I’ve been a mom now for just over 2 weeks and while I’m definitely not an expert on all things baby, there are a few things that I truly don’t know how I would have gotten through the past couple of weeks without. Read below about my seven new mom must haves.
- Baby Tracker App: This app had to be at the top of the list. I wanted to keep track of all of my baby’s wet and dirty diapers, as well as how often, how long, and what side he started on at each feeding so I know where to begin at the next one. The dirty diaper count and feeding lengths are good indicators of baby’s health. Also, at every doctor’s appointment the nurse will inquire about these things and it’s hard to remember sometimes how often your baby is eating and pooping off the top of your head when you’re sleep deprived. I tried a few different baby tracking apps and this one is by far the easiest to use. I also like that there is room to make notes in case you want to indicate that baby spit up a lot after a feeding or any changes in stool color. It’s amazing! I can’t say enough good things about this app.
- Bassinet: The original plan was for the baby to sleep in his crib in his own room, but after our first night in the hospital where he was in a bassinet right at my bedside, I knew I had to rethink the original plan. It was so nice to not have to leave my bed several times in the night for feedings and random checks to make sure he was still ok (who knew I’d be such a worried new mom). My parents were so nice to swing by Walmart and pick up this very affordable bassinet and had it put together for our first night at home with the baby. I can’t imagine not having it now.
- Baby blankets: I didn’t realize how much my baby would love to cuddle and how sensitive to the slightest draft he would be. You can’t have too many receiving blankets like these to cover cold legs and toes in a pinch. They are also great to drape over baby’s car seat when you are out and about to protect him from germs and to use as a back-up burp rag.
- HALO Swaddle Sleep Sack: In the hospital, my baby looooved the swaddle the nurses put him in, but we really struggled with mastering a tight swaddle at home. My son is particularly active and loves to kick his arms and legs like crazy, braking free from our amateur swaddle-job in seconds. I was so paranoid that in the middle of the night he would unravel the blanket and kick it up over his face. I discovered this swaddle sleep sack on Amazon and I’m so glad I did! It allows his arms to be free, which he likes, yet it keeps him tightly wrapped around his midsection. The other thing I hated about swaddling was middle of the night diaper changes. My baby doesn’t like to be cold and undoing a nice warm blanket, and then struggling to wrap him back up in the dark was a total nightmare. This sleep sack unzips from the bottom and you don’t have to undo the whole thing for changes! It’s a lifesaver.
- Sleep N’ Plays with inverted zipper: Like I mentioned above, my baby doesn’t really love getting undressed. He likes to be warm and cozy! These PJ’s are the best because they zip from the bottom to make for a more comfortable diaper change. In the middle of the night I love that I just have to unzip the sleep sack and the PJs to change his diaper. There is so much less fussing and whining. And since he sleeps so much during the day and we are at home all day everyday, I just keep him in the comfy PJ’s 24/7. He seems so comfortable in these.
- The Happiest Baby on the Block Book: I discovered this book literally in the last week of my pregnancy (hence why it isn’t in this list. It should be!), and I’m soooo glad I did. There is such great information on the type of environment that babies are used to in the womb and how you can recreate it after they are born to soothe them. The five S’s have been life savers with my baby and I think all new mom’s should memorize them before bringing baby home.
- Well stocked diaper bag: The scary fact about newborns is they are pretty vulnerable in those first days and weeks. Six days after bringing my son home, we suddenly thought he looked yellow and feared he might have been jaundice. It looked pretty mild, but over the course of a few hours we started to question whether it was getting worse and we were becoming obsessive about it. We decided we couldn’t sleep at night until we knew what was going on, so we last minute decided to take him in to the pediatric ER to get him checked out. Luckily he was just fine (it was very mild jaundice and far from requiring light therapy). Phew! One thing that made that stressful trip a little more manageable was that I had a diaper bag fully stocked and ready to run out the door. We were at the Children’s Hospital for a few hours and I made great use of our back up diapers, wipes, blanket, and snacks. I also discovered that I love the Skip Hop diaper bag I got at my shower. It’s perfectly organized and so easy to throw on while allowing me to be hands free to handle baby.