Our favorites from the first six weeks

20 April 2016

To me, the idea of registering for baby items was almost ludicrous. When I walked the aisles of a baby store, I had no idea what seemingly half the items were even FOR, let alone which were the best or actual necessities. So, we relied heavily on the advice of friends* as we put our registry together (and learned a lot along the way!). Since we’re also among friends here, I thought I’d share our favorites from the first six weeks – the products that got used every day, and were nearly indispensable to us. Here we go!

baby-essentials

From top to bottom and left to right:

— June wears these nightgowns under her swaddle – they’re elastic at the bottom (no snaps!), so they make nighttime changes easier.

— We don’t actually use these swaddles for swaddling, but for everything else – as a sun shade in the stroller, a light blanket in the car seat, a clean place to roll around when we’re out and about, a nursing cover, and more.

The Ergo! June rode in this almost every day on our walks for the first six weeks (make sure you get the infant insert to be able to use it right away!), and she would fall asleep immediately.

These are wayyyy better than disposable nursing pads – so soft, and you can throw them in the wash and use them over and over and over!

— After we stopped swaddling June in the hospital blankets, we moved on to the Swaddle Me. It’s easy to use and works well, though we’ve had to buy a new one each month because the velcro wears out and she’s able to bust free. Still, they’re priced reasonably enough and work well enough that we’re willing to do it.

— Kudos to my sisters-in-law for recommending Water Wipes. They are the best! They’re literally just wipes that are moistened with water and some fruit extracts, so they’re gentle and perfect for the first few weeks/months.

— We have 20 of these cloths (two packs), and use them all over the house – under June’s head when she’s eating, to wipe her face, under her front when she’s doing tummy time, etc. Super soft, easy to fold, great size! (Note: something funny seems to be going on with the pricing of these on Amazon, because I’m pretty sure they weren’t that expensive when we bought them…)

— I’m really glad we opted for the DVD over the book because we were able to watch it together, and it was helpful to see the techniques instead of just reading about them. Highly recommended for those who aren’t familiar with handling babies!

— A cozy robe for staying warm and comfy while nursing at home.

This (free!) app is perfect for white noise on the go – we use it when June’s fussy and we want her to sleep on a walk, and to help calm her down in the car.

— The Rock and Play has been called baby crack, and I don’t disagree. June slept in this for almost all naps and overnight from the start, and it’s safe to say she’s in love with it… and therefore we are, too.

— If anyone offers to set up meal delivery for you, take them up on it! I wasn’t sure we would love having people at our house every day, but meal drop off was the PERFECT amount of time to see someone, and of course the meals were so appreciated! We used and loved Meal Train.

— And as mentioned here, lipstick. Or whatever makes you feel confident and pulled together, even if you’re wearing pajamas :)

— One thing I forgot to include in the graphic above: the Puj tub! Even though it is absurdly expensive for a piece of glorified foam, it really is awesome. Try to borrow one from a friend if you can – that’s what we did.

I also wanted to mention a few other items that aren’t pictured. These are things that we have and have been happy with, but I feel as though we might have been equally happy with another option. But, if you’re looking for a tried-and-true place to start, here you go! This toiletry set, these wash cloths (they really are different than the adult version of a wash cloth – I wasn’t convinced at first!), this backseat mirror, this car seat, this changing pad, this on-the-go changing pad, and this play mat.

And finally, a few things we didn’t buy and haven’t missed: a diaper pail (we just put them in our step can in the kitchen), a wipes warmer, and a nursing pillow (I just use a regular pillow).

I LOVED reading the “essentials” lists of others while pregnant, and so would love to hear y’all’s favorite items for the first few weeks! Do we share any must-haves?

*John and I also walked the aisles of the baby section of Target for an hour with Nancy and Will, and they talked us through the pros and cons of almost everything (and in some cases, explained what things were!). This was SO helpful, and I’d highly recommend this if you can find someone to do it with you!

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15 Responses to “Our favorites from the first six weeks”

  1. Kelly Strawberry

    The Boppy Lounger and the Swaddle Sleep Sacks with velcro (I used the Halo brand) are my two must-have recommendations.

  2. This is so encouraging to me- because it’s almost exactly the stuff we have ready to go for our sweet boy.. even down to the washcloths from amazon! We must have been getting advice from the same places, haha! I had been teeter tottering on the idea of a nursing pillow- and you just affirmed me to at least start out without one.

  3. Sarah

    Thanks so much for sharing! As someone who doesn’t have a baby yet, but is planning on starting to “try” soon, these lists are fascinating to me and I love hearing your honest tips and thoughts on each item! I have a few questions, if you don’t mind- do you like your stroller and how did you choose it? It seems like everyone has a different recommendation and there isn’t one perfect option. Also, regarding not using a diaper pail- do you find that the smell is contained well enough in your regular trash can? I kind of hate the idea of keeping dirty diapers in the baby’s room and also purchasing unnecessary items so going without a diaper pail is appealing!

  4. Kathryn

    Great post! Our first ( a girl!) is due in 8 weeks, so I’m right in the thick of getting all the right “gear.” What changing pad cover(s) did you use? I was also looking at the Summer Infant changing pad, but there are so many options for covers!

  5. Emily

    Thank you so much Em! Very helpful!

  6. Em

    @Sarah We love our stroller! I will probably include it in a future list (thinking of doing our favorites at four months or so!). It is the City Mini GT and we first saw it because my sister-in-law has it. I think strollers are super individual and you really have to decide how you want to use it. And yes, at this point the smell is totally contained in our trash can – it hardly smells at all since she is breast fed, which is great!

    @Kathryn This is the changing pad cover we have! http://amzn.to/1SchAN6 No complaints :)

  7. Megan

    Great List! Rock n Play = baby crack! love it. So true.

    I would add– 1-kiss kissy converter gowns. These are the softest & sweetest pima cotton gowns and they can snap at the legs for carseat transfer-great for quick appointments and errands. Our baby still lives in them AND (while she is still tiny) can still fit into the premie size (though, when snapped they are more like a peddlepusher, but it’s perfect for spring!), but you definitely get your bang for your buck on longevity and use because they run big! We love the Kissy Kissy resale group on Facebook. They hold their quality and we’ll plan to resell ours one day, too.

    2-the cheap fisher price bouncy seat from Target–though, this may have been purchased around 5 or 6 weeks. Easy to move from room to room. Baby is facinated by the things that hang from it and loves the vibration. And mama can shower or cook : )

    3-Dreft baby detergent & adding Biz or Blue Dawn prior to washing for soaking. There is no sweeter, yummier smell in the world and a fresh baby with clean clothes…but those poop stains (and now puree stains!) Whew! Biz & Dawn have been amazing!

    4-Solly Wrap. We didn’t have one in the very beginning but it was awesome around 8 weeks (should have had it sooner). It made it easier to get things done around the house when the baby needed to be held and it wasn’t as bulky as the ergo for when you’re just around the house–plus our baby was still too little for the ergo until she was 10 weeks or so! We still love it, I just regret getting a striped one because I actually wear lots of stripes as it is. We also now love the ergo!

    5- Nose Frida- I couldn’t ever figure out how to use a bulb, and this thing is amazing, especially when used with a little saline!

  8. I second the solly wrap – so soft, cozy, and special for those early tiny days and beyond. I still use mine for some shorter walks at 4.5 months old.

    I would add a breast pump! I had to fight to get my supply up those first couple months – so me and my pump became very good friends.

  9. Grateful for your honest opinions, and can’t wait for our Target tour! :)

  10. Such a great list for expecting or new mamas, Em!

  11. Emily

    Hi Em –

    I know you have a nice blog roll and friends of Em list – do you have favorite resources/blogs/sites online for new motherhood?

    And which books have been the most helpful so far?

    thank you so so so much!

    Emily

  12. Laura B

    Hi Em,
    This is a great and helpful post. Readers may also find the blog Cricketcircle.com helpful. This site was founded my moms and recommends popular baby items at three price points- low, medium and high. Could be another perspective to browse as parents to be decide what they need.

    With a three week old, we have found these Alden swaddles to work well:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00CU5M650/ref=mp_s_a_1_sc_4_a_it?qid=1464358252&sr=8-4-spell&keywords=alden+swaddle

    They have snaps so they are easy to get on and off and quieter than Velcro if the baby is sleeping.

    We have just introduced a pacifier now that breastfeeding is well established and he loves the Wubabnub with a stuffed animal on the end. This helps the baby hold the pacifier in and he seems to love it.

    That’s all the tips I have so far. :)