Baby Care Essentials – New-Mom’s List
There are many lists of must-have items for new babies, but very few of them go BEYOND THE BASICS that almost everyone is already familiar with. Our list contains things we have actually used with our babies and covers specific things you will need, not just the most common items! PLUS a few things that moms will love having for themselves.
Becoming a mother means a lot of adapting for your body! Most of the changes that happen during pregnancy are temporary, but some of the time we end up with more permanent alterations to our bodies. Stretch marks are one of the most common changes mothers experience and also one of the most highly despised. You don’t need anything super fancy to prevent stretch marks. Applying belly balm every evening, even if your skin doesn’t feel dry or you don’t see any stretch marks, will help your skin stay supple and prevent stretch marks. Motherlove’s blend of hydrating and essential oils smells lightly of chamomile and lavender and is a lovely addition to a bedtime routine! Continue using the balm after your baby is born to help your skin stay hydrated while your belly returns to normal.
As if childbirth and breastfeeding were not enough of a physical and mental challenge, it can seem downright cruel what our breasts and nipples end up enduring as they get accustomed to their new job! Applying a nipple balm each time you finish nursing, before your nipples are sore or dry and continuing to do so for at least a few months, will make a world of difference for your comfort. Using soft cotton washable nursing pads will not only prevent stains on your shirts from leakage, they also help a lot in reducing irritation because they prevent your nipples from getting stuck to your bra (very painful!). We recommend buying two sets so that you will be more likely to have a clean pair on had when you need them! For travelling, or for a back-up, disposable gel-filled pads are nice to have on hand. They hold more liquid, so bringing just a couple pair for a day should be enough. These hot/cold packs work wonders to ease the discomfort of engorgement. Make sure you buy at least two, one pair to use hot before you nurse and one pair to apply cold afterward! This nursing cover is the absolute BEST for providing quick and easy privacy while you are breastfeeding your baby.
Swaddling gives newborn babies a sense of comfort and security by providing a snug and warm feeling similar to being in the womb. You may find that you like to use swaddle sacks when your baby gets a little older, but when they are brand new, all of the velcro and different flaps can be disruptive if your baby is drowsy and you want to get her to sleep. These cotton blankets are so soft and they have a little stretch to them which make them perfect for swaddling because when you wrap them, they stay put!
Once your baby is a little older, the above mentioned blankets work great as over-the-shoulder burp cloths to protect your clothes, or as an extra layer to put over your baby’s legs while he’s in the car seat. Again, the slight bit of stretch helps the blanket stay put when tucked. As far as a multi-purpose and go-to blanket goes, these muslin cotton blankets are the star of the show. They can be used in so many different ways; they work for swaddling when folded into a triangle, they can be tied at two corners and used as a nursing cover, they can be draped over the car seat to block sun or rain, they work as a fabric over to put under your baby while she is sleeping or nursing, AND they are so beautiful that you could wear them as a scarf!
The absolute MOST soft and cuddly blanket is the Little Giraffe Luxe! Your baby will feel so cozy wrapped up in this blanket and you will want to snuggle with it yourself! It will definitely be your baby’s favorite and is the type of blanket that children and parents will want to keep for sentimental reasons. The best part, it stays soft even after washing! Just be sure not to use liquid fabric softeners or dryer sheets with it!
There are different schools of thought regarding pacifiers, some people never use them, others swear by them, and some babies end up using them because they are unable to be with their mother right away after birth. If you do end up using a pacifier with your baby, these combination stuffed animal/binky soothers are the way to go. They may seem a little ridiculous, but they are easy for babies to grab and are less likely to get lost under the furniture. Hospitals use them for babies in intensive care, or other situations where they cannot nurse, as a dual comfort because the stuffed animal is soft and cuddly and the binky allows babies to experience the naturally soothing sensation of sucking. If you end up sticking to a traditional pacifier, specialists usually recommend the rounded type, not the common flat type, because the rounded ones are less likely to interfere with breastfeeding.
When your baby starts being able to grab and hold things you will probably notice that anything he gets a hold of he is trying to put into his mouth. This will likely start before your baby starts teething, but teething rings and toys work great for this stage because it gets them accustomed to the teethers before they are actually teething and because teething rings and toys are safe for your baby to put in his or her mouth. Non-toxic wood is the best option because it does not contain the chemicals that plastics contain. For a little variation, food-grade silicone toys are a good option. If you do get your baby plastic toys, make sure they are made with BPA-free plastic! This type of pacifier clip works great to help keep toys from going on the floor! Bandanna bibs are a must because, along with teething and gumming on toys, your baby is likely drooling enough to go through a new onesie every twenty minutes! Not only are these soft and more absorbent than traditional bibs, they are also much cuter and come in a variety of prints!
To keep all of your baby’s teethers, toys, pacifiers, and bottles clean without having to run the dishwasher multiple times a day -or wait around for it to finish washing- this bottle sterilizer is a must! It takes just a little over ten minutes to sterilize, is designed to hold a variety of items, and adjustable to fit different needs. As far as baby bottles go, every baby is different and if your baby has struggled to nurse you may need to experiment with different nipples. Glass bottles are the best option because they omit the possibility of chemicals leaching into the milk. If you do end up buying a plastic bottle, this brand is a favorite among mother’s who have trouble getting their baby to bottle feed.
For MORE must-have items, check out part two of Baby Care Essentials!
Know of a Must-Have item that we should add to the list?
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