Tuesday, April 17, 2012

My Newborn Essentials List Part 1

A few of my girlfriends are pregnant right now (yay!) so I thought it would be fun to put together a list of my personal essentials. I know there are a ton of these lists floating around the internet, pregnancy magazines, etc. but these are all the things that I found to be life savers in those first few weeks/months. Don't forget that most of those magazines are paid by advertisers to feature their products (as are celebs!) so try not to get too caught up by the "must-have's" you come across. Yes, even mine.

Start out with the basics and buy things as needed, otherwise you will end up with tons of unworn clothes, toys, and random stuff you won't use.

With all that said, here's is my list:

Ikea Spoka Night Light

We have used this little mouse from day one and still use it every night. It was so helpful during those first few weeks when we would be up every two hours. That way we didn't need to turn on the light for feedings and diaper changes. Also, it changes colors which P was and is still mesmerized by. In those early days, when he would get fussy, Scott would bring him over to the little mouse and bounce him as he watched the soothing colorful glow. It would calm him down every time. Oh, and it's portable!

My Brest Friend

This really was my best friend. This pillow and I spent more time together than I would like to remember. It was attached to me ALL THE TIME. I'm not kidding. If the baby was there, you could pretty much count on the pillow being there. As I mentioned, Phoenix and I had a lot of breast feeding trouble in the beginning and this little pillow was a lifesaver when it came to holding him for hours and hours of eating and learning how to latch. He also slept on it, curled up next to my belly many times. It served as back pillow for me on numerous occasions, as well as a tummy time activity for P. Now that he is a huge baby, I no longer have to use my beloved pillow. But I would not have made it through those long nights without it.

(4.5 months old in a Fuzzibunz)

Cloth Diapers

Yes, we are those people who cloth diaper. I could write a whole post about which brands we chose and how we ended up liking them (and I will!) but my best advice is to get a few different styles and brands and then invest in the one you liked most. Keep in mind that you may like different ones for different ages/purposes. For example, we have a few that we like at nighttime only and several that we loved when he was tiny, etc. There is A LOT of choices when it comes to cloth and we have loved using them. There are, of course, environmental reasons for replacing disposables but for us it was all about the money. Using disposables exclusively can cost roughly $2000 a year. That is crazy. And $2000 extra that we don't have. By using cloth, you can argue that we still have the expense of washing them, detergent, and of course the initial investment. But it is no where near $2000. We actually received the bulk of our supply as shower gifts and have added on to our stash whenever there are sales on mini social, zulily, or gilt.

Seventh Generation Diapers

As much as we love our cloth diapers, we are also reasonably normal people who need to sometimes use disposables, and we do. For this purpose, we buy a package and use as needed. I'm not too militant about only cloth diapering so if we are on a long car trip or planning to be out of the house for a long time I have no problem using these. Especially because we live in a city and we can't just stash dirty diapers in the car. You have to carry those stinky bombs around with you all day. Yeah...

(Phoenix in the Ergo insert - 9 days old)

(Going to our first ped's appt. in the Ergo - 10 days old) (Also, I look so exhausted. Wow.)

 (Four months old on a walk)

(Day 2 in his insert) (Also, wow. TINY.)

Ergo Carrierwith Infant Insert

I love my Ergo. I really, really, do. And the infant insert was so nice in the beginning. It's like a tiny down sleeping bag and often I would just snuggle P in in and lay it down in the bassinet so he was extra cozy. It also felt so much more secure for taking him out of the house in those early days. It supported his neck and kept him warm. Now, I'm not sure how great it will be for infants born in the hot summer as it is pretty cushiony and was ideal in the fall and winter. We have had a stroller since before P was born but used it all of once until he was about three months old. Even then, I mostly carried him. It felt so strange putting him in this giant bassinet and pushing him around. I loved having him close to me (and so did he!) and carried him everywhere. That's why we have a few different carriers. I don't use this one around the house as it is a bit bulky for just hanging out but it definitely has enough support to carry around this 20 lb boy these days.

(Phoenix in the Sakura Bloom sling- 2 months old)

Sakura Bloom Sling

I treated myself to a Sakura Bloom sling towards the end of my pregnancy. I had been seeing them on Leigh's blog, Marvelous Kiddo and thought they looked so beautiful. I was a little intimidated to use it at first as I wasn't quite sure how to position the baby. A sweet lactation consultant and baby wearing expert showed me when P was about 4 weeks old and I couldn't believe the difference. The baby's weight is distributed completely differently than the other carriers. Also, without the extra bulk of the carrier itself, he felt much lighter and my back didn't hurt as much. I originally bought myself the simple linen sling which is going to be perfect for the upcoming months. Now I also have the silk, which is beautiful in itself! I also love the slings for hybrid days when I want to take the stroller out but still toss it in the basket for wearing him when we arrive at our destination, such as a friend's house or dr.'s appointment (which is what I did yesterday). It's so compact and light and also a great accessory for your outfit. Even though I am part of the Sling Diaries, you can be sure that this is not a sponsored review. I really do love my Sakura Bloom sling!

(Phoenix in the Moby-4 days old)

Moby Wrap

The Moby was the first carrier I used after P was born and while it takes a little while to figure out, you can put it together pretty quickly once you do. It's basically a long piece of jersey fabric that wraps around you and your baby to keep them snuggled up close to you. It was a nice way to keep him warm and cozy around the house and when he was light, it worked nicely. After about 15 lbs or so I packed it away because he was getting too heavy and I had to keep retightening the fabric as I wore him. Big boy.

Well that's all I have time for right now. Also, it is taking me forever to write this post as I am looking at photos of a tiny babe that no longer resembles the giant boy that is napping in the other room. Ahhhhh...must slow down. If anything, this always reminds me to keep up with my photos and videos. Stay tuned for part two of my list tomorrow!

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