I can’t believe it, but James is already five weeks old! We survived the first month relatively unscathed, albeit a bit sleep deprived. Chris and I count our lucky stars that he has been a happy little guy so far. I thought I would share a few of my favorite baby products from our first 30 days as parents.
As a few qualifiers, James is exclusively breastfeeding, which means I can’t personally contribute to the bottle or formula discussion. I also think the choice of diapers is incredibly personal (based on budget and preference). We have budgeted to use the Honest line in our house, but it may not be for everyone. (I will say that the Honest diapers are worth every penny though: we experimented with a few other brands and found the stink defense to be best with Honest 😉 Again, these were the things that worked for us, but there are endless options out there. Please add your first month favorites to the discussion in the comments section below!
Aquaphor Baby Gentle Wash & Shampoo: James had a serious case of baby acne from the end of his second week through the end of his fourth week. (A mother’s hormones cause this lovely phenomenon — don’t worry, we keep him clean!) All my research (and our pediatrician) said that the best treatment was to do nothing. (Crazy, but true.) The pediatrician mentioned we could wash him with a mild soap, if we didn’t want to feel so helpless in the acne game. After even more research, I discovered this Aquaphor wash and we have loved it in our house. It is fragrance-free and extra gentle. I don’t know if the Aquaphor cleared up the acne or if it was just patience, but his skin is now much more clear!
Mustela Facial Cleansing Cloths: These easy wipes offer a quick refresh for baby’s face. They are not cheap, but they are worth having in your newborn arsenal. I would often use them before we had a last-minute visitor to give freshen him up a bit — without going through the entire bath process.
My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow: I struggled in the beginning to get James to latch. After my first night at the hospital, I asked my parents to grab my Brest Friend from home. Once I had this pillow, I was able to master the right angle for James to get the latch he needed. This pillow felt like a set of training wheels when getting used to nursing. I didn’t love the buckle on the side in the middle of the night, so the next option below quickly moved in as my go-to nursing pillow.
Dr. Brown’s Gia Nursing Pillow & Cover*: The angled design of this pillow and its overall girth helps make every feeding so much easier. I didn’t go with the fan favorite Boppy because it felt so big for such a little baby. The cover is soft, durable, and washable and a few etsy shops even sell more personalized options. We jokingly refer to it as my “shrimp”, but it is truly one of my most beloved baby items.
Baby K’Tan Breeze Baby Wrap Carrier: Recommended by my favorite local children’s store, this is my go-to wrap for getting things done around the house. After reading the instructions, putting it on makes perfect sense. James gets nice and cozy — and it reminds his mama of the good ol’ days when he resided in my belly. While wearing the K’Tan, I can do laundry, unload the dishwasher, and complete other tasks without worry, which does a lot for feeling like you’re getting something done. As an FYI: it is sized, so it is more specific to one parent or another.
Ergobaby Performance Collection Baby Carrier & Infant Insert: We also purchased the Ergobaby, so Chris had his own carrier option. (I can use it too!) Thankfully, it requires minimal assistance when loading your little one. The clip in the back is the only real difficulty for me. James falls asleep almost instantaneously after he’s in the Ergobaby, which makes any excursion much easier.
Patagonia Hi-Loft Down Sweater Bunting: This is only applicable for those of us in colder climates, but I found one of these buntings on eBay and never looked back. When we have James loaded in the Ergobaby, he can still wear this. It is like he is in his own little cocoon! My only suggestion would be to not overdress your little one before you put him or her in the bunting. It is extremely warm and can cause your little one to get a bit sweaty. We typically put James in a basic long-sleeved onesie, then pop him in a pair of pants and socks when we’ve arrived at our destination. He may not be a style plate on those days, but he’s warm!
Halo Sleepsack Swaddle: Chris is the superior swaddler in this family, but I can pretend to be with this swaddle from Halo. We discovered James loved the swaddle about halfway through his first month. It works wonders when trying to calm him down at the end of the day. I even use it for nap time on occasion. I like the Pottery Barn options because they aren’t so blatantly branded — and you can personalize them for your little one 😉
Gerber Long-Sleeved Onesies: This is typically what we dress James in when he is wearing one of his Halo swaddles. The mitts on these onesies were also incredibly important in his early days when James would try to scratch at his face. We registered for two packs of these, but I immediately grabbed two more. Having a few of these near your changing table make late night accidents much less frustrating. I just stretch the neck a bit before slipping it over his head — and he fusses much less during the dressing process.
Fisher-Price Newborn Rock ‘n Play Sleeper: If I could buy one thing for every new parent, it would be a Rock ‘n Play. James has slept in this magical contraption since the end of his first week. (We tried a Moses basket before we transitioned to the Rock ‘n Play. I just got nervous he was going to get too close to the sides of the basket and I couldn’t sleep.) The vibration of the chair, paired with the rocking motion, help ease James to sleep in a snap. As an aside, we don’t currently use the “safety” belt. We just place James in the Rock ‘n Play in his swaddle. He is bundled up, so we know he isn’t going anywhere. As he gets older, we will definitely revisit this — but I thought I’d be honest about our methods 😉
4Moms Plush mamaRoo Bouncer Seat + Infant Insert: Not sure whether I wanted to make the investment or not, I scored a mamaRoo on Craig’s List. James tends to like the mamaRoo for shorter periods of time, but it works wonders when he is in it. If you’ve got a smaller newborn, the infant insert is also a must!
Dr. Brown’s PreVent Butterfly Pacifiers*: We’ve tried a number of other pacifiers, but we found that these work best for James. They are smaller than the Avent Soothies and seem to stay in his mouth much better. I never thought I would be the mom who uses a pacifier, but here I am. We didn’t introduce it until the second week, but I would have done it much sooner in retrospect. It didn’t cause any nipple confusion (my fear) and it generally brought a great deal of sanity in the nighttime fussy hours. He doesn’t have one in his mouth constantly, so I’m hoping this helps in the long run. In the short term, I’m just happy they help calm him down when he’s fed and changed — and should otherwise be content.
Munchkin Waterproof Changing Pad Liners: Changing table accidents are bound to happen, so these liners will be lifesavers for your laundry situation. You will save yourself from washing the changing pad cover a ton by having these liners handy.
Old Navy Footed Sleepers: After having success with these in the first few days, I bought them in every available color. I liked that I could dress him in them without slipping them over his head. Plenty of other brands offer this option, but these Old Navy ones are inexpensive and functional. They keep baby’s feet covered and also have the optional mitts to prevent scratching.
Baby Connect: If you have an iPhone, this app will be your best friend. It helps us keep track of diaper changes, feedings and more. Chris and I can both access his profile to add activities. When the hours all run together, this app is a tremendous help for keeping your head on straight!
Beyond baby goods, there are a number of things which helped me survive as a mom in that first month. I’ll save that for another novel of a post 😉 If you’re pregnant, I hope this post can help make those first thirty days more tolerable! If you’re not in the mom stage yet, you can pin this post for future reference. For the experienced moms out there, I’d love to hear what else helped you make it through month #1. The first month may be a blur, but these products definitely made our lives easier. More to come soon!
*Dr. Brown’s sent me a lovely care package after James was born. My opinions of their products are completely honest — and I do prefer them to other brands we’ve tried. I wouldn’t have shared them otherwise.