Written by: Edie Horstman (TULA- Wellness)
Last month, I shared my pregnancy essentials — the products, books, and resources that helped me get through those lengthy nine months. Up next: newborn essentials.
This goes without saying, but I was completely overwhelmed when I started doing my research. After all, from diapers and swaddles to activity mats and baby bouncers, the number of newborn products is endless. But as we inch closer to our baby’s fifth month, there are a few tried and true things we’ve loved thus far. We’ve (mostly) aired on the conservative side — for budget and minimalist reasons — but it’s been a game of trial and error since Wilson was born. Some things he prefers, others he doesn’t. We’re learning as we go. If you’re a soon-to-be mama, remember that every baby’s preferences are different. Most importantly, it’s true what they say: newborns need very little.
When Wilson was less than a week old, we started using velcro swaddles. Specifically, SwaddleMe. But around three months, we switched to Dreamland Baby. And there’s no turning back. Wilson now sleeps anywhere from 5-7 hours at night (and sleeps like a champ in his swaddle during the day). It’s on the pricier side, but it’s been one of our best purchases so far. Plus, because the ‘wings’ detach, he can still sleep in it once he’s done being swaddled. For a more economical option, there’s the Nested Bean or the Magic Sleep Suit. These sleep sacks have amazing reviews and came highly recommended as well.
My favorite muslins are made by Aden + Anais. They’re 100% cotton, very breathable, and versatile. We use them as a traditional blanket, as a cover on our stroller (for shade), to clean spit up, etc. We put a bunch of them on our registry. We also frequently use an organic blanket from MakeMake Organics, and the coziest blanket we have is from Cole & Danier — made locally in Eagle, Colorado.
Every night, Wilson sleeps in his Design Dua moses bassinet. This bassinet is eco-friendly, boho, and lightweight. It’s functional and beautifully designed. Once he outgrows it, which will be very soon, we’ll transition him into his crib. Speaking of his crib, we have the Newton mattress. It’s fantastic — 100% breathable (which gives me peace of mind), Greenguard Gold Certified, and machine-washable.
When it comes to choosing the right stroller, one of the most important factors to consider (other than budget) is your lifestyle. Do you live in the city, suburbs, mountains, or near the ocean? Are rural backroads accessible from your front door? Do you have more than one child? Is (future) travel a part of your routine? We went with UPPABaby for our stroller and car seat, and we couldn’t be happier. We opted for the Cruz — without buying the bassinet — but we did tack on infant inserts for both the stroller and car seat. Alternatively, I’ve read rave reviews about the Doona, which is ideal for city dwellers and frequent travelers.
Currently loving: Mini Mori, Monica + Andy, Colored Organics, and SpearmintLOVE. Oh, and hand-me-downs. A majority of Wilson’s clothes have been re-purposed from friends with babies.
Out of all of the research I did, I spent the most time reading diaper reviews and watching Youtube videos. Ultimately, I wanted a diaper that was hypoallergenic, fragrance-free, sustainable, plant-based, durable, and part of a subscription service. Enter, Hello Bello. Other than few very minor blowouts, these diapers have been excellent. They’re soft, stretchy, and the subscription service fits within our budget. Win, win, win.
He doesn’t get diaper rashes often, but Babo Botanicals makes a wonderful, effective diaper cream. A little goes a long way. Motherlove also has a great line of soothing baby products. And when in doubt, Aquaphor Baby, which is formulated without dyes, fragrance, preservatives, etc. This is the changing pad we’ve been using, and it’s very easy to clean. The only downside is that it can be a bit cold in the winter, but we keep one of these on it (which is machine washable).
There are quite a few baby bathtubs to choose from, but this is the one we’re currently using. For shampoo and lotion, we love Puracy. Their stain remover is a must-have too.
Daily, we give Wilson Child Life’s vit D, and he seems to enjoy the taste.
As mentioned here, I’m planning to write an entire post on my breastfeeding journey. But one of the reasons I’ve been able to exclusively breastfeed (thus far) is because of Jen. Your BestMilk provides the best online / virtual lactation consulting services. Jen is incredibly thoughtful, kind, and knowledgable. Her support has been phenomenal.
I’m so grateful for Chloe, a coworker and friend, who runs La Lune Consulting. Wilson has consistently been a great nighttime sleeper, but daytime naps were hit or miss. Thanks to Chloe, Wilson is now on a more routine napping schedule, naps lasting anywhere from 1-2.5 hours. Because he’s sleeping better during the day, he is a happier baby — which also means I still have my sanity intact. And because Chloe is the best, she’s offering all Wellness with Edie followers 20%-off ANY of her services! Use WELLNESSWITHEDIE upon checkout.
While we’re chatting sleep, the Baby Shusher is a very helpful addition to Wilson’s nap / bedtime routine. We also use the Hatch sound machine for ambient background noise.
BABYBJÖRN + toy bar: Hands down, the BABYBJÖRN is the best. Not only does Wilson love it, but my other mama friends say their babies love it too. I like to give him independent playtime in it while I cook, allowing him to bounce away while watching me in the kitchen.
Activity mat: With plenty of options for different types of play — great for developing motor skills and hand-eye coordination — this mat is super soft and plush. We also use it for tummy time, helping him strengthen his neck / shoulder muscles.
Play gym: Minimalist yet engaging, this play gym is a wonderful alternative to the aforementioned activity mat. It’s made with water-based dyes and natural rubber wood. Wilson adores it.
NUK pacifiers: We didn’t start giving Wilson a pacifier until he was close to a month old, but I bought a few different types to let him choose. These pacifiers, specifically, allow space for baby’s tongue and jaw to move naturally — just like they do when breastfeeding. Likely for this reason, Wilson loves the NUK pacifier.
Mushie pacifiers: Sustainable and eco-friendly, these pacifiers come in a variety of colors and rest nicely on Wilson’s cheeks. He enjoys these pacifiers too.
Pacifier clip from LouLou LOLLIPOP: A must-have! We clip this to Wilson’s onesie (or one of our t-shirts) to avoid the pacifier falling to the ground.
Comotomo: We originally bought two different types of bottles, but Comotomo has been Wilson’s preference from the get-go. We give him a bottle of breastmilk every night before bed.
Boon Lawn Drying Rack: A true essential for all-things pacifiers, bottles, pump equipment, etc.
Phew – what a list! I hope you find this helpful. I would love to know what some of your newborn essentials are / were.
Edie Horstman is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, freelance writer, and advocate of practical wellness. For wholesome recipes, thoughts on motherhood, and how to live sustainably, head to her website, Wellness with Edie.