Earlier this year, when we were registering for baby products and feeling very overwhelmed by the saturated market of bouncers, diapers, cribs, carriers and so on, online roundups of newborn essentials from bloggers were so helpful in giving me somewhere to start. And now that we’re here winding down on our own fourth trimester, I figured I’d share a quick recap of our favorites, too. While all you truly need for a baby are diapers, clothes, food, a place to sleep and a way to ride in the car, here are other items we’ve been so glad to have because we use them every day or almost every day. Also, in case anyone out there breaks down crying trying to figure out which stroller to buy: you’re not alone. I made Tim do it. (And it ended up being this one, which a bunch of family members went in on together to buy us, FYI.)
1. Natursutten BPA-free natural rubber pacifier (0-3 months): I bought this at the recommendation of Sarah Branine from SarahKateBranine.com, and I’m so glad I did because Rocco has loved it. It soothes him and comforts him if he’s fussy, it helps him fall asleep and he almost always spits it out when he no longer needs it, happy as can be. Plus, bonus, I like the design.
2. Summer Infant Quickchange Portable Changing Pad, Black: We keep this in the gorgeous leather diaper bag my friend Jackie gave us, so we always have it when we need to change a diaper on the go, whether that’s at the Whole Foods restroom after an epic blowout or on the floor of roadside parking lot during a road trip to Chicago. It is so handy! She also showed us a great guide to baby cribs that we used to purchase the cutest custom crib. When we stayed with family for a week in August, we also used this on desks to create impromptu changing tables where we stayed.
3. Gerber Baby-Boys Newborn 4 Pack Flannel Burp Cloths – Gorilla, Blue, One Size: Burp cloths don’t seem like a necessity, and they’re technically not since washcloths and/or towels could work just as well, but I like having a drawer full of cute little baby cloths at the ready because, real talk, infants need them, and when you don’t mind the way the burp cloths look, all the better. Also, our buddy Madison gave us some burp cloths from Thread Joy and they are my favorite.
4. FridaBaby Nasal Aspirator with 20 Additional Hygiene Filters: Most recommendation lists will include the Nose Frida, and there’s a good reason. When your baby’s nose is clogged up, this little tool is the best! Rocco hates it, but he hates being clogged up more, so we use this thing all the time.
5. My Brest Friend Original Pillow, Fireworks: Oy, the name! Nursing is one hundred times easier when you’re comfortable, and that’s why I’m so addicted to this pillow now. Also, honorable mentions for products that make nursing easier: organic cotton nursing pads, my Cover Me Ponchos nursing cover from Jacqui, Motherlove Nipple Cream Certified Organic Salve for Sore Cracked Nursing Nipples, 1oz Glass Jar, a good pump (which insurance usually pays for! more info here!) and comfortable nursing tanks like the Gillian & O’Malley(R) ones from Target.
6. Gummygoods Nightlight – Red: This night light looks so creepy on Amazon, but it’s not bad in real life. More importantly, it is the perfect way to sneak in and out of Rocco’s room for his dream feed, without waking him too much. Plus, you squeeze its belly to turn on the light (how cute is that?). We picked red because that’s supposed to be better for not disrupting sleep, but the light comes in several colors.
7. myBaby SoundSpa Portable: A sound machine is so helpful for blocking noises in the rest of the house while Rocco’s sleeping. Our main level is small, so when someone’s over, the noise carries right into Rocco’s room, and without white noise to block it, he’ll wake right up. Some friends gave us this particular model, and we’ve loved it.
8. BABYBJORN Bouncer Balance Soft, Black/Brown, Organic: Rocco didn’t start using this bouncer much until his second month of life but now he uses it daily. It’s the perfect place to set him while we’re eating dinner or baking, our hands free as one of us rocks Rocco with a foot. This might be our most-used baby product lately.
9. Summer Infant SwaddleMe Organic Adjustable Infant Wrap, 7-14 Lbs, Small-Medium, Apple and Ivory: Rocco still sleeps best swaddled, and while you don’t need a special swaddler to tuck a baby in (just a blanket), our little man is quite the renegade when it comes to breaking out of a wrap. These swaddlers, which close with velcro, are still stronger than he is, so they work great at keeping him cozy and sleepy.
Other products that maybe aren’t necessities but are super nice to have: any Aden and Anais blanket, which one of Rocco’s doctors said are “worth having a baby for”; WaterWipes Mega Value Box Baby Wipes, 12 packs of 60 Count | 720 baby wipes (the cleanest wipes I’ve ever seen!); Diaper Dekor; and a Moses basket, because it gives you another place to set the baby and it is so pretty.
And here’s a photo of our little 10.5-week-old, because we like looking at him so much: