Happy Wednesday y’all! We have one of our sweetest real mama’s EVER! She has put together an awesome line up of products that really work for her and are super practical. Its a super fun list to read so enjoy! And if you’d like to share your wit and wisdom, we’d love to have you. All the details you need can be found, here.
Hello! My name is Barbara and I’m a first time mommy to my 5-week old daughter, Arabelle. We live north of Dallas, TX in an 1800 sq ft house. Since our little gal is only a month old, we haven’t needed to use certain things like a humidifier, butt paste, Sophie, etc… those might be added to a future Favorite list but we haven’t used them yet! While making our baby registry, I kept trying to figure out what we really, REALLY need during the first month. It’s tough work having a newborn so anything that makes life a little easier on the baby and/or the exhausted parents was my goal, so let’s get to it!
1. aden + anais Bamboo swaddles: Our house looks like a+a set up shop in here and I’m not complainin’. All their stuff is so awesome from their washcloths to their Dream blanket. But let’s talk swaddles, shall we? I like their muslin swaddles for their ability to hold a tight swaddle on a wiggly baby, but I can’t get over the supreme silky softness of their Bamboo swaddles! The bamboo version doesn’t hold a tight swaddle very well (although this could be because I’m just a rookie swaddlin’ mama), but they adjust to baby’s body temp quickly and perfectly and did I mention they are crazy soft? I love both versions for different reasons so I think you need both! And, please, if the thought of swaddling a screaming newborn at 3am gives you a panic attack then register for a SwaddleMe Infant Wrap and go take a nap. You’re welcome.
2. “Relax Melodies” app (free!)
We have a few different sound machines, but when Arabelle is wailing, those aren’t nearly loud enough for her to hear so we frantically turn to this app instead. We play it on full blast right next to her ear and she relaxes after a few seconds. It’s a MIRACLE. Plus, I love that you can customize the noise by layering several different sounds. If white noise drives you nuts then you can layer it with thunderstorms, wind, icy snow and dozens of other options so it’s more tolerable for the parents to listen to as well. This app is worth its weight in gold, but it’s free!
3. Gerber Flatfold Cloth Diapers – Seriously, all other burp cloths need to step aside. My husband and I were constantly getting cranky with our “fancy” burp clothes because they fall off your shoulder in less than 2 seconds, ultimately leaving us with a spit up disaster. Unacceptable. These cloth diapers are very absorbent and somehow cling to your clothing so it stays put. The flatfold version is key… the padded pre-folded cloth diapers are too heavy and slide off the shoulder. If you insist on having a pretty burp rag, and you know who you are, then the a+a muslin burpy bibs are our preferred backup since they are contoured to fit on your shoulder.
4. New Mom Essentials
I’m cheating and putting 3 things that are 100% necessary for me right now. When we left the hospital, we foolishly drove down a bumpy road and I literally felt like my organs were confetti being tossed around my body. I wish I knew about the bamboo Belly Bandit in advance because it helps tighten the belly (it’s true!) and makes your body feel more intact after child birth. Next, I can’t say enough good things about the Cake Cotton Candy Bra. I tried a couple other recommended ones (like Bravado) and Cake is way more comfortable. Finally, if I need to leave the house and pretend like I am totally on top of things, I wear Hue Ultra Leggings with a Wide Waistband. They are the perfect thickness (not see-through!), stretchiness, and hide my outta control muffin top. Please tell me I can wear these every day until I can squeeze into some of my jeans!
5. Petunia Pickle Bottom City Carryall – I guess you might not REALLY need this, but I really like it so it made the list anyway. I wanted a mid-sized, black diaper bag that offers lots of organization, can fit under our stroller (Baby Jogger City Select), is easy to clean, and has a flat bottom so it won’t topple over. It was love at first sight with this one and I’m really happy with it so far.
6. Jacques the Peacock – Even though it’s too soon to play with toys, the backside of this one is all black and white shapes and Arabelle loves to stare at it. In fact, if I touch the crinkle paper in the toy then she will turn her head to look at it. I hung this toy above our diaper changing station and it distracts her long enough that she won’t cry and wake herself up during a diaper change!
7. BABYBJORN Baby Carrier Original – Arabelle loves to be held allll the time. It’s like she can sense the temperature change whenever we try to lay her down. To avoid a mega baby meltdown, I can pop little girl in this carrier and she can take a nap while I do fantastic things around the house like, uh, laundry and dishes. Hey, I consider that a huge success! When I have cabin fever I’ll also go for a walk around our neighborhood with this on and we both love it. She actually naps longer in this than anything else! We also have a Baby K’tan but I haven’t figured out how to use it comfortably while Arabelle has a wobbly neck, but I’m sure we will love it later, too!
8. American Baby Company Heavenly Soft Chenille Crib Sheet – Goodness gracious, this is THE softest, most fabulous crib sheet for a winter baby (or if you have a chilly nursery). In an accidental stroke of genius, I registered for this in solid white and it has become the perfect photo shoot backdrop! If you plan on taking a bunch of cute pics of your baby then do yourself a favor and buy a white crib sheet!
9. Ther-Biotic Complete
On a more personal note, Arabelle used to be very constipated and the pain caused by gassiness prevented her from sleeping. She only slept a few hours a day sometimes. It was heartbreaking to hear her exhausted cries of pain and everyone kept telling us, “That’s just what newborns do; it’s totally normal!” Nope. Our pediatrician recently informed us that Arabelle has a food sensitivity and she recommended this probiotic to help with her digestion and discomfort. It immediately made a night and day difference and we have a MUCH happier, well-rested baby (and mommy) now! Obviously not everyone will need this, but my tip is that you need to trust your instincts. I knew that gas was causing her pain but I took other people’s advice instead of calling the doctor. I don’t care if you’ve only been a new mom for one day… trust your instinct! If you think something is wrong then it never hurts to call your doctor for a second opinion.
10. Boppy Pillow – I kept debating about registering for this item. Was it really THAT useful? Turns out, YESSS! I can’t believe how frequently I use this! I’m always nursing or rocking Arabelle in our glider (also a must!) while using this pillow. When I accidentally leave it in the other room, my arms will really feel the burn after a few minutes, haha. Our Boppy cover has a soft minky fabric on one side so it’s super comfy for our lil girl.
I could have added our beloved mamaroo, rock ‘n play, video monitor, and so on but I thought it would be more helpful to have items that don’t pop up on this list as frequently. I love hearing tips ‘n trick from other savvy parents because sometimes it’s the little things that make the biggest difference. To all the new and experienced parents out there, you are doing a great job!