This post is dedicated to some of my friends who are awaiting their little ones this year. I am so happy to read some of the comments and messages from expecting mommies about how my blogs have been useful to them. And am hoping that this post will also be of help.
I have been a mom for almost 8 months. And this journey has been very surreal. Being a first time mom is a bit challenging. Everything is a trial and error game. And getting advice from family, acquaintances, other moms and friends etc etc could sometimes be helpful too. I do a lot of research on baby products. I ask couple of mom friends for suggestions before I decide on purchasing a product for my daughter.
Now that I have become an expert mommy( duh! I can claim myself that right?) I decided to share some of the favorite items I purchased for Avi. I started planning on what items to buy for her when I was in my third trimester. Avi was a November baby and thankfully we had the big thanksgiving sale too which kind off helped us in remaining within the budget. What am I saying? Budget? Oh! that’s an off word when it comes to baby products. But, if you decide to splurge on products for your kid, then trust me! you will be paying off the credit card bills until she is 2. So, I will concentrate on those items which came super helpful to me in the initial one month of Avi’s life. And I will also mention those items which I could have tried too..
1. Newborn clothes
New parents tend to go gaga over buying the newborn dresses. Do not spend too much on these. The reality is that the newborns will grow superfast and those branded jeans and onesies will end up remaining in the closet after you use it for once or may be twice. I got few cotton inners for my daughter from India. This was super thin and comfy and airy for her to wear. The nurses in the hospital was awestruck seeing those tiny cotton slips for the new born. I also got 6-8 sets of onesies (short and long hands). Once, the baby is gains back the birth weight, you can definitely spend some cash on new outfits. Until then, it would be good to reuse the baby clothes.
2. Wearable Blankets
Ah! here comes the spoil sport – the winter. Winter babies tends to be either inside the swaddle or the wearable blanket all the time. It was so darn cold here in Oregon that my baby was always swaddled and at night, she used to be inside the wearbable blanket. So, if your kid is a winter baby, you should prefer getting atleast 2-3 wearable blankets. These blankets comes in larger sizes. Your baby would easily fit in it until he/she is 3 months old. I got mine from carters which was similar to this one – click here
3. Swaddle blankets
These blankets keep your baby nice and warm. They will feel secure and calm when they are swaddled. The reason for swaddling is to make the baby feel just like she was in her mother’s womb. And of course, the jitters and shivers can also be reduced once the baby is swaddled. Again, most of my shopping was done from carters and this was my swaddle kit.
Thing I could have tried :
Here is the item which I regret not getting for Avi. This blanket was suggested to me by our pediatrician when we faced some sleep issues with Avi. Well, nothing but she was highly active at night. She literally wanted her to be rocked and held in hand all the time. So, the item which I could have given a try was the miracle swaddle. I would say start with a normal swaddle and if you still face issues with sleep, then may be give this product a try. Click here for more details.
Bathing and cleaning Essentials
1. A baby bath tub
My mother gave bath to Avi in the traditional Indian way by keeping her in the lap until she was 4 months old. But if you do not have anyone with such an expertise, please invest in a bath tub. You will definitely be amazed by seeing the price range. But simple is best. Too many technology can spoil the whole sturdiness of the tub. I got mine from walmart. Well, I Started giving her bath in a tub after she was 4 months old. By then her neck was stable and she would relax and lie on the tub which made the bath time easier. And now, she sit up and enjoy the bath time with her favorite bath toys. So invest in a bath tub which grows with the baby atleast until he/she is 1.5 years old. Click here to take a look at the tub that I bought for Avi.
2. Scent free laundry detergent
I chose a scent free and dye free laundry detergent for washing baby clothes. It is better to pick one which is of lesser chemicals because your baby’s skin is too gentle and soft. I pick mine from costco and I am loving this one.
3, Baby hair and body wash
Ah! this is must once your baby starts to take those relaxing baths. Now, this was a trial and error story because we started with babyganics at first and I must say, I loved this product. It was organic and perfect for Avi’s skin. She never got any rashes or allergies. After her third month, she started developing cradle cap; hence we shifted to cetaphil anti dandruff hair wash. This worked for her absolutely and once the cradle cap was treated, I started giving her bath with the Honest body and hair wash available at Costco. Oh yea! Get the Costco membership pretty soon. It is super helpful and economical to survive with a baby.
3. Cotton and woolen towels
Baby skin is too soft. Hence, cotton towels works best to wipe down after the bath. The woolen hooded towels can be used to just wrap them up.
The most essential baby item is the diaper. You know about the poop – pee-feed-sleep-again poop-pee cycle right? Well, welcome to the parenting world. Also, just like newborn dresses, babies outgrow the diaper sizes also pretty fast. Hence, it is better to start with 2 boxes of newborn sized diapers.Also, you might want to try different brands like huggies, snuggies and see which brand of diapers is your baby accustomed to and not create any rashes. The current go-to brand for my baby right now is the Kirkland in house diaper brand.
Oh hey, recently I heard about the Amazon diaper subscription for Prime members. Dont miss this deal. You get 20% off every diaper box and that too every month. WOW!!!! Save money guys.
2. Diaper Rash cream
I tried the aquaphor baby diaper rash cream for Avi when she developed rashes. The only tip I would say to reduce diaper rashes is to not use baby wipes. When you are at home, try to wash off the poop using a soft wash clothe. While you are outside, I can understand; it is not possible to wash off the dirt in a public toilet sink. You can use the wipes then. This way you are reducing the usage of baby wipes.
3. Diaper bag
My suggestion is not to go for fancy ones. This is not because I got a simple one. I would say a normal looking backpack diaper bag would be of great help. Even after your kid is big and you no more need a diaper bag, this backpack can be used for other purposes like a bag to carry your stuff while on a trip or hike etc. So, we chose the Columbia diaper bag which looked like a normal backpack but had all the qualities of a diaper bag. A small tip; try to buy a backpack with a neutral color. This way, daddy can also wear it at times when needed. And a neutral color bag can be used for any gender too (just in case you are planning to have another baby).
Thing I could have tried
A change Table
Well, we had got several suggestions to buy a change table for our baby. But somehow, we missed buying one and right now; I feel I could have got one. That way, the stress on my back could have been lesser. Mainly because I had a C-section and got injections on the spinal cord. So, lifting the baby from down several times especially when Avi started growing took a toll on my back. And, if you are planning on getting a changing table, make sure you attend the baby without even taking your eye off for a second while changing diapers. They can be risky too. Hence, think and do your part of research before buying a change table.
I got mine from my insurance company which I never got a chance to use. I wasn’t very keen on using it though. Also, being a Stay @ home mom, you never feel the need of a breast pump too. But this can come super essential for a working mom.
Dont forget to check with your insurance provider about the breast pump.
These are essential if you are planning to supplement your baby with some formula feed. I invested on Avent baby feeding bottles. The options are endless, so any slow flow rate nipple will work for now.
3.Formula – Buy a bottle of formula just for some piece of mind.. I have never ended up using it, but I have worried excessively every time about my supply and having a back up on hand will be comforting.
4. Breast pad
Thing I could have tried
A nursing pillow
This could have been easy to hold Avi while she used to sleep soon after the feed. It would have been easier and comfy for her too. I instead used the normal pillow when she was too tiny. But, I have seen other mommies investing on Boppy nursing pillow and I have heard good reviews too.
To choose between co-sleeping and putting the baby in a bassinet, crib or packnplay could be all the more mind boggling than choosing a name for the baby. It is simple to put the baby in the bed but safety comes first. As a new mom, I was never having a mindset to put my tiny baby in the crib. She was so little that I felt she would feel insecure in the crib. Similarly, I was super tired too. Now the decision was mine. I did not want to roll over her and cause any type of injury to my bub. Hence, we decided to put her in the crib initially.
But if you feel, you can never make up your mind to put the baby in the crib, then invest in a co-sleeping bassinet. This way your baby is safe in your bed. You can even sleep peacefully.
Crib should be sturdy and should abide my all the safety rules. Make sure you do complete research and read at least 20 reviews of the crib that you plan to buy. We got ours from Amazon. This is a convertible crib which can be used until Avi is a toddler. We are trying to keep a balance between co-sleeping and the crib. She sleeps and plays in the crib majority of the time. But sometimes she refuses too. Initially, when my baby was a few days old, she would sleep peacefully in the crib. Now when she knows that her dad and mom are sleeping separately, her urge to sleep between us increases which is natural.
For a crib you would need:
at least 2 fitted sheets
Crib mattress which comes along with a stain proof mattress pad (Click here to check the brand I got)
2-3 mattress covers
2. Co-sleeping bassinet
If you have plans to co-sleep from the beginning, invest in a co-sleeping bassinet. This would be helpful until the baby is about 3-4 months old.
Thing I could have tried
A baby rocking craddle
When Avi wasn’t finding it easy to sleep by herself. I felt may be a rocker would have helped her to sleep on her own when she was little. Again, this is too much of money to spend; but if you feel the need go for it. Don’t hesitate.
White noise machine
These are machines which is supposed to soothen the little one into a peaceful sleep with either the ocean, the rain or what sounds like a vacuum cleaner.
A must buy for the baby. A travel system consist of an infant car seat and a stroller. This was you need not invest in a stroller when the baby starts to outgrow the car seat. Again, lot of confusion were revolving around buying a travel system. We initially thought of getting a Snap and Go system. In that case, I need to buy a car seat separately and just have to click it to this Snap and Go stroller. A Snap and Go stroller would work fine for those who are getting a second hand car seat from a friend or family. That way you just need to invest $50 on a Snap and Go. But if you are getting a new car seat then you might as well invest on a travel system. That would work well. So, we dropped the plan of buying a Snap and Go and bought the Chicco Bravo Travel system which comes with a car seat and a stroller seat. I love this product for its sturdiness. Though it is a bit heavier to carry; I don’t mind it because all that matters to me is Avi’s safety. Now, a car seat is not safe unless it is installed properly. So plan ahead, do not make your husband rush to the nearby fire station or run to a friend to install the car seat when you are pushing the baby out. Read the manual carefully, get the car seat fixed at least a month in advance.
2. Baby Carrier
Am an advocate of baby carrier because it worked like a wonder to me. I started wearing Avi when she was 3 months old so I should ideally not include this product in the first month must have list. BUT BUT, I have seen many folks wearing the baby when they are as tiny as a mice. So, there is no harm in it. The baby would feel more secure and get all the warmth from the mommy rather. Also, it helps the mommy to have some shopping time without any hassle. You can shush the baby or rock the baby at your ease. I chose the Infantino 4 in 1 baby carrier and it is simply amazing.
Health and safety essentials
- A Nail clipper
- A Thermometer
- Q tips
- A nasal aspirator (Ok! I googled the product name and got this fancy name. This thing is used as a suction which stick up your baby’s nose to remove the mucus
Lastly, some nice to have items
2.Books for the baby
3.Car Seat toy
4.Baby on board board to fix in the car
5.A bouncer ( This was super helpful)
Of course, it goes without any doubt that these are may be a handful of items I felt are the must haves for a baby for the intial one month.Baby products are super costly. So check for those items which you feel your baby might need soon after he/she arrives. Each and every baby is different and what works for one may not be ideal for the other. The first one month of a baby’s life and the first time parent’s life would be a blur. The survival mode is on! You will definitely learn what works best for you as you go along the road. So, if there are other product that you found more necessary than the ones listed above. Ping me on the comment section below.