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Emily Henderson

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by Emily Henderson

It was Charlie’s 1 month birthday yesterday so I figured I’d recap what I couldn’t have  lived without this last month – besides him. I would have killed to have read this post before I brought him home from the hospital.This is one of those posts that you might not need now, but if you ever plan on having a baby BOOKMARK THIS. Or send it to anyone yo know who is prepping for their first baby.

There is so much that you are told you should register for, so much that you want and think you need but what you ACTUALLY need that first month is very specific. So these 20 things are what I personally bought and have relied heavily on the last 4 weeks.

First Month essentials

1. Sydney Diaper Clutch What’s so great about this diaper bag is how cute it is, obviously, (waxed canvas and leather) and the fact that its smaller for more on the go days. That first month if you are breastfeeding, you don’t have a lot of bottles to carry around so you really don’t need a huge bag – just room for a diaper, to-go wipes, an extra onesie, pacifier and the changing pad. The clutch actually turns into a changing pad – all transformer style.

2. BabyMoon Pillow Not sure how necessary this is for everyone, but to combat flat head syndrome we are using this pillow and he likes them.

3. Maxi-Cosi Car Seat I’ll be honest that it’s not like I tried out all of the car seats in the world. I registered at Giggle for this one because it said it was really light. And so far its a huge hit. It’s just simple navy blue so it’s not over decorated and it is really light weight.

4. Co-sleeper  – So for the first month at least we are having little Charlie sleep in this in between us in our bed. We aren’t going to get all family bed on you, but it’s so nice to have him near us but still in his own area with a barrier so we know we can’t roll onto him.  We figure maybe another month of this then move him to a co-sleeper bassinet and then crib at 6 months. But also ANYTHING could change. I have to say I miss cuddling with Brian a lot.

5. Prince Lionheart White Premium Wipes Warmer I mean, if you just got out of the warm womb wouldn’t you want someone using a warm cloth to wash your balls 10 times a day?

6. Nursery Sound Machine – We have a different one, but I love the look of this white noise machine. We use it every night and on some desperate days, too. And of course,  now Brian and I are addicted to white noise because of it. It puts all of us to sleep faster.

7. Boba Wrap Baby Carrier – He’s in the wrap right now while I’m blogging (standing up at the kitchen counter nonetheless). He loves it, I love it. It calms him down and I can still get things done without feeling like a bad mom. Basically it’s just cuddling. I have the Boba but the Moby is good as well.

8. Daiper Pail – Brian doesn’t like how small the hole is (especially as Charlie and his dumps get bigger) but I really like the look of it. Its expensive, I figure we’d have it for 3 years (hopefully less, but I don’t dare put expectations on this little angel).

9. Swaddling Blankets – For the daytime and nighttime inexplicable crying fits. I can’t wait for a doctor somewhere to diagnose why they cry so much for seemingly no reason the first couple months. These swaddles help and these ones are VERY soft, too. We also use them for over the car seat or bassinet because they are really thin but block the sun/germs if we are out.

10. Baby Changer – I bought this wooden top to put on my vintage dresser so the pad stays put – there are brackets on the back that screw into any surface. Its clean, simple and modern.

First Month Essentials

11. New Born Sleep N’ Play Suit We didn’t have nearly enough bunny suits that cover the feet, too. These are inexpensive (like 2 for $8) . Sure, I want the adorable fancy ones but get the expensive ones as gifts and do yourself a favor and buy a bunch of these from Target. This small (newborn) is kinda hard to find so I’d order them online.

12. Bear Ears Hat Obviously he ears aren’t necessary, but neither is me kissing him 95 million times a day. Scratch that. THAT is totally necessary. But basically they lose A TON of heat through their head, and therefore burn a lot of calories trying to keep themselves warm. When they are so little you are dying for them to gain back their birth weight, so have a ton of these all over your house (they fall off constantly) so his noggin is always covered.

13. Monte Design Como Glider – Here was my snobby mistake: I didn’t want a traditional glider because I figured I’d just use my big leather 70’s club chair that is crazy comfortable and looks so cool. My mistake was sitting in this one at the Giggle store in Pasadena while I was shopping there for pacifiers. It’s so GD comfortable and made holding him so easy and rocking him so enjoyable that I couldn’t NOT get it. Brian sat in it, too and freaked out. I’m sure most of them are comfortable, but this one is THE MOST comfortable that I’ve ever sat in probably because of that back cushion. I just ordered it so sadly I didn’t have it for the first month. Do yourself a favor and get a glider. Don’t try to be a snob like me. You just need this thing. And yes, there are so hideously ugly gliders out there, but this one is simple, modern and pretty. I used to think that the back was too high until I sat in it and you want your head supported. I used to think the arms were too low until I sat in it and it was the perfect height to nurse Charlie in. Its simply designed perfectly for the function. I could go on and on (I’ll have it for both kids … I’ll read to them in it until they are 18, etc).

14. Honest Hand Soap – It doesn’t have to be honest, although I like that company certainly, but you will need A TON of anti-bacterial soap all over your house. You will wash your hands 29 times a day and they will get so dried out. So get hand soap with moisturizing components in it and place them all over your house so your filthy guests aren’t getting lazy and not washing them immediately.

15. Nursing Cover – Um, i’m sorry, but did you mean ‘hooter hider’???? I know these are controversial, but here’s my schpeal: When you are first nursing you don’t really know how to do it and there are a LOT of fleshy parts to manuever. You need to be able to see said fleshy parts without a ton of scarf/blanket material in the baby’s face. I’m not embarrassed of these parts but it’s just awkward and your friends and family that come over to see the baby are normally not psyched to see these either. They just aren’t. It doesn’t mean they don’t think that women should be able to vote – its just very intimate and deserves a little bit of deference. These new milk pillows of mine are not these adorable little cute things that are easy to hide . If you have this same problem and you want to breast feed in public without things flopping around, arm yourself with a hooter hider.  Probaby the ugliest and best thing you can buy yourself.

16. Dr. Brown’s Gia Nursing Pillow – I bought ‘My breast Friend’ and it proved to be too horizontal for me. So this guy lets me prop him up on the side that he’s nursing on and then the rest of his body falls off, so he’s more vertical (which is said to help with digestion and therefore colic).

17. Moses Basket – I love this thing. For the first month they sleep CONSTANTLY. And while of course i try to hold him, nap with him or ‘wear’ him as much as possible, this basket is the perfect little baby catchall. Its so easy to carry from room to room and he seems to love it.

18. Munchkin Lulla-Vibe Vibrating Mattress Pad – This, like the soundmachine, helps put US ALL to sleep. You put it under their crib or cosleeper and it gently vibrates in a really defused matter. Its padded and its shaped like a big paddle so it’s a diffused vibration. We all love it and use it nightly.

19. Puj Tub – Soft Foldable Infant Bath Tub – What I love about this guy is how simple and flexible it is. We are bathing Charlie in our kitchen sink as of now and this tub flexes to fit in there, drains really well and is obviously very attractive. It stores easily, and so far has worked great. Although a note – your cats might watch to use it as a scratching pad especially if they are angry at you for neglecting them because there is a new loud, hair-less cat taking over the house, so don’t leave it on the ground like we did.

20. Medela Pump In Style Advanced Breast Pump with Metro Bag – I didn’t know which one to get. Medela is probably considered the best brand although I have no idea why and it’s not like you can try them out. But since I would be pumping constantly for a year I figured that I wanted a reliable brand. Within the Medela family there are a few different options. I got the PIS because you can take it out of the stupid tote bag they give you (why? you think we are going to tote that ugly bag around?) and put it in your much cuter diaper bag. The freestyle is the one that is one level above the PIS which is said to be even more mobile (and more expensive), but this guy has been great so far and is what all my friends chose, too. So if I had to recommend one I feel confidant that this is a good choice (but if anybody is using an inexpensive pump please comment and let us know. The fact that these cost almost $400 is ridiculous.

That’s what I needed this month. So my questions to you are:

1. What am I missing? Leave your suggestions in the comments.

2. What do I need next? What doesn’t come up the first month that does the second? testtest

  1. (8 & 9 are the wrong way around!)

  2. Some great suggestions here! I love the glider you recommended but it’s priced pretty high. And like you said there are some ugly gliders out there, would you maybe do a post on stylish gliders at every price point? Similar to previous posts about rugs, lights, and curtains?

    1. Hi Amber, here is one my friend just got for her nursery. Not quite as stylish, but still with a modern flair and much more affordable. It’s available in other colors as well. http://www.modernnursery.com/itemsDetail.cfm/JenniferDelongeLuxeNurseryGlider/0/pcid/76/cid/0/item_num/JD-LUXE/more/1

      1. Am I reading something wrong? That alternate chair alone seems to only be about $100 less than the one Emily shared…? Just wondering if I glossed over something 🙂

        1. just noticed that, too. the problem with doing a roundup is that you cant actually test drive most of these chairs. even a lot of pbkids or restoration hardware arent in their stores…. but i’ll work on it…

          1. I ordered a Monte glider that I’m super excited about. Hopefully it’ll arrive before my baby does in 2 weeks! After I’d already ordered mine I saw one at a West Elm store that is actually VERY comfortable, has a high back and quite a bit cheaper.

      2. Thanks for the recommendation!

      3. West Elm has a simple gray velvet glider for fairly reasonable and it’s been on sale a ton. I splurged on it when on sale because it could double in any room later. It’s super comfy and I love it.

    2. Hi-

      I am having a baby in March & I got the Graham Glider (& ottoman) from West Elm. It looks similar to this one and is really comfortable! I waited for a sale and got both items for 20% off. Hope this helps!

      1. I got the Graham glider as well and it’s very comfortable, great for nursing, and also big enough to hold my older daughter on my lap while we read. I just checked and it’s currently on sale.

    3. Hey there- I’m due in July, and was just checking out Target’s gliders. They have some mod ones in the $300-800 and a large variety of colors.

      1. We got this one from Target and LOVE it:

        I could have done with slightly more modern lines, but it is super comfy and quiet and very good quality if you are on a budget!

    4. I am a big fan of the Monte brand and love what they do But there is an American made company that is just as great. The company BEST Chairs makes quality, affordable chairs great for nursing and mid-night rocking. Check out their story time series. I’m a huge fan of their Rena Chair and Ayla Chair. http://www.besthf.com/best/Storytime/Chairs

    5. I have this glider and LOVE it! It’s priced at $399, but I was able to go in store when it was on sale, use a 20% off coupon and apply for the Babies R Us card and get an additional percentage off for that which brought the price down a ton from even that. It’s so comfy and it glides and swivels. The cutest and best glider ever!

    6. Speaking of gliders, does anyone have a recommendation on types of materials (other than leather) that are easiest to clean (i.e. spit up)? I notice that the west elm graham glider comes in tons of different fabric options, but am curious if one holds up better to the newborn “elements”.

  3. Some great suggestions here! I’m due in May so I’m starting to set up for the baby. I love the glider you recommended but it’s priced pretty high. And like you said there are some ugly gliders out there, would you maybe do a post on stylish gliders at every price point? Similar to previous posts about rugs, lights, and curtains?

    1. just posted above, but thought this could help you: check out Target’s gliders. They have some mod ones in the $300-800 and a large variety of colors. You can also buy a cheap arm chair (or thrift one) and add a glider or rocker bottom:

  4. We loved the Miracle Blanket and SwaddleMe wraps for swaddling. Our sweet boy wiggled out of all the other blankets.

    I also use a diaper caddy to keep my changing supplies organized on my changing table. Plus, it made for easy diaper changes in rooms other than the nursery.

    When he starts sleeping in his crib, check out Clouds and Stars zipper sheets – SO MUCH easier to change than regular crib sheets!


  5. Excellent roundup! For the first month, I was really REALLY happy to have some HPA Lanolin (I used the Lansinoh brand) to sooth nipples and of course nursing pads, too.

    1. I second this. I actually found an empty box on the store shelf once -some woman was so desperate -she stole the stuff.

  6. I almost snort laughed my morning coffee out my nose at #5!

    #9 Swaddling Blankets – Have you read, or ever heard any talk about, the book ‘The Happiest Baby on the Block’? It’s one docs theory about why babies (mainly ones with colic, but it applies to all in my opinion) cry so much during the first three months and how beneficial and MAGICAL swaddling is. My two (ages 3 1/2 & 9 mo.) didn’t have colic, but it worked wonders getting them to settle and they both began sleeping through the night at 8 weeks and haven’t stopped. They were both swaddled tight during every sleep time until 6 mo. READ IT!

    He’s adorable, by the way. Enjoy!

    1. yep. read it. its awesome. and we are doing all of them…

  7. Thanks for the post, E! I am due early Feb and it has been a joy and comfort to read you go through the process a few weeks a head of me. 1) I’m glad you posted about the nursing cover. I have been hesitant to get one because truly, SO UG. But the points you make seem right on. 2) I hope you’ll do a post on style/feeding. I am more scared of what comes up when I type “breast feeding top” into Pinterest than I am of labor and delivery. My thought now is Madewell button ups… How do I get through this breast feeding year without completely loosing my self/dignity/style!?

    1. Amelia, I just made a nursing cover like the one featured for my daughter, with fabric that she chose. They are easy to make if you have some minimal sewing skills and there are free patterns on-line. You could make up a ‘wardrobe’ of nursing covers that you like if you are going to breast feed in public a lot for the next year. Or maybe you have a relative that likes to sew for you?

      (In my day, we just used diapers or receiving blankets to cover up.)

      1. but in yours do they have the wire? Its all about the wire … that way you can see down without the blanket in the way.

  8. Loved the “doesn’t mean women shouldn’t me able to vote” line.

    1. Haha this killed me. too funny

  9. Hi Emily! You are so freaking adorable! I think you pretty much covered it – except I really, really loved a fleece swaddle blanket, like this one here: http://www.diapers.com/p/halo-sleepsack-swaddle-microfleece-16288
    It had to be fleece – the cotton ones would not stay closed for some reason – my son, Maddox, would wriggle his chubby little hands out in no time. They start doing that anyway as they get older – it is hilarious to wake up and see them with their hands sticking out of the blanket next to their face, haha. After a while you can’t stop them, but you can use these with his arms out to keep him warm.

    Probably not in month two, but more like month 4 – 6 (it is hard to remember with 2 kids under 5 and working full time – mama mush brain and all) – but we switched to a wearable blanket to keep them warm and snuggly. Putting blankets on your baby just doesn’t work – these are safe and warm. You can get one to match for you and Brian too – you know, the SNUGGY? I’d like to see a pick of all three of you decked out in your snuggies, thanks!
    Oh, and I had the Monte Luca glider and LOVED IT – used it every night for years, so a good investment if you ask me. I just sold it on craigslist, someone in Austin was SO LUCKY!! The gliding ottoman was the bomb!

  10. When nursing our twins I kept the MotherLove nipple cream nearby constantly!! It’s olive oil based, so it doesn’t have to be washed off before nursing like lanolin creams! solved cracking and itching.

    1. Lanolin creams dont have to be washed off for nursing and shouldnt be. MotherLove makes a good cream nevertheless…

  11. I found a how-to on Pinterest awhile ago on how to convert a regular upholstered chair into a glider, and was very intrigued by it. Haven’t tried it myself (no babies on the way), but it could be a more affordable way to convert a chair you like into a glider.


    1. Ha! Yep. I tried that. I got the rocker part online and tried it and it rocked so violently. So then I was about to order the$275 glider part when I realized that converting the chair would take hours of ‘dude’ labor which costs money right now. I still might do it to the leather chair so i have an awesome glider for the living room, but still the proportions are off for breast feeding. I will let you guys know if it works, though. Just hesitant to spend another $275 if it doesn’t work …. But if it does then it will be like the best blog post ever …

      1. I dont know about your area, but here in Northern Cali the thrift shops are FILLED with those hideous grandma glider/recliners covered in wide wale “velvet” for under $25. I bought one just for the glider assembly on the bottom to make my own glider chair for our living room. Turned out great…and cheap too!

    2. Cheryl- we used that link as inspiration to do ours, and it worked out great!

      1. Courtney your nursery is soooo cute! I need to try the glider thing, for sure. Even for another room in the house.

  12. i second the double breast pump. i got a single with my first and i have the double now and it’s a world of difference!

  13. What is the best item for a friend to get a new mom? A lot of these items are personal and may not be on the registry. I ordered dinner for one friend which she loved as a new mom stuck at home, but other ideas are appreciated!

    1. Yep. I’m doing that post – gifts to give new moms. Stay tuned 🙂

      1. I am looking forward to this post! My best friend is welcoming a sweet baby boy in May, so I am definitely searching for ideas. Since I am not a mom, I am clueless…and I want to get something that is useful for both mom/dad and babe. Most gifts are for the baby (which makes sense), but mom/dad deserve something, too!!

  14. Emily, CONGRATS on your gorgeous baby boy! Just wanted to let you know that your insurance should cover that breast pump. I got mine while still in the hospital after delivery. The hospital billed the insurance company, and I never saw a charge. I think the new Affordable Care Act requires this, so definitely look into it! 🙂

    1. I second that. I had to pick my jar up off the floor after finding out that there was actually something FREE from insurance. It was super easy too. I just called my insurance while I was pregnant, they sent me a list of approved breast pump supply companies, and I ordered a really nice Medela pump from one of them.

      A few other helpful things I’ve learned in the past few months with a newborn:

      Soothie pacifiers and the wubbanub pacifier. The wubbbunub was such an impulse buy because it was ridiculously cute (and seemed unnecessary), but my baby LOVES it because he can hold on to it even with his lacking hand/eye coordination. And did I mention they’re so freaking cute?!

      I also recommend setting up an account on diapers.com. They have free next day delivery and TONS of stuff. You won’t be getting out of the house much so having your account on lock with them is key. And if you go through ebates.com on your first order you can get a really great discount.

      For swaddling, my baby loved the swaddle designs receiving blankets. There’s something about them — they’re super soft and have just the right amount of stretch and thickness.

      1. WHAT????? But I already bought it!! I’m calling today. Thanks so much for the tip. That totally makes sense.

        I bought the wubbanub pacifier and Charlie is knocking it out of his mouth constantly. I think he’ll like it better once he has more control of his parts.

        Diapers.com is very smart. We do honest diapers which i like, too.

        1. I’m 99.9% sure that as long as you kept the receipt for your breastpump, you can fax a copy of that and some form of Charlie’s birth record (ss#, birth certificate or something) to your insurance company and they will mail you a check for the cost of the pump.

      2. My insurance covered Medela Freestyle in full – I was shocked to be honest. My doctor called it in like you would a prescription to a medical device store in town. I had heard you could only get it after the baby was born but that was incorrect – I was able to pick it up in my third trimester. My understanding it is part of the Affordable HeathCare Act – so most if not all insurance companies are now required to cover it. I just wish more people knew about this – someone told me in passing when I complaining about the cost.

  15. Second month things that were helpful for us –

    1) pacifiers. Once you’ve got your nursing relationship down you might find that it’s nice to have a soothing option that isn’t your boob. Like, when you have to take a shower. Or pee.

    2) A rocker/chair/bouncer. I loved our bassinet, but our daughter had a bit of reflex so sitting up was a big help. Also nice for when baby can actually start to look around a little bit. It’s nice to get one that reclines when baby is sleeping. Ours was a maclaren, but this one from giggle is nice and neutral http://www.giggle.com/on-the-go-gear/bouncers/bloom-Coco-Go-Lounger/U1608,default,pd.html?start=1&cgid=on-the-go-gear-bouncers

    3) You are probably going to want more of a structured carrier as he gets bigger. I’d recommend the Ergo or the Beco gemini (he can face out or in in the Beco) I don’t recommend Baby Bjorns – they aren’t great for hip development, or your back.

    Glad things are going well for you guys and congrats!

    1. Good to know about the bjorn. Right now we got gifted the bjorn and the stokke and so far haven’t needed either because he is so small, but will probably return the bjorn.

      1. ergo for sure. you can even get an infant insert. i’m on my third kid and my first two are 14mths apart (and yes, we planned that. and no, i don’t know what we were thinking). wraps are great for your first kid but you need something you can put on fast with your second kid. also, ergo is so much better for your back. it’s like a hiking backpack with a kid instead of a sleeping bag. kids are way better than sleeping bags. 😉

    2. We loved our ergo, too!!! Our son grew like crazy so we only used the infant insert only until he was 10ish weeks. The ergo itself served us well until he was nearly 2 years old. It was super-easy for either my husband or I to wear. We had the performance version, which is made of more breathable fabrics so no one was hot and uncomfortable. We are huge, HUGE fans!!!

    3. We also love our Ergo! I can carry my son around for 4 times the amount if time as the Bjorn since it distributes the weight so well! Though the Bjorn was great sun he was lighter, or if he wanted to face out. I used the ergo when going to restaurants and he’d fall asleep the whole time. Not now!

      1. We actually used our Ergo as a hiking backpack until my son was FIVE years old! Dad would strap kiddo on his back when he got tired coming back from a long trail climb. The Ergo was the single best purchase we ever made for our child, hands down. Two other suggestions: something else we used until grade school was a rear-view mirror that clips under a car mirror so you can see what your little bundle of joy is up to while driving. A dishwasher basket for all the little things (bottle parts, toys, pacis, snack containers, etc.). We still use ours and our kid is in fourth grade.

  16. Great stuff!

    I would read a little about the ‘hygiene hyphothesis’ before going too nuts with the anti-bac. Or maybe ask your doctor.


    1. As a microbiologist, I agree and don’t recommend antibacterial soap. But the Honest soap you linked to doesn’t contain antibiotics anyway (does not contain triclosan, the major antibiotic used in personal care products), so there you go!

      1. As a physician I also agree and recommend steering clear of anti-bacterial soap and heavy use of anti-bacterial cleaning products throughout your home. A child’s immune system needs germs to practice on!

  17. Things that I used regularly the first month that aren’t on your list:
    1. pacifiers (i know this isn’t for every baby, but both of mine were OBSESSED)
    2. lanolin for cracked nipples (no one tells you how destroyed your nipples get in the first few weeks)
    3. what to expect when you’re expecting (as a new mom, i was a bit paranoid, and constantly read this book to see if what I was experiencing was “normal”…I didn’t use it as much with my second child)
    4. several 7lbs and under baby clothes (these were really only necessary for the first few weeks, but although both my babies were over 8lbs at birth, they were WAY too small for newborn clothes at first)

    Other than those, I completely agree with nearly everything you posted.

    1. All very good additions. I just bought our first pacifiers and LOVE THEM. And yes on the nipple cream, too.

  18. I would add burp cloths to this list. It is impossible to have too many. The old-fashioned rectangular cloth diapers are the best. Also easy to embellish and make into a gift, but even just plain-jane, they are life-savers.

    Shout stain remover. Baby poop stains badly, no matter if the baby is on formula or breast. What is up with that, babies?

    What Makes a Rainbow, by Betty Ann Schwartz. I read to my boys from the beginning, and this was one of the few books they really could “see.” Bright colors and large shapes, maybe?

    If a baby is having trouble latching-on, buy a contact nipple shield, like this: http://www.diapers.com/p/medela-contact-nipple-shield-309954. Do not wait. Buy several. These things saved us with my first baby, but I didn’t learn about them until it was almost too late.

    As my babies got onto more regular feeding schedules, I was glad NOT to have a wipe warmer. Here’s what happened: I was breast-feeding and needed my baby to eat on both sides, but often he would eat on one side and fall asleep, then wake up an hour later hungry, eat on one side, fall asleep, wake up an hour later… hello, maddeningly vicious cycle and exhausted parents. I found that if I changed his diaper after the first side, cold wipes would often wake him up out of his milk-induced stupor, enough for him to eat on the second side, really fill up, and sleep longer. Ah, so much better. Thank you, cold wipes.

    You’re doing a good job, mama!

    1. I did the switch a roo with the diaper change added in too! It was to wake them up and to try to make sure they didn’t poop right as they fell asleep! Such a good tip. Also i found if you did each feeding on both boobs, it kept them balanced and I didn’t have to keep track of which side they had fed on last.

  19. Does anyone find that the hooter hider/nursing cover draws more attention in public? Like ‘hey everyone, don’t mind me..I’m just wearing a giant apron’ than say a muslin blanket? My due date is next week, so I’m not sold on either but luckily I’m on the east coast, so having by fleshy parts out in public won’t really be an issue for me for another month or two.

    I also second the tip of going through your insurance company for a breast pump. They covered 70% of mine.

    1. They suck, don’t get me wrong. But you can actually see your baby because there is a wire shower curtain basically around your neck. the blankets get in their face or you have to literally go under the blanket with them to adjust everthing. it looks RIDICULOUS. The best situation is if you have smallish boobs and you are a pro at nursing – then just do it without anything covering it. I just can’t seem to manage that right now.

    2. I had the traditional nursing cover with my first baby, but I just decided I am going to make a nursing poncho to use with our 2nd baby. There are a ton of tutorials online. What I like about the poncho is that your back is covered! I hope it will be as comfortable for me as many women claim they are, and hopefully less eye-catching than my previous cover.

    3. The regular nursing cover worked like a charm for the first three months and then my little guy decided he HATED having that thing over him and would spend each in-public nursing session trying to throw it off or grab it and pull it off, so I switched to one from covered goods. It’s a super soft knit and I can bunch it up so that it covers everything the baby doesn’t, but it doesn’t get in my little guys’s way. Or I can cover him if need be (If I’m somewhere that’s a little more sensitive to breastfeeding.) An infinity scarf works well for that too, but the Cover Goods cover folds down small and is washable–most of my scarves are not.


  20. Love your must-haves….and agree with all! I am sure you use these a ton already, but maybe didn’t mention them….burp cloths!? I went through a zillion a day and the more they “eat” (drink), the more they spit up (lol).

    These are my fav by aden & anais — they never slide off of my shoulder like the regular rectangle ones do:


    1. Funnily enough he doesn’t spit up really (YET) so i haven’t needed them. But i have a huge stack ready to go. 🙂

      1. My baby spit up for the first time at 7 months! I was prepared though.

  21. 1. Cushy closer on esty. Make my anxious mama self feel better knowing that I can close his door while he is asleep and not worry I will accidently wake him.
    2. Nosefrida. Gross concept. But it is superior to the bulb syringe and easier to clean. I promise you will not suck baby boogers into your mouth. There is a filter and the snot never touches it. I resisted getting this until my little guy got his first real cold, don’t wait like I did.

    I may need to convince my husband we need that glider for our second baby, it sounds AMAZING!

    1. My kids are too old for it now, but several friends have raved about the nosefrida.

    2. I would strongly encourage you to find a moms’ group with new moms with babies Charlie’s age.
      No one can understand your life like someone experiencing it at the same time. It’s a very unique sisterhood. I would have never considered it really, but someone invited me to join a group she was starting….I’m still meeting these women 8 years later!

      1. I’m looking for the right one (mommy group) now 🙂
        Also very intrigued by the cushy closer and the nose frida …

        1. Huntington Hospital in Pasadena has a great Mommy and Me program – I think Tuesday mornings? At least, that’s what it was back in the day when my oldest was born. I think it starts when the babes are six or eight weeks old.

          1. Oh, thanks! And thats close, too.

        2. Everyone is obsessed with Babies First Class on ventura blvd. i know its a little far from you but I have never heard so many people tell me its great… and I’m due in May. Already signed up. 🙂

    3. Yes, completely agree with the NoseFrida! We got it for my first (now 3) after several tried and failed alternatives. She hated every option equally (save for the insanely loud Graco battery-operated one.. she hated that one the most) but it was definitely the most effective and a complete life-saver. After the first try with it, you’re completely over the ick-factor. We’re on our third baby now (due in 3 weeks!) and I plan on purchasing another for this guy. Best $15 I’ve ever spent!

  22. Hi Emily,

    So happy to see Babymoon as #2 on your list! Isn’t it great? My friend Kelly (mom of 2) is the designer/owner of it. Definitely letting her know that you are using her product! She’ll be so thrilled.

    Keep bloggin; love reading it!

  23. Hey there Emily!

    I totally agree that the Sleep N Play outfits with the footies are essential and that the not-as-cute ones are a handy moneysaver, since you need a BUNCH of them. What I found was that i especially loved the ones that closed with a zipper like so:


    Woah that’s an ugly URL (thanks Target!) Anyway, the zipper made the barely conscious diaper changes in the wee hours of the morning a little quicker with a newborn who was INSENSED to be even partially naked (another thing I thought made sense after months of cozy womb lounging). Trying to get those snaps lined up on a wiggling and SQUALLING little one when I felt almost drunken from lack of sleep…let’s just say I was at the Target hunting for more zippered Sleep N Plays on my first maternity leave trip outta the house 🙂

  24. Totally second the Medela Pump. My baby had to be in a hospital for the whole first month of his life, so I pumped like a madwoman (and then, later, after I went back to work). At hospital you could rent different machines, and Medela was just a hand-down winner. The way it’s designed, it was super convenient to pump at work during my breaks, since I didn’t have much time at all, and had to cram everything back into the bag and know it won’t be a hot (cold?) mess in the evening when I get home.

    Charlie is absolutely adorable, and so are you when you talk about him (not that you needed to get any more adorable than you were before)

  25. Hey Emily!

    I’ll throw in my input: first, a washable cover for the glider. I run a house cleaning business in Seattle and am a new mom myself and I can tell you that spit up stains are STUBBORN. After a few months, that chair will be covered and it’s not a good look!

    Also, buy clothes for him in advance. Babies grow in spurts and I can’t even count the number of times I’ve pulled something out of the clean laundry stack that fit my son a few days or a week ago and it’s suddenly miniature. Having clothes the next size up at the ready has been a lifesaver.
    I also agree with the comments about zippers over snaps, especially early on. My son absolutely hated diaper and clothing changes until about 4 months or so (he’s still not a big fan, but he no longer screams in my face every time) and the faster the clothing is to put on, the better!

    Lastly, this book has been the most invaluable tool for the first year of parenting: http://www.amazon.com/The-New-Basics-A—Z/dp/0060535482/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1389288823&sr=8-1&keywords=michel+cohen
    It’s a baby manual. It helped us with all the major milestones and changes and also to embrace the best parenting advice I’ve heard:CTFD. Calm The F**k Down. Coming from someone who has major anxiety issues, embracing that phrase and using it when it matters most has really helped make it through all those long nights, first fever, and the many fears of raising a child.

    You are a good mama! Always remember that.

    1. I’m so going to buy that book. In fact i’m going to do a baby book roundup! Ordering now …

        1. Which do you recommend for after bringing up bebe? its linking to that. I want to read it…!

      1. I second The New Basics! I’m still referring to it from time to time and my oldest is 6! The author is a ped. in Manhattan who is used to dealing with Type A moms – he makes it really easy to determine when to worry and when to CTFD. 🙂

  26. Hi Emily,

    Thanks for the post. I have been admiring the blue knit blanket wrapped around Charlie in your “Promises to Charlie” post. It looks attractive and soft! Can you share the details of that blanket?



    1. Its from Dwell Studio. Its super soft and warm so its our go-to for the serious cuddle sessions. xx

  27. This is a great list. My daughter is 3 now, so I can add a few things!

    Mei Tai carrier – When Charlie gets too big for the Boba wrap, you will need a new carrier. Most people opt for Ergo, which is a GREAT carrier. However, I used a BabyHawk mei tai-style carrier. The reason I loved this carrier was because it offered similar support as an Ergo, but if I didn’t want to use it, it rolled up into a little ball and fit into my purse. We love being out and about on the weekend and this made it incredibly easy because a) strollers in crowded areas are a pain in the ass, b) if we wanted to stop for lunch or something, I could put her in the high chair and wad up the carrier and shove it in my purse. There are other mei tai carriers, but I liked BabyHawk because you can customize colors/prints. I ended up with a $1000 Bugaboo stroller that I only used like the first 2 or 3 months of her life. Oops.

    Cute tote bag to act as purse AND diaper bag – I absolutely hated toting a bunch of stuff around, especially having to deal with a purse AND a diaper bag. It’s obnoxious. I ended up keeping our loaded up diaper bag in the car when we went places, and I would just loading a few essentials in my tote/purse. 1-2 diapers, a wipes case, and since you are nursing you won’t need to even worry about bottles, although you can always put one of those in your bag too. Then if you end up needing anything else, you always have your big stash in the car.

    Sleep sacks – essential.

  28. You know what is pretty awesome? Bouncing on an exercise ball while cradling your precious bundle in your arms. This is how we settled my second and got her to that magic *almost* asleep state before putting her in the crib. (Then once you put Charlie in the crib, you can do an ab workout. Bam! Hello, six-pack!)

    1. Yes, i’m ordering the ball now. My god, you just need a lot of things don’t you????

  29. Love this post! I bought the Monte glider for my first five years ago and still use it for my second – I absolutely love it! It’s also easy to clean. It was a splurge, but I also thought I would be able to resell on Craigslist when I am ready to part with it. [Same logic I use for all big price tag items!]

    Next up:
    – Sleep sack. My children were done with the swaddle by 6 weeks. Sleep sacks are great because they are safe and keep them warm all night. We have the Anais + Anais, but Baby Deedee is my favorite. http://www.babydeedee.com/
    – Pacifier. Avent always worked well for us (still do).
    – Microwaveable steam bags to clean everything.
    – Hands free pumping bra. They look and feel a bit strange, but you’ll be able to work on your blog while pumping!
    – Pack and Play. I wasn’t sure I would need one at first and bought mine second hand. It’s great for visiting friends/family and short trips.

  30. You can get a free breast pump with your insurance. I got the Medela Pump In Style Advanced and love it.

  31. I love reading all of your posts. It’s nice read from someone who’s got such style AND humor. I get you! I’m in Giggle all the time in Pasadena…I live walking distance so I stroll by there with baby in the stroller all the time! Anyway… other items I love:

    Maya wrap/sling. I have the moby and Ergo…but sometimes this sling was really cool because it was fast & easy!! https://www.mayawrap.com/

    Gotta have a blanky! My son loves his by Little Giraffe. Kinda pricey for a little cloth, but they are so soft and he’s obsessed with his. We started giving it to him around 3 months…but you can always do it earlier. He totally soothes himself with it by rubbing it on his face or with his hands and rubs the tag on his lips!! I heard many babies are attached to those tag labels on LG items. But here’s an important note… GET MORE THAN ONE BLANKY AND INTERCHANGE THEM. That’s my biggest mistake. After he was attached to it I had my friend who works for LG get him a few more…but he refuses them. Even though they are just alike. A friend said she always switched the blankys so there wouldn’t be an attachment to only one. WHAT?? WHY DIDN’T ANYONE TELL ME! Now you know. =) Here it is: http://www.littlegiraffe.com/shop/baby-blankets/security-blankies/luxe/luxe-blanky/

    Besides his blanky soothing him and helping him go back to sleep, this cheesy miracle works: http://www.diapers.com/p/fisher-price-rainforest-peek-a-boo-waterfall-soother-9206
    It turns on with the easy press of a huge button, lights up, has a swinging monkey, music, waterfall sounds, and you can change the settings so its only waterfall, or no monkey swinging or whatever. My son used to just stare at it. And by a year old he started turning it on himself whenever he woke up at night (because it times off). Now he’s 19 months and still does it! We NEVER hear him when he wakes up. We just hear the music go off.

    I hope one of these is helpful!

    1. OH and the Nose Frida – FANTASTIC!

      1. Yes, I second the NoseFriede!

  32. Congrats on Charlie! Due with #4 here in about 7 weeks (give or take). Just had to say…..”milk pillows”? Dying. My one item that I can’t live without over the course of the 1st 6 mos or so is the Maclaren Rocker. Check it out. It’s my my go to shower gift 😉

  33. Re: the expensive breast pump…the new affordable care act mandates that breast pumps are covered by all health insurances – you should look into getting reimbursed, or for soon-to-be-mom’s purchasing a pump through your hospital or doctor!

  34. LOVE this list!! As a mom of twin girls, I agree with so many of your recommendations. I wanted to add some tips for natural, pure, toxin-free baby products (lotions, creams, shampoo, etc). You recommend one of my FAVORITE baby brands: The Honest Company. Love them. Their hand soap isn’t a traditional “antibacterial” because it doesn’t contain triclosan.. which is good. You wash your hands a lot – so avoid anything with triclosan (i.e.: Dial antibacterial liquid soap, Soft Soap). The FDA finally announced a potential ban on this ingredient for it’s potential harmful effects. Here’s an article I wrote for more info: http://live-clear.com/harm-good-antibacterial-soap-home/
    Another great baby product brand to look at is California Baby. Natural, pure, and works really well. I used on our twins when they were born, and still use (they are 5!!). It’s my standard baby gift 🙂
    Congratulations… love the sweet pictures of Charlie.

    1. Good to know. I had heard about the ban but didn’t have too much of that anti-bacterial myself. When people put that on their hands it always seemed weird to me – like great, now i just have a bunch of chemicals on my hand?

  35. Yes to the Nosefrida! It is the BEST. Also, as you and Charlie become more experienced with nursing, the large scarves will work better. Surprisingly I found that a lightweight, boxy sweater worked better than anything with buttons for nursing on the go (the usual stuff PLUS many flights the first year). Baby goes under sweater and scarf is draped over baby’s body to hide any coverage gaps at the midriff. With skinny jeans, the sweater works to disguise any pooch…

  36. We used the Baby Whisperer. Our first was a crying machine. Helped a bunch. Loved this book…http://www.amazon.com/Baby-Whisperer-Solves-Your-Problems/dp/0743488946/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1389293523&sr=8-1&keywords=the+baby+whisperer

    When babies start to eat regular food, the diaper pail stink isn’t suitable for the nursery, ours lives in the garage.

    Charlie’s adorable, congrats to you and Brian.

    1. Just ordered it. 🙂 Thanks for the recommendations!

  37. Yes to the glider! I am always trying to tell design-minded people that YOU NEED THE GLIDER EVEN IF IT ISN’T PRETTY, and people don’t listen until the baby arrives. And yes to the high neck and arms. I’d also add a little side table with the glider; nursing makes you very thirsty.

    As they get older: our exersaucer and jumper/bouncer were great. My oldest would jump up and down in the jumper for like an hour straight.

    Regarding diaper bags: it can become tempting to just use the diaper bag all the time, even when the kid isn’t with you, because your stuff is in it and you’re in a hurry. Put all your personal things in a pretty little pouch, and then you can just grab the pouch and throw it in a pretty bag when you get to go out as a grown-up person.

  38. I lovelovelove my Maya sling wrap. Easy to use, stylish and not bulky. Used it daily for my daughter until about 18 months (we ride the bus to work/daycare together). Also, I got a hand-me-down hand pump (Medela) and think it’s great to have in a pinch. Cheap and I could leave my electric pump at work.

  39. Man, it is one of the cruel tricks of life that big boobs — the ones that *look* like ideal “milk pillows” — make breastfeeding notably more challeging. What are big knockers for, if not for fulfilling their main official function? Getting motorboated, as far as I can tell. Beyond that I am out of answers.

    Second month you can bust out some high-contrast black-and-white little board books, to kid yourself that you and your child are reading together? And, if you have a tablet, do you have a stand for it? When I was pinned under a nursing baby, this thing was a lifesaver: http://www.amazon.com/Arkon-Portable-Fold-Up-Toshiba-IPM-TAB1/dp/B000CKVOOY/ref=sr_1_2?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1389294127&sr=1-2&keywords=ipad+stand Lastly, by the third month C. might be ready for a Bumbo or some other kind of supported baby seat, so you might look into that. Some are hideous to look at, but they free you up so much (and you use them for such a short time) that I hardly cared.

  40. Congratulations on gorgeous Charlie! I’ve just had a little boy myself, and am AMAZED at how over the moon I am with him. Not that I wasn’t with my first (a girl), but wow…little boys and their mamas. That kid’s going to be able to get away with murder.

    My son is 8 months old so we’re well into that “next phase” you’re asking about. My daughter is almost 6 (YIKES…) and there are a lot of things that we did with her that we’re repeating with our son, and a few new favorites:
    – Jammies from Hanna Andersson (the “night night baby sleepers): Hanna clothes aren’t really my style, but the zipper jammies are the very best. My son is re-using ones from my daughter (they’re still in amazing shape). They are not flame retardant, which has become more important to me…just don’t want those chemicals near my kids. Most importantly: THEY ZIP. No snaps…I cannot tell you how great this is, especially because I have a little man on the go and have to perform acrobatic feats of dressing and changing daily. Screw snaps. Hate them.
    – Honest diapers: I see you’re using these already, but we LOVE them. Wish they were around when my daughter was little. We use these during the day and the super-absorbent 12-hour Pampers at night. No more night-time changes, which is great for everyone.
    – Sleep sacks when he’s done with the swaddle: Gro-Bags (http://gro.co.uk/grobag-baby-sleep-bags) are my personal favorite. They are a UK company, but you can buy them on Amazon. They have a few different weights (which is great for California), easy in/out (again – no snaps!), and one that has a pass-through for a carseat. Again, we used these with my daughter and they’re in great shape for my son.
    – An Ergo carrier: (Or a Beco, we have an Ergo that’s 6 years old and going strong…). The infant insert for the Ergo has dramatically improved, so you could get this now and start getting Charlie used to it. Best thing about the Ergo (IMO) is that it’s great for men and women. My husband loves it. We carried our daughter in it (front and back) until she was almost 3. Fabulous for travel, better ergonomics for baby and parents. My #1 MOST ESSENTIAL baby item.
    – A boppy: Didn’t have this for my daughter, so glad I have it now. We didn’t nurse with it after 3 months or so, but now he sits in it on the floor and it prevents him from whacking his head when he topples over, or throws himself violently back like a little dork
    – Somewhat random, but I never used a hands-free pumping bra…I just do the “hairband trick” (http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/pumping/hands-free-pumping/). It works. It doesn’t always work when you’re trying to nurse and pump and your son tries to grab the bottle on the other boob, but hey.

    Finally, I know that strollers are super-personal, but I have to recommend the Quinny Zapp for a smaller/travel stroller. We have a big jogging stroller, too, but have had a Zapp instead of an umbrella stroller and have travelled ALL over with it (in a handy carrying case!). I mention this because it integrates with the Maxi-Cosi Mico seat, and by the time he’s out of the infant seat he’s ready for the stroller. We have one that we’ve used for 6 years, and are FINALLY going to get another one. Great purchase.

  41. I used that exact hooter hider (ugh) a lot with baby #2 because I didn’t have the option to always go into a privater spot to feed him since I was keeping up with kid 1 (BTW, Nordstroms all have great nursing/changing rooms).

    Get a woombie – Charlie will be busting out of the swaddle sooner than you thing and yet he will still have the startle reflex. I LOVED The woombie. When he gets good at sitting up you will love an exersaucer. It keeps them entertained and in one spot.

    Toys – I got a clip on toy bar – Tiny Love Take Along Arch in Sunny Day which is fantastic – it goes on the Moses Basket, on the car seat – anywhere. Also the Skwish toy and Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes.

  42. COLIC CALM!! Sold only at CVS. Homeopathic and amazing!! I know, I know-you may be thinking, ‘Isn’t that just gripe water’? Hells no. My girlfriends and I call it ‘Liguid Gold’ and we give it to EVERY new mom!! I have had friends thank me over and over for this shower gift. You may need it…you may not. But if you do-you will probs Google me JUST so you can find my info and call to say “Oh meeer God…THANK YOU”! And then you will do a happy dance and sing praises to heaven.
    This stuff is for colic, gassy tummies, reflux, etc…The only warning I do have for it is that is looks like ink going down and when le bebe burbs…well, the spit is dark blue. Weird? Yes. Happy baby? Hells yes. Safe? BIG YES!
    My daughter is 2.6 years old and we have used it here and there if she has bad gas…or as she puts it, ‘Toots Mama’.
    Cheers Emily!! Great post.

    1. I’m going to buy it right now. He probably isn’t colic but yes, lots of unexplained crying … So thank you so much!!!

      1. I must second the colic calm! It is a lifesaver product! I was so hesitant to give my boy anything that wasn’t from me, it felt wrong for some reason, like I should be able to provide everything he needed and I was failing if I couldn’t. But the times when he couldn’t get to sleep or was very fussy, colic calm always gave him relief. After a lot of reading I believe a breast feeding mothers dairy intake has a lot to do with unexplained crying. Very interesting topic. Once I eliminated dairy from my diet (in whole form, I didn’t look at lables) sleep got better and crying almost disappeared. Oh, and now I know how dairy affects me too, I had no idea. Amazing.

  43. Once you get more confident with the latching process and all that, it’s easy to nurse in public if you layer your clothes the right way. I like a nursing tank under a t-shirt or top without buttons. The top layer gets pulled up and then you just unclip the tank and latch on. Baby’s head covers the teeny bit of nipple that is exposed, and if he unlatches for whatever reason, the t-shirt can quickly be brought back down a bit. I’ve been feeding my daughter like this for months now and I have to say it’s much easier than a cover. Also, the longer you feed in public, the less you will care. At least, that’s been the case for me. Good luck!

    1. totally agree.

    2. Totally agree. Target has good nursing tanks and I LIVED in them for the first 8 months. I layered exactly as described above. I bought several right after I had my son and then bought them all again in a smaller size when he was 3-4 months old. Completely worth it.

  44. PEEKABOO- nursing tops that is. 🙂

    I have a 5 month old and when I got back from the hospital after her birth I realized that my “nursing appropriate’ clothes were null.

    Now, I can’t live without these tops: http://studio-peekaboo.com/store/item.php?id=1&color=1

    They are so comfortable and cute, and it’s very easy to nurse with them anytime anywhere, (i.e. on a plane, no one can tell you’re nursing). I’ve never looked back! I seriously wear them every day. Peek a Boo also offers lots of other styles.

    Worth the price, they ship from Israel for free and are on your doorstep in only THREE days. Amazon also sells for a slightly lower price, though the shopping is not free and seems to take a tiny bit longer than ordering directly from them.

  45. Butt Paste. I know. I didn’t believe, either, but it’s a miracle worker: http://www.buttpaste.com/. Lusa Organics also makes a nice Booty Balm: http://www.lusaorganics.com/natural-handmade-organic-baby-skin-care-booty-balm-p/booty-option1.htm. And Lusa is made in WI, by a local mama. Great company all around. My friend also made me a ton of cute burp cloths, which were nice to mop up puke, etc. Make sure to get a nice balm for your lady bits – it was nice to have after pumping. Those suckers dry out.

  46. Hi emily- first I love your work. I pin it all the time and want you to influence our home! Second- yes get a breastpump from you insurance… If you are out of the country look on eBay! Other tips:
    Baby blanket sleeper total must- it looks like a zip up fleece baby bag
    Love the medela pump. I just pump into bottles then pour into bags to reduce the number of bags I use
    Ergo carrier is my preference of bjorn. More comfortable, has a shade which I use to cover myself to nurse in public and had a pocket for phone keys wallet etc.
    A must is a good nursing bra! My co-worker tuned me into the basics by bravada. It’s sold at target. Very comfy but also pretty thin. I have huge nipples and it is sometimes a little awkward;)
    Onset of teething… Soffie giraffe or another teether, your nipples can’t/shouldn’t take the pain
    Microwave sterilizer I use dr brown
    Toys:). Projection light… Things for them to focus on and manipulate

    Love the posts!!!

  47. Hi Emily, I always love your posts!.
    I’m now about 6 months prego so definitely enjoying the baby updates and information. There is so much to consider and purchase that I don’t even know where to begin. This post definitely helps me get started. Thanks again!

  48. A bouncer was pretty critical for us the first few month so our son could sit up and interact with us when he wasn’t in the ergo or his bassinet. He liked the vibrating function, but once he was old enough to kick his legs and rock himself we dubbed him “buck” because he loved bucking so much. Happy mommying!

  49. My son is 10 weeks old and loves sitting in his BabyBjorn Balance bouncer. Around 7 weeks he got bored with laying on his back all the time and wanted to see what was going on! The toy is great too as it encourages grasping. And the design is simple and not too babyish.

    This is a great list, Emily. A glider (and ottoman) is at the top of my list, too. We have the one from West Elm.

  50. Just a quick note about places to save money, and one next month suggestion:

    1. Some new moms choose to rent a breast pump instead of purchasing. You pay a monthly fee and return when done. Only for moms that are comfortable with the idea.

    2. Check local baby/parent listservs classified section and you can often find things that are in good condition but half the price, like swings, gliders, carriers, highchairs, strollers, etc. (At least this is what a lot of Brooklyn mommies do, may not be the same everywhere)

    Some people swear by the swing for newborn babies (0-3 mo), but that probably also depends on the baby.

    3. Emily if you don’t already have one, you may want to consider an activity mat to use for the next few months. He can start doing tummy time or just hanging out and start learning to use his body and interact with the world. Babies end up living on the floor.

  51. Definitely the nose frida and hands free bra are musts (there’s a diy for the hands free bra floating around on pinterest).

    I would also recommend a manual pump. It does take a little longer to pump since you do one boob at a time but it works just as well (if not better since you can determine how much force you want to use) and easier to carry around when you need to be more mobile and can’t lug around a heavy pump with you (such as weddings). I use this one and I loved it.


    1. Ditto. I have the Medela manual pump, and when my son was smaller, I’d just throw it in my bag, along with a bottle, and a gallon-size Ziploc (for potential leaks). I’m an over-producer, and the electric pump tended to prolong my engorgement. So the manual pump was great because I could control the suction. I pumped in dressing rooms and on airplanes and in the backseat of cars. Cheap and totally worth it.

  52. Thanks for the list! I’m due in May and trying really hard not to get a bunch of baby stuff I won’t use. Or that is ugly.

    My aunt gave me a baby thermometer that she says is the best. You just tap it on the baby’s forehead rather than having to hold your baby still while the temperature reads. I obviously haven’t used it yet, but she swears by it and she has three kids. It’s the Exergen Temporal Artery Thermometer and I believe she just bought it at Target. There may be other brand of thermometers that do something similar as well, I haven’t looked into it.

    Congrats! You are doing a great job. Charlie is totally a squeezer.

  53. i like that you have another fan named laurel with anxiety problems.

    i don’t even have a kid yet and I enjoy this post. Definitely bookmarking for when the day comes! I can’t wait to see what diaper bag you use–or a round up of bags for when he’s a bit older–i know you’ll find the most stylish options!

    Belated Congrats : )

  54. Love this post! It’s so hard to register when you haven’t “been there” yet….But every child is different, so it’s also impossible to know what’s going to work! You don’t want to buy everything and not use it, but then again, you don’t want to be without the things you need. What a tough spot.

    I love the real mom advice angle…I actually wrote a few guides myself. Feel free to check them out if you want more tips for the future (or next time….which there just has to be because Charlie is so dang cute!!)


  55. Great round-up!

    A few of our newborn favorites have been:
    – wee gallery art cards – our kids were both absolutely fascinated by them already from a few days old.
    – rockabye baby cds – great for the car, we especially liked the Kanye West one
    – wubbanub pacifiers – they stay put and don’t go flying when baby spits them out, and they learn to maneuver them on their own quite quickly

    Other favorites: http://minipiccolini.com/2011/06/mini-piccolinis-favourite-things-for-newborns/

    1. Oh and there is a great book called “Why they cry” (same idea as The Wonder Weeks) which helps you get why your baby is suddenly unrecognizable – what kind of developmental leap they are going through and what you can do to help. I found it so comforting with our two to know that they weren’t going through a permanent personality change, just a development phase.

  56. A few more things I couldn’t live without…
    1. OxiClean Baby Stain Remover Spray… I wish someone would have told me that carrots and sweet potatoes stain so bad. I learned the hard way. Once he starts solids (6 months comes quicker than you think), OxiClean Baby is a MUST. But it’s also key right now for all poop leaks, which are inevitable.
    2. Nuk pacifiers… I saw you are already using the hevea pacifier, but if for some reason you decide you and Charlie don’t like those, Nuk worked best for us. My daughter couldn’t keep the avents in her mouth (even with the wubbanub) and the nuks were a godsend.
    3. Kushies side snap onesies… I can’t understand for the life of me why every company doesn’t make these. They are so hard to find, but for the first 6 months, they make life so much easier. I bought all mine here: http://www.rightstart.com/kushies-everyday-layette-wrap-bodysuit-short-sleeves.html
    4. Boppy Waterproof Changing Pad Liners… A couple of my friends had bought me a big basket of “essentials” (diaper rash cream, etc.) When I saw these boppy changing pad liners in there, I thought they were pointless. I mean, why would you need a liner on top of a changing pad? Well, I can’t tell you how much I loved these for those first 6 months. They came in so handy when I wanted to change her on my bed in the night. And they also came in handy on the changing table, because as their ad says, “accidents do happen.” It was so much easier to just wash these every day, instead of washing and changing the changing pad cover. As I type this, I’m thinking it sounds so lazy, but trust me, they are great!

  57. Lanolin, I used the Lansinoh (sp?) brand. It worked great for the first couple of weeks when we were figuring out the nursing/latch.

    Pacifier. I wasn’t a big fan of these, but my milk let down was so strong both of my boys needed one. I figured it was more sanitary that both of us sticking our pinky finger in their mouth 24/7, which is what we did with my first for the first two weeks before I broke down and bought one.

    Love the wrap. I had a woven fabric, opposed to a stretchy one like Moby. The woven works better for bigger heavier babies.

    I had an Ergo with my second and loved it. Carried him on a hike a few months ago, age 3.5 yrs. So a lot of use. But I still prefer a wrap for the first few months around the house, but not for errands.

    Breast pads, disposable and washable (I preferred disposable for on the go, but used washable ones at night (ones with waterproof backing…wool/fleece). I would not have gotten by without these. Needed them for six months with my first….don’t get me started, it sucked. I only needed them for 6 weeks or so with my second.

  58. I second the miracle blankets! They are a total lifesaver, especially as your baby gets longer. My twin girls have long legs and are very squirmy. These were the only things that worked for us swaddle-wise.

    Also, Baby 411 is an amazing book! It answers every question you could ever have in a very easy, straightforward way. It seriously got my husband and me through the first year.

    Congrats and have fun!

  59. You need a “Breast Friend”!!! It is so much better than the Boppy! It is like a padded shelf that buckles around your middle under your breasts. It is sturdy and perfect for holding baby and breast feeding. When I was pregnant I never took it off. I discovered it was also the perfect little” Body Table” for setting a bowl of cereal on, or balance a magazine. I loved it so much that my husband threatened to burn it if I kept wearing it all the time 🙂

  60. Love the Monte collection of rockers…we have the Joya by Monte (my hubby didn’t want any parts that babe could get finger eventually stuck in so preferred a traditional “rocker”..although the glider is more comfortable!) and love it!

    OOOh, also, with my second, I received a breast cover that is essentially a figure 8 scarf. Works AWESOME! Although, I do agree that the breast apron thing is nice cause you can actually see your baby, and the mid feed smiles are always heart melting:) but once breastfeeding becomes 2nd nature and only takes 10 min vs an hr, the figure 8 scarf is pretty great:)

    Also,I went a lil crazy first time around …tears of joy..tears of sadness….ce la vie, but I would add LOTS of sunshine to that first months list:) Or at least fresh air!!:)

    Congrats! You are a beautiful mama!

  61. this is a great list! they’re fab to have as a first time mommy but honey i’m gonna tell you something. when you have #2 most of these items you will not use 😉

    with that in mind, let me add more to that list. i recommend investing in a high quality ear or forehead thermometer. this is something you will use for many years to come, even for yourself! so worth it.

    same for a humidifier. get one that’s good quality. works wonders when they have a stuffy nose or cough which gets worse at night when they are lying down and sleeping.

    i also highly recommend this nipple cream.
    this stuff works and if you have any left, you can use the remaining cream for your hands or feet. i haven’t breastfed in 3 years and i still use this for my cracked heels.

  62. Congratulations!

    I have the Freestyle and it was a total lifesaver for me and worth the cost. I had lots of trouble breastfeeding and ended up exclusively pumping. The small size and rechargeable battery allowed me to pump while doing housework, driving home from work, etc… I used it for over two years (I have 2 boys).

    I also love the miracle blankets!

  63. What I wasn’t expecting in the second month is that your little one starts to “wake up” for periods of time so you have to find ways to play with them without getting them overstimulated. My little one loved looking in the mirror that second month, along with spending time on her play mat. She also loved books with high contrast images. Of course the best entertainment is making faces with mom and dad. Oh, and you need a thermometer. The first time our little one got sick the doctor’s office asked what her temperature was and I realized what a novice I was since I didn’t have a thermometer. Congrats! Being a mom is the coolest thing in the whole world.

  64. Oh my! A nursing cover, really? This is soooo American. Ok I was lucky enough to have my first kid in Berlin where everyone feeds in public so even if I didn’t feel so self-confident when I started out I quickly gained it. Whit Kiddo #2 who is almost 9 months old, I just do it whenever I feel like it, which doesn’t mean I show my boobs to the entire world. The technique is to layer: a tank top and a t-shirt or loose fitting top above so that you can pull down the tank top and up up the top leaving just enough space for your little guy while knowing that you are safe from too much public viewing 🙂

  65. I’ve been a nanny for 12 years and have to agree with Jen that said that as a first time mom this is a great (and gorgeous!) round-up, but as time goes on you’ll find that a lot of these things aren’t really NEEDS–but they are nice 😉
    Having taken care of babies for so long, I’ve tried every carrier under the sun! PLEASE don’t use a Bjorn–so, so bad for hip development! The Ergo is definitely a more comfortable option. However, I’ve found that the carrier that I used for the longest period of time–about 2.5years (without totally destroying my back!) was the Maya Wrap. It’s a sling with a ring that makes it waaaay easier and quicker to put on than the Moby wrap.
    As for swaddling a baby, I am a HUGE advocate for it. To make it easier and harder for them to break out of I would suggest getting a swaddle with velcro. And once he’s out of the swaddle, move on to a sleep sack. It keeps them cozy since they can’t keep a blanket on.

    Maya Wrap:

    0-6mos Swaddle:

    HALO Sleepsack:

  66. Gowns!!! Even for boys. They make diaper changes so quick and easy, especially in the middle of the night. Zutano makes cute ones for boys, and you get them on Amazon. http://www.zutano.com/shop/category/baby-boy-one-piece/

  67. Nose Friday definitely. Also, aquaphor for baby’s body and bum (he has never had a rash). And I send this link to all my girlfriends a few weeks after they deliver, it’s hilarious. http://www.pregnantchicken.com/pregnant-chicken-blog/2010/9/23/happily-after-giving-birth-10-things-they-dont-tell-you.html

  68. Oh, and regarding the nursing cover, I also pumped for a year and often used the nursing cover to pump in the car, ladies’ rooms, etc.

  69. Two things for month two – baby Bjorn babysitter (look on amazon) – it’s a bouncer that’s super modern and portable and you bounce it for them at first but they learn how to do it themselves and that’s a lifesaver. We brought it to friends houses all the time. http://www.amazon.com/BABYBJORN-BabySitter-Balance-Brown-Beige/dp/B001HOIC8K

    Second thing is a playmat. The infantino activity mat is cute for boys, also super portable and they actually start playing with it as early as six weeks. Get ready for smiles! http://www.amazon.com/Infantino-Twist-Fold-Activity-Vintage/dp/B002DWALTI

    Third thing. Patience. This month is hard (I’m in it with number two).

  70. I am in the contemplating baby phase, so definitely have this post bookmarked. And while I don’t have little ones yet, my favorite shower gift is Napinol booty balm. It’s an all natural diaper rush cream that’s good for butts and boobs:-) A mommy friend recommended and it has cute packaging, so I like to add it to gifts. It’s received rave reviews so far.

  71. Have you used http://www.weespring.com? I really like it because you can read reviews of baby products, AND see what’s recommended by your Facebook friends. Also, things have to “make” the site (as opposed to browsing Amazon, which is ENDLESS), so it is pretty much just like this thread only with links, prices, tons of reviews, and information about which of your friends recommends which product. SO useful for someone like me who is just entering month 8 …

  72. Rent a pump from any hospital lactation center, trust me renting the $1500 pump for 30 dollars a month makes your boobs a lot happier in the long run.

  73. Hi Emily! Congratulations on your precious little boy. I found your blog last year and am a huge fan. We welcomed our first child in February of last year. So, I am certainly not an expert, but would be happy to share the things that we have loved in the last 10 months (although, you are totally on it with your top 20- I couldn’t agree more!)

    – KidsMe Food Feeder (Amazon)- Our babe is teething like a madwoman and this little gem has helped her SO much! We mainly use it for ice cubes to sooth her sore gums, but it’s also great for pureeing fruit once they start on solids. The silicone makes it so nice because it rinses easily in the sink (as opposed to the mesh versions.)
    – Magnificent bibs- They are magnetic. Genius.
    – Mustela bath products… YUM! The smell is SO good.
    – Dundee burp cloths (Amazon)- similar to cloth diaper. Plain. Simple. Work better than all of the fancy ones.
    – Jefferies socks- These are the only socks that would stay on our lil nugget… and they have the grippers on the bottom which aren’t totally necessary when they’re tiny, but still cute and functional.
    – Guava boots- Again, I went through MANY booties with our girl and every single pair fell off (cheap, expensive, all of them), but Guava boots have been fantastic. They are simple, cute and most importantly, they STAY ON!
    – Hoodies- Now I am in cold Ohio and you’re in sunny California, but hoodies are such a great, versatile item in their wardrobe. Gap, Boutique brands… they are all fantastic.
    – “Wherever you are, my love will find you.”- This book is the sweetest. Be prepared… you may or may not cry on the first read. 😉 I did.
    Okay… I could go on for days. This list is totally random, but some of my faves. Best of luck… you are doing such a fabulous job. How exciting… new babe… and a new house… I’ll be staying tuned. 🙂

  74. My baby days are gone, I cannot even remember what I found essential the first month 🙂

    But this book I remember and I loved, it was dog eared by the time my baby was one. It made so much sense and it was right on target.

    Why they cry.


  75. I own both the Medela and Ameda pumps (one bought for each child). I liked the Ameda best and it can be re-sold. http://www.amazon.com/Ameda-Purely-Yours-Breast-Pump/dp/B004E9SW7G/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1389317500&sr=8-2&keywords=ameda
    I rented a hospital grade one for a while, but for carrying to work Ameda fits in any bag and you can save about $15 by buying it without a bag. I was tired of carrying the heavy Medela into work. If you having trouble in the nursing in the hospital ask for a pump. They give you a fitted pump kit for “free” and you’ll want a second one to avoid washing all the time.

  76. my boys are five now (so big!!), so my memory is a little foggy—but they did love their sophie the teething giraffes. also for month two i highly recommend having a copy of photoshop at the ready.

    HOURS of parental laughter. 😉

  77. I haven’t read through all of the comments so I’m not sure if someone else has mentioned this but I highly recommend that every breastfeeding mother get the Philips Avent manual breast pump. I didn’t discover this until my 3rd child (used 2 different brands of double electric pumps for my first two babies). Once I experienced how much more comfortable it was for my nips (feels very similar to nursing) I never turned back and also used it with my fourth child. Even if you prefer an electric pump for your more heavy-duty pumping sessions, this is great to have in your diaper bag for when you may not have convenient access to an outlet, or when you just have to pump off a little due to engorgement. Or like me, you have to chase around toddlers while you are pumping for the infant…
    By the way, my favorite line of this post “It doesn’t mean they don’t think that women should be able to vote…” Ha! Nailed it.

    1. Second the hand pump – waisted my $ on the electric. I felt the rubber inserts were more comfortable and could pump more quickly than the electric.

      1. Thats so crazy. I so wouldn’t have thought that. Doesn’t it just take forever to pump then? They gave us one at the hospital so i’m going to try it – mostly out of curiosity. Thanks

        1. Emily, I think I tried the Medela manual pump that I got from the hospital after my first baby and didn’t like it at all. The Philips Avent has the Isis insert thingy
          (Clearly I’m not an expert on pump parts) that really made the difference in comfort, ease, and speed. My let-down was much better because of that so it was actually quicker for me.

  78. Oh, Mother! I am afraid that this article will scare a lot of to-be parents that they actually need all this. Just because you’ve used it a lot, doesn’t mean you needed it.

    I had 2 babies and did without most of these spendy things. Definitely no $1200 glider that they’re going to spit up on. Get a cheapo, buy it used, and sew a nifty cover for it (’cause you’re crafty like that). When my babies shit, I did not put the diapers in an $80 special pail and wipe with warmed wipes (because really, if they need a warm wipe, they probably need a nice warm washcloth with some soap to get that taint sparkling). No, we did what any other thrifty person would do: put that diaper in a bag and *take it out to the trash.* I know I don’t want to sleep with a bucket of my own feces in my room, why should my child want any different? So if you can’t tell, I think this list is unrealistic and mostly unnecessary. I would even wager that the “clamshell” car seat is unnecessary. Get a convertible seat. My kids woke up either way, bringing them in. It may feel “really light” now, but just wait til he’s 20 lbs. I did have a PIS that broke after Kid 1. I got the Freestyle for Kid 2, and I think it worked better!

    Next month, a bouncer seat and/or swing. I had one kid that liked the variety. There is an old Fisher Price Aquarium model vibrating bouncer that is like gold. I made a profit when I sold it! Adin&Anais swaddle blankets are so nice, esp in the LA sun. Clip over the stroller for extra shade, etc. I found more longevity in an iPod or iPhone dock and played white noise or music through that. Get something to lay on for tummy time and play. If baby has taken to pacifier, clips to hold them on their shirts. Did I see first aid on your list? Thermometer, infant Tylenol, ipecac, gripe water, sunscreen, Baby Vicks, Oragel. Humidifier for colds. Some soft books with bold graphics (newborns see black, white, red best).

    1. love you! telling it like it is 🙂

  79. We used less than half of what was on your list for 2 kids- but to each their own!

  80. Just a few suggestions…

    I don’t think anyone mentioned Butt Paste or Dr. Smiths’ butt cream. Use the smelly stuff for the really bad diaper rashes. You will revisit these products after a few years when they start to wipe on their own and miss 😉

    Sheet changing – your little Charlie will definitely soak/mess the crib at some point in the middle of the night… I layered mattress pads and sheets (3 sets of each) over each other. When the blowout happens, just remove the top sheet and waterproof pad. Clean one underneath exposed. Much easier than trying to change at 3:00 am. By the end of the third child – I could do it with my eyes closed 😉

    Traveling – pack two changes of clothes – it never failed, alway a blowout/up the back right before boarding.

    Feeding will get easier – not sure if they are still around, but shirt line called “boobed” I think? Tight fitting, horizontal overlapping flaps across the chest area. Tight enough to keep the girls hidden, but loose enough to expose one w/out the other. Never exposing stomach, or neck. Loved them and just used a light blanket to cover what was exposed.

    Good luck!… and for the germs and 5 second rule…imo- once they start crawling – the 5 second rule applies since their hands are all over the floor and anything on the floor is in the mouth 😉


    1. that is doesn’t apply.

  81. First, congrats!

    We also used the Puj Tub and when she outgrew it and could sit up on her own we moved to the Prince LionHeart Flexibath (yes, that’s the worst name ever for such a great product). It’s great to use in the bathtub because it uses less water and even our beefy 12m old still has room to play about in the tub. Then when family visits we can tuck it away when not in use.

    Enjoy these early days! They go by incredibly fast!

  82. Congratulations! He’s gorgeous. We loved the Swaddleme swaddler blankets. I swear my son is a good sleeper today because we kept him nice and tight in the beginning. I also loved the Aden & Anais burp cloths. Great fabric and the size is perfect. My son never took a pacifier and ended sucking on his blankie to soothe. He just turned two and still loves them. I bought a bunch of the North American blankies and just kept one handy all the time. Having a son is amazing. I always laughed at my friend who would say her son was her boyfriend. It’s so true! They love their Mama’s! Good Luck and enjoy that little guy. They grow too fast!

  83. Pinning this for future reference Emily 🙂
    On a completely unrelated nite (since I couldn’t figure out where else to ask about this…. May I ask where you got the blue rug that you’ve used for Oh Joy’s house? Love, love, love that room you did!

  84. Bookmarking this for future reference Emily!

    On a completely unrelated note, may I ask where you got that blue rug you used for Oh Joy’s house? Love, love, LoVE that room you did 🙂

  85. Your breast pump advice was right on, but remember with Obama Care breast pumps are FREE with most insurance companies. Be sure to call your insurance provider to see if they have a reimbursement program or specific companies to purchase from. I was so excited to fin this out in one of our birthing classes last year.

    For my daughter month two was a lot like month one, but by month three she was more alert and liked to sit up to see what was going on. We got her a vibrating chair from Target. It was cheep and easy to move from room to room and a cool spot to set her, as she was a summer baby.

  86. Yes, you must get a NoseFrida! Seriously the best snot sucker ever, although my husband refuses to use it because he’s afraid he’s going to suck our baby’s brains out (I’m pretty sure this won’t happen). 🙂 Throw the little blue bulb they give you at the hospital away because this thing is all you’ll need.

  87. Boppy Newborn Lounger!!

    Sorry, I didn’t read through all the comments. But this it one of my number one baby items!! I have a 7 month old now (as of Jan, 2014) and for her first 5 months of life, we used the Boppy Newborn Lounger every day!! Especially the first 4 months. A must have in my book!

  88. Yes to the nursing cover! So essential and saves yourself (and others) a whole lot of awkward moments. I would also say the Nose Frieda (nasal aspirator…the hospital bulbs are worthless). Also, in a few months when he no longer wants to be swaddled, Sleep Sacks are awesome for bedtime. Keeps baby warm and he can’t kick it off like a blanket. They come in various levels of warmth and sizes.

  89. There is this Australian woman who was a musical child prodigy (good at hearing musical patterns and so on) that noticed her baby’s cry sounded different at different times. She did a bunch of research about decoding baby’s crying. I didn’t read about it until my two were past this stage but it might be helpful to look into. http://www.dunstanbaby.com/about-us/

  90. My sister is having her first baby in June, and right now the biggest I DON’T KNOW issue is the stroller and car seat. So many options, so many price points, so many conflicting opinions! Forget about the different brands, one shop tells you you have to get a model with a bassinet, another tells you you can buy one that the back lowers enough you don’t need the bassinet, who’s right?

    1. I wish I had tested them all out to see. I got the stokke one and i love it, but its hard to figure out if you really need a $1k stroller or if you should jsut get a $200 one. If they are that cheap are they pieces of garbage? I think the stores bye bye baby have a decent selection but i havent’ found a store in LA that has a variety of low end and high end. Its like you hve to just shop online which obviously makes it super hard.

  91. One of our absolute favorite purchases has been the mirror we got to go on the back seat of the car that allows us to see our 4 month old babe while we are driving (it faces the rear-view mirror so we can easily see if baby is getting strangled with her headband or just mad that we’re stuck in traffic :-). It also lights up and plays music to help keep her occupied now that she’s not sleeping all the time. Bought it at Babies R Us.
    I also love the NoseFrida!

    1. I keep meaning to order that. im going to do that right now. We haven’t gone in the car much but yes, its a bummer when we do and he starts crying and i can’t see him. Of course i end up pulling over and he’s always fine but if I had the mirror it would solve that problem.

  92. The nose frida is an absolute must. Do not even both wasting your money on any other brand of nose sucker and throw out your bulb sucker from the hospital as its likely to have mold growing inside it. So great to see you wearing little Charlie. The stretch that’s in the bobs wrap, a moby, means it will get uncomfortable as he gains weight and starts to cause the fabric to stretch and be uncomfortable. Definitely consider a soft structured carrier, these are more dad friendly too! My favorites are Ergo baby and Tula carriers. He’ll fit in the Tula longer, they’re more stylish and the company is based in San Diego! Woven wraps will also prevent the droop a stretch wrap causes but there are so many on the market it’s hard to pick just one. Good round up! I’m pregnant with my third and took something away from this list I didn’t have for my other two.

  93. So true! I couldn’t live without my Moby! We were pretty textbook attachment parenting people. Although it made for super secure kids (now 12, 8, and 6), they were like baby octopuses when they were little. It was like they suctioned themselves to me. I loved every minute but sometimes momma had stuff to do. So, my Svan high chair was the best buy ever. It’s just too bad I didn’t have one with the first two kids. It adjusted to make our son feel hugged and didn’t leave his feet dangling. Once he got older it converted to make a step up seat so I wasn’t lifting a big toddler into a seat. It was way easier to clean than our previous high chairs and much easier to clean than the years we used booster seats attached to our dining chairs. So much more stylish too!

  94. I love your blog so hard and want to congratulate you on your beautiful baby boy. I always love looking through these lists of essentials, it’s interesting to see what different people end up needing, however I really wish the breast pump wasn’t on yours. As a LLL leader, I get questions from so many women who are having trouble breastfeeding because they started pumping before breastfeeding was well established (which is 4-6 wks for most 1st time moms). Definitely it’s something a working mom needs and some women can pump from day one without supply or feeding issues, but many women can’t in that first month. I’d love to see you put a little disclaimer next to that item so your readers who are expecting don’t assume they can pump from day one with no problems (not all of them will be able to and some will be calling their LCs and LLL leaders but others will sadly give up on breastfeeding).

    Congratulations again on surviving the first month! I wish you all the best in the months to come!

  95. So true about the wrap! I couldn’t live without my Moby. We were pretty textbook attachment parenting parents. It made for really secure kids, now ages 12, 8, and 6. While they were young, it was like raising baby octopuses. I loved every minute of it, but sometimes I needed them to not be suctioned to me… like at mealtime. With our third, we bought the Svan high chair. It adjusted to hug our son enough that he felt secure and it didn’t leave his feet to dangle. It was so comfy that he would gladly sit in it. Once he got older, it converted to a booster with a step built in – a life saver to not have to lift a toddler into a seat for each snack and meal! It was so much easier to clean than our previous chairs and way easier to clean than when we did the whole booster attached to the seat. http://www.svan.com/products/high-chairs/signet-complete/#!

  96. My little guy hated being swaddled–seriously swaddling lasted for like 2 weeks. But we got the Baby Merlin Magic Sleepsuit and are obsessed with it! We put him in that and as soon as it is zipped up, he calms down and starts getting drowsy. It really is like magic 🙂 I highly recommend it for swaddle-adverse babies or for making the switch from swaddle to regular sleeping. http://www.magicsleepsuit.com

    We also love the Boppy Newborn lounger, the Nosefrida especially when paired with some Saline spray, the Windi (for gas), Tommee Tippee bottles (http://www.tommeetippee.us), California Baby bath products (The Eucalyptus bubble bath is great for colds), and the Baby Lamaze hanging toys–the Firefly is our favorite (http://lamaze.my-babytoys.com/lamaze-freddie-the-firefly.html). Stem Baby blankets (http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/stem-baby-stripe-organic-cotton-blanket/3519240?origin=category-personalizedsort&contextualcategoryid=0&fashionColor=&resultback=1486&cm_sp=personalizedsort-_-browseresults-_-1_4_C) have a nice weight and are super soft.

    A vibrating bouncy seat and a baby swing have also been very useful so that little man has somewhere fun to hang out while we cook dinner, do laundry, and shower. Anything with flashing lights has been a big hit–although that generally means it’s not so stylish–oh well!

  97. Hmmm… not sure why my post kept posting??? I promise I am no spammer. LOL!

  98. My baby just turned 4 months so this stuff is fresh on my mind. These are my favorite items (some musts and some nice-to-haves)

    I’m going to change your life with this one and I don’t think anyone has said it yet. These baby nail scissors: http://www.rubistweezers.com/miva/merchant.mvc?Store_Code=R&Screen=PROD&Product_Code=1F0.01%2Fee
    They are SO much easier and safer than regular nail clippers, and you will be clipping their nails a lot! It’s almost impossible to cut the baby’s fingers if you use these properly. It will eliminate the anxiety of having to cut their little tiny nails.

    In a month or two when he’s more alert and starts looking around more, a Twilight Turtle that projects stars onto the ceiling is really nice for them.

    I happen to LOVE the Ralph Lauren plain white long sleeve onesies. They are so thick and soft and they have the hand covers built in. No, they are not a necessity, and yes I know you can get a 5 pack of them from Carter’s for the same price as one, but I usually wait till they’re on sale or get them out the Ralph outlet. I like them for when we are travelling especially.

    I’m not a fan of the diaper genie. We specifically did not register for it, and then someone bought us one as a gift so now I’m kind of stuck with one (there was no gift receipt) in storage. But I live in a small apartment, so I just use a tiny little pail that holds a few diapers and then I take it out to the garbage shoot frequently but I don’t like the idea of the dirty diapers sitting in her room. I also don’t love the idea of the wipes warmer because there will be situation where you have to use “cold” wipes and your baby won’t be accustomed to it and will freak out. If you start out using regular wipes, they will never know better. My daughter hasn’t had any issues with cold wipes bothering her.

    Everyone has their own favorite balm (aquaphor, butt paste, etc.), but the one thing I really love specifically for the face is the L’Occitaine baby & mama face balm. It’s not greasy at all…it’s more like the consistency of chapstick. It goes on SO nice. I love Burt’s bees shampoo/wash for her baths because it’s natural and smells SOOOO yummy like honey and almonds.

    A rain cover and a mesh cover for the stroller are musts. The mesh is good for keeping out dust (I live in NYC where there’s always construction going on), insects, and random strangers hands 🙂 but they can still see and breathe with it on.

    The carriers seem to really be a personal preference as I know so many people that bash the Bjorn these days and i LOVED it. So I think it just depends on what works for you and your baby (different body types come into play i think).

    One other random thing you may want to get are those space bags. As the baby grows out of one size and into the next, I put her too small clothes in a space bag and then seal it up and store it away as soon as the bag is full.

    Charlie is SUCH a cutie….so glad you’re enjoying it 🙂

  99. Emily,
    My third is 6 months old, also a Charlie. The first few months are the best, enjoy 🙂
    When I was pregnant with my first the book ‘Baby Bargains’ was very helpful. Prior to that I found myself reading reviews about everything, paralyzed with fear over choosing the right stroller and hours wasted because I couldn’t decide which kind of wipes to use!?!? (personally I prefer Target’s Up&Up brand – just the right amount of moisture, btw). Absurd, now (she says after three kids)….
    But the Baby Bargains book (make sure you get the most revised edition), was very helpful in providing insight to help you make the best choices based on facts/budget, rather than random opinions. They also have a message board that I also found very helpful (http://windsorpeak.com/vbulletin/forumdisplay.php?3-Oh-Baby!-BABY-BARGAINS-amp-BABY-411-amp-EXPECTING-411)
    Best of luck.

  100. Great stuff! My second is 3 mo. now and here a few things that I can’t live without…

    Nose Frida
    not really necessary 1st month, but when they get stuffy it’s a life saver

    I had a big baby boy 9 lbs 4oz so he was able to get into it early. It’s sooo comfy you hardly know you have it on

    I also keep the Baby Whisperer close as it is a great reference. Bringing Up Bebe is a great read as well.

    Congrats on cutie Charlie!

  101. I love your blog and your style, but something here just didn’t sit right. How much of this stuff did you receive for free or from sponsorships? I could be wrong, but a bit more transparency on that side of things only seems fair/reasonable.

  102. I’m sure there will be at least a few repeats, but here is my list of tried-and-true must-haves:

    -NoseFrida. Gross? Yes. Most effective booger sucker ever? YES.

    -Medela Breastmilk Bottle Set. Simple, easy to clean, and compatible with the breast pump that you (and I) already have. They make version with a nipple that is supposed to eliminate air bubbles or something, but I’ve used the basic ones with no issues whatsoever.

    – Nasal saline spray mist. I think the company who makes the kind I’m thinking of is “Little Remedies” and you can easily find it at CVS or Target. Anyway, I prefer the mist because the drops always seem to overwhelm an already cranky, stuffed-up baby.

    -Safety 1st Gentle Read rectal thermometer. Most reliable one I’ve ever used and super affordable.

    -SwaddleMe organic swaddles (the kind with the velcro tabs) and Halo Sleepsack Swaddle.

    All can be found on Amazon!

  103. I just book marked this page and am taking it with me to register. Thank you for all of the helpful suggestions. As a new mom-to-be I feel like I have NO idea what I am doing/what I need to buy! I love your blog and congrats on your beautiful baby boy!!

  104. I just bookmarked this page and am taking it with me to register. Thank you for all of the helpful suggestions. As a new mom-to-be I feel like I have NO idea what I am doing/what I need to buy! I love your blog and congrats on your beautiful baby boy!!

  105. Just wanted to add a note that there are no MUST-HAVES when it comes to babies…okay, besides some comfy clothes, some tiny diapers and either your boobs or a bottle and a whole lotta love and cuddles. MUST-HAVE lists make new moms feel the need to have to BUY all this STUFF and freak out that they won’t have all the right things when the times comes. I think it adds an unnecessary stress to an already hectic moment. My second little person is 7 months and the list of things that he needed was so small and I was so relieved to not have been caught up in all the different opinions of what I would have to BUY for him. It’s awesome to see all the options, you suggested some sweet stuff, that are out there but I just wanted to add that almost all of this stuff is NICE TO HAVE, but not required.

  106. Our own little Charlie is two months old and just recently he has started loving his Little Lamb seat by Fisher Price and the 4Moms Mamaroo. I think they were too much for him in his first few weeks but now he’s definitely into them (which is great for me)! The other thing we love is Homemedics portable sound machine. It’s great to use in the stroller or in the car. If he’s being fussy, it instantly calms him down. It has a few different sounds (white noise, ocean wave, heartbeat, etc.). Otherwise, great compilation – we have a bunch of the same stuff and it’s all GREAT!

  107. Okay I hope this hasn’t already been mentioned but I wanted to think of something I relied heavily on and you seemed to name them all. Anyway, I used an app to keep track of how long I nursed (sides included), diaper changes, sleep time, etc. It helped so much because when i used my brain I would just round the numbers and forget. It helped us get to know our baby more, as far as his natural cycle is concerned. It also helped with communicating with babysitters. I’m sure there’s a lot of options out there now but the one we used is called Baby Timer. Pure awesomeness!

  108. Breast pumps are free through your insurance now thanks to Obamacare!

  109. BEAUTIFUL photos! A note on wearing Charlie while working.. I use a big exercise ball when I want to sit. It gives just enough bounce!

  110. Congrats on Charlie! It’s been wonderful following you along the way. And I really wish I had done preggo photos if they would have turned out as well as yours…

    I have to echo a few comments here – these items are lovely, but most are nowhere close to ‘essential’, especially for those of us with a small space and a tight budget. Our diaper genie lasted about 2 months into kid #1. The baby bathtub was put in storage and never came out again after kid #2 outgrew it. Too tired to need white noise to fall asleep – ever. Kids #3 and #4 have managed with:
    1. Spit-up cloths galore (linen/cotton – also great for swaddling!)
    2. Sleepers
    3. Diapers & wipes & a quilted pad we use for changing on the floor/bed/couch
    4. A baby carrier (bjorn or whatever works for your anatomy)
    5. A car seat (we tried the bucket seat, but got really limited use out of it with big babies – instead switched to a reversible seat from newborn to 40 lbs).
    6. A stroller. Bought mainly for the size of the basket underneath.
    7. A crib that converts to a toddler bed (great for holding clean laundry until you get around to using it).
    8. A highchair (usually borrowed) that we use from about 6 months to a year, at which point the kid wants to sit on a regular chair at the table with the rest of us.

    Everything else is gravy. You don’t need all of this stuff. The essentials are love, patience and being kind to yourself as you surf the hormonal postpartum seas. Be present and enjoy!

    p.s. best baby shower ever: freezer party. everyone showed up with something edible for my freezer.

  111. I’ve been using my Medela PIS advanced since I had my first, over 5 years ago. My third is now 10 months and my pump is still going strong. I pumped with my oldest two until they were a year (exclusively pumped from 6-12 months). My third is nursing longer than my older two, so doesn’t quite get used as much, but still a couple times a day. I paid $350 or so for mine and it’s been worth it’s weight in gold…I think it’s fantastic that insurance covers it now!! Good luck and congrats on your little man…seriously adorable!

  112. Yes, all of this. Yes! Also, for the car . . .

    I use my purse as a diaper bag and just keep a diaper and a small package of wipes and maybe a toy or a snack of whatever in there. Then, in the trunk of my car, I keep a small ice chest filled with extra diapers and wipes and snacks and toys and diaper cream and every other damn thing. That way, it’s near if I need it, but I’m not lugging everything around all the time. The ice chest keeps things contained and organized, and nothing gets weird or funky in the Texas heat. 🙂

    1. I do this too! I put just the essentials in my purse, and keep the big diaper bag in the car with extra clothes, food, blankets, etc.

  113. Hi there, I’m not sure if anyone has mentioned this, but I think it’s important to know that now under the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), pumps are fully covered. The law says that a hospital grade rental should be paid for by insurance, but most insurers are just choosing to buy their insurees double electric breast pumps. Each insurance has a different way of delivering this service, so I encourage people to call their insurance prior to purchase. I got my pump and style advanced 100% free. Also, lactation services are also covered (ie, appts with a lactation consultant). I don’t want folks to spend the $ if they don’t have to!!


  114. Great post, and you’re little guy is a cutie!

    My baby girl lived in sleep ‘n plays when she was tiny. My husband and I really appreciated the ones with zippers. So much easier to change her in those!

    My list of must haves would also include those swaddle wraps with velcro (I think someone else mentioned them in the comments too). I used those on her every night, and never got much use out of other swaddle blankets.

    A note on the nursing cover, I totally used mine the first couple of months, then started just using a scarf and wearing a nursing tank. For nursing in public, like in a restaurant, I felt like the nursing covered definitely covered all the flesh, but was like wearing a huge sign that said “hey, I’m nursing under here!” Now I just wear a wide scarf loosely around my neck, open the flap on my nursing tank, and pull up my shirt. If you arrange the scarf right, you have enough cover without smothering the baby, and people often just think you’re holding the baby or the baby’s sleeping.

  115. Funny how much the world has changed in 20 years. When I had my boys back when the dinosaurs roamed, we didn’t have a changing table. We just laid a towel on the bathroom counter and changed them there. I used cotton diapers for environmental reasons and soaked them in a bucket of water with a bit of bleach as disinfectant – no diaper pail. I nursed them using a regular pillow from one of the bedrooms, not a nursing pillow. The baby slept in my bottom bureau drawer, outfitted with a foam liner, until big enough for a crib. The money we saved sure came in handy when we put them through university and the less stuff that ends up in landfill, the better for the world they’ll be inhabiting.

  116. I also love the Nose Freida!

    Burpy bibs & swaddle blankets (love Aden & Anais, and the muslin blankets also make for good nursing covers when you need–just tie 2 ends together), sleep sacks for when you transition out of the swaddle (not necessarily in the second month but not long after), a lovey for him to get attached to (Angel Dear brand is the best!).

    Huge congrats! It just gets better and better (and in some ways harder and easier!)

  117. Hi there, great post! I just wanted to let you know that there seem to be mutterings that anti-bacterial soap may not be more effective than regular soap and, in fact, may cause harm. http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm378542.htm

  118. Loved reading this list! It’d be so helpful for other new moms to have a monthly list to follow like this. It’s hard to know what they will need at what time, and for how long. There’s nothing worse than spending tons of money of something they will hardly ever use.

  119. What a fabulous list! This looks like it was put together by a mother of 6. I’m thinking I may try the white noise product. My baby is such a light sleeper. And of course I love that you’re using the Puj Tub. And hopefully you have our infant towel to go with it. Together they make bathing baby so easy.

  120. Yoga ball! That thing saved our lives. I bounced my daughter to sleep while sitting on it for the first several months….it was also great for core rehabilitation!

  121. You need Jacootie stroller headlights!
    They are pretty new to the market but they totally work. Cars notice you walking and slow down. I couldn’t believe it at first. I make sure to use them everytime I walk with my baby.
    You get them at http://www.strollerheadlight.com

  122. Great list! I love the glider! I was rocked as a baby and loved it and I still to this day love the rocking or gliding motion so, I know my baby will too. I don’t think the baby wipe warmer is a necessity. I could always warm them in the microwave. Checking the temperature before wiping of course.

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