Your toddles's party of a Budget
Posted on Apr,16 2019
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So many people believe they are baby experts and will tell you you need a million different things for your upcoming bundle of joy. They are just trying to be helpful, but sometimes it can get really overwhelming with the amount of stuff everyone says you NEED.

Our friend over at The Unplanned Tiny Hand compiled a list of all of the things my new baby.  These items have been essential to getting through the first couple of months as a new mom, making these my 17 must-have newborn products.

For the nursery: 

1. The Owlet Sock: 

Why it’s a must-have: I was unable to sleep for the whole first week and most of the second week until my husband and I finally caved and got the Owlet Sock. 

 If you don’t already know, the Owlet Sock is a sock that monitors your baby’s heart rate and oxygen levels. The sock has a docking station that pulses a bright green color when your baby’s levels are normal. If the sock isn’t able to get a good reading, the base station starts singing a lullaby song loudly to alert the parents and the color turns yellow. If your baby’s reading drops below the normal average, the base station turns red and a loud ringing sound alerts anyone nearby. 

Having The Owlet Sock has given me the peace of mind I need to get some sleep through the night. If I wake up, I can just look at the glowing base station and know that my little girl is breathing okay. Ultimately, sleep and peace of mind make this my number one item in the list of must-have newborn products! 

If you are going to get anything on this list, THIS IS THE ITEM I RECOMMEND THE MOST. I don’t know where I would be without the comfort of having this device. I will always recommend The Owlet Sock to anyone who asks! #wortheverypenny

BONUS: You can also connect the sock to your smartphone and get updated live readings of the baby’s heart and oxygen levels.

The homepage and one of Carter’s sleep analysis from the Owlet Care App.


2. A Crib with a Changing Table

Why it’s a must-have: Baby needs a place to sleep. My sweet girl hated her bassinet and sleeping on her back. Patrick and I talked to her pediatrician and he suggested putting a crib wedge in her crib to help her actually sleep on her back and sleep better! It actually worked, but it meant moving her from our room to her room WAY sooner than I had planned.

I thought my husband was crazy when he kept pushing us to get a changing table. Why waste extra money when you can get a $20 pad and just change the baby on the floor? We are trying to save money here! BOY, am I glad I buckled and let him get us one. I ended up needing to get my gallbladder removed and I was NOT able to get up and down off the floor to change her diaper while my husband was at work. 

We also use the changing table to change her clothes and to do her bedtime routine. We use our changing table so many times a day, I’m not sure what we’d do without one! 

I suggest getting a changing table attached to the crib for maximum use and space-saving, but there are other choices too!


3. Baby Video Monitor

Why it’s a must-have: You obviously want to be able to see your baby while they are in their crib, whether you let them sleep by themselves at night, or just nap in their crib during the day. I love being able to put my sweet girl to sleep in her crib during nap time and be able to get stuff done around the house while still keeping an eye on her.


The video monitor in addition to the Owlet Sock is the only reason I get any sleep at all, making this another great item in our list of must-have newborn products!


4. Halo Sleep Swaddle 

Why it’s a must-have: The Halo Sleep Swaddle is the #1 chosen swaddle used in hospitals, making it a staple in a list of must-have newborn products. I’m SO disappointed my hospital uses old fashion swaddles! With every other thing you have to learn with a new baby, you add trying to learn to swaddle your baby, and I just so happened to have an escape artist! Swaddling her was so hard! We used a different brand I really wanted to love, but I just didn’t.  

After that, I was shopping around Target when I found the Halo Sleep Swaddle. I am the type of person who doesn’t really believe the hype when it comes to popular products, but I swallowed my pride and bought the Halo Sleep Swaddle and I AM SO GLAD I DID. The velcro actually holds Carter’s arms down. There is a zipper at the bottom and the top for simple changes during the night. They also have several different material weights for different times of the year! So convenient.

We have about six different styles and materials now, including the one pictured above and I love it!


5. Crib Mattress Cover (plastic) 

Why it’s a must-have: Babies spit-up. And poop. And pee. A LOT. And sometimes their bodily fluids get all over their mattress and sheet. You do NOT want to have to clean out those stains. I suggest getting a good plastic crib mattress cover, or going straight to just a plastic mattress! Just strip the sheets and wipe down the mattress! Easy! 


For Bathtime:

6. Johnson’s Bedtime Collection


Why it’s a must-have: Having a bedtime routine is essential for getting your little one used to when to go to bed. (Read about how we implement our bedtime routine here!) Our bedtime routine includes Johnson’s Bedtime Bath collection and it is amazing! The collection uses lavender scents for a nice relaxing time for both baby and parents! I love the way my sweet girl smells after her nightly bath! 


7. Baby Towels

Why it’s a must-have: This may not seem like it’s that important, but I assure you that it is. Babies have very sensitive skin and you don’t want to use regular towels to dry them off! A lot of baby towels have hoods. Make sure to cover their heads and feet ASAP when they are wet since their little bodies can’t regulate body temps at an early age, making this another perfect item in your list of must-have newborn products. Plus, the hoods are REALLY cute! 


8. Aquaphor Ointment for Babies


Why it’s a must-have: Just like I stated before, babies have very sensitive skin. Carter had a severe rash practically as soon as she came out of the womb. Her doctor told us it was completely normal and it doesn’t bother her, but suggested Aquaphor for babies so we went ahead and got some. I’m so glad we did because babies get rashes all of the time. We put this ointment on Carter every night to keep the rashes away. It has completely taken away all of the spots on her face.

BONUS: Plus, all of the kisses you will give your baby will benefit you too, because the Aquaphor will make your lips softer! 


For Breastfeeding:


Why it’s a must-have: Breastfeeding is kind of weird, and one of the weird things that happens is called a let down. While baby is one breast, your other breast will experience a let down at the same time. Guess where that milk goes? IN YOUR SHIRT. The Haakaa catches your let downs on the side you are not nursing off of.

 My experience with the Haakaa has been incredible. It will take some getting used to and figuring out which position works best for you and baby.

Two ounces caught in one feeding!

BONUS: This is the fastest way to build a freezer stash! I was able to build up enough of a stash in two weeks to cover 18 feedings. That’s three days worth of milk! This came in handy when I got sick! The ability to create a freezer stash pushes this item to the top of my list of must-have newborn products!


10. Spectra Breast Pump

Why it’s a must-have: My milk took five days to come in. FIVE DAYS. So, after every single feeding, my lactation consultant instructed me to pump for fifteen minutes to get my supply up and going.

Comparison of my first pump and the Spectra S2!

I’ve also recently started back at work and use my pump while I am away from my girl. Even if you’re not planning to go back to work, having a good pump is a good idea to keep supply up when you’re away from the baby or when your supply starts to dip. Just pump for 15 minutes after every feeding to get your milk supply back up to where it needs to be!


11. My Brest Friend


Why it’s a must-have: As a new mom, you’re going to be exhausted. Holding a seven-pound baby as they nurse for thirty minutes or longer is not ideal. My Brest Friend not only helps you support baby but also helps give your back some much-needed support as well.

Unfortunately, I do not have a My Brest Friend and instead use a Boppy. Boppys are similar in supporting baby, but I find that mine moves around and is easily separated from my body when baby gets fussy, which is why I suggested the My Brest Friend in place of the Boppy! I am still so thankful for my Boppy and recommend either of the two supports to breastfeeding moms.

BONUS: My Brest Friend has a pocket! I can’t tell you how many times I needed my phone to be in reach and I couldn’t ever get to it.


For Traveling:

12. Pack n’ Play

I don’t know where I would be without this version of the Pack n’ Play. When Carter was a newborn, she did NOT want to lay on her back. It didn’t matter what type of surface I would lay her on. She would scream. She wasn’t sleeping in her bassinet and I heard way too many horror stories about the danger of co-sleeping, so I turned to the Sleeper insert (which doubles as a bouncer!) in the Pack N’ Play. Literal life saver.

Why it’s a must-have: The Pack n’ Play is a staple in many homes. It’s a great place to keep any eye on baby in many stages of their first year and keeps them from getting away. As a newborn, we used our Pack n’ Play as a travel bed for holidays and weekends at our parents. It’s so convenient to carry it around and have it with you on the go.


13. Car Seat Carrier


I learned the hard way about needing a baby carrier. I was so confident in my purchase of a Gracco 4ever Convertible Car Seat that I completely forgot to think about how to get baby around. You can’t carry her EVERYWHERE.

Why it’s a must-have: Newborns sleep. A lot. These first few weeks are going to be so difficult if you are constantly getting your little one in and out of a car while they're minding their own business napping the day away. Consequently, more tears are shed by both you and baby.

Avoid the tears. Get a carrier. Trust me.


14. Baby Wrap/Carrier


Why it’s a must-have: Babies like to be close to their mommies. Mommies still have things they need to do and, typically, these things require the use of hands. Enter baby wearing. You can use wraps or carriers.

I really thought I would like using a wrap and did a couple of times, but I feel like I was never able to get it tight enough or it was too tight. For me, there was too much room for user error, therefore I switched to a carrier.

There are a ton of different options ranging from affordable to oh so expensive when it comes to carriers and wraps. It ultimately comes down to what you and baby are most comfortable in.


15. Seat Car Mirror Attachment

Why it’s a must-have: As a new parent, you are going to jump at every sound baby makes, no matter how small. If you hear baby cough or make a scary sound, you are going to want to be able to check on them quickly, without wrecking or having to pull off on the side of the road. A mirror gives you easy access to see everything baby is doing.

What I love about this exact mirror is it’s curved, so baby can also see themselves, which they will LOVE to do as they get older!

BONUS: When your little one gets to be a little older, watching them discover themselves in the mirror is such a treat!


For baby:

16. Playmat

Why it’s a must-have: If your baby is anything like mine, they will be so curious and intrigued by the world around them. Carter took so much joy staring at the colors and shapes on her playmat. Most newborns sleep for 16-19 hours per day, but she wanted to stay awake and look at everything. Being able to put her down and watch her learn and observe was incredible for me.

You will also want to start tummy time as soon as possible, and the playmat is a great place to do it. Baby will want to look at all of the new things around them! Carter, at almost five months old, still takes so much pleasure in playing on her play mat.


17. Pacifiers


If you’re bottle-feeding, getting baby to take a pacifier should be fairly easy. If you are breastfeeding, they recommend waiting until baby is around one month old to introduce a pacifier as to not give baby nipple confusion. A nurse actually attempted to give my girl a Paci at the hospital, but she wasn’t interested. Carter actually couldn’t even keep a pacifier in her mouth until we discovered MAM. Now, she loves her Paci and it calms her down almost instantly.

Why it’s a must-have: Sucking is a natural instinct for babies and it brings them so much comfort. I suggest using a pacifier for at least the first couple of months and then weaning once the baby is capable of learning to self soothe.

BONUS: Pacifiers are said to help reduce the risk of SIDS.

AND these GLOW IN THE DARK, which makes them perfect for getting baby to settle in the middle of the night!


Final Note –

Ultimately, there are a ton of different products to help new moms. The items in the list have been invaluable to me and my sweet baby girl. I hope this list of 17 Must-Have Newborn Products gives you a basic outline of the items you will need when bringing baby home from the hospital!

Originally posted on The Unplanned Tiny Hand.