My Mom & Baby Essentials
A few posts back, I was asked to create a list of some of my favorite mom & baby items. While I’m fairly new to the mom game, I have been working with new moms and babies for lots of years. I’m not sure if that really gives me any more cred, but for what it’s worth, here are some of my absolute go-to items since Hatch made his entrance.
We have used these on a daily basis since Hatch was born. In fact, I slept one the first night he was in the NICU and then we used it to swaddle him the following day so he would have mom-scent on him 24/7. While I hated having him in the NICU, I have to say it was comforting to have him wrapped up in the super soft bamboo blankets versus the hospital baby blankets. We like both the bamboo and the muslin blankets.
From the beginning, my favorite carrier was the Moby Wrap. Paul was less convinced when we first started, but quickly became great at wrapping and carrying Hatch too. It’s comfortable, distributes the weight well, can be used from birth (with tiny and big babies) and with older babies too. It’s also really easy to breastfeed while wearing it. I could go on and on about Moby Wraps. Don’t be intimidated by the fact that it’s a huge piece of fabric. They have great instructions on their website and you can find others on YouTube.
We have an original stretchy wrap, but I’m really interested in getting a woven wrap so that we can try back carriers with a wrap (which isn’t safe with the original Moby). They also have Giant’s baseball wraps that I’m kind of wishing I’d sprung for earlier this season :)
This seems like it would be totally nonessential, but for the first two months we used it daily. For whatever reason, Hatch hated lying flat on the floor, on the bed, etc, but he’d be perfectly content spending some time lying on what we called the “dog bed”. My only criticism is that you can’t take the cover off to wash it, but otherwise it was amazing. He’s starting to grow out of it, but I have to admit that we now use it as a really insanely comfortable floor pillow for when I sit on the floor to nurse.
This is sort of a weird one, but because we are co-sleeping I wanted a light that I could easily turn on at night time to breastfed or for diaper changes. It also needed to be battery operated because there aren’t plugs by our bed. We have our crib sidecarred (like a co-sleeper), so I don’t have a nightstand. This means it also needed to clip to the crib. It can be super dim or really bright, I can turn it on and off with one hand (important while breastfeeding), and it travels easily. There are baby-specific products that do similar things, but this is way cheaper.
This pillow I knew about from my work as a lactation consultant. I’d used it with clients for years, so I knew I was going to register for this instead of other nursing pillows. Unlike some other popular pillows, the Brest Friend is super supportive and really helps get a newborn in the right place for breastfeeding. While I knew what I was doing when it came to getting Hatch to latch, this pillow was still totally essential in holding him in the right place without me having to hunch over him or totally throw my shoulders out holding him in a good position. We used one starting in the hospital and for months afterward.
Due to my desire to know all about the different cloth diaper options out there, we have done a mess of things with diapering. I’ve finally settled on a few favorites. I’m going to do a different post about our cloth diapering experience so far, but some of my favorite brands include Sunbaby, Bum Genius, RagaBabe, and Baby Wizard. I also really loved Charlie Banana for newborn diapers (we had a handful of extra small diapers from them) before our one-size-fits all diapers really fit without leaking somewhere around ten pounds.
I know some people are all about totally breathable, 100 percent cotton nursing pads, but I can’t totally get behind them. I don’t have a super abundant milk supply and I leak through cotton nursing pads in no time. I was starting to really worry about my ability to function in life outside my house, considering I don’t really want to go to school with wet boobs all the time, when I consulted Etsy and found magic nursing pads made by Charis Baby Designs. They keep me dry and looking like an acceptable member of society. I love the velvet ones, but also have a bunch of their flannel pads. I also use disposable pads sometimes (the horror!) and found that I like the ones made by Lanolin the best.
Most of Hatch’s clothes are hand me downs from friends and family. We have a few thrifted items and a very small handful of new stuff that I’ve bought to fill in the gaps. While I’m not totally opposed to cute onesies, I have to say that Hatch spends a whole lot of time in totally generic white wrap (aka kimono) tops and pants. He hates having things pulled over his head, and while we’ve gotten really good at doing it quickly, often it doesn’t seem worth the struggle. I also really like zip-up one piece sleepers, like his pirate and blue and white striped outfit seen below from Hanna Andersson.
We use these pacifiers since it’s what they give you in the hospital, this is my favorite bottle of the few I’ve tried, and instead of a diaper pail we use this trash can and this pail liner. But more on that in the diaper post.
There are some things I’m still working out. I’ve yet to find a nursing bra I love (I have a few from Target that I feel just okay about). I’m still not sure how I feel about big baby equipment like swings and baby gyms. We didn’t own or use a stroller of any sort until Hatch was over two months old (but now we own two–the BOB and the City Mini). And I’m pretty certain that you don’t need a changing table, a wipes warmer, or any other fancy baby butt stuff, but I could be wrong about that! If there is anything I’ve learned it’s that we all have the equipment we find totally essential. Mine happens to lean toward the baby carrier and cloth diaper side of things, but yours could very well be somewhere else!