Newborn Gear Essentials

Now that Baby E is 7 weeks, my husband and I are a little over halfway through the newborn phase. As first time parents, all the  baby gear options can be overwhelming. Luckily, we also do have many friends and family members who have had kids so we’ve had a lot of opinions as to what is a “must have”.

As first time parents, it is easy to go overboard and buy everything in sight but a piece of very useful advice I got from a sales associate at a store is “Buy only what you need for the first week. Generally speaking, what you need during the first week will carry you through the first month”.

What are some items I cannot live without?

My Brest Friend:

For the amount of time I spend breastfeeding, I am pretty much attached to this item. I definitely feel like the Brest Friend offers more support than other nursing pillows. Although the Brest Friend is my preferred feeding pillow, I would recommend a 2nd breastfeeding pillow just because I find that I constantly am washing the cover for the brest friend. I am fortunate that I was gifted the Brest Friend and another nursing pillow so I do have two on hand to use.

Milkies Milk Saver:

In my previous post, I mentioned that my milk supply came in late. I recognize how precious each drop of breastmilk is. With each feeding (on average, baby E feeds 12-16 times/day), I do find that collecting the milk that leaked on the side is helpful. It’s so easy to use; just pop it into your nursing bra and it’ll save you from having milk soaked clothing afterwards.

Medela Freestyle Breast Pump:

For the first 2 weeks of breastfeeding, I could not imagine my life without a breast pump.  In order to help Baby E not lose any further weight, I had to put Baby E on the breast, supplement with formula and then pump for 15 minutes after each feeding. The next step was to put Baby E on the breast with a nipple shield and then supplement with expressed breast milk which meant I still needed to pump after each feeding. Getting a whole 150 mL bottle filled felt like such a huge accomplishment to me. 🙂

I now currently pump in fear of engorgement but it also allows my husband to be involved with feeding as well.

If you’re on the fence about getting a pump, don’t be. It’s totally worth it! 🙂 Having said that, I’m very thankful that a friend lent me her Medela pump. I bought new accessories (i.e. the tubing, bottles and the breast shields) to go with it.

Baby Bottles:

If you plan to have your partner involved with feeding, be prepared with different types of baby bottles and bottle nipples. We tried Dr. Brown bottles with preemie nipples, Nanobebe bottles and the Philips Avent bottles. It’s hard to say what your baby will like until you try the various options.

If you plan to bottle feed, you may want to buy a bottle sterilizer to make your life easier in terms of cleaning. We went with the Philips Avent 3 in 1 Sterilizer.

If you end up buying the Nanobebe set, it comes with its own sterilizing system.

Bravado Designs Silk Seamless Nursing Bra: 

Females are always looking for comfortable bras so I can’t imagine going through breastfeeding without a comfortable bra as well. Say hello to the Bravado Designs Silk Seamless Nursing Bra. During pregnancy, I was able to carry on with my regular bras but the minute breastfeeding began, I am very thankful for these nursing bras. It makes breastfeeding a smidge easier. 😉

Glider:

Prior to making my own decision about getting a glider as part of the nursery, individuals had mixed opinions on whether a glider is necessary or not. Based on my experience right now, a glider is absolutely necessary. I do all my feedings also rock Baby E to sleep on the glider. I can’t imagine life without the glider. I catch my husband taking a nap on the glider as well. 😉 My heart was set on a cloth glider by Dutalier; however, after much thought, I’m so glad we switched to buying a leather glider because leather is easier to clean. In addition, this leather glider could be used as a regular piece of furniture after Baby E is all grown up.

Ubbi Diaper Pail:

Wow. Before having Baby E, our organics bin would never get full. It’s a completely different story since having Baby E. Our organics bin is consistently full from week to week. Trust me, you’ll want to have the ubbi diaper pail in your nursery so that you can just toss that diaper away and keep the odour locked in.

Babymoov Cosydream Newborn Lounger:

I was all set on buying a Snuggle Me Organics but my mom suggested that I go with this option instead. Why? I like how this option can help with reflux (babies do have a fair bit of spit up), it can help prevent flat head (the pillow has a built in flat head prevention pillow) and it has a safety belt to make sure the baby is tucked in tight (baby E was born on the small side so this felt like the best option for her). Regardless of what option you go with, you will need a lounger. As much as baby snuggles are nice, you’ll want some time to be hands free but not have to worry as the baby will be right there beside you.

Bassinet:

Before we realized we were in a pandemic, I had imagined that we would continue our weekly visits to each set of grandparents. Saturday nights were reserved for my in laws whereas Sunday nights were reserved for my parents.  Because my mom already purchased the KidCo TravelPod Plus (it’s a travel size playpen with a bassinet on top) as I had planned to make weekly visits to each set of grandparents, she suggested I use this as the bassinet at home. We (my husband, Baby E & I have nowhere to go now as we’re all under lockdown). So far, it’s worked out great! Baby E, thankfully, does like sleeping in the bassinet. 🙂

I did seriously consider the Halo Bassinet but during uncertain times like these, I’ll save money where I can. Buying baby gear certainly adds up! Believe me, during the weeks where there were major developmental growth going on aka “Leaps”, I was even tempted to consider the Snoo but that leads to a whole new discussion.

Babymoov Lovenest Pillow:

As the Cosydream Newborn Lounger is considered a sleeping aid, the baby is not meant to sleep in it overnight as it is not considered a safe option. To prevent flathead in the bassinet, I also purchased the Lovenest Head Support pillow. Luckily, Baby E had little trouble falling asleep in her bassinet with the head support pillow. 🙂

Halo Sleepsack Swaddle:

To help your baby go to sleep, you will need to swaddle him/her. I’ve tried the SwaddleMe brand and Halo Sleepsack Swaddle but am thinking about trying the Love to Dream Swaddle. There are so many brands on the market so it really depends on what your baby likes. Baby E is a flailer and naturally likes to sleep with her hands up by where her head is; therefore, I think she would do better in a Love to Dream Swaddle but for now, she seems to tolerate the Halo Sleepsack Swaddle so I’m going to stick with it for routine’s sake.

White Noise Machine:

Learning about the “awake period” according to the baby’s age has been very helpful combined with watching Baby E’s cues for sleepiness to help me establish sleep patterns for Baby E. At 7 weeks, there is no sleep pattern but I have been consistent with my nap time routine and bedtime routine for Baby E. I have found the white noise machine (we have the DreamEgg) to be quite useful in helping Baby E fall asleep. We also do have a mini golden doodle at home. Thankfully, for the time being, noises like our dog barking does not bother her. Let’s see how the barks affect her sleep in the future.

Baby Bjorn Bouncer:

Starting at the one month mark, I found Baby E to start becoming more aware of her surroundings and became more interested in looking around. I thought the Baby Bjorn Bouncer was the perfect option as we don’t live in a big space so I needed something compact but functional. The bouncer is a great option for when my husband and I are having dinner but we’d like to include Baby E as well. The bouncer is also a great option for when we’re in the office and would like to get some work done but also would like to keep a close eye on Baby E.

Baby Wrap:

There are days where Baby E is extremely clingy and the only way to get her to sleep is on me via a baby wrap. I was lucky in the sense that I’ve been able to try three different types of wrap (Solly Wrap, Innoo Baby Wrap and the Beluga Baby Wrap). All 3 wraps are very soft but I found the Solly Wrap the lightest. If I had Baby E during the warmer months, I believe this would be my wrap of choice. I prefer The Innoo Baby Wrap and the Beluga Baby Wrap because the material is a bit more elastic and a little bit more forgiving if the wrapping job on my part is not done as well. 😉

ErgoBaby OMNI 360 Mesh Carrier:

Don’t get me wrong. I love my stroller. Baby E loves walks in a stroller as she falls asleep instantly in there but there are also days where it’s easier just to strap her into the carrier and start walking especially during Covid-19 times (you can zigzag to avoid individuals easier when the baby is strapped to you).  I also like how using the mesh carrier can help my husband develop a bond with Baby E (same goes for the baby wrap as mentioned above).

Baby Stroller:

The stroller and the carseat were the first two purchases my husband and I made. I was pretty sure I was going to go for the Uppababy Vista but I was also tempted to go with a Bugaboo Fox as both are great strollers (you can’t go wrong with either option). How did we choose the Fox in the end? I liked how the Bugaboo Fox has a bigger sun canopy and my husband liked how the Fox looked compared to the Uppababy.

Infant Car Seat:

My husband and I were trying to decide between the Nuna Pipa Lite and Clek Liing. Both are very similar but we just took that leap of faith and chose the Clek. We love it so far as the Clek is fairly light. Since the car seat can also be placed on the stroller, we have tried taking Baby E out in the carseat while in the stroller. I find Baby E is more comfortable in the bassinet while in the stroller. 😉

Activity Mat:

Tummy time can be started from Day 1 so pull that activity mat out and start using it from day 1. Baby E certainly did not like it very much in the beginning but she is slowly getting used to it. Currently, Baby E does tummy time around 2-3 times per day ~5 minutes each time. She could be on the mat longer but if she continues to be on the mat for longer than 5 minutes, she will get frustrated. Flip her on her backside and she does enjoy looking at the toys dangling from above.

Onesies:

100% cotton onesies with zippers will make diaper change time a lot easier. I know many individuals may find it very cute to buy little outfits for newborns but 100% cotton onesies with zippers seem the most practical for the first month of life. After all, at this point in time, the newborn’s job is just to eat, sleep and poop.

Food For Thought: Perhaps you are someone who is not quite ready to become a parent but would like to purchase a useful gift for a friend who will become a new parent. I certainly wished I had more knowledge of what are some essential baby items for new parents when my friends started to get pregnant.

Are you becoming a new parent soon? What is on your “To Buy” list? Becoming a new parent may be daunting and you may feel like you need everything but the truth is, there are only some key items you need. What are your must haves?

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