New Mom Must-haves

It’s funny because you never know what you’ll really need (and what you don’t) until the baby is here, and going to the store is a little more of a challenge.

Even though we can comfortably venture into public now,

carseat

I was very thankful for my Amazon Prime membership in the first couple of weeks ;) We did a pretty good job stocking up before Livi made her arrival, and also found out that we weren’t huge fans of some things, and other things (like burp cloths) ended up being totally forgotten… until we needed them.

Here are some of our favorite things from the past 3 weeks:

Aden + Anais swaddles

We even took a couple of these with us to the hospital:

swaddle baby

Liv quickly decided that she doesn’t like being swaddled at her arms –she likes to have her hands by her face- so we’ll swaddle her legs like a little burrito using these blankets. I love how lightweight the fabric is –especially since it isn’t very chilly here- and use these all the time.

Vitamin D drops

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Breast milk is naturally lacking in vitamin D, so our pediatrician recommends adding drops to the baby’s diet (formula has plenty vitamin D, but we haven’t needed to supplement for the past 4 days- fenugreek and blessed thistle, pumping, emphasis on healthy fat, and staying well-hydrated has worked wonders). These are the ones I picked up- I really like the fact that one drop is all you need (vs an entire CC from the other brands) and it doesn’t contain sugar or artificial flavorings.

Pump + hands-free pumping bra

pump

While it’s kind of a pain to sterilize everything each time I pump (these bags make it much easier, though), it was a godsend in helping bring my supply up, and for pumping the right side when Livi was avoiding it like the plague. I’ll be especially thankful for this pump when I go back to work and can have lots of pumped milk in the freezer ready to go.

My Brest Friend

nursing pillow

I wrote more about it *here*, but this pillow helped with our positioning and latching woes. I’m also using the Boppy again now at night since Livi is bigger doesn’t fall into the middle as easily.

Bamboobies

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My friend Kelly introduced me to these and they are AWESOME… like a hug for the girls when they’re sore. I also like the fact that they’re heart-shaped, which is super cute when you feel a little less-than-cute. They come with a pair of overnight pads, too, which are also extremely soft, but I don’t like them as much since they have a tendency to get stuck on things (ouch).

Snacks!

twin snacks

While breastfeeding, you need more calories and nutrients, and I can definitely tell from my increased appetite- I’m snacking more often than when I was pregnant. After each feeding session, I chug a glass of water and grab something to eat. Leftovers from baby meals in the fridge, grab-and-go snacks on hand, or meals I can make very quickly to enjoy during the day have been amazing during this exhausted trying-to-figure-things-out time. Some of my favorite staples: yogurt with 3-4 tablespoons of hempseeds and fruit, omelets with goat cheese and veggies, oatmeal with Brewer’s yeast and almond butter, a mug of cereal or soup, wraps or sandwiches with mustard, mayo and organic deli meat, Vega and Larabars, oaties (they’re almost gone, and I can’t wait to make some), and lots of chocolate ;)

California Baby products

bath

Giving Livi her pre-bedtime bath is one of my favorite things ever. She LOVES the water and her Puj tub, and we use the California Baby products. After her bath, I’ll give her a massage with the lotion, and she just lays there staring up at me… so sweet. The ingredients in these products are amazing, they sell them at Target, and don’t irritate her baby skin.

Sleepy Sheep

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It has a clip and is attached to the outside of her basinet. There are 4 different sounds to choose from, and it’s a perfect portable white noise machine. She can actually tell when it stops playing –it has a timer- and starts to stir, so I’ll quickly reach over to turn it back on.

Moby Wrap

baby in moby2

I absolutely love carrying her around in the Moby wrap. The amount of fabric is a little intimidating, but after watching a couple of YouTube videos, it was very easy to figure out. When we went to the birthday party on Saturday, I wore her in the Moby for the first half of it while she snoozed, until she woke up, needed a snack and a fresh diaper, and was awake and ready to be social. During the day at home, I’ll wear her in the Moby and tell her about different things and rooms in the house, make a snack or dance with her, and she’ll eventually fall asleep.

We also have an Ergo with an infant insert, and while I haven’t used it, Tom is a big fan. Livi has so much fun walking around with her Daddy <3

Bouncy seat

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We have this bouncer seat and the matching swing- she adores both of them. They play music and nature sounds, and gently bounce to mimic natural movement. I don’t really like putting her in the swing or bouncy because I’d rather hold her, but it’s a good option for when I need to place her somewhere for a second (like to brush my teeth or go to the bathroom) and know she’ll be safely strapped in.

Zip-ups and nighties

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We have quite a few of the sleepers from Baby Soy- nighties are so much easier to deal with for middle-of-the-night diaper changes. Same goes for zip-up footed PJs (Carters has some cute ones), because lots of buttons in the dark makes for a difficult diaper change.

Speaking of diaper changes, this thing gets a lot of use:

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This baby change mat stashes easily in the diaper bag and works perfectly to cover public changing tables, or for backseat changes.

Total Baby App

total baby

I’m so glad you guys told me about this one, since we were originally tracking everything with pen and paper. It makes it so much easier to keep track of her doctor visits, bath times, naps, diapers and feeding.

So those are some of our favorite things from the first few weeks! This week I’m looking forward to bringing out her activity center to see how she likes it.

I also might bite the bullet and get a Hooter Hider….

What are some of your new mom must-haves?

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Comments

  1. You should TOTALLY get a hooter hider. They made life so much easier when I was nursing! No more hiding in the car or in the other room to nurse. Hooter hider = freedom!

    • Stephanie says:

      You really should get a Hooter Hider. I gave my BFF one for her shower and she says it really was the best gift. Her little girl is now a year old and it still looks good and she uses it all the time. Go for it!

      • I have to agree!!! It’s the best thing when you’re out and about!

        I really liked your list. You pretty much hit it on the money with all the things that are nice to have!

  2. Totally agree with the Carter’s zip-up PJs with footies! Unless we go out, our boy basically lives in them. So much easier than 3-part outfits, especially when you have to get to the diaper 10 times a day.

    When our guy was brand new, we’d also swaddle just his legs – he too hated having his arms tied up. :D I got an Aden + Anais swaddle blankie set and it still gets a lot of use. He loves rubbing them on his face now, haha.

    White noise is huge for our guy – we use the Xbox zune app and have a queue of wave/rain sounds running… keeps him asleep like a charm. I’ve heard from that the Sleep Sheep doesn’t play long enough and is too quiet – have you noticed either of these? I need to find some portable white noise that I can put into his nursery once we move him.

    Great list!

  3. Lindsay R. says:

    Great list! And yeah, now you know why people use those hideous hooter hiders, right? ;)

  4. Somehow the comment about the hooter hider totally reminded me of something. Just before Christmas (so in the throws of Christmas shopping madness) I had to go to Michael’s to pick up something. While walking to the store I noticed a woman sitting in her car – at the TOP of the row (so right next to where everyone drives by) just sitting there breast feeding. Which would be totally fine except she was totally topless! No nursing bra, no nursing top, no bra or top of any sort. Just sitting there, in the middle of the afternoon in the busiest part of the parking lot topless! I don’t think I’m a prude, but seriously – isn’t that a bit odd? She wasn’t even tempting to cover the breast the baby wasn’t feeding from. Not to mention I live in Nova Scotia so being topless in a car in December would be pretty darn cold!

    • Wow, that is crazy. I have nursed in the car many times but I would always park in a remote location and cover the baby and myself.

    • I’m with ya there. It’s fairly easy to feed while keeping your nipples covered… and in that weather I would think that more coverage would be better anyways. I’m all for a mother’s right to breastfeed wherever she sees fit, but a certain amount of modesty is courteous!

      • My sister had a moby wrap and was genius at constructing a little tent-like cover over bubs and boobs with it. I have never nursed, so I can’t say I WOULDN’T use a Hooter Hider (I know you just can’t judge until you have been there, right?), but mmm. They certainly look… space age.

  5. Glad to see you like the total baby app! It was a must have for us too.

  6. I agree with the cover for nursing and plenty of nursing tanks or tops. I also love pajamas with feet in them for infants…they are so much easier especially when they start kicking their socks off. Other than that I love the Fisher Price papasan cradle swing — it was the only way I could accomplish anything when I had my second baby. Both even slept in it a few times when they were having night time issues like congestion or gas.

  7. so cute! You look so happy as a momma! I love buying moby wraps for shower presents. So handy and cuddly!

  8. great post! thanks for all the info!

  9. I’m not a mom but my sister loves the hooter hider and the bumbo seat for a couple months down the road.. Have you heard of the bumbo seat? It is good when they are able to hold up their head on their own an there is a tray that can be attached which makes for a very convenient portable high chair! (when needed)

    • The Bumbo was an absolute essential for us. My daughter was a preemie and suuuuper slow to sit on her own. It really helped us out for that in between phase (a little too restless to lie down in a bouncer but not quite ready to sit alone). Its also great to keep them with you at eye level in a secure spot while you’re cooking etc – as long as you’re right there watching of course :)

  10. Oh I adored our aden & anais swaddle blankets. Lyric loved being tightly swaddled until she “found” her hands at 10.5 weeks and stopped cold turkey!

    My Itzbeen baby timer was like an extra appendage during the first few months. It kept track of diaper changes, feedings (L & R reminders), sleep and it had a fourth timer to use for whatever else. I especially aporeciated it during those first couple months when my sleep-deprived mind couldn’t remember a thing!

    And strangely, I hated the nighties. I thought they were so useless because her feet would stick out & be little popsicles!

  11. So true on the burp cloths can’t have enough! Interestingly I didn’t but any but luckily got a lot as gifts from Moms that knew:-
    Oh yeah the hooter hider is a must. I didn’t think I wanted one but changed my mind quickly. Bebe au lait makes cute ones:)

  12. Lol, we got so use to sleeping with that sheep on the ocean sound, we still use it every night!! Haha, it’s been 14 months with it. Best sleeps ever!!

  13. Get the hooter hider- I used mine forever and it was awesome. Hideous, but awesome, lol!

  14. Great post! Did you buy anything that you wish you hadn’t or think was a total waste of money???

  15. Love all your must’s and I had many of them on my list. A handsfree pumping bra is worth it’s weight in gold and another tip: buy an el cheapo $5 sports bra from Target or use an old one, cut tiny slips in the nipple area with a scissors, and voila, hands free bra.

    Also to each her own and mileage may vary and this is not dr’s advice but if you are pumping multiple times per day and want to just take your whole set up and put it in the fridge, cones, bottles, etc…everything attached, and not bother washing IT ALL, and then are pumping again later that day, most women find they are fine with just grabbing the parts from the fridge, and pumping again. If you plan to freeze the milk for longer than a month or have an immunocompromised baby, to each her own, but in your case, I may try the fridge storage method b/c it will save you so much time and not washing your setup from start to finish each and every time.

    Also there is a yahoogroup called PumpMoms that was invaluable to me when I was pumping 5+ times a day!

  16. On the nursing cover–I’d actually borrow one and try it on Olivia first. Some babies hate them, and it causes more of a scene than just discretely pulling up a shirt/pulling down a nursing tank-top.

    • Fitnessista says:

      that’s a good idea

      • My 8 week old hates it! He won’t eat if I am using it.

      • Agreed- I have a cover and baby and I both hate it. The shirt up/nursing tank down is very discreet, especially if the tank and shirt are similar colors. When I am nursing around people who might be really uncomfotable with it I use an aden+anais blanket over my shoulder to cover up, If you do end up liking the cover, etsy has some beautiful and affordable options.

  17. Definitely definitely definitely get yourself a hooter hider! And never leave home without it. I have nursed Avery everywhere…Doctors waiting room, Starbucks, in my car in numerous places, friends houses, in Rodney’s office, etc.. That was probably my biggest must have.

    There are other brands like Udder Covers. As far as I know they’re all the same. Just don’t get that slip on thing that has a hole in it so the baby to latch on. That doesn’t really serve the purpose of hiding your whole hooter! (Think about when you unlatch her to burp her and there’s a nip still sticking out!)

    • Oh yeah, on the burp cloths, I highly recommend using the old school cloth diapers. HIGHLY. I think babies r us is the only place that carries them. They’re much easier to use because they’re a more flexible material. I tried using actual burp cloths, both terry and that thick cottony-flannel material, and hated them.

  18. I totally second the cloth diapers as burp cloths!! They are the best for that!

    My son was born in November and it got cold here that winter… so even though I thought it was ridiculous before I had him, the wipe warmer was awesome. Sometimes you have to change a poopy in the middle of the night, and I know he would have been awake for an hour if those wipes were freezing!

  19. This post is awesome for soon to be moms! I’m happy to see that we have bought or have registered for a lot of the things on this list!

    Did you take the Brest friend to the hospital with you?

  20. Everything you’ve listed, plus I’d have to say lanolin balm! It has saved my girls from feeling too raw from all of the feedings. Oh, and I also bought a 3-pack of waterproof terry cloth liners to put on my changing pad and we keep one next to the bassinet for quick nighttime changes. They are great for protecting various surfaces, and my little one has definitely had more than a few accidents on them already!

  21. Anonymous says:

    Did you see that My Brest Friend contains a toxic, carcinogenic fire retardant that was actually BANNED from children’s pajamas in the ’70s because of all the links to cancer, hormone disruption, etc? http://www.ctnow.com/lifestyle/parenting/mommy-minute/ctn-report-finds-toxins-in-popular-baby-products-20120112,0,7082365.story

    I can’t believe My Brest Friend is still allowed to be sold! Other baby products also tested positive for this chemical too… scary stuff.

  22. Its fun to see how products have changed since my kids were babies!

  23. Re needing to sterilize the pump after each use during the day- you don’t need to do that. As you may have read, breast milk is fine to keep in the fridge for several days so the same applies for your pump parts that touch the milk. Just stick them in a clean zip lock bag (I wiped out the bag with the wipes they make to clean pump parts when you are on the go) and then put the whole bag o’ parts in the fridge until you need them again. Then pull them out, and repeat when you are done, etc. You can clean and sterilize everything at the end of the day.

  24. Great list! We just got our Ergo infant insert today, and I’m so excited to start carrying our girl around in it…only a few months left to go :-)

  25. Many of our must-haves are the same as yours. Love the Aden + Anais swaddling blankets as every other blanket we had made the babe so hot. Plus, she had to have her arms out as well – from the very beginning, and the sleep nightgowns are key, especially for the husbands. Haha, anything with snaps was a no-go. After daddy changed her, Summer’s knee would be snapped to her crotch. ;)

  26. I use receiving blankets as burp cloths! Or dish towels. Yall must get a boppy newborn lounger-fabulous for naps and just general lounging

  27. I normally love your blog posts + baby updates, but this is a list of “first world problem” mom must haves. The only must have is the baby… you’d be perfectly fine without all these things, and your baby would be just as healthy!

    • Fitnessista says:

      well of course! a lot of readers have asked for my favorite products, so i put this list together per their requests

    • That sounds nice in theory, but there are other needs. Without clothing, blankets, a safe car seat, proper nutrition etc, your “healthy baby” would not be quite so healthy! Even in third world countries, babies are wrapped on blankets, nestled in slings & Moses baskets etc.

  28. Samantha C says:

    Our daughter is just over 2 1/2 and still loves her sleep sheep! Rain, mid volume : )

  29. Vikki Morgan says:

    Wow,,,you are a lucky girl.I breast fed mine 35 min.per side,,,of course one side at a time.Meaning 35 to 40 min we were done with one side till next feeding in 3 hrs.Then on to the next side 3 hrs later.You have a lil angel.I had a hungry Monster.I did not supplement with formula…I might should have,but the doc always said she was good and growing great!Good job lil Momma!

  30. Love the Aden and Anais blankets! A great tip that my girlfriend gave me for the Summer was to soak the blanket in cold water, ring it out, and then drape it over your stroller. It blocks them from the sun when you aren’t putting sunscreen on them just yet and provides a light, cool breeze when you’re walking!

    The Moby wrap is a lifesaver too! I think it makes them feel as though they are back in the womb. Curled up and listening to the sound of your heart :)

  31. Some great items here. California Baby is one of our faves in my household. And the Moby and Hands Free Pumping Bras are definite must haves. I have to disagree with you on the Brest Friend though. Recent studies have shown that it has dangerously high levels of the fire retardent chemical TDCPP in it. This chemical was banned from use in pajamas back in the 70’s because of the health risks. It is a hormone disrupter and linked to cancer. I STRONGLY recommend that new moms consider Boppy’s or other breastfeeding pillows that don’t use this dangerous chemical before the Brest Friend for this reason.

  32. If you don’t want to spend a bunch of money on a hooter hider, this is what I use:

    http://www.target.com/p/Little-Carr-Cover-Me-Nursing-Cover-Strap-Disco-Mama/-/A-12885577

    It turns any regular blanket into a hider. It’s really handy and MUCH smaller to pack. Just a suggestion!

  33. let us know if you need more snacks :)

  34. Sweet post.
    By the way, you do NOT need to sterilize between uses! I read to sterilize everything when I first got my pump and wash with hot soap and water between uses. I actually just rinse most times and wash once a day.
    We never use a nursing cover and I’m happy about that. Of course if you don’t feel comfortable, use one, but I think it’s important to send the message that feeding the baby is not something that should be hidden.
    Some people worry about their children seeing breasts, but it’s clear that breasts are everywhere in our culture (just walk around the mall and look at the advertisements!) but for some reason people aren’t comfortable seeing them being used for their real purpose.
    I also think it’s empowering to other moms when someone nurses in public. It helps them see what it looks like and how to hold/move the baby. If we don’t see these things we don’t know that they’re normal, you know?
    But of course if you don’t want somebody to see your nipples and latching is still a challenge, cover away :)
    We have really loved her swaddles from Summer. Unlike your baby, ours NEEDS to be swaddled to sleep and won’t have it any other way.
    We also love our cloth diapers, of course :)

    • I agree with this comment:) Save yourself some time and take a nap instead! Hot soapy water is all you need! You can even throw your Medela parts in the diswasher. Over a year of breastfeeding and pumping at work and I’ve never had a problem.

  35. love reading about your journey!

  36. My aunt just found out that she is 3 months pregnant with her third baby. Her youngest is 10 so this baby was a surprise and she has given away or thrown out all her baby items so she is starting over. What do you think would be the best gift for her? Things have changed so much since her last baby that she is at a loss for what to get

  37. Aw congrats on the little one!! I miss the moby wrap days. My son spent pretty much the first 2 months in our moby, now I have to chase him for a hug. Moby wrap is probably the greatest thing ever. I’m really enjoying your blog!! Thanks for the workout and healthy eating inspiration!!

  38. Although I’m not there yet (baby-less) I feel like this post should be filed away for later! It’s also going to get passed along to a good friend who just had her first baby last week, because I had no idea about things like Bambooies… :)

  39. that phone app is awesome! i wish i would have known about that 16 months ago. must-haves for me were the boppy, tons of blankets to swaddle (we had to use 2 because he would break out in just one and the muslin ones never stayed put. we used those for everything else, though), the bouncy seat (the ONLY way i could get a shower), the swing (the ONLY thing he would nap in for the longest time), the sleep sheep, and the sleepy/moby wrap. yes, ALL of those things were must-haves. ha! oh, and water. as soon as i would start nursing i instantly felt so thirsty. it was crazy!

  40. I actually use one of my swaddle blankets (I have the same kind) and tie two ends together to make an arm hold and place it over my shoulder to make my own Hooter Hider. Works perfect and I didn’t have to buy anything additional.

  41. You’ve probably already heard this from everyone: your baby is the spitting image of your husband (at least in pictures)! She’s adorable – and it appears you’re all adjusting well to your new life together.

  42. we have to swaddle our 2.5 mth old to get him to stay asleep but i really love the swaddle me blankets. they make the swaddling process SO much easier and faster.

    i also agree that the hooter hider was a huge help to me when breastfeeding. the first nursing cover i bought was a cheap one from target that didn’t have the collar and it was useless. as a new mom i needed to see what i was doing to get my daughter latched on. i borrowed a friend’s hooter hider at church one sunday and bought one the next day.

  43. Ooo just found one of your new mom must haves :) Yay! I loved reading through these.

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