The newborn days are such a roller coaster – the extreme joy and exhaustion mingle together to make these blurry days into ones you’ll never forget. If you’re the type who loves organizing and preparing ahead for every stage, you’ll want an essentials list, and I’ve got you covered. And if you’re the type who takes life as it comes, there’s good news for you too – the list, like the baby, is small.
What you’ll need for baby
Newborns are fairly straight forward – they don’t care about what clothes you put them in or what their bedroom looks like. They need diapers (more than you ever thought, I assure you) and wipes, receiving blankets for burping and swaddling, and warm, comfortable pajamas.
As for diapers, I loved the Honest brand and we also used Apple Cheeks cloth diapers once baby was over 8lbs. You’ll go through about 10 diapers per day, so purchase according! If you’re the type who likes to plan ahead, before baby comes make sure you have at least two weeks worth (140 diapers and 3 packages of wipes).
When it comes to receiving blankets and swaddles, you have a lot of options. We liked to use receiving blankets to protect our shoulders from spit up when burping baby, and as a light blanket. Our three year old even adopted the Aden and Anais blankets as her lovey, so we are still using them daily! When it came to swaddling, though a receiving blanket works alright, I liked the Woombie swaddles. My babies always slept better when swaddled nice and securely, so I loved the zipper closure that even the wiggliest of babies wouldn’t budge. I suggest you have two swaddles, such as the Woobie or the ErgoPouch, and 6-8 receiving blankets.
Lastly, clothes. I know it’s adorable and exciting shopping for baby clothing, but they really don’t need real clothing in the early months. If you have the energy to dress you baby in little jean overalls, that’s awesome, but if you’re sleep deprived and don’t have it in you, don’t sweat it. Baby will be most comfortable in cozy pajamas. I suggest 10 footed pajamas per size (NB, 0-3, and so on). That’s really all baby needs to wear!
What you’ll need for yourself
Nurturing a newborn is no easy task, whether you breast or bottle feed. The around-the-clock feeds can be exhausting so you want to be as comfortable as possible during these early months. A nursing pillow is a must – even if you’re bottle feeding, but especially if you’re breastfeeding. Nursing pillows elevate your baby so your arms aren’t doing all the work, and they fit around you comfortably. I loved the pillows by Jolly Jumper, for nursing and bottle feeding, and later, to support baby as she was just learning to sit.
Aside from a nursing pillow, I highly recommend nipple shields for those who find nursing too painful at first. If you’re bottle feeding, make sure you have at least 4 bottles and enough formula for two weeks, and always have previously boiled water at room temperature on hand.
If you can afford it, the first month you have a baby is the absolute best time to have a house cleaner pay you a visit. Make healthy meals ahead of time and keep them in the freezer for those days when you can’t possibly cook – or consider a home cook delivery service to eliminate the need for grocery shopping and meal planning.
Last but not least, be comfortable! You may be more home bound for the next several weeks, so make sure you have comfortable clothes (there’s no pressure to be fully dressed and showered in this season!) and drink plenty of water (both to help with nursing, healing, and to refresh your sleep deprived brain). If you can bear it, stay away from caffeine as it can hinder breast milk production and also prevent you from taking that coveted nap when baby finally falls asleep.
To recap, you’ll absolutely need the following:
- Diapers and wipes (140 diapers and 3 packages of wipes for the first
- Linens (2 swaddles and 6-8 receiving blankets)
- Pajamas (10 per size)
- Bottles, if bottle feeding (at least 4 bottles and formula for 2 weeks)
- Nipple shields and a nursing pillow, if nursing
- Comfortable clothing for mom
Remember, the most essential thing a newborn baby needs is you, and the most essential thing you need is here in your arms. Savour these days of fuzzy hair and soft skin because they’ll pass in the blink of an eye. And if these days have been harder than you ever imagined, you’re not alone, and the future is bright.
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