my list of newborn absolute essentials.

{1. Chicco Keyfit 30 infant car seat  •  2. Ikea Gulliver crib  • 3. My Brest Friend nursing pillow  • 4. Miracle Blanket swaddle  • 5. Baby Bjorn Original carrier  • 6. Mortimer the Moose Lamaze take along toy  • 7. Graco Pack n Play Portable Playard with Newborn Napper and Changing Table}

When I was pregnant, I was overwhelmed by having to "fill up" my gift registry. I wish someone would tell me things I absolutely need for the baby and things that I could live without. Should I register for co-sleeper or a bassinet? Do I need a swing? What about a wipe warmer? A bath thermometer?

After actually living my life day to day with Darrell, I put down a list of things that we (mama + baby) can't live without. Of course people's needs and wants are different, but hopefully this list could help an overwhelmed pregnant mama somewhere.

• baby carrier
If you love to be mobile and getting out and about like me, you will need a baby carrier. The first 3 weeks after birth was THE most stressful because I found out that my schedule, my hands, and my body were not mine anymore. It was all about the baby. A baby carrier helped a ton because mom can carry baby around and have free hands to do other things! So far, I have tried 3 carriers: a Baby Bjorn Original, a DIY ring sling (like the Maya), and an Ergo. Darrell and I both dislike the ring sling. It hurt my shoulder and Darrell seemed to be "lost" in the pouch and more fussy. We depended on our Bjorn the first three months of Darrell's life. Darrell loves being in the Bjorn. I could just go to Target, put him inside the Bjorn and he would just doze off and sleep! Sometimes, he would also look around being curious :) However, as he's getting bigger and heavier, it hurt my back and David's back! So, we just recently purchased an Ergo with the infant insert. Darrell doesn't really enjoy being in the infant insert since it's a bit bulky. He doesn't need the head support anymore but his feet can't really "hug" my waist just yet. However, I love wearing it and it totally solved the back problem. Hopefully we can use it soon!

• infant car seat + stroller frame
If you want to take your baby home from the hospital, you'll need a car seat! :) I absolutely adore our Chicco Keyfit 30. It's so easy to install and so good looking. The price was also not ridiculously expensive, still within our budget, and the set already includes the car seat base. Also, say no to travel system! The last thing you want is a bulky humongous stroller. You'll be too lazy to take your baby out. Get a stroller frame and you'll be so much happier! Your car trunk will be lighter too :) I use the Baby Trend Snap n Go stroller frame and it fits our Chicco Keyfit 30 car seat just fine. We go out almost every day (after he passed his newborn stage of course! :))

• pack 'n play with newborn napper and changing station
We absolutely love this Graco Pack 'n Play. It has so many functions with a low price tag (we got a deal at BRU and only paid around $70 new, with a bonus of umbrella stroller!). I never liked the idea of purchasing an individual bassinet and a changing table. This thing came with a Newborn Napper, which acts as a bassinet and a diaper changing station! We put the pack n' play in our room and Darrell slept in the newborn napper during his first 3 months of life. I just wished they put more thought into designing a better changing station. It is a little flimsy looking and awkward because it leans over to the left side. Now, we take off both the newborn napper and the changing station, and use the bassinet exclusively for diaper changing. It's the safest place to change diapers ever. I just wish that it has better weight limit.

• swaddling blanket
Swaddling is definitely the one thing that helped Darrell to sleep better as a newborn. I didn't register for this and I regretted it big time. I swaddled Darrell with the traditional blanket and boy, it was quite tiring. We always had to re-swaddle him in the middle of the night because the little houdini always had his way out of the swaddle somehow. After getting frustrated, I ended up buying a Miracle Blanket and thanks to the (indeed) miraculous blanket, we didn't have to re-swaddle as much. We also use other velcro blanket similar to the Summer infant swaddle blanket, which worked okay although not as good as the miracle blanket. I really wanted to try the Woombie, but by the time I knew about woombie, Darrell didn't need to be swaddled as much.

• clothing
My baby lived in his onesies during his first 2 months of life. The Gerber kind is so comfortable, but it's tight-fitting and it runs small. The 3-6 months ones are almost the same size as the 0-3 months ones! You'll probably want to get 1 set of 0-3 and one set of 3-6. I'm also a big fan of the snap-up and zip-up sleeper. Other necessities: hats, socks, mittens, bibs. I thought I won't need bibs just yet since newborn doesn't eat solids... right? Well, they drool. A lot.

• crib + mattress + fitted sheet
It took us awhile to find the perfect crib. We finally decided on the Gulliver crib from IKEA. It has simple design, sturdy, inexpensive, and comes in white, a color that we want. Darrell didn't sleep in his room until he was 3 months, so the crib looked a bit lonely during those times. However, as soon as he outgrown his bassinet (around 3 months old), we started to put him there to sleep. It's been tough for him and me to sleep-train him there, but it's coming along. Hopefully I can come back with good report on this!

• swing or bouncer or rocker
A lot of moms swear by the swing and claimed that it can magically calm their baby to sleep but Darrell actually is just so-so with it. He rarely ever falls asleep in it and get bored quickly. I wished I had registered for a bouncer instead. Whichever one it is, you'll need a type of "baby seat" so your baby can hang-out in the living room with you, and your hands can get a break from holding your baby. We own this Fisher Price Infant-to-Toddler rocker and wished that we got it sooner.

• thermometer
I'd say invest in a good one for this. I'm glad that a friend of mine told me not to get the one from that all-in-one health care kit. Fever is the one thing you don't want on your baby especially when he is a newborn. Fever in a newborn can be dangerous and guarantee an ER trip. Therefore, it's critical to monitor his temp and own a quick, accurate thermometer at home. I love our Exergen Temporal Thermometer. It is more expensive that regular thermometers, but it's so easy and quick to check our baby's temp without upsetting him!

• baby monitor
We use the Angelcare Movement and Sound monitor. The movement monitor aspect is important for us because it really eases our mind from SIDS especially during sleep training time.

• nursing pillow
This makes life a thousand times easier for breastfeeding mamas! I tried both Boppy and My Brest Friend and both has pros and cons. I plan to elaborate this more in a standalone post but long story short, I use the Brest Friend much more over the Boppy. The back support just won me over.

• nipple cream
If you plan to breastfeed, nipple cream is a must, especially during the first few weeks when your newborn nurse every 2 hours... *cough* 24/7 *cough*. Seriously. This cream will make your breastfeeding experience better. I only use one type, the motherlove nipple cream, so I can't really compare it with other brand. It came in a very small tub, but you really won't need to put a lot.

• breast pump
This was literally my last baby item purchase that I waited to buy until the last minute because I really didn't know which one to buy! Also, to me, this is one of the things that I'd want to purchase new, instead of risking buying the used ones. I ended up getting the inexpensive Lansinoh manual hand pump because as a stay at home mom I thought I wouldn't be pumping that much. Turned out... I was pretty much right. I only pumped around twice a week to bottle-feed Darrell when we are out and about on the weekend. I also like that it's practical, no cables to plug in whatsoever, and easy to wash/sterilize. Although it's definitely more convenient to have a double electric pump, the hand pump worked okay for me. If God bless me with a second child, I might want to get the Ameda double electric pump, though! With the breast pump bra, I can have 2 free hands and be productive while pumping. Other moms would understand how nice it is to have 2 free hands! :)

• burp cloths
Believe it or not, I didn't register for this. Your baby WILL burp and spit up and make a mess on your clothes. Because I didn't register for this, I actually ended up using our receiving blanket because we got so many of those. It worked out great because it's larger than the usual burp clothes. I don't know about you but when my baby spits up, he can make a TON of mess and a larger cloth really help.

• activity gym or play mat
Honestly, for me this is not an absolute essential. However, it's great to register for one of these so your baby can do his tummy time without being on a high place such as the bed or couch.

• baby toys
Again, for me toys were not an absolute necessity, especially when he was still a newborn. The best "entertainment" for newborn babies is when mommy and daddy talk to them and just cuddle them. However, it's good to put a couple toys and teether in your registry. You will need that very soon. I love the Lamaze Baby toys. They're so much fun and really nicely designed to stimulate baby. I can't really speak about teether though, since Darrell hasn't begin teething yet.

• baby care items
You will need baby wash & shampoo, nasal aspirator (you'll get one from the hospital and that's the best kind for us), nail clipper, brush, and comb.

• diapers + wipes
Lots of them. These are definitely one of the most important baby essentials! If we have a house, I'd seriously consider using cloth diaper. We live in a tiny apartment and our laundry space is too small and the set up is just so inconvenient. It would drive me nuts to have to do laundry everyday. So anyway, we use disposables. Although people say babies grow up fast, I think it's still important to register for newborn sized diaper. Darrell was quite skinny as a newborn and used newborn size for a month. Every babies are different though, but you'll definitely need 1 or 2 boxes of size 1 and then 1 or 2 boxes of size 2.


Susan said...

:D I used sleepy wrap look a like for Nat 1-12 months then I switched to Boba look a like. love it very much ! And kiddy hipseat is helpful too :)

Susan @maymoms ;)

ivana said...

@Susan - i heard that sleepy wrap is now owned by Boba wrap :) The wrap was too confusing for me... lol. I wish it's easier to put on 'cause I really like the idea. I like the convenience and easiness of Bjorn/Ergo :)

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