto your newborns clothes) then problem solved!
Baby clothes can be so cute; especially when they look like you’ve used a shrinking gun on your grandfather’s wardrobe. Onesies are the most practical outfit because it makes diaper changing so much easier and the snap on closures between the legs hold the diapers in place! There’s nothing worse than having a poopocalypse on your hands and having to wrangle pants off your newborn. Most newborns will hate their diaper being changed so it makes it so much easier when you’ve got quick and easy access to the dirty diaper.
There are many other obvious essentials for new moms but these are the specific lifesavers that have helped us survive this first month. Of course we’ve had a lot of outside support from my family but of course you can’t run out to your local baby store and find this ha!
Angled Baby Bottles
My mom actually bought a few of these in Japan and they have been such a godsend when it comes to feeding. Every time I try to change Jacob’s diaper it’s a battle and I’ve got the process worked out that if I distract him with food – he’s indifferent to whatever you do to him. So what do you do when you have to hold a bottle and change his diaper? That’s where the angled bottle comes in.
I tend to rest these against something or propped up on something and have him ‘self-feed’ until I’m done. Voila! It also helps the formula/milk move in a natural flow downward in the direction of the teet. It also prevents air bubbles from getting trapped in the teet too.
If you have any essentials/lifesavers then please share!